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Thursday, November 09, 2017

In over his head

Now, I generally enjoy reading both John Derbyshire and Zman, and I think they're both intelligent iconoclasts, but every now and then I am surprised to discover how conceptually limited various would-be critics can be when they attempt to criticize me. They preen, they posture, and they pontificate even as they demonstrate that they neither understand me nor know whereof they speak. That may sound a little arrogant, but bear with me a moment and you'll see what I mean.

The Zman mentioned this in his interesting summary of attending the Mencken Club:
John was first up and he used Vox Day’s 16-points blog post as the framework for his talk. He made the point that Vox is by no means the leader of the alt-right or the voice of it, but a representative sample that is useful for analyzing the movement. His comments about item number eight were laugh out loud funny, to the empirically minded. What John was doing was introducing the general ideas of the alt-right to a crowd that is not spending their evenings in the meme war. He did a good job presenting the broad strokes.
This is all very well, but it led to the following string of comments which revealed some unexpected conceptual limitations on the part of the Zman. His failure to grasp either the obvious linguistics involved or to understand the basic nature of science is, to put it mildly, surprising. I find myself wondering if these failures are a logical consequence of his atheistic philosophical incoherence running headlong into its own conclusions, a kneejerk reaction to displeasure with something I have said, or simply an indication of his cognitive limitations.
Toddy+Cat
Personally, I’d be very interested to hear what John Derbyshire had to say about Vox’s point number eight. Derbyshire is great intellect, a fantastic writer, and has enough moral courage for several men, but he (like all of us) is a product of his Time, and sometimes has way too much respect for “science” and the “scientific community”. He sometimes does not seem to realize just how politicized “science” has become in our day. As much as both he and I might regret it, this ain’t 1955.

thezman
He comically analyzed the possible entomology of the words, “scientodific” and “scientody”. He also pointed out the absurdity of the claim that scientific conclusions are liable to future revision. For instance, Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter, a conclusion of science that will never be liable to revision. John correctly pointed out that number eight is gibberish.

I’ve written a little about this topic. I’ll be revisiting it frequently. I think there may even be a book in it, if I can manage to squeeze more than 24 hours from each day. Suffice it to say that I don’t think science and technology can be jammed into the moral philosophy of the 17th and 18th century. Therefore, we wither kill all the scientists or create a new moral philosophy.

Heywood
Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter… Anyway, that’s a stupid argument. While facts may be immutable – for a time, which may be long, like in the case above – our interpretations in the form of theories are always placeholders. Good till something better comes along, which, btw, must have the same predicative power as the old theory had where it was applicable, while extending the range of predictability. See classic Newtonian mechanics vs. theory of relativity. And as it happens, neither addresses Vox’s point of all so many modern “scientists” who employ the trappings and outer forms of science while gleefully ignoring everything that makes it actually useful. Nothing of this strikes me as overly difficult to either comprehend or establish, given the state of sciences today.

thezman
I’ve heard every iteration of factual nihilism and I have no interest in taking it seriously. It’s just another way of putting the goal posts on roller skates.

Man of the West
Zman said: “He also pointed out the absurdity of the claim that scientific conclusions are liable to future revision” I am assuming and hoping that what John meant is that SOME scientific conclusions are not open to revision, as his example — though questionable as science — shows. Because if not, and if the above statement is what he actually meant, then it is foolishness of a high order given the provisional nature of science and the fact that we know that there are unknown errors in scientific conclusions (as the replication crisis is presently showing us) that may be discovered at a later time.

Of course, John may have a unique definition of ‘science’ or of the word ‘conclusions’ which gives him some wiggle room, but then he is just playing semantic games.

thezman
Think of it this way. There is a set of things that have to be true or nothing is true. There is a set of things that are most likely true, but have yet to be conclusively proven. There are a set of things that may be true, but there’s either no way to test them or the efforts to prove them have fallen short. Finally, there is the set of things that are unknown.

Scientific conclusions are the first set. The second and third sets are open to revision and challenge. It’s not a matter of semantics. It is about definitions. People tend not to grasp the definitions of science, because the have had little exposure to math or science.

Byzantine_General
Your first category encompasses logic and mathematics. Your second includes theories of gravitation, where Einstein's superceded Newton's. But your words seem to place today’s scientific “conclusions” in the first category, rather than the second. Can you explain without casting nasturtiums?

“Factual nihilism”. Hmph.

thezman
I wrote, “Scientific conclusions are the first set.” That seems to cover it. Science, like mathematics, is about the accumulation of axioms, things that are assumed to be true by their nature. Put another way, if everything is open to revision, there is no truth.

Byzantine_General
I am gobsmacked, and I say this lovingly, by your wrong-headedness.

Science deals in theories, not conclusions. Theories are always contingent; we strenuously fail to falsify them, accumulate partial belief in them, build on and with them, but can never reach axiomatic mathematical certainty.

Not long ago, the best available theory was that neutrinos had zero mass. It could have been loosely said that science had concluded that this was the case. But the progress of science demands that it does not make conclusions.

A pesky observation (that the wrong kind of neutrinos were arriving on Earth from the Sun) forced that theory to be abandoned. A better theory accounted for the observation (and all previous observations), and entailed a non-zero mass. This is a perfect example of scientific progress.

Axioms are not subject to abandonment. Had the zero mass of the neutrino been treated as an axiom, we would have been forced to reject the observation and the better theory, because the contradiction of an axiom is automatically false.

Karl Popper’s criterion for deciding whether a theory is scientific is whether it could by some conceivable observation be falsified. Theories that can withstand any contrary evidence are called “religions”.

thezman
Karl Popper was wrong. If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth. That’s nihilism.
This is one of those moments when you suddenly realize that someone simply isn't as intelligent as you had previously thought they were. One does not need to be a Popperian to recognize the obvious fact that many, if not most, scientific conclusions are intrinsically provisional, if not based entirely on false foundations. The Zman is making a common error in confusing the scientific method with a means of determining absolute truth; scientody is actually nothing more than a tool for determining what is not true from a material perspective and therefore can only ever be a means of narrowing the possible scope of the truth of things that remain firmly within the temporally accessible aspects of the material realm.

History, for example, is a matter of firmly established fact, and yet remains largely outside the realm of science and its conclusions.

In claiming that a correct understanding of science is nihilism, he confuses the subset of observable facts with the much larger set of scientific conclusions. And in asserting that science is about the accumulation of axioms with the alternative being nihilism. he demonstrates that he understands neither science nor mathematics nor the philosophy of science. Or, for that matter, nihilism.

Speaking of etymology, it seems we're going to need to coin a new term for this sort of high midwittery.

UPDATE: I don't think the Zman properly grasped what John Derbyshire was saying at all. But I will post my response to Derb's comments in a separate post.

UPDATE: Yeah, he's just not very bright. He didn't even hesitate to double down in response to this post.
Much more is known now about the natural world, than was known fifty years ago, and much more was known then than in 1580. So there has been a great accumulation or growth of knowledge in the last four hundred years.

This is an extremely well-known fact. Let’s call this (A). A person, who did not know (A), would be uncommonly ignorant. To assert that all scientific conclusions are open to revision, as Vox Day has done, is to deny the existence of (A). I see he is now pushing around the goal post on wheels to try and obscure the fact he made a ridiculous statement, but that changes nothing.

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230 Comments:

1 – 200 of 230 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Felix Bellator November 09, 2017 4:48 AM  

I find the certitude Zman has in his position interesting. He has faith in his version of science. But you don't need to be around even incredibly bright scientists for long to realize how incredibly incorrect they can be. A best scientists and engineers I have ever known questioned and argued many things.

Questioning assumptions is key. Spotting flaws in logic is fairly easy. Knowing your assumptions are correct is harder.

Blogger Koanic November 09, 2017 4:50 AM  

I don't understand how someone "empirically minded" could possibly place much confidence in the pronouncements of scheming chimps.

Anonymous ~A November 09, 2017 5:10 AM  

"So scientifically, are chicken eggs good or bad food for human organism?"

And zman argument folds right there.

Blogger Valtandor Nought November 09, 2017 5:12 AM  

A scientific theory is neither more nor less than a proposal about the way the world ordinarily works that attempts to account for all relevant observations.

There is, therefore, no such thing as a unchallengeable scientific theory; or, put another way, there is no such thing as a "scientific fact". Even the "scientific fact" that Mars is closer to the Sun than Jupiter is, is properly a theory; that is, it is an attempt to account for various astronomical observations. It is, admittedly, hard to conceive of what an observation might be that would force that particular theory to be overturned or even substantially altered; but it is, nevertheless, still a theory.

And the Zman is wrong. Any claim can in principle be falsified:

- An axiom can lose its status if it is not assented to by all parties to the dispute.
- An observation can be thrown out by casting doubt on the honesty or reliability of the original observer, or by producing other observations that would not be expected if the original observation were correct.
- A deduction can be overturned by showing that one or more of its premises is false, or that the argument from the premises is fallacious.
- Finally, a theory will be subject to revision if, like a deduction, it is based on false premises (axioms or observations, or a combination of both), or if additional observations are made that it can't satisfactorily account for.

But that doesn't necessarily lead to nihilism. Because we can choose to accept axioms and trust observations, and we primarily do that because we trust our teachers (in the case of axioms) and ourselves and our friends who report ordinary and strange happenings to us (in the case of observations).

Cynically, however, one might say that to the ordinary man, the difference between a "scientific theory" and a "scientific fact" is that the former are argued about by boffins at conferences and in learned journals, while the latter are taught to children as "the truth" in classrooms and textbooks.

Anonymous Icicle November 09, 2017 5:13 AM  

By coining those terms, Vox was merely doing good work in the field of logology.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Logology_(science_of_science)

Blogger Valtandor Nought November 09, 2017 5:16 AM  

EDIT: I guess that the claim that Mars is closer to the Sun than Jupiter is probably a deduction rather than a theory; the two theories from which it is deduced are that Mars orbits the Sun at such-and-such a distance and Jupiter orbits the Sun at a greater distance. These two theories are derived, however, from astronomical observations.

Anonymous Rocklea November 09, 2017 5:22 AM  

Just today I was talking to an engineer working for a company that produces instruments and participates in blasting for open cut mines. The purpose, to accurately determine where in the pile the rich veins will be so as to be able to efficiently process and discard appropriately. Brilliant. Developed at UQ by the owner who was experienced in blasting and had a firm understanding of the way different materials move when blasted and the mathematical chops to put that knowledge into development of concept, instrumentation, plus the balls and business acumen to mortgage his house and bring it to market successfully.

science as engineering.

Pig and elephant DNA just won't splice.
Neither do metaphysics and epistemology.
Unless you're a materialist, but then your conclusions are inevitable anyways, oh, and meaningless.

Blogger exfarmkid November 09, 2017 5:24 AM  

To expand the language such that we have separate terms for the "scientific method", the provisional results obtained thereby, and the practitioners of same, is still of high importance.

Anybody here with the marketing skills to come up with terms better than "scientody"? It is a precise term, and I think Vox was trying to start a discussion, but it just doesn't flow off the tongue. Doubt if it was meant to.

