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Forced responses: Mar 2021

Filed under: — group @ 1 March 2021

A bi-monthly open thread on climate solutions.

519 Responses to “Forced responses: Mar 2021”

  1. 151
    Killian says:

    139 Nemesis says:
    14 Mar 2021 at 9:18 AM

    The Kogi don’t practice modern science, do they?

    Yes, they do bc there is no such thing. The idea science was created in “modern” times is arrogant nonsense. I already included the basic process in an earlier post.

    Again you are being pedantic. I *said* the Kogi bring their beliefs, etc., to their science. The *process* is the same. Observation, thinking, hypothesis, test, yes/no, continue/start again.

    You are not doing a good job of paying attention to what is being said and are doing a great job of just hearing yourself.

  2. 152
    Killian says:

    The Supremacy of the Commons:

    I’ve given you the money shot, but I suggest you all read it through.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/346867449984802/

    Conclusion: it is when any community loses control of their commons, and negative trophic cascades begin, that the feedback into a tragedy of the commons, begins. At this point in the history of humanity, the degree of inequality has never been greater. A handful of billionaires has more wealth and property than three or four billions of people on the planet. They seem to act as though this gives them, or the giant corporations that enrich them, more power over the use of the commons, than any local community. I think that this signals loss of control, on the part of the global community, of the commons of this world, and that this is how the collapse the civilization, at the centre of the exploitative economy, begins.

  3. 153
    Killian says:

    141 Engineer-Poet says:
    14 Mar 2021 at 1:34 PM

    The blue expanses of the oceans are blue rather than green because there is very little growing there. Depth-cycling of kelp beds mimics the upwelling of nutrients which are scarce in most surface waters. In principle, you can depth-cycle anywhere even where upwelling does not occur naturally.

    Buy a clue here: Unintended consequences. You never know just how much you have screwed up while thinking you’re solving a problem.

    The utter hubris and stupidity of Homo anthropocenicus…

  4. 154
    Nemesis says:

    Ok, thanks to those who expressed their opinions, I apreaciate that. There’s nothing more to add from my perspective, so I will embrace silence, letting go and solitude again now as that’s what I can do best.

    Best wishes.

  5. 155

    Trollian @153:

    Buy a clue here: Unintended consequences.

    That applies to EVERYTHING, including your schemes.  I’ve tried to get you to spell out what you think about how some of your OBVIOUS consequences will be handled.  You clammed up.

    You never know just how much you have screwed up while thinking you’re solving a problem.

    At least with depth-cycled giant kelp, you can (a) start small and (b) change your modus operandi or cease operations entirely if unwelcome consequences develop.  It’s not something that’s done once and rolls on all by itself; that pretty much describes fossil CO2 emissions, though.

    The utter hubris and stupidity of Homo anthropocenicus…

    You point one finger at me, but there are three pointing back at you.

  6. 156
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Nemesis: The Kogi don’t practice modern science, do they?

    Killian: Yes, they do bc there is no such thing. The idea science was created in “modern” times is arrogant nonsense.

    Careful here. Although there were researchers going back as far as we care to who were adding to “scientific knowledge,” but what they were doing differed from the modern scientific method. Some natural philosophers (e.g. Aristotle) actually discouraged empirical inquiry. In most cases, there was no value placed on theoretical simplicity (as seen with the Ptolemaic system of epicycles). Publication tended to be the exception rather than the rule. Explanatory power was valued over predictive power.

    Even where empirical inquiry was pursued, the relation between theory and empirical inquiry was different than it is in modern science. Certainly, the importance of falsifiability was not generally appreciated.

    Things changed tremendously around the beginning of the 17th century.

    Part of this was technical–instrument makers became much more skilled, making empirical observations much more accurate and understandable. Maritime exploration and warfare generated huge demand for devices capable of accurate observation AND for understanding of errors on the observations.

    Part of it was the invention of the printing press, making it possible to disseminate results much more broadly. While international communication of research results had taken place before among a few researchers (Tycho, Kepler, Galileo,…).

    The Reformation led to a general willingness to challenge authority, as well as availability of publications (including research) in the vernacular rather than just in Latin. The religious wars that followed led to disillusionment with dogma and growth of secular societies, such as the Academie in Paris and the Royal Society in London.

    And it would be a mistake to understate the importance Francis Bacon’s work–Novum Organum is still worth reading even today.

    Similarly, when you deal with other cultures, there are certainly aspects of inquiry into the natural world that seem scientific–particularly when it comes to use of indigenous plants in medicine. However, medicine isn’t really a science even in the West, and you aren’t going to find many in a traditional society that appreciate the importance of falsifiability.

    Scientific thinking is unique, and it runs counter to the way people–from all human cultures–have thought for millennia. It is no wonder it generates resistance.

  7. 157
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @154 great history, but I will repeat my comment made back @146:

    The Kogi arguably did a basic form of science. Take the example by Killian of observing birds eating berries and surviving, and concluding they may be safe for us to eat then tentatively tasting a few etc,etc. Its all there, observation, experiment, theory about berries. But this didn’t seem to get applied to much other than issues of diet and basic health and it was modern civilisation that applied this sort of thinking to astronomy and evolution etc. But they had the instruments to do this. The medieval world was very poor at science, killed it dead for centuries until the enlightenment period.

    Do you disagree?

  8. 158
    Killian says:

    156 Ray Ladbury says:
    15 Mar 2021 at 1:54 PM

    Nemesis: The Kogi don’t practice modern science, do they?

