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  1. #41
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    It also irks me when people say something is over their head. It is not over your head. If you don't know about it that's fine, just say you don't know. If you don't have the time to learn about it, that's fine too.

    But don't paint yourself as stupid because you are most probably not. You are not stupid and knowledge is not magical, it takes work and there's a high probability that you either can't or won't put in the work. And there's nothing wrong with that but I won't accept this "I'm not smart enough" excuse. It's sad.
    I must admit I would rather be called lazy than stupid. Although it might be a bit of one and the other....amongst other 'others'.

    This is hitting on something else which might not really be relevant here though. But maybe I can draw it into this so I'm going to try. It's a simple idea: I agree mostly with the notion that people can push past certain self-imposed limits based around intelligence and capability and we all have our traps and our delusions which we've cobbled into these working personalities in order to deal with existing. However I do think there are individual limits which can be hit based on the (assumed real so fuck you Descartes) hardware we have biologically in the form of our brains.

    In other words: for some people it really IS over their heads. Otherwise we're just encouraging magical thinking. But then again I love playing all my sides at once if I can remember them, so I can buy that for the average (one day we'll find that right? An average?) person possibly could attempt to put time and effort into researching and studying complex and intricate scientific theories and ideas, but if their equipment isn't quite up to scratch then the amount of time and effort possibly looks negligible for any pay off.

    Plus that whole notion of knowledge itself being the reward and there being no end to it. People understand things on different streams and complexities and some are playing with better memory than most of everybody else and some are playing with worse memory.

    I think the reason theories like MBTI pop up is because the fast memory tricks a person into thinking they jumped from A to Z and ignored the other 24 letters along the way when really they did it so quickly the other letters were irrelevant. But then you have to pretend that getting distracted by different information, say a number popping up between I & P, is not also part of that process.

    I don't know really, but from my basic ( and I mean basic) observations; people get what they're given and then do what they can with it and the only sensible option is to existentially introspect endlessly on what choice is the choice when you made the choice until your hardware ends up at Cambridge in a jar of vinegar.

    But that's not fun, so we invent boredom to block out the parts that might be a little bit too much for us...in other words the parts that are "over our heads".
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
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    - A.A. Milne.

  2. #42
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @AffirmitiveAnxiety

    Well yes it's trivial to find examples of people who can't even learn simple things so I wasn't being 100% literal of course. I was mostly referring to people who say this sort of thing as an excuse before they even try. I take offense to it because I was called stupid (and lazy depending on who you talked to) and I wasn't given the opportunity to learn a lot of things in a way that works for me, so I ended up being self taught about a lot of things. I was also neglected by my parents and socially dysfunctional and I had to fight to learn a lot of things people take for granted. So it bugs me when I see someone call their self stupid when I can tell that they aren't because I've been there first.
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  3. #43
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    This part:
    “Science is not a body of facts,” says geophysicist Marcia McNutt, who once headed the U.S. Geological Survey and is now editor of Science, the prestigious journal. “Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”
    This points to the fundamental problem. People tend to view science as a body of knowledge or tenets akin to religious dogma. Religious people make this mistake a lot, but I've seen so-called science proponents do it as well.

    Just look at the abundance of internet memes that more or less turn people like Hawking, Sagan and Dawkins into saints. MISSING THE POINT...
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  4. #44
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starcrash View Post
    This part:

    This points to the fundamental problem. People tend to view science as a body of knowledge or tenets akin to religious dogma. Religious people make this mistake a lot, but I've seen so-called science proponents do it as well.

    Just look at the abundance of internet memes that more or less turn people like Hawking, Sagan and Dawkins into saints. MISSING THE POINT...
    Unfortunately there's supposed credibility and social clout to be had through appearing to be knowledgeable. A lot of people love to look smart. You see this take place everywhere - a technical subject comes up and everyone wants to chime in no matter what their input is or what it achieves.

