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Friday, March 15, 2013

Mailvox: the relevance of Kuhn's Revolutions

Scoobius is dubious about Thomas Kuhn:
On a couple of different threads lately, knowing reference has been made to Thomas Kuhn and his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". Like a lot of people I read it as a snotty college kid. But unlike a lot of people, I recall thinking at the time that there was something fishy about what he was saying, something perhaps even unpersuasive. To be honest it's so long ago since I read the book, I couldn't even tell you now with accuracy what his arguments were. I just recall thinking at the time, Hmm, I'd certainly like to at least hear the rebuttal and the counter-arguments, but universities being what they are, his book was assigned on the topic and no others; and it wasn't my key area of interest, so I just let the matter drop.

Anyway, being as I'm the resident "no ideas but in things" gadfly and I'm just as interested in the human sociology of ideas and where they actually personally come from, as I am in the ideas themselves, I was thinking about the title of Kuhn's book.

It seems to me that its enduring popularity may actually have little to do with the content of his specific ideas, and more to do with the fact that the title of his book contains the words "structure" and "revolutions."

If there are two words that the intellectual class loves to use, two words that simply push their happy-buttons and send them into transports of catnip-induced bliss, they are "structure" and "revolution". It may be that the thing remains on the permanent syllabus simply because those two words send intellectuals into ecstasy.
I very much disagree.  The main reason Kuhn remains popular is that his reasoning provides substance and cover for those who, for various reasons, doubt the legitimacy of the dictatorial scientific consensus.  While one will not be taken seriously by claiming that the Bible contradicts global warming, the latest dating of homo sapiens sapiens, or the raspberry bush of life, one can cite Kuhn and it tends to take the wind out of the sails of even the most authoritative scientist.

Kuhn is essentially historical jujitsu contra scientific overreach.  Whether he is strictly correct or not is almost irrelevant, because reminding scientists of their many false historical consensuses is the most effective antidote against their ridiculous tendency to claim that this time, at last, their assertions should be unquestioningly and unhesitatingly accepted.

As I've noted in the past, those who claim science is Man's most accurate guide to the factual truth are absolutely wrong and it is trivially easy to demonstrate how and why they are wrong.  We have a word for science that is actually reliable, and that word is "engineering".  With the partial exception of physics, most science that has not yet reached what we might consider its mature state is dynamic and remains incapable of providing predictive models that are much more reliable than those provided by other, non-scientific means.

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282 Comments:

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Anonymous The other skeptic March 15, 2013 1:06 AM  

The Egyptions think that giving women rights is not a good idea

Blogger Positive Dennis March 15, 2013 1:12 AM  

Since the consensus is always wrong, Vox must be right and there is no hyperinflation on the way. Also the world must be flat.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:36 AM  

@ VD

Consider the two following propositions:

A) A randomly selected black individual is likely to have a lower IQ than a randomly selected white individual.

B) A randomly selected black male is likely to be more predisposed to violence than a randomly selected white male

Would you consider these statements "true"? If so, would you consider them scientific? If the former but not the latter under what category of thought would you consider them "true"? Further, if you consider them true then would you also accept that they have a cause, and, if so, what the is the source of that cause?

Anonymous Outlaw X March 15, 2013 1:49 AM  

"With the partial exception of physics, most science that has not yet reached what we might consider its mature state is dynamic and remains incapable of providing predictive models that are much more reliable than those provided by other, non-scientific means."

You will find out different, neither thegod of physics has not a clue. At least they use math as they make stuff up. Crazy is crazy, but they are lying to protect their ground. I don't have a PHD therefore they will not give me the data to do the math.

Anonymous dh March 15, 2013 2:37 AM  

B) A randomly selected black male is likely to be more predisposed to violence than a randomly selected white male

You would have to first assume that there is a such thing as a predisposition to violence. It is not taken that this is real or provable. Propensity, in terms of measurement, is difficult to distinguish from probability.

Anonymous Crude March 15, 2013 3:20 AM  

Would you consider these statements "true"? If so, would you consider them scientific?

How are these scientific statements? They're census data with some rudimentary math analysis.

Anonymous James May March 15, 2013 3:39 AM  

What about "white privilege?" That's a science with well understood mechanics whose effects you can measure and predict just like gravity. For example, it has difficult settings and easy settings. Just ask Dr. John Crawlspace, author of "The Fleagle Brothers Go To the Moon," "Trek Star," and "Fuzzy Tribbles In Trouble 'N' Stuff."

Look for his new novel, "Three Little LGBT Moon Maids Raped Are We," a lively retelling of "The Mikado" with hijinks and rascals galore.

Anonymous Crude March 15, 2013 3:49 AM  

Speaking of the White Privilege thing, this sort of crap had better stop.

Blogger bethyada March 15, 2013 3:57 AM  

It has been years since I read Kuhn but he had many good ideas.

Changes to theories may come about from completely changing the way you think about the data. This is something some (? many) scientists struggle with. Some claim that only people who derive data get to say what it means (which is untrue). Some claim that theories are incorrect because no data supports them when the new theory is using the same data, but the way of seeing the data is completely different. Kuhn's example with the pendulums (if I remember correctly) was excellent.

Some scientists just cannot comprehend alternative interpretations, yet are quick to reject what they fail to understand. Some scientists are concerned about reputation, and fraud is more frequent than many admit. The lying and suppression of others thru gatekeeping, such as journal publications, is shameful.

Science is a reasonable enterprise. Scientists are human with all their foibles—though their dedication to the scientific method frequently blinds them to their pride and error.

Blogger bethyada March 15, 2013 4:00 AM  

Off topic, you may find this article interesting which combines things Italian with conspiracy theorists: Dietrologia

Anonymous James May March 15, 2013 4:46 AM  

I wear a white privilege band on each wrist. One says "Hernan Cortes" and the other "East India Company."

Imagine a baker's dozen of syphilitic 2nd sons with no prospects in their own countries knocking down empires of millions like bowling pins.

If I want to do a 2 minute hate I don't need Wisconsin or VISTA - I have George Orwell for dystopian madness. If I was a student there I'd tell their public education dept. I was moving to a more country with more common sense like China.

Science marches on in Wisconsin.

Anonymous Feh March 15, 2013 6:18 AM  

The book makes Leftists excited because it supports their dogma that there is no such thing as objective truth.

Anonymous Master Splinter March 15, 2013 6:53 AM  

***...those who claim science is Man's most accurate guide to the factual truth are absolutely wrong...***

I think you are wrong here and am reminded of an (apocryphal?) quote by Churchill. "Democracy is the worst system of government except for all the others we've tried". Truth is likely very hard to come by and being "a terrible guide to discovering the factual truth" and the "most accurate guide to the factual truth" are not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 7:21 AM  

Well to be fair I wasn't tearing into Kuhn himself (because to do so I'd have to re-read him, simply to remember what he actually said), I was tearing into the academic culture which congratulates itself rather a bit too much for various rather ripe reasons. As a lad, I read Kuhn at the same time that I was reading Joseph Needham for a different class, and that may have colored my perceptions, hard to tell at this distance.

It's funny, because Kuhn was actually a family friend of my then-girlfriend's family, and I missed two or three opportunities to have dinner with him, where I might have asked him in person to address my questions and critiques, which I can't now even remember what they were. I was a very busy lad at the time.

But again, to me it's about the culture. No ideas but in things. Intellectuals who have no specific scientific training love to use the word "structure" because it sounds "rigorous" to them and makes them believe that their thought has precision when it does not. Believe me, I played this trick on numerous occasions on fairly famous intellectuals, just to get by in classes which bored me, and got the A I expected. They love the word "revolution" because it makes them feel like they are on the right side of Something Important. It makes their little hearts go pit-a-pat. This has to do with the human character of who people are and how they view themselves, not with the substance of what their work means; although over time... well you all know the problem of the "heap". But come on, don't tell me you have never seen this for yourselves.

My new book, "Structuring Revolutions: How the Revolutionary Structure of Structuralist Praxis Critiques Racism, Equity, and Hermeneutics" will be on sale in a month or two.

It's got Krazy Kat on the cover.




Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 7:38 AM  

Here's a thought experiment:

There are two academic books on the market, vying to be assigned on college syllabi all across the land.

One book is called "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions".

The other is called "Why I Think Scientists Sometimes Change Their Minds."

Both books have the exact same identical text, written by Thomas Kuhn.

What are the Vegas odds of which book will be more widely read and assigned?

Blogger Roger March 15, 2013 7:42 AM  

Kuhn's book is fishy because it is an attack on science as being driven by popular fads, not evidence and reason. Yes, he paints a wrong view of science and universities should provide rebuttals.

Marxists especially love the word "revolution".

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 7:56 AM  

"Kuhn's book is fishy because it is an attack on science as being driven by popular fads, not evidence and reason."

The portion of science not driven by popular fads is not scientifically significant.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 7:59 AM  

"I think you are wrong here and am reminded of an (apocryphal?) quote by Churchill. "Democracy is the worst system of government except for all the others we've tried". "

This has been covered at length. Given that not a single nation on earth actually had a government of democracy... its rather easy to dismiss this rhetoric.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 8:01 AM  

and right on cue... Asher tries to turn the conversation to one of his favorite topics.

Anonymous Master Splinter March 15, 2013 8:31 AM  

Nate; the quote was meant to illustrate that something can be both "terrible" and "best" vis a vis science as a truth finding mechanism. No comment on if Churchill was correct about democracy (or if how he meant "democracy" was accurate).

Asher aint me. Not sure if you meant he was though.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 8:38 AM  

Master Splinter... look up at the top of the thread... you'll see Asher being Asher. That... is what I am referring to.

Anonymous Master Splinter March 15, 2013 8:42 AM  

Ha. Didn't see his comment, guess I've learned to overlook them

Anonymous Agent Asper March 15, 2013 8:44 AM  

Asher, once again showing a pronounced chili deficiency.

And where the hell is Spacebunny?

...dammit.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 8:57 AM  

"Ha. Didn't see his comment, guess I've learned to overlook them"

Now that's a blessing...

