Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Father knows best

This is old news, but it never fails to completely amaze me, when I stop to consider it, what the grant-awarding body who funded our current project considered "necessary" and "unnecessary".

Our project, anonymized slightly for Google avoidance, is basically the following:

1. Create innovative database that no one else has tried to build before, with exciting mapping interfaces and automatic language reconstruction tools.
2. Find all historical and current data ever on [huge topic] for any of 1000 languages and enter them into this database (a.k.a crucial but mind-numbing research assistant drudge-work).
3. ...
4. PROFIT!!!

(Okay, you can forget about #3 and #4. I couldn't help myself.)

Anyway, guess what the grant organisation decided to cut from our budget? (Because, given the nature of the project as described in 1 and 2, there's clearly no need for these items at all.)



1. Our entire programming budget.
2. Research assistants.