Real life or a cartoon?

Scott Adams, the well known, expert, cartoonist, has persuaded himself that he is boxed in a corner by his lack of knowledge in science.  He admits that one side is right and the other side is wrong.  But he has convinced himself that he cannot decide which is which.   Scott’s bias is that someone, perhaps Scott himself, convinced Scott that climate science is somehow impenetrable knowledge for mere humans, non-scientists, as if a scientist was some special sort of human being.  But a scientist is just a normal human who questions the world around him, rather like Scott has become an expert in persuasion, except a scientist does not stop there.  Will Scott categorize my comment as an ad hominem attack?  Probably.  Scott has created a mental block for himself and wants to persuade you to join him.  Misery loves company.  Scott has decided not to study or think further about this particular subject, so he has built a persuasive wall to justify his position.  He ignores the mathematical fact that every expert in every discipline is growing in ignorance every day.  Orthodoxy is a security blanket, a safe place, where you believe you have the freedom to not think about what is happening to you in the real world.  Thinking is hard work and is rarely tried.  Our society has reached massive conformity about many questions which are still truly open questions.  This is done by media, politicians, cartoonists and educators etc simply by getting most people to accept roughly the same parameters on these questions.  Then the media, politicians, cartoonists and educators etc rip-off you off.  Some expert discusses two or three points of view, as Scott just did, lying safely within the parameters previously presented.  People consider those alternatives as presented, as Scott has done.  Then, most people adopt the comfortable illusion that they have thought about the alternatives and freely formed their own opinion.  They created their own orthodoxy about that question, comfortably boxing themselves into a safe place, just as Scott has done.  On the other hand, what a thinker and realist does is to seek out the conceptual parameters that define the range of all possible alternatives on a given question and then to imagine alternatives to those parameters.  A scientist does that and then devises experiments to test the alternatives against real world conditions, rather than a thought experiment or computer model.  The best scientists will test the hardest alternatives first.  For example, measure the greenhouse warming, or the forcing, caused by human-produced CO2 under real world atmospheric conditions.  Those experiments have been done and repeated many times.  The result is that the warming and the forcing due to CO2 are far too small to measure with acceptable accuracy and reproducibility.  Other climate variables are much larger.  In fact, no one knows whether the net result is warming or cooling in the real world because the effects of CO2 are too small to measure.  But, those who have vested interests will not explore, publish or think about that result or the next questions and dots connected to that result.  They are THE experts, comfortable in their orthodox, safe place and they enjoy the benefits you provide them.  So, they send you on a wild goose chase, or in this case, a polar bear or hurricane chase.  It is not in their interest for you to connect the dots.  If you accept that, if Scott persuades you, then tyranny of thought wins.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/155121836641/the-illusion-of-knowledge

About budbromley

Life sciences executive
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