January 1st, 2015
08:43 PM ET

American innovation is in trouble

By Fareed Zakaria

If you ask people in Silicon Valley what makes it work, they will talk about many things — the ability to fail, the lack of hierarchy, the culture of competition. One thing almost no one mentions is the government. And yet, the Valley’s origins are deeply tied to government support. The reason there were so many engineers in California in the 1950s and 1960s was because large defense companies had attracted them there. Most of the legendary start-ups that fueled the computer revolution — Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel — got off the ground largely because the military, and later NASA, would buy their products until they became cheap and accessible enough for the broader commercial market. GPS, the technology that now powers the information revolution, was developed for the military.

And then there was government funding for research, which is sometimes thought of simply as large grants to universities for basic science but often was far more ingenious. My favorite example comes from Walter Isaacson’s fascinating new book, “The Innovators.” In the 1950s, the U.S. government funded a massive project at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, employing equal numbers of psychologists and engineers who worked together to find ways “that humans could interact more intuitively with computers and information could be presented with a friendlier interface.” Isaacson traces how this project led directly to the user-friendly computer screens of today as well as ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet.

Federal funding for basic research and technology should be utterly uncontroversial. It has been one of the greatest investments in human history. And yet it has fallen to its lowest level as a percentage of GDP in four decades.

Read the Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take

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  1. Blue Philip

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, ow! There she stood in the middle of the street Smiling from her head to her feet I said hey what is this Now baby maybe, maybe she's in need of a kiss I said a hey what's your name baby Maybe we can see things the same. Now don't you wait or hesitate Let's move before they raise the parking rate, ow!

    All right now, baby it's-a all right now All right now, baby it's-a all right now, ooo...

    Let me tell you now

    January 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  2. Blue Philip

    To banasy and chrissy. Sorry about that.
    Baby, I'm-a want you Baby, I'm-a need you You're the only one I care enough to hurt about Maybe I'm-a crazy But I just can't live without...

    Your lovin' and affection Givin' me direction Like a guiding light to help me through my darkest hour Lately I'm a-prayin' That you'll always be a-stayin' beside me

    Used to be my life was just emotions passing by Feeling all the while and never really knowing why...

    Lately I'm a-prayin' That you'll always be a-stayin' beside me.

    Used to be my life was just emotions passing by Then you came along and made me laugh And made me cry... You taught me why...

    Baby, I'm-a want you Baby, I'm-a need you

    Oh, it took so long to find you, baby Baby, I'm-a want you Baby, I'm-a need you

    January 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  3. Blue Philip

    Am truly sorry for being a jerk. 😦

    January 4, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  4. Blue Philip

    Don't EVEN thing yous are innocent, though.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  5. chri§§y

    Lmao and THAT truly is NOT philip! But it WAS cute!

    January 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  6. Blue Philip

    I don't know where I'm goin' But I sure know where I've been Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time Here I go again, here I go again

    Tho' I keep searching for an answer I never seem to find what I'm looking for Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on 'Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams

    Here I go again on my own Goin' down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter I was born to walk alone An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time

    Just another heart in need of rescue Waiting on love's sweet charity An' I'm gonna hold on for the rest of my days 'Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams

    And here I go again on my own Goin' down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter I was born to walk alone An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time But here I go again, here I go again, Here I go again, here I go

    'Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams Here I go again on my own Goin' down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter I was born to walk alone An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time Here I go again on my own Goin' down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter I was born to walk alone 'Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams

    Here I go again on my own Goin' down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter I was born to walk alone

    January 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  7. Blue Philip

    Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way. Thanks to you I'm much obliged, For such a pleasant stay.

    But now it's time for me to go, The autumn moon lights my way. For now I smell the rain, And with it pain, And it's headed my way. Sometimes I grow so tired, But I know I've got one thing I got to do,

    Ramble on, And now's the time the time is now. To sing my song, I'm going around the world, I got to find my girl. On my way, I've been this way ten years to the day. Ramble on, Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

    Got no time to for spreading roots, The time has come to be gone. And though our health we drank a thousand times, It's time to ramble on.

    Ramble on, And now's the time the time is now. To sing my song, I'm going around the world, I got to find my girl. On my way, I've been this way ten years to the day. Ramble on, Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.

    I ain't telling no lie.

    Mine's a tale that can't be told, My freedom I hold dear. How years ago in days of old, When magic filled the air. It was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum and the evil one crept up, And slipped away with her.