    Killian: Yes, they do bc there is no such thing. The idea science was created in “modern” times is arrogant nonsense.

    Careful here. Although there were researchers going back as far as we care to who were adding to “scientific knowledge,” but what they were doing differed from the modern scientific method. Some natural philosophers (e.g. Aristotle) actually discouraged empirical inquiry. In most cases, there was no value placed on theoretical simplicity (as seen with the Ptolemaic system of epicycles). Publication tended to be the exception rather than the rule. Explanatory power was valued over predictive power.

    Even where empirical inquiry was pursued, the relation between theory and empirical inquiry was different than it is in modern science. Certainly, the importance of falsifiability was not generally appreciated.

    Things changed tremendously around the beginning of the 17th century.

    ————————-

    Careful? “…the importance of falsifiability was not generally appreciated.” See that carefully couched phrasing, similar of which occurs in other bits of your post? My point stands: We’ve always been doing science. Falsifiability has always been part of it or nothinng would ever get updated or overturned. That a thing becomes more refined does not mean it did not previously exist, or do compound bows mean bows and arrows have not already existed for thousands of years.

    Too often this claim of Ivory Tower rectitude and superiority is used to dismiss what those in those towers deem to not be rigorous… even as they are proven less knowledgeable by those doing “lesser” science.

    Let’s set aside the arrogance and open up to TEK, et al., shall we? I hear it’s becoming a thing…

  9. 159
    Killian says:

    155 a child says:
    15 Mar 2021 at 1:22 PM

    Buy a clue here: Unintended consequences.

    That applies to EVERYTHING, including your schemes.

    That’s why we use principles and processes that greatly diminish the possibility of unintended consequences while you completely ignore, dismiss or rationalize them. Nuclear waste proves the point.

  10. 160
    Killian says:

    145 nigelj says:
    14 Mar 2021 at 9:01 PM

    Killian @136

    “And, it is. I realized this when I was 12. I could not understand why we needed so many different kinds of cars, phones, etc. It seemed inherently wasteful, stupid and needlessly competitive to me.”

    Yes having multiple types of automobiles and phones is wasteful. At least to an extent as I will get to. I thought that at a young age as well. You need multiple different metal presses for example. Of course as everyone knows its a function of free market competitive capitalism where multiple manufacturers differentiate themselves to win market share. If they don’t they risk going bust. Its “the system”.

    However I also figured out at an early age the alternatives are not that great. For example you have one manufacturer producing only one or two types of automobile like like East Germanys Trabant or the Russian Lada, which were both truly dreadful automobiles, because there was no competitive pressure to make the companies perform well

    —————————–

    Sorry, but studies have shown cooperation is more efficient in the long run – and makes people happier – and egalitarianism results in the best option for ALL: You’re not going to get a large group of people to agree to make a shit car, but you can get one CEO to shove one down a corporation’s throat.

    You’ve got this completely backward.

    Further, if there is no need for profit, people are free to consider what they *need* vs what is “affordable” and they damned sure don’t need a shit car. On the contrary, those inhabiting a Commons tend to be quite expert at managing it and utilizing it.

    , over the longer term. So it may be a question of ‘efficiency’ versus ‘quality’ and I prefer quality.

  11. 161

    K 151: The idea science was created in “modern” times is arrogant nonsense.

    BPL: Primitive people may have engaged in scientific modes of thinking, but they were not doing what is called science nowadays. That originated in the 1600s in Europe, after failed revolutions in classical Greece, the Caliphate, and medieval China.

  12. 162
    zebra says:

    Ray Ladbury #156,

    This is another case where what the words mean matters.

    You have to distinguish between scientific method and the enterprise of science as it is practiced currently.

    For example, at some point in the development of ceramics and metallurgy within a given culture, the practitioners almost certainly employed abstract theoretical reasoning guiding empirical discovery.

    Arriving at the best temperature for a given process/material requires the concept of something that is associated with sensory observation…the color of the kiln/furnace, the sensation of ‘heat’ on your hand held a certain distance away.

    You shouldn’t conflate the formulaic persistence of an established “best practice” technique (e.g. epicycles) with the effort that went into its discovery and development.

    How do you think all the stuff of the ancient world developed if there weren’t curious, creative individuals trying to expand their understanding of their universe?

    They weren’t ‘magically in tune with the Great Earth Mother’, and they weren’t ‘primitive savages’. They were just humans, with the same range of behaviors and cognitive characteristics we see today.

  13. 163
    Nemesis says:

    @Ray ladbury, #159

    ” Scientific thinking is unique, and it runs counter to the way people–from all human cultures–have thought for millennia. It is no wonder it generates resistance.”

    Whoever might be resistant to science- I love it and I always did, especially climate science, cause (= fossil fools, corruption ect) and effect (real pain), I just can’t get enough of it as it shows the failure of the system oh so cold and so beautifully. And I love all scientific facts that go contrary to christian believes/propaganda, Tycho/Galileo/Kepler et al for instance did a fantastic job. GO, science! and show the world the cold, cold (or should I say “hot”?) facts and nothing but the facts, the more, the hotter, the better. And then lets see what the funny money machine makes of it, lol.

    Thanks a lot.

  14. 164
    nigelj says:

    Killian @160, poor quality products made by massive, very monopolistic corporations arent really caused just by by the CEO shoving a bad design down the the throats of the corporation. Theres more to poor quality products than just that. Products may be unreliable, badly made and designed, etc. This can result from a bad design team, the poor quality machine tools, bad research department, lazy, careless workmanship, poor executive leadership and deficient quality control.

