Why is there so much liberal and socialist bias on the escapist?

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Danny Ocean:

Agema:

Scientists are not required to learn the underlying philosophy, although optional courses on history and philosophy of science are available to them at many universities.

It's unnecessary because scientists can conduct science without knowing the philosophical underpinnings in much the same way that people can use a computer without understanding how the software is coded.

Oh I seeeeee...

That makes sense. Still, is there a lot of critical thinking involved or is it mostly procedural? It just seems like all the science students I know think they're much better analysts than they actually are. I realise this is anecdotal, and they're all still lovely, curious, and intelligent people.

Don't expect people to understand that, though. After two and a half years of Epistemology and Metaethics (among other things) at the University I've realized that A; Everything is based on Axioms, B; Every data can be interpreted differently from a different Paradigm, and C; The Scientific Paradigm is just the one that we currently favor, and is not more necessarily true than anything else that has been favored. It just explains more things, and better, than the others.
But really, don't push people on such thoughts here..I dared not speak up in the "Science and Faith"-thread, because people really haven't read enough Ontology to understand.

Stiiiill, one only need a basic course in Epistemology to get enough "critical thinking" needed for pretty much anything.

Realitycrash:

Don't expect people to understand that, though. After two and a half years of Epistemology and Metaethics (among other things) at the University I've realized that:

A; Everything is based on Axioms,
B; Every set of data can be interpreted differently from a different Paradigm, and
C; The Scientific Paradigm is just the one that we currently favor, and is not more necessarily true than anything else that has been favored. It just explains more things, and better, than the others.

But really, don't push people on such thoughts here..I dared not speak up in the "Science and Faith"-thread, because people really haven't read enough Ontology to understand.

Stiiiill, one only need a basic course in Epistemology to get enough "critical thinking" needed for pretty much anything.

Yeah. I've only been doing it a month or so now but I think the change in worldview it brings about seems to have happened. That's a single one-semester course worth of studies. Not a huge amount.

Danny Ocean:

That makes sense. Still, is there a lot of critical thinking involved or is it mostly procedural?

Danny Ocean:

Oh no no no, I don't mean to emphasis the obtuse questioning of everything as some kind of a virtue. What I mean is a more modest knowledge of the basic mechanics and limitations of the theories used. Not just the maths, but like I say, the epistemology and ontology.The theory behind the theories of science is actually pretty simple, from what I've seen so far, but so few seem to know it.

Well, as a scientist in the making I can tell you at this point that the whole fundamental Philosophy and Ontology part was pretty much non-existent during my studies. There were some courses that were offered optionally back then, but those were only two or three at most - over the course of 4 or 5 years mind you. And only one of those I could manage to attend... meh >_>.

I would have really loved to have at least one mandatory course about the scientific method - on the other hand, the studies were already packed as far as they were...

As for your question regarding specific theories, however, I think the basic principles how and where they are applicable are usually mentioned - most notably in the questions of Newtonian Mechanics vs. special and general relativity and macroscopic physics vs. quantum physics at large. But I guess you are more looking for the...err...well...ontological content like interpretations and stuff. That, was at least for me, only broached upon - I still believe, for instance, that the idea of conceptualizing particle and condensed matter physics by bloody quantum fields is much more fascinating than everybody else seems to have let on up until now...

As an example: the empirical view of science is so ingrained in one particular scientist friend of mine that he doesn't even consider the existence of temporal entities or social facts. He is quite a stubborn friend, to be fair, but you get the idea.

Do you mind expanding a bit on those "temporal entities" and "social facts" you mentioned here? Never heard of those concepts.

Realitycrash:
But really, don't push people on such thoughts here..I dared not speak up in the "Science and Faith"-thread, because people really haven't read enough Ontology to understand.

I disagree there. Personally, I would have really loved to see such an interesting counterpoint to the usually posited and overly-politicized science vs. religion dichotomy. If somebody can't bear this...well..tough luck. And I'm by far not anyone who knows nearly enough about ontology, so chances are I wouldn't have understood a thing anyway. Still, it's always interesting to have these kinds of insights into different fields.

Captcha "geronimo!". I hate you Captcha. I really do.

Dajosch:

As an example: the empirical view of science is so ingrained in one particular scientist friend of mine that he doesn't even consider the existence of temporal entities or social facts. He is quite a stubborn friend, to be fair, but you get the idea.

Do you mind expanding a bit on those "temporal entities" and "social facts" you mentioned here? Never heard of those concepts.

First off: thanks for the awesome post.

A temporal entity is a term I literally just made up. It may or may not be official, but it does make sense. It refers to thinks that exist temporally as opposed to physically. So ideas, ideals, numbers, norms, culture, society, politics, the economy, language, and so on, are all temporal entities.

