While the surreal philosophy webcomic Dresden Codak often operates on several different levels at the same time (especially with some of the one-shot comics such as Aaron Diaz’s hit one-shot Dungeons and Discourse), I must admit I tend to let it slide from time to time to build up enough updates to get a better gist of the story. And while I’m still not quite sure where Diaz is going with his Dark Science storyline, I must admit I was rather amused at the blanket dismissal of archaeology in an update a couple months back (as I said, it’s been a while).
I must admit to wondering if there was a sociopolitical aspect to this update. Far too often people dismiss spending on sciences such as astronomy or the like as a waste when “there are people in need” despite the downstream benefits of the technologies garnered from this research. Indeed, if it wasn’t for a little lunar landing 40 years back, our computer technologies would likely be decades behind what we’re at today. And there is a valid point here: some sciences value cannot be immediately quantified. Further, you never know when a discovery will ultimately prove useful. Of course, this also holds true to the comic itself: perhaps Dresden Codak itself defies quantification. Perhaps the true value of Dresden Codak won’t be known for 40 years from now. But thankfully, it’s already pretty good.