Monday, November 23, 2009

It's probably overblown anyway

With all the heavyweight academics weighing in on the climate e-mail "scandal" (quotes gleefully lifted from the Mungowitz), I've got my own take on the issue.

The birth pains of science were ugly. Scientific inquiry may not have themselves broken the back of the Church, but even if they kicked 'em while they were down, it's fair to say that the Scientific Method has left an indelible imprint on Western Civ. Most of the time, it's been in the service of the advancement of the species, so academic territorialism at its worst meant nothing so egregious as maintaining the status quo.

Here, we have a different situation. Artificial consensus implies massive costs on future generations. Turf wars spell untold trouble.

So should we be surprised? Probably not. Should we be worried? I think so.

Also, are politicians competition for entertainers? Is that why actors feel they have to weigh in on public policy?

Also also, big-ass laughs at KPC hoisting DeLong by a (not necessarily his own) petard.

1 comment:

  1. So should we be surprised? I agree, probably not. Should we be worried? I disagree, I don't think we should worry about it.

    This kind of thing happens a lot in publication apparently, at least according to Robin Hason. We aren't shocked when this kind of stuff happens in government and I don't thing we should be surprised to see it in other sectors. However, despite these problems knowledge seems to march forward in most disciplines and standards of living continue to rise.