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Thread: An emergent truth

  1. #1
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    Default An emergent truth

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, with words of wisdom:

    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
    --- Charles Pierce







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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan, in "The Demon-Haunted World"
    Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in
    love, you want to tell the world. This book is a personal statement, reflecting
    my lifelong love affair with science.

    But there’s another reason: science is
    more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of
    an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time - when the United States is
    a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing
    industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological
    powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public
    interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to
    set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when,
    clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical
    faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s
    true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
    The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content
    in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10
    seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous
    presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

    . . .

    We’ve arranged a global civilization in
    which most crucial elements - transportation, communications, and all other
    industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting
    the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting - profoundly
    depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost
    no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible
    mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.

    For me, there are four main reasons for a concerted effort
    to convey science - on radio and TV, in movies, newspapers, books, computer
    programs, theme parks and classrooms - to every citizen. In all uses of
    science, it is insufficient - indeed it is dangerous - to produce only a small,
    highly competent, well-rewarded priesthood of professionals. Instead, some
    fundamental understanding of the findings and methods of science must be
    available on the broadest scale.

    Despite plentiful opportunities for misuse, science can be the
    golden road out of poverty and backwardness for emerging nations. It makes
    national economies and the global civilization run. Many nations understand
    this. It is why so many graduate students in science and engineering at
    American graduate schools - still the best in the world - are from other
    countries. The corollary, one that the United States sometimes fails to grasp,
    is that abandoning science is the road back into poverty and backwardness.

    Science alerts us to the perils introduced by our world-altering
    technologies, especially to the global environment on which our lives depend.
    Science provides an essential early warning system.

    Science teaches us about the deepest issues of origins, natures
    and fates-of our species, of life, of our planet, of the Universe. For the
    first time in human history we are able to secure a real understanding of some
    of these matters. Every culture on Earth has addressed such issues and valued
    their importance. All of us feel goosebumps when we approach these grand
    questions. In the long run, the greatest gift of science may be in teaching us,
    in ways no other human endeavour has been able, something about our cosmic
    context, about where, when and who we are.

    The values of science and the values of democracy are
    concordant, in many cases indistinguishable. Science and democracy began -
    in their civilized incarnations - in the same time and place, Greece in the
    seventh and sixth centuries BC. Science confers power on anyone who takes the
    trouble to learn it (although too many have been systematically prevented from
    doing so). Science thrives on, indeed requires, the free exchange of ideas; its
    values are antithetical to secrecy. Science holds to no special vantage points
    or privileged positions. Both science and democracy encourage unconventional
    opinions and vigorous debate. Both demand adequate reason, coherent argument,
    rigorous standards of evidence and honesty. Science is a way to call the bluff
    of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism,
    against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no
    business being. If we’re true to its values, it can tell us when we’re being
    lied to. It provides a mid-course correction to our mistakes. The more
    widespread its language, rules and methods, the better chance we have of
    preserving what Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues had in mind. But democracy
    can also be subverted more thoroughly through the products of science than any
    pre-industrial demagogue ever dreamed.
    "The Demon-Haunted World" (click) at the Internet Archive.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    "Upton Sinclair wrote, correctly, that it is impossible to make a man understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it. That can be generalized from salary to self-interest."

    From:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...lliteracy.html
    Last edited by ron ll; 04-20-2017 at 10:50 AM.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Men like Sagan and deGrasse Tyson are bulwarks against the rising tide of sheer abject stupidity and cupidity awash in the world.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    RESIST. FIGHT THE POWER.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    "Upton Sinclair wrote, correctly, that it is impossible to make a man understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it. That can be generalized from salary to self-interest."

    From:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...lliteracy.html
    Or, even if he's simply been convinced that his self-interest depends upon it.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    I wouldn't get your hopes up, folks. There have always been enlightened voices amid the din of blind stupidity. Doesn't look like much has improved.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    The Age of Endarkenment.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    I wouldn't get your hopes up, folks. There have always been enlightened voices amid the din of blind stupidity. Doesn't look like much has improved.
    At least, it is not (yet) illegal to read and discuss them.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpiefan View Post
    At least, it is not (yet) illegal to read and discuss them.
    I dunno about that. . .

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...limate-change/

    We are at the top of the slope still, but a few toes seem to be dangling over the edge.
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Neil seems to not understand science. Yes, he is a good scientist. Much better than I.

    Science tells us how things work and what is possible and what is not and what what might happen ...

    Science does not tell us which choices to make. We each get to make our own choices. No one is making a choice to limit temperatures increasing. Not even Neil.
    Life is complex.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    The Age of Endarkenment.
    Well, there is one good thing about it: via the Bilge, we can be fairly certain that any reasonable and enlightened thread will be responded to by a comment that is so insipid, condescending, smug, obnoxious, and positively STOOPID, as to completely defy logic.

    Considering that there are few things in life we can all be certain of, I find this to be somewhat bizarrely reassuring
    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
    --- Charles Pierce







  12. #12
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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    The man is articulate and certainly he is correct.