    Ain't nothing I can do no, I guess I'll keep on rambling. I'm gonna shake. Gonna ramble on, sing my song. Gonna work my way around the world. I can't stop this feeling in my heart, Gotta keep searching for my baby.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  8. Blue Philip

    I'm out a luck, out a love Gotta photograph, picture of Passion killer, you're too much You're the only one I want to touch I see your face every time I dream On every page, every magazine So wild and free so far from me You're all I want, my fantasy

    Oh, look what you've done to this rock 'n' roll clown Oh oh, look what you've done

    Photograph – I don't want your Photograph – I don't need your Photograph – all I've got is a photograph But it's not enough

    I'd be your lover, if you were there Put your hurt on me, if you dare Such a woman, you got style You make every man feel like a child, oh You got some kinda hold on me You're all wrapped up in mystery So wild so free and far from me You're all I want, my fantasy

    Oh, look what you've done to this rock 'n' roll clown Oh oh, look what you've done

    Photograph I don't want your Photograph I don't need your Photograph all I've got is a photograph You've gone straight to my head

    Oh, look what you've done to this rock 'n' roll clown Oh oh, look what you've done I gotta have you

    Photograph I don't want your Photograph I don't need your Photograph all I've got is a photograph I want to touch you

    Photograph Photograph your photograph Photograph Photograph I need only your Photograph I'm out a love Photograph I'm out a love Photograph you're the only one Photograph I want to touch

    January 4, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  9. Black Philip

    Huh? Blue Philip? LMAO What a sissy.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  10. Blue Philip

    Was just filling in for the Hindi mofo list person is all anyway.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  11. Black Philip

    Here's a good one:

    She comes down from Yellow Mountain
    On a dark, flat land she rides
    On a pony she named Wildfire
    With a whirlwind by her side
    On a cold Nebraska night

    Oh, they say she died one winter
    When there came a killing frost
    And the pony she named Wildfire
    Busted down it's stall
    In a blizzard he was lost

    She ran callin' Wildfire
    She ran callin' Wildfire
    She ran callin' Wildfire

    By the dark of the moon, I planted
    But there came an early snow
    There's been a hoot owl howling by my window now for six nights in a row
    She's coming for me, I know
    And on Wildfire, we're both gonna go

    We'll be riding Wildfire
    We'll be riding Wildfire
    We'll be riding Wildfire

    On Wildfire, we're gonna ride
    We're gonna leave sodbustin' behind
    Get these hard times right on out of our minds
    Riding…

    January 4, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • Black Philip

      Lol. Gonna stop planting taters and just ride around and stuff. LMAO

      January 4, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  12. The Blue Hindoo Muther Frokker

    Freedom
    M

    A SAMPLING OF SOME 114 FREEDOM FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS IN INDIA:

    1. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)

    2. United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)

    3. Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)

    4. Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)

    5. Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)

    6. Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)

    7. Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)

    8. Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)

    9. Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

    10. Karbi People's Front (KPF)

    11. Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)

    12. Bircha Commando Force (BCF)

    13. Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)

    14. Adivasi Security Force (ASF)

    15. All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)

    16. Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)

    17. Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)

    18. United Liberation Front of Barak Valley

    19. United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

    20. People's Liberation Army (PLA)

    21. People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)

    22. The above mentioned three groups now operate from a unified platform,

    23. the Manipur People's Liberation Front (MPLF)

    24. Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)

    25. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)

    26. Manipur Liberation Tiger Army (MLTA)

    27. Iripak Kanba Lup (IKL)

    28. People's Republican Army (PRA)

    29. Kangleipak Kanba Kanglup (KKK)

    30. Kangleipak Liberation Organisation (KLO)

    31. Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC)

    32. National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)

    33. People's United Liberation Front (PULF)

    34. Kuki National Army (KNA)

    35. Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA)

    36. Kuki National Organisation (KNO)

    37. Kuki Independent Army (KIA)

    38. Kuki Defence Force (KDF)

    39. Kuki International Force (KIF)

    40. Kuki National Volunteers (KNV)

    41. Kuki Liberation Front (KLF)

    42. Kuki Security Force (KSF)

    43. Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)

    44. Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF)

    45. United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF)

    46. Hmar People's Convention (HPC)

    47. Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

    48. Hmar Revolutionary Front (HRF)

    49. Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA)

    50. Zomi Revolutionary Volunteers (ZRV)

    51. Indigenous People's Revolutionary Alliance(IRPA)

    52. Kom Rem People's Convention (KRPC)

    53. Chin Kuki Revolutionary Front (CKRF)

    54. Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)

    55. Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC)

    56. People's Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLF-M)

    57. Hajong United Liberation Army (HULA)

    58. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) – NSCN(IM)

    59. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) – NSCN (K)