    This is a frequent outcome with large industrial corporations that have a monopoly that dont have competition to keep them honest. There are exceptions obviously, but it requires very good leadership and discipline and particularly dedicated staff and this is not the norm.

  15. 165

    N: I love all scientific facts that go contrary to christian believes/propaganda, Tycho/Galileo/Kepler et al for instance did a fantastic job.

    BPL: None of those devoutly Christian scientists discovered anything that goes against Christian “believes” [sic].

  16. 166
    mike says:

    M&I took a drive yesterday on errands and driving time is podcast time. We don’t get enough podcast time because we we don’t drive much anymore. This guy David Ravensberger is definitely worth a listen.

    His overview on growth, degrowth, ecosocialism, ecomodernism helped me see the framework for the various movements within modern environmentalism.

    https://kpfa.org/episode/against-the-grain-march-16-2021/

    Happy Paddy’s Day to all

    Mike

  17. 167

    Trollian @159:

    That’s why we use principles and processes that greatly diminish the possibility of unintended consequences

    I ask AGAIN:  what about your intended consequences?

    What’s the population density of the Kogi you hold up as examples?

    What population can be supported with such methods elsewhere?  What do you expect the “excess population” to do, just lie down and die?

    Is slash-and-burn agriculture anything but destructive?  Doesn’t it leach the soil of nutrients?

    You don’t even DARE to touch these questions.

    while you completely ignore, dismiss or rationalize them. Nuclear waste proves the point.

    Oh, come on.  We KNOW the consequences of nuclear energy, and they’re nigh-trivial even when things go WRONG.  Nuclear does not leach minerals from the soil or pollute the atmosphere.  Its waste “problem” is political, not technical or biological.  The total amount over all history is a tiny fraction of the amount of material that will go into wind and PV this year alone, and we can isolate it indefinitely at trivial cost.  What we SHOULD be doing is separating it into three streams of uranium, fission products and transuranics, each with different uses, but the political problem rules this out in the USA.

    This is a crying shame, because the improvement in food safety we’d immediately enjoy by irradiating everything that isn’t pasteurized would be huge, and that’s just ONE of the benefits we’re forgoing.  The actual fission products become less radioactive than the raw uranium and its decay daughters in about 500 years, and isolating something for 500 years is technically trivial.  There’s “no solution” to the “nuclear waste problem” because people like you don’t WANT a solution.

  18. 168
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Nigel, zebra et al.,
    I think that what you are talking about isn’t science in the modern sense–really science has only existed just a bit longer than the word science.

    The manufacture of ceramics, traditional medicine, etc. have more in common with engineering or modern medicine than they do with modern science. While curiosity is a prerequisite for science–really, its driving force–it’s not a sufficient condition. The dividing line is use of a predictive theory emphasizing falsifiable predictions rather than simply gradual improvement.

    I think other cultures got close to the scientific method before Bacon, but either the politics squelched the researchers before they got there, or the tools of investigation weren’t up to the job or communications weren’t well enough developed to maintain a critical density of creative ideas. The situation in post-reformation Europe somehow brought these prerequisites together–purely by serendipity. It was not the superiority of western civilization that made science possible, but rather the development of science that made the west dominant.

  19. 169
    Russell Seitz says:

    168

    The situation in post-reformation Europe somehow brought these prerequisites together–purely by serendipity.

    Like the moving parts of the Antikythera analog Olympic calendar computer.

    The staunchly neolithic Kogi never got as far as the Quipu.

  20. 170
    zebra says:

    ray ladbury #168,

    zebra #162:

    For example, at some point in the development of ceramics and metallurgy within a given culture, the practitioners almost certainly employed abstract theoretical reasoning guiding empirical discovery.

    Ray:

    The dividing line is use of a predictive theory emphasizing falsifiable predictions rather than simply gradual improvement.

    I sometimes wonder if you actually read the comments to which you are replying? Could you maybe give some argument that makes your case rather than just your assertion?

    How did the discovery of ceramics and metallurgy not involve “a predictive theory emphasizing falsifiable predictions”? What do you think the process was like? Did Killian’s Earth Mother Goddess whisper in someone’s ear telling them how it all worked?

  21. 171
    Nemesis says:

    BPL, #165

    ” N: I love all scientific facts that go contrary to christian believes/propaganda, Tycho/Galileo/Kepler et al for instance did a fantastic job.

    BPL: None of those devoutly Christian scientists discovered anything that goes against Christian “believes” [sic].”

    Lol:

    ” November 1992 – …

    In 1633, the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church forced Galileo Galilei, one of the founders of modern science, to recant his theory that the Earth moves around the Sun. Under threat of torture, Galileo – seen facing his inquisitors – recanted. But as he left the courtroom, he is said to have muttered, ‘all the same, it moves’.

    Last week, 359 years later, the Church finally agreed…”

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg13618460-600-vatican-admits-galileo-was-right/

    What about eternal life, eternal hell, eternal heaven, virgin birth, Jesus walking on water, rising up from the dead ect ect ect… Does modern science agree on that?

  22. 172
    Killian says:

    168 Ray Ladbury says:
    17 Mar 2021 at 12:15 PM

    Nigel, zebra et al.,
    I think that what you are talking about isn’t science in the modern sense–really science has only existed just a bit longer than the word science.

    The manufacture of ceramics, traditional medicine, etc. have more in common with engineering or modern medicine than they do with modern science. While curiosity is a prerequisite for science–really, its driving force–it’s not a sufficient condition. The dividing line is use of a predictive theory emphasizing falsifiable predictions rather than simply gradual improvement.