    People want you to know that they know stuff. They like to show off. And when they are showing off, it won't do to be made a fool of by some inconvenient 'facts', so they construct a dogma because getting it right is nowhere near as important to them as making you think they are informed and smart.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Unfortunately there's supposed credibility and social clout to be had through appearing to be knowledgeable. A lot of people love to look smart. You see this take place everywhere - a technical subject comes up and everyone wants to chime in no matter what their input is or what it achieves.

    People want you to know that they know stuff. They like to show off. And when they are showing off, it won't do to be made a fool of by some inconvenient 'facts', so they construct a dogma because getting it right is nowhere near as important to them as making you think they are informed and smart.
    well put and true.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Rambling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    ... there is no "garbage collection" feature [for incorrect knowledge]
    Surely the local tabloids are a collection point?


  7. #47
    Member Dopa's Avatar
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    Our human minds really do show their weaknesses when it comes to science and philosophy. We very much want to think in terms of our context--we have a tendency to universalize it. But what we know on this tiny, backwater planet is very narrow! Time and time again, though, our anthropocentrism is revealed to us, and I think it will happen many more times. If anything, though, it seems to me like philosophy has it even harder, because you can't really be proved wrong as easily. Take animal rights, for instance. People don't have to care; it's not like you can prove someone wrong who abuses them. All you can do is appeal to their empathy and compassion, and perhaps explain why they should have as much for animals as they do for humans. That is, many animals which we hunt and kill not just for food but for fun have a similar level of cognizance as human babies or toddlers. What if we treated our own like that? Which goes to show the strength of human-centeredness in our thinking. And it's not surprising, given that it's simply not instinctual for us to care as much for animals of other species as much as our own. Those are biases we have to work to even see, let alone overcome.
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  8. #48
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I think the problem is reality is the everyday. The dopler effect can be demonstrated and still can confuse people. Microbiology, astro physics, quantum mechanics.... Much harder to exemplify.

    People believe what they see, smell, taste and touch... They're backwards that way.
    That is indeed backwards. The term "belief" rightly applies to those things for which we do not have the evidence of our observations.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    It also irks me when people say something is over their head. It is not over your head. If you don't know about it that's fine, just say you don't know. If you don't have the time to learn about it, that's fine too.

    But don't paint yourself as stupid because you are most probably not. You are not stupid and knowledge is not magical, it takes work and there's a high probability that you either can't or won't put in the work. And there's nothing wrong with that but I won't accept this "I'm not smart enough" excuse. It's sad.
    So instead of saying people are stupid, we should say people are lazy? I'm not sure which is worse. I do see unfortunately many people who seem unwilling to put out the least bit of effort, consistently seeking the path of least resistance through life. Not surprisingly, failure to put out a modicum of effort often results in problems that take far more effort later on to clean up. The proverbial stitch in time. Put another way, investments of time can pay off as much as investments of money.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Personally I find that relationship to be inverted. For me science is intuitive and religion counter-intuitive.
    Agreed. Most religious thought has far too many internal contradictions to be intuitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Then you haven't taken quantum mechanics. Anyone who says it's intutitive is lying and doesn't actually get any of it.
    Actually, I found some parts of it quite intuitive, while others - not so much. (So does that make me only partially a liar? Perhaps in some linear superposition of lying and telling the truth . . . )

    Quote Originally Posted by Starcrash View Post
    This points to the fundamental problem. People tend to view science as a body of knowledge or tenets akin to religious dogma. Religious people make this mistake a lot, but I've seen so-called science proponents do it as well.
    Science is primarily a process through which we add to our knowledge about the world. Equating science to the knowledge itself is like equating cooking with the meals it produces. Related, to be sure, but not the same.
    Last edited by Coriolis; 03-07-2015 at 10:50 PM.
    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...

  9. #49
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    That is indeed backwards. The term "belief" rightly applies to those things for which we do not have the evidence of our observations.
    I missed out one word. They believe they understand what they can smell, taste, touch etc.