    60. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino)

    61. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

    62. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

    63. International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

    64. Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)

    65. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)

    66. Bhindala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)

    67. Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)

    68. Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)

    69. Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)

    70. Dashmesh Regiment

    71. Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)

    72. Khalistan National Army (KNA)

    73. National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

    74. All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)

    75. Tripura Liberation Organisation Front (TLOF)

    76. United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF)

    77. Tripura Tribal Volunteer Force (TTVF)

    78. Tripura Armed Tribal Commando Force (TATCF)

    79. Tripura Tribal Democratic Force (TTDF)

    80. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

    81. Tripura Liberation Force (TLF)

    82. Tripura Defence Force (TDF)

    83. All Tripura Volunteer Force (ATVF)

    84. Tribal Commando Force (TCF)

    85. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

    86. All Tripura Bharat Suraksha Force (ATBSF)

    87. Tripura Tribal Action Committee Force (TTACF) Socialist Democratic

    88. Front of Tripura (SDFT)

    89. All Tripura National Force (ATNF)

    90. Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)

    91. Tiger Commando Force (TCF)

    92. Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)

    93. Tripura Rajya Raksha Bahini (TRRB)

    94. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

    95. Tripura National Democratic Tribal Force (TNDTF)

    96. National Militia of Tripura (NMT)

    97. All Tripura Bengali Regiment (ATBR)

    98. Bangla Mukti Sena (BMS)

    99. All Tripura Liberation Organisation (ATLO)

    100. Tripura National Army (TNA)

    101. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

    102. Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT)

    103. Mizoram

    104. Bru National Liberation Front

    105. Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

    106. Arunachal Pradesh

    107. Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF)

    108. Left-wing Extremist groups

    109. People's Guerrilla Army

    110. People's War Group

    111. Maoist Communist Centre

    112. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)

    113. Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Janashaktih

    114. Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)

    January 4, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  13. Black Philip

    I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
    And I howled at my ma in the driving rain
    But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas
    But it's all right. I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash
    It's a gas! Gas! Gas

    I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag
    I was schooled with a strap right across my back
    But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas
    But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash
    It's a gas! Gas! Gas

    I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead
    I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled
    I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    I was crowned with a spike right thru my head
    But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas
    But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash
    It's a gas! Gas! Gas

    Jumping Jack Flash, its a gas
    Jumping Jack Flash, its a gas
    Jumping Jack…

    January 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Black Philip

      LMAO Mick Jagger said "hag" and you cheered. That's too uch. Lmao

      January 4, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  14. chri§§y

    Yes i realise that now philip. Your IP addy shows it. What i dont get is why the sudden change of character? And it was cute...not that i believe you mean one word of it lol. Its alot more interesting reading than them stupid lists thats for sure!

    January 4, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  15. Black Philip

    "I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag". LMAO.
    What, chrissy. People can't have a chagfe of heart?

    January 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  16. Black Philip

    *chagfe. When neither party is sure. Lol

    January 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  17. Black Philip

    The heart is treacherous. Nobody knows it.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  18. What chrissy could have said...

    Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on!

    Didn't I make you feel like you were the only man – yeah!
    An' didn't I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can ?
    Honey, you know I did!
    And each time I tell myself that I, well I think I've had enough,
    But I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough.

    I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
    Take it!
    Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
    Oh, oh, break it!
    Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah.
    Oh, oh, have a!
    Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
    You know you got it if it makes you feel good,
    Oh, yes indeed.

    You're out on the streets looking good,
    And baby deep down in your heart I guess you know that it ain't right,
    Never, never, never, never, never, never hear me when I cry at night,
    Babe, and I cry all the time!
    But each time I tell myself that I, well I can't stand the pain,
    But when you hold me in your arms, I'll sing it once again.

    I'll say come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!
    Take it!
    Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.
    Oh, oh, break it!
    Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah,
    Oh, oh, have a!
    Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
    You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.

    I need you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
    Take it!
    Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
    Oh, oh, break it!
    Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, c'mon now.
    Oh, oh, have a
    Have another little piece of my heart now, baby.
    You know you got it – whoahhhhh!!