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 9:07 AM  

> ... guess I've learned to overlook them.

The sign of a well trained mind. :)

Anonymous the abe March 15, 2013 9:13 AM  

Popper was the Lex Luthor to Khun's Clark Kent. There's a breezy toilet session-sized book called "Kuhn vs. Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science (Revolutions in Science)" that sketches out their controversy. Popper contends Khun's thesis is liable to the fallacy of historicism, and that falsification (versus the logical positivist line of verfication) is the fundamental pivot on which science is advanced, as opposed to paradigm shifts.

Anonymous DrTorch March 15, 2013 9:14 AM  

Lots of sciences have valid predictive models. Chemistry, agronomy, materials science, astronomy. Our society wouldn't be as productive if they weren't as productive.

VD's lack of familiarity w/ the field leads him to criticize the overreaching claims and striving for universal theories. The ones that get science journalists (and their largely illiterate, innumerate readers) all jazzed up to believe they know something. His criticisms of these people and their oft-floundering models is well placed, unfortunately he follows their lead and overstates his position.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 15, 2013 9:17 AM  

I think Kuhn does make some important observations, whether or not his total "theory" is accurate.

Yes, scientists work within a framework of ideas, which they are reluctant to question. And sometimes they are forced to change that framework.

And sometimes what happens is that the older scientists leave the scene, and a newer generation simply comes in with a different (not necessarily better) way of looking at things.

Anonymous Lulabelle March 15, 2013 9:18 AM  

Everytime I see an Asher comment, I think ".........Jefferson was not that bad".
I was prohibited from beginning a petition to unban him.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 9:54 AM  

@ dh

You would have to first assume that there is a such thing as a predisposition to violence ... Propensity, in terms of measurement, is difficult to distinguish from probability.

This is about predictive models. If there is a distinct and enduring pattern between population group in something that is measurable then doesn't it make sense to say that individuals in the different groups have predispositions? At some point, probability indicates propensity.

It is not taken that this is real or provable.

At what point of an enduring and distinct pattern would you continue to deny the likelihood of propensity? If there is a distinct and enduring pattern then isn't it likely that this patter indicates some sort of causal mechanism at work?

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 9:59 AM  

Oh hell dh...

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 10:02 AM  

@ Crude

How are these scientific statements? They're census data with some rudimentary math analysis.

A very common understanding of the term "scientific" is that it is about the search for causal mechanisms for the patterns we see. The word "science" comes from the Latin "scientia" simply meaning "knowledge".

Vox has previously posted about large-scale and enduring behavioral differences between blacks and whites, and it is likely that he considers they will continue into the future. If he does, how does he know (scientia) this? Once you start talking about causal mechanisms you're starting to talk about scientia.

One of the things that's interesting is that "science" and "philosophy" used to be virtually interchangeable as references. The Romans would have probably referred to the great Greek philosophers as men of "scientia", meaning knowledge.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 10:08 AM  

@ Nate

and right on cue... Asher tries to turn the conversation to one of his favorite topics.

The issue of behavioral differences is a highly contentious one because in the world outside of this blog admission of such differences indicates that those differences are *caused*. At the point that those differences are admitted to being caused everyone outside this blog will understand that as "science". Vox, being a very smart man, knows this.

What he is doing is playing a double game. He wants to offer analysis that everyone outside this blog considers "science" and he wants that analysis to be impactful. Then, he wants to come in here and scoff at the very sorts of reasoning in which he engages but that others do.

Nate, it is quite evident that your scope of understanding is mind-blowingly narrow, and you almost seem proud of that. Your motto seems to be "ignorant and proud of it".

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 10:12 AM  

@ the abe

Popper was the Lex Luthor to Khun's Clark Kent. There's a breezy toilet session-sized book called "Kuhn vs. Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science (Revolutions in Science)" that sketches out their controversy.

The Australian philosopher David Stove, who was quite the reactionary, wrote a book called Popper and After where he lays out a compelling case of how Popper's rejection of verificationism led inevitably to Kuhn.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 10:20 AM  

'Nate, it is quite evident that your scope of understanding is mind-blowingly narrow, and you almost seem proud of that. Your motto seems to be "ignorant and proud of it"."

Asher... there is a huge difference in being ignorant on a given topic... and being willing to discuss that topic with you.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 10:36 AM  

@ Nate

Of all the comments you've made at this site your knowledge base seems to boil down to guns, bourbon and the Austrian business cycle theory. Besides them you don't appear to know ... anything, at all.

This last comment of yours is a tacit admission of know-nothingism.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 10:38 AM  

your knowledge base seems to boil down to guns, bourbon and the Austrian business cycle theory

You say that like it's a bad thing...

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 10:58 AM  

"Of all the comments you've made at this site your knowledge base seems to boil down to guns, bourbon and the Austrian business cycle theory. Besides them you don't appear to know ... anything, at all."

Asher... you've said a lot of really dumb things... so this isn't the dumbest. It is pretty far up the list though.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 10:59 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 11:00 AM  

"This last comment of yours is a tacit admission of know-nothingism."

No Asher. It isn't. Its an overt admission of my contempt for you personally.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:06 AM  

Asher, you seem to be arguing like a liberal.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:09 AM  

A very common understanding of the term "scientific" is that it is about the search for causal mechanisms for the patterns we see. The word "science" comes from the Latin "scientia" simply meaning "knowledge".

The train is fine.

Also, Asher, have you met Wheeler? I think y'all would get along splendidly.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 11:12 AM  

@ Nate

No Asher. It isn't. Its an overt admission of my contempt for you personally.

That's pretty obvious. Even were I to have contempt for you, personally, which I don't, I would still deem myself responsible to consider when you made a valid point.

That's the difference between us: I am intellectually serious and you are not. In the agora when one participant refused to respond to another the refusant was automatically consider to have conceded the point, i.e. lost.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 11:16 AM  

@ Josh

Asher, you seem to be arguing like a liberal.

If I made such a claim I would substantiate it by explaining *how* the other person was arguing like a liberal. That's the difference between us: I argue for my positions while you throw out pronouncements as if what you say is axiomatically true.

Come to think of it that's how liberals argue ... but you're the one doing it, not I.

Liberals throw out propositions without argument and expect that what they say is so obvious that it doesn't need to be argued for. Josh, that pretty much describes almost every comment you make on this blog: proposition without argument.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:17 AM  

In the agora when one participant refused to respond to another the refusant was automatically consider to have conceded the point, i.e. lost.

Hey, if we take a vote, will you drink hemlock? Because they also did that in the agora. And they also buggered little boys.

So your debate strategy is argumentium ad pedanticum.

I WILL BE SO PEDANTIC THAT YOU WILL GROW BORED WITH ME! ONCE YOU FAIL TO RESPOND, I SHALL DECLARE VICTORY!

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:22 AM  

If I made such a claim I would substantiate it by explaining *how* the other person was arguing like a liberal. That's the difference between us: I argue for my positions while you throw out pronouncements as if what you say is axiomatically true.

Okay, my explanation: because Nate has only talked about x, y, and z, you conclude that he only knows about x, y, and z. Liberals do this all the type, generally along the lines of, "you're stupid because you don't in evolution" or what have you.

Using your logic, we would conclude that you don't know anything except an inordinate amount of philosophy, most of it modern, which you use to engage in embarrassing displays of mental masturbation.

Anonymous Azimus March 15, 2013 11:27 AM  

This post, and this thread, is why I keep coming back to Vos Populi. Err, Vox Popoli.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:30 AM  

Josh, that pretty much describes almost every comment you make on this blog: proposition without argument.

My wisdom is self evident to all.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 11:35 AM  

"If I made such a claim I would substantiate it by explaining *how* the other person was arguing like a liberal. "

No... No you wouldn't. You would likely misunderstand commonly understood phrases and draw some ridiculous conclusion that is totally unrelated to the comment... then... when folks point your error out to you... you would then spend 700 comments explaining why your obvious error wasn't an error.

Which is why you are neither intellectually serious... nor worthy of respect.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 11:36 AM  

@ Josh

Okay, my explanation: because Nate has only talked about x, y, and z, you conclude that he only knows about x, y, and z.

Except for

A) That's all I've ever seen Nate talk about
B) When invited to engage in other topics he refuses.

Liberals do this all the type, generally along the lines of, "you're stupid because you don't in evolution" or what have you.

Except that I'm not expecting Nate to believe in any particular thing. What I am doing is inviting him to engage rationally on other topics and he refuses.

Using your logic, we would conclude that you don't know anything except an inordinate amount of philosophy,

What I do is bring in my prior knowledge of philosophy, much of it not modern, to bear on the subjects being discussed. Much of the discussion at this blog is so contradictory to what is, generally, understood on things like language and the philosophy of mind that much of the discussion would look like mindless babble to outsiders.

The most common liberal tactic is to put their hands in their ears and yell "I'm right, you're wrong, nyah, nyah, nyah" and that is a very similar tactic often employed by the ilk. Yes, there is liberal-like behavior at this blog but it comes from the ilk, not I.

Why do you think I call you guys Jezzies?

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 11:39 AM  

@ Nate

. You would likely misunderstand commonly understood phrases

Those commonly understood phrases are commonly understood HERE at this blog ... and nowhere else. This blog has it's own little, inbred, private culture and the references you're talking about would be considered pure gibberish almost anywhere else.

The gibberish that goes on in these comments section seriously detracts from the value of the posts.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:45 AM  

Except for
A) That's all I've ever seen Nate talk about
B) When invited to engage in other topics he refuses.


A) See, Nate isn't consistently trying to derail the thread into his two favorite topics. Also, lack of interest does not imply lack of knowledge. Also, an acknowledgment of the lack of interest by others does not imply a lack of knowledge. So...I might know a considerable amount about, say, the best way for oilfield companies to finance service operations...however, I'm not going to try and get people here to talk about it because they're probably not interested.

B) with you. And who can blame him? Vox also ignores you, because the idea of being your mental fleshlight is unappealing.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 11:46 AM  

"Except for

A) That's all I've ever seen Nate talk about
B) When invited to engage in other topics he refuses."

