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(Slate)   Tribalism is more powerful than scientific literacy. Or, in summary, we're lemmings   ( slate.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Scientific method, climate change, science, deficit model, scientists, Theory, science communication, Scientist  
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1110 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Apr 2017 at 4:40 PM (26 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



44 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-04-20 03:19:09 PM  
i.ytimg.com
 
2017-04-20 03:31:28 PM  
There's nothing quite like metal rods and cattle prods to bring someone around to your way of thinking.
 
2017-04-20 03:35:04 PM  
This is a surprise to anyone?

Individual humans can be smart, although most are not. Humans as a group are just as dumb as any other herd animal.
 
2017-04-20 04:42:31 PM  
Can we drop the farkin' lemming meme.

/fark you disney
 
2017-04-20 04:43:41 PM  

Uncontrolled_Jibe: Can we drop the farkin' lemming meme.

/fark you disney


Right off a cliff, sure.
 
2017-04-20 04:44:11 PM  
I assume the [ OBVIOUS ] tag was too depressed to show up.
 
2017-04-20 04:44:52 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: There's nothing quite like metal rods and cattle prods to bring someone around to your way of thinking.


And duct tape! Duct tape is surpringly effective at ensuring an attentive audience.
 
2017-04-20 04:46:06 PM  
Let me show you the dance of my people
2 Unlimited - Tribal Dance 2.4 (official video)
Youtube 5M8g2I7tF2I
 
2017-04-20 04:48:49 PM  
That's not so bad.  The Lemmings was fun.
img.fark.net

/Also, real lemmings are pretty cute.
 
2017-04-20 04:53:27 PM  

Englebert Slaptyback: I assume the [ OBVIOUS ] tag was too depressed to show up.


Recent observation, meaning something I've noticed more of in the past twenty years:

Many of the vocal proponents of science are not actually well educated in the field. In fact, I observe many of them who lack an understanding of the more basic principles.

So, they're often not wrong in what they say, they're just parroting what they've heard and not actually reached a level of understanding.

A good example is climate science and AGW. I notice more errors from those who support it than I notice errors from people who deny it. Now, I'd suggest the supporters are correct but they don't actually understand why.

It's a bit like seeing Polly the Parrot try to explain how crackers are made.
 
2017-04-20 05:00:21 PM  

UnspokenVoice: I notice more errors from those who support it


Example?
The only errors I often notice are where people rush in with certainty that individial-event-X is due to AGW.
The deniers though? Ooooh boy. Chemistry errors, physics errors, history errors, you name it.
 
2017-04-20 05:06:45 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Many of the vocal proponents of science are not actually well educated in the field. In fact, I observe many of them who lack an understanding of the more basic principles.


This isn't surprising since everyone can't be an expert on everything. I guess if we were all truly thoughtful and humble, we wouldn't mouth off about things we don't know, but mouthing off is only human. Also, I have to say "the past twenty years" basically corresponds to the rise of the internet which has surely exposed you to a wider range of people than was possible previously.

Essentially one has to make a decision on whether or not to trust experts. My position is broadly trust them while remaining suitably sceptical because experts are just humans and group think can enter into any group.
 
2017-04-20 05:08:08 PM  
As someone who works with a bunch of scientists and engineers who seem permanently and naively hopeful that if scientists can just find a way to explain things better the American public will come around to supporting science, I'm getting a kick out of this thread.
 
2017-04-20 05:10:04 PM  

LewDux: Let me show you the dance of my people
[YouTube video]


Mine"s better.

Safety Dance - Men Without Hats Official Video
Youtube AjPau5QYtYs
 
2017-04-20 05:11:40 PM  
I thought it said "tribadism" Subby...
 
2017-04-20 05:16:56 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Marcus Aurelius: There's nothing quite like metal rods and cattle prods to bring someone around to your way of thinking.

And duct tape! Duct tape is surpringly effective at ensuring an attentive audience.


You have to wrap the gerbils quite snugly.
 
2017-04-20 05:18:18 PM  

Quemapueblo: I thought it said "tribadism" Subby...


Came for this; leaving satisfied.
 
