RE: Lubos Motl
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 >.>
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.
–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952