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I believe that there are lots of professionally-run science scams.

It starts with an idea that looks good on paper and a bunch of scientists investigating it. At one point it gets picked up by the management of a company and commercialization is being started while the technology is not ready yet. Now you have high-risk development of a new technology in the framework of commercial management. Failing is no option anymore. During the development it becomes clear to some insiders that the goals cannot be achieved. To those are three options. Either they quit, they shut up or they upsell what they have. Plans become bigger and bigger and the deadline shifts later and later. The later you are, the more sunk costs you have and the bigger your plans need to be to recoup the costs and keep your department alive. This is what I consider the when it becomes a scam. It started with science but instead of burying the dead horse it is paraded around town and management applauds while those who know do not talk.






Being one of the scientists who thought they were doing good by initially starting the research must be indescribably painful. I despise when good will is turned on its head. It turns good people into bitter and regretful pessimists. Rather than fight, they quit, like you mentioned - thinking its better not to play twisted games. Only later in life do they realize they should have fought like mad, because no evil should be given quarter, lest it eat you up for years to come. Let's just say I have experience in this type of regret :-/

A lesson for all: the bigger man does not quit, does not keep quiet, does not pacify in the face of evil. Contrary to the truthisms about being the bigger man - fighting for what is right is almost always the right move.

It is often said one should be mature and not "play the game." But the truth is, evil affects us all and isn't confined to isolated games. If you don't stop it locally, it will spread like a poison globally.

Learn from my mistake. Play the game, fight, dont quit.


Quite common in tech too.

Theranos, IBM "Watson" (in reality a family of products sold as one "AI" thing leeching the branding of the chess playing AI, and very underperforming), the "quantum computing" thing...

(I'd add Tesla "auto-but-not-really-auto" pilot...)




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