Blogger Valtandor Nought November 09, 2017 5:25 AM  

Also:

If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth.

It strikes me that this is the fallacy of combination. Specifically, it is making the leap from, "Some claims are false (and all are in principle falsifiable)," to, "All claims are false."

Blogger Doom November 09, 2017 5:30 AM  

Not paid to think. If many of these were women, they would have tig ol' bitties, make-up and hair people, while remaining as valid as the standard three dollar bill. I'm not convinced, for all of them, that it is stupidity, ignorance, or real failings of the mind, limits. I have seen some of them aimed at, lined up, to hit the mark, to then watch them snatch defeat from the mouth of victory.

I assume they are bought and owned. They know, but honesty doesn't pay the bills or keep their family safe. They are well imbursed cowards, or practical if they were to parse it. Nothing new here, it's just now obvious which side they believe to be the most dangerous, and monitizing. If you want to fix it, then fix it.

Blogger Desiderius November 09, 2017 5:34 AM  

"And in asserting that science is about the accumulation of axioms with the alternative being nihilism. he demonstrates that he understands neither science nor mathematics nor the philosophy of science."

Yeah, I mean what the actual fuck.

I think he's trying to push back against hard relativism, but he ends up embarrassingly far into the weeds.

OpenID doktorjeep November 09, 2017 5:46 AM  

Sometimes I wonder if the internet causes autism

Blogger Lemur November 09, 2017 5:47 AM  

(((Popper)))

Blogger Lemur November 09, 2017 5:48 AM  

(((Sir Karl Popper)))

Blogger Lovekraft November 09, 2017 5:50 AM  

VoxDay is on the ground level in terms of fighting against the darkness of intolerance and false certainty, so of course he will meet opposition from various sides.

If he chose to, he could shut himself off from the various fights and become a purist, essentially useless except for being a remote 'coach.' But by engaging any and all, his courage serves as an inspiration and example for others.

Derbyshire AFAIK is about taking down the Global Warming Shakedown Racket, exposing their false science for the better.
As for Zman, is he of the Zerohedge blog?

Blogger Silly but True November 09, 2017 5:50 AM  

Zman's a fool for ignoring the warning Eisenhower gave 57 years ago:

https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=90&page=transcript
"...Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite..."

Hypothesis proven true may not even be a fact, but more fundamentally important, facts are neither truths.

Science knows the fundamental truth that two people looking at the same height of a meniscus are likely to reach different results. So what is that height?

Zman's position isn't science at all, it's religion.

Anonymous HoosierHillbilly November 09, 2017 5:58 AM  

@4 but even that isn't really that hard to come up with. Jupiter is more massive than mars. Sun is more massive than both. Map all three in relativistic space. Which is closer than what? Question for Stickwick to figure, not me. Just saying that "fact" might be overturned with a shift in science.

Anonymous Ages November 09, 2017 5:59 AM  

The distanced of Mars and Jupiter is a fact, period. We have inserted probes into orbit around both and landed many on Mars using our observations.

It is falsifiable, it was not falsified, so it is confirmed as fact.

Anonymous Whitey Whiteman III November 09, 2017 6:04 AM  

>I think he's trying to push back against hard relativism, but he ends up embarrassingly far into the weeds.


This. I wonder if he was ever a Randian/Objectivist?

Anonymous Rocklea November 09, 2017 6:06 AM  

"Zman's position isn't science at all, it's religion."

I'd say it's an idol.

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 6:08 AM  

Lovekraft--I think you're confusing Derbyshire with Delingpole. Derb's deal has been mostly hbd for a long time now.

I'm inclined to be a little tolerant of the Z-man's blind spot. We all have them. We even wrap up our self-conception and identity with them sometimes, and then letting go of those false ideas is really hard.

I suspect that the deal with point #8 is that coining new terms without really defining them clearly is just going to go over almost everyone's head. Giving them "plain English" equivalents would have been more useful. It's no different than the "curse" of frequently being obviously the one with the bigger vocabulary in most conversations. If the purpose of talking is communication, then you struggle to meet that goal when you use words that only you know.

Blogger Lovekraft November 09, 2017 6:22 AM  

Anyone not completely and unequivocally disavowing the anti-Trump crowd in this video is part.of.the.problem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=lfgIawRDQM4

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 6:22 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Patron November 09, 2017 6:24 AM  

"For instance, Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter, a conclusion of science that will never be liable to revision."

/headdesk

Mars being, at present, closer to the Sun than Jupiter is not a conclusion of science, it's an observation. Admittedly it might have taken a while before we could be certain of this observation, due to our ignorance and the possibility of, for want of a better word, illusions, but that's besides the point. Science has let us confirm the observation, but that's all.

Incidentally, "at present" is a rather important part of that, because there are many astronomical events that could (or maybe did) reverse the position of those two planets relative to the Sun.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 6:29 AM  

I suspect that the deal with point #8 is that coining new terms without really defining them clearly is just going to go over almost everyone's head. Giving them "plain English" equivalents would have been more useful.

As is so often the case when people try to "correct" me and "offer advice", all you manage to do is to demonstrate that you don't understand the situation. We already have plain English words for scientody, scientistry, and scientage. And those words are "science", "science", and "science".

Therein lies the problem.

Anonymous Dyskord November 09, 2017 6:30 AM  

Science fact is that human beings are either only male or female or suffering a genetic mutation harmful to the individual.

That is scientific proof and an immutable fact not up for debate... wait

Arent universities teaching there are 63 genders and sexual orietatiin is a social construction?

Blogger Shimshon November 09, 2017 6:31 AM  

Dare I say it, with failures as egregious as these, Z Man is Not Even Wrong.

Anonymous Bowman November 09, 2017 6:31 AM  

Zman, the guy who sells himself as the greatest on the Right, and who lives in ... Baltimore.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 6:31 AM  

Ages wrote:The distanced of Mars and Jupiter is a fact, period. We have inserted probes into orbit around both and landed many on Mars using our observations.

It is falsifiable, it was not falsified, so it is confirmed as fact.


But liable to revision. Let's say that we were not factoring in gravity waves (for example), which meant that the measurements were off by 1%. And then the method of measurement is improved and takes account of gravity waves which were not known about at the time when the initial measurement was done. Or, Mars could be hit by a comet and its orbit made unstable, hence the 'fact' would no longer be a fact. Yes there can be scientific facts, but they are liable to revision because science does not establish absolute truth.

Blogger pyrrhus November 09, 2017 6:32 AM  

Wow! Zman's statements are falsified by the known history of scientific thought, in which absolutely every theory has been modified or found to be outright false over a long, or sometimes very short, period of time. Newton's theories, for example, while brilliantly useful as an approximation, are actually wrong. And as to facts, we were taught that there were 48 human chromosomes as an unimpeachable fact. Then they noticed that there are 46...

Anonymous Rocklea November 09, 2017 6:32 AM  

"The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite..."

Good ole Ike. It brings into focus something I've been stewing on from Hallpike's review; thank you by the way for a well thought out critique; of Harari's sapiens.
From part I:

"Harari seems unable to distinguish a belief from a convention, presumably because neither is a material object. Beliefs in ghosts and spirits may be shared by members of particular cultures, but derive from the nature of people's experience and their modes of thought: they did not sit down and deliberately agree to believe in them. Conventions, however, are precisely the result of a collective decision, consciously taken to achieve a certain purpose, and as such are completely different from myths in almost every respect."

The 'belief' speaks to being and connects us with past and future. It's susceptible to revision through experience and conquest.

The 'convention', as Hallpike states, has purpose. Harari sees this culminating in robotics taking over. When convention no longer serves the polity belief will reassert itself. Our complexity is unstable and subject to attack, both exogenous and endogenous. 4GW. Flushing toilets good. No purpose for Man, bad.

Blogger James Dixon November 09, 2017 6:33 AM  

> The Zman is making a common error in confusing the scientific method with a means of determining absolute truth;

He's demonstrating that he simply doesn't understand the definitions or the nature of the terms. And yet we, and the people who try to explain it to him, are the ones called "anti-science".

> Karl Popper was wrong. If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth.

Popper never said that everything can be falsified. What he said was that things which couldn't weren't within the realm of science. I.e., if you can't verify it by experimentation, it's not science.

> Sometimes I wonder if the internet causes autism.

I believe you have the cart before the horse.

> I'm inclined to be a little tolerant of the Z-man's blind spot. We all have them.

I'm slightly less tolerant when a number of people explain that he's wrong and why he's wrong and all he does is dismiss them.

Blogger pyrrhus November 09, 2017 6:35 AM  

While I love Derb, I have clashed with him over his faith in authority with respect to the "warming", theories, when any analysis of the known facts controverts large parts of them. Media Indoctrination has claimed some surprising victims...

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 6:39 AM  

Zman, the guy who sells himself as the greatest on the Right, and who lives in ... Baltimore.

That's not fair. Hammer him for his pseudoscientific posturing and philosophical incoherence all you like, but he's not running around dancing for the media or claiming to be something he isn't.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 6:41 AM  

Straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/derb-at-the-mencken-club-am-i-alt-right/

Anonymous basementhomebrewer November 09, 2017 6:43 AM  

James Dixon wrote:> I'm inclined to be a little tolerant of the Z-man's blind spot. We all have them.

I'm slightly less tolerant when a number of people explain that he's wrong and why he's wrong and all he does is dismiss them.


Why wouldn't he? In his mind, his conclusions are "scientific fact".

Blogger pyrrhus November 09, 2017 6:43 AM  

"Popper never said that everything can be falsified. What he said was that things which couldn't weren't within the realm of science. I.e., if you can't verify it by experimentation, it's not science."

Right. If it can't be verified (and all verification is subject to later re-verification), it's not science, it's a religious belief. But a part of many minds, especially those in Academia, simply rejects the notion that everything in science can be challenged.
For example, Gobekli Tepe has overthrown the entire timeline in archaeology, but it would have cost you your job in Academia to have challenged that timeline up until recently...

Anonymous Patron November 09, 2017 6:52 AM  

VD wrote:As is so often the case when people try to "correct" me and "offer advice", all you manage to do is to demonstrate that you don't understand the situation. We already have plain English words for scientody, scientistry, and scientage. And those words are "science", "science", and "science".

Therein lies the problem.


It's an IQ / marketing issue, not a philosophical one.

"The Alt Right is in harmony with science. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method, while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that the practice of science is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on the scientific method, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific."

Six words longer than your version, but without any new words to send people scurrying to the dictionary or Google.

Anonymous Rocklea November 09, 2017 6:53 AM  

"Why wouldn't he? In his mind, his conclusions are "scientific fact"."

Even Stefan, the consummate rational material atheist, recognises scientody over conclusions and scientage.

Blogger Shimshon November 09, 2017 6:53 AM  

The meaning of the terms in #8 seems pretty clear from context alone.

Blogger Chris Lutz November 09, 2017 6:54 AM  

I like listening and reading ZMan but his belief in science is really cult-like. Science declares that X leads to Y and is therefore axiomatic. Fifty years later, science declares that X doesn't lead to Y but instead leads to Z. Now that is the axiom and ZMan, like the cult member facing the fact that their end-of-the-world prediction failed again, is faced with continuing on with the axiom that X leads to Z and it always has.