    I think other cultures got close to the scientific method before Bacon, but either the politics squelched the researchers before they got there, or the tools of investigation weren’t up to the job or communications weren’t well enough developed to maintain a critical density of creative ideas. The situation in post-reformation Europe somehow brought these prerequisites together–purely by serendipity. It was not the superiority of western civilization that made science possible, but rather the development of science that made the west dominant.

    That is some seriously patriarchal, Anglo-centric #$%# right there.

    Says a PoC scientist: t is time to stop discounting traditional expertise and make use of this vast and valuable resource, argues Indian scientist Suman Sahai.

    Science and technology have always been an important part of growth and development plans. But accepted ‘scientific expertise’ is Western, standardised and homogenous. From this viewpoint, the vast body of scientific expertise developed in diverse societies and cultures is discounted and ignored.

    Referred to as indigenous or traditional knowledge, this is a knowledge system distilled from generations of scientific work anchored in rural and tribal communities. It is different to the Western system of empirical, lab-based science — but is equally valid and efficacious.

    As I said, the development of the compound bow did not erase the original bows. The development of antibiotics did not erase the effective treatments known previously and found through the same process. Nothing has changed. All that has been added is the ability to be more specific in controlling variables and the maths to aid analysis, etc. The *process* is ancient.

    Be glad there are don’t seem to be any people of color and/or First Nations people that read this forum or you’d be getting an earful.

    https://www.scidev.net/global/opinions/indigenous-knowledge-is-a-form-of-science-don-t-ignore-it/

  23. 173
    Killian says:

    170 zebra says:
    17 Mar 2021 at 4:20 PM

    What do you think the process was like? Did Killian’s Earth Mother Goddess whisper in someone’s ear telling them how it all worked?

    You seriously need to check your racism.

  24. 174
    Killian says:

    161 Barton Paul Levenson says:
    16 Mar 2021 at 5:40 AM

    K 151: The idea science was created in “modern” times is arrogant nonsense.

    BPL: Primitive people may have engaged in scientific modes of thinking, but they were not doing what is called science nowadays. That originated in the 1600s in Europe, after failed revolutions in classical Greece, the Caliphate, and medieval China.

    Bullshit. Points covered elsewhere. Check your racism. “Primitive?”

  25. 175
    Nemesis says:

    To make things clearer, this is what I were talking about, when I compared the Kogi worldview (wich I described above) to the modern, materialistic scientific worldview:

    Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist…”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

    ” Mechanistic paradigm

    The mechanistic paradigm, also known as the Newtonian paradigm, assumes that things in the environment around humans are more like machines than like life. It was more common in the 19th century. This is a set of loosely related beliefs that affects all sciences: … “
    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanistic_paradigm

    THIS is NOT the Kogi worldview, but it’s the common worldview of our modern, secularized, materialist science and culture. And this culture, this worldview (contrary to the Kogi’s worldview) is at the very root of the modern eco/climate crisis. That’s what I was trying to say in my recent comments. Wikipedia says ” (the mechanistic paradigm) was more common in the 19th century”, but the 19h century ( when capitalism and industrial revolution married) is just the birthdate of that paradigm, it’s still the ruling paradigm today as a materialistic and mechanistic paradigm is the perfect excuse for reducing human beings and the ecosystem to sheer MATERIAL shit, ready for exploitation. The ruling system is not just a mistake, it’s a crime indeed.

  26. 176
    Killian says:

    This is very good, but doesn’t directly answer the question of whether TEK is science. However, it draws excellent contrasts that are, IMO, two sides of the scientific coin and the two should not be separated. E.g., I am often asked for proof (stupid; should be “evidence”) permaculture systems can do what we who do them already know. But you cannot “test” the theory of permaculture design “scientifically” as people here are trying to narrowly define it because if you reduce a system to one variable, you are not doing permaculture – and not doing TEK.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1479546/

    Contemporary hermeneutics—a branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of existential understanding and interpretation of texts—and, to a certain extent, complex thinking can offer useful approaches to compare different forms of knowledge and rationality. Complex thinking has provided new insights, and has contributed to a renewed interpretation of the concept of nature, and a new paradigm of science and epistemology. This new approach has brought a greater awareness of the shortcomings of simple explanations in comprehending reality. It aims to overcome the limits of both reductionism and holism by integrating them into a wider perspective, which investigates the complex structure of interconnections and retroactive relationships in the real world.

    According to the classic epistemological approach, the creation of knowledge is a process of qualitative refinement and quantitative accumulation. Its goal is to disclose the ultimate foundation—the ‘meta’ point of view from where we can see the ontological order and the objective truth—and to provide a neutral and universal language to explain natural phenomena (Ceruti, 1986).

    Complex thinking has strongly questioned this notion of a meta point of view along with its heuristic value as a principle for the creation of knowledge. Instead, it seeks and analyses the web of relationships among different perspectives. This is continually redefined in a dynamic process involving multiple points of observation and explanation. These places are fundamentally incommensurable, yet they can complement each other and be part of a constructive network. What matters, in fact, is the possibility of including multiple viewpoints that are vicarious in building a cognitive universe and can disclose a more complete picture of reality.

    I would argue “science” is a perversion of knowledge, a perversion that has brought society and the ecology to the brink of destruction. The mere testing of variables in isolation is not science. It’s experimentation. Science is experimentation and gaining knowledge in the full context of culture and ecology. If that doesn’t fit your definition, I suggest you develop a more comprehensive hypothesis about what science is.

