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Thread: ☣ Coronavirus ☣

  1. #2701
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    It's not just that I'm lazy. (Agreed, I am lazy). In my experience, discussions are often because two people talk about something different, while thinking they discuss the same thing. I wanted to prevent that, by asking a simple question. I even said that once I get the executive summary, I'll go back and read the details. I thought that was a very small favor to ask. Apparently not.

  2. #2702
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    To be fair, peer review has been criticised a lot in recent years because all too often it isn't done particularly well, also because scientists have been conditioned (by universities, funders, politics, media etc.) to behave in a number of less than helpful ways. But that's generally peer review *as practiced*, not the general principle itself, and most of what I've seen and read is about how peer review needs to change, not that it should be abolished in favour of a different, better system. Same with science and the scientific method. There's a lot of misconduct, toxic behaviours and lopsided incentive structures that, to be addressed, would need to be revised from the ground up, but that's mainly about the current institutions, mechanisms and processes, less about the underlying principles. And if the critique is basically a more verbose version of "Well, people are a bit shit, aren't they?", then that's neither incisive nor particularly helpful. The more specific one's understanding of the shortcomings of scientific processes and institution, the more they actually bring something to the table. Grand sweeping statements tend to be so much wank.
    As indeed has been said by faetal and alluded to by myself.

  3. #2703
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    It's not just that I'm lazy. (Agreed, I am lazy). In my experience, discussions are often because two people talk about something different, while thinking they discuss the same thing. I wanted to prevent that, by asking a simple question. I even said that once I get the executive summary, I'll go back and read the details. I thought that was a very small favor to ask. Apparently not.
    I think this statement by Thirith sums it up better than I ever could: "Sure, you're free to read as little and write as much as you want, but everyone else is free to find your attitude of "Tell me what I've missed and I'll tell you where you're wrong" tiresome."

    Aaaaaaand then you continue to make accusations based on your lack of knowledge of what went on. Not exactly an endearing quality or prone to make one helpful.

  4. #2704
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Gryz - either read the thread or don't. Since you've no skin in the game, I don't see any value in using my time to give you a summary.

    Also yes, science isn't perfect. Nothing involving humans ever will be. That doesn't mean that it's open season on any alternative system of thought without that system priving its chops to the point that science is recognised as inferior.
    Not to mention that science is (or is meant to be) self-improving. It's not a rigid "we do science how it's always been done and that's that" principal, it's an endeavour which is tasked with getting to what seems to be the stablest thing equivalent to truth, however that may be, within the logical frameworks put together following millennia of philosophy dealing with questions like "how do we know if something is probably true or not?".

    People need to remember that science is the end result of philosophy, not a selfi-ontained discipline which winked into existence when a guy with a labcoat poured two coloured liquids into a beaker and shouted eureka.
    The main thing holding science back is (as with a lot of things) capitalism.

    Publication is funnelled through a cartel of journals who charge a ludicrous amount for access for universities and individuals, which doesn't help with access (not to mention that researchers have to pay to publish in a lot of journals - the costs for colour figures can make this ludicrous). Then there's the publish or perish presure on academics which can lead to some struggling scientists falsifying their research, but that's not a flaw of science, it's just waht happens if you put humans in the position os searching for facts, then ask them for PAPERS GOD DAMMIT. Having worked as an academic, I can attest to how miserable it is to be basically having to apply for your job every 2-5 years depending on how steady your funding is. Add to this that most people don't publish negative results (x didn't work because Y, thus probably our hypothesis was wrong) because they aren't sexy / don't look good on a CV, so many hypotheses are doomed to be repeated until the end of time, becuase no one can find any papers saying that it's probably not worthwhile.

    If you took capitalism out of science and just paid people to do science, it would work a lot better. But it's not the method which is at fault - any flaws in the method can be addressed and patched with improvements, without changing what science essentially is - a philosophical framework allowing the iterative development of models which allows us to observe, describe, and manipulate the natural universe.

  5. #2705
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    Science is not about an impossible perfection, it's about robusteness versus personal *inavoidable* distortion of the scientific method (the "attunement" I'm talking about) due to psychological motivation of a specific scientist.

    The real problem is when science steps into society as a *regulation factor* (classic epidemic case like Coronavirus emergecy). Read Paul Feyerabend
    'cause science needs a kind of "internal sociology", not simply epystemology to solve/tackle the old classic Hume problem (What is scientific? What is scientifically correct?)

    People simply do NOT want a priest caste with a labcoat and scientific method vs a priest caste with a cope and scholastic doctrine.
    That's how rejection starts and it's why science needs MORE than the "knowledge structure" (the scientific method, the peer reviewing, etc) to adher to.
    The fact that "science does it right, science does it best" is not SO relevant. Really, it's not how mankind accepts "rules" and interfaces with a "framework".

