Miles Mathis: Democracy in Science

Posted: February 20, 2011 by tallbloke in Philosophy, Politics

 

DEMOCRACY IN SCIENCE

by Miles Mathis

 

In my 158 science papers to date, I have talked a lot about the physical and mathematical problems of the 20th century, but I haven’t yet addressed a political problem that underlies them all. That problem is the intrusion of democracy into science. I will have nothing to say about democracy as a theory of government: I will stick to the point and talk only about democracy as it affects science. Many will take this as an opportunity to attack me as an aristocrat or to tar me with with some other unsavory term of modern abuse, but they might as well not bother. They would be better off reading the paper before them than attacking me for a paper I did not write.

First of all, I will state something that should be obvious: science is not government. Yes, we have administration in science, which could be called a sort of government, but science itself is not the administration of science. Science is one thing and administration of science is another thing. That being true, we should also see that science, as science, is not “democratic.” Or, to be more rigorous, it is not egalitarian. No, it is hierarchical. The entire history of science is proof of that. The history of science is a history of great individual thinkers, of Archimedes and Leonardo and Galileo and Kepler and Newton and Einstein. It is not a history of committees and peer groups. Galileo did not succeed by a vote. Newton did nothing with the authority of a majority. Just the reverse. All these great people did what they did against the majorities of their times. You only have to study their lives to see that, in science and other hierarchies, the majority is always wrong. In both society and in science, the majority is always staunchly arrayed against anything new. They always were and they still are.


That alone destroys the rationale of peer review, since a person with a new and better idea has no peers. He or she has the idea and no one else has it. And, in most cases, the new and better idea is not immediately comprehensible to those who did not have it: if it had been immediately comprehensible to them, they would have had it themselves. Only in the case that the peers had been right on the edge of having the idea, would they be able to comprehend it. And if they were right on the edge of having it, they will not be happy that someone beat them to it by a hair.


Considering all that, it is amazing that science ever gets done. In fact, science rarely does get done, and that is the reason it doesn’t. Science, defined as progress in science, is very rare. Even before the 20th century and the quick rise of democracy, science rarely got done. What you got was a lot of squabbling and a little science. Most people weren’t too good at doing science, but they were pretty adept at building walls to keep other people from doing science. If the Vatican or the Inquisition weren’t trying to trip you up, your colleagues were. But in the 20th century, we found a way to get rid of a lot of the squabbling. How? We democratized science. We encouraged people to work together, to publish in groups, to avoid public battles, and to submit to peer review. Sounds great except for one thing: getting rid of all the squabbling got rid of all the science, too. Where before we had very little science, we now have almost none. The groups and committees quashed all the new ideas, as not in keeping with equality, and the top of the pyramid was lopped off completely. What the Vatican could not do in nine centuries, peer review now does on a daily basis: it stops all progress in science.


You will say that we still have hierarchies, since we still have the famous theorists at the top of the pyramid. But that is a manufactured pyramid. Those people aren’t the best in the field, they are just the best that is left after the best have left. Physics needs these famous names, for reasons of publicity, so that it has someone to give prizes to. But these people aren’t the cream of any crop. They can’t even do highschool math, and they have to be hiding behind some chair or some pile of money or some big blackboard all the time. When you get them at a podium they can’t speak two sensible sentences together (see below).


How did we get here, you may ask. I asked myself that question, and I found some surprising answers. When I began to theorize that democracy was the cause, I saw the first problem was the timeline. I will be told that democracy has been viable or ascendent since the late 18th century, but physics didn’t completely fall apart until the 1920’s, according to my argument. Why the lag? What happened in 1920? Well, democracy as a theory may have been viable since 1776 or 1791 or whatever date you like, but as a form of government, it didn’t begin to reach fruition until women were given the vote, in, yes, 1920. You can claim to have a democratic government, but as long as you are disenfranchising more than 50% of your population, your claim doesn’t hold much water.


