Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Race Science

Race, science, and pseudo-science … it’s complicated. Radish presents a blood-chilling review essay on the subject, which isn’t to be missed (whatever your priors). As might be expected, it leads to a discussion of crazed fascist experimentation on human guinea pigs (aka ‘pajama ferrets’):

… perhaps you were wondering where I’m going with this. Well, here’s a hint: in 2012, experimental psychologists, psychiatric neuroscientists, and even a pair of “practical ethicists” put their heads together and came up with an honest-to-God cure for racism.

You could say the argument was over, if there had been an argument.

(Meanwhile, it’s probably best not to put yourself at risk by noticing this (from here))

February 2, 2014admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Quote notes (#47)

John Michael Greer caught in a Nietzschean moment:

… the entire concept of “laws of nature” is a medieval Christian religious metaphor with the serial numbers filed off, ultimately derived from the notion of God as a feudal monarch promulgating laws for all his subjects to follow. We don’t actually know that nature has laws in any meaningful sense of the word—she could simply have habits or tendencies—but the concept of natural law is hardwired into the structure of contemporary science and forms a core presupposition that few ever think to question.

Treated purely as a heuristic, a mental tool that fosters exploration, the concept of natural law has proven to be very valuable. The difficulty creeps in when natural laws are treated, not as useful summaries of regularities in the world of experience, but as the realities of which the world of experience is a confused and imprecise reflection.

November 29, 2013admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Quote notes (#39)

Steve Sailer (on sex sifting between life and death sciences):

The colossal prestige of physics was permanently cemented on July 16, 1945 at Trinity, NM. As the shockwave from the first ever atomic bomb passed beyond the Los Alamos physicists’ observation post, J. Robert Oppenheimer reflected, in the words of the Bhagavad-Gita:

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

To a highly intelligent adolescent female mind, this most famous quote from the history of 20th Century physics is alien and horrifying. To a certain number of highly intelligent adolescent male minds, however, “destroyer of worlds” is the most awesome thing anybody ever said outside of a comic book.

October 10, 2013admin 1 Comment »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Antechamber to Horror II

Some scene-setting extracts from H.P. Lovecraft’s review essay Supernatural Horror in Literature:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. These facts few psychologists will dispute, and their admitted truth must establish for all time the genuineness and dignity of the weirdly horrible tale as a literary form.

***

The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life. Relatively few are free enough from the spell of the daily routine to respond to rappings from outside …

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August 13, 2013admin 22 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror
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Quote notes (#17)

At Cato, Patrick J. Michaels in (supportive) response to this superb lead essay:

Imagine if a NASA administrator at a congressional hearing, upon being asked if global warming were of sufficient importance to justify a billion dollars in additional funding, replied that it really was an exaggerated issue, and the money should be spent elsewhere on more important problems.

It is a virtual certainty that such a reply would be one of his last acts as administrator.

So, at the end of this hypothetical hearing, having answered in the affirmative (perhaps more like, “hell yes, we can use the money”), the administrator gathers all of his department heads and demands programmatic proposals from each.  Will any one of these individuals submit one which states that his department really doesn’t want the funding because the issue is perhaps exaggerated?

It is a virtual certainty that such a reply would be one of his last acts as a department head.

The department heads now turn to their individual scientists, asking for specific proposals on how to put the new monies to use. Who will submit a proposal with the working research hypothesis that climate change isn’t all that important?

It is a virtual certainty that such a reply would guarantee he was in his last year as a NASA scientist.

(Don’t miss Jim on the same topic, here.)

August 13, 2013admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized
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Cosmological Infancy

There is a ‘problem’ that has been nagging at me for a long time – which is that there hasn’t been a long time. It’s Saturday, with no one around, or getting drunk, or something, so I’ll run it past you. Cosmology seems oddly childish.

An analogy might help. Among all the reasons for super-sophisticated atheistic materialists to deride Abrahamic creationists, the most arithmetically impressive is the whole James Ussher 4004 BC thing. The argument is familiar to everyone: 6,027 years — Ha!

Creationism is a topic for another time. The point for now is just: 13.7 billion years – Ha! Perhaps this cosmological consensus estimate for the age of the universe is true. I’m certainly not going to pit my carefully-rationed expertise in cosmo-physics against it. But it’s a stupidly short amount of time. If this is reality, the joke’s on us. Between Ussher’s mid-17th century estimate and (say) Hawking’s late 20th century one, the difference is just six orders of magnitude. It’s scarcely worth getting out of bed for. Or the crib.

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July 20, 2013admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Templexity
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Science

This comment thread wandered into a discussion of science, of considerable intricacy and originality. The post in question is focused upon Heidegger, who has very definite ideas about natural science, but these ideas — dominated by his conception of  ‘regional ontologies’ — are not especially noteworthy, either for an understanding of Heidegger’s principal pre-occupation, or for a realistic grasp of the scientific enterprise. For that reason, it seems sensible to recommence the discussion elsewhere (here).

The first crucial thesis about natural science — or autonomous ‘natural philosophy’ — is that it is an exclusively capitalist phenomenon. The existence of science, as an actual social reality, is strictly limited to times and places in which certain elementary structures of capitalistic organization prevail. It depends, centrally and definitionally, upon a modern form of competition. That is to say, there cannot be science without an effective social mechanism for the elimination of failure, based on extra-rational criteria, inaccessible to cultural capture.

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July 12, 2013admin 19 Comments »
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Quote notes (#8)

Lewis Spurgin on politics in evolutionary biology:

So why hadn’t Haldane — a brilliant and inventive biologist ­— taken the idea of kin selection to its natural conclusion? In a startlingly honest interview for the Web of Stories website in 1997, the eminent evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith, a former student of Haldane’s, said that this failure was partly political:

“I have to put it down, to some extent, to political and ideological commitment… We were, I think, very reluctant, as Marxists would be, to admit that anything genetic might influence human behaviour. And I think that we didn’t say consciously to ourselves that this would be un-Marxist so we won’t do it, that’s not the way that the mind works; but it was a path that our minds were not, so to speak, prepared to go down, in quite an unconscious sense, whereas Bill [Hamilton] was very prepared to go down it… to make big breaks in science, which Hamilton did, it’s not enough to have the technical understanding of some technical point, it’s got to fit in with your world view that you should pursue this road.”

July 12, 2013admin 3 Comments »
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