adding page day i’m reading Heather Marsh‘s science, isolation and control (also happens to be earth day where there are science protest marches going on all over) – so very timely and resonating..
science, isolation and control
Science became the embodiment of these beliefs and a way to insist on the credibility of an omnipotent and autonomous man and discredit all other beliefs. Science is a method which achieved the status of an evangelizing religion.
Science became an attempt by powerful men of Europe to discover, catalogue and own all of the supposed secrets of the universe, including those previously widely collected, catalogued and distributed through the Islamic world, India and China and those newly discovered through European empires. European science was marked by two features: the isolation and control of each tiny element in the universe, and the obsession with credit to and ownership by European men of each supposed discovery.
Science was a continuation of trade exploration, intended for ownership and profit, not for expansion of tribal knowledge.
Access to knowledge was strictly controlled by those universities which admitted almost exclusively wealthy European men. Ownership of knowledge was strictly controlled by copyrights and patents, almost exclusively granted to wealthy European men. The so-called intellectual property that forms the basis of wealth for almost all of the world’s most wealthy today began with an aggressive global scramble to seize and control all of the world’s knowledge.
The fact that a great deal of the knowledge these men sought was already held by indigenous people, women and other empires around the world was not an issue for them as they decreed that nothing could be acknowledged in science unless it was scientifically proven and written in scientific papers. In other words, no knowledge was real knowledge until it came from the mouth or pen of a western man.
This idea quickly extended to all knowledge as even on the ground news reports today are labeled not verified until someone has paid a western journalist to repeat them.
Patents which had previously been granted to the medieval hoarders of knowledge in the form of guilds became available to individuals and corporations. Patents and copyrights pretended that each little piece of knowledge was not dependent on all others and could be individually owned and sold. With their requirement that the secrets contained be published for all to see, the new patents broke the power of the guild class. The secrets which were previously hoarded by the craftsmen using them were isolated and dissociated. Patents freed knowledge in order to hoard it in a higher class. Those with the power to purchase secrets no longer required the old societal ties to do so.
Patents and copyrights also solved the problem of most knowledge being already held by others for centuries or millennia because it granted ownership not to the origin of knowledge but to the first to file patents, almost always western men.
intellectual property et al
Patents and copyrights are exclusionary rights. They are not rights to do something but rights to stop others from doing it.
They do not exist to directly empower the owner, they exist to empower him in relation to his colleagues by restricting them.
University accreditation and licensing act in the same way.
Institutionalization and professionalization allowed control of the sources of knowledge and its use by the men of the dominant social classes, a situation still true today. Ownership and controlled access to knowledge established the new floor the upper classes stood on, the ceiling for everyone else.
With science began the discrediting of thousands of years of knowledge and the establishment of professions such as medicine as the exclusive domain of the caucasian men who had access to the universities and literacy.
The creation of officially sanctioned knowledge and reassigning of credit removed ownership of knowledge from women, indigenous societies, peasants, and all lower classes and placed it all under the rigid control of the scientific class.
Practices which had been used and tested for centuries were not considered official or tested until men of science approved and claimed ownership of them. Most prior knowledge had been transmitted orally, at least off the main trade routes. Even knowledge that had been written down was later transferred to manuscripts copied, purchased, stored and taught by wealthy men. The credit deserved by many great scientists and historians for their work in preserving a small part of these oral traditions does not mitigate the fact that almost all knowledge was needlessly filtered through western male bias and misunderstanding before it was accepted into the halls of officially accredited knowledge.
This collection of knowledge allowed social independence or dissociation to those with access to universities.
Self-congratulatory science produced generations of wealthy boys accustomed to the idea that their institutions already possessed all answers for all things and they no longer needed the listening skills and respect for their elders, colleagues and trade partners formerly necessary to acquire knowledge.
Even in media and politics, young male pundits were depicted as having all of the answers to everything without needing to consult anyone actually involved in an event and, as in science, all stories were presented through the filter of the western men who held the microphones.
The institutions which controlled the certification of knowledge then blocked the majority of the world from access to knowledge which was previously available to all as commons property.
The face of a western man became the face associated with expertise. The face of an old woman became the face of old wives’ tales and the face of indigenous people became the face of superstition.
Science is depicted as the source of all modern knowledge but it has, for centuries, stood in the way of the vast majority of people who may have contributed and has also ensured that all knowledge developed and disseminated was to the benefit of the powerful.