Let me rush to confirm that I am not blaming the crash of physics on women. Women becoming physicists had nothing at all to do with it. Women’s suffrage just gives us a way to judge the success of the democratic principles in the air. Before 1920, the principles were in the air. After 1920, the principles were in action. It is not women in science that crashed science, it is democracy in science that crashed science. In other words, if science had remained hierarchical, women could only have helped it. They would have helped it in the only way they could, by their own merits.


You will say it would be very hard for women to be welcomed into science without welcoming them into the rest of society, but you are missing my point again. I am not saying that women shouldn’t have been welcomed into government or science, I am saying that while they were being welcomed into both, science might have remained hierarchical, as it must be to remain healthy. It is not equal opportunity that has doomed 20th and 21st century physics, it is the intrusion into science of the modern small-minded interpretation of democracy, whereby all people are equal at all times. It is this interpretation that allows people to think they are making a strong argument when they attack me for a “lack of humility.” They say something like, “The sign of the crackpot is that he thinks he knows something that ten of thousands of trained physicists don’t know.” That argument rests upon the idea that all scientists are equal as scientists. If all people are equal or nearly equal, then one person cannot be right where ten thousand are wrong. But their reasoning rests on a fallacy: all scientists are not equal as scientists. All they have to do is study history to see that it is filled with examples of one person knowing what a million or a billion people did not know. For this reason, it is a mistake in logic to argue categorically against new ideas. Some new ideas will come from crackpots, and will be wrong. Some new ideas will be right, in which case the person with the new idea will have known what nobody else knew at the time.


Therefore, I may or may not be a crackpot, but you will not be able to decide that question based on my confidence or the fact that I think I know something. If I am factually wrong about everything, I am a crackpot, no matter how confident I am or am not. If I am factually right about some important things, I am not a crackpot, no matter how little you like my style. To put it another way, the truth is not up for a vote. It is not a personality contest. The majority has nothing to say about it, since the majority knows nothing about the question at hand. We might as well put Tiger Woods’ final round in the Masters up for a vote. “Do you like Tiger’s demeanor today, and his choice of pants? Call in and tell us whether he should shoot 65 or 85!”


But back to the larger argument. Some will find this all a bit nebulous, so I will give some more concrete examples. If 1920 is indeed some kind of dividing line, then we should see some real change after that date. And the last name of my list of great physicists above gives us that real change. Einstein before 1920 is different than Einstein after 1920. How, you may ask. Before 1920, Einstein published papers alone. After 1920, he began to publish with others. Think of the famous EPR paper (1935), for instance. That stands for Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. Despite his stature, Einstein felt he could use the other names next to his as ballast. His colleagues were by then almost always publishing in groups, so he must have felt some pressure to do likewise. Another example is Einstein’s feud with Physical Review Letters. Those who argue for peer review rarely mention that Einstein was personally offended by the heavyhandedness of US peer review, and this offense took place after 1920. Before 1920, Einstein got published despite not having a big name. His most important papers in the first decade of the century were passed by the jurors (in Germany), despite arriving from the patent office and despite being very revolutionary. His papers to Physical Review after 1920 were refused despite the fact that he was Einstein and they were not. Enough said. Einstein saw this as a small example of tyranny of the majority, and refused from then on to submit to Physical ReviewPhysical Review still has that to answer to, in my opinion.


We see this again just by studying current journal authors. Almost none are singular; it is always Soandso et al. Why? Because people are now hiding in groups. Why? Because, in a time when everything is decided by counting heads, you want to have as many heads around you as possible. If you have five other authors, you immediately have five other people who can vouch for you. Vouching is very important when democratic principles have become overgrown. Newton didn’t need anyone to vouch for him. He was capable of vouching for himself. But everything now is decided by how many friends you have.


And we see this again in the importance of the book introduction. Why should it be so important that my book is introduced by a NASA astrophysicist? As a matter of science, such a vouching should be both unnecessary and illogical. As a matter of science, the book must either stand or fall on its own merits, and no amount of praise or censure will matter in the long run. My papers are either true or false, and if they are true, it will not matter who thinks they are false. If they are false it will not matter who thinks they are true. Introductions are useful only for those who can’t comprehend the book itself. They then judge the contents by the introduction. It is science by vouching.