Let me edit this for accuracy real quick...

A) That's all I've ever seen Nate talk about and thus I conclude that he has never spoken of anything else.

B) When invited by me to engage in other topics he refuses.

There.

That's better.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:46 AM  

Those commonly understood phrases are commonly understood HERE at this blog ... and nowhere else.

NO ONE ELSE HAS EVER TALKED ABOUT HELL OR THE SUBJECTIVE THEORY OF VALUE EVER YOU GUYS.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 11:47 AM  

@ Nate

when folks point your error out to you...

Those "errors" are due to the fact that I am an outsider who does not adhere to the private, cultish, esoteric discussion of things as they are defined on this blog.

Take my definition of the term "atheist". It's not a definition that Dawkins would like, but he *would* understand it. It's very lucid and easily understood.

But Dawkins would reject my definition. Why? Because it would nail his ass to the wall. He would be forced to admit that almost all the so-called "atheists" really aren't atheists, at all, and his entire house of cards would come crashing down.

I would annihilate Dawkins in a debate - lest you think I'm bragging there are quite a few people out there, like myself, who think along similar lines and they would annihilate him, too. However, if Dawkins and one of the ilk got into a debate it would devolve into a shouting match because you guys speak entirely different languages. I, on the other hand, can speak Dawkins language just fine.

Guess who's going to win that shouting match? Dawkins. Every time. Why? Because his side controls the elite institutions in the West. It's not that Dawkins has better arguments than you, he doesn't. It's that you are speaking completely different languages and Dawkins has all the power on his side.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 11:48 AM  

"Those commonly understood phrases are commonly understood HERE at this blog ..."

Yes... of course... No one else would've understood what "it" was that ran in the family right Asher? Only folks here on this blog right?

And no one outside of this blog would've possibly known what the phrase "send him to Hell" meant... outside of this blog. yes? of course? good.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:49 AM  

Those "errors" are due to the fact that I am an outsider who does not adhere to the private, cultish, esoteric discussion of things as they are defined on this blog.

Oh look you're doing exactly what Nate said you would do.

The science, it is predictive. And this is the peer review.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 11:51 AM  

@ Josh

NO ONE ELSE HAS EVER TALKED ABOUT HELL OR THE SUBJECTIVE THEORY OF VALUE EVER YOU GUYS.

That's pretty much correct. I grew up in conservative, evangelical churches and, even there, hell was rarely talked about. And if it's not being talked about there then it's going to receive much less discussion anywhere else.

As for the subjective theory of value about the only place it gets talked about is by devotees of Mises and Rothbard. So, yes, the subjective theory of value is completely passe, anywhere else. On that one, you guys are talking about something that almost no one else talks about, maybe besides a few Marxist professors who dispute it.

A lot of the stuff you guys talk about is stuff that no one else would even bother to dispute. They'd just walk away if you brought it up.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:51 AM  

However, if Dawkins and one of the ilk got into a debate it would devolve into a shouting match because you guys speak entirely different languages.

You realize that there was was this whole book called the irrational atheist that did just what you said couldn't be done, right?

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:54 AM  

That's pretty much correct. I grew up in conservative, evangelical churches and, even there, hell was rarely talked about. And if it's not being talked about there then it's going to receive much less discussion anywhere else.

I must bow to your anecdote.

Obviously the controversy over love wins never happened then.

Because you assure us that no one has ever discussed hell.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 11:54 AM  

"I would annihilate Dawkins in a debate - lest you think I'm bragging there are quite a few people out there, like myself, who think along similar lines and they would annihilate him, too."

/facepalm

Dear God... the idiot thinks winning a debate against Dawkins is something to brag about...

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:55 AM  

As for the subjective theory of value about the only place it gets talked about is by devotees of Mises and Rothbard. So, yes, the subjective theory of value is completely passe, anywhere else.

So...since other websites and literature, conferences, etc talk about it, the ilk aren't the only ones talking about it. Nice way to detonate your own argument.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 11:57 AM  

"That's pretty much correct. I grew up in conservative, evangelical churches and, even there, hell was rarely talked about. And if it's not being talked about there then it's going to receive much less discussion anywhere else."

its not a discussion of hell you mongoloid. Its a colloquialism.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 11:59 AM  

its not a discussion of hell you mongoloid. Its a colloquialism.

Asher is now going to write ten comments in a row either on the history of colloquiallisms or ten comments in a row about his ancestry to show that he is not Mongolian.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:06 PM  

@ Josh

See, Nate isn't consistently trying to derail the thread into his two favorite topics.

Except much of the discussion that goes on here is done so in a manner that is highly at odds with how things are discussed elsewhere. It's not that you guys reach different conclusions, it's that the very manner of discourse is fundamentally different. The reason seems to be that the entire western discourse over the past century or so seems to be completely ignored here, as if it just never happened.

That ignorance seriously detracts from the many good points that do get made.

So, I am not so much derailing the conversation as I am pointing out that the topics being discussed need a much better presentation if they are going to be accepted anywhere else. Talking about "the subjective theory of value" and "objective truth" are just going to make other people walk away from otherwise good points.

Also, lack of interest does not imply lack of knowledge.

Of course it does. If you're not interested in learning about something then you're not like to pay enough attention to it to acquire any knowledge about it.

I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and I have known others like myself. I know what such a person acts and how they talk. You come across as someone with a very narrow focus and a desire to enact your hatred of government. Other than that, you do not appear interested in gaining knowledge, in the slightest.

That's fine. Most average people are not very intellectually curious and are mainly concerned with the diversions of daily life. Just don't pretend you're interested in learning about the world when you're not.

.I might know a considerable amount about, say, the best way for oilfield companies to finance service operations...however, I'm not going to try and get people here to talk about it because they're probably not interested.

You just compared knowledge of a specific application to knowledge of the general history of western thought. You're comparing apples an oranges. Modern philosophy is *immediately relevant* to every single thing discussed on this blog, where as oil financing is not. Lots of what you say, Nate, has been addressed elsewhere in great detail and you are just ignorant of it. I am pointing out these other discussions regarding the same stuff you're discussing, conversations of which many others are aware.

Your basic tactic is to put your fingers in your ears and yell "la la la, I can't hear you".

Anonymous CaptDMO March 15, 2013 12:08 PM  

"We have a word for science that is actually reliable, and that word is "engineering"."

Alas, when the feble minded are consistantly vanquised in the war of words, they have no further recourse than sinister appropriation of the spoils of the dexterous victor.
Hence:
"Social" engineering, (and "sciences").
"Womens" rights,
Affirmative action,
and of course...
Political "correctness".

Never mind the pernitious "new rules" concerning the goal posts of what words actually represent, AFTER they've been at least aggreed to by consensus, and carved in stone.

This is why I continue the practice of discrimination and...um....intellectual intercourse from a (here, electronic) podium, though NOT from a lectern.
Alas, I STILL can't get a firm grasp on the "Well, you're a big poopy-pants..." rebuttal at ALL.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:11 PM  

@ Josh

Vox also ignores you, because the idea of being your mental fleshlight is unappealing

Vox writes novels and seems quite involved in reading them, as well. i don't think I've read nonfiction in ten, maybe fifteen, years. Aside from economics, my scope of knowledge is almost certainly far broader than his.

His claim that the distinction between rhetoric and dialectic was of an analytic nature was ... risible. The current consensus of analytic truth is that there is no such thing outside of arguments of pure logic ala "a is a". Other than that, all truths and distinctions are synthetic.

Vox could probably get away with making that sort of claim in different company. I assure you that you could not, and if you tried to follow his lead you'd end up getting laughed out of the room.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:13 PM  

@ Nate

That's all I've ever seen Nate talk about and thus I conclude that he has never spoken of anything else.

It's a very reasonable inference given that you refuse to broaden a discussion when invited to consider additional factors and arguments.

I am perfectly happy to consider additional factors and arguments as they deepen the conversation and make any conclusions more substantial. You, on the other hand, put your fingers in your ears and yell "la la la I can't hear you".

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 12:16 PM  

Modern philosophy is *immediately relevant* to every single thing discussed on this blog, 

How so?

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:17 PM  

@ Nate

And no one outside of this blog would've possibly known what the phrase "send him to Hell" meant... outside of this blog. yes? of course? good.

from what discussions I've had involving hell that I've had the main impression I get is that most people consider "hell" some strange idea people had a long time ago that no one can figure out, today, sort of like the classical element of aether.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:17 PM  

"Of course it does. If you're not interested in learning about something then you're not like to pay enough attention to it to acquire any knowledge about it."

No you blithering idiot. That is not what he means. He IS interested in it. It is his JOB.

But he is NOT interested in discussing it here... because he knows that others are not interested in it.

There is a difference between being interested in a given topic... and being interested in discussing that topic. For example... I may know a great deal about carving human feces into various shapes. Never the less... I know that most folks don't like to discuss such things... so I don't bother discussing it here with them.

Retard.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:17 PM  

"from what discussions I've had involving hell that I've had the main impression I get is that most people consider "hell" some strange idea people had a long time ago that no one can figure out, today, sort of like the classical element of aether."

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 12:19 PM  

DrTorch March 15, 2013 9:14 AM

Lots of sciences have valid predictive models. Chemistry, agronomy, materials science, astronomy. Our society wouldn't be as productive if they weren't as productive.

VD's lack of familiarity w/ the field leads him to criticize the overreaching claims and striving for universal theories. The ones that get science journalists (and their largely illiterate, innumerate readers) all jazzed up to believe they know something. His criticisms of these people and their oft-floundering models is well placed, unfortunately he follows their lead and overstates his position.


The original quote:

"With the partial exception of physics, most science that has not yet reached what we might consider its mature state is dynamic and remains incapable of providing predictive models that are much more reliable than those provided by other, non-scientific means."

Is this not a perfect example of problems with reading comprehension?

Anonymous DrTorch March 15, 2013 12:25 PM  

Darn, up until 11:16, Asher was schooling you all.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:27 PM  

@ Josh

You realize that there was was this whole book called the irrational atheist that did just what you said couldn't be done, right?

