Stephen Sekula

Stephen Sekula at

The NPR Morning Edition story about LIGO made a big deal about the cost of LIGO: $1.5 billion. But they never put that in perspective. LIGO was founded in 1992. It is now 2016. That means from founding to first discovery it was a 24 year process. So it cost the US and its partner countries about $63 million per year from founding to discovery. If we pretend wrongly that only the US footed the bill and then OVER-estimate the cost to the American taxpayer, and we assume the average US population during this 26 years was 350 million people and that they all pay taxes, each person paid $0.18 per year to make this possible. What a deal. I suspect this is still a gross OVER-estimate of the cost to the individual US taxpayer, of course, since there are international partners in this project. So ever since 1998, when I started paying taxes on income, I have paid $0.18 per year to be able to listen to two freaking huge black holes smashing into each other and at the same time watch a new astronomy be born. That is totally worth it. Also, since the total cost to me was STILL less than a ticket to see the original "Transformers" movie, and there are no colliding black holes in that, so Michael Bay can suck it.

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Nicely broken down. Hope you CC'd that to

Freemor at 2016-02-12T14:39:30Z