You will say, “Maybe, but I still don’t see what this has to do with women’s suffrage.” Well, in order for women to convince men that they deserved the vote, they had to convince them that all people were equal in principle. They had to convince them of that very thoroughly: not only as a pretty thing to say at parties, but as a thing you actually believed. Apparently, a majority of the men in the all-male Congress in 1920 did believe it, or they believed that a majority of their male constituents believed it: otherwise the 19th amendment would not have passed. Well, just as we may assume a majority of those men believed it, we may assume a majority of the men in science believed it as well. All good so far, except that neither the men or women in science or out of it were able to differentiate between equality under the law and equality in fact. They were pushed by so many speeches to accept equality under the law that they came to accept equality in fact as well, not seeing that the second step was much bigger than the first. Equality under the law is a fine principle; equality in fact is neither a fine principle nor a true principle. In fact, it is demonstrably false. People are not equal in fact. People are extremely unequal, in every way imaginable. Even in science, where everyone is relatively smart and well educated, we see that some scientists are very poor, some are mediocre, and some are competent. Only a very few are excellent, by the definition of excellent. If you excel at something, you do it better than others, which means you all cannot be equal. And, as in every other field, the bigger numbers are in the lower levels. The poor and mediocre are the majority, while the competent are a minority. The excellent were always just a handful, and now they are probably not even that.


Once you remind people that is the way the world is, they normally say, “Yah, OK,” but they still don’t want to be seen saying it in public. Before 1920, a majority of people, men and women, said what I am saying here, and no one blinked an eye because it was common knowledge. But now you are all but forbidden from stating what everyone still knows, or should know. Politics has become a sort of peer pressure, and there is now pressure to ignore the truth and promote falsehoods. There is pressure to ignore the fact that people are unequal and to promote the idea that they are equal. Such a state of affairs is obviously unscientific, as well as unhealthy. When people are pressured to say things that conflict with their own eyes and their own experience, they lose all respect for what they say and what they see. When your words and your actions don’t coincide—and what is more when there are no consequences for this lack of coinciding—you lose all respect for the truth. You gain a sort of negative freedom: the freedom to say whatever you want and not care, the freedom to read anything, no matter how absurd, and not care. The freedom to drift, driven only by money and maybe the desire to be on TV.


We see this clearly in Lee Smolin’s TED lecture on democracy and science, which was just a short squishy bid for applause from a squishy modern audience. I encourage you to go to ted.com and read the transcript. Don’t listen to the speech, where you will be influenced by social cues, just read the transcript. It is truly awful in its lack of content. In its use of democracy as a method of cheap ingratiation, it reminded me of Dave Hickey and his various flag-wrapping lectures. Smolin uses relationships as the theme of the lecture, tying together physics, Darwinism, and democracy in the quickest, sloppiest method imaginable by telling us that are all “relational.” Relational? That is a meaningless modern word, used mainly as a verbal placebo. But we get twelve and a half minutes on that theme. You can say nothing important in that amount of time, and Smolin does all he can to prove that. I kept thinking, these people in the audience paid $6000 to listen to that? They could have gotten the same amount of modern boosterism for free from a chamber of commerce flier or a new car commercial. I also wondered if he even bothered to write this lecture down. It was the sort of informal nothing you can come up with off the top of your head, especially if you have had a couple of snorts.


He does have time to belittle hierarchies, in passing, as something that went out with Aristotle. He actually says, in talking about how things worked in the time of Aristotle and Christianity and medieval society (his words, not mine), “And the idea is that everything is defined.” Implying that definitions went out with orreries and thumbscrews. I find that interesting because it truly is the way new physicists think. I have commented on it many times before now. They appear to believe that everything is now undefined, that all is up for grabs. This is why they feel free to change not only the mathematical definitions but the definitions of words, every other decade. Everything is free-floating, including the spaces, the axioms, and the rules of consistency. All can be smeared in any direction, like an electron in a probability cloud. And what allowed for this freedom is democracy (cheers from crowd).