Anonymous SanityClause November 09, 2017 6:55 AM  

"High midwittery", it aint that they are unintelligent, or uneducated, they have simply been educated in so many things that aint so.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 6:59 AM  

Six words longer than your version, but without any new words to send people scurrying to the dictionary or Google.

The fact that it has been translated into 27 languages is sufficient to demonstrate that there is no marketing problem. Derb isn't actually reacting negatively to the neologisms, but to the underlying concepts they describe.

Blogger Chris Lutz November 09, 2017 7:01 AM  

@30 It's his personality type. I got into a short debate with him over Germany's use of poison gas in WWI. He described it as a desperate act. I disagreed and you would have thought I was a sinner in need of stern correction.

It's probably a scientific axiom that Germany's use of poison gas was desperate. :-)

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:03 AM  

I like listening and reading ZMan but his belief in science is really cult-like.

The Z man in his above statements has proven beyond any doubt that he is a scientific ignoramus of a high order who has learned a little bit of information and who now feels himself qualified to overturn the philosophy of Karl Popper. He is an utter Philistine. Avoid like the plague.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:11 AM  

Derb's summary:

Supposing this is a fair picture of the Alt Right perspective, am I on board with it? Do I belong to the Alt Right?

As you can see from my comments, I have plenty of quibbles, and I’d prefer to get my manifesto from someone acquainted with the elementary principles of scientific inquiry.

Still, it’s not bad. I can sign up to most of Vox Day’s points.


Vox, as you can see, you lost him at point 8 probably due to the new words you are putting in there which a reader will find hard to find a definition for and almost certainly will not know the word upon reading it. (I didn't and the Derb didn't).

Given we have been speaking about things being liable for revision, I reckon point 8 could bear some improvement.

As Jordan Peterson says, a critic is a very very valuable person especially if it's very honest and no-holds-barred criticism from somebody who knows their onions.

In regards to not understanding the principles of science, well that bit was unfair and the sciences probably aren't the Derb's strong suit.

But all the same, I reckon point 8 could be improved, especially since we would like this list to gain common acceptance and also especially since it needs to be translated into other languages.

Blogger Stilicho November 09, 2017 7:13 AM  

"Science" is a religion for many high church atheists, therefore, any perceived attack on science must be opposed lest their god suffer lese majeste.

As for a term: midtwittery- can sound somewhat intelligent or plausible for 140 characters or less. It falls apart after that.

Blogger JACIII November 09, 2017 7:16 AM  

This is one of those moments when you suddenly realize that someone simply isn't as intelligent as you had previously thought they were.

It is, at times, astounding that mastery of language and the inability to deal in simple abstractions can occupy the same brain. We attribute understanding to many who are merely good at chaining words together, sometimes even by rote. It's a mistake and why many "thought leaders" often fall short.

Anonymous HoosierHillbilly November 09, 2017 7:21 AM  

@43 aww, give it up cuz. Vox is trying to be the whetstone here. Not throwing out a knife that has a slight nick in it.

Blogger S1AL November 09, 2017 7:23 AM  

We didn't *need* another example of "science as religion", but it's always fun.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:29 AM  

@47 That's not a knife - THIS IS A KNIFE

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:31 AM  

To be honest this is the first I have heard about the Z Man. Perhaps he has other redeeming virtues but in his utterances on science above, he was a Philistine.

Anonymous I'm Not a Fascist. But My Sons Are. November 09, 2017 7:31 AM  

Point 8 does not 'travel'. It's not that it's introduction of neologisms is in error (since they are ultimately needed), but that they disrupt the flow of the points themselves.

Consumability and communicability are, it seems to me, of paramount importance. Perhaps even more important than the need for accuracy insofar as the points themselves are a rhetorical vehicle.

Bit of a goiter, that point 8. I would re-evaluate my commitment to it.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:35 AM  

Exhibit A:

Therefore, we wither kill all the scientists or create a new moral philosophy.

Lunacy.

Exhibit B:

People tend not to grasp the definitions of science, because the have had little exposure to math or science.

Hypocrisy.

Exhibit C:

Karl Popper was wrong. If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth. That’s nihilism.

Astonishing arrogance and delusions of grandeur.

I rest my case.

Verdict: In the matter of being a Philistine, we find the defendant guilty.

Sentence: Avoid like the plague.

Anonymous Naga November 09, 2017 7:38 AM  

This seems like child abuse to me. The very next post frames him in the reverse of a very similar problem.

http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=11988

I wonder what his response to you will be; if he's still stuck in a trance, delusion, or engram, whatever, or if your response is enough to pull him out of it. He may not be entirely stuck given this partial age regression.

Does anyone have a book on this stuff? It is of great importance to me.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 09, 2017 7:40 AM  

Can't into the framing problem, sad!

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 7:42 AM  

VD wrote:As is so often the case when people try to "correct" me and "offer advice", all you manage to do is to demonstrate that you don't understand the situation. We already have plain English words for scientody, scientistry, and scientage. And those words are "science", "science", and "science".

Therein lies the problem.

I'm doing nothing of the sort; it's your manifesto, and clearly it's been useful. You don't need any feedback from me, and I don't offer any. This whole scenario demonstrates that that particular point is a difficult one to chew on, even for people who ought to know better.

Science isn't the word for all three of those, though, because clearly we need to discuss nuance about science that's more fine-grained than "science" however. But we do already have words (or phrases) that are in common usage: the scientific method for scientody and the science industry for scientistry, etc.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf November 09, 2017 7:42 AM  

Re: thezman
Karl Popper was wrong. If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth. That’s nihilism.

He's confusing basic deduction with induction. That said, I'm not completely convinced Popper's use of modus tollens is entirely appropriate either, for similar reasons. Though it is useful. I'll try to look into it in December if I have time.

Anonymous badhairday November 09, 2017 7:45 AM  

Or we could always think very carefully before using the word 'science'.

Scientific method/observation/measurement are all much more precise terms.

Although I must admit to a strong liking for the term scientoflummery.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:47 AM  

@56 the Z man just doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

Blogger SirGroggy November 09, 2017 7:53 AM  

Science, like mathematics, is about the accumulation of axioms, things that are assumed to be true by their nature. Put another way, if everything is open to revision, there is no truth.

The Z man really, really, really does not understand science.

A basic introductory science course (first year university, or good high school) is enough to dispel this nonsense.

Anonymous Faceless November 09, 2017 7:55 AM  

#8 is brilliant, but it requires accepting the terms, which you defined.

It is a rejection of the appeal to authority of an academic degree or researcher title, calling that just democracy, and instead appeals to Roger Bacon empiricism.

What's not to like about this? The words are funny when you first see them, but we have to have something to separate "what scientists do" from "the empirical method" since they have diverged.

Blogger 4499 November 09, 2017 7:55 AM  

As to a new term for this type of high midwittery, I suggest we start calling it "Entomology - the origin and history of words."

OpenID crapulux November 09, 2017 7:58 AM  

Going to Engineering school taught me one very important life lesson: very intelligent people can be just as dumb as everyone else, depending on circumstances.

@VD - "I find myself wondering if these failures are a logical consequence of his atheistic philosophical incoherence"

I propose another interpretation: these people sound like young engineers who have never been proven wrong. Nothing teaches humility like a neat expensive prototype going up in smoke...

Or being absolutely sure that you can jump over that bump on a BMX bike, and ending up with a mouthful of dirt due to real world physics being superior to the power of ego.

Or being too obnoxious in front of the wrong people and getting punched in the mouth.

Derbyshire is a programmer, so that may explain it.

Believing in the existence of God should also result in humility. So I'm just proposing a superset of your theory.



Anonymous Faceless November 09, 2017 8:01 AM  

The Zman needs religion.

Anonymous VFM #6306 November 09, 2017 8:01 AM  

The zman's inability to grasp the recourse request of Gab was an earlier indication of the limit to his intelligence.

Not that he made the mistake in the first place, but that he couldn't learn anything from it.

Many worship at the altar ofscientody while scoffing at the improved precision of the term "scientody." It is almost as if they believe it should not be named...

Blogger seeingsights November 09, 2017 8:02 AM  

'If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth. That’s nihilism.'

Thezman is confusing fallibilism with relativism.

The relativist says: there is no truth.

The fallibilist says: there is truth, it is obtainable, but we can't be 100 percent sure that we have attained it.

Concerning Derbyshire and the planet Mars: That Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter is a contingent fact. It is theoretically possible, for example, that Mars could be pushed out from its orbit, or even out of the solar system. Highly unlikely, yes, though possible.

This stuff is Philosophy of Science 101. I hate it when people opine on this subject who are not conversant with the literature in the field. I see this in philosophy forums on the internet.

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 8:06 AM  

4499 wrote:As to a new term for this type of high midwittery, I suggest we start calling it "Entomology - the origin and history of words."
I see what you did there...

Anonymous Bowman November 09, 2017 8:08 AM  

VD wrote:Zman, the guy who sells himself as the greatest on the Right, and who lives in ... Baltimore.

That's not fair. Hammer him for his pseudoscientific posturing and philosophical incoherence all you like, but he's not running around dancing for the media or claiming to be something he isn't.


I'm just saying when you talk big, attack big names, you have to have at least a minimum level of consistency.

About his pseudoscientific posturing :

Science, like mathematics, is about the accumulation of axioms
It is, until someone build a superior theory encompassing those axioms in a stronger, simpler model. Otherwise those axioms are not science, but recipes.
Accumulation is the tool of leftists. They don't try to correct, to integrate, they add. Adding is easy, it doesn't need knowledge of the past. It doesn't need to build a sensible whole.
Look at the law code. The tax code. It's a gigantic pile. Unfathomable. Inconsistent. The power is not in the code, but in the one using it.

things that are assumed to be true by their nature
As someone said further up, this is not science but an idol.

Blogger Duke Norfolk November 09, 2017 8:10 AM  

Wow. I'm gobsmacked too. To say I'm disappointed in learning this about Z is an understatement (I hadn't yet read his latest few blog posts, but will). His fundamental misunderstanding of all t his, as explicated by Vox, is really astounding, coming as it is from a seeming very smart guy. (Though he comes across to me as a strange combo of arrogance and humility.)

And the biggest problem here is the absolute certainty he has demonstrated on this, and the dismissive and acerbic tone he has taken with dissent.

I don't know that he can find his way to the truth from here. I guess we'll see if he really is humble enough and open to learning, or if he'll just dig his heels in and close his mind. (I have to think he's smart enough to understand this, but maybe I'm wrong on that.)

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 8:11 AM  

This whole scenario demonstrates that that particular point is a difficult one to chew on, even for people who ought to know better.

Fair enough. But it is apparent to me that unless and until people start using materially different terms for the three primary aspects of science, it will be trivially easy for the dishonest and the sophistic to utilize ambiguity to cloak their false arguments.

Blogger Duke Norfolk November 09, 2017 8:11 AM  

As to the "scientific fact" that Mars is closer to Earth than Jupiter, I think this is a category error of sorts. I think this is more geography than science.