Having not read the book I will assume that Vox exposed the irrationality and incoherence of people like Dawkins. One handed clap. Not tough to do. Now, what was the impact of that book on the broader culture? Has it unalterably changed the course of western thought?

Look back at my initial comment on this post where I asked Vox about his stance on racial differences. We all agree that they exist and that they have some sort of cause, right? What is the source of that cause? God or evolution? See, if there is no evolution then God created differences between populations from the dawn of time and do you not see a big problem there?

The most likely outcome to defeating Dawkins in the way that Vox would like to see him defeated is an even further cementing of racial equalism - that there are no differences between groups. If you listen at all to conservative talk radio almost every major talker rejects even the possibility of racial differences.

The problem with the Irrational Atheist is that in defeating those atheists it ends up creating more problems, different problems, than it solves.

That's what I call an own goal.

Anonymous DrTorch March 15, 2013 12:28 PM  

Pinakeli you embarass yourself. If you're calling out reading comprehension, you bolded the wrong sections. This is what I was addressing "and remains incapable of providing predictive models that are much more reliable than those provided by other, non-scientific means."

If the sentences are too long for you, then just don't post.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:28 PM  

@ Josh

So...since other websites and literature, conferences, etc talk about it, the ilk aren't the only ones talking about it. Nice way to detonate your own argument.

The cult of Mises and Rothbard is quite a bit bigger than just VP but that doesn't make it any less a cult.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 12:30 PM  

Having not read the book I will assume

See...you keep doing this to yourself...you should probably stop...

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:31 PM  

"The reason seems to be that the entire western discourse over the past century or so seems to be completely ignored here, as if it just never happened."

Has it ever occurred to you that you're not actually saying anything new? Has it crossed your mind... that in the 10 or so years this blog has been in existence... that we maybe possibly could have already addressed in very lengthy conversations the same stuff you're bring up now?

And if it DID cross your mind... did it give you pause?

Did you maybe consider that we've been down these same roads before and therefore aren't particularly interested in re-hashing the same stuff all over again?

Did it ever cross your mind that you are just boring the hell out of us by regurgitating the same crap countless others have gouted before you?

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 12:31 PM  

The cult of Mises and Rothbard is quite a bit bigger than just VP but that doesn't make it any less a cult.

But see, my aspie friend, you said we were the only ones talking about it. If there are others, we cannot be the only ones.

This is called basic logic.

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick March 15, 2013 12:32 PM  

I may know a great deal about carving human feces into various shapes.

WTF man! You gonna give me nightmares.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 12:35 PM  

DrTorch

I embarass no one but you here. The bolded section modify the predictive section. He never stated that the actual mature sciences have predictive problems, only those that are not mature

We may disagree on which those are, but the statement as written is correct.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:37 PM  

"Having not read the book I will assume that Vox exposed the irrationality and incoherence of people like Dawkins."

...

You said something about being intellectually serious.... and then you said this.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:40 PM  

"WTF man! You gonna give me nightmares."

its not true obviously... I was trying to think of a topic that literally no one would ever be interested in discussing... and that's what I came up with.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:42 PM  

@ Josh

How so?

Modern philosophy is a reflection of the modern world. Philosophy is, in large part, cultural understanding and criticism. Lots of conservatives, reactionaries, etc, seem to think that all the good little people of all social classes were just minding their own business and along come those stupid cutural marxists and ruined everything for everyoone else.

That's not what happened.

Even discussions of language by the ilk reflect, unintentionally, part of modern philosophy. The standard take on language by the ilk is virtually identical to the logical postivists, a modernist school of philosophy. You guys evince adherence to large parts of modernity and modern philosophies and when I point it out to you the response I get is "la la la I can't hear you".

In order to reject modern philosophy you have to reject modernity in its totality and I don't see any indication that you're willing to do that. I don't recall where, but I read a paper that pretty conclusively demonstrated that the rise of a nation-state anywhere and everywhere is soon followed by fractional reserve banking. This strongly indicates that if you want to live somewhere without fractional reserve banking then you're going to have to propose an alternative to the nation-state AND acquire the power to implement it.

That is just a fraction of the things that you guys haven't considered and there is an ocean of that stuff out there.

Let's take Mises. He offered an excellent critique of socialism and totalitarianism. He probably thought that as his ideas spread people would realize their errors and correct them. Guess what, those ideas have been floating in circulation for a century, more really, and they haven't had the impact Mises probably thought they would. Why not?

The explanation, here, seems to be that it's just because there are a lot of really "bad" people. But that's the easy way out, it's easy to label anyone who disagrees with you as "bad", but it's not likely to change anything for the better. Liberals have their own definition of "bad", well, you guys. So, it just ends up boiling down to a shouting match, which the liberals will win because they have power on their side.

Anonymous DrTorch March 15, 2013 12:44 PM  

No Pinkanelli- that statement is not correct. And neither is your understanding of the sentence.

The sentence is not difficult to understand as written. It is however, not correct. Several sciences beyond phyics are mature enough to make reliable preductions. It may very well be right in suggesting that "most science" is still incapable of that.

And you may not have embarassed yourself, b/c fools don't usually recognize their folly.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:45 PM  

"Guess what, those ideas have been floating in circulation for a century, more really, and they haven't had the impact Mises probably thought they would. Why not?

The explanation, here, seems to be that it's just because there are a lot of really "bad" people. "

No Asher. That is not the explanation here. The explanation here is that there were competeting ideas that appealed more to people, particularly people in power, and thus, they won out not based on truth, but based on the the fact that the ideas told folks exactly what they wanted to hear.

We are pointing out that those ideas... so in vogue... are... and were... wrong.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:48 PM  

@ Nate

There is a difference between being interested in a given topic... and being interested in discussing that topic.

Part of being interested in a topic involves discussing that topic and arguing various positions to see what works and what doesn't. BTW, that comment was directed at you, not at Vox. I don't see you being very interested in knowledge.

I may know a great deal about carving human feces into various shapes. Never the less... I know that most folks don't like to discuss such things...

Great. Now you've just compared a general understanding of the history of western thought with carving feces. Good look getting any traction outside these environs.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Here's an invitation: go to some moderately classy bar where the average patron has a college degree and try and start a conversation about hell. See what happens.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 12:52 PM  

> Of all the comments you've made at this site your knowledge base seems to boil down to guns, bourbon and the Austrian business cycle theory...

Easily disprovable. Hey, Nate. how will the Titans and Crimson Tide do this year?

> Why do you think I call you guys Jezzies?

Why do you think you're called an Aspie?

> The gibberish that goes on in these comments section seriously detracts from the value of the posts.

Then don't read or participate in the comments. Problem solved.

> Aside from economics, my scope of knowledge is almost certainly far broader than his.

Unlikely. AFAICT, you can't match him in any of history, music, or business. And your language skills speak for themselves.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:53 PM  

"Here's an invitation: go to some moderately classy bar where the average patron has a college degree and try and start a conversation about hell. See what happens."

You blithering idiot of a mongoloid... it was never a discussion about Hell.

it was a colloquialism. You still don't get that.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:53 PM  

@ Pinakeli

Okay, I can probably surmise that, according to you, 2000 years ago physics was not a science, but today it is. Can you name the specific minute that physics changed from being a "nonscience" to a "science"? What sort of criteria are there to distinguish one from the other? What are your criteria for engineering?

The problem is that the very moment you begin to try and define those things you already have a standard upon which to judge those other disciplines and, further, you can distinguish things in them that are more science-y than others.

It's not that DrTorch has lack of reading comprehension it's that what Vox is saying is so far outside the mainstream that it's almost like reading an alien language.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:54 PM  

"Unlikely. AFAICT, you can't match him in any of history, music, or business. And your language skills speak for themselves."

Not to mention little things like... major advancements in consumer computing technology. But hey... who needs sound cards...

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 12:55 PM  

DrTorcherer

I guess this is what I get for arguing with morons!

Physics is not fully mature, but yet has a fairly good predictive model. Those that you named are fairly mature sciences. They also have pretty good predictive models. You have mode no point except to show your own ignorance.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 12:56 PM  

"Easily disprovable. Hey, Nate. how will the Titans and Crimson Tide do this year?"

or you could've asked me about say... World History... American history... southern history specifically... or the air speed velocity of unladen swallows... European swallows... of course.

Anonymous Josh March 15, 2013 12:58 PM  

Why are you uninterested in African swallows?

Raciss!

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 12:58 PM  

@ Josh

See...you keep doing this to yourself...you should probably stop...

I have read some reviews of the book and they reflect criticisms of the New Atheists that have been in circulation for some time. What Vox wrote is not new and revolutionary, it's just that he was the first one to decide to put it into a book. Plenty of others have made the same types of criticisms of the New Atheists and many of them to agnostics or, even, atheists.

I don't have to read a particular book to get a feel for what it's saying. Most books are not groundbreaking but are drawn from already existing lines of thought. Also, you miss the point that the Irrational Atheist raises more problems than it solves.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 1:01 PM  

> Has it crossed your mind... that in the 10 or so years this blog has been in existence... that we maybe possibly could have already addressed in very lengthy conversations the same stuff you're bring up now?

That would be an obvious no, Nate. We've already had that conversation. Asher thinks he's the only one of us who's ever thought these matters through and that his horizons are much broader than ours.

> You guys evince adherence to large parts of modernity and modern philosophies and when I point it out to you the response I get is "la la la I can't hear you".

And modern philosophy obviously sprang ex-nihilo from the brains of modern philosophers, being completely unconnected from anything which came before it. And he wonders why I call him Junior.

> Part of being interested in a topic involves discussing that topic and arguing various positions to see what works and what doesn't.

It may. It may not. It depends entirely on the person involved. And not all topics require argument. Some require experimentation.

> Here's an invitation: go to some moderately classy bar where the average patron has a college degree and try and start a conversation about hell.

What makes you think the average person here doesn't have a college degree?

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:02 PM  

By the way... to answer the questions... The Titans will struggle. Possibly sneak into the playoffs based more on the weakness of the conference than their own quality.