Sadly, the meatiest part of the lecture is the first sentence, and it pretty much unwinds from there. Smolin introduces himself to the audience by telling us that he is funded to the tune of 120 million dollars. That’s the real content of the lecture right there, and the rest is a denouement. He should have put a big sign behind him, with that amount on it in tall bright green letters, with flashing lights. Or, even better, he could have lectured while standing in a tub of hundred dollar bills. Once a modern audience sees that, they will cheer you for any series of words or belches.


Smolin’s lecture is a perfect encapsulation of the death of physics, but it isn’t the only one, by far. Just about any article taken at random out of Scientific American, Discover, Nature, Science, New Scientist, Physics Today, or any of the other science magazines will read like Smolin’s lecture. It will have near-zero content and will read more like propaganda than science. And I have already shown in many other papers how this applies to Wikipedia, the current queen of propaganda and disinformation. Because the modern interpretation of democracy has helped to kill physics, these journals and websites have no content to report. Lacking real news, they have to manufacture it, which they do with amazing levels of ingenuity. If anything like the energy that is put into fake science were put into real science, we would be dining off truffles on the Moon, under a baobab tree. Thus we see weekly reports on the famous string theorists, and near daily updates on what Hawking thinks of God. I always expect to be interrupted during the Super Bowl or the Presidential address with a special report on Hawking’s after-coffee musings. I begin to be surprised that his kleenexs aren’t saved and auctioned at Sothebys.


This would appear to conflict with my argument on hierarchies, but it doesn’t. These contemporary “geniuses” are allowed to exist and thrive only because they are a threat to nobody. They are good for business, since they give a face to the propaganda, and they never say anything that isn’t completely absurd or completely senseless. Instead of rattling on about black holes and God, Hawking could be rattling on about fairies and griffins and two-ended flugelhorns. The important thing is that he is talking about things that no one understands or cares about: as such, he is the perfect and quintessential wise man. Society as a compendium of fakeries has always been topped by a fake wise man of some sort or another, and most people aren’t fully satisfied by their ersatz existence unless it is justified by some holy fool, mouthing untranslatable syllables.


Despite this, and against all of the loudest evidence, I remain hopeful. Just as we see from history the general absurdity and inefficiency and waste, we also see that things sometimes get done, against all odds. Even when the tide is rushing with terrible strength to the south, you sometimes see a lonely bird flying just above it, traveling north on steady wings.

Comments
  1. Roger Andrews says:

    I was just about to post a response to Tenuc’s link to this article on the previous thread when this new thread suddenly appeared, so I’m putting it here instead.

    It’s a relief finally to be able to read a “what’s wrong with science” article that’s written in plain English and which doesn’t make me to reach for the dictionary to find out what words like “consilience” mean – only to find that there is no such word.

    I don’t know about Mathis’ theory that the decline of science began when women were given the vote, but he hits the nail on the head with his description of how peer review results in across-the-board scientific mediocrity. (“When everybody’s somebody – Then no one’s anybody”, as Gilbert and Sullivan put it) To me peer review is in fact a lot closer to communism than democracy; like writer’s guilds in the old Soviet Union, where one had to toe the party line to have any hope of getting anything published, and in some cases to avoid having to spend the rest of one’s life counting trees in Siberia.

  2. vukcevic says:

    My sentiments too:
    Peer review process is ‘Stalinist cabal’ .
    as posted on WUWT: link

  3. tallbloke says:

    I’d like to mention my earlier post highlighting Miles’ book, the un-inified field
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/miles-mathis-un-unified-field-new-book/

    Also, for me this essay from Miles’ crystalises the difference between the philosophy of science about the activity of doing science, and philosophy of science about how the outputs of science shape and are re-shaped by the broader social context they expand into.

    There is no doubt that science, whether practised alone by an individual or by a team in an instiitutional setting, is influenced by society. Having said that, it is possible to differentiate between science which serves a predetermined goal, and science which floats free above the practical and political concerns of everyday life.