Social facts are values, norms, and ideals that transcend individual decision and create a form of constraint on the individual in a social system. Social facts are the objects of study for the social sciences. Here's the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_fact

I promise I didn't just copy paste that. It's just got a strict definition. :P

Realitycrash:
Still, it's always interesting to have these kinds of insights into different fields.

I did broach the topic in this post here. I'm a newb, but have a read if you're interested.

Agema:

Danny Ocean:

While Epistemology and Ontology are philosophical fields, I would have thought that science students would have had to study at least a little bit of it. I mean, how else are they supposed to fully understand the scientific methodology?

Scientists are not required to learn the underlying philosophy, although optional courses on history and philosophy of science are available to them at many universities.

It's unnecessary because scientists can conduct science without knowing the philosophical underpinnings in much the same way that people can use a computer without understanding how the software is coded.

Understandable, though I would argue some history and philosophy of science courses should be made mandatory. An epistemology course would not hurt either. A good scientist should know the limitations of science and have a good taste for skepticism of what they know, otherwise we get nonsensical attempts by some scientists and philosophers to wield science as a reductionist ideology rather than a method.

It appears Danny Ocean has said more or less what I had to say about universities and critical thought. Back to writing (ironically) a philosophy of science paper for me then.

Danny Ocean:

A temporal entity is a term I literally just made up. It may or may not be official, but it does make sense. It refers to thinks that exist temporally as opposed to physically. So ideas, ideals, numbers, norms, culture, society, politics, the economy, language, and so on, are all temporal entities.

Social facts are values, norms, and ideals that transcend individual decision and create a form of constraint on the individual in a social system. Social facts are the objects of study for the social sciences. Here's the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_fact

I promise I didn't just copy paste that. It's just got a strict definition. :P

Interesting. It almost sounds like the topic of social constructivist and perhaps structuralist theories to me, although that also means I really have to wonder why your friend is so opposed to these ideas. I mean, that social constrains have normative power is not really that unreasonable by itself.

I did broach the topic in this post here. I'm a newb, but have a read if you're interested.

Well thanks for that - I already read it back in the thread and, honestly, the basics were always pretty self-evident to me. I'd even question that actual scientists do hold a view that sees, well, the mathematical theory as more than a model; Physics is always about approximating the hell out of complex problems until you can actually solve them, so the fact that the mathematics are just a model should be pretty well visible if you actually study. Or at least, it was for me.

Dajosch:

Interesting. It almost sounds like the topic of social constructivist and perhaps structuralist theories to me... I mean, that social constrains have normative power is not really that unreasonable by itself.

That's exactly what they are!

... although that also means I really have to wonder why your friend is so opposed to these ideas. ...

Well thanks for that - I already read it back in the thread and, honestly, the basics were always pretty self-evident to me. I'd even question that actual scientists do hold a view that sees, well, the mathematical theory as more than a model; Physics is always about approximating the hell out of complex problems until you can actually solve them, so the fact that the mathematics are just a model should be pretty well visible if you actually study. Or at least, it was for me.

I've got no doubt that the professionals (such as yourself) are well grounded in these things, but unfortunately they're not the most numerous or vocal science fans. A *lot* of people seem to take the whole "Science as opposed to religion" line with limited practice of the academics of it. But that's just my perception.

Danny Ocean:
I've got no doubt that the professionals (such as yourself) are well grounded in these things, but unfortunately they're not the most numerous or vocal science fans. A *lot* of people seem to take the whole "Science as opposed to religion" line with limited practice of the academics of it. But that's just my perception.

Oh yes, that is possibly a huge in part in that. Especially since the whole "SCIENCE!"-meme has proliferated so strongly throughout the whole geek and nerd community that it's pretty much a kind of group-identifier at this point: If you are a geek you better wear some nerdy shirts and occasionally post a picture of "Magnets. How the fuck do they work?" or you aren't "true" enough.

It has become, to paraphrase it like before, a social norm.

And this is also where I think the whole Science vs. Religion partially originates from: such a norm such as here means both rampant romantization as well as a huge emotional attachment to the particular topic. That alone wouldn't be that problematic by itself. It only gets to be so, because certain evangelical groups in the US frame themselves as a counterpoint to "science" and were very successful in politicizing this artificial divide between science and religion. And that people from both sides then jump onto the bandwagon because they identify themselves too much with it, doesn't really surprise me.

But that's just my take on the issue anyway <_<

Hardcore_gamer:
Seriously, like every other thread on the forum is something like "OMFG ZE EVIL CONSERVATIVE/RIGHT WING HAS DONE SOMETHING EVIL!!!!!".

I am not saying that all liberalism is bad, but it seems to me like the escapist forum users exist mostly of liberals, socialists, and people who hate capitalism and would like to see it burn in hell.