  27. 177

    Trollian @172:

    The manufacture of ceramics, traditional medicine, etc. have more in common with engineering or modern medicine than they do with modern science.

    Oh, hogwash.  I’ve read enough literature to know that predictive models of the properties of ceramics have been in use for decades.  This is how we got the modern HEGO (heated exhaust gas oxygen) sensor and solid-oxide fuel cells and electrolysis cells, to list a tiny fraction of the advances.

    I think other cultures got close to the scientific method before Bacon, but either the politics squelched the researchers before they got there, or the tools of investigation weren’t up to the job or communications weren’t well enough developed to maintain a critical density of creative ideas. The situation in post-reformation Europe somehow brought these prerequisites together–purely by serendipity. It was not the superiority of western civilization that made science possible, but rather the development of science that made the west dominant.

    That is some seriously patriarchal, Anglo-centric #$%# right there.

    Says a PoC scientist: t is time to stop discounting traditional expertise and make use of this vast and valuable resource, argues Indian scientist Suman Sahai.

    Oh, FFS, you’re reprising the worship of “the noble savage” and aren’t even historically literate enough to see it.  And would that “vast and valuable resource” include seeking out and burning the witches who are making things go wrong?

    As the inimitable Tim Minchin dared to lay down so un-intersectionally ten years ago (wonder how long THAT piece will remain on the open Internet before being cancelled),

    “By definition,” I begin, “alternative medicine,” I continue, “has either not been proved to work or been proved not to work.  Do you know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work?

    “Medicine.”

    “So you don’t believe in any natural remedies?”

    “On the contrary, Storm, actually, before I came to tea, I took a remedy derived from the bark of a willow tree.  A pain-killer that’s virtually side-effect free.  It’s got a weird name.  Darling, what was it again?  Massprin?  Uh, bassprin?  Oh, yes, aspirin!  Which I paid about a buck for down at the local drug store.”

    The same is true of digitalis (now supplanted by safer, more effective pharmaceuticals), quinine, and so many more.

    Natural remedies that WORK get incorporated into scientific medicine.  Those that don’t work get discarded.  This is why your MD doesn’t put on a mask and dance around your examination table as part of your treatment for whatever ails you.

    You seriously need to check your racism.

    If you EVER use the words “check your”, you need to check yourself.

  28. 178
    Killian says:

    I believe it had beem claimed powering the world with solar in the Sahara would raise the temps there resulting in little change. However, solar panels radiate less infrared resultung in cooling, resulting in greening, resulting in massive changes globally.

    One solution: Simplification.

    https://medium.com/predict/why-dont-we-cover-the-sharah-in-solar-panels-3692a5bf89bd

  29. 179
    Dan says:

    re: 172, 173 and 174.

    That is some serious, textbook projection. Which is always based on insecurity and cowardice.

  30. 180

    N 171: What about eternal life, eternal hell, eternal heaven, virgin birth, Jesus walking on water, rising up from the dead ect ect ect… Does modern science agree on that?

    BPL: Has modern science somehow disproved any of those? How would it do that?

  31. 181

    K 174: Bullshit. Points covered elsewhere. Check your racism. “Primitive?”

    BPL: I don’t have any racism. Check your ignorant worship of primitive cultures. “Primitive” is defined as “relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something.”

  32. 182

    K 176: I would argue “science” is a perversion of knowledge

    BPL: Then what are you doing on a science website? The rest of us have a great deal of respect for science. You obviously don’t, so why are you here?

  33. 183
    Nemesis says:

    @Killian, #139

    From the article you quoted:

    “… According to the classic epistemological approach, the creation of knowledge is a process of qualitative refinement and quantitative accumulation. Its goal is to disclose the ultimate foundation—the ‘meta’ point of view from where we can see the ontological order and the objective truth—and to provide a neutral and universal language to explain natural phenomena (Ceruti, 1986).
    Complex thinking has strongly questioned this notion of a meta point of view along with its heuristic value as a principle for the creation of knowledge. Instead, it seeks and analyses the web of relationships among different perspectives. This is continually redefined in a dynamic process involving multiple points of observation and explanation. These places are fundamentally incommensurable, yet they can complement each other and be part of a constructive network. What matters, in fact, is the possibility of including multiple viewpoints that are vicarious in building a cognitive universe and can disclose a more complete picture of reality.”

    Now that’s exactly what I said earlier in my comment #139 already:

    “… Modern, materialist science does not see the creative process of the universe as a form of thought or mental prozess and it does not see the entire cosmos as living process (like the Kogi), but it imagines some “objective”, archimedean point beyond mundane human existence:

    ” An Archimedean point (Latin: Punctum Archimedis) is a hypothetical standpoint from which an observer can objectively perceive the subject of inquiry with a view of totality (i.e., a god’s-eye view); or a reliable starting point from which one may reason. In other words, a view from an Archimedean point describes the ideal of “removing oneself” from the object of study so that one can see it in relation to all other things while remaining independent of them…”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedean_point

    That “meta point” aka “archimedean point” only exists in the mind of western arrogance, but it does not exist in the real world.

  34. 184
    Nemesis says:

    @mike, #166

    Thanks for sharing that informative podcast! I’m definitely with the degrowth paradigm and Walter Benjamin (Walter Benjamin was an excellent observer of the modern world btw, his essay ” “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935)” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Work_of_Art_in_the_Age_of_Mechanical_Reproduction is worth reading).