    The subtler effects of society on the thought and practice of individual scientists and thinkers are harder to pin down, and are the subject of a discipline known as ‘historiography’. Some modern phiosophers of science have also used other tools such as semiotics and deconstruction to pry open the inner motivations and influences on thought hidden in the scientific output. I’ll be reviewing one of those, a paper on Einstein’s relativity by Bruno Latour, when I’ve done the science I’m working on now.

    I hit Miles’ tip jar before reposting this essay. If you enjoy reading it, you might consider doing the same.

  4. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Miles I do like your view point. However I would like to point out that Dr. Einstien before 1920 had a brilliant physics wife and after that was married to a hausfrau. The use of his name was to add weight to the later papers. Also government money to finance science became a very important thing to fund those with letters so they had good paying jobs.

    Roger thinks that government should finance his effort to improve the understanding of the cause and effect of weather and climate, fat chance of that. Such an understanding would drown all those before. Tis better for a band of excentrics to help build the structure and spring it on the world full blown. The way real progress is done. Albert Einstien became famous because a band of like minded people jumped on his train and pushed it over the hill to engrandize themselves.
    “I am so used to creating wonders with very little, soon I’ll be able to create miracles with nothing” pg 😉
    Besides I would like to move up from a crazy nut to an excentric.

  5. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    Very few people want to catch on to something new. Fear of change can creep in when what was taught as correct for years is now in doubt.

    Being a new and unexplored area of science gives the person discovering it a great deal of doubt as the question my wife keeps telling me is “With so many scientists, why do you think your the only one who thought of it before?” Hmmm.
    I have had many arguments as the the evidence backing my research with other quoting from peer-reviewed papers or unbreakable laws. No explanation as to why I am wrong, just quote. Hmmm.

    I am finding that IF science wants to move forward, then we have to think differently than what we have been taught to think. Moving forward means having to cross all barriers previously put in place to individualize science areas.
    We currently have no clue what is science and what is science fiction. We think we do until the hard question are placed before it and it crumbles. I find many theories fall apart when bringing them into the past.

  6. vukcevic says:

    Quote from Piers Corbyn
    “CO2 Global Warmism is the ‘Mubarak regime’ of science and must be destroyed”.
    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews11No4.pdf

  7. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    If Newton and Einstein were alive today, they would be absolutely pissed at the science community as a whole.
    Their pioneering work was meant to be a guideline to expand upon and not taken as absolute LAWS that then stifles science growth.
    If they were wrong then that would be fine too as no one was able to tell them if they were correct or not.

  8. tallbloke says:

    Vuk,
    Piers has a way with words to capture the zeitgeist. How shall we attempt the non-violent takeover? Camp outside the MET headquarters?

    Joe,
    Newton was convinced he was RIGHT. Once he was head of the Royal Society, he used his influence to keep others who threatened his hegemony out. Leibniz formulation of the calculus was more elegant, but Newton’s method held sway in England for a long time. Einstein was riven by doubt about the Mercury perihelion result (as well he might!) but was happy to see Robert Shankland’s hatchet job on Dayton Miller’s results, and gave Shankland audiences later.

    The history of science is full of the usual human passions, pride, and prejudice, and the science community is constantly rewriting history to make their endeavour look more objective and dispassionate than it really is.

  9. Great Miles Mathis!…Indeed we are living in “interesting times”. As you perfectly know, there can be nothing in the universe which is not material, then information, knowledge, it is as material as anything else, thus it can not be “democratic”, it can not be divided indefinetly. We, like a tribe of primitive men, lost in the middle of a jungle, when hearing for the first time a radio, think that there are people or an orchestra in that little box; it is not, as we know, it resonates the waves from the outside. In the same way, our receiving apparatuses, the several neurological system we have, can acquire, by resonation, the universal laws, thus achieving that kind of sintony we call knowledge, or better comprehension. You know it perfectly.
    The seal above, says it all. It all began during the French Revolution; but it was a matter of desacralizing, secularizing the world, to make impossible for men to reach the knowledge of nature, of finding any universal laws: We are supposed to be the “gammas” of this “Brave New World”, where, paradoxically, the less fitted would govern (and profit) upon the world. This is the purpose of today´s “Global Governance”, etc.etc,
    Kudos to you, Miles !