Science is not a source of knowledge; it is a gate. Knowledge was gathered from the global commons and then restricted by science, academia and licensing exactly like all other resources were gathered and then restricted by the trade economy. Knowledge was held to not exist until science discovered it, just like resources were claimed to be unowned until Europeans discovered them. Scientists and academia effectively burned the world’s oral libraries of tribal knowledge and went back to playing with alphabet blocks until they could rediscover what was already known and patent it.
The amount of knowledge irrevocably lost to this scientific cleansing is a global tragedy and the restriction of all forms of study to wealthy western men has retarded human progress for centuries.
science of people ness
Science and the trade economy were depicted as the only conceivable path to progress. All prior beliefs were subject to the burden of proof but everything said by the great religion of science was held to be true until proven again and again to be untrue. No matter how many times they failed, the scientific class was always held to be infallible. Scientists could, like Thomas Aquinas, prove that god existedv or like René Descartes, declare knowledge of god innatevi, and be given credibility. Skepticism was reserved for the old beliefs which were always derided as old wives’ tales and superstitions. Scientific beliefs were proven wrong every day by scientists themselves. It was not scientific methods or ideas being presented as infallible, it was the scientific class. They reserved the right to point out errors to themselves alone. To the people being studied by anthropologists, having their homes explained by biologists and their news reported by journalists, the experts were invariably ignorantvii, but they had no voice to say so. It was rare that they even had access to read what was being said about them. The knowledge experts prided themselves on their detachment from the objects of their study and called their ignorance impartiality.
The isolated thought bubbles of science and academia developed schools of western masculinist theory in service to industrial progress that were almost unusable when applied to the needs of the real world. It is only after intensive critique from the rest of the world, large scale adoption of knowledge from international sources and the commons, and frequent disastrous failure that science has made the contributions they are credited with. Even with the body of academic and scientific knowledge that has finally been built, progress is stalled by funding, credibility and fame that is only available in the west. The vast majority of funding and research is spent on topics that interest neither the researcher nor anyone else but serve to fulfill employment, accreditation or funding requirements. Topics which could be of huge benefit to wider society are not studied if they are not within mandates or of interest to funders or if they are not in the interests of state and industry. Research is driven by power, not need. Like silicon valley’s endless parade of apps of use only to the frat boys creating them, science and academia study issues that affect wealthy old western men from the lens of wealthy old western menvii
Academia and science still parasite off of people worldwide with knowledge to contribute and no way to fund it or be heard without attributing their work to someone with more power. …Ownership of ideas then continues to enable disparity of income and power and the cycle continues. The so-called scientific community is really a scientific class that hoards knowledge from the classes below and is in service to the classes above.
Science is not a synonym for verified knowledge. Science is a class structure in a hierarchical trade economy which regulates knowledge and controls access to it.
The average person has difficulty understanding a whole system at once (perhaps especially male people and even more especially those who are attracted to the study of the minutiae of science).[cite] In order to maintain control over a specimen for study they must break it into tiny pieces and view them in isolation where they will lose all context and relevance. The division of labour in factories helped efficiency by allowing people to build without understanding how to build the entire product. Science was supposed to allow study with the same compartmentalized efficiency, but in science no one understood the whole. Like humans, animals and nature do not respond well to isolation and torture. They must be considered as a whole of interrelated parts observed in their natural habitat for any understanding.
Scientific isolation has, for centuries, left us a legacy of medicine which seeks to kill disease instead of improve overall health, and agriculture which seeks to grow isolated crops by killing everything except the chosen plant.
All of the old knowledge which looked at ecosystems and organisms holistically and sought to work with them were replaced by petri dishes and attacks on every aspect of nature. Empathic and intuitive knowledge, where women were perceived to be stronger, were derided as unscientific. Science centred on isolated, sterilized experiments that explain how with obsessive mania without ever inquiring why. After centuries, science has yet to answer or even ask a single why and prides itself on its myopic views as indicative of reason.
