A Lifestyle Brand

Has anyone written a good essay about the whole “I believe in science and trust the scientists” phenomenon which is more a lifestyle brand than an actual belief in the scientific method, which is a process, not a set of facts handed down like the Bible? Like the way science actually operates, you’re constantly trying to disprove the things we think we know. It’s not like there’s an authority and you listen to them because they’ve been handed religious truth. Scientists know this but I think at least a portion of them have enjoyed the politicization of the field and won’t point this out to the followers of the lifestyle brand version. – https://mobile.twitter.com/ZaidJilani/status/1340364878897438720
The development of science relies on an open-ended orientation towards experimentation and the testing of ideas. Science is an inherently skeptical enterprise and its findings are provisional, open to reinterpretation. That’s the theory. But in public controversies over policy and related matters, science often comes across as a moralizing project. Many have adopted a defensive version of science that constantly targets doubts and uncertainties and their moralized interpretation of science is one where findings have a fixed, unyielding and unquestionable quality. Frequently, they prefix the term science with a definite article, using “The Science” to assert claims about a variety of threats. Statements like “The Science says” serve as the twenty-first-century equivalent of the exhortation “God said”. Unlike science, the term “The Science” serves a moralistic and political project. The constant refrain of “Scientists Tell Us” serves as a prelude for a lecture on what threat to fear. This leads to a defensive posture where scientists are reluctant to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong and that their critics might have a point. Sadly, a science that cannot work with the assumption that it might be wrong has more in common with a religious dogma than with open-ended experimentation. Such moralization of the imperative of fear has important implications for the conduct of public life. By representing skepticism and criticism as a threat that deserves to be feared, disciples of “The Science” set in motion a cultural dynamic that is inherently hostile to the free and open exchange of views. [Frank Furedi (2018), How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century]

The Lebenswelt

Cognitive dualism is puzzling, for it seems to be both affirming and denying the unity of reality, both affirming and denying that we human being are part of the natural order. Yet we can without contradiction accept  it, provided we recognize the explanatory priority of science. To describe the “order of nature” in terms of some complete and unified science is to give a systematic answer to the question “what exists?” But the world can be known in another way. The world known in this other way will be an “emergent” world, represented in the cognitive apparatus of the perceiver, but emerging from the physical reality, as the face emerges from the pigments on the canvas, or the melody from the sequence of pitched sounds. The relation of emergence is nonsymmetrical. The order of nature does not emerge from the Lebenswelt; its existence is presupposed by the Lebenswelt, but not vice versa.
Someone who wished to design a machine capable of delivering a Beethoven’s concerto to the ear would be helped by an analysis of the pitches and their duration. He could transcribe this analysis into a suitable digital notation and use the result to program a device capable of producing pitched sounds in sequence. The reductivist would argue that therefore the music is nothing but the sequence of pitched sounds, since if you reproduce the sequence, you reproduce the music. Sure, the music depends upon, is emergent from, the sequence of sounds. The sounds are “ontologically prior.” But to hear the music it is not enough to notice the sounds. Music is inaudible, except to those with the cognitive capacity to hear movement in musical space, orientation, tension and release, the gravitational force of the bass notes, and so on. Music is certainly part of the real world. But it is perceivable only to those who are able to conceptualize and respond to sound in ways that have no part to play in the physical science of acoustics. Again we have a useful parallel in the study of pictures. There is no way in which we could, by peering hard at the face in Botticelli’s Venus, recuperate a chemical breakdown of the pigments used to compose it. Of course, if we peer hard at the canvas and the substances smeared on it, we can reach an understanding of its chemistry. But then we are not peering at the face – not even seeing it.
I don’t want to say that I am something other than this biological organism that stands before you. This here thing is what I am. Through cognitive dualism we can grasp the idea that there can be one reality, which is understood in more than one way. In describing a sequence of sounds as a melody, I am situating the sequence in the human world: the world of our responses, intentions, and self-knowledge. I am lifting the sounds out of the physical realm, and repositioning them in the Lebenswelt, which is a world of freedom, reason and interpersonal being. But I am not describing something other than the sounds, or implying that there is something hiding behind the sounds, some inner “self” or essence that reveals itself to itself in some way inaccessible to me. I am describing what I hear in the sounds, when I respond to them as music. I situate the human organism in the Lebenswelt; and in doing so I use another language, and with other intentions, than those that apply in the biological sciences.
[The Soul of the World (2014), Roger Scruton]

Seeds of Genocide

The first step to eliminate an ethnic group, or population, is to deny that population medical treatment. In the US, several public institutions are calling for the new Coronavirus vaccine being administrate first to non-White people because White people don’t deserve it:

Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said that it is reasonable to put essential workers ahead of older adults, given their risks, and that they are disproportionately minorities. “Older populations are whiter, ” Dr. Schmidt said. “Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.” [NYT]

The message is clear, White people can be sacrificed and killed in a state sponsored racial, and racist, policy.

The Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian Explosion refers to the sudden appearance in the fossil record of complex animals with mineralized skeletal remains. It may represent the most important evolutionary event in the history of life on Earth. The beginning of the explosion is generally placed about 542 million years ago, during the Cambrian Period at the start of the Palaeozoic Era. While the explosion was rapid in geological terms, it took place over millions of years – the Burgess Shale, at 505 million years old, records the tail end of the event. The explosion is particularly remarkable because all major animal body plans  appeared during this time, changing the biosphere forever. The rapid appearance of a wide variety of animals led to the development of radical new ecological interactions such as predation. Consequently, ecosystems became much more complex. The fundamental ecological structure of modern marine communities was firmly established during the Cambrian. By the end of the Period, some animals had also made the first temporary forays onto land, soon to be followed by plants. When he published On the Origin of Species in 1859, Charles Darwin puzzled over the apparently sudden appearance of complicated organisms in the fossil record at the beginning of the Cambrian Period. He noted this could be used as an argument against his controversial new theory, which predicted a more gradual appearance of simpler organisms. At the time, Darwin pointed to the imperfection of the fossil record as his only defence, arguing complex animal life must have lived long before the Cambrian, but traces of that life had not yet been found. The presence of large, soft-bodied, putative animals (problematic as they may be) in Ediacaran seas does indeed make the “explosion” appear less abrupt. But the fact remains that the Early Cambrian was a time of major change in marine animal communities and environments, with the rapid and unprecedented advent of disparate new body plans and novel ecological niches. – https://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/science/origin/04-cambrian-explosion.php

A República de Veneza, e Portugal

Em Portugal, em 2019, 93,4% das mulheres e 97,6% dos homens do escalão etário dos 18 aos 29 anos não tinham filhos. INE

A República de Veneza foi um Estado no nordeste da península Itálica, com capital na cidade de Veneza, que existiu do século XVII  (697) ao século XVIII (1797). Começou como região na esfera de domínio do império Bizantino, juntado povos descendentes do antigo império romano e das invasões germânicas. Ao ganhar independência do império Bizantino, floresce com o comércio marítimo e adquire colónias pelo Mediterrâneo Oriental. Com a queda de Constantinopla para os turcos Otomanos, no século XIV, e o início das navegações portuguesas e espanholas, o comércio da Europa com o Oriente através do mar Mediterrâneo entrou em decadência, e consigo, a República de Veneza. Chegou ao fim ao ser invadida por Napoleão Bonaparte, que a cede ao Império Austríaco. O Reino e agora República de Portugal segue a trajetória da antiga República de Veneza.

The Middle Children of History

I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history. No purpose or place. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. [Fight Club (1999), Directed by David Fincher]

The Man Who Sold The World

Lyndon B. Johnson. Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. A Democrat from Texas, he assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 1964, he announced his plans for what he called “the Great Society,” a sweeping set of programs that marked the biggest expansion of the federal government ever and changed the face of the US forever. He effectively cut the US from its European, Christian, Greco-Roman,  White, Enlightenment, Anglo foundations. And with it, dragged Old Europe and the Western civilization to the abyss with him.

With his “Great Society” legislation, Johnson declared war on poverty, jacked up federal spending on education, and pushed massive new entitlement programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, which promised to deliver high-quality, low-cost health care to the nation’s elderly and poor. With the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Economic Opportunity Act, he hoped to help hundreds of thousands of men and women break the poverty cycle by helping them develop job skills, further their education and find work. With the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act, he declared that “the arts and humanities belong to all the people of the United States” and the law established endowments for the study of humanities and fund and support cultural organizations such as museums, libraries, public television, public radio and public archives. The Housing and Urban Development Act provided federal funds to cities for urban renewal and development and easier access to home mortgages and a rent-subsidy program for Americans who qualified for public housing. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act guaranteed federal funding for education in school districts whose student majority was low-income. It also funded preschool programs, supported school libraries, purchased school textbooks and provided special education services. With all this, Johnson turned the US toward social democracy and in the path to socialism. Marxist ideologues at universities had now the funds, and the people, needed to indoctrinate and infiltrate in the following years all institutions, public and private.
But his most damaging legislative act was the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. At the time, immigration was based on the national-origins quota system in place since the 1920s, under which each nationality was assigned a quota based on its representation in past U.S. census figures. The civil rights movement’s focus on equal treatment regardless of race or nationality led many to view the quota system as backward and discriminatory. During Congressional debates, a number of experts testified that little would effectively change under the reformed legislation, and it was seen more as a matter of principle to have a more open policy. Indeed, on signing the act into law in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson stated that the act “is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives or add importantly to either our wealth or our power.” In reality, the passage of this legislation completely changed the face of America. It opened the doors to people from all nations, prohibiting discrimination based on national origin, abolishing the earlier quota system based on national origin. Immigrants from Asia and Africa now had the same chances to immigrate to the U.S. as immigrants from Western Europe. Since then, the nation’s foreign-born population has grown from 9.6 million in 1965 to 45 million in 2015, with about half coming from Latin America and a quarter from Asia. As a direct result, the US’s population was one-third minority in 2009, and is on track for a non-White majority by 2042.
When Republican Richard Nixon succeeded Johnson, as president after the 1968 election, he continued and even expanded many of the Great Society programs despite being from a different political party. The destiny of the US was sealed.