  10. Tenuc says:

    Thanks for posting Miles’ essay. Seems to sum up what’s going on very well. I just love his last paragraph, which perhaps we should all heed…

    “…Despite this, and against all of the loudest evidence, I remain hopeful. Just as we see from history the general absurdity and inefficiency and waste, we also see that things sometimes get done, against all odds. Even when the tide is rushing with terrible strength to the south, you sometimes see a lonely bird flying just above it, traveling north on steady wings.”

  11. Tufty says:

    Great essay and a really good read. I’m not sure if I agree or not. Do we think scientific paradigm shifts have come to an end for socio-economic reasons, or do we think they are simply less frequent than they were? Are we just impatient for new theories to gain acceptance or have we moved into an era where they will never be accepted?

    If paradigm shifts have simply become less frequent, then presumably science will still move on, even though the rate of change may not suit those who have already shifted. It may be a mistake to theorise about a fundamental change in the way science is done, when all we need are explanations for a less frequent occurrence of paradigm shifts. For example, greater subject complexity may be a major issue.

  12. tallbloke says:

    Hi Tufty, and thanks for the thoughtful comment. I think there are several forces at work here. When science became the arbiter of truth following the divorce of church and state, it was quasi legally required to be more defnite about its opinions. This has pushed science as an enterprise towards institutionalisation. Scientists required to give professional opinions in the matters of state are sanctioned by their professional membership of these institutions and pressured to speak in accordance with its governing body’s position statements. See Ross McKittrick’s Lisbon address. http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/mckitrick_preliminary_notes.pdf

    As science has become more reliant on ever more complex and expensive instrumentation, practitioners access to the means of doing science has become bureaucratised. They wait their turn. If they discover something inimical to the prevailing paradigm, they get told to keep quiet. If they don’t keep quiet, they are denied further access to the instruments. This is what happened to Halton Arp. http://www.haltonarp.com/

    And now we have standardised scientific education from an early age which teaches facts rather than critical thinking skills…

    The blogosphere is changing things, but it’s David and Goliath stuff for Miles.

  13. suricat says:

    Roger Andrews: “To me peer review is in fact a lot closer to communism than democracy; like writer’s guilds in the old Soviet Union, where one had to toe the party line to have any hope of getting anything published, and in some cases to avoid having to spend the rest of one’s life counting trees in Siberia.”

    Pretty much the same result as the ‘capitalist’ outcome then.

    vukcevic: “Peer review process is ‘Stalinist cabal’.”

    As I said to Roger!

    tallbloke: “Also, for me this essay from Miles’ crystalises the difference between the philosophy of science about the activity of doing science, and philosophy of science about how the outputs of science shape and are re-shaped by the broader social context they expand into.”

    I concur. The first obvious case of this lays at the door of Copernicus.

    PG: “Besides I would like to move up from a crazy nut to an excentric”.

    I share your aspiration, but this position bears a resemblance to ‘the wings of an albatross’.

    Joe Lalonde: “Fear of change can creep in when what was taught as correct for years is now in doubt.”

    I concur.

    vukcevic: (your style of posting prevents a direct quote via ‘cut’n’paste’ with ‘Word Pro’™, so I’ll type this quote) “CO2 Global Warmism is the ‘Mubarak regime’ of science and must be destroyed”

    These are strong words vuk. Especially when a ‘Mubarak regime’ (totalitarian phenotype) was formed by the political, social and capitalistic agenda of the era (all quarters achieved their minima for acceptance). However, the ‘cabal’ doesn’t seem viable within the current political climate and a ‘change’ (perhaps a ‘revolution’) seems inevitable.

