Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Otto , Shawn Lawrence (2011-10-11), Fool Me Twice, Rodale Press, Retrieved on 2013-01-08
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  • Folksonomies: politics science

    Memes

    18 JAN 2013

     Science is Inherently Political

    When speaking about science to scientists, there is one thing that can be said that will almost always raise their indignation, and that is that science is inherently political and that the practice of science is a political act. Science, they will respond, has nothing to do with politics. But is that true? Let's consider the relationship between knowledge and power. "Knowledge and power go hand in hand," said Francis Bacon, "so that the way to increase in power is to increase in knowledge....
    Folksonomies: politics science knowledge
    Folksonomies: politics science knowledge
      1  notes

    Knowledge is power, science creates new knowledge, new knowledge challenges established orders.

    18 JAN 2013

     When Does Human Life Begin

    Careful and reproducible observations and measurements in the bbiosciences have similarly forced us to repeatedly refine our traditional ideas about what life itself is and when it begins. Is a human being first a life when it emerges from the birth canal? Does it have any legal rights is as a person before then? Or is it a life at the stage of development where > it is able to survive independently outside of the womb even if it is removed from there early, as can happen naturally with pr...
    Folksonomies: science biology life abortion
    Folksonomies: science biology life abortion
      1  notes

    Is it at fertilization, implantation, or after birth?

    18 JAN 2013

     Science is Libertarian

    In the wake of the Bush presidency, the already-clear rift between the two dominant perspectives on the right—the small-government libertarians/anarchists and the theocratic fundamentalists—began to grow even wider. Far more than the conservative or liberal philosophy, it is who wins the argument between authoritarians, who value top-down control and conformity, and antiauthoritarians, who value bottom-up freedom and tolerance, that will drive the success or failure of the United States o...
    Folksonomies: politics science
    Folksonomies: politics science
      1  notes

    It is bottom-up and anti-authoritarian.

    18 JAN 2013

     Newton Was "Last of the Magicians"

    Newton provides an example of how the idea of "science" had not yet fully emerged as something separate from religion in early Enlightenment thinking. In fact, during the seventeenth century, the word "scientist" was not commonly used to describe experimenters at all; they were called natural philosophers"^^ in an extension of the Puritan idea of the study of the Book of Nature. Science had also not fully emerged as a separate concept, but was sometimes thought of as a method or style of stud...
      1  notes

    There was a great deal of belief in magic in Newton's writings.

    18 JAN 2013

     The Anti-Relativity Movement

    America's embrace of Einstein stood in stark contrast to the treatment he was getting at home. Right-wing relativity deniers, like modern American climate science deniers, mounted ad hominem attacks against Einstein and his theory, which they loudly branded a "hoax." They were led by an engineer named Paul Weyland, who formed a small but mysteriously well-funded group that held anti-relativity rallies around Germany, denouncing the theory's "Jewish nature," and culminating in a major event at...
    Folksonomies: antiscience denial
    Folksonomies: antiscience denial
      1  notes

    Just as there are Climate Change Deniers today, there were those who would not accept Einstein's Theory for political reasons.

    18 JAN 2013

     Einstein's Cosmological Constant

    Georges Lemaitre was a pudgy, pinkish Belgian Jesuit abbe—a Catholic priest—who also happened to be a skilled astronomer. Lemaitre had noticed that Einstein's general theory of relativity would have implied that the universe was expanding but for a troublesome little mathematical term called the cosmological constant that Einstein had inserted into his equations. Lemaitre saw no convincing reason why the cosmological constant should be there. In fact, Einstein himself had originally calc...
     1  1  notes

    He put the constant into his theory to keep the Universe static, but observations demonstrated it was expanding, so he changed his theory to match the evidence.

    18 JAN 2013

     Suburbs are the Result of Fear of Nuclear War

    The Federal Civil Defense Administration determined that the country that would win a nuclear war was the one best prepared to survive the initial attack. Achieving this required a homeland mobilization on an unprecedented scale, and our children needed to know what to do when nuclear war came. They commissioned a nine-minute film called Duck and Cover that showed Bert the turtle pulling into his shell to survive a nuclear explosion that burns everything else. The film exhorted millions of sc...
      1  notes

    The government encouraged migration from cities to the suburbs to move people away from kill zones.

    18 JAN 2013

     The "Sagan Effect"

    With Cosmos, Sagan sought to put an end to the fear and to inspire the kind of wonder Hubble's lectures had inspired in the 1930s and 1940s and the Moon landing had inspired in 1969. The series was enormously successful. For the first time since Hubble, a huge audience was engaged in exploring the grand questions of life, nature, the structure of the uni¬ verse, mythology, and what it might all mean, how it might all fit together, the mystery of it all. It examined how our search for meaning...
      1  notes

    The fact that Carl Sagan was denied tenure at Harvard because of the jealousy of his peers over his public persona.