Blogger 4499 November 09, 2017 8:12 AM  

@66 I didn't do it.

"thezman
He comically analyzed the possible entomology of the words, “scientodific” and “scientody”."

Anonymous Rocklea November 09, 2017 8:15 AM  

New words need to be fictionalized to be popularized. Alt Hero.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 8:15 AM  

I'm just saying when you talk big, attack big names, you have to have at least a minimum level of consistency.

True. I have to admit that I am once again deeply disappointed to see a supposedly formidable foe reveal himself to be a tissue paper tiger. How many times have we seen "oh, Vox may have torn apart X, but he hasn't dealt with Y yet!"

The amusing thing is that although people consider me to be annoyingly arrogant, the evidence actually tends to suggest that I am not arrogant enough.

Blogger Chris Lutz November 09, 2017 8:16 AM  

@63 He needs a new religion because right now science is his religion.

Blogger OGRE November 09, 2017 8:22 AM  

Wow that was just embarrassing. Hes at odds with every single empiricist philosopher since Bacon in his understanding of deductive, inductive, and abductive logic; the scientific method and its uses and limitations; and most surprisingly the meaning of the term "falsifiable" in Popper's post-positivist demarcation of scientific knowledge.

To be fair, most of the current crop of 'rational skeptics' science fetishists don't understand Popper's criterion of demarcation. Popper's philosophy of science was in response to the Logical Positivist's and their Verification Principle. The Verification Principle essentially held that only propositions that are empirically verifiable can have any real meaning. Thus propositions concerning metaphysics, religion, ethics, morality, and aesthetics were completely void of truth and meaning. Of course the verification principle proved to be absurd on its face and self-refuting; it can't even stand up to its own test as the verification principle is not an empirically verifiable statement. As such, logical positivism, in trying to formulate such an extreme materialist philosophy, was thoroughly and savagely destroyed.

Popper was one of the most serious critics of positivsm and verificationism. He put forth his principle of falsifiability as the definition of scientific knowledge; if a proposition is inherently unfalsifiable then it would fall outside the realm of scientific knowledge. Today this is often confused as Popper defining ALL knowledge as only that which is potentially falsifiable..i.e. that Popper would claim that if its not falsifiable then its meaningless. This was not the case at all, as Popper was simply defining the difference between what can properly be called scientific knowledge as opposed to other types of knowledge. Popper absolutely rejected the proposition that non-falsifiable statements are meaningless, contrary to what many of the science fetishists wish to claim. All Popper was doing was defining what can properly be called science; hence why it is called a "criterion of demarcation" that points out the difference between how we obtain scientific knowledge and the limitations thereof as opposed to how we gain knowledge about other matters such as metaphysics and ethics.

The modern day youtube 'rational skeptics' and other sceince fetishists want to cling to materialist logicial positivism by perverting Popper's falsificationism back into the verification principle. It is all so brilliantly absurd and actually quite comedic to watch such middling pseudo intellectuals try to bring back the most thoroughly discredited school of philosophy in modern history and try to pass it off as ultimate truth and call it SCIENCE. Popper was simply giving a very precise definition of what was science and what was not, but the fetishists want to treat it as the definition of all potential knowledge.

But like with all forms of extreme materialist empiricism, this falls quickly and inescapably into nihilism. Disregarding the self-refuting aspect of all such empiricist theories of knowledge--as every single one would inherently require non-empirical proof--even assuming such to be true it would be impossible to find any meaning or truth outside of raw physical existence. There would be no meaning to anything, no value, no morality. Just black empty existence. Even scientific knowledge would have no meaning or purpose..it would be just a brief and fleeting blip of matter and energy coming together in a specific pattern in an organisms brain then evaporating back into the vast nothingness.

Blogger Glaivester November 09, 2017 8:29 AM  

The zman thinks he found a scientodic and a scientodific crawling on the rosebush leaves in his garden today.

Blogger tuberman November 09, 2017 8:30 AM  

New and alternative words often occur when there is a need to delve deeper into patterns within patterns or nuances. If the new words shed light, they are likely to remain.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 8:31 AM  

Popper was one of the most serious critics of positivsm and verificationism. He put forth his principle of falsifiability as the definition of scientific knowledge; if a proposition is inherently unfalsifiable then it would fall outside the realm of scientific knowledge. Today this is often confused as Popper defining ALL knowledge as only that which is potentially falsifiable..i.e. that Popper would claim that if its not falsifiable then its meaningless. This was not the case at all, as Popper was simply defining the difference between what can properly be called scientific knowledge as opposed to other types of knowledge. Popper absolutely rejected the proposition that non-falsifiable statements are meaningless, contrary to what many of the science fetishists wish to claim. All Popper was doing was defining what can properly be called science; hence why it is called a "criterion of demarcation" that points out the difference between how we obtain scientific knowledge and the limitations thereof as opposed to how we gain knowledge about other matters such as metaphysics and ethics.

One definitely has the impression that the Zman has not read Popper, or even Kuhn, himself, but rather, has read what people have written about Popper. That may not be the case, of course. It could simply be a case of the pescatorial ape reading Nietzsche.

Blogger Brad Matthews November 09, 2017 8:36 AM  

Point 8 obviosly struck a nerve, hence the reaction.

Blogger tuberman November 09, 2017 8:38 AM  

Zman's position, as many have said (on science) is just absurd. My problem is more with Derb, and his argument against the use of alternative words for science as it is presented today. These new words, or similar, are necessary because using "science" for all these cases does not shed any light on problems that are ongoing.

Blogger James Dixon November 09, 2017 8:50 AM  

> We attribute understanding to many who are merely good at chaining words together, sometimes even by rote.

Case in point, Obama.

> ...the Z man just doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

That's not the problem. The problem is that he refuses education when it's offered.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 09, 2017 8:52 AM  

Atheism takes humility out back and shoots it in the head repeatedly.

Blogger Todd Brown November 09, 2017 8:54 AM  

Did this honestly warrant an entire blog post, VD? Just what exactly is your real motivation for attacking Z Man here? Posting the comments section from his blog? You're such a faggot sometimes.

Anonymous Ain November 09, 2017 8:55 AM  

"I think there may even be a book in it, if I can manage to squeeze more than 24 hours from each day. Suffice it to say that I don’t think science and technology can be jammed into the moral philosophy of the 17th and 18th century. Therefore, we wither kill all the scientists or create a new moral philosophy."

So he wants to write a comedy, then.

Anonymous Avalanche November 09, 2017 8:57 AM  

@27 "Yes there can be scientific facts, "

Scientific "fact," which I/m sure Zman "used to" know for 100% sure: Pluto is a planet.

Wot?

Blogger slarrow November 09, 2017 8:57 AM  

Zman and Derb are committing a category error. The relative distances of the planets are part of scientage, not scientody. But when they were first observed, they were provisional due to scientody.

To be fair, Vox is trying to coin some neologisms here, and the usual search suspects aren't much help. Perhaps a brief rundown of the terms and a hyperlink in the 16 points might help?

Finally, facts are not axioms. Duh. Has the Zman never heard of a priori and a posteriori? That's the trouble with these types: they think they're doing science when they're really doing philosophy, and poorly at that.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 9:04 AM  

Did this honestly warrant an entire blog post, VD?

Yes.

Just what exactly is your real motivation for attacking Z Man here?

To provide a healthy reminder to him and everyone else that I am his intellectual superior.

Posting the comments section from his blog?

Data is data.

You're such a faggot sometimes.

Mmmm... I'm getting gamma, with just a hint of reichtardery.

Anonymous Avalanche November 09, 2017 9:05 AM  

@46 "It is, at times, astounding that mastery of language and the inability to deal in simple abstractions can occupy the same brain. We attribute understanding to many who are merely good at chaining words together, sometimes even by rote. It's a mistake and why many "thought leaders" often fall short."

And there, in a nice nutshell, is a description of very many 'high-on-the-Bell-curve' blacks.

Anonymous Ain November 09, 2017 9:08 AM  

"That’s OK, except for the word “philosophy.” Let’s not get ideas above our station here. Aristotle had a philosophy. Descartes had a philosophy. Kant had a philosophy. What the Alt Right has is an attitude."

He really is being a blowhard:

"philosophy: 4 a) the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group"

Derb literally looked up the philosophy of the alt-right in his five minutes of research to prep for the subject.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 09, 2017 9:08 AM  

Atheism takes humility out back and shoots it in the head repeatedly.

kek

Anonymous Avalanche November 09, 2017 9:10 AM  

@55 "Science isn't the word for all three of those, though, because clearly we need to discuss nuance about science that's more fine-grained than "science" however. But we do already have words (or phrases) that are in common usage: the scientific method for scientody and the science industry for scientistry, etc."

And, while Vox's uncomfortable, brain-twisting neologisms work (at his level; not-so-much at mine?), I cannot but wonder what words/terms/phrases the translators used for his English-language neologisms. Did they, too, have to create new words in their languages?

Anonymous Bowman November 09, 2017 9:10 AM  

Avalanche wrote:@46 "It is, at times, astounding that mastery of language and the inability to deal in simple abstractions can occupy the same brain. We attribute understanding to many who are merely good at chaining words together, sometimes even by rote. It's a mistake and why many "thought leaders" often fall short."

And there, in a nice nutshell, is a description of very many 'high-on-the-Bell-curve' blacks.


This 88th comment could have been much better.

Anonymous kfg November 09, 2017 9:14 AM  

"If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth."

I only have enough speech to falsify the hypothesis that I have been rendered speechless.

Blogger James Dixon November 09, 2017 9:16 AM  

> My problem is more with Derb, and his argument against the use of alternative words for science as it is presented today.

I think his argument is more of "I have no idea what this means and therefore reject it, as it contravene my understanding of science."

Allow me to take a look at a few of his objections. Since I can't speak for Vox, who will discuss this himself, I'll speak for myself only.

With respect to point 3: "That’s OK, except for the word “philosophy.” Let’s not get ideas above our station here."

I reject false modesty.

> I think the Jews should have gotten a mention there, since half of the Christian Bible is about them. That’s a kind of fielder’s-choice point, though.

I don't. The Jews have been partakers of and occasional contributors to Western Civilization, but in point of fact are also routinely hostile towards it. At best it's a wash, and not anything suitable to being a pillar.

With respect to point 5, he's confusing nation and state.

With respect to his objection to point 6, history indicates he's completely incorrect. Just to take his first case, a significant percentage of the population would be lining up to sell off their fellow humans up as slaves. Hmm, there may even be a tie in to point my comment on point 3 above.

Point 8 is discussed above.

His objection to point 9 is a simple yes, but it's overly simplistic. Duh. They're general principles.

His objection to point 13 is a simple someone please demonstrate this for. I'm sure Vox will be happy to point him to the relevant evidence.

With respect to his objection to point 14, he's simply wrong. This is a war for existence, as a simple review of the statements of our opponents will demonstrate.

His objections to point 15 are a mishmash of words indicating he doesn't understand the point being made.

His objection to point 16 is a strawman.

Blogger James Dixon November 09, 2017 9:21 AM  

> Just what exactly is your real motivation for attacking Z Man here?

