Is Stuck Science Stoking Authoritarianism?

Karl Popper, the beloved scientist-philosopher, was critical of historicism. He argued, for instance, that Marxist historicism is what lends it to authoritarianism. I was recently asked if, ironically, Popper ever examined historicism in relation to science. I didn’t know the answer, and still don’t. Having pondered deeply about science, philosophy, and culture in modern times, and … Read more

Philosophy and mapping

Novel uses of computing are being brought to the aid of many modern challenges. So why not philosophy as well! Philosophy since ancient times was born of the need for interdisciplinary inquiry and understanding. Without that foundation, opportunities for circular speak become endless. Futilely so. Modern philosophy has splintered, and that trend cannot be separated … Read more

Pretense, the blessed curse

Are theistic arguments truly weak, or do atheists lack the rationality to be convinced of the theistic arguments? (original Quora question) The problem the question identifies can be summed up in one word: PRETENSE Atheists pretend to know. Theists pretend not to. Just as the tautology, ‘Fictitious objects do not exist,’ leaves open the question whether … Read more

Hidden Metaphors

metaphor of hidden in plain sight

The physics of what is hidden, that is, all causative and representational aspects of theoretical physics, reflects often unconsciously held tensions. Theoretical physics’ multiple conflicting theories each reflect complex internal tensions – emotional, mental, and physical – externalized through metaphor and shared beliefs. Electrodynamics reflects tensions around dualism. Relativity reflects tensions around reductionism and contradictory … Read more

The Shadow of Logical Relief

What is the correlation between the abstract and the concrete? What symbolic or deductive knowledge corresponds exactly with the concrete knowledge learned from sensory experience? (original Quora question) Based on the source provided, the questioner desires an answer that is also an ontological argument, that is, an argument for the existence of God. I have … Read more

Cowgirl Science — It’s a ramble

Super-Compliance Mob?

I’m flummoxed at the idea of a science march on Washington, DC. The first ever is slated for April 22, 2017. The theme seems to be equally climate change and the promises of science. Scientists, especially the young, are itching to show their moxy. Forget waiting for make-believe super-heros to save the planet. It’s time for Super-Compliance Mob to do the job.

Scientists achieve a position the hard way — they prove it, and then recruit others to take heed. And generally, there are sufficient reinforcements for said proofs and positions, and science and the policies it informs march forward in a sort of intangible but traceable provisphere.

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I Sympathize with Hossenfelder

How do theoretical particle physicists respond to Sabine Hossenfelder’s article “How Popper Killed Particle Physics”? (original Quora question) Hossenfelder’s argument is complicated to the point of being so convoluted that it misses its own point. In her attempt to create dramatic cross-currents, she does not settle into the existential clarity needed to assess what is, … Read more

Mystery Clubs Aren’t About Fraud

Christopher Langan’s Cognitive Theoretic Model of the Universe, or CTMU, is not is a fraud. Fraudulence implies willful deception. Langan is proud of and dedicated to CTMU. No crime in that. I have no reason to question his intelligence either. I do conclude that Langan commits a likely unconscious deception in perpetuating cultural biases towards … Read more

The Unicorn Went to the Shrink, or when philosophy isn’t becoming

Philosophy’s strength is that it doesn’t deny that we are each partial. It’s many branches offer ways of navigating the real feedback of Being, and sometimes the Becoming too. Which brings me to summarize philosophy as the exploration of, or Becoming towards, the ideal of Full Unconditional Listening. Listening to what? To that which we know … Read more

Semantic Despair

“Semantics” refers to words. Despair from them comes from observing that the same things (in this case words) that work, on the one hand, to clarify and garner understanding among us can also work to deceive and break down understanding. Resignation and despair about semantics reflects doubt that what we say or write has a … Read more

The Oxymoron of Quantum Coin-Flipping

Is the thought experiment of Schrodinger’s cat similar to the experiment of coin flipping? Is it quantum physics or a simple probability problem? (original Quora question) The question makes a good point. There’s a problem in interpreting QM as something separate from simple probability relationships, and thereby attempting to wrangle reality into QM’s various mathematical … Read more

String Theory: a ball of yarn

String theory is to physics what conspiracy theories are to politics. Self-satisfying disorientation spun like so much yarn on distress from the question, What does it MEAN?!*?!* Original publish date Nov 20, 2017

Defensive Scientists

Why are scientists more defensive about science than religionists are of religion? (question from Quora) To me this question looks most interesting in relation to where I live, the US, at this moment in history. Since Trump’s election, the pendulum has swung wildly from science being the dominant rational means of discourse to imposition-by-faith being … Read more