Is there any reason for why the forum doesn't have more conservatives? The only guys I have noticed is me and that other guy who wants to have sex with animals.

Anyone?

This forum doesn't have more Conservatives because Conservativism in general is dying out. Over time, the better opinions in society tend to catch on while the worse ones lose popularity. Being against gay marriage, calling the poor lazy, leaving healthcare unregulated, supporting a Christian theocracy, invading an unstable country full of brown people to try to impose our values on them by killing them. These are all lesser opinions based on bad science, bad math, bad logic, and bad morals. Thus, these opinions are dying out. Just as it's no longer socially acceptable to be racist, and it's becoming socially unacceptable to be sexist, someday it will also be socially unacceptable to be homophobic, or to hate the poor. Society improves by learning to reject hate.

But I'm not saying Conservatives are wrong about everything. I agree with them on guns, because when somebody attempts to rob, kill, or rape you, you shouldn't have to just LET him. And I don't claim to be an economic expert, so for all I know, maybe less regulation and more competition IS the answer to fixing our system. And I will say that Liberals can be total pansies sometimes. Calling video games "sexist" just for featuring attractive women, getting all upset because some people like to hunt and fish, or just generally getting offended by everything they see. I'm all for being more in touch with your emotions, but you don't have to give up toughness in the process. Liberals should be badass like me. I cry during emotional parts in movies, and I like to cuddle in bed, but I also drink, swear, laugh at offensive humor, kill spiders. I'm not afraid of handling a gun, I'm against "participation awards", and I like busty, scantily-clad women and I'm not ashamed of it.

Saying that most of us want to see capitalism burn in hell seems a little biased.

Dajosch:

And this is also where I think the whole Science vs. Religion partially originates from: such a norm such as here means both rampant romantization as well as a huge emotional attachment to the particular topic. That alone wouldn't be that problematic by itself. It only gets to be so, because certain evangelical groups in the US frame themselves as a counterpoint to "science" and were very successful in politicizing this artificial divide between science and religion. And that people from both sides then jump onto the bandwagon because they identify themselves too much with it, doesn't really surprise me.

But that's just my take on the issue anyway <_<

Unfortunately I think it runs deeper than that.

Not that empiricism is good or bad, but it is such a pervasive perspective throughout the West (especially the USA) that individuals unwittingly conflate their subjective reality with objective reality. The possibility that their reality is just that- theirs- doesn't occur. Needless to say this causes problems.

It's a bit far out there, I know, but it'd be interesting to think about.

Danny Ocean:

Oh I seeeeee...

That makes sense. Still, is there a lot of critical thinking involved or is it mostly procedural? It just seems like all the science students I know think they're much better analysts than they actually are. I realise this is anecdotal, and they're all still lovely, curious, and intelligent people.

It's hard for me to tell you what degree-level science was like, as I did mine a l-o-n-g time ago, consequently it is hard to remember and coloured by my subsequent learning. I can say in a very general sense that doing postgraduate study made me realise how little you really know from a BSc.

I have never been formally taught the philosophical basis of scientific methodology. I have read some up on my own time. For the most part, I'd say that being taught how science is practically done gives some innate understanding of the underlying concepts, even if they might be hard to express and explain as an independent topic.

Danny Ocean:

Dajosch:

And this is also where I think the whole Science vs. Religion partially originates from: such a norm such as here means both rampant romantization as well as a huge emotional attachment to the particular topic. That alone wouldn't be that problematic by itself. It only gets to be so, because certain evangelical groups in the US frame themselves as a counterpoint to "science" and were very successful in politicizing this artificial divide between science and religion. And that people from both sides then jump onto the bandwagon because they identify themselves too much with it, doesn't really surprise me.

But that's just my take on the issue anyway <_<

Unfortunately I think it runs deeper than that.

Not that empiricism is good or bad, but it is such a pervasive perspective throughout the West (especially the USA) that individuals unwittingly conflate their subjective reality with objective reality. The possibility that their reality is just that- theirs- doesn't occur. Needless to say this causes problems.

It's a bit far out there, I know, but it'd be interesting to think about.

Hmmm well it's always difficult to look beyond one's own preconceptions and consider a different point of view that might invalidate something one holds dear. Without going too much into platitudes, but that might very well be an intrinsic property of humanity at large - Empiricism I'd argue (and that goes double for the Scientific Method at large) has a huge advantage in it's applicability, utilizing these kinds of modeling techniques might be an evolutionary advantage or even a necessity. People might naturally be inclined to shun information that might run counter towards their own experiences. And since the Scientific Method is responsible for all those handy gadgets today people might be more inclined to follow it as an Ontological theory than anything comparable. But like before, that's all only speculative.

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