The Tide... is actually going to be significantly better next year than they were last. In fact... last year was considered a re-building year around here. The Defense was incredibly young.

I suspect that should leave more than one college football with a warm flow of liquid pooling at his feet.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 1:03 PM  

"Let's take Mises. He offered an excellent critique of socialism and totalitarianism."

And just the other day I offered an excellent critique of strawberry ice cream. My conclusion? It's deee-licious!

Funny, I wasn't aware that Asher was the author of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." This thread is about the guy who wrote that book. Therefore, logically, Asher must be that guy.

See what I did there?

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:03 PM  

"What makes you think the average person here doesn't have a college degree?"

One wonders what makes him think the average commentor here doesn't.

And yet we've had discussions about hell...

Bizarre.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:04 PM  

"See what I did there?"

I chuckled. I confess.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:05 PM  

@ Nate

Has it ever occurred to you that you're not actually saying anything new?

What I am saying is definitely not new but it needs to be stated and restated and restated until it sinks in. If you reject modernity, in its entirety, then all of the good ideas at this blog will go entirely to waste.

@ Josh

But see, my aspie friend, you said we were the only ones talking about it.

My initial comment about mises and Rothbard was "As for the subjective theory of value about the only place it gets talked about is by devotees of Mises and Rothbard.". At no point did I say the cult of Mises and Rothbard was restricted to VP.

Bone up on your reading comprehension, kiddo.

I did say "A lot of the stuff you guys talk about is stuff that no one else would even bother to dispute." but that was a reference to the overall cult of Mises and Rothbard, not just VP, in particular.

Learn to read.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 1:06 PM  

And I will point out that calling something a science dowsn't make it a science (Dianetics).

If it can't make an accurate prediction it is either not a science, or if is maybe just not a mature science (as stated in the above).

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 1:06 PM  

> ...according to you, 2000 years ago physics was not a science, but today it is.

Asher, ask yourself this: When was the scientific method formalized? Wikipedia will do fine for the answer. Then think about your question again.

Yeah, I know, but...

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:07 PM  

"I did say "A lot of the stuff you guys talk about is stuff that no one else would even bother to dispute."

Wait...

Doesn't that mean they concede?

Don't answer Asher. It wasn't actually a question. it was just an insult.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:07 PM  

@ Pinkareli

Does a field have to be able to predict everything possible in order to be "science"? In defining science as engineering that's almost the standard Vox is setting up for something to be considered science.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:10 PM  

@ Nate

You said something about being intellectually serious.... and then you said this.

By your standard one would have to read every single book ever written to be considered intellectually serious.

Have you ever read Keynes General Theory? It's a yes or no question. Have you ever read Das Kapital? It's a yes or no question.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 1:10 PM  

"Why do you think I call you guys Jezzies?"

Where I come from, the word "Jezzie" is mildly derogatory slang for Jesuit. Apparently Asher uses it as a word for people who hang out at the website Jezebel, which I've never seen.

Is anyone aware whether that is a commonly-understood usage over there, or anywhere else? Or is it Asher's private language, just more of Asher's solipsism and narcissism? (Yes, I know they're different, please don't lecture me.)

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:10 PM  

Does anyone else note the irony of someone that can't communicate effectively on the most basic level... trying to give advice to others on communication?

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 1:13 PM  

> Does anyone else note the irony...

Frequently.

Anonymous JartStar March 15, 2013 1:13 PM  

I was wondering when Asher would show back up and deride the blog, the Ilk, and Vox. Of course the topic would then turn immediately back to his favorite: Asher.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:17 PM  

@ Nate

The explanation here is that there were competeting ideas that appealed more to people,

Has it ever occurred to you to stop and ask why those ideas are so appealing to so many?

but based on the the fact that the ideas told folks exactly what they wanted to hear.

Since you admit that the ideas aren't the cause themselves then you're admitting that lots of people are already disposed to accept those ideas. You're standing to come to the same understanding I was coming to at around nineteen years old.

Can you draw the obvious conclusion from understanding that the ideas, themselves, aren't the cause?

it was a colloquialism. You still don't get that.

Then it was a private colloqualism, of relevance only to the ilk. I can't be expected to pick up on a colloqualism that is restricted to a small circle to which I am not privy.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:17 PM  

"Have you ever read Keynes General Theory? It's a yes or no question. Have you ever read Das Kapital? It's a yes or no question."

For fucks sake.. Of course I've read Das Kapital... I even nominated Marx for a lifetime achievement award for Advancements in the art of the run on sentence!

And yes... I have also read John Maynard's General Theory.

As for your previous statement. No. You don't have to have read every book. You just have to know enough not to comment on books you haven't read.


Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:19 PM  

"Since you admit that the ideas aren't the cause themselves then you're admitting that lots of people are already disposed to accept those ideas. You're standing to come to the same understanding I was coming to at around nineteen years old."

Mongoloid... gonna mongoloid.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 1:19 PM  

@Asher

First, you don't want to start playing the misspelled name game, yours is way too easy.

Does a field have to be able to predict everything possible in order to be "science"? In defining science as engineering that's almost the standard Vox is setting up for something to be considered science.

I never said that a field had to predict everything possible and you know it. I said that a mature science will have fairly accurate predictions. If it doesn't it is either not mature, or not a science.

I don't see how this is hard to understand.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:21 PM  

@ James Dixon

And modern philosophy obviously sprang ex-nihilo from the brains of modern philosophers,

Just a few sentences earlier in that comment I noted that modern philosophy reflects the modern world, indicating that modern philosophy does not spring ex-nihilo from the minds of modern philosophers. You have shit reading comprehension.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:22 PM  

"Then it was a private colloqualism, of relevance only to the ilk. I can't be expected to pick up on a colloqualism that is restricted to a small circle to which I am not privy"

No. You're just an idiot.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:24 PM  

@ Nate

Doesn't that mean they concede?

yes, it does. They will concede and the 99.99 percent of the rest of us that doesnt care about such things will go on not caring about them. The difference is that the subjective theory of value isn't relevant to anything anyone else is saying whereas the objections I bring to this blog are relevant to the outside world in relation to the subjects discussed here.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 1:24 PM  

Since the topic is now going to be all-singing, all-dancing, non-stop 24/7 Asher, we may as well all do our impersonations.

"Does anyone else note the irony"

The word "irony" derives from the proto-Celtic "iarn", meaning the metal iron, and since iron is incapable of being paradoxically funny, I have logically concluded that irony cannot exist. Ha ha, you have made a fool of yourself in your total ignorance. No one else here is laughing except me, but trust me, it is hilarious, and the reason you don't understand it is because the ilk speak in an esoteric cult language. I have read many books on the topic of hilarity, and I know more about it than you and Vox. Also, I have read many books on the discovery of iron. If you understood how important iron is to the development of modernity, then you would not make jokes about it, and since it is incapable of making jokes about you, I have proven that "irony" cannot exist. I have also read a great deal on the natural history of ladybugs. I am very smart. Ask me about how smart I am some time, and I will explain it for 30,000 straight comments.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 1:25 PM  

> Just a few sentences earlier in that comment I noted that modern philosophy reflects the modern world, indicating that modern philosophy does not spring ex-nihilo from the minds of modern philosophers. You have shit reading comprehension.

Given this splendid example of what you consider good reading comprehension, I'll take that as a compliment.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:27 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

I didn't come up with the term. It's been in use for awhile in the various blogs called the manosphere. I think I may have picked it up at Dalrock's.

Anyways, I point it out when you guys start "arguing" like hysterical feminists.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 1:29 PM  

> ...we may as well all do our impersonations.

Way too much accurate information, Scoobius.

Asher starts with a very slim sliver of truth, which he then hides in the center of a neverending forest of unrelated concepts and claims. All to claim that someone else is wrong or that an obviously wrong claim on his part is correct.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 1:29 PM  

scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 1:24 PM

The word "irony" derives from the proto-Celtic "iarn", meaning the metal iron, and since iron is incapable of being paradoxically funny, I have logically concluded that irony cannot exist.


But "irony" replace "coppery" because it was easier to say "ironic" than "copperonic".

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:30 PM  

Asher... its been weeks since anyone has actually argued with you. We're not arguing... we're not discussing... we're not debating.

We don't have enough respect for you to bother with any of those things.

We are insulting you. We are using you for a chew toy for our amusement. When we get bored of the chewing... we just walk off. We don't care.

You bring nothing. You add nothing. You contribute nothing but a little low brow entertainment from your continued squeaking.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:37 PM  

@ Pinakeli

It was an honest typo. I don't play those pathetic cheapo type of games; that's woman crap.

I said that a mature science will have fairly accurate predictions.

I can predict that on a vast array of tests involving intellectual acumen blacks will score one SD lower than whites. This has been the case for over a century and I am confident it will be the case for the foreseeable future.

Is that a scientific statement? I mean, it is robustly predictive.

Anonymous Agent Asper March 15, 2013 1:38 PM  

I need to go to prison now!

Make sure the cashier is dead!

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:40 PM  

@ Nate

You bring nothing. You add nothing.

What's so amusing is that I am the only commenter who's actually trying to discuss the question "What is science?" The only one.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:48 PM  

"What's so amusing is that I am the only commenter who's actually trying to discuss the question "What is science?" The only one."

Right. Now take it one step further. What would we be discussing if YOU weren't here?

Acutally we'd be discussing science and what it is or isn't.

See Asher... the problem is... we don't want to discuss anything... with you. Because you have demonstrated over and over again that you are incapable of discussion on an intellectually honest level.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 1:49 PM  

@Asher

Thank you. I guess the other guy started it. And Tard was really annoying about it. That's is just one more reason that I stopped engaging him before he went away.

No, that is not a scientific statement. Unless you have created a new science no one else in the world knows about. I can predict that a child will eat chocolate today, but that is not science. And I think that is the point that Vox was making. Sometimes there are predictions made that are far more accurate that the science that is making a different prediction.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 1:56 PM  

"Sometimes there are predictions made that are far more accurate that the science that is making a different prediction."

ding ding ding

Predictions made using historical analysis for example.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 1:57 PM  

"I am the only commenter who's actually trying to discuss the question "What is science?"

