Thursday, February 28, 2008

I should thank NASA for my guitars?

That's odd. To think that for all of these years, I have wasted time thanking, among others, people like Les Paul, Leo Fender, Jim Marshall, Ted McCarty and Seymour Duncan (there are many others as well) for their contributions towards guitars, especially with the contributions over the last 50 to 60 years which are too numerous to list.

I read about this over at Kip's blog. Because I am a bit of a guitar aficionado (and an admitted snob), so I went on over to the NASA site to check things out.

I guess the good news is that I do learn something new every day. I was not aware that guitars manufactured under the Ovation brand did have a link to NASA. How interesting. However, all the aeronautical engineering, fiberglass bodies and broken windows* that may have went into this so-called NASA contribution does not change the fact that the best tones come from quality woods (mahogany, koa, rosewood).

Despite my tone snobbery, let us not lose sight of the big picture that Kip explains so well:

- NASA is not a public good, nor will it ever be...

- Because NASA is funded via taxation, every dollar that is used to fund NASA is a dollar forcibly removed from private individuals, making it more difficult for the Leo Fenders, Les Pauls and Jim Marshalls of the world to create/invent/modify something that a market for that product may call "neat-o".

* if you do not understand the meaning of the title used in Kip's post, it is worth following the link he provides.

1 comment:

KipEsquire said...

Just to be clear, I do think NASA was and is a legitimate public good to the extent that it is an extension of military, which itself is (well, can be) a legitimate public good.

But NASA, with sites like this, continues to de-emphasize its military role and package itself as a warm-fuzzy-feeling "applied science cornucopia" whose (taxpayer-funded) budget should "of course" be ever increased.

That is what's so irksome.