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  1. #181
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    We need literacy but we cannot settle with it being on the level of "See Spot Run!" which is about where it sits a lot of the time.

    A lot of people know just enough to be dangerous and that is a problem. It'd be better if they either knew more or less or even nothing, because right now we have this limbo where people know just enough to be a problem for other people, like some kind of knowledge virus. We either need more knowledge so that people are inoculated, or less knowledge so that the 'virus' simply dies.

  2. #182
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    No offense, but the "let the experts decide, since they know best" position smacks of elitism. If scientists can not communicate their findings to the general public, then that is their fault and their problem, not ours.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  3. #183
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The public has the interest. If they didn't, they would not be so quick to latch onto so many crackpot speculations mispackaged as "science". It's not a matter of scientists not wanting to be bothered to correct this; we are simply the wrong tool for the job, or at least we need many others to do it right. Look at any product, from something simple like paper towels to something complicated like GPS units or pharmaceuticals. The people who develop and deliver the advertising for these are not the same people who developed and now produce the actual products. They are people with expertise not in science and engineering but rather in economics, marketing, psychology, writing, art, etc. Ideally they work with scientists and engineers to gain a basic understanding of the product, which they can then pass on to the general public. (I realize much of advertising is designed to manipulate rather than pass on genuine information. I am giving it the benefit of the doubt for this exercise, considering it in its idealized form of helping the public become familiar with a "product" so they will understand its benefits.)

    And yes, we need to get those who "don't do well at science" to understand some basic level of science, just as we encourage people who are completely non-athletic to maintain some basic level of physical fitness, we expect people with no literary gifts to be able to read and write, and we expect people who will never go into politics or run a business to have a basic understanding of how our government and economy function. It's as simple as that, and as difficult.
    While all true in the modern world you're not really looking at whether this is the best solution. I've done sales and the easiest sell is when you want what you are selling. I sold plenty of graphics cards purely in the basis that I wanted a new graphics card. Of course the overwhelming urge to research which one helped enormously but most people don't do their research, they want convenience.

    Hence it is with science. They will devour what matches their world view and dismiss all else.

    As someone knowledgeable if time slows as you reach light speed and many will nod and say yes. Ask them why and they scratch their heads and give all kinds of weird answers. Not one person has postulated that what the common man considers as time is not that is being measured.

    Ask someone without good reading and they have no interest whatsoever. Why then would they bother to research the latest in chemistry? Hell, all the discussion about time travel around films and so few consider it past its story telling applications.

    Consider a more polarised example. People buy things like designer handbags. Why? Because they are designer. No one asks what's the extra value or why they should pay more. They accept the world as sold because that is what they are conditioned to do. To question is hard work and they want an easy life. Hence if a paper tells people that immigrants are taking all the best jobs, houses and benefits then scores will adopt it. Few of them ever ask "if ten thousand people move in, how many new jobs are created to look after them?".

    The track record is long. A person is a reasoned and thinking being. Capable of compassion and understanding. People are nervous, reactionary and instinctual. Likely to round on anything new and different with great fervour.

    As for who to do this feat,there are many instances of the guy with the skills to make the goods being the best guy to sell the goods. Science is no different in this marketplace. It's just another commodity.

    Of course you could remove the sales side by cooperation but that muddies the water on Nobel prizes and new grants. If you're going to be competitive, you have to play the game. If you're not then you have to find another way of funding what you're doing.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #184
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    No offense, but the "let the experts decide, since they know best" position smacks of elitism.
    You're insistence that you're always right smacks of elitism.
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    Likes /DG/, Passacaglia liked this post

  5. #185
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard
    You're insistence that you're always right smacks of elitism.
    But there are studies that say I'm right.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  6. #186
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    But there are studies that say I'm right.
    I rest my case.
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  7. #187
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    The solution is to use market based forces to fund science. When you have politicians awarding grants for scientific research, that research becomes corrupted and agenda driven. How likely is it for climate change skeptics to get government funding for their research? They don't and that is why most most climate scientists are believers.
    Judging by all of the politicians, pundits, and businessmen who are hellbent on denying global warming, come hell or highwater, pretty darn likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    No offense, but the "let the experts decide, since they know best" position smacks of elitism. If scientists can not communicate their findings to the general public, then that is their fault and their problem, not ours.
    No offense, but in the short time that I've been a TypeC member, I can confidently say that if you were to simply reply to any even tangentially-political topic with an ellipses, we would all be able to mentally fill in your thoughts on the topic. "Deregulate it!...Free market solutions!...Elitism!"