Sigh. Pointing out that someone has no idea what they're talking about is *not* an attack. How do you expect to learn if it's not pointed out when you're wrong?

Anonymous Avalanche November 09, 2017 9:23 AM  

@87 VD: To provide a healthy reminder to him and everyone else that I am his intellectual superior.

All hail our Supreme Dark Lord!

Anonymous Stickwick November 09, 2017 9:24 AM  

He also pointed out the absurdity of the claim that scientific conclusions are liable to future revision. For instance, Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter, a conclusion of science that will never be liable to revision. ...

Science, like mathematics, is about the accumulation of axioms, things that are assumed to be true by their nature.


Bro needs to analyze the possible "entomology" of "assumed."

Humans are remarkably adept at avoiding unwanted conclusions. Scott Adams describes several tells for cognitive dissonance, including this one:

Nonsense Rebuttal: When you hear an irrational response to your rational argument, it probably means the argument was sound but it violated someone’s sense of identity. Here I am talking about the truly illogical responses you see on the Internet all the time, not routine disagreements over data and priorities.

There is a battle within each of us between our cherished ideas and our integrity + intelligence. When a man is unwilling to let go of a cherished idea that has run afoul of logic or evidence, he has no choice but to relinquish his integrity. With that integrity goes his functional intelligence. This is why progressives and atheists so often seem terminally stupid, even when they possess greater than average IQs.

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 9:27 AM  

Avalanche wrote:And, while Vox's uncomfortable, brain-twisting neologisms work (at his level; not-so-much at mine?), I cannot but wonder what words/terms/phrases the translators used for his English-language neologisms. Did they, too, have to create new words in their languages?
English: The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific.

Spanish: La Derecha Alternativa cree en el método científico. Acepta en principio las conclusiones presentes del método científico, al mismo tiempo que entiende que a), estas conclusiones están sujetas a futuras revisiones, b) que la ciencia no es inmune a la corrupción, y c) que el así llamado consenso científico no está fundamentado en el método científico, sino en la democracia, y es en consecuencia intrínsecamente anti-científico.

In place of scientody, it says el metodo cientifico, which clearly means "the scientific method" even if you don't speak Spanish. For scientistry, it just has the Spanish word for science. I happen to speak Spanish, but even if you don't, you can see that.

The 8th point doesn't refer to scientage, so the third of the neologisms remains untranslated.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 09, 2017 9:29 AM  

I've enjoyed reading zman lately but this exchange is painful to read. Hopefully he will listen to the criticism, brutal as it is.

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 9:42 AM  

Didn't there used to be a Lexicon? err... Voxicon?

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 9:44 AM  

also this kerfluffle about number 8 has me curious... It must have been a pain in the ass to translate the words you made up.

Unless of course the other language already has words for those concepts... which I find unlikely. Because those would be useful words.. and we english speakers would have appropriated them into english by now... like we did with schadenfreude.

Anonymous patrick kelly November 09, 2017 9:49 AM  

Fools reject one form of dogmatic , legalistic religion and create their own

Blogger Student in Blue November 09, 2017 9:54 AM  

Just the fact that a theory can be proven as being less correct than another theory is proof that there is a truth that is being worked towards.

If there was no truth, then both theories would be equally valid.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 09, 2017 10:13 AM  

According to ZMan, Fred Reed went crazy because

"He started picking fights with guys like John Derbyshire for no reason. He went on some long rants about evolution. He’s pretty much a biology denier, as far as I can tell. Admittedly, his corn-pone philosopher act does not sit well with me. That and he does not always argue from good faith."

A biology denier? WTF?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 09, 2017 10:16 AM  

Derbyshire responds to point 8:
c) The scientific consensus is unscientific? Huh? And why is the consensus “so-called”? There usually—not always, but usually—is a scientific consensus. It occasionally turns out to have been wrong, but it’s a consensus none the less, not a “so-called” consensus.

Duh. "Global warming consensus" should be enough for Derb. Have suspected for a while that his math ability clouds his understanding of wet-sink, lab-bench, computer-simulation science.

Anonymous TheBoom November 09, 2017 10:19 AM  

Zman is one of those modern "thinkers" whose "thinking" has always seemed to me to be overrated. If you believe in any occasion that the science is settled, you don't understand science. Humans always think they understand more than they do and that is true, more than ever, when there is a major replication crisis. Granted, I am one of those boomers Vox and Zman hate so much so I'm not predisposed to automatically loving what they write but most truths need to be seen as a work in process.

Blogger OGRE November 09, 2017 10:19 AM  

If there was no truth, it would be true that there was no truth. If its true that there was no truth, then there exists at least one proposition that is true. Therefore, there must be truth. Simplistic yes, but it works.

A lot of all this just goes back to the old rationalist vs empiricist debate. The science fetishists are simply following in the same footsteps as their predecessers, striving in vain to create some Grand Unified Theory of Everything so as to elevate themselves to the level of deities. But trying to claim that all knowledge is based upon, and can only be derived from, empirical data is absurd and highly counter-intuitive. Data must be interpreted, classified, understood, categorized, in order to make any sense of it. And in order to do that we use the foundational tool of Logic, from which we derived the tool of Mathematics. Without either of those we couldn't begin to obtain anything considered knowledge simply from observation of the physical world.

Its one of the things that separates us from animals, our innate capacity for Logic and Reason. And I personally consider it as strong evidence of a Creator that gave us this ability.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 09, 2017 10:19 AM  

As someone already pointed out, that all theories can be challenged and subject to a falsification test does not mean that they actually will be falsified.

Are not observations not challenge-able?

Is that not why an eye witness/observer is crossed examined or an insane person is not a, ahem, a reliable eyewitness/observer?

WHich reminds me a joke ...

Anonymous Belisarius November 09, 2017 10:20 AM  

He does not distinguish between what is true and what is knowable to be true. He should read Heidegger.

That said, you made my day.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 09, 2017 10:24 AM  

VD: "... the evidence actually tends to suggest that I am not arrogant enough."

What does wife say to this?

Blogger Student in Blue November 09, 2017 10:29 AM  

What does wife say to this?

My guess would be, "Yeah, probably."

Anonymous fop November 09, 2017 10:32 AM  

"Karl Popper was wrong. If everything can be falsified, then there is no truth."

There's been a few really smart guys in history who have challenged Popper.

However, they usually don't immediately go full retard in the very next sentence.

Kind of like saying "Helen Keller was wrong. If blind people fly helicopters people will die."



Anonymous BBGKB November 09, 2017 10:32 AM  

For the latest in unsettled science http://retractionwatch.com/

For instance, Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter,

Mars could self identify as Pluto

Blogger tuberman November 09, 2017 10:37 AM  

I read the complete Derb comments. Ahh, a whole lot of nits for sure. VD should have fun with his article on this. This whole thing is helping me get down the 16 points tighter, instead of a couple of quick reads.

Not a philosophy, but an attitude? Hmmm.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab November 09, 2017 10:38 AM  

Zman removed you from his blog list when the gab thing went down. I don't get the neologisms either. Every single time I have to look up what you mean. It's frustrating. The words don't have any, 'hook' to them they simply don't stick beyond some kind of bad science.

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 10:40 AM  

A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Duh. "Global warming consensus" should be enough for Derb. Have suspected for a while that his math ability clouds his understanding of wet-sink, lab-bench, computer-simulation science.
It is pretty ironic that two guys who's blog posts and columns are mostly about challenging the scientific consensus of blank slate with the better model of hbd (albeit in a non-rigorous way) seem to be completely flummoxed by this point in the 16th point. They're entire thing is an EXAMPLE of exactly what the 8th point is talking about, and provides exactly the context for why it is needed.

As Stickwick (and others) have pointed out, I think to some degree they have their identity wrapped up in being some kind of pseudo-scientific iconoclast guru. This point strikes a potential blow against their identity that they can't reconcile, so they start vomiting nonsense as a self-defense mechanism.

Anonymous BBGKB November 09, 2017 10:40 AM  

Can We Still Rely On Science Done By Sexual Harassers? If you want breasts to defy gravity you would.
https://www.wired.com/story/science-harassment-data/

http://retractionwatch.com/2017/11/04/weekend-reads-researcher-sues-criticism-fire-professor-science-sexual-harassers/#more-52464

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable November 09, 2017 10:49 AM  

Valtandor Nought wrote:Cynically, however, one might say that to the ordinary man, the difference between a "scientific theory" and a "scientific fact" is that the former are argued about by boffins at conferences and in learned journals, while the latter are taught to children as "the truth" in classrooms and textbooks.

There, I think you have nailed it: he has an elementary schoolchild's understanding of Science as a mysterious Source Of Truth. He's not even really non-religious then, since he has unquestionable creeds -- and since his axioms are about the material world, he is literally anti-science. Call it... the Science Cargo Cult.

Anonymous JI November 09, 2017 10:52 AM  

Zman is a smart guy, he's just having a brain fart, everyone gets them. You know, when you're stuck in one point of view and everyone else is laughing at you, but for some reason you just can't get out of it until something all of a sudden clicks. Zman will undoubtedly snap out of it and chuckle at himself.

Anonymous Lars Porsena November 09, 2017 10:53 AM  

"History, for example, is a matter of firmly established fact, and yet remains largely outside the realm of science and its conclusions."

Yeah I would have to quibble with that one. Firmly established historical "facts" are overturned by new archeological evidence as frequently as in any other field and are often based on hokum. There are historical facts to be certain, like Rome existed, we have evidence of that.

But most of history is theories of what happened meant to explain what few facts we know, and despite the certainty archeologists and historians always profess for their preferred theories, very few of those theories survive the addition of facts found later on.

When you dig up a pot shard, it does not come with a label explaining what it is. For that you need to interpret the pot shard which means theories that will almost certainly be found wrong eventually.

A look at 20th century historical theories in light of 21st century archeological findings does not make archeology look any better than government nutritional science. For example for some time it was presented as established fact that all American indians were descended from a migration of Clovis over the Bering sea 12,000 years ago. Today we have archeological digs in Monte Verde Chile that show human occupation of Chile in 16,000 BC. In the last century credible archeologists were laughed out of the archeological community and had their careers ruined for suggesting such things as are now known about habitation of the Americas.

Cristopher Columbus obviously was given credit for a long time for being the first european to discover the new world, but now we have archaeological evidence of the vikings here centuries earlier, which for a long time was very controversial and it's proponents regarded as kooky.

History is in the same boat. We have theories about what happened thousands of years ago meant to explain pot shards. The theories hold up usually only until someone finds new shards.

Blogger tuberman November 09, 2017 10:55 AM  

116. D

"As Stickwick (and others) have pointed out, I think to some degree they have their identity wrapped up in being some kind of pseudo-scientific iconoclast guru. This point strikes a potential blow against their identity that they can't reconcile, so they start vomiting nonsense as a self-defense mechanism."

I thought of this idea too, and ya'll beat me to it, and it looks like something like that is going on here. It's the "we are the authorities here," and then finding, needing something to hinge in on after the fact.
"She blinded them with science?"