    19 JAN 2013

     Kuhn's Explanation of Scientific Revolutions as Post-Mode...

    The politics the book ascribed to science resonated closely with prevailing attitudes. Scientists ("the Man") resist new (baby boomer) ideas, clinging to old (Western white male), outdated theories even as the evidence they are being willfully blind to accumulates (discrimination) like energy in an electron until it finally becomes overwhelming (the civil rights movement). Then, suddenly, in a crystallizing moment (revelation), the ruling order is displaced (comeuppance) and the intellectual ...
      1  notes

    An interesting comparison.

    19 JAN 2013

     Summary of Postmodernism

    The teaching that there is no objective reality, but rather many subjec¬ tive realities, or in this case, that the subjective realities are on an equal par with the objective reality (you're dead!) in turn influences students' views of the primacy of knowledge. To critics, history is no longer the search for what really happened, but rather the victor's interpretation as seen through the lens of power and oppression, and it bears a cultural and political focus. Literature is no longer a stud...
     1  1  notes

    The relativity of knowledge.

    19 JAN 2013

     Post Modernism Leads to Totalitarianism

    There is objective truth to be learned by observation, and the knowledge gained gives power that other "ways of knowing" have not. But the more dangerous problem with postmodernist thinking is its a priori nature. Not truth, but a political goal has to be served—in this particular case the goal of openness, or tolerance without judgment. But without acknowledgi objective truth, all arguments become rhetorical and therefore can go on forever—and we are either paralyzed by it or we must res...
      1  notes

    When facts are relative and belief makes reality, then the best strategy is to hold to your belief uncompromisingly.

    19 JAN 2013

     Why Cell Phone Radiation Does Not Cause Cancer

    Physics explains why no links were found. The microwaves used in cell phone transmissions do not have enough energy to break the chemical bonds of DNA, which is how cell mutations occur and cause cancer. How do we know this? Light and other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, including microwaves, radio waves, infrared waves, and ultraviolet light waves, are all forms of radiation. A single unit of radiation is called a photon. A photon can be thought of either as a particle or as a wave. ...
      1  notes

    An explanation of radiation, it's different wavelengths, and why microwave radiation cannot damage a cell because it cannot break molecular bonds.

    19 JAN 2013

     History of the Fairness Doctrine and Rise of Media Relati...

    The intellectual erosion of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as science sat silently on the sidelines and anti-science rose to rule on both the left and the right, was greatly worsened in August of 1987 when, during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abolished what was called the "fairness doctrine" in an historic 4-0 vote, severing one of the last ties to a common public foundation of knowledge and its cousin, the carefully researched publi...
      1  notes

    Once the Doctrine was removed, the media turned to emotive appeals to bring in audiences and public discourse declined.

    19 JAN 2013

     Anti-Science in Communism

    Suppression of knowledge weakened Russia in the Lysenko affair. which a political ideologue and former peasant named Trofim Lysenko ingratiated himself to communist leaders and was placed in charge of national agriculture because of his ideological conformity. He denounced and suppressed scientists who questioned his odd schemes as "fly lovers and people haters"^^ (because geneticists were doing fruit fly research-h—I kid you not!) and his uneducated methods decimated Soviet agriculture. So...
    Folksonomies: politics science communism
    Folksonomies: politics science communism
      1  notes

    The USSR and China as examples of how anti-science attitudes and political loyalty over empiricism damaged both countries.

    19 JAN 2013

     The ENMOD Treaty

    There are also major foreign policy concerns, beginning with the international ENMOD treaty—the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use ot Environmental Modification Techniques, ratified by the United Nations in 1978 in response to the United States' use of silver iodide cloud seeding to alter the weather over the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War. Operation Popeye was an effort to "make mud, not war" to slow North Vietnamese supply lines by lengthening the...
    Folksonomies: war geoengineering
    Folksonomies: war geoengineering
      1  notes

    Prohibits geoengineering, such as agent orange, as a tactic in war.

    19 JAN 2013

     Externalities

    In every economic transaction there is a willing buyer and a willing seller. and they agree on a price that benefits both. But there are spillover effects in many economic transactions—costs and/or benefits that are transferred to third parties. Friedman called these spillovers "neighborhood effects." Today, most economists call them "externalities. At their most basic, externalities don't have to involve buying and selling. If you smoke in a restaurant instead of stepping outside it's ea...
      1  notes

    Examples of externalities, public side-effects, good and bad, of our personal actions that impact the commons.

