Why we need problems.
Recently watched a Vpro ( documentary maker from the Netherlands) documentary. Highlighting the issue of University inventions and thus patents being given away free to private industry to use and then profit from, with the bizarre reality of the state buying them back including a rent for the patent! Think pharmaceuticals and the NHS.
The well known and often quoted is the iphone, most of the internal components were government funded projects for defence, navigation and general public funded university research, all used by Steve Jobs and co, and cleverly put together to create the ubiquitous smartphone which was then marketed for huge profits, with none going back to the publicly funded organisations as if it was all the ideas of just the private sector (remember these corporations also avoid taxation).
So Mariana Mazzucato goes through this in her book The Entrepreneurial State (debunking public v private sector myths, video further down the page) and the Vpro video.
One section near the end caught my imagination.
Problems are there to be solved, the Kennedy moonshot speech;
“We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon… We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too”.