Anonymous Lars Porsena November 09, 2017 11:01 AM  

A bit of rhetorical advise on the issue in question. When you get people who do not understand that science is contingent and not conclusion based, rather than trying to make them understand, ask them for the names of scientists they respect as arbiters of truth. Then have them consult them and rely on an Appeal to Authority.

Not all scientists are happy to explain these facts because some like being the Voice of God, but most legit scientists are pretty clear on the nature of science. I've seen numerous people who could never be convinced about philosophy of science (because they don't understand it and it contradicts their cargo cult concept) about face when their priests back up the argument. They don't have to understand it they will accept it as revealed truth based on logical fallacy. Ask zman who he trusts as a scientist and then appeal to their authority.

Anonymous The Deuce November 09, 2017 11:04 AM  

There is a set of things that have to be true or nothing is true... Scientific conclusions are the first set.

I damned near spit my coffee when I read that, and I wasn't even drinking coffee. I'm trying to think of charitable ways to read what he meant, and there just aren't any.

He's either trying to define "science" in such a weird and tendentious way that all conclusions based on empirical observations fall outside it (and the example of Mars and Jupiter indicate that he's NOT doing this), or else he really doesn't understand the basic logical distinction between logically necessary facts like "1+1=2" and contingent facts gleaned from empirical observation like "Mars is closer to the Sun than Jupiter."

Either way, it's absurd, and suggests his thought processes are just kind of broken in a fundamental way, due to ideology or wiring. It kind of reminds me of arguments with wrf3, for those who remember that.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 11:05 AM  

Yeah I would have to quibble with that one. Firmly established historical "facts" are overturned by new archeological evidence as frequently as in any other field and are often based on hokum.

No. I mean history in the sense of "what actually happened", not history in the sense of "what we presently believe to have happened."

Anonymous FP November 09, 2017 11:05 AM  

"Therefore, we wither kill all the scientists or create a new moral philosophy."

Given the actions and attitudes of current scientists and their industry, I'm all ears about a practical elimination plan.

Look at the medical/healthcare industry in general and specifically nutrition science or cholesterol heart disease theory. Low fat diet is a failure even without "controlled sutdies". What doesn't cause cancer these days. Are eggs in or out of fashion again? Why is my doctor's office asking questions about whether I have a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, fire extinguisher, oh and guns in my house on a simple appointment form.

Or should we just hail our wunderkind scientist overlords? The system is always right!

Anonymous Ryan November 09, 2017 11:09 AM  

The proper take-away from that exchange is none of those people are as intelligent as we'd like them to be. They were in complete agreement on a conceptual level but devoted time and energy to arguing over what words to use to articulate the concepts. And they interpreted their disagreement about what words to use as some actual disagreement about concepts. Very disappointing, all around.

Anonymous CPEG November 09, 2017 11:10 AM  

'In place of scientody, it says el metodo cientifico, which clearly means "the scientific method" even if you don't speak Spanish. For scientistry, it just has the Spanish word for science.'

"Scientific method," "scientific knowledge," and "scientific profession" would be clearer at least for translations, and probably clearer for most English speakers too.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 09, 2017 11:11 AM  

Scientists (as in scientism) are never wrong. They always reach correct conclusions with the data they have.

Blogger kurt9 November 09, 2017 11:11 AM  

The global warming fraud is exhibit A that demonstrates that point 8 of the 16 points is spot on. I had a discussion with a friend of mine last night about global warming and what a fraud it is. The climate "scientists" (I use quotes because they are no such thing) bragged in private emails about how they cooked up the data. Additionally global warming pundits themselves like Al Gore buy and own expensive ocean front real estate. Does this sound like someone who believes global warming is real?

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 11:12 AM  

Zman removed you from his blog list when the gab thing went down.

I suspect this has more than a little to do with his apparent inability to understand science. If so, it is an object lesson in never going out of your way to take a shot at someone. Chances are, you'll wind up shooting your own foot due to your excessive eagerness.

Blogger James Dixon November 09, 2017 11:20 AM  

> The proper take-away from that exchange is none of those people are as intelligent as we'd like them to be.

There are very few people in this world either as intelligent or wise as I would like them to be, including myself.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 09, 2017 11:22 AM  

"And in asserting that science is about the accumulation of axioms with the alternative being nihilism. he demonstrates that he understands neither science nor mathematics nor the philosophy of science. Or, for that matter, nihilism."

Alternatively, he rejects that science is falsifiable, because his misunderstanding of it is his religion. Functionally identical to materialists, assuming he's not one.

"there is no such thing as a "scientific fact"."

I can more or less accept the definition of "fact" as "a statement that can be tested falsifiably and may be either true or untrue". Sadly, that is not a definition that the vast, vast, vast majority of people either cleave to or understand in use. This is due to either the absurdly malicious distortion of the term, by materialists, as "truth", or the attachment by the same parties to scientific terminology (and thus the above definition is a more-honest attempt at defining the term in a useful and accurate manner). I am one of those people who tend to use it incorrectly.

With the modern, twisted understanding of the word or its origins, you are indeed correct that there are no such things as "scientific facts".

"It is falsifiable, it was not falsified, so it is confirmed as fact."

The relative locations of the planets Mars and Jupiter to Sol are extremely precise, but they may potentially still be overturned, although the sorts of revelations that could overturn data with this level of certainty would overturn very much of scientific thought in total. It is extraordinarily unlikely from our current understanding.

"It's his personality type."

Not falsifiable.

"pescatorial ape"

Is that an alternate spelling of piscatorial? I can appreciate the cosmogonic humor if so.

"with just a hint of reichtardery."

Seems like pure reichtardery to me, although that may simply be a subset of gamma...

"while Vox's uncomfortable, brain-twisting neologisms"

Can confirm. While I figured it out after a minute of thought the first time I saw them, only "scientistry" was immediately apparent, an excellent coin. Scientody as the method and Scientage as the people were somewhat more opaque. Sadly, "Scientology" appears to be in use already. The latter two coins are also harder for me to remember to be honest, thought I'm getting better at it.

Blogger JJ from AZ November 09, 2017 11:24 AM  

No. I mean history in the sense of "what actually happened", not history in the sense of "what we presently believe to have happened."

I was going to make the exact point that the esteemed Lars Porsena was going to make but you clarified your remarks.

I would only add that "historical facts" (what actually happened) can never be known by those who weren't actually there, and even then, perspective may alter the perception of what happened, differentiating that perception from what actually happened (see "eyewitness"), resolving in circular fashion directly back to the notion that "historical facts" are just like scientific theories, subject to revision when observation falsifies them.

One other point for Zman, The tiles of these axiomatic "facts" he holds such faith in, always include, the word. "Theory," in their titles. As in: The Theory of Gravity, the Theory of Relativity, and the Theory of Evolution.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 11:25 AM  

Is that an alternate spelling of piscatorial?

It's my Italian interfering with my English spelling.

Anonymous Lars Porsena November 09, 2017 11:28 AM  

"Given the actions and attitudes of current scientists and their industry, I'm all ears about a practical elimination plan."

...and they shall call it the Space Pogrom.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 09, 2017 11:30 AM  

piscatorial

Learned a new word. As a fisherman, not very active in the past few months though, I will use it.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 11:31 AM  

I was going to make the exact point that the esteemed Lars Porsena was going to make but you clarified your remarks.

Clearly we need a new neologism: hisactum, the past as it actually happened as opposed to history, our story of what happened in the past.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora November 09, 2017 11:31 AM  

Zman chose to use astronomy in his example. I wonder why he didn't choose dietary science instead? Oh wait.

Blogger slarrow November 09, 2017 11:35 AM  

Clearly we need a new neologism: hisactum, the past as it actually happened as opposed to history, our story of what happened in the past.

We're starting to get into noumena/phenomena territory here....

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 09, 2017 11:37 AM  

"Can We Still Rely On Science Done By Sexual Harassers?"

Just more examples of the Hedo-atheists burning heretics to their cult at the stake.

"There are very few people in this world either as intelligent or wise as I would like them to be"

I'd dump my int for wis in a heartbeat.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 09, 2017 11:38 AM  

@119 There's more here than can be written off as just a brain fart. This is either a significant misunderstanding of science on zman's part or a willingness to make an outlandish argument just to take a swipe at Vox.

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 11:42 AM  

I just never got the appeal of Zman. He struck me as just another mid-wit... writing specifically to make other mid-wits feel smarter because they read his words.

Same schtick as moldbug executed in a very different way.

Blogger OGRE November 09, 2017 11:44 AM  

@141 a little from column A, a little from column B

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 11:45 AM  

"This is either a significant misunderstanding of science on zman's part "

the man calls people who doubt evolution "biology deniers". This alone is sufficient to demonstrate that he has no grounding in science. And his pathetic shouts of nihilism are proof plenty that he has no exposure to philosophy at all.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 09, 2017 11:45 AM  

At least it's not your English interfering with your American spelling.

"hisactum"

That at least is memorable if not pellucid.

Anonymous LES November 09, 2017 11:48 AM  

Yeah, my FB friends who "fucking love science" are completely ignorant of science and appeal to the authority of the the shamans with the secret knowledge that agrees with their liberal identity and politics.

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 11:51 AM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:I'd dump my int for wis in a heartbeat.
Western civilization would be wonderful if more women used int as a dump stat and loaded up wis and cha, I sometimes think—although not usually in such nerdy terms. Then, of course, they'd be more likely to have sons with the same traits, so I guess we're stuck with where we are.

Blogger Desdichado November 09, 2017 11:54 AM  

Nate wrote:I just never got the appeal of Zman. He struck me as just another mid-wit... writing specifically to make other mid-wits feel smarter because they read his words.

Same schtick as moldbug executed in a very different way.

He was eloquent and reasonably entertaining HBD and post-libertarianism for the masses. I used to enjoy reading him more, but he's waxing repetitive, and it's clear that after reading a few months worth of posts that he's probably reached the limit of his ability to offer anything more interesting or insightful than he already has.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 09, 2017 11:57 AM  

@138
Zman chose to use astronomy in his example.

Even that is dumb. Because Pluto.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 09, 2017 12:00 PM  

@144 You're right on both counts, but the poor comprehension zman exhibits is more common than it should be. For example, I lost count of the number of times that I heard biology professors claim that it was necessary to understand evolution in order to understand biology.

Blogger DonReynolds November 09, 2017 12:10 PM  

Science is deliberately tenuous and invites debate and challenge. It is never presented as fact. Attempts to explain events are theories...which are tested and re-tested, and we still retain a healthy drop of skepticism regarding the reliability of the outcome (under all conditions). Measurement is its own problem and yet no theory was dependent on the units of measure. While attempting to isolate and test a specific theory, there are usually multiple theories that are tested in the same experiment. Science is not a single theory but generations of theories, some better than others, and some sequential or necessary for other theories.

It is tenuous or hazardous to get very far out on the scientific branch without it breaking off, due to the nature of probability. For simultaneous events to be true, the final probability is the product of the individual probabilities along the way. The more events we need to cooperate, the less likely we are to have a successful outcome. The product of probabilities can quickly become very unlikely.

