My dear readers: PLEASE HELP!
This writing can become a real source of inspiration and information only with your help – via pro- and contra-comments.
The subject of it is difficult and “sensitive” and it is beyond the
judgment of a single person, having a limited, specific professional experience. I ask you for a small “wisdom of the crowds” creative exercise action.
I have confessed that my favorite meta-sport is swimming counter=stream, therefore for me it is a problem to decide in which direction to swim in stagnant water
What is this all about?
One author I am admiring much, first off all for his superior and deep understanding of the world’s complexity see e.g. http://howtosavetheworld.ca/2010/10/10/complexity-its-not-that-simple/ is the Canadian ecologist, environmental philosopher and writer, Dave Pollard who edits “How To Save The World” This admiration does not mean that I share his ideas
But I warmly recommend you to systematically study his newsletter.
This week Dave has published a paper:
The deep source of scientism is the ideology of certainty and
the intolerance (even loathing) we humans have for complexity and for the unknowability of most of reality says Pollard.
Scientism is absolutization and dogmatization of science mirroring the same standard procedures applied for religion(s); there exists some 11,500 uniquely true religions functioning as perfect sources of meaning of life and organizers of life.
Scientism is bad for science but it is also a more general menace:
The consequence of the new scientism dogma goes far beyond the censorship and dismissal of more creative and open inquiry; as it reinforces the equally rigid, simplistic and reductionist political, social and economic dogma of our culture, it becomes a force for tyranny, as White explains.
The paper and the book carry a message of danger for progress, a serious warning. One smart comment about the scientism says:
their faith is actually a betrayal of the scientific method Scientism is the new despot, if we have no other values.
Obviously, you can read these, but I am interested in your ideas; metaphorically speaking I want to know how broad is the spectrum of opinions regarding the nakedness of the Emperor (LENR classic style).
Life in an oppressive society has made me an expert in dogmas, mainly political ones- but it is well known that dogmas are very contagious and penetrate all the sectors of society and individual life. The Romanian poet, Lucian Blaga has stated: “Every dogma is an idea, often malefic, owning all the weapons of terror.”
Years ago, in an editorial about dogma I wrote:”Man's pathological passion for certainty exposes him to major risks. If he ceases to think about the fundamental issues with his very own brain, he will become only a fraction of what he could be. He will be de-personalized in more senses. He will not become only an other man, but also other men- those who have forced him to transfusion of dogmas.
Now, back to scientism, Pollard and Curtis White. A word that is not used and interpreted properly in my opinion is "extremist".
Actually extremists are those who push a concept, idea, ideology
up to its limits- but till inside some tolerable, non-evil behavior. They do good things and bad things but still not criminal things.
They stop at some boarders but do not go further. Fascists, communists, terrorists, active fundamentalists are worse than extremists they do not respect elementary rules of morality, decency, common good sense.
The practicians of scientism are extremists, but so is Pollard and Curtis White. Pollard’s ecologism and preoccupation with the
collapse of our civilization seen as something inexorable and our return to Nature are signs of a benevolent extremism- are exaggerations.
White has given an ultra-provocative title to his book calling science a delusion. Actually science is the best thing we have created, however it has weaknesses, limits, it is imperfect but it is
continually improving, progressing, correcting errors and creating new and new tools, concepts, means and methods.
Human science is new and the shadows of the Dark Ages are still omnipresent. And the task of the science(s) is formidable just because the reality it explores and has to understand is so complex and dynamic at all levels.
Probably you have ignored to read http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/2012/09/the-principle-of-chief-engineer.html but this tells us about a vital rule of life and science- you (and science) will almost never have all the conditions and tools to fulfill a task, solve a problem. Engineers,
great entrepreneurs and great generals know this well. In research this is common sense: “First you jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” (Ray Bradbury)
Unfortunately many scientists have developed a belief that we can understand everything, we have theories for all the knowable phenomena. However this is simply, tragically and increasingly not true. It is not entirely bad, because it supports the idea that any problem can be solved. An other facet of the problem is the idea that any problem can be solved purely scientifically. Historically we have had similar cases of thinking that everything can be solved by an inspired philosophy or by perfect logic; the key of disaster is the…premises.
Dave Pollard and Curtis White are inspiring for the problem part of scientism, however about the solution they allude mainly to a more holistic view (correct!) including art (OK, but incomplete)
And excluding what they call technophilia and the concept of technological progress.
Their extremist view seems to interfere with the understanding
of the essence of technology—not only a problem solver that creates new problems when applied inadequately but, first of all
creating a basis for solving all the major problems. No alternative to this, a world without technology is Hell.
Technology (mon amour!) has a Grand Plan:
“Systematically improving the processes of transport, transfer and transformation of matter, energy and information that create something useful for people.”
In the frame of this, you can understand technological progress that happens now all the time, everywhere on the Earth. I recommend you to use this as a frame of realizing what happens now in LENR and beyond.
I believe and have repeatedly told that in the case of LENR technology is an equal rights partner of science-see e.g. http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/search?q=hybrid.
Perhaps the positions had been radicalized in meantime, many of my respected good friends consider that LENR has to be first understood and later developed based on this understanding, however I think that these two actions have to be combined and performed simultaneously, this being realistic, pragmatic
I wish that one day; Dave Pollard will use a Hyperion heater in his pre-Collapse flat and think that technology can be good for people and for the environment too.
Questions for you
Please forget about my opinion, consider me an extremist-technologist and tell exactly what do you think;
Q1: Is the problem of scientism an important one or is just an unjustified attack of reactionary people against Science?
Q2 Had/has our field, LENR, a scientism problem and in what extent has this influenced its development?
Q3. Do you accept that in present there are some inextricable complex and temporary unknowable things in LENR?
Q4-5. What is the main problem of the field now and what is the best approach to a solution?
Q5. What will be the global situation of the field in 1, 3, 5 years from now?
Thank you in the name of the Cold Fusion Energy Dream!