2017-04-20 05:18:28 PM  

UnspokenVoice: A good example is climate science and AGW. I notice more errors from those who support it than I notice errors from people who deny it.


How would you know, being not an expert in the subject?
 
2017-04-20 05:20:52 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: Example?
The only errors I often notice are where people rush in with certainty that individial-event-X is due to AGW.
The deniers though? Ooooh boy. Chemistry errors, physics errors, history errors, you name it.


Everything from the fundamentals to what a chaotic system actually means. I've seen more examples (and this could just be because of where I visit) of people pointing out warm winter weather as proof, than I've seen the opposite.

eiger: UnspokenVoice: Many of the vocal proponents of science are not actually well educated in the field. In fact, I observe many of them who lack an understanding of the more basic principles.

This isn't surprising since everyone can't be an expert on everything. I guess if we were all truly thoughtful and humble, we wouldn't mouth off about things we don't know, but mouthing off is only human. Also, I have to say "the past twenty years" basically corresponds to the rise of the internet which has surely exposed you to a wider range of people than was possible previously.

Essentially one has to make a decision on whether or not to trust experts. My position is broadly trust them while remaining suitably sceptical because experts are just humans and group think can enter into any group.



Hmm... To be more clear, I've been online since before the web was world-wide. I'm old and retired. I was using networked computers back in the early 1980s.
 
2017-04-20 05:23:00 PM  

Ishkur: How would you know, being not an expert in the subject?


By having learned enough to read those who *are* experts in the field and to rely on their data. I've even gone so far as to play with the data myself and to use one of the many modeling applications available.

I am not an expert in climate science. I am a mathematician who worked with modeling traffic. I'm pretty qualified to say when someone's not understanding the fundamentals of science.
 
2017-04-20 05:37:32 PM  

Flappyhead: LewDux: Let me show you the dance of my people
[YouTube video]

Mine"s better.

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/AjPau5QYtYs - 480x360]

oi65.tinypic.com
Kokolo - Soul Power
Youtube YpZXc1uwz98
 
2017-04-20 05:43:38 PM  
tribalism is an important component of human evolution.

science, even when it loses, it wins, biatches.
 
2017-04-20 05:47:40 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Marcus Aurelius: There's nothing quite like metal rods and cattle prods to bring someone around to your way of thinking.

And duct tape! Duct tape is surpringly effective at ensuring an attentive audience.


It turns no no no into mmm mmm mmm!
 
2017-04-20 05:47:54 PM  

Flappyhead: LewDux: Let me show you the dance of my people
[YouTube video]

Mine"s better.

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/AjPau5QYtYs - 480x360]


I see you've both played dancy spoony before. Let me play you my peoples (we have cocaine).

Electric Six - Dance Commander
Youtube BRrfnvGQG1I
 
2017-04-20 05:58:53 PM  

BgJonson79: It turns no no no into mmm mmm mmm!


Duct Tape, helping people change their minds since 1932*.

* Number drawn completely from my ass. I do know Duck Tape was made with duck cloth back in the sailing days. I also know duct tape, for actual ducts, is different than what most people call duct tape.**

** For simplicity*** sake.

*** Simplicity, meaning, we're now at three footnotes and more material in footnotes than is in the actual message.
 
2017-04-20 06:05:29 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: UnspokenVoice: I notice more errors from those who support it

Example?
The only errors I often notice are where people rush in with certainty that individial-event-X is due to AGW.
The deniers though? Ooooh boy. Chemistry errors, physics errors, history errors, you name it.


I suspect Unspoken was referring to the laymen. People who are pro-science will go "scientists say..., and that is good enough for me" while supporting it with whatever science they half remember having learned when they were 15. The critics tend to read more about the subject and are thus better informed.

/Compare and contrast: an atheists- knowledge of the bible is on average better than that of a Christian
 
2017-04-20 06:15:57 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: How would you know, being not an expert in the subject?

By having learned enough to read those who *are* experts in the field and to rely on their data. I've even gone so far as to play with the data myself and to use one of the many modeling applications available.

I am not an expert in climate science. I am a mathematician who worked with modeling traffic. I'm pretty qualified to say when someone's not understanding the fundamentals of science.


