Friday, August 29, 2008

Bell Labs: We Don't Need No Stinking Physics

Nope. No more basic physics research at Bell Labs. Management says they need to stick to things that will pay off in the short-term -- after all, that wretched dead end, the transistor, didn't do them any good....

It's official. The inmates run the asylum.

Why bother to care?

10 comments:

Turk Turon said...

These are the people who discovered The Big Bang and the transistor. How the mighty have fallen.

og said...

yeah, why not leave that stuff to the academics? they're doing a pretty good job of getting the facts right (cough::globalwarming::cough)

Mark said...

That's purest crap that is. Utterly heartbreaking. What is this current trend of saying "Oh, there's nothing more to learn, all the important inventions have been made. Time to go home".

Insanity.

Old Grouch said...

Mark, it's worse than that, it's "While there may be something to learn, none of it will improve this quarter's bottom line. So to hell with it."

It's all about the short term anymore.

Adrian K said...

That's ok.

IBM's got the guy that invented DRAM. He's still cranking away on cool stuff 40 years after the DRAM patent too.

We been picking up their slack. =)

BobG said...

A sad comment on things.

rickn8or said...

I'm more inclined to think that the Chinese are going to take up the slack.

Roberta X said...

And G-d knows, the Chinese have only our best interests at heart.

Yeah, there's the old contrast all over agin: who'd you rather be exploited by, the heartless accountants of At&T (yeahIknowtheyspunoffLucent/BellLabs) or the Chinese communists?

Even when the West plays Monopoly, we suck way less than than commies.

Mark said...

Well, there's a lot of that all over. This is a bit old, but it's done nothing but get worse in the Uck.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/6589301.stm

For the link-wary, that goes to a comparison of math skills in chemistry, at University level. The UK maths level is frankly insulting.

Turk Turon said...

Well, let's hope that as one door closes, another one opens.

The U.S. still attracts more than its share of researchers from all over the world because of our free markets, intellectual property protection and enormous pool of private venture capitol.

But that's only if the research shows promise of one day being profitable.

Lots of those guys at Bell Labs won Nobels, but it was their employees who founded AMD, Intel, etc., etc.