Nothing new to see, move along

But even if you don’t care what’s up with strings and multiverses, you should worry about what is happening here. The foundations of physics are the canary in the coal mine. It’s an old discipline and the first to run into this problem. But the same problem will sooner or later surface in other disciplines if experiments become increasingly expensive and recruit large fractions of the scientific community.

Indeed, we see this beginning to happen in medicine and in ecology, too.

Small-scale drug trials have pretty much run their course. These are good only to find in-your-face correlations that are universal across most people. Medicine, therefore, will increasingly have to rely on data collected from large groups over long periods of time to find increasingly personalized diagnoses and prescriptions. The studies which are necessary for this are extremely costly. They must be chosen carefully for not many of them can be made. The study of ecosystems faces a similar challenge, where small, isolated investigations are about to reach their limits.

How physicists handle their crisis will give an example to other disciplines. So watch this space.

Time, money, all gone

Engineering problems will first manifest themselves in a schedule slip someplace. Generally, as I have learned since then, if you have a technical problem someplace or some kind of a problem, it will manifest itself first as a schedule slip. Then, it will eventually become a cost problem. If you wait to see the cost problem, something has already happened over which you have long since lost control. I always believed in the old adage, ‘Time is money’; but if you could control the schedule, you could, in fact, control the cost ultimately in what was going on.
– LtGen Hans “Whitey” Driessnack, USAF

(from here)