    Best wishes.

  35. 185
    zebra says:

    Let’s Apply Scientific Reasoning,

    To the question: Did the discovery/use of pottery* involve the use of the scientific method?

    *[This could be applied to various emergent technologies we associate with early humans, but ceramics (and stone tools) have survived over time, so archaeology has associated them with different locations, times, and cultures. The consensus is that this technology was developed independently in multiple cases.]

    So we observe that there was a time (paleo/neo-lithic) when at a given location, there was a human culture, without pottery. We also observe that at a later date there was pottery. What happened?

    Simple assumption:

    -If there is clay-rich soil, there may be a dearth of rocks.
    -If you build a fire for cooking, and you have no rocks, you may dig a pit creating a mound of soil around the fire.
    -If you use the same fire pit multiple times, you will observe that the soil solidifies.

    Now, it seems highly likely to me that one of those humans would form the hypothesis that a bowl-shaped handful of that soil would also solidify if juxtaposed with the fire.

    [Remember, these people already knew that fire changed the nature of things, because they cooked food, and probably hardened wooden implements, and if they came from a place with rocks, they knew that fire cracked rocks. That effect of change was an abstraction that would now be applied to another material.]

    So the human tries to make a ball of dirt, and sticks her thumb in it to pinch an opening, but it falls apart because the soil is dry. But, these humans are very familiar with the characteristics of dirt, and so she forms another hypothesis that there is some point on the wetness continuum where the little bowl will hold together. And so, she begins an empirical endeavor to find that point. She does, and now she begins the process of experimenting with the “firing process”, to establish a theoretical basis for expanding the scope of the activity.

    Since I am not a column-inch addict like some, and try to keep things shorter, I will leave it to the student to work out the subsequent examples of how the technology might advance. There are multiple variables that must be characterized as abstractions initially in order for the pottery to become a part of the culture; that’s science, not engineering.

    I’m open, of course, to hearing an alternative narrative, that doesn’t involve the cognitive process as described.

  36. 186
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Zebra@170,
    Sorry, I would have thought that you would have read the post you were replying to. My bad.

    Manufacturers of ceramics started with the goal specifically of improving their product. The techniques developed were considered highly proprietary, so there is no public record of the process, and hence no peer review, replication, control of errors. I do not dispute that it represents a significant technical achievement, but it was not science in the modern sense.

    Killian@172–in no way was the development of science purely Anglo-centric. Novum Organum, which was merely the most thorough and eloquent exposition of the developing method just happened to be written by an Englishman (and embezzler). However, there were other contributions that were nearly as important (e.g. some of the contributions of Descartes, Galileo, etc.).

    Not all empirical inquiry is science in the modern sense. Yes, there are strains of thought prior to the early 17th century and in places other than Europe that adumbrate elements of the scientific method, but the technical, philosophical and cultural conditions that came together at this time in Europe were unique in human history up to that point. What came out of that confluence was unique, and it has spread into every culture since then. That should not be a controversial statement as it is grounded firmly in historical fact.

  37. 187
    Thomas Fuller says:

    I’m glad I stopped my study of philosophy after Bertrand Russell. I was under the impression that much of our poor ‘stewardship’ of the environment was due to religious injunctions to have dominion over the lands and seas and the common lust for power and wealth that has weighed so heavily upon us since the invention of coin.

    Silly me.

  38. 188
  39. 189
    Nemesis says:

    nigelj, #146

    Nemesis said: “ There must have been a shift from a matriarchal to a patriarchal system during human history after the last iceage roughly 10 500 years ago, when shamans turned into priests and clan chiefs turned into emperors…”

    nigelj replied: ” Yes, but hierarchies and inequality could exist in a matriarchal system although one suspects it would be a gentler form. Is that what you meant? However it looks like people in western countries want a gender neutral sort of society, rather than a patriarchal or matriarchal society.”

    There is archeological evidence that earliest human spirituality worshiped female goddesses, not male gods. Human life came right out of the women for everyone to see, early humankind couldn’t realize the part of the menfolk in procreation until they started to observe the cycle of the moon extensively and trace procreation nine months back from birth to the actual coitus. Before that, human beings were called “nine moons man” in Southamerica for instance (the moon in ancient times has always be seen in connection with the birth of man and also in connection with death and rebirth). The cowork of the menfolk in procreation were not obvious without some astrological observations. Btw, astrological observation in general might be the first “scientific” approach of mankind and it seems to have been a masculine approach.

    Anyway, I’m not advocating to go back to a matriarchal society. I see it more like the Taoists. There is Yin and there is Yang in Taoism:

    ” In Ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (/jɪn/ and /jɑːŋ, jæŋ/; Chinese: 陰陽 yīnyáng, lit. “bright-black”, “positive-negative”) is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.[1] In Chinese cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual cycle (winter and summer), the landscape (north-facing shade and south-facing brightness), sexual coupling (female and male), the formation of both men and women as characters and sociopolitical history (disorder and order)…”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

    Both principles, Yin and Yang, are active within human beings and within Nature in general, but in modern society the Yang principle is preponderanced by far. As I said, I’m not advocating to go back to a matriarchal society, but I vote for a balance between Yin and Yang.

  40. 190
    nigelj says:

    Regarding ancient metallurgy. It is not clear to me that ancient people making bronze , fits this strict definition of science. From science on wikipedia: “Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning “knowledge”)[1] is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[2″

    This process of making bronze looks more like the development of technology by observing what happens when metals accidently mix, then using intelligent trial and error to refine the process to make it better. It involved observation, experiment, and deduction, and compiled knowledge, almost like the scientific method, or thinking scientifically, but I cant see testable explanations about the nature of metals, why they melt, and predictions about how they would behave.