    Take it!
    Take it! Take another little piece of my heart now, baby,
    Oh, oh, break it!
    Break another little bit of my heart, now darling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
    Oh, oh, have a
    Have another little piece of my heart now, baby, hey,
    You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  19. chri§§y

    They can @ philip...when they are sincere! I just dont believe thats the case. But carry on...its amusing even if it isnt sincere! 😉

    January 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  20. Philip

    Hey, now. Chrissy. he he

    January 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  21. Philip

    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    Somewhere in this town
    See me and the boys we don't like it
    So were getting up and going down

    Hiding low looking right to left
    If you see us coming I think it's best
    To move away do you hear what I say
    From under my breath

    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    Somewhere in the town
    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    So don't you be around

    Don't you be around

    Tonight there's gonna be trouble
    Some of us won't survive
    See the boys and me mean business
    Bustin' out dead or alive

    I can hear the hound dogs on my trail
    All hell breaks loose, alarm and sirens wail
    Like the game if you lose
    Go to jail

    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    Somewhere in the town
    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    So don't you be around

    Tonight there's gonna trouble
    I'm gonna find myself in
    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    So woman stay with a friend

    You know it's safer

    Breakout!

    Tonight there's gonna be a breakout
    Into the city zones
    Don't you dare to try and stop us
    No one could for long

    Searchlight on my trail
    Tonight's the night all systems fail
    Hey you good lookin' female
    Come here!

    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    Somewhere in the town
    Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
    So don't you be around

    Tonight there's gonna be trouble
    I'm gonna find myself in
    Tonight there's gonna be trouble
    So woman stay with a friend

    January 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  22. Philip

    You good looking female? Really? Lol. Not that you aren't pretty, Chrissy. Was making fun of the lyrics.

    January 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  23. Philip MC

    Let's slow it down:

    Livin' easy
    Lovin' free
    Season ticket on a one way ride
    Askin' nothin'
    Leave me be
    Takin' everythin' in my stride
    Don't need reason
    Don't need rhyme
    Ain't nothin' that I'd rather do
    Goin' down
    Party time
    My friends are gonna be there too
    I'm on the highway to hell
    On the highway to hell
    Highway to hell
    I'm on the highway to hell

    No stop signs
    Speed limit
    Nobody's gonna slow me down
    Like a wheel
    Gonna spin it
    Nobody's gonna mess me around
    Hey satan
    Payin' my dues
    Playin' in a rockin' band
    Hey mumma
    Look at me
    I'm on the way to the promised land
    I'm on the highway to hell
    Highway to hell
    I'm on the highway to hell
    Highway to hell
    Don't stop me

    I'm on the highway to hell
    On the highway to hell
    Highway to hell
    I'm on the highway to hell
    (highway to hell) I'm on the highway to hell
    (highway to hell) highway to hell
    (highway to hell) highway to hell
    (highway to hell)
    And I'm goin' down
    All the way
    I'm on the highway to hell

    January 4, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  24. Philip MC

    Don't stop meah! Lol

    January 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  25. Philip MC

    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind
    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind

    I'm so happy for you baby
    Now that you've found somebody new
    I see it in your eyes
    Lord, it's no surprise
    What he can do for you

    But when I look back baby
    When I look back to what we had
    And I know I'm countin' good times
    But there were just as many bad

    And so I wish you
    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind
    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind

    There's a lesson here to learn
    When your baby ups and leaves you
    Carry on, don't feel concerned
    Even though you're so much in love
    You need a little help from above, oh

    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind
    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind

    Oh, ain't no foolin' with you baby
    Only the words are hard to find
    You got me tremblin' at the knees
    Answer won't you please
    Before I lose my mind

    This is our fifth year, baby
    And it feels like I'm in jail, Lord
    I'm holding on to this card
    Can't seem to get it in the mail
    And the card reads

    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind
    Happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind

    Ooh yeah, happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind
    Ah yeah, happy anniversary, baby
    Got you on my mind

    Oh, have a happy anniversary
    'Cause I've got you on my mind
    Always on my mind

    Happy anniversary
    Happy anniversary

    January 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  26. Philip MC

    No Casey Kasum here. But...
    In the white room with black curtains near the station
    Black roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings
    Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes
    Dawn light smiles on you leaving, my contentment

    I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines
    Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves

    You said no strings could secure you at the station
    Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows
    I walked into such a sad time at the station
    As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning

    I'll wait in the queue when the trains come back
    Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves

    At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd
    Consolation for the old wound now forgotten
    Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes
    She's just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings

    I'll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd
    Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves

    Read more: Cream – White Room Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    January 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  27. chri§§y

    Lol just please DONT sing Nights in White Satin ok.

    January 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  28. Philip MC

    What song would you like to hear, chrissy?

    January 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  29. Philip MC

    Lol. Nights in White Satin. It's fingernails on chalkboard I tell ya! Lol

    January 4, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  30. Philip MC

    Nights in white satin. Never meaning to blah blah blah. LMAO

    January 4, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Reply
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