    Or perhaps I misinterpreted the intent of your post.

    I’m tired. I’ll be back later.

    Best regards, Ray Dart.

  14. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “Smolin introduces himself to the audience by telling us that he is funded to the tune of 120 million dollars. That’s the real content of the lecture right there, and the rest is a denouement.”

    “Before I start speaking, I have something important to say.” ~Groucho Marx

  15. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    The current problem now is…if you have new science and technology that needs to be shared with the world to advance it, where do you go?
    If you can prove certain theories as incorrect….where do you go?

  16. tallbloke says:

    Joe,
    If you think you have an invention which will revolutionize energy supply, then you should build a prototype and power your house with it for free. That should get some attention. If you don’t have the resouces to build it, try to pursuade someone who has to provide backing.

    If you can prove a theory incorrect, write the paper and submit it to a journal. If they reject it, take it to the newspapers. If they don’t print it, publish it on the internet. If no-one takes any interest, let it be and get on with something else.

  17. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    It is not just that. Science has made many mistakes and our knowledge base is the suffering it has caused.

    Ever hear of a ship being built for the canal locks to the size of the lock? When it was built, the engineers forgotten the rudder and turbine sticks past the ship.

    The CERN collider has created that same problem of studying collision of molecules to understand the universe. A molecule rotates completely different with the rotation of planets and suns.
    So are the results going to be the same?
    No.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Oh well, you gotta start somewhere I guess. Obviously we’ll get better results once someone builds a collider on the sun.

  19. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “They appear to believe that everything is now undefined, that all is up for grabs. This is why they feel free to change not only the mathematical definitions but the definitions of words, every other decade. Everything is free-floating, including the spaces, the axioms, and the rules of consistency. All can be smeared in any direction, like an electron in a probability cloud. And what allowed for this freedom is democracy (cheers from crowd).”

    That was a glittering crowd, an elite crowd, that cheered in this cloud of unknowing, which took away cause and effect, location in 3-dimensional space, and the ability to observe phenomena without changing it, to predict outcome based on location and velocity. Wasn’t it DH Lawrence who said,

    I like relativity and quantum theories
    because I don’t understand them
    and they make me feel as if space shifted about
    like a swan that
    can’t settle,
    refusing to sit still and be measured;
    and as if the atom were an impulsive thing
    always changing its mind.

    I am not sure I see cause and effect between the two – mob democracy and uncertainty. They seem possibly to form a parallel; or perhaps it is reversed instead: Uncertainty made physics into philosophy and every observer has their own philosophical perspective, all equal…

    At any rate, Bohr apparently won his debate with Einstein about uncertainty with a thought experiment. A little poetic justice. Serves him right I say. 😀

  20. tallbloke says:

    Yeah, the cat’s nerves were a bit frayed aftwards though. 😉

  21. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Ha ha, and to add to the poor kitty’s troubles, we have quantum erasers now too!

  22. Zeke the Sneak says:

    All people are not equal in their abilities or their effectiveness at accomplishing a clear outcome. Yet it is all the rage to assure equality of outcome; we see this in the classroom, in the economics of wealth redistribution, in science as Mathis points out, and in tenure and union policies, which protect workers even when they produce garbage.

    That is what horrifies me about socialism. It seeks to impose state ideals on the individual’s life, ignoring and erasing the exquisite individual structure within each person. It is a supernatural, extaordinary arrogance.

  23. tallbloke says:

    “The excellent were always just a handful, and now they are probably not even that.”
    -Miles Mathis-

    “Wisdom is the domain of the Wis, which is extinct”
    -Frank Zappa-

  24. tallbloke says:

    “to add to the poor kitty’s troubles, we have quantum erasers now too!”

    It’s a bit like my cloak of invisibility. I can never find it when i need it.

  25. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “Equality under the law is a fine principle; equality in fact is neither a fine principle nor a true principle. In fact, it is demonstrably false. People are not equal in fact. People are extremely unequal, in every way imaginable.”