Science encouraged the dissociation of all of its products from their natural origins, of medicine from plants to pills, of food from gardens to plastic bags of products unrecognizable as food. Medicine was conquered and in service to man instead of the former herbs and rituals working with nature and the body. Medicine, cosmetics and food, once inseparable, became isolated to the point that cosmetics were poison and food caused sickness. The hunt for wild animals, where people were joined in contest with the animal and grateful if they won, was replaced by domestic animals raised in factories under complete domination, torture and slavery. Prayers to thank the souls of animals for feeding them were replaced by assertions that animals were machinery made up of nothing more than working parts. Occasionally this isolation and dissociation was necessary but far more often it was to enable copyrights and patents for industrial control. The legacy of this isolation is a knowledge class that is dangerously removed from the world it studies.
Science sought to remove spontaneity as other institutions removed society. Biodiversity was shunned and Monsanto became rich on a promise to kill all that was unapproved. Human efficiency was studied like that of battery hens and both are isolated in corporate factories to maximize production and eliminate any life not related to service of trade. Isolation of work has been transmitted even to homes where isolated people argue about chores rather than gathering as communities to share work.
William Petty’s Political Arithmetickxiallowed the reduction of people to numbers and value and the importance of individual experience was lost.
The seed of collateral damage was born.
Every plant and animal, like every human, must prove its usefulness to the trade economy.
We now have corporate valuations of both people and nature and both must prove their worth to industry to be permitted to survive. Corporations are omnipotent, like gods, and have no duty to provide any social good or obtain any social approval. Science funded by corporations is more interested in mining asteroids than in rediscovering who we are or preserving life on earth.
Our world is in crisis. Verified knowledge has never been more necessary. Study, experimentation, analysis, publication and critique are necessary. Epistemic communities are necessary. Sometimes solving problems in isolation is necessary. Even various scientific methods, empiricism and also rationalism are necessary. What is not necessary, and is blocking achievement of the collective knowledge we so urgently need, is a social class that sets themselves up as the closed arbiter and keepers of all knowledge and operates in service to the trade economy.
scientific method (suggested) – i think the thinking on this page is what got me going long ago on sci method ness
our great tragedy.. all the science\ing we’re doing is with – not us (wilde not-us law et al) –
Science, as you know, my little one, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe.
It’s based on observation, on experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe the facts revealed.
via John Hagel:
A much-needed reminder of what science is supposed to be: truth-seeking, anti-authoritarian, and limitlessly free https://t.co/PbxHhiZJlX
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jhagel/status/857943571885772800
The duty of man who investigates the writings of scientists, *if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads and … attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.
– Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040 CE)
*hmm.. i would question are focus on reading.. rather than observing (and being observed) systemic ness of life.. ie: doesn’t matter if you argue stuff that isn’t us.. (which is what most of us spend most of our days doing today.. fuller too much law et al)
Science is in the midst of a data crisis. Last year, there were more than 1.2 million new papers published in the biomedical sciences alone, bringing the total number of peer-reviewed biomedical papers to over 26 million. However, the average scientist reads only about 250 papers a year. Meanwhile, the quality of the scientific literature has been in decline. Some recent studies found that the *majority of biomedical papers were irreproducible.
*this is ginorm small huge.. who’s calling them irreproducible.. who’s to say that info in those papers isn’t needed.. this is the exact diff/opp tech potential is offering us today.. and we’re missing it.. (in our hubris or overwhelming too much to know ness or whatever).. because we’re not listening to the whole system.. to all the voices..
tech can listen deeper.. than ie: biomed ness.. it can take in all the voices.. ie: via 2 convos.. w/o judgment.. that’s huge.. that’s setting people free.. to be curious/observe.. solve problems.. create less problems..
ie: what if the answer we’re looking for are now tied up in ‘rreproducible’ ness.. in forbidden researh ness
However, it was Bacon who first formalised the scientific method and made it a subject of study. In his book Novum Organum (1620), he proposed a model for discovery that is still known as the Baconian method. He argued against syllogistic logic for scientific synthesis, which he considered to be unreliable. Instead, he proposed an approach in which relevant observations about a specific phenomenon are *systematically collected, tabulated and objectively analysed using inductive logic to generate generalisable ideas. In his view, truth could be uncovered only when the **mind is free from incomplete (and hence false) axioms.
Bacon’s vision was to leverage a community of observers to collect vast amounts of information about nature and tabulate it into a central record accessible to inductive analysis. In Novum Organum, he wrote: ‘Empiricists are like ants; they accumulate and use. Rationalists spin webs like spiders. The best method is that of the bee; it is somewhere in between, taking existing material and using it.’