Actually, being the person who apparently started all this, I have to say that I'm not the least bit interested in the root question "what is science?" I get in an elevator and it works. I assume it isn't magic. Good enough for me.

What I'm concerned about is a culture of thinkers who arrogate unto themselves (hey look! your favorite word! and somebody else knows how to use it too!) the shiny theatrical costume of science, and use it for purposes which I find stupid at best, but probably more like malevolent. Which is not a blanket condemnation of science, and also, before you get recursive on me, yes I know that in order to complain about fake science it would be advisable to have a working definition. I don't care. This is a blog, not an academic conference. I came here to complain.

--I want to complain!
--YOU want to complain? Look at these shoes, only 'ad 'em three weeks and the heels have worn right through. If you complain, nothing 'appens so you may as well not bother.

Yes, I know. The thing that tickles me is that Asher has wandered into "Being Hit on the Head Lessons" next door, and he's been there for weeks, and still thinks he's at a lecture podium instead.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 1:58 PM  

@ Nate

Right. Now take it one step further. What would we be discussing if YOU weren't here?

Acutally we'd be discussing science and what it is or isn't.


I see no evidence for that. Why would my presence, here, prevent you from discussing science? "Oh, my God, the big, bad Asher is here. Must wait to discuss science until he leaves." Right.

you have demonstrated over and over again that you are incapable of discussion on an intellectually honest level.

A great deal of the discussion that goes on at VP is mindless babble and I have zero tolerance for mindless babble. When I point out that something is incoherent, mindless babble that does not mean I am an ineffective communicator.

I answer direct questions, Nate, you do not. It is you who is intellectually dishonest, not I.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 2:06 PM  

"I see no evidence for that. Why would my presence, here, prevent you from discussing science? "Oh, my God, the big, bad Asher is here. Must wait to discuss science until he leaves." Right."

/facepalm No asher. There are plenty of topics we enjoy discussing. We just don't enjoy discussing them... with you. Because you're incapable of discussing them... without turning it into a pedantic pathetic mental masturbation session.

"A great deal of the discussion that goes on at VP is mindless babble and I have zero tolerance for mindless babble."

If you can't tolerate it... then why are you here? Believe me... no one will miss you. We miss Tad more than we'll miss you.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:08 PM  

@ Pinakeli

I can predict that a child will eat chocolate today,

I can't believe you conflated widespread patterns among populations with specific behaviors of specific individuals. I'll bet I could make a good overall prediction of how many pounds of chocholate will be consumed by children today and offer a probability of any particular child consuming chocolate. Is that science?

Which brings us to ....

Unless you have created a new science no one else in the world knows about.

This is an outmoded view of human understanding. Understanding is not broken down into distinct fields that are autonomous from each other. There is really no such thing as a particular scientific field. What there is are statements that are scientific and statements that are not. If a statement has a robust predictive power to predict particular outcomes then it is scientific.

Let's go back to your statement that you can predict that "a child" will eat chocolate. In fact, no "a child" will ever eat chocolate because "a child" does not refer to any particular child, it is an abstraction of thought. I have never seen "a child" but I have seen particular children and can tell you whether or not they are eating chocolate.

Further, my initial line of questioning began with asking whether or not racial differences in IQ were "true". If "true" were they "scientific". If "true" but not "scientific" then under what category of thinking or experience are they true? See, Vox's blanket rejection of "science" leads to the weird paradox of observing that something is obviously true but that the observation is not scientific.

There is a solution to this: there are no scientific fields, only scientific statements.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:12 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

I know that in order to complain about fake science it would be advisable to have a working definition.

I have a working definition for science: the best available physical definition that best fits, predicts and explains the observable facts.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:14 PM  

@ Nate

There are plenty of topics we enjoy discussing. We just don't enjoy discussing them... with you.

Missing the point. I see no one else discussing science but me, and, now Pinakeli. Why don't you go on and have a discussion of science with Josh? What's stopping you?

Because you're incapable of discussing them... without turning it into a pedantic pathetic mental masturbation session.

I'm perfectly capable of discussing things that aren't mindless babble, like the Mises and Rothbard crap. All the supposed "mental masturbation" is just me pointing out stuff that is mindless babble.

Anonymous Dan in Tx March 15, 2013 2:21 PM  

What was the topic of this blog post again?

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:22 PM  

Nate

I began this post by asking particularly relevant questions involving what is science. You are the one who derailed it.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 2:25 PM  

"I have a working definition for science: the best available physical definition that best fits, predicts and explains the observable facts."

So in your view, Ptolemy was science?

I'm not going to pounce on you if you say yes. I'm just, for perhaps the first time ever, interested to hear what you think.


Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:28 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

Ptolemy was science at the time. It is not now. Notice that my definition uses is an explicit reference to any one particular time, but not others.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 2:32 PM  

@Nate

Thank you. At least someone is paying attention!

@Asher

I use an illustration to prove a point (which other got, by the way) and you want to go off on a tangent about the illustration. Have you never heard of "thought experiment"?

The point is that predictions don't need the backing of science to be true. And when a prediction goes against the science and still proves true it is the science that need to be re-examined.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 2:36 PM  

"I began this post by asking particularly relevant questions involving what is science. You are the one who derailed it."

No Asher. You are doing what you always do... you're trying to steer the conversation to one of your favorite topics so you can jerk off in front of everyone.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:40 PM  

@ Pinakeli

Have you never heard of "thought experiment"?

Sure. But there can be inept thought experiments.

The point is that predictions don't need the backing of science to be true. And when a prediction goes against the science and still proves true it is the science that need to be re-examined.

but this is question-begging, since we don't have a definition of science to begin with. I mean if a claim is contradicted by evidence then is it scientific? Was it ever scientific to begin with? My definition of science cuts through all of those questions.

What Vox is doing is making a psychological argument about slapping the label of science in a manner that gives authority to claims that do not warrant it. I approve of this.

Anonymous Dan in Tx March 15, 2013 2:40 PM  

Pinakeli:"I use an illustration to prove a point (which other got, by the way) and you want to go off on a tangent about the illustration."

He's good at going off an tangents. Here's how it usually works: response will include a request for the definition of something we all know the meaning of followed by more straining at some sort of minutia of detail and so on and so forth and when you shake your head and walk away he declares he won.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 2:43 PM  

"Ptolemy was science at the time."

It's a view that is not unusual. My view is that there was no such thing as science at the time. I think this may have been why reading Joseph Needham made me mad at Kuhn. The Chinese had a superabundance of technical and technological knowledge, but they didn't have science. I believe that in order for science to exist, rather than just clever guessing, a certain critical mass must be achieved in knowledge and systems of thought. Although plenty of what I'd call proto-scientific work existed prior to say the seventeenth century, I would say that science didn't really begin to exist properly until Newton propounded the laws of motion.

Ptolemy made up a model, which he basically pulled out of his ass, based on centuries of raw astronomical data. He had no idea why what he said might be true, or ought to be true. There is no good reason for why epicycles ought to exist, other than that you can form up a scheme with them which matches the data. But the data existed independently. Epicycles violate the laws of motion because there is no mass at the center of an epicycle, so it can't exist. Granted Ptolemy didn't know this, but his counter-explanation was based on nothing: appeals to authority, conjectures that spheres are for some reason "perfect", stuff like that.

Ptolemy was a body of knowledge at the time. But it wasn't science in my view, just as nothing today is a brontosaurus, because we simply don't have brontosauruses these days. I can give you a plastic toy brontosaurus, like that guy used to have on "Ethel the Frog," but it wouldn't be a real brontosaurus, just a model.

Blogger Longstreet March 15, 2013 2:43 PM  

A bit OT, but...

The Tide... is actually going to be significantly better next year than they were last. In fact... last year was considered a re-building year around here. The Defense was incredibly young.

I suspect that should leave more than one college football with a warm flow of liquid pooling at his feet.


Eh, maybe. I hear that a lot of Tide fans have big red circles drawn around September 14, 2013.

Gig 'em.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:44 PM  

@ Nate

The general notion that people have of science is taht it is about making predictions and modeling behavior. I can predict that ten years from now black populations will be scoring roughly one SD lower than white populations in a large array of tests involving mental acumen.

How is that not about science? It involves making predictions and modeling behavior.

See, Nate, what you want to do is provide a model of science that still allows for metaphysical speculation, ala the existence of God as "objective truth". I don't see any reason for that, since God does or does not exist regardless of any scientific claims.

That said, if IQ differences between racial groups are not the product of divergent evolution then God made those racial differences and that's going to end up having a lot of people believing in God ... and actively hating Him. You tell me which is the worse outcome.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 2:51 PM  

Dan in Tx March 15, 2013 2:40 PM

He's good at going off an tangents.


I know. I was actually calling out the other idiot when he jumped in.

And I probably would not have bothered anyway except that I needed to vent a bit over someone here at work leaving with a critical shipment not even packed.

I'm going to go do something more important for a while. I may be back later if I have time.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 2:51 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

I believe that in order for science to exist, rather than just clever guessing, a certain critical mass must be achieved in knowledge and systems of thought.

But that still begs the question "what is science". What's the quanta of that critical mass? Who measures it? Consider the two following propositions:

A) IQ differences between blacks and whites are the product of a history of slavery and oppression
B) IQ differences between blacks and whites are the product of divergent evolution

Are these two statements equally outside the realm of science? The first one clearly denies any physical role in IQ differences. But there is a distinct and pervasive pattern that has lasted since measuring began and that is likely to last well into the future. If there are no physical causes then there must be non-physical, i.e. metaphysical, causes.

If there are metaphysical causes then what are the natures of those causes?

See, my explanation cuts through all of that. It simply defines a statement as scientific if is the best availlable model that best fits, explains and predicts the facts.

BTW Karl Popper considered early religion a form of science. Consider the myth of the world being on the back of a large turtle. That is a physical explanation. Now the source of the turtle and the sea in which he swam was a bit fuzzy but then the Greeks couldnt see out indefinitely and didnt worry about that.

