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. Cantor

    On a worst case scenario basis if 140 million women have been raiped in India (CNN Projections) typically by a gang of 5 people, then that impllies that 700 million men or half India's population are raipists (unless some are raiping multiple times). THAT IS TWICE THE POPULATION OF USA

    January 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  2. Cantor

    In every man there is a woman within. I am no exception. My black pan ties and white garter belts are proof of the feminine side in me.

    January 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  3. Cantor

    :::20% of women or 140 million women have been gang raiped in India

    :::60% of men or 420 million men in India think that gang raiping and burning the wife alive for dowry by spraying kerosene and lighting her up is acceptable.

    :::Only 1% of raipes in India are reported.

    :::There is a raipe every 2 seconds in India

    ::: 85% of women in India have been groped, their breasts pulled like pork and a ss fingered

    ::80% of hinddoous track to rail tracks to defecate in India

    :: 95% of hinddoous in India don't have toilets

    January 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  4. Cantor

    I watch "Dancing with the Stars" and dance along wearing my little blue ballerina dress.

    I have weird dreams at night of being a ballerina in Texas and getting ra yped.
    I love it.

    January 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  5. Cantor

    I wear high heals and a mini skirt. I walk downtown at night.

    January 4, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  6. The Hindoo Muther Frokker

    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 3:09 pm | Reply
  7. The Hindoo Muther Frokker

    Why are Hindoos from India big time mutter f okkers.

    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 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      115. Klingon warriors association (KWA)

      January 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      116. N.A.M.B.L.A. (NAMBLA)

      January 4, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  8. Blue Saffron

    I use Maybeline. Best lipstick.

    I wear red pan ties.

    January 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Maybeline

      Darn tootin'.

      January 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  9. Black Saffron

    I come here in peace. To discuss things with you. In a meaningful way. And with carrot and stick.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  10. Black Saffron

    I am Black Saffron. Lord of the jungle.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Black Saffron

      Only lions and tigers and bears are more than me. I am more than a wise old turtle, for example. A mockingbird is barely my equal. I am Black Saffron! ooh ooh e awe awe awe!

      January 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  11. black rupert

    I am black Rupert. I forgot to take a bath is why.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  12. black bloggers of the upper mid-west and one south of there.

    We are black bloggers of the upper mid-west and one south of there. We also come in peace. To discuss things like jokes and how much hair you have.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • black bloggers of the upper mid-west and one south of there.

      (BBOTUMWAOSOH)

      January 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      • black bloggers of the upper mid-west and one south of there.

        *BBOTUMWAOSOT, rather. Bottom Was Sought is our motto. Not Bottom Was Oh as previously suggested.

        January 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm |
      • Hillbilly Blue Saffron

        Howdy that @BBOTUM. Iz that 'feeder' by any chance? Just looks that way most times.

        January 4, 2015 at 4:36 pm |
  13. Hillbilly Blue Saffron

    I come here tew. Ta tok abowt stuff.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  14. Philip

    Tap tap. Let me in. The blacks, whites, and all the others are getting fat. In the 1950's one 12 ounce Coke is what folks had with burger and fries. Not today. Refills, jumbo fries, double meat with cheese. You stupid American people. You're all fat cows.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      And pills. Lot's and lots of pills. You forgot to mention pills, Philip. Without pills, only a few of US get fat.

      January 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  15. Philip

    Pizza buffets only $5.99. Go ahead stupid American pigs. Eat up. You're worse than stupid smokers.

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

      25mg Seroquel pill. 50mg Prozac. Free to lazy people but costs US taxpayers money. Half of US pay for the other half's drug of choice.

      January 4, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  16. Philip

    Do US taxpayers underwrite food purchased by lazy people from McDonalds? Or just the meds they are on when they drive thru?

    January 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  17. Philip

    Pills pills pills. Keep guzzling. Guzzle enough and you'll drop dead or kill yourself like Bobin Villiams.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • UC Santa Barbara Killer

      Or experience an Rx pharmaceutical induced daytime walking nightmare.

      January 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  18. Philip

    Where's chrusty or bandazie?
    Cici's pizza no doubt. Fat cows.

    January 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Cici's has wonderful salads and soups, you tard.

      January 4, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  19. Philip

    *badnazi, rather. Chrussty pants and badnazi. And bob the wonder boy.

    January 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Philip bastardizing our names again?

      Gee. I did Nazi that coming.

      January 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  20. blue rupert

    Silicon Valley? So *that's * where boobies come from. I never believed my mom anyway.

    January 4, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • black rupert

      Ya. I know. She said they came from a doctor. People give doctors way too much credit for selling dope and cutting this one's boobies off and make that one's boobies bigger for men.

      January 4, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Reply
      • Jay F. Kay

        You women are NOT burning your bras to make easy access for babies to suckle. Admit you are hoes and move along.

        January 4, 2015 at 5:23 pm |
  21. Bobsnot the Wonder Boy from Louisiana

    Why did the turkey walk across the road?
    Because it couldn't fly.

    January 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      It could have flown had Benjamin Franklin had his way with US as he did with the wives of French bankers.

      January 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Bobscat the wonder boy with a hose

        Bennie Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be our national symbol. The turkey both looked and acted as we do today, far more than the majestic Bald Eagle. Was Ben Franklin able to see the future? It kind of seems that way.

        January 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm |
      • Philip

        Ben Franklin was the equivalent of what rock stars are today. Women threw themselves at him.

        January 4, 2015 at 5:35 pm |
    • Philip

      *weak paltry women with little or no virtue. Women who throw themselves at men as little bobsnot does women.

      January 4, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Still talking about the man you're insanely jealous of? Tsk tsk.

        January 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm |
  22. Bobscat the wonder boy with a hose

    Why did I kiss the butts of women?
    Because I have a little hose.

    January 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      You spelled "Philip" wrong.

      January 4, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  23. Philip

    Pizza is 5.98. Dope is free.

    January 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  24. Philip

    Yawn. GPS is the deadest blog on earth.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  25. Philip

    Who wants to hear what a former rag head has to say. I guess.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  26. Philip

    Sheesh. Am going to play Celeb Poker. You guys are hardly any fun.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  27. Philip

    Alien "UFO" blogs are much busier than this place. What does that tell you about the state of America? Nothing, prolly.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  28. Philip

    GPS kind of sucks, sometimes.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  29. Philip

    Sheesh. 320 million Americans. And not one on this blog. Incredible.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  30. Philip

    Wtg Fareed and Co, You guys suck.

    January 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Reply
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