So in other words: You are not an expert on the topic.

You are an expert in condescension.

Good to know.
 
2017-04-20 06:21:12 PM  

Ishkur: UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: How would you know, being not an expert in the subject?

By having learned enough to read those who *are* experts in the field and to rely on their data. I've even gone so far as to play with the data myself and to use one of the many modeling applications available.

I am not an expert in climate science. I am a mathematician who worked with modeling traffic. I'm pretty qualified to say when someone's not understanding the fundamentals of science.

So in other words: You are not an expert on the topic.

You are an expert in condescension.

Good to know.


It's that damned Poe's Law, again. I have no idea if you're mentally challenged or trolling.
 
2017-04-20 06:56:14 PM  

UnspokenVoice: It's that damned Poe's Law, again. I have no idea if you're mentally challenged or trolling.


You are hardly an expert on what Poe's Law is, either.
 
2017-04-20 07:00:31 PM  

Ishkur: UnspokenVoice: It's that damned Poe's Law, again. I have no idea if you're mentally challenged or trolling.

You are hardly an expert on what Poe's Law is, either.


I am quite certain that there are things you know more about than I do. For example, I've never worked retail, bused tables, or scrubbed toilets that did not belong to me.
 
2017-04-20 07:15:01 PM  

eiger: As someone who works with a bunch of scientists and engineers who seem permanently and naively hopeful that if scientists can just find a way to explain things better the American public will come around to supporting science, I'm getting a kick out of this thread.


Getting scientists to move out of the "here let me show you my big geeky brain and impress you" pattern and move towards "here's what bad things are going to be visited on your family by climate change and you can head that off by doing x, y, z" seems like a tall order by itself.

I fear that part of the lesson here is that communicating with people about politically-sensitive science will require accepting the fundamentally unscientific ground rules of their worldview.

Like, yes, it is not human behavior that is causing client change.  It's God's will.  We cannot do anything to stop God except pray.  But if we try to reduce our own impact on the environment, then perhaps it will give us time to convince God to turn off the oven soon.  It will show we mean that it sincerely that we don't want Him to flood all of Florida (even if it deserves it).

Like we're Lot, negotiating to save the city of Soddom.
 
2017-04-20 07:15:32 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: UnspokenVoice: It's that damned Poe's Law, again. I have no idea if you're mentally challenged or trolling.

You are hardly an expert on what Poe's Law is, either.

I am quite certain that there are things you know more about than I do. For example, I've never worked retail, bused tables, or scrubbed toilets that did not belong to me.


Somewhere in your family tree, someone probably did so you didn't have to.
 
2017-04-20 07:16:24 PM  

wejash: eiger: As someone who works with a bunch of scientists and engineers who seem permanently and naively hopeful that if scientists can just find a way to explain things better the American public will come around to supporting science, I'm getting a kick out of this thread.

Getting scientists to move out of the "here let me show you my big geeky brain and impress you" pattern and move towards "here's what bad things are going to be visited on your family by climate change and you can head that off by doing x, y, z" seems like a tall order by itself.

I fear that part of the lesson here is that communicating with people about politically-sensitive science will require accepting the fundamentally unscientific ground rules of their worldview.

Like, yes, it is not human behavior that is causing client change.  It's God's will.  We cannot do anything to stop God except pray.  But if we try to reduce our own impact on the environment, then perhaps it will give us time to convince God to turn off the oven soon.  It will show we mean that it sincerely that we don't want Him to flood all of Florida (even if it deserves it).

Like we're Lot, negotiating to save the city of Soddom.


"client change" = climate change

/lawyer
//finger memory faster than brain.
 
2017-04-20 07:17:33 PM  

stonelotus: UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: UnspokenVoice: It's that damned Poe's Law, again. I have no idea if you're mentally challenged or trolling.

You are hardly an expert on what Poe's Law is, either.

I am quite certain that there are things you know more about than I do. For example, I've never worked retail, bused tables, or scrubbed toilets that did not belong to me.

Somewhere in your family tree, someone probably did so you didn't have to.


This is correct.
 
2017-04-20 07:35:10 PM  

al-Mundane: Quemapueblo: I thought it said "tribadism" Subby...