Anonymous Pinakeli March 15, 2013 2:53 PM  

Oh, Dan, If you are in the Austin area go see Pentatonix at SXSW if you have the time. They won NBC's "The Sing Off" last year. (Shameless plug for people that I know).

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 2:59 PM  

"Eh, maybe. I hear that a lot of Tide fans have big red circles drawn around September 14, 2013.

Gig 'em."

Not particularly. Everyone else in the SEC appears a great deal less impressed with Texas A&M... than Texas A&M is with itself. What you'll see next year... is a bunch of defenses that suddenly know exactly what to do with Johnny Football. And Johnny Football will have to prove that he has another answer.

I mean... one that doesn't involve a casino.

Blogger Longstreet March 15, 2013 3:09 PM  

And Johnny Football will have to prove that he has another answer.

Yeah, he might be forced to pass the ball. And a guy that has 3700 yds passing clearly has problems with that.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 3:12 PM  

@Asher

Those are not unreasonable arguments, and it's not like I've heard them before, but I insist on "No ideas but in things" and your hypotheticals resort to abstraction, which I refuse on principle to admit.

When did "agriculture" begin? When humans noticed that they could eat grain? When they kept coming back at regular intervals to places where they knew wild grain grew? When they started growing a bit of it? When they had farms?

The question doesn't much interest me, because it's reverse-applying the now-abstracted word "agriculture" to conditions in the past which frankly we know little about. We know what "agriculture" is today, because we have ample systems of it right here in front of us, so I am not much concerned about the contiuum of the word over oceans of time. I know that "agriculture" exists today, and that it existed in the third century BC. Whether it existed 40,000 years ago is a specific question for anthropologists (who are things, and their profession is a thing, so it is relevant to them, but not to me, because I am a different thing which does not care).

I don't think "science" is an eternal abstract concept which exists independently of reality, like some would say pi does. I think for most of human history it simply didn't exist, even though many humans had advanced technologies and could make predictions and get reproducible results, even before it existed. I think humans called it into being, and just as easily it may some day be lost and once again cease to be, especially on the current immigration trajectory.

I don't mean you when I say this, but I am much less interested in the meaning of "what is science", and far more interested in the meaning of "who is an asshole" -- meaning the kinds of people who turn knowledge into a priesthood and then use that priesthood for ends which I regard as destructive and malevolent. Again, you can always get recursive about it, but that part isn't my job.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 3:15 PM  

"it's not like I've heard them before:

You should of course insert the word "never" in the appropriate place. Erg, who knows what other typos I made, I'm not going to look.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 3:21 PM  

"See, Nate, what you want to do is provide a model of science that still allows for metaphysical speculation, ala the existence of God as "objective truth". I don't see any reason for that, since God does or does not exist regardless of any scientific claims."

What the hell are you talking about?

Where did I say anything about this?

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 3:24 PM  

"Yeah, he might be forced to pass the ball. And a guy that has 3700 yds passing clearly has problems with that."

Texas A&M is new to the SEC. Look at what Johnny Football did against Florida in the second half... LSU in the second half... and yes.. Alabama in the second half. A whole lot of squat.

That's what its going to be like all next year. Defenses adjust in the SEC. Everyone has a whole off season to draw up special plans for Johnny. Everyone has a whole off season to study his tendencies. they will find stuff about him that his own coaches don't even know. And they will exploit those areas.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 3:26 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

I insist on "No ideas but in things"

How is the IQ differences between racial groups being rooted in biology not rooted in "things"?

Notice again my initial description:

Science is the best available physical explaination that best fits, predicts and explains the observable facts.

did I leave out the physical before?

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 3:34 PM  

> I see no evidence for that.

Because you weren't here when we did so. I was. Most of the other regulars were. I don't think Scoobius had shown up yet though.

> My view is that there was no such thing as science at the time.

Correct, if you accept the commonly used definitions of science we use to day. Which, of course, Asher refuses to do. I believe Carroll had something to say on the matter.

As to the an exact and proper definition of science, that gets tricky. Vox actually had an entire post one time dealing with the matter. I think he argued that it was actually used to refer to three distinct concepts (process, knowledge base, and something else I can't remember at the moment). But as for the process we call science, anything which doesn't include some form of the scientific method probably need not apply.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 3:45 PM  

@ James Dixon

Because you weren't here when we did so. I was.

Ah, yes, the ol' esoteric, secret clubhouse gambit. this place is looking more and more inbred all the time.

if you accept the commonly used definitions of science we use to day. Which, of course, Asher refuses to do.

Um, okay, the standard definition of science ... what is it? Lots of stuff gets called science which Vox would not call science. Are they using different definitions of science is one of them wrong? I mean if there is a standard definition of science then shouldn't everyone agree on what is and what is not scientific?

James, you're a hack.

I believe Carroll had something to say on the matter.

Ah, yes, more secret clubhouse talk. Do you guys pull the girl's hair when they come around, too?

the scientific method probably need not apply.

And, of course, the exact criteria for what conforms to the scientific method is universally understood by everyone.

Anonymous JartStar March 15, 2013 3:50 PM  

I have a working definition for science: the best available physical definition that best fits, predicts and explains the observable facts.

Does "physical definition" implicitly exclude metaphysics?

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 3:51 PM  

> Ah, yes, more secret clubhouse talk.

Does any one else find it interesting that someone who claims to have read so much doesn't know this reference?

However, I was responding to someone whom I'm pretty sure does.

> And, of course, the exact criteria for what conforms to the scientific method is universally understood by everyone.

More than will ever understand your definition, certainly.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 3:51 PM  

@ JartStar

The physical explicitly excludes the metaphysical.

Anonymous allyn71 March 15, 2013 3:54 PM  

Nate and Scoob,

Thanks for the entertainment. The comments of you both ad me laughing out loud several times.

I must also congratulate you on actually finding a way to make Asser's presence hear a positive experience. That is no simple feat and I commend you on your efforts.

Asser you have been told this before but your "condition" prevents you from communicating with other humans and understanding.

1. No one cares what you think
2. It isn't about you
3. 2 + 2 =/= Purple Badger (no matter how much you might think it does)

In the interest something pertaining to the original post...

Via pattern recognition I have discerened that any subject at VP with over 150 comments will be derailed and infected with Asser's handiwork. I am not sure what Science has to say about it, but the psuedo-science is clear.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 3:54 PM  

@ JartStar

One of the big questions in science is causality, what causes what. My definition is about limiting cause and effect to the physical realm. I don't have a problem with metaphysics per se, but what I do have a problem with is trying to assign a role for metaphysics in explaining cause and effect.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 3:55 PM  

"Does any one else find it interesting that someone who claims to have read so much doesn't know this reference?"

Oh...you are not alone mate... you are not alone.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 3:57 PM  

"Via pattern recognition I have discerened that any subject at VP with over 150 comments will be derailed and infected with Asser's handiwork. I am not sure what Science has to say about it, but the psuedo-science is clear."

Hrm...

I think there is a high probability of Asser's involvement in such threads. However... one must remember that epic caliber wars can break out at any point.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 4:00 PM  

@Asher:

"How is the IQ differences between racial groups being rooted in biology not rooted in "things"?
Notice again my initial description:
Science is the best available physical explaination that best fits, predicts and explains the observable facts.

did I leave out the physical before?"

No, the problem is not your use of "physical", your problem is that you're posing the question in a way that doesn't work. You're looking at the finger and not at the moon. You've created your own abstraction which you accept a priori and assume others will do the same, when this isn't acceptable.

You say, "science is the best available..."

No it isn't. Science is science, and when science is not available, and other explanations are, that does not mean that sorcery or chanting or even pretty good technological solutions become science instead, it just means that science is not available but something else is.

If I said, "Aeronautics is whatever is the fastest way to travel from point A to point B" it would not be true. In the absence of any actual airplanes or actual aeronautical knowledge, the fastest way to travel might be a choo-choo train, but that wouldn't make it aeronautics.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:01 PM  

@ Nate

I'm guessing you're talking about Sean Carroll. I have not been involved in reading much about science, in general, or the scientific method for several years. Again, this is more of your secret handshake, clubhouse sort of crap. If you're talking about Sean Carroll his writing really didn't take off until after I was already on my way to starting a family.

This is really becoming more and more a Jezebel-like cesspool by the comment.

Anonymous JartStar March 15, 2013 4:02 PM  

@Asher,

Considering your definition would you agree with Vox's statement:

"most science that has not yet reached what we might consider its mature state is dynamic and remains incapable of providing predictive models that are much more reliable than those provided by other, non-scientific means."

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 4:02 PM  

"If I said, "Aeronautics is whatever is the fastest way to travel from point A to point B" it would not be true. In the absence of any actual airplanes or actual aeronautical knowledge, the fastest way to travel might be a choo-choo train, but that wouldn't make it aeronautics."

Scoobs... dear God... what on earth makes you think Asher has even the slightest prayer of understanding what you just said?

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 15, 2013 4:05 PM  

Back in the cave, when Og said to Mog, "The reason the moon comes out at night is that a great she-wolf who lives behind the sun gives birth to it, so that she may guide us, the Wolf Clan, against the hated and detested Hyena Clan who live Beyond the Big Hill," this was the best available explanation at the time.

But it was not science.

Anonymous George of the Hole March 15, 2013 4:05 PM  

Josh: "Asher, you seem to be arguing like a liberal."

Bingo!

Asher is smart enough to recognize the fallacies of modern liberalism, yet too aspie to notice that he employs the very same tactics.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 4:07 PM  

"Again, this is more of your secret handshake, clubhouse sort of crap. If you're talking about Sean Carroll his writing really didn't take off until after I was already on my way to starting a family."

Wait wait... setting aside the accuracy of the reference... just so we're clear... because you specifically haven't read about something in several years... that means that those of us who have... can't talk about the newer things people have written... or we're just speaking in secret clubhouse code?

I thought your whole point was that we rejected modernity? So its ok for you to ignore modernity... but not us?

You're a self-defeating contradictory jabbering mongoloid.

