Lubos Motl - Sunsettommy - 04-23-2010 07:04 PM
April 24th, 2010 at 2:50 am
Nice stories. Of course, the dangerous global warming meme may be visualized as a kind of infection – it is an infection – but the society also has an immunity system. Now, the infection is trying to take over the society.
So the cells of infection try to reproduce and infect weak cells of the society, but by doing so and revealing their aggressiveness unmatched by the knowledge, logic, and facts, they also become visible to the healthy cells in the society, which may start to realize the threat and conspire to protect the society as a whole.
Still, the outcome remains somewhat uncertain.
I’ve had lots of fun conversations with people who are not really interested in the topic. Of course, some true laymen often have some of these pretty simple attitudes. Men can’t make the difference because they’re too small, the ice age is coming and it’s the real danger, etc. Still, those simple reactions are based on some kind of common sense, even though not a terribly scientifically advanced one.
It’s the more educated people – who have nevertheless failed to study the actual content of the climate – who have become the main passive carriers of the infection. They heard other educated people saying that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant, and so on, so they repeat it. When you trace it, this meme was really started by some stupid environmental whackos, but because the educated people have already heard it from other educated people, they trust it and find themselves important in trusting it.
So while I agree that the true zealots are thankfully doing a disservice to the AGW movement, I think that the real threat is among the people who are not zealots but who just uncritically parrot these memes because they’ve heard their peers doing the same. Politicians and other key jobs often come from this environment so of course, I think that the dynamics of the infection within this community is the most important question that will decide about the fate of this hysteria.
A fascinating comment that describes the spread of climate baloney among people who do not really study what they heard.They just believe it and become part of the herd of ignorant climate change fanatics.
That is why most AGW believers (most fail to know what that is) give me abysmal replies to my rational comments.They are often so stupidly ignorant that they do not even realize they are that way.
It is sad to meet such people.
RE: Lubos Motl - Sunsettommy - 04-23-2010 07:10 PM
Additional comments in reply to Lubos Motl's perceptive comment:
April 24th, 2010 at 6:56 am
I think your term “educated” should be the “intellectuals”, who, apart from being educated, also believe they are above us, the lumpen masses, and since intellectuals never need to verify their ideas in the harsh and merciless physical reality, but from peer review and consent, then that itself is the transmission mechanism of this “intellectual” virus.
For those of who who can get access to a copy of Michael Talbot’s “Holographic Universe” book, in it he recounts an experiment on students in some US pyschology department. In that experiment he noted that when an individual was asked to state whether statement 4 = 5 + 2 is true or false, he would always state false.
But when in a group of peers, and the same example was put to them, and unbeknown to each other, the students were to state it was true, then the students who individualy stated it was false, then followed the group think and accepted it was true. (I might not have all the facts of this anecdote right, but the gist of it is accurate).
This is why I have always assumed that there isn’t, in the scientific sense, a monumental conspiracy at work, but well-meaning scientists who have fallen into the trap of pure deductive science not based in empiricism – and that type of science becomes primarily an intellectual adventure, when empirical testing of their ideas always confirms it.
The one factor which I cannot understand is how progressives, or left leaning types, can, with no afore-thought, state they “hate” so and so. I know of ‘progressive’ individuals who simply said they ‘hated’ President George W Bush for no good reason. And it’s these people who also blindly proselytise the AGW religion, I find.
April 24th, 2010 at 9:09 am
You hit on an important human characteristic, which is that we tend to parrot others in an attempt to fit into society. I am sure sociologists (or whichever is the correct field) will say it is a survival trait of the species.
Don Watson in “Death Sentence” bemoans the same quality in terms of mimicking poor English. How many times do we hear people using deadening terms like “going forward”, “thinking outside the box”, “lack of detailed programmatic specificity”? Yes the last one was Rudd’s… a master of dead sentences. He is a veritable Sith Lord of Dead Words.
My personal bugbear is “very unique”… so I reply “Is there less than one of them?” But I digress >.>