    So please do not talk about "perfection", it's NOT a "perfection" problem (childish view). It's all about the social relationship aspect of the "scientist" figure.
    That's the issue when we talk about science in a social context (climate change, SARS 2 epidemic, etc.).
    Last edited by lowenz; 30th Jun 2020 at 14:26.

  6. #2706
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by lowenz View Post
    due to psychological motivation of a specific scientist.
    Not these days. It's due to research topics, devised by scientists, in collaboration with their group, aligned with the interests of their institution, are sufficiently justified in order to be granted for funding.
    There is very little room for whimsy.

    Read Paul Feyerabend
    Quote a relevant passage from Paul Feyerabend, or don't introduce him into the topic. Saying an author's name doesn't grant credibility.

    'cause science needs a kind of "internal sociology", not simply epystemology to solve/tackle the old classic Hume problem (What is scientific? What is scientifically correct?)
    What does this even mean? Hume's work is a lot broader than just being able to be lobbed into a sentence. Again, don't try to sound smart by quoting names of authors - no one is going to fall for it.

    People simply do NOT want a priest caste with a labcoat and scientific method vs a priest caste with a cope and scholastic doctrine.
    No one is trying to be that.

    That's how rejection starts and it's why science needs MORE than the "knowledge structure" (the scientific method, the peer reviewing, etc) to adher to.
    The fact that "science does it right, science does it best is not SO relevant. Really, it's not how mankind accepts "rules" and interfaces with a "framework".
    Yes, I have been invovled in scientific outreach work, which does this. The problem is not that people don't get to connect with science, the problem is that science moves cuatiously, produces ambiguous results, which are iterated upon and which are not sexy. The media decides to report this as "X CAUSES CANCER. NOW X DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER. ACTUALLY X DOES CAUSE CANCER, BUT A DIFFERENT TYPE TO THE ONE WE THOUGHT. ACTUALLY X IS OK IN MODERATION" to the point where people get exasperated because science can't make its mind up. Science is a discipline, not a giant club with a single leader - it isn't possible for science to control how the media reports it (and god knows we try). Your understanding of science seems a bit 2-dimensional and cartoonish.

    So please do not talk about "perfection", it's NOT a "perfection" problem (childish view). It's all about the social relationship aspect of the "scientist" figure.
    That's the issue when we talk about science in a social context (climate change, SARS 2 epidemic, etc.).
    The only reason we are talking about perfection is due to your inability to articulate what you mean. We have been responding directly to your comments.
    If you want to contribute, try waffling less, skip name-dropping authors unless you want to contextualise and try to be a little more precise in how you make your points. You seem to value how smart your prose seems over how useful it is.

  7. #2707
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    You seem to value how smart your prose seems over how useful it is.
    May I just say yea verily? I've been wondering for the past three pages when this dancer would remember he wasn't dancing by himself but had a partner, that being the subject of this thread. I keep expecting lowenz to tie his ramblings to the Corona virus in some way and it just never happens. All we get are vague tilts at science. There should be some POINT. I mean, it can't be don't trust science though it has the best chance of figuring things out can it? It's not trust conspiracy theories like nbohr1more, surely, so what is it? WHAT IS IT? Please, please, for the love of all that is precious, let us know. The wait for denouement is killing me. Drop the other damn shoe lowenz. WHAT IS YOUR POINT?
    Last edited by Tocky; 1st Jul 2020 at 08:07.

  8. #2708
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I think the point is that science is a subversion of natural human thought, thus is rejected because it doesn't hit the right tone with people.
    I think that's debatable really. When people like nbohr are rejecting not just science, but basic in-flow logic, you have to wonder what this internal sociology looks like in order to appeal not only to people who actually like logic, science and the pursuit of better models of truth, but also to people who just want their won internal theories to be proven correct.

    Lots of dressing and very little actual meal in lowenz's discussion - nothing which makes me want to hear more, since it's so vague and high level.

  9. #2709
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Subvert me baby. Natural is the most boring dull witted shit. Logic gets my nipples hard.

  10. #2710
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Maybe some more info on lowentz's background or education would reveal a bit more about his approach? It seems to me that he just reads wikipedia or philosophy books in his leisure time and he's not really concerned with any interpretation canon or anything beyond his own musings on the topic.

    Also, IIRC, the major thing Hume tried to investigate was whether there is a way to establish a logically infallible connection between cause and effect. He worked most of his life on this, but in the end he had to admit that, in all honesty, he isn't able to prove it.

  11. #2711
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    This is primarily why Popper's falsifiability forms some of the basis for scientific method. The primary aim of most scientific investigation is to disprove a null hypothesis.
    If I want to look at e.g. whether or not compound A less to reduced expression of protein X, I won't be trying to do that per se, I'll be making the null hypothesis "Compound A has no effect on levels of protein X", then use appropriate statistical tests on experimental data to see if the null hypothesis can be rejected.

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