Showing posts from February, 2005

Larry Summers and the Scientific World View

Harvard published a transcript of (Harvard President) Larry Summer's remarks that set off the PC firestorm, and I really think that all those who joined in the lynch mob really ought to hang their heads. If this kind of dialog is going to be banned as politically incorrect, then no honest examination of questions of human differences is possible at all.

It seems to me that a lot of trends bode ill for the scientific world view. It's starting to look a lot like the middle ages, except that instead of a pope and a church, an army of anti-scientific special interests is at work. Creationism and politically correct sociology are only the tip of the iceberg. A small but well funded anti-global warming clique continues to spin their case in outrageous ways. Some of the global warming people don't seem much better. String theorists, who have a pretty theory and a ton of genius level IQ's, go nuts when they talk about alternatives to strings in quantum gravity. I think the…

Anti-Libertarian: re-post

The most pointed critique of social security and liberalism in general is the libertarian critique. The problem with libertarians, for a liberal, is that we have too much in common. We both believe in individual rights, tolerance of individual differences, and dislike government prescription of religion. The basic difference, it seems to me, is the different answers we give to Cain's (with thanks to the Captain - my original version had the corpse asking the question!) famous question: "Am I my brother's keeper?"

That's not really my basic bitch against the libertarians though. My real complaint is the same as my complaint against most religion - its premise is a fraud. For those who can't stand to wait for the punchline, I believe that trying to implement libertarian principles leads to tyranny or social disintegration. Demonstrating that takes some historical (and pre-historical) context.

For all but the last 15,000 or so of the 100,000 years the human speci…