Anonymous Porky? March 15, 2013 4:07 PM  

Asher: If you're talking about Sean Carroll his writing really didn't take off until after I was already on my way to starting a family.

Oh good Lord..he's breeding.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 4:08 PM  

> I'm guessing you're talking about Sean Carroll.

Lord have mercy. OK, for what will probably be the last time, I'll try to be kind. Here, Asher, entertain yourself: http://sabian.org/looking_glass6.php

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 4:08 PM  

"But it was not science."

Of course it was! It was observation of nature! And hypothesis!!! modeling even!!

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:09 PM  

@ scoobius doobius

Science is science, and when science is not available, and other explanations are,

Ding. Ding. Ding. My definition does *not* claim that every single thing must be explained by something physical or else that it is inexplicable. The hidden trap of my definition is that it *subordinates* science to other human concerns. Science has over the past few decades become imperialistic and my definition is both an attempt to reign in that imperialism as well as not reject science as a whole.

your problem is that you're posing the question in a way that doesn't work. You're looking at the finger and not at the moon. You've created your own abstraction which you accept a priori and assume others will do the same, when this isn't acceptable.

No, I'm not. We can see that some people do better than others in math. We see that those measures then correlate with other measures, and so n. At some point of lots of seemingly unrelated measures correlating we then begin to see a patter emerging. We then devise a test that measures something that correlates strongly to those seemingly independent measures. Over time we refine and improve that test so that it better correlates with all those other outcomes.

Nothing a priori about an IQ test. BTW, the entire leftist critique of measuring intelligence is that it is a priori. Just because you don't accept something doesn't make it a priori and by your standard all human behavior is beyond establishing patterns and measures.

that does not mean that sorcery or chanting or even pretty good technological solutions become science instead, it just means that science is not available but something else is.

I agree. And there's nothing in my definition that contradicts this. Sometimes the best physical explanation may be so bad that we just drop trying to give it one or simply call it inexplicable. The hidden genius of my definition is that it *circumscribes* science to ascertainable physical cause and effect.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:12 PM  

@ JartStar

"most science that has not yet reached what we might consider its mature state is dynamic and remains incapable of providing predictive models

First of all, the phrase "mature state" is horribly vague. Secondly, I can provide all sorts of good predictive models that are quite enduring. In fact, I gave one at the beginning of the comments section to which not one person responded.

Does anyone even read the comments section?

Anyways my response is that Vox's claim is too vague for me to take an opinion on it.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:15 PM  

@ George Hole

Asher is smart enough to recognize the fallacies of modern liberalism, yet too aspie to notice that he employs the very same tactics.

Excuse me? It is the ilk that routinely uses liberal debate tactics, not I. Most of the ilk don't deem it necessary to argue for their positions, instead, just pronouncing them from on high as if they were self-evidently true.

The stock liberal tactic is to tut-tut, tee-hee-hee, "om my god, he just doesn't get". that is what you all do in spades. In fact this entire comment section from the Ilk is Jezebel-style tut-tuting without even one substantive comment outside of myself, scoob and DrTorch.

Why do you think I call you Jezzies? You argue like a bunch of feminist, liberal women.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 4:17 PM  

> Why do you think I call you Jezzies?

Why do you think you're called an Aspie?

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:18 PM  

@ Nate

that means that those of us who have... can't talk about the newer things people have written... or we're just speaking in secret clubhouse code

That's correct. I have not read Sean Carroll, but Sean Carroll is just one guy and it's not like he has turned the entire world of intellectual thought on it's head. I don't need to have read any particular author within the past five years in order to have a good understanding on the state of science and scientific thinking.

So, yes, ,this is just more of your Jezebel-style secret clubhouse tut-tut, tee-hee-heeing.

It's juvenile.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:19 PM  

@ Nate

I thought your whole point was that we rejected modernity? So its ok for you to ignore modernity... but not us?

the entirety of modernity is not summed up in the single person of Sean Carroll.

Jezzie.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 4:19 PM  

> That's correct. I have not read Sean Carroll,

Which might mean something if anyone besides you had even mentioned him.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:21 PM  

Lewis Carroll? Wow! This place is looking more and more Jezebel by the comment.

You do realize how the Ilk have degenerated to the level of the most shrill, hysterical feminism, right?

Anonymous allyn71 March 15, 2013 4:21 PM  

I should have been more clear and inserted a probability factor. You are correct about the possibility of a none Asser infected thread crossing the threshold.

Subsequent analysis of thread to comment ratio shows that there is a 98.7% chance that a thread crossing the 150 post threshold here will involve Asser and he will contribute 50% of the posts where he clearly and artfully proves that:

1. No one still cares what he thinks
2. For some reason It still isn't about him
3. Despite his best efforts 2+2 still =/= purple badger

Thanks for pointing out the error Nate, should have been more clear that there are times when this blog can have a meaningful discourse without Asser showing up.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:23 PM  

@ James Dixon

Someone mentioned Carroll. The most recent "science star" so to speak is Sean Carroll and since this was a post on science I figured that was the reference.

That someone would mention Carroll (no first name) in a discussion on science and expect everyone to knoow it was a reference to Lewis Carroll demonstrates just how inbred and secret society-like this place is.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 4:25 PM  

"That someone would mention Carroll (no first name) in a discussion on science and expect everyone to knoow it was a reference to Lewis Carroll demonstrates just how inbred and secret society-like this place is."

You are welcome to leave.

Anonymous JartStar March 15, 2013 4:26 PM  

simply call it inexplicable

Isn't this one of the great faults of modernism? That the cause of the inexplicable is just physical waiting to be discovered, and the metaphysical/supernatural cannot ever be brought in as the solution.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:27 PM  

I just began sensing that this place is corrupt and morally rotten. I'm trying to generate a mental image of the ilk now and I'll I'm coming up with is a bunch of deranged imps dancing around the fire.

I hate moral rot and corruption ...

It reminds me of my youth as a churchian ... just an order of magnitude worse. civilservant was right that there is not even a hint of action in line with the teachings of the Bible on this blog.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 4:28 PM  

> Lewis Carroll? Wow! This place is looking more and more Jezebel by the comment.

And there you have it in a nutshell. A person who doesn't even know Lewis Carroll well enough to get an obvious reference thinks he's qualified to judge anyone else on their use of language and logic.

And he wonders why I call him Junior and others call him an Aspie.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 4:31 PM  

> That someone would mention Carroll (no first name) in a discussion on science and expect everyone to knoow it was a reference to Lewis Carroll demonstrates just how inbred and secret society-like this place is.

That someone would say Carroll in a statement about the definition of words and another person not immediately know who and what was referred to demonstrates the the person not knowing it is functionally illiterate in the English language.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:31 PM  

@ JartStar

Isn't this one of the great faults of modernism? That the cause of the inexplicable is just physical waiting to be discovered, and the metaphysical/supernatural cannot ever be brought in as the solution.

This is an excellent question. I think the answer is that modernity creates as many questions as it solves and that the world gets more complex as we move more and more into modernity. I definitely reject the notion that science has the answer to everything.

But in what way can the supernatural be a "solution" ... except to perennial questions. And the perennial can have no solution, except to be solved interminably.

Anyways, I don't know why no one has, yet, responded, except scoob, vaguely, to the one real science related comment I posted at the start.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:32 PM  

@ James

You really are a vile, corrupt, little man. The discussion is about the nature of science. You are the definition of an ankle-biting imp.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 4:32 PM  

"I just began sensing that this place is corrupt and morally rotten. I'm trying to generate a mental image of the ilk now and I'll I'm coming up with is a bunch of deranged imps dancing around the fire.

I hate moral rot and corruption ..."

We're just.. devestated that you feel that way Asser. We truely are. Isn't there anything we can say to make you consider staying longer?

No?

Well... that's just our loss I suppose.

Thanks for stoppin' by!

Anonymous allyn71 March 15, 2013 4:33 PM  

Asher March 15, 2013 4:27 PM I just began sensing that this place is corrupt and morally rotten. I'm trying to generate a mental image of the ilk now and I'll I'm coming up with is a bunch of deranged imps dancing around the fire.

I hate moral rot and corruption ...

It reminds me of my youth as a churchian ... just an order of magnitude worse. civilservant was right that there is not even a hint of action in line with the teachings of the Bible on this blog.




Yep you are right. Bunch of unChristian heathens here full of moral rot and corruption. For your own sake you had better leave. Failing that you could try Plan B....

Shut Up, Asser

Anonymous George of the Hole March 15, 2013 4:36 PM  

Excuse me? It is the ilk that routinely uses liberal debate tactics, not I.

LOL!

Complaining that your opponent is a "know-nothing" about everything (except guns, booze and money)?

Prove to me that you are not Rosie O'Donnell! ROFL!

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:36 PM  

@ James

Does any one else find it interesting that someone who claims to have read so much doesn't know this reference?

I skimmed this comment and read "read so much science" into it because the discussion was about science. I have not read Carroll. I have read very little fiction post-Tolstoy. Since fifteen, or so, aside from Tolkein, I have probably read less than 1000 pages of fiction, if that.

Fiction simply bores me.

Anonymous Asher March 15, 2013 4:38 PM  

@ George

Complaining that your opponent is a "know-nothing" about everything (except guns, booze and money)?

Except that's all that Nate talks about. The issue is taht the debate style of the ilk resembles liberals in the use of tut-tuting, tee-hee-heeing and " oh my god he doesn't get it" sort of comments. That is the main liberal tactic: innuendo.

This entire comment section is full of almost nothing but innuendo from the ilk.

Blogger Nate March 15, 2013 4:39 PM  

"Fiction simply bores me."

Hardly. You've read all kinds of fiction. You're just to blithering stupid to realize it.

Keynes for example.

Blogger James Dixon March 15, 2013 4:40 PM  

> You really are a vile, corrupt, little man. The discussion is about the nature of science. You are the definition of an ankle-biting imp.

And this is what I get for trying to be nice. :(

Oh well, I did say it would probably be the last time.

Loki is probably having a good laugh right about now.

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