    19 JAN 2013

     Vaccines as a Positive Externality

    A science-based example of a positive externality is vaccinations. Vaccinations work based on the number of people in the population who are vaccinated. Once a certain threshold is reached, the disease can't spread effectively and is essentially eliminated. As long as enough people are vaccinated, others who choose not to be still get to enjoy that positive externality at no cost. These are what economists call freeloaders. Economists like the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have the...
      1  notes

    People who don't get vaccines benefit from those who do because of the lower rates of disease.

    19 JAN 2013

     The Difference in the Way Scientists and Laypeople Approa...

    Scientists are trained to avoid rhetorical arguments, the "vulgar Induction" Bacon warned against, and let the chips of reality fall where they may. They highly prize this intellectual honesty because the stakes for them are very high. They know how value judgments, prejudices, and habits of thought can blind you to the truth you are seeking, which will limit or end your career as a scientist. The lay public does just the opposite. They form frames of reference. prejudices, and value judgme...
    Folksonomies: empiricism public policy
    Folksonomies: empiricism public policy
      1  notes

    Scientists work from evidence, the layperson works from a premise.

    19 JAN 2013

     Science is Culture

    ...science, like art, is a cultural expression that makes a nation worth defending. Like great art and great music, its true value lies in exploring the unknown. Today, the opposite argument, the commoditization of science, is virtually the only one heard. It has metastasized from the smaller-minded appeals of the cold war to all of human learning and higher education. Education and knowledge are no longer values of truth and beauty that make life worth living, they are means to the ends of g...
      1  notes

    Science has values, it provides meaning, and it can quickly be destroyed through tyranny.

    18 JAN 2013

     Scientists Need Open Free Societies

    . Historically, the brightest minds have migrated to open societies. and once there have made discoveries and created works that enriched and advanced those societies. A classic example is the intellectual flight from fascist Europe in the years leading up to World War 11. Persecution, particularly of Jews and homosexuals, spurred emigration that turned America into an intellectual mecca. America offered scientists and artists freedom, tolerance, egalitarianism, opportunity, and support for t...
    Folksonomies: politics science society
    Folksonomies: politics science society
      1  notes

    Historically, they have migrated to such societies and generated improvements in the quality of life.

    18 JAN 2013

     The Story of How the Universe's Size was Determined

    It was into this fiery climate of the 1920s that the Protestant-raised Hubble, adorned with the cape, cane, and British accent he had adopted while at Oxford, returned after the war. He arrived at the Carnegie Institution of Washington-funded Mount Wilson Observatory outside Pasadena, California, insisting on being called "Major Hubble."^'' Looking through the great Hooker telescope—at one hundred and one inches in diameter and weighing more than one hundred tons it was by far the largest a...
      1  notes

    Includes a cautionary tale of Shapely, who helped prove the Sun was not the center of the Universe, but who thought the Milky Way was all the Universe there was without empirical data.

    19 JAN 2013

     America is Naturally Anti-Science

    In the end, politics is about story. Robert McKee, Hollywood's master of storytelling, views the world from the top of America's other great cultural export—its movies. "1 think that the American ethos is not science-friendly and never has been," he says. "The American model is Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Guys who never went to college and who were geniuses and invented things, and people like them. The inventor versus the scientist. Somebody who can go west, discover gold mines, and cr...
      1  notes

    Science is hard work, America is about the dream of Hollywood. We are living on the benefits of science, but will those innovations become cultural rituals if we won't do what we need to do to promote science and education?

    18 JAN 2013

     Bush Administration Science Abuses

    After President Bush's 2004 reelection, scientists noticed that the problem was becoming even worse. One example was Bush's appointment of George Deutsch, a twenty-four-year-old Texas A&M University dropout and Bush campaign intern, to a key position in NASA's public relations department. Deutsch set to work muzzling NASA's top climate scientist. James Hansen, once refusing to allow Hansen to interview with National Public Radio because it was "the most liberal" media outlet in the countr...
      1  notes

    From prohibiting studies that didn't fit their agenda, to refusing to approve drugs approved by the FDA, "faith-based initiatives", etc, etc.

    19 JAN 2013

     Climate Change Science is Based on an 1896 Paper

    Our understanding that increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could change the climate is not new. The relationship between carbon dioxide, water vapor, and climate was first laid out in detail in 1896 by the Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius, who estimated that a doubling of carbon dioxide levels would cause global warming of 4.9° to 6.1°C. In his landmark paper, Arrhenius reported that "a simple calculation shows that the temperature in the arctic regions would rise about 8°...
      1  notes

    Reference to the original paper that started Climate Change Science.