    As with all people, some more than others, if something new contravenes what they believe then they will resist it.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #50
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Very brilliant article.

    Personally, I feel it is absolutely the obligation of the scientific community to make science, knowledge, and information accessible to all. They are the liaisons of what the world knows about it's own stuff. Not everyone can focus on science. It is up to scientists to team up with people who can translate things in such a way that not only accurately represents the data, but still sums it up into digestible segments. it is NOT an easy task.. but the only alternatives are what we already have: people reading what they want to read, or misunderstanding the information, and stupid news people putting emotional lashes into data to create this crazy sphere of falsity.

    Scientists are all subject to society. Because like it or not, want it or not, people will read their data and findings and come to a conclusion about it. You can ignore them, and likely have your product turned into garbage and delay potentially great findings for years. (I love Nikola Tesla forever and forever.. but he was a wimpy moron when it came to actually trying to improve things. He wanted to work to just work. Instead of taking a few moments to protect himself, his work, and coincidentally everyone in society ever forever more.... he ended up getting it all taken away.. from himself, and us. He's a great example of how it doesn't matter HOW much we KNOW, if we don't DO anything with it it's pretty useless.)

    You have people like Food Babe that KNOW how to TALK to people. They know what to say, when to say it, to appeal to people. And it's all lies and garbage. Bullies using their pseudo facts to make things happen because Yay making something happen I guess? And the only way to help people is to truly appeal to them.

    They did studies to find out what everyone with common sense already knows: using vaccine education does NOT educate people about vaccines. The people who reject them ALREADY have been told the facts. They do not want them. It is going to take something else to motivate people. In this aspect, and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    On a personal level (and to be perfectly honest, I am not proud to admit this, but I feel I must for the purposes of the thread), I have experienced the effect of using science to reinforce my world views. For several years when I was around 16-20 (2005-2009), I was anti-fluoride, anti-vaccine, and partially anti-GMO. A lot came from influence from my mother, and I parroted it back. But I found I wanted those things to be true, so I found "evidence" (it wasn't really of course) to support it. It wasn't until I started to stay more alert and critical instead of starting from idealism that I was forced to admit that I was looking at the wrong evidence, and finding things to support my views. It wasn't fun, admitting I was doing it wrong, and was wrong. I still find myself wresting with this at times. I also still have an internal fear reaction whenever I get a vaccine, despite rationally knowing it's good. It's very important though for us to run against what our guts tell us with science when faced with credible evidence, because a lot of the time (as the article points out) science isn't intuitive, and even the deepest education of it can't prevent one from slipping.

    Discuss.
    Not an easy thing to do my friend.

    Science is not intuitive. Doctors get new evidence and then still do the same shit. And they're well versed in the practice of science-based evidence. People don't want to CHANGE. We don't like ambiguity. We don't like to be told we're wrong. We don't like to be told everything we know and love is a lie. Or that we're stupid. Science pretty much shows us all of those things all at once. Change this for sure, because maybe this sometimes, and so we've been all wrong and turns out we've been believing this out of sheer stubborn stupidity. K? .. Its a formula for disaster without some serious delicate weaving and teaching.

    I think this is where brilliant, bright people come in. Liberal arts ARE useful for MANY things. Painters can show the true pain and suffering that's come from flus and measles. Advertisers can create brilliant pamphlets and interactive models online that shows data in digestible segments that people can truly understand. Web designers, photographers, historians, librarians, they all have a role to play in spreading this information. It's where you can connect intuition and creativity with the logic and ever-changing mass of scientific knowledge.

    Unfortunately, as with many things, I think government and law and politics will play a major role in science being enforced or not. Doctors doing things they did 50 years ago can lose their license now-a-days. Similarly, doctors are making policies about not letting in patients without vaccinations because of anti-vaccine believers. I think it'll take people making unpleasant rules and procedures to make people bend to the will of things instead of people taking some introspection and proactive thought. It's the easier of the two.
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