Came for this; leaving satisfied.


A lot of people came for tribadism.
 
2017-04-20 08:06:44 PM  
I have a degree in physics and a career in structured finance, so I feel I have some practical experience on both sides of the debate.
I think the article, and most commentary, misses a big point.
Your self-proclaimed sceptic almost always approaches science as a collection of unconnected facts.  So they happily believe the facts they like, and reject the ones they don't.  And when challenged, they raise some single observation that superficially contradicts the fact they don't like, and intone that 'theory' is inferior to 'empiricism', and all scientific facts are just sitting around waiting to be disproved by a single observation.
In fact, science simply doesn't work that way, and hasn't for hundreds of years. It is an interconnected set of theories, ultimately built on relativity, quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics.  And the theories are not separate from empirical observation, but encode hundreds of years of it.
This is why 'climate scepticism' is so stupid. We know what is happening because it is an inevitable result of exactly the same science that makes your fridge work.  So if you are questioning the greenhouse effect (for example), you need to explain which bit of Maxwell's equations is wrong, and why all the technology using them still works.
I think the solution (if there is one) is that the teaching of science in schools needs to not simply teach scientific facts, and include some teaching about the structure of science.
 
Kiz [BareFark]
2017-04-20 08:49:17 PM  
The deficit model works fine when the person you're trying to persuade has no personal investment in the answer.

But if they are emotionally invested in X and you say Y, well, they will turn whatever intellectual and scientific knowledge they have... towards rationalizing why it's still X anyway. Giving up a treasured belief hurts and people don't like to do it. The smarter someone is, the more tortured rationales they can come up with why you must be wrong.

//there's a reason why Intelligence and Wisdom are different stats, y'know.
 
2017-04-20 09:21:47 PM  

Ishkur: UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: How would you know, being not an expert in the subject?

By having learned enough to read those who *are* experts in the field and to rely on their data. I've even gone so far as to play with the data myself and to use one of the many modeling applications available.

I am not an expert in climate science. I am a mathematician who worked with modeling traffic. I'm pretty qualified to say when someone's not understanding the fundamentals of science.

So in other words: You are not an expert on the topic.

You are an expert in condescension.

Good to know.


You're an expert in being an idiot
 
2017-04-20 09:23:42 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: UnspokenVoice: Ishkur: How would you know, being not an expert in the subject?

By having learned enough to read those who *are* experts in the field and to rely on their data. I've even gone so far as to play with the data myself and to use one of the many modeling applications available.

I am not an expert in climate science. I am a mathematician who worked with modeling traffic. I'm pretty qualified to say when someone's not understanding the fundamentals of science.

So in other words: You are not an expert on the topic.

You are an expert in condescension.

Good to know.

It's that damned Poe's Law, again. I have no idea if you're mentally challenged or trolling.


Trolling, but they're the same thing.  Trolling makes stupid people feel like their opinions are as valid as people's who are smarter than them.
 
2017-04-20 09:58:45 PM  

UnspokenVoice: Hmm... To be more clear, I've been online since before the web was world-wide. I'm old and retired. I was using networked computers back in the early 1980s.


I honestly thought you might respond with that (not sure why). But I think my point still stands because the folks you ran into back then were pretty different than today.

Then again, maybe things have changed. However, I would also suspect that's related to the web and the fact we're all now more acculturated to arguing about these issues than before.
 
2017-04-20 11:04:27 PM  

UnspokenVoice: I am quite certain that there are things you know more about than I do. For example, I've never worked retail, bused tables, or scrubbed toilets that did not belong to me.


Are any of those things science?

Try to focus, here.
 
2017-04-21 01:07:57 AM  
Says you, you lemming.
 
2017-04-21 01:09:25 AM  
Considering lemmings don't actually engage in this behavior while humans do, maybe we should say people are "acting like a bunch of humans." You know, just to be technically accurate.
 
2017-04-21 02:54:02 PM  
I find it funny that the guy claiming the climate contrarians are the ones that have more knowledge of the subject is one himself, and was apparently almost completely ignorant of the subject when he started demanding answers.

As in here.
 
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