Category Archives: Popular Culture

Science As Religion

Nice to see things like this at Slate. Everyone who “marched” yesterday should read it. Didn’t like the “science deniers” reference in last graf, though.

[Tuesday-morning update]

The “March For Science” failed, as demonstrated by its own signs:

Time to brush up on your social science, Science Guy. You too, Astrophysicist Dr. DeGrasse Tyson. You too, all ye faithful March for Science marchers, all ye believers in Truth, Science, and the Objective Way. Beware your own version of science denial. The idea has not developed “somehow”, “along the way”, that belief is informed by more than just what science says. Modern humans have always interpreted the facts based on deep values and meanings, affective filters imbuing the facts with an emotional valence that plays a huge part in determining what ultimately arises as our view of THE TRUTH.

Tyson and others are profoundly (and willfully) ignorant of philosophy. Belief in an objective reality is a critical element of the scientific method, but it’s just a belief, not the “truth.”

Chelsea Clinton

This is just beautiful. I wish I’d written it.

[Sunday-afternoon update]

Kevin Williamson refuses to be outdone by T. A. Frank:

…as the poet said, there ain’t no cure for love, and Democrats just can’t quit the Big Creep.

So they’ve turned to the Little Creep.

Chelsea Clinton, most recently lionized on the cover of Vanity Fair, is a 37-year-old multi-millionaire who has never uttered an interesting word about any subject at any time during the course of her life. Judging from the evidence of her public statements, she has never had an original thought — it isn’t clear that she has had a thought at all. In tribute to her parents, she was given a series of lucrative sinecures, producing a smattering of sophomoric videos for NBC at a salary of $600,000 a year. She later went more formally into the family business, leaving her fake job at NBC for a fake job in her parents’ fake charity. She gave interviews about how she just couldn’t get interested in money and bought a $10 million Manhattan apartment that stretches for the better part of a city block. And, since her mother’s most recent foray into ignominious defeat, she has been inescapable: magazine covers, fawning interviews, talk of running her in New York’s 17th congressional district.

The Democrats are doing their best to make Chelsea happen. And, who knows, it might work. It would be tempting to write her off as a know-nothing rich kid who has made a living off her family connections while operating one of the world’s most truly asinine Twitter accounts, but . . . well, you know.

But, for Pete’s sake, stop it. Have a little self-respect, Democrats. Build Bill Clinton a statue or . . . whatever. Send him your daughters like a bunch of bone-in-the-nose primitives paying tribute to the tribal chieftain. But stop trying to inflict this empty-headed, grasping, sanctimonious, risible, simpering, saccharine little twerp on American public life.

They won’t stop. They can’t help themselves.

Annie Hall

A review.

This caught my eye because we watched it Sunday night, just by scrolling through Starz, and I’d forgotten how good it was. I remember seeing it in a drive-in on a first (and last) date in Tucson when it came out. (The date went fine, but she was about to graduate from U of A with a EE degree and move to Mountain View). Like The Producers, I don’t think it could be made today.

Bill Nye, The Cognitive Dissonance Guy

I haven’t been able to get all the way through this interview yet, but he sure is full of himself. I found this a little amazing:

Is there anything about Trump’s administration, and here I’m thinking specifically of Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, that leads you to believe the government will support the kind of innovation you’re hoping for?

I’m going to wait to see on Scott Pruitt. I want to engage you on this question, but I think maybe you’re politicizing something that doesn’t need to be politicized. I mean, the EPA was created by Richard Nixon. The EPA and the National Parks were set aside by conservatives. With respect to Scott Pruitt, I wouldn’t be surprised if the bureaucracy just sort shrugs its shoulders at his directives and says “we’re going to be here long after you’re gone. We’re going to carry on doing what we were doing.”

That reminds me of the saying, “The function of an institution is to perpetuate the institution.”

That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about laws.

No, you’re talking about a lawless agency that Pruitt was brought in to rein in and get under control. He seems to be as ignorant of how government works as he is about science and climate.

Rick Perry showed up at the Department of Energy and realized what’s involved, that he’s in over his head, and now he’s going to let the thing run the way it was being run. But in contrast, Mr. Scott Pruitt — it’s not that he’s unqualified, it’s that he thinks the EPA shouldn’t exist.

If he really believes that, he’s profoundly ignorant of Scott Pruitt. It’s frightening that so many young people pay so much attention to this ignoramus.