    Indigenous people don’t really do science by the wikipedia definition. However indigenous people seemed to follow a version of the scientific method, the example of observing birds eating berries and not dying, so concluding they might be safe for us to eat, we taste them and checking for side effects, etc. Indigenous people also accumulated knowledge about herbal medicines based on observing how well they worked in populations. This is not a placebo controlled trial but it is not guesswork, instinct, religion, or mysticism either. Its like they were doing a precursor to science or at least thinking scientifically.

  41. 191
    Killian says:

    182 Barton Paul Levenson says:
    18 Mar 2021 at 6:01 AM

    K 176: I would argue “science” is a perversion of knowledge

    BPL: Then what are you doing on a science website? The rest of us have a great deal of respect for science. You obviously don’t, so why are you here?

    Your childish lies, and childishness, are just soooooo old. Move on, already, eh?

    I’m confident others consider context and clearly understand that I am repeating what I have said elsewhere and all along: You cannot separate out the scientific method from the fuller context of human experience and knowing. In doing so, thinking became mechanistic and aided in the further separation of humanity from Nature.

    Please, grow up or shut up. These are serious times for serious people, not childishness. The stakes are too high to keep wasting time on the nasty shit in your head.

  42. 192
    Killian says:

    181 Barton Paul Levenson says:
    18 Mar 2021 at 5:59 AM

    K 174: Bullshit. Points covered elsewhere. Check your racism. “Primitive?”

    BPL: I don’t have any racism.

    Yes, you do: Check your ignorant worship of primitive cultures.

    “Primitive” is defined as “relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something.”

    If only that were how you meant it, but your constant denigration proves otherwise.

  43. 193
    Killian says:

    177 Engineer-Poet says:
    17 Mar 2021 at 10:55 PM

    Trollian @172:

    The manufacture of ceramics, traditional medicine, etc. have more in common with engineering or modern medicine than they do with modern science.

    Oh, hogwash. I’ve read enough literature to know that predictive models of the properties of ceramics have been in use for decades….

    Wha a fool: I didn’t say that. Bwahahahaha!!!

  44. 194
    Killian says:

    156 Ray Ladbury says:
    15 Mar 2021 at 1:54 PM

    Nemesis: The Kogi don’t practice modern science, do they?

    Killian: Yes, they do bc there is no such thing. The idea science was created in “modern” times is arrogant nonsense.

    Careful here. Although there were researchers going back as far as we care to who were adding to “scientific knowledge,” but what they were doing differed from the modern scientific method…

    Scientific thinking is unique, and it runs counter to the way people–from all human cultures–have thought for millennia. It is no wonder it generates resistance.

    You cannot see the two-sided nature of science, but that does not allow you to say others “resist” science. There is zero evidence of that in this discussion from any quarter. I love science. I have taught the scientific method and experimentation to 2nd Grade EFL students. There is no resistance from this side, it is you who is resistant to a more nuanced view of what science is and are conflating a specific form of scientific methodology with the broader concept of science, from my point of view.

  45. 195
    David B. Benson says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @188 — That is ignorable, leaving out the externalities for the alternatives. Other features show that it is just another hit piece.

  46. 196

    BPL @188:

    https://www.dw.com/en/nuclear-climate-mycle-schneider-renewables-fukushima/a-56712368

    Oh, FFS.  This clown Mycle Schneider is the EU equivalent of Gregory Jaczko; he was selected for the post specifically to badmouth and obstruct nuclear energy.  The actual nuclear-powered countries and provinces, Sweden, France and Ontario, have (or had) low and stable electric prices unless and until they embarked on massive “renewable” programs which drove costs and prices up.  In the case of France, it’s driven carbon emissions up as well by forcing the use of natural gas to balance the unreliability of wind and solar; in the case of Germany, it interrupted the steady decline of carbon emissions to the point that the original 2020 goals were unattainable except by the drastic measures imposed to “fight COVID-19”, which worked mostly on the petroleum end rather than the lignite/coal/natural gas end.

    What would Mycle Schneider say if he could get a NuScale or BWRX-300 delivered to site 2 years from the order?

    We should not be listening to what Mycle Schneider says, about anything.

  47. 197
    Piotr says:

    Nemesis @138 “I don’t think farming was the main cause of hierarchies, inequality ect.
    I find the opposing view more convincing – e.g. Elle Beau: “How Patriarchy, Dominance, and Agriculture Ruined Our Quality of Life”.

    ” Prior to [agriculture], people lived in highly cooperative and egalitarian bands of about 25–50. But with agriculture, for the first time, you have substantial personal property, property that you’d like to go to your heirs. In order to ensure paternity (hence the name patriarchy) women had to be controlled and their sexuality policed.”

  48. 198
    Astringent says:

    I think there’s a danger in relying on dictionary definitions of science, not only in thinking about the way past societies worked, but in thinking about how modern day science is conducted. I don’t think the human mind has changed – just our tools for communicating our thoughts and knowledge.

    Just because the scale is different, I don’t see any real difference between a Neolithic farmer selecting seeds and observing which grew best, and then refining their choice, and a biologist looking down a microscope and testing drug combinations on cell cultures. Just because one is peer reviewed written up in Nature and the other is reviewed by their peers around a camp fire doesn’t make a whit of difference.