Some experiments are successful and others are failures, but the scientific mind is excited by the prospect of discovery and failed experiments may open doors to hidden knowledge.

Anonymous Gregor Mendel November 09, 2017 12:16 PM  

@150
I lost count of the number of times that I heard biology professors claim that it was necessary to understand evolution in order to understand biology.



Wait, what?

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 12:23 PM  

"Wait, what? "

the true believers literally view all biological evidence and observation through evolution colored glasses... and call that science.

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 12:24 PM  

"This is an extremely well-known fact. Let’s call this (A). A person, who did not know (A), would be uncommonly ignorant. To assert that all scientific conclusions are open to revision, as Vox Day has done, is to deny the existence of (A). I see he is now pushing around the goal post on wheels to try and obscure the fact he made a ridiculous statement, but that changes nothing."

see?

Midwit gotta midwit

Blogger DonReynolds November 09, 2017 12:24 PM  

VD wrote:I was going to make the exact point that the esteemed Lars Porsena was going to make but you clarified your remarks.

Clearly we need a new neologism: hisactum, the past as it actually happened as opposed to history, our story of what happened in the past.


Historiography is the study of the study of history, which I always found more interesting than history itself. It may be terribly interesting what ancient and medieval historians never mention and a bit too self-serving what they do. There has always been political propaganda slipped into the pages of history. During wartime we tend to get more of it.

Anonymous The Deuce November 09, 2017 12:29 PM  

I can remember what two of Vox's terms mean just by looking at the words. IIRC:

scientody - The act of actually doing science as advertised by the hagiography in your typical grade school science book. Eg. careful observation, experimentation, hypothesis, testing, all while following proper practices of logical reasoning. This is what most scientists want you to think they're doing all the time.

scientistry - The practice of being someone with the word "scientist" in their job title. This is what professional scientists *actually* do, which of course is infinitely more susceptible to irrationality, groupthink, egos, and politics than they want to admit.

scientage - This is the one I'm unclear on and have to look up.

Blogger Nate November 09, 2017 12:30 PM  

"scientage - This is the one I'm unclear on and have to look up."

This is the knowledge base.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 09, 2017 12:43 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 09, 2017 12:52 PM  

Perhaps better to call it the theoretical scaffold or the data repository, lest we fall into the same traps all over again.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine November 09, 2017 12:56 PM  

We just need a giant WIP sign really...

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 12:56 PM  

Midwit gotta midwit

(nods)

Blogger JohnofAustria November 09, 2017 12:58 PM  

I'm still butt-mad about Zman confusing science with truth, or expecting something as grandiose as the truth to be purely empirically testable. It brings out the REEEEEEEEEEE in me.

Blogger JohnofAustria November 09, 2017 1:04 PM  

Maybe I'm just being a language pedant about truth, but then I see people like him *and* the left use "truth" for both the laws of thermodynamics and moral propositions, so I believe I have a strong case for my rage.

Blogger James Dixon November 09, 2017 1:08 PM  

> To assert that all scientific conclusions are open to revision, as Vox Day has done, is to deny the existence of (A).

There's something more going on here than a simple misunderstanding of the nature of science. That's such an obviously false statement that it has to be deliberate.

Anonymous Lars Porsena November 09, 2017 1:30 PM  

I don't think it's deliberate. He seems to confuse being falsifiable with being false. Confuse open to revision with being in need of it.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 09, 2017 1:30 PM  

@163 JohnofAustria
n I see people like him *and* the left use "truth" for both the laws of thermodynamics and moral propositions,

Which side of that bothers you more?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 09, 2017 1:37 PM  

@164 James Dixon
There's something more going on here than a simple misunderstanding of the nature of science. That's such an obviously false statement that it has to be deliberate.

Derbyshire practices scientism. He doesn't have to understand because faith.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 09, 2017 1:39 PM  

Any time one relies on the scientific body of knowledge, one is implicitly trusting the publisher of that knowledge. There is always a possibility of data being misreported, either intentionally or unintentionally. Is this really such a difficult concept?

Anonymous TheTruthIsAlwaysUnacceptable November 09, 2017 1:39 PM  

JaimeInTexas wrote:According to ZMan, Fred Reed went crazy because

"He started picking fights with guys like John Derbyshire for no reason. He went on some long rants about evolution. He’s pretty much a biology denier, as far as I can tell. Admittedly, his corn-pone philosopher act does not sit well with me. That and he does not always argue from good faith."

A biology denier? WTF?

He is probably referring to Fred's attempted take down of evolution (see https://fredoneverything.org/category/evolution/ and https://fredoneverything.org/darwin-unhinged-the-bugs-in-evolution/ as examples).

Anonymous CPEG November 09, 2017 1:43 PM  

@James Dixon
I don't think it's deliberate, but it is beyond a simple misunderstanding. I think this is essentially how superstitions work.

Best I can figure, he has a religious devotion to the idea of scientists using the Scientific Method to obtain truths so certain they can be taken as iron truth afterwards. Uncovering the hidden axioms that were there the whole time, unknown, but now we finally know, for certain. And the idea that even formerly solid conclusions can be overturned, offends this vision.

In my observation, utopianism and fanaticism come from the same source; any position that is too far from one's preferred utopia sparks a fear/hate response which exaggerates the offending position; it's like they have a moral hallucination in which what you said is twice as far away from what they like to believe as what you actually said. Their pathos won't let them tell the difference.

Anonymous kfg November 09, 2017 1:45 PM  

@VD: "Clearly we need a new neologism: hisactum, the past as it actually happened as opposed to history, our story of what happened in the past."

I've been looking for that word for some time, but didn't ever actually get around to coining it.

We need another word as well, as in the technical language of the historian, history is really only concerned with the written story (recursion; see recursion).

Colloquially the findings of archaeology are history, but technically they are science. I don't know of a term to distinguish the story as we find it written in the past from the story as we write it now from all available sources.

Anonymous AB.Prosper November 09, 2017 1:57 PM  

I don't know how anyone can think science isn't subject to constant change and revision?

This was what we were taught in High School, science gets revised when new facts are found and the scientific method required falsification

I figured it out earlier IIRC when reading Lucky Star and the Moons of Jupiter an Asimov juvenile that was considered at the time "scientifically accurate" on matters of astronomy which what do you know would be revised a few later

Blogger Duke Norfolk November 09, 2017 1:58 PM  

Nobody has mentioned Dunning-Kruger yet. It seems to be pertinent here, no?

I know that in my middle age (54yo) I've become much more humble about my knowledge and intelligence (which is above average but certainly not genius). Especially after hanging out here a bit.

I was initially very skeptical about much of what I first read from Vox, but then realized that time showed he was right on most things. As a result he's got me rethinking my understanding of some very fundamental things, such as evolution and God.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 09, 2017 2:08 PM  

@142 I've enjoyed reading zman because I like the perspective he presents on some things. But I haven't once seen him present an idea or argument that was truly novel to me.

And after this episode, it's going to be interesting to see if he falls into a rage spiral or not.

Anonymous CPEG November 09, 2017 2:11 PM  

Oooosh.

CPEG

*facepalm*
The very reason there has been, or COULD BE, “a great accumulation or growth of knowledge in the last four hundred years,” is precisely BECAUSE scientific conclusions are open to revision.


thezman

Explain how this will be revised or falsified.

Given any set A and any set B, if for every set X, X is a member of A if and only if X is a member of B, then A is equal to B.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 09, 2017 2:31 PM  

@169. TheTruthIsAlwaysUnacceptable

I am aware of Fred's essays touching on evolution. Fred's take is that evolutionists get up in a tizzy if anyone tells them to actually provide an answer to specific questions. Fred himself has not reached a conclusion on evolution vs. intelligent design, IIRC.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 2:33 PM  

Given any set A and any set B, if for every set X, X is a member of A if and only if X is a member of B, then A is equal to B.

In which the Zman reveals he does not understand the difference between LOGIC and SCIENCE.

Anonymous CPEG November 09, 2017 2:45 PM  

"In which the Zman reveals he does not understand the difference between LOGIC and SCIENCE."

Confirmed in a follow-up, and throw in a touch of sohpistry:

A much more simple example is the reflexive property. That will never be revised. All it takes is one such example, and there are many, to disprove the claim that *all* scientific conclusions are open to revision.

Derbyshire made a similar mistake, but he did not add in the word "all." And his example was actually about scientage.

Blogger Student in Blue November 09, 2017 2:56 PM  

thezman

Explain how this will be revised or falsified.

Given any set A and any set B, if for every set X, X is a member of A if and only if X is a member of B, then A is equal to B.


Awful roundabout way of declaring that A is a subset of B.

Blogger Dedd Sirius November 09, 2017 3:02 PM  

OT

I’m using Brave on iPhone to read and comment here and on Gab and elsewhere.

Lately it’s glitchy.

Blogger SirHamster November 09, 2017 3:08 PM  

Nate wrote:also this kerfluffle about number 8 has me curious... It must have been a pain in the ass to translate the words you made up.

As Vox's neologism are based on latin compounds, I would expect translations to simply use compound words or phrases with the direct meaning.

Ran a few translations through Google Translate to confirm:

English:
8. The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific.


AF, Afrikaans
8. Die Alt Regs aanvaar die huidige gevolgtrekkings van die wetenskaplike metodiek (in Engels “scientody”), maar verstaan dat a) hierdie gevolgtrekkings onderworpe is aan toekomstige verwysing, b) dat die praktyk van wetenskap (in Engels “scientistry”) vatbaar is vir korrupsie, en c) dat die sogenaamde wetenskaplike konsensus nie gebaseer is op die wetenskaplike metodiek nie, maar op demokrasie, en daarom intrinsiek onwetenskaplik is.


wetenskaplike metodiek (in Engels “scientody”)
praktyk van wetenskap (in Engels “scientistry”)

wetenskaplike - scientist
metodiek - methods
praktyk - practice
wetenskap - science


BG, Bulgarian
Алтернативното дясно e научно ориентирано. То признава научните заключения на научният метод, като разбира: А) че тези въпросните заключения подлежат на преразглеждане; Б) че научната общност също е податлива на корупция и В) че така нареченият научен консенсус се основава не на науката, а на демокрацичната идея, откъдето и идват ненаучни заключения.

