Archive for March 4th, 2020

Truth And Science Have Replaced Fangs and Claws In Human Beings

March 4, 2020

Science, and, more generally, truth, is a moral imperative.

Humanity has become a singularity, a nonlinear phenomenon: it has taken over the biosphere, and acts as a virus against anything alive. Climate change caused by humanity is exponentiating: it is growing ever faster at an increasing speed proportional to itself, as the direct impact of humanity is amplified by the natural effects it unleashes. 

Coronavirus is an effect of that exponentiation of humanity. If humanity’s nefarious impact is increasing, we need to exponentiate science too, to learn to compensate. That means much more financing, but also much more orientation of young people towards truth and knowledge, rather than towards the latest celebrity or sport figure. 

Science is not a new phenomenon: humanity evolved from it, and is its biological vector. It required quite a bit of knowledge to survive in the wild, 200,000 years ago, while being human, that meant without the fangs, claws, strength, or the trees to take refuge in, of the chimpanzees.  Humans became truth machines. 

Civilizations are characterized by their moods. Their attitude relative to science, and, more generally truth, is what determines their survival when facing ecological deperishment or devastation, and the attending invasions. An aggravating factor today is that we have one world civilization, using resources at several times the sustainable rate. 

 

The general increasing stupidification obvious in school test scores is caused by those who own the media, and have interest to keep humanity silly and unaware. 

 

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Related to the preceding, Stephen Jones kindly congratulated me for my “Very thoughtful prose” on Masters of War, but wondered: What’s the beef with giving Nobel Prizes? That part didn’t resonate with me.

Thanks Stephen! I don’t like prizes in general, the way they are attributed now. One point is that the Nobel prizes are part of the establishment, that’s why Sartre declined his Nobel. The establishment behaves as the highest judge and donator, it’s all about mutual back scratching, at best. Giving prizes makes the thinking establishment acknowledging the superiority of the powers that be. That’s the wrong priority, as it turns truth into a way to create flesh and blood celebrities, as if this was the ultimate aim, all along, of thinking..

But that’s just part of the problem with prizes. Obama got a Nobel for no discernible accomplishment. All together, the establishment celebrates famous people… rather than famous ideas. And thus teached the youth that the celebrity of people is more important than the celebrity of ideas… Contrarily to what happens with young children.

Now this observation is not new: Albert Einstein didn’t get the Nobel for Relativity because the Nobel Committee knew Lorentz (who got the Nobel thanks to Poincare)… and Poincare, got the theory before… Still Einstein got the fame for Relativity, and that’s, actually, a theoretical problem (his approach denies a global frame… yet it exists, at least mathematically). So prizes: 1) reinforce the establishment. 2) do not put the fame where it should be… thus distancing from people what science is.

Are prizes necessarily bad? Am I sour because of what once happen with a prize of mine, long long time ago? Am I so anti-establishment because I am not part of it? Yes to all the preceding. Prizes could be mainly useful when they push ideas and authors who have been ignored, but deserve a good look.

At it is, the establishment is very monolithic, and prizes, medal, memberships, prestigious appurtenance and other ceremonial ribbons are what enables the establishment to claim gravitas, respect and diversity.

The freer wisdom is, the greater. And there is no better way to cage than with caresses…

Patrice Ayme

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Notes: 1) The Nobel Com spread the disinformation that Einstein didn’t get his Nobel in 1921, for Relativity supposedly because Bergson didn’t like Local Time Theory. That is disinformation: Poincare, beefing up on Lorentz, invented this, Local Time. Bergson got the Nobel (in philosophy) later.

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I developed my objections to prizes in early 2015…

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/how-plutocrats-buy-god/

And the NYT followed suit in the Fall:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/the-folly-of-big-science-prizes/