I still don't understand the discussion around "trust" in various institutions over the past 10 years. I mean, I understand it in the sense that the words are words I know, but the position people always seem to take is something like "People trust X less, and that is bad. How do we get them to trust X more?" I ask them "Well, are we sure they should trust X? Maybe X shouldn't be trusted and not trusting X is proper? Maybe we were trusting X too much before?" Then I get kind of a strange look, as though from someone who was watching a tv show that went to commercial but they hadn't noticed till just now. "Well, sure, that's possible. But what can we do to make people trust X again?" At which point I say something like "I don't know. Maybe if X can show how trustworthy they are?" and the conversation trails off, and a few days later I run into them in the hall and the conversation happens in exactly the same way. In what other context does one hear "I don't trust that guy" and think "Wow, they must have serious trust issues" and not "Huh... maybe I should keep an eye out, too."

More on point, I have noticed conservatives tend to trust science that does things more than science that promises things. Tell a conservative that you are going to laser the top off his eye ball and reshape some bits so he can see really well again, and those eyes are gonna squint at you. Have him talk to five or six people that have gotten it done and are pretty happy and he'll line up to get in the chair. I presume this is related to the openness to new things that leftists are so big on personality wise but conservatives tend to eschew. Lefties get really excited about possibilities and what might be, seemingly not attentive enough to what is actually feasible and happening. So science that is a lot of claims strikes them as more legitimate than it does conservatives.

Combine that with e.g. modern medicine's focus on preventative care which is really difficult to demonstrate or prove does anything, and you should find that conservatives are more skeptical towards medical science than leftists. Most modern science strikes most conservatives as new excuses for meddling, I expect, not actual advances in what we can achieve.

Case in point, my 103 year old grandmother ate her cereal with half and half on it every morning, and still does so far as I know. She doesn't take kindly to the notion that she should switch to skim milk because it would somehow be better for her. Hard to argue with "When you outlive me, you can give me health advice."

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May 11, 2022·edited May 11, 2022Liked by John Carter

The experimental method also requires a null hypothesis. The hypothesis is a question that can be answered "true" or "false."

Ernest Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics said, "if your experiment needed statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment."

Global warming is not experimental physics, it's modeling, ie, statistics. There is no null hypnosis; no matter the result, "it's worse than we imagined.". It's so bad, you might as well call it by its right name, prophecy. It ain't meteorology.

COVID was obviously "medical science" at its absolute worst. Why would anyone trust the medical establishment when they imprisoned and isolated, enmasse, the elderly. They were protecting them from a respritory virus and they forbid them from opening windows. These are essentially the only people Covid killed.

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I think a big part of it is the differences in the ways progressives and conservatives tend to analyse things. Progressives generally seem to analyse political phenomena from a more abstract perspective i.e. what kind of statement does this thing make about the world. This contrasts with the conservative tendency to analyse things in pragmatic terms i.e. what is it's actual effect on the world and my life.

A good example of this is in the debate over Brexit. The thing that really struck me was the way the two sides talked past each other. For the left, the main argument revolved around the fact the the EU ostensibly stood for all these great things: Peace, international brotherhood, shared prosperity etc. The actual realities of the EU as a living, breathing institution never really entered into the discussion. On the right it was the opposite. The discussion revolved more around the actual policies and conduct of the EU.

I think there's a similar dynamic going on here with trust in "science." Progressives tend to focus more on the abstract notion of science as a collective social good and feel that any criticism against any institution that claims to promote science is an attack on those values. The question of whether that institution is actually a faithful representative of rarely enters into the conversation as modern progressives tend to adopt their beliefs more as a social signal than as a blueprint for the kind of society they want c.f. NIMBYism.

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May 11, 2022Liked by John Carter

Science I trust, scientists not so much.

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May 11, 2022Liked by John Carter

How much does it cost to change the meaning of a word? To change what science means?

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May 28, 2022Liked by John Carter

2012-2020, basically what happened with my generation at the university. Sad, really sad. The thing is they always had strings.

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May 13, 2022Liked by John Carter

Liked your scientific method chart! May use it in a post at some time, if that is alright with you. Good article will be linking today @https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/

Also glad to see the mention of Monsanto and GMO seeds. Just because it got bought up doesn't mean that the evil scientists at Bayer still don't have plans!!!

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I have been mocking the I Fucking Love Science idiots for at least 10 years. These new memes we got in the past 2 years are life.

You know the idiot with the big fat mouth and the I Fucking Love Science drinks this:


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All this ideological subversion of science is leading to a loss of "design margin" which will, and already has, lead to catastrophic losses in men, material, outcomes, and investment for the future.

The "settled science" of climate change with CO2 as a "pollutant" which is about as anti design margin as it gets, has already caused irreparable damage to our energy sector future in the form of not-invested trillions in that sector, and wasted trillions in the "green" fantasy. To say nothing in the lack of agricultural output and investment for future output which will be in overdrive demand as we enter the next glaciation (if we make it that long).

This "corruption" of science by ideology will reach a level where "design margin" is not even achievable in the most minimal of levels, and if you think trust is low now, just wait!

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A different thesis about the occupy-woke phenomenon.


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