Bacon’s insights also revealed an important hidden truth: the *discovery process is inherently algorithmic. It is the outcome of a finite number of steps that are repeated until a meaningful result is uncovered. Bacon explicitly used the word ‘machine’ in describing his method. His scientific algorithm has three essential components: first, observations have to be collected and integrated into the total corpus of knowledge. Second, the new observations are used to generate new hypotheses. Third, the hypotheses are tested through carefully designed experiments.
*not if cancer already exists.. and you are iterating on not-us ness… algo process is inherently algo.. discovery process is inherently not algo
Observation is sensual; hypothesis-generation is mental; and **experimentation is mechanical. **Automating the scientific process will require the effective incorporation of machines in each step, and in all three feeding into each other without friction. *Nobody has yet figured out how to do that.
**discovery doesn’t work that way.. because people don’t work that way.. we’re looking in wrong places .. we can use automation.. but not via closed sci process we keep perpetuating..
Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:36 AM – 21 Apr 2017 :
@timoreilly @dweinberger We don’t have a Laplace’s equation for humans—never will—but just not the same “not understanding” as with machine intelligence, an alien. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/855414872196210688?s=17)
back to aeon article
Experimentation has seen the most substantial recent progress. For example, the pharmaceutical industry commonly uses automated high-throughput platforms for drug design
whoa.. just like cancer ness.. pharma/sicko et al.. is such a great ie opposing what this article is saying.. and too.. (though i’m sure all these people are lovely and want to find cures et al).. john‘s focus assumes money/business models.. that’s not human nature flow ness..
These solutions are most relevant to disciplines that require intensive experimentation, such as molecular biology and chemical engineering, but analogous methods can be applied in other data-intensive fields, and even extended to theoretical disciplines.
problem isn’t ability to automate here.. problem is separating ness..
Automated hypothesis-generation is less advanced, but the work of Don Swanson in the 1980s provided an important step forward. *He demonstrated the existence of hidden links between unrelated ideas in the scientific literature; using a simple deductive logical framework, he could connect papers from various fields with no citation overlap. In this way, Swanson was able to hypothesise a novel link between dietary fish oil and Reynaud’s Syndrome without conducting any experiments or being an expert in either field. Other, more recent approaches, such as those of Andrey Rzhetsky at the University of Chicago and Albert-László Barabási at Northeastern University, rely on mathematical modelling and graph theory. They incorporate large datasets, in which knowledge is projected as a network, where nodes are concepts and links are relationships between them. Novel hypotheses would show up as undiscovered links between nodes.
so this is great.. except.. doesn’t matter if you’re noticing novel/undiscovered/unrelated/unexpected links.. yet not zooming out far enough.. ie: *in sci literature.. now back to first share of this article.. can iterate all you want..but if not listening to all the voices.. don’t have the whole picture (systemic ness).. not going deep enough.. to solve rather than to perpetuate.. ie: feedback loop is broken
*The most challenging step in the automation process is how to collect reliable scientific observations on a large scale. There is currently no central data bank that holds humanity’s total scientific knowledge on an observational level. **Natural language-processing has advanced to the point at which it can automatically extract not only relationships but also context from scientific papers. However, major scientific publishers have placed severe restrictions on text-mining. More important, the text of papers is biased towards the scientist’s interpretations (or misconceptions), and it contains synthesised complex concepts and methodologies that are difficult to extract and quantify.
**not deep enough.. the times beg (because we now have the means) to go idio jargon et al.. via 2 convos.. because it has to be all the voices.. w/o a pre req of prep/training for some said/scientific/whatever language first..
Human minds simply cannot reconstruct highly complex natural phenomena efficiently enough in the age of big data. A modern Baconian method that incorporates reductionist ideas through data-mining, but then analyses this information through inductive computational models, could transform our understanding of the natural world. Such an approach would enable us to generate novel hypotheses that have higher chances of turning out to be true, to test those hypotheses, and to fill gaps in our knowledge. *It would also provide a much-needed reminder of what science is supposed to be: truth-seeking, anti-authoritarian, and limitlessly free.
*unless we don’t zoom out far enough.. don’t go deep enough.. then we’re just building more invisible walls..
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/johnmaeda/status/950187162464669696
or maybe – if we’re truly free – it’s all art