научният метод
научната общност

научният - the scientific one
метод - method
научната - scientific
общност - community


CZ, Czech
Alt Pravice je vědecká. Akceptuje současné závěry vědeckých metod, zatímco si je vědomá toho, že a) tyto závěry podléhají možnému budoucímu přehodnocení, b) věda podléhá korupci a c) takzvaný vědecký konsenzus není založený na vědě, ale demokracii a je tudíž vlastně nevědecký.

vědeckých metod
věda

vědeckých - scientific
metod - methods
věda - science


DK, Danish
8. Det Alternative Højre vedkender sig videnskabelig metode. Det accepterer som forudsætning de nuværende konklusioner, som er nået gennem den videnskabelige metode, samtidig med, at det forstår, at a) disse konklusioner er åbne for fremtidig revision, b) at videnskabeligt arbejde er sårbart for korruption, og c) at den såkaldte videnskabelige konsensus ikke er baseret på videnskabelig metode men demokrati og derfor per definition er uvidenskabelig.

videnskabelige metode
videnskabeligt arbejde

videnskabelige - scientific
metode - method
videnskabeligt - scientifically
arbejde - work


DE, German
8. Die Alternative Rechte unterstützt die wissenschaftliche Methode. Sie akzeptiert die mutmaßlichen aktuellen Ergebnisse der wissenschaftlichen Methode, während sie versteht das a) diese Schlussfolgerungen anfällig für zukünftige Änderungen sind, b) dass Wissenschaft anfällig für Korruption ist, und c) dass der sogenannte wissenschaftliche Konsens nicht auf Wissenschaftlichkeit beruht, sondern auf Demokratie und daher an sich unwissenschaftlich ist.

wissenschaftlichen Methode
Wissenschaft

wissenschaftlichen - scientific
Methode - Method
Wissenschaft - Science


Consensus so far to translate scientody as scientific method, while scientistry is referred to as the work or the community of science. About what I expected.

Anonymous Lars Porsena November 09, 2017 3:13 PM  

I might be tempted to argue that the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics attempted to revise the reflexive property. The reflexive property is A == A. The Copenhagen Interpretation argued that A exists as a cloud of statistical probabilities that are only actualized upon observation, so that until observed A == A and != A simultaneously. Schrodinger's A.

That being said I was never a fan of the Copenhagen interpretation. Too Buddhist.

Everett's Many Worlds interpretation says that A == A in this universe only because A != A in another parallel universe that exists as a part of the same wave function as this universe.

But basically now I'm just screwing with the guy for my amusement.

Blogger WynnLloyd November 09, 2017 3:17 PM  

This is true. When the goal is to replace God with your own conscience, unwarranted arrogance is guaranteed.

Blogger Ninco Nanco November 09, 2017 3:17 PM  

"Did this honestly warrant an entire blog post, VD?"

Absolutely! These are the most important things. In comparison, which candidate is going to win which election is trivial. If people do not even understand what science is, other than a idol that replaces the Church and the Faith, there is no hope.

Blogger SirHamster November 09, 2017 3:42 PM  

@122 Azure Amaranthine, @156 The Deuce,

A little off. Vox's original post.

Scientody: the process
Scientage: the knowledge base
Scientistry: the profession

Anonymous CPEG November 09, 2017 3:46 PM  

"I might be tempted to argue that the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics attempted to revise the reflexive property."

It COULD be used as that, and that would be a lie. The particle is not in a state of spin-up and not-spin-up at the same time; it is in a state which is neither spin-up nor spin-down but which, under the right influence, will readjust itself and become either a particle in the spin-up state or the spin-down state, and it is fundamentally impossible under the Copenhagen interpretation to know which ahead of time.

It does, however, make it easier for people who Fucking Love Science to use in sophistic arguments, e.g., Science Has Proven there is no objective truth, therefore we can have sex with whoever we want. However, I'm sure if the Bohr-Bohm interpretation was more popular, they would simply argue that we can have sex with whoever we want because Science Has Proven that we're all touching each other.

Blogger BCD November 09, 2017 3:49 PM  

@155 DonReynolds

Historiography came to its modern meaning as an elision of "history of historiography."

I myself prefer the original sense of the word, referring to what is written about the past, reserving "history" to mean what actually happened.

Blogger OGRE November 09, 2017 4:06 PM  

Student in Blue wrote:thezman

Explain how this will be revised or falsified.

Given any set A and any set B, if for every set X, X is a member of A if and only if X is a member of B, then A is equal to B.


Awful roundabout way of declaring that A is a subset of B.


Hes pulled out the backhoe to dig his whole even deeper.

Hes attempting to show a definition for identical sets. All hes showing is that he was exposed to basic set theory in college or some book somewhere. He doesn't even give the definition properly as he includes a domain for X that is unnecessary--X doesn't need to be limited to the domain of sets. Hes just parroting something he picked up so as to make himself sound more intelligent than he is. He could easily have used some other undeniable but less ponderous proposition such as the Law of Non-contradiction or even "2+2=4" instead. But I imagine hes feeling a bit flustered today as he has been exposed by his intellectual superiors, so he has need of puffing himself up a bit the only way he knows how.

But more importantly he is ascribing to science that which is not science. This is Logic..pure reason. By Popper's definition the identical set definition is not falsifiable; there is no conceivable means of proving its negation. You can't create a method of testing the definition that could possibly result in any conclusion other than it being true. Thus, it falls outside the realm of scientific knowledge.

And this is a good example of why Popper came up with his demarcation of scientific knowledge based upon falsifiability...to show that some knowledge is not scientific but that it absolutely has meaning and value.

Zman is trying to do the exact opposite; somehow he ignorantly claims that all knowledge is science by including logic and math in the body of scientific knowledge. He then points to his claim as proof that all knowledge is scientific. And then further tries to raise actual scientific knowledge (that derived from the scientific method) to the level of logical and mathematical certainty. And then offers a logical tautology as proof that scientific knowledge can be undeniably true! Take that Karl Popper!

I have to admit I've gotten quite a laugh out of all this. The level to which hes gone in doubling down on his own ignorance is profound. Its almost as if hes performing a parody...thats how absurd he is being right now.

Blogger tublecane November 09, 2017 4:22 PM  

@9-I don't know what the exact fallacy he's using is, but it sounds a lot like a kid sticking his fingers in his ears and saying "la-la-la, I can't hear you." Z-man simply isn't listening to the words coming out of other people's mouths.

My guess is hearing scientific theories are supposed to be falsifiable, he imagines that means the people saying so think scientists' main goal is to falsify theories. And if they were successful, there'd be no truth. Which would render them nihilists.

It's an exceedingly weird train of thought.

Blogger tublecane November 09, 2017 4:24 PM  

@25-Don't sell him short. He's definitely wrong.

Blogger VD November 09, 2017 4:29 PM  

I imagine hes feeling a bit flustered today as he has been exposed by his intellectual superiors, so he has need of puffing himself up a bit the only way he knows how.

Gammas gonna gamma. This is why midwits hate the genuinely intelligent.

Blogger tublecane November 09, 2017 4:31 PM  

@30-"Popper never said that everything can be falsified."

True. The Popperian scientific method is supposed set up experiments wherein theories are falsifiABLE. Which is to say, if they are false, we'll find out. If a theory accurately reflects the laws of nature, it can't be falsified by an honest test.

I think this is where Z-man gets tripped up. For reasons only known to himself and his analyst, he chooses to interpret the standard of falsifiability as trying and succeeding in making every theory false.

Anonymous CPEG November 09, 2017 4:34 PM  

@tublecane
The fallacy is "Division," i.e. "The General Is the Specific." Vox says "scientific conclusions are subject to revision," Zman says "You're saying that ALL scientific conclusions are subject to revision?" And then "disproves" that with a counterexample. Combined with Ambiguity on the meaning of "scientific conclusions."

Blogger DonReynolds November 09, 2017 4:36 PM  

BCD wrote:@155 DonReynolds

Historiography came to its modern meaning as an elision of "history of historiography."

I myself prefer the original sense of the word, referring to what is written about the past, reserving "history" to mean what actually happened.


You and I would probably agree.
History is what actually happened and anything written about history cannot be anything but an abstraction or interpretation or summary of that history. When historians venture into causality and try to explain why something happened or did not happen, it is no longer history, but analysis.

I was at a reception for the new faculty at a college and met a woman who taught history. She said...."Oh, you teach economics. I never mention economics in my history classes." My immediate reaction, which I blurted out, was..."We all do what we can." I was trying to excuse her exclusion of economics from history, but it probably came across as an insult.

Blogger JohnofAustria November 09, 2017 4:53 PM  

Probably Zman, because I expect more from him.

Blogger tublecane November 09, 2017 5:00 PM  

Vox-

I didn't read through the entire thread, so sorry if someone already brought this up, but if those paragraphs you quoted in your update are supposed to be Z-man's words, uttered without reference to their source, oh boy.

I thought they sounded familiar, so I checked my copy of David Stove's Scientific Irrationalism (a.k.a. Popper and After, a.k.a. Anything Goes), and Z-man copies verbiage found on page one. Right down to the year 1580, the letter "A," and the phrase "uncommonly ignorant."

Stove, being much brighter than the Z-men of the world, wasn't making an "everything scientists say is factual, so shut up" argument. He doesn't even share Z-man's opinion on Popperian falsifiabilty, though he lays into Popper and finds him guilty of launching a line of irrationalism (or a "ppstmodern cult," as the subtitle has it) in the philosophy and historiography of science. A line which isn't so bad with Popper but gets worse and worse as you go through Kuhn, Lakatos, and Feyerabend.

The point about accumulation of knowledge, which is robust in Stove's book, is neither here nor there regarding the subject at hand. Z-man thinks he's dealing with nihilists, and nihilists would have trouble with facts accumulating. But of course that has nothing to do with how you characterize varieties of "science" in the 16 points. Science since 1580 could have simultaneously been more wrong than right and still served to advance human knowledge.

Stove's argument has to do more with those who followed Popper, and Popper more by implication. It's really a Kuhnian thing to say scientific knowledge never advances. That science is merely a series of incommensurate closed-off systems, or whatever.

Blogger tublecane November 09, 2017 5:04 PM  

@155-"Historiography" is the word we have for both the writing of history (formerly simply called "history") and the study of history writing. Which isn't very convenient, but the latter meaning you mostly find in academic circles, and therefore doesn't really bother me.

I prefer to call the study of historical writing, or the study of the study of history, "history theory" or "philosophy of history."

Anonymous Lars Porsena November 09, 2017 5:08 PM  

CPEG, it humored me. It's arguing to argue, I don't even like the Copenhagen interpretation, it's just amusing to me. Like I said at that point I'd just be messing with him.

But to take the bait, I'm not so sure. If the particle exists in a state of neither-nor, then what state is it in? The best I have been able to make of Copenhagen thinking, the cat exists as a cloud of statistical probabilities waiting to be actualized. This is usually offered as the closet to a classical thinking of how quantum superposition works, probability theory. (except at the macroscopic level cats won't exist as clouds of mathematical probability - they are difficult like that). The only alternative to such a classical thinking is the quantum theory itself which can't be related to anything I would call coherent outside of itself. By the sound of it it compares best to Zen Buddhism. How better to think of it this in-between zen state that is neither up nor down but contains the possibility of both, then as a cloud of statistical probability? Which would mean A = a set of probability weightings with a chance to be A and a chance to be something else.

It is a bit sophist because I was being cheeky, but the sophistry on my part mostly comes from my not buying Copenhagen in the first place. I don't think I'm terribly misrepresenting the theory. The neither-nor non-actualized state you say it exists in is an entirely theoretical, un-observered, non-observable state. To put it in understandable classical terms, how are we to describe it besides a state of a cloud of probabilities superimposed on one another?

If I have to pick an interpretation I suppose I'd have to go with Everett's MWI, although that is a bit flakey too because it's non-falsifiable. But at least it's coherent and not the sound of one hand clapping. I'm not too big a fan of Copenhagen.

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