  49. 199
    Nemesis says:

    BPL, #180

    ” N 171: What about eternal life, eternal hell, eternal heaven, virgin birth, Jesus walking on water, rising up from the dead ect ect ect… Does modern science agree on that?
    BPL: Has modern science somehow disproved any of those? How would it do that?”

    Well, if science can not disprove that, how could science ever disprove reincarnation, the Shiva deity or Brahma, the earth being a Mother, the visions of the Kogi ect ect ect? Physics, chemestry, neuroscience just can not disprove all that, because these things are subject of the study of religion, anthropology, ethnology resp the humanities, not subject of the natural sciences, these things are not part of the material world, but of the im- material world.

    Anyway, eternal life, rising up from the dead like Jesus does NOT fit to that kind of science:

    Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist…”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

    So, from a materialistic scientific perspective, individual LIFE is just f* OVER when the body is rotten. End of story.

  50. 200
    Nemesis says:

    Let me quote from an indepth article about the Kogi religion/cosmology:

    ” The concept of aluna, translated here as “inner reality,” tells him (the novice) that the mountains are houses, that animals are people, that roofs are snakes, and he learns that this manipulation of symbols and sign is not a simple matter of one-to-one translation, but that there exist different levels of interpretation and complex chains of associations. The Kogi say: “There are two ways of looking at things; you may, when seeing a snake, say: ‘This is a snake,’ but you may also say: ‘This is a rope I am seeing, or a root, an arrow, a winding trail,'” Now, from the knowledge of these chains of associations that represent, in essence, equivalences, he acquires a sense of balance, and when he has achieved this balance he is ready to become a priest. He then will practice the concept of yulúka, of being in agreement, in harmony, with the unavoidable, with himself, and with his environment [be ‘right with reality’], and he will teach this knowledge to others…”
    https://www.sustainable.soltechdesigns.com/training-of-kogi-preisthood.html

    ( Funny enough, the exact same analogy about the snake and the rope appears in Hindu- and Buddhist teachings as well.) Anyway, the Kogi are well aware of different interpretations/associations of all the objects percieved in reality- like I said earlier:

    The sun does not smile in physics, but it can smile in the Kogi world, the snake can be a snake and a rope, the sun can be just fire/light, but it can be a smiling deity as well. And the Kogi know the difference:

    The smiling sun, the snake as a rope is the “inner reality”, the human response to “outer” reality. Only when there is a human response within, a communication between man and universe, can the world be whole, complete. This is why the Kogi isolate young novices from the outer world in dark caves, so they can develope this inner reality, this inner connection within:

    ” The Kogi say: ” Because the mámas (the Kogi priests) were educated in darkness, they have the gift of visions and of knowing all things, no matter how far away they might be. They even visit the Land of the Dead.”
    https://www.sustainable.soltechdesigns.com/training-of-kogi-preisthood.html

    To nail it down:

    There can be no culture at all without that inner connection/communication/relationship between man and the universe and that inner connection has very little to do with modern materialist science like physics, chemistry, neuroscience ect, but it has a lot to do with culture, with art, spiritual matters, dreams, visions, imaginations ect. Lol, “spiritual matters, dreams, visions, imaginations, chewing coca, drinking ayahuasca, smoking pot ect”, f* primitives, hippies, potheads. Yeah, but the thing is:

    You cannot escape the world of “spiritual matters, dreams, visions, imaginations…”, you dive into it every night when you go to sleep, in your dreams or when you watch a movie or when you die ect and your whole inner, oh so rational dialog is cluttered with all kinds of imaginations and funny things all the time, the Buddhists call it the “monkey mind”, the Zen- Buddhists call it “Makio”, the tibetan Buddhists call it “Bardo”, the land of death right here, right now.

    Human experience in general is much closer to psychosis and visions and dreams than modern, enlightened man admits I bet. You doubt that? Just look at the global conditions on TV, in politics, ecology, climate ect ect, a total La La Land. Striving for Mars while 100s of millions of people are starving, countless people homeless, corruption all around, trillions of dollars for armament and then striving for Mars ( and for eternal life, lol, like Google’s Kurzweil)- I call that Psychosis, I call that “Makio”, the Bardo, the land of eating and being eaten, the land of death, Samsara. Elon Musk should search for Mars within himself first, modern man should travel the universe within. The Kogi know more about the moon than the Gringos I bet. But the Kogi could learn from the Gringos as well, all cultures could and should learn from eachother.

    ” Our human knowledge is a candle burnt on a dim altar to a sun-vast Truth.”

    – Sri Aurobindo

    Every true scientist would not hesitate to subscribe to that quote of Sri Aurobindo. Modern science is a wonderful tool to explore Nature, but it’s not the only tool by far.

    ” What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”

    ” After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.”

    ” I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”

    ” The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct “actuality” of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation is impossible, however.”

    – Werner Heisenberg

    In the end, you got nothing but namarapu, names and forms in the Ma- trix, Ma- ya, Ma- ter (Latin for “mother”), Ma- tter (all these terms actually derive from the same sanskrit root), there is no ultimate “physical, material” object, “matter” is namarupa, a handy word to describe all-day matters, but when you want to nail it down, you won’t find it somewhere out there. Science is looking for super-small particles in CERN, a multi billion dollar project. The Kogi, indigenous people wouldn’t do that, they are not interested in the smallest material parts of some f* atom, they are concerned with keeping balance between man and Nature, the community and we should do that as well quickly or fail like idiots while fondling some shiny smartassphones and shooting selfies on the way down.