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Old 03-05-2016   #1
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Science says stop complaining

Okay, just remember I'm not the one who's neuroscientifically deterministic. I just wondered what other TLOers make of this kind of thing:

http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/...ence-says.html

(Really can't say how much I hate that perky, finger-wagging little phrase "according to science".)

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 03-05-2016   #2
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Re: Science says stop complaining

I mean, honestly, think about this. If people really start believing this stuff (not so far-fetched considering the way education has been eroded and all views other than biological determinism are falling by the wayside), then 'being negative' could become like being a smoker.

Quote
One, not only does expressing negativity tend not to make us feel better, it's also catching, making listeners feel worse. "People don't break wind in elevators more than they have to. Venting anger is...similar to emotional farting in a closed area. It sounds like a good idea, but it's dead wrong," psychologist Jeffrey Lohr, who has studied venting, memorably explained.
"Jesus, they've cut my welfare - a fault in administration but they won't listen to me."

"Hey, buddy, haven't you heard of passive negativity? All that negative energy you're putting out, isn't only harming you. If you don't lighten up right now, I'm going to report you."

Was there a Twilight Zone episode like this?

On a side note, I think there should be a cartoon series in the style of 'Love Is':

http://www.comicstripnation.com/love...923cplis-a.jpg

But with the title 'Science Says' instead. E.G:

Science says... Be shallow!
Science says... Abandon melancholy friends!
Science says... If endorphins are released, it isn't rape!

Etc.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 03-05-2016   #3
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Re: Science says stop complaining

With this kind of thing, it's usually possible to fight fire with fire, fight pop-science with pop-science:





Why Haters May Be Better at Their Jobs | Psych Central News


Of course, pointing out contrary studies won't work because this kind of pop-science triumphalism isn't actually about empiricism at all. It's about people with conventional opinions cherry-picking research that strokes their prejudices and gives them ammunition to impose their will on everyone else. But I'm only saying that because I'm negative.
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Old 03-05-2016   #4
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Re: Science says stop complaining

This is part of the reason I can't stand science oftentimes. It leads to this demented rainbow positivism

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 03-05-2016   #5
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Re: Science says stop complaining

There are times when I wish I could tell the scientific community that they have to go away and they cannot return until they have mastered the science of alchemy. That should keep them occupied for awhile.

I don't feel this way often, just on occasions like this one.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 03-05-2016   #6
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Quote Originally Posted by teguififthzeal View Post
This is part of the reason I can't stand science oftentimes. It leads to this demented rainbow positivism
I agree with this, and whether justified or not it absolutely infuriates me. Being a human being and having to deal with the plethora of emotions and thoughts we do is challenging enough territory to navigate. But telling people they shouldn't feel or think certain things because "science" said so is furthering the confusion and is, in my opinion, cruel and inhuman to those already dealing with mental or emotional issues. Stuff like this has the possibility of really doing damage to a person given the growing amount of authority people seem to be granting "science" these days.
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Old 03-05-2016   #7
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Re: Science says stop complaining

I accept evolution as fact and theory and I've read Darwin's work. The culture of science has always just been sort of abhorrent to me. Especially the fluff philosophers and populists around the edges.

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 03-05-2016   #8
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Re: Science says stop complaining

I went to college later in life (30s), and majored in a science field myself. I was very detached from the whole experience and didn't socialize at all aside from the very few professors/researchers whom I respected. From what I experienced, there was this really maddening, blind, and reckless acceptance of "science" that seemed to pervade not only the alumni but also the faculty. It was so weird to me that some people walked around as though they were so above and beyond their peers intellectually but never seemed to really be able to look at things through their own eyes and genuinely question the world around them. This bothers me, because these people were generally the ones doing all the ass kissing and getting the research positions that everyone else wanted. I learned very quickly that being successful in college wasn't about hard work, open-mindedness and self-challenge, it was ultimately about carefully choosing what ideas you blindly support, and how willing you are to sell yourself out to them to your superiors.

I guess what I'm getting at is I felt an excessive amount of dishonesty throughout scientific academia that really chapped my cheeks, and it makes me wonder how far this kind of #### spreads throughout higher forms of scientific study. I don't know, and for the sake of my blood pressure, I don't know if I want to.
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Old 03-06-2016   #9
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Quote Originally Posted by Cnev View Post
I went to college later in life (30s), and majored in a science field myself. I was very detached from the whole experience and didn't socialize at all aside from the very few professors/researchers whom I respected. From what I experienced, there was this really maddening, blind, and reckless acceptance of "science" that seemed to pervade not only the alumni but also the faculty. It was so weird to me that some people walked around as though they were so above and beyond their peers intellectually but never seemed to really be able to look at things through their own eyes and genuinely question the world around them. This bothers me, because these people were generally the ones doing all the ass kissing and getting the research positions that everyone else wanted. I learned very quickly that being successful in college wasn't about hard work, open-mindedness and self-challenge, it was ultimately about carefully choosing what ideas you blindly support, and how willing you are to sell yourself out to them to your superiors.

I guess what I'm getting at is I felt an excessive amount of dishonesty throughout scientific academia that really chapped my cheeks, and it makes me wonder how far this kind of #### spreads throughout higher forms of scientific study. I don't know, and for the sake of my blood pressure, I don't know if I want to.
This makes me think of Lee Smolin's The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. I haven't read most of the book, which is about string theory, as the subtitle indicates, but there is an excellent chapter toward the end called "Seers and Craftspeople." Here and in some other parts of the book Smolin takes on the academic culture of contemporary physics. A passage from that chapter in which Smolin quotes Einstein:

"A common complaint of the seers is that the standard education of physics ignores the historical and philosophical context in which science develops. As Einstein said in a letter to a young physicist who had been thwarted in his attempts to add philosophy to his physics courses:

'I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today -- and even professional scientists -- seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historical and philosophical background gives that kind of independenc from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is -- in my opinion -- the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.'"

Smolin's distinction between seers and craftspeople mirrors Thomas Kuhn's distinction between revolutionary and normal science. Smolin points out that science needs both. In addition to Einstein, Smolin names Penrose, Grothendieck, Barbour, and a few others as "seers." Smolin's thoughts about all this are astute and rich. Recommended for those with an interest in the topic.
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Old 03-06-2016   #10
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Re: Science says stop complaining

I love it when I see the fanatics of determinism holding forth and declaring how they believe people should behave if they were truly enlightened and scientific. They somehow miss that if their rigid determinism is true then people are no more free to choose other paths than they are themselves. But that's the thing, those people think they're exceptions to their own loudly trumpeted rules: "Given free-will is an illusion we should reform society so that it...." etc etc etc.
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