    But please, continue your pontification.
    Likes Hard liked this post

  8. #188
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    While all true in the modern world you're not really looking at whether this is the best solution. I've done sales and the easiest sell is when you want what you are selling. I sold plenty of graphics cards purely in the basis that I wanted a new graphics card. Of course the overwhelming urge to research which one helped enormously but most people don't do their research, they want convenience.

    Hence it is with science. They will devour what matches their world view and dismiss all else.
    I'm sure you know people who are interested in and even excited by science, but don't want to commit to it as a career. These are the folks who often end up in marketing, high-tech consulting, technical writing, etc. Same with sports and entertainment. Just consider all the folks working as agents, business managers, and producers for professional athletes, actors, musicians, etc. They want to work in or close to the field without being an actual athlete or performer. We have some of the science and engineering equivalent in my organization, and they are worth their weight in gold provided we keep them on the straight and narrow. This is our part of the job: to give them good information, to answer all of their questions so they understand it themselves, and to help them revise the content so it is understandable to someone without a scientific degree while still being accurate. I don't see how scientists doing all this alone would be a better approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Consider a more polarised example. People buy things like designer handbags. Why? Because they are designer. No one asks what's the extra value or why they should pay more. They accept the world as sold because that is what they are conditioned to do. To question is hard work and they want an easy life. Hence if a paper tells people that immigrants are taking all the best jobs, houses and benefits then scores will adopt it. Few of them ever ask "if ten thousand people move in, how many new jobs are created to look after them?".
    This is exactly why I described my advertising model as idealized. It works only when one's goal is true informing, or even education, rather than simply making a buck as the handbag vendor wants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    As for who to do this feat,there are many instances of the guy with the skills to make the goods being the best guy to sell the goods. Science is no different in this marketplace. It's just another commodity.
    This works with science, or handbags, in small scale situations when the buyer and seller can exchange information directly, and have a two-sided discussion. Yes, the seller/maker knows the product best, but the less the consumer knows, the more attempts the seller must make to get his/her point across. This is what I do in my community outreach activities. Large scale communication is much more one-way and short-lived. The seller might have just a (literal) minute to make his/her point. If he/she is not well-schooled or even talented in how to do this, the message will be lost. This is what the people in our education and PR offices do, using input from people like me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Of course you could remove the sales side by cooperation but that muddies the water on Nobel prizes and new grants. If you're going to be competitive, you have to play the game. If you're not then you have to find another way of funding what you're doing.
    Here you're mixing apples and oranges a bit. Competing for research funding takes a different skill set and type of information than educating the public at large on the nature of science. This first is a task best done by the scientists and engineers themselves, and tends to be evaluated by people with the education and experience to understand the information presented.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
    Likes Hard liked this post

  9. #189
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    No offense, but the "let the experts decide, since they know best" position smacks of elitism. If scientists can not communicate their findings to the general public, then that is their fault and their problem, not ours.
    Scientists can communicate fine. Other people suck at understanding. This is a language barrier and translating things into layman is like Google translating Japanese - a lot of information gets lost.

    The fact that we have droves of people running around abusing thermodynamics and quantum observer effects is a huge testament to this.

    "IF ENTROPY NEVER DECREASES THEN HOW DO WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONERS HERP DERPY DERP"

  10. #190
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia
    Judging by all of the politicians, pundits, and businessmen who are hellbent on denying global warming, come hell or highwater, pretty darn likely.
    I'll take that as a "I don't know." That's ok. I don't know either. According to Suzanne Goldberg of the UK Guardian, it's $900 million/year from various conservative foundations. These are not government sources. I do know that climate change believers got $100 billion over the past decade.

    'Dark Money' Funds To Promote Global Warming Alarmism Dwarf Warming 'Denier' Research

    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia
    "Deregulate it!...Free market solutions!...Elitism!"
    These are terrific solutions for what ails us, including bad science and a gullible public.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles
    Other people suck at understanding.
    Don't you think it's their job to explain it so that layman can understand it? After all, it's taxpayers who pay for much of this research.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

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