    Kind of like the difference between men’s and women’s brains. That’s another one of those questions scientists seem to ignore and minimize. Even after you compensate for body size, men’s brains have on average 100 cm3 more volume, about the size of one lemon. For a long time it was hastily added that the corpus collosum in women’s brains were larger, so that there was more connectivity between the right & left hemispheres. But that measurement has since been debunked.

    I am not mistaking Mathis’ meaning, I am just pointing out that there is probably something interesting going on here, but scientists are expected in this case to insist on the exact samenes of the sexes. This obliterates any semblance of roles, or something incredibly complementary going on.

    That’s something I don’t mind researching into. haha

  26. tallbloke says:

    Heh. Vive la difference! 🙂

  27. Zeke the Sneak says:

    lol 😀
    “People are extremely unequal, in every way imaginable.” Oh yes. Cheers to that!

  28. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Yes Zeke, some of us are abby normal and some us are subby normal. I’ve been accused of being both 😉 pg

  29. @Tallbloke It’s a bit like my cloak of invisibility. I can never find it when I need it.
    Perhaps because it really doesn´t exist and it never existed…
    @Miles says: it is hierarchical what means “order” and “functionality”, could any conceive a “democratic” gear box?, that would be crazy! 🙂

  30. Oslo says:

    I don’t know very much about the state of modern physics, but I do watch Discovery Channel, National geographic, science documentaries, etc, and it is striking how much of what is presented is pure guesswork. String theory, “branes” multiverses, etc. It seems the clue is to come up with a theory so exotic it can never be proved nor disproved.

    Democratization has definetely had a huge impact on the sciences here in Norway, most of all in destroying the schools, where the level of all is lowered to the level of the slowest/laziest. This is of course carried on to the universities where standards are constantly lowered to keep up with the ever rising levels of stupidity of the students. Needless to say, they all go for the social sciences, so they can continue to convey thoughts and feelings without any content in the form of knowledge.

    The University of Oslo just fired a professor for being eccentric and sending angry emails to collegues. Obviously he didn’t fit in around the lunch table and didn’t contribute enough to the light and pleasant atmosphere in the hallways. Besides he was professor of medieval history, a subject none of the sociologists, psychologists and gender theorists care much about anyway. It should probably be closed down altogether.

    Now that science first and foremost has become a tool for policymakers and for societal change and all scientists have become politicians, there is no room for the outdated, old fashioned and downright nerdy and introvert disciplines where “finding out things” is the sole objective. Hell, a scientist who only cares about science is probably a right-winger anyway…

  31. Dave says:

    This blog post in one sentence: equality is not the same as equitability.

  32. @Oslo: Hell, a scientist who only cares about science is probably a right-winger anyway…
    That was great and funny!

  33. Jean Demesure says:

    I didn’t know who Miles Mathis is but I do love the style and the content. A definitive must-read. So skeptical and subversive.
    Thank you tallbloke

  34. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke,

    In a round about way, a great deal of what miles has on the website is what I found through working with centrifugal force and planetary motion.

    [edit] Show us the math.

  35. Joe Lalonde says:

    Tallbloke, I have no idea why the math fixation with man that if it don’t have math, it ain’t science. They are missing out on a great deal with that mentality. And it is science that can be mechanically replicated. Just Newton and Einstein never new compression and storing energy existed.

    [reply] Joe, I’ve had enough of this. The storage of energy in springs is well known, well understood and well, mathematically quantified and predicted by well known mathematical equations. How do I know this? I used to perform the calculations regularly and use software which worked out the temperature of the salt bath in which the spring needed to be surface hardened for how long in order to get the right temper into the steel. The resulting spring could then be put into service in the secure knowledge it would do what the designer required of it. This is more than can be said for your ‘no need for math’ approach. Miles Mathis would agree too, at least, when he isn’t painting nudes.

    I’m not posting any more of your ramblings about materials, forces of motion or, and especially, salt.

  36. Bob Weber says:

    Yes, it’s been three years since this post, but it still applies, and I want you to all know it meant a lot to me, for what it’s worth.