    Sadly, he is unlikely to change many minds so long as many live in a bubble of misinformation.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Both science and democracy encourage unconventional opinions and vigorous debate. Both demand adequate reason, coherent argument, rigorous standards of evidence and honesty.
    . . . i.e. a duty to be rational. Self-government demands it.

    Self-government requires convincing your fellow citizens. There are many ways to convince people, many involving force, human or supernatural. None of them are legitimate in a popular government. Rationality is demanded if only by default.

    There are many positive benefits but with people to whom you have to explain these things it's best to go slowly.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    The Lord was not pleased with what was happening to the Hammonds. -- Ammon Bundy

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    I wouldn't get your hopes up, folks. There have always been enlightened voices amid the din of blind stupidity. Doesn't look like much has improved.
    As with many things - there is both an arc of history, and an ebb & flow to history.

    While it's true that there has been much regression over the last 4+ decades - and esp. over the last 2 - it is also true that a correction is possible. Not only possible, but (I think) likely. As a species, we are hard-wired in certain ways that don't serve us the way they did in eons past. AND we continue to evolve - physically, mentally, and socially - in ways that serve us better. Ebb and flow (and all the half-tides). Black and white (and all the grays). Good and evil. Type1 and Type2 thinking. Etc. Etc.

    Please don't mistake the present setbacks as permanent.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    long have i mourned for the truth
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Tomorrow is Earth Day. Brought to you by your friends at Science.

    It is also March for Science Day, too.

    It will be rightly, in both senses of the word, taken to be an anti-trmp rally.

    I will be on the mall at the state capitol, maybe with a sign quoting Sagan or NdGTyson.

    Our real enemy is the
    MIC
    .
    It is their obscene, craven profit-driven global hegemony and empire building, and the consequent continuing, massive oppression and suffering at home and abroad that is the main driver of wealth disparity, climate change, and the most important existential threat to human civilization: our reliance on fossil fuel for every aspect of modern life.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    When people talked about the decline of America I never though I'd live to see it. Sad, very sad.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  18. #18
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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    It ain't over yet.

    Our real enemy is the
    MIC
    .
    It is their obscene, craven profit-driven global hegemony and empire building, and the consequent continuing, massive oppression and suffering at home and abroad that is the main driver of wealth disparity, climate change, and the most important existential threat to human civilization: our reliance on fossil fuel for every aspect of modern life.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    I was helping a friend put bottom paint on and a couple neighbors came over, the conversation drifted around and one guy who's a contractor and boat builder asks, "going to the march on Sat?" , other fellow is a retired entomologist says "of course". There's hope, it only takes a little effort from everyone and we can keep the know nothings contained.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    "Science alerts us to the perils introduced by our world-altering
    technologies, especially to the global environment on which our lives depend.
    Science provides an essential early warning system."

    In the face of the evidence the process has been reversed, starting from the desired outcome and working backwards to justify it.
    No longer being able to dodge the science, has lead to the substitution of belief for reason and science.
    Of course all that means is that the inevitable will happen all the sooner and all the more extremely.
    No one gets out of this, unless they die first.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    looks like good movie. Unfortunately, the people who most need to watch it won't.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    It ain't over yet.
    Its gonna be a long slow agonizing decline.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Neil deGrasse Tyson, with words of wisdom:

    In about 6 weeks time he's giving an address here in New Zealand . I've bought a ticket, and am very much looking forward to hearing him speak.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: An emergent truth

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    As with many things - there is both an arc of history, and an ebb & flow to history.

    While it's true that there has been much regression over the last 4+ decades - and esp. over the last 2 - it is also true that a correction is possible. Not only possible, but (I think) likely. As a species, we are hard-wired in certain ways that don't serve us the way they did in eons past. AND we continue to evolve - physically, mentally, and socially - in ways that serve us better. Ebb and flow (and all the half-tides). Black and white (and all the grays). Good and evil. Type1 and Type2 thinking. Etc. Etc.

    Please don't mistake the present setbacks as permanent.
    I do wish that more Americans could get out and see whats happening in the rest of the world, not just the nasty bits that get reported in the papers and on Fox News, the real rest of the world.
    Its not perfect out here but it does seem much more hopeful.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Its gonna be a long slow agonizing decline.
    Maybe not as slow as you might hope Paul. Eventually the US under Trump will become, to co-opt a quote, "Mad, bad and dangerous to know".

    That said Pence is here today passing on the latest orders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I do wish that more Americans could get out and see whats happening in the rest of the world, not just the nasty bits that get reported in the papers and on Fox News, the real rest of the world.
    Its not perfect out here but it does seem much more hopeful.

    John Welsford
    It's the American Exceptionalist strain in the culture that generates the tension, withdrawal, and apocalyptic thinking. They think they're losing the favor of heaven. Plus it's not cheap going to Mexico or Canada, let alone Europe, Aus, NZ . . .
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    The Lord was not pleased with what was happening to the Hammonds. -- Ammon Bundy

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