18 October 2016

the Orange Gaze: Science must fall due to discriminating gravity

By now, every Robert and his mother's brother have seen the Science Must Fall video. Before anyone hurls abuse at the unfortunate souls who expressed these views, it should be noted that these views are not the result of uneducated minds or the legacy of Apartheid which left the majority of our population with an inferior school system.

The bitter irony is that these views originated within the academic ivory towers too, and they are very much Eurocentric. Much in line with the trend of Pomo departments thus far, they've had to employ some cultural misappropriation of perfectly clearly defined jargon from other fields which enjoy a higher pedestal than their own soap boxes.

A Safe Space is one of these terms. A Safe Space is invoked here, not for providing comforting surroundings for a legitimate sufferer of trauma to receive help, but in order to build a wall for an echo chamber. Somehow, this cargo cult science flew the nest and now thinks it can defy the laws of gravity.

The more recent Ivory Tower origins of Science Must Fall and Decolonization

To any interested in the TL;DR version, I suggest Explaining Postmodernism. Anyone else might be interested in the Sokal Affair and its related Science Wars. This debate has been more or less settled, I am told, and fortunately intellectual rigour has prevailed for the most part, even in the departments which had spawned this fashionable nonsense.

Still, there are many more versed in that one of the Two Cultures who would jump to the defence of the Science Must Fall cheerleaders, and this has been the case. I find it endlessly amusing. To their credit, the Science Must Fall ladies narrowed down and stood by views which are virtually indistinguishable from that of their bare naked monarchs whom I shall decline to gender here. They put the cat among the pigeons, and now their defenders are trying to herd cats in trying to contextualise it or plainly just by putting words in the mouths of these brave souls.

If it smells like dog shit, don't start a philosophical debate. Just don't step in it.

In science, when a researcher has been exposed as a fraud, he would enjoy an abrupt end to his career. This has been the case with Andrew Wakefield, who started the MRR vaccine controversy. Sadly, while his scientific career is over, there's no shortage of suckers who are quick to part with their money. Similarly, I am not aware of a single university tenure that was lost as a result of quit frankly peddling woo, and this woo continues to woe many. But science has its issues too, I hear you say?

Science is not perfect so these other imperfect things are just as important

It is true that science isn't perfect, but it is not true that not being subjective is one of these imperfections. Nor is it true that science is colonialism, or that Isaac Newton discovered the laws of gravity in the same way that Christopher Columbus discovered America. There is a relativity of wrong, and scientific theories are not wrong inasmuch as they are incomplete.

The history of gravitational theory is coincidentally a perfect example to illustrate the myriad of contributors, across space, time, race, ethnicity, - and dare I say it, class - who were crucial to Newton's discovery.

The Orange Gaze

There needs to be a term for these people who suffer from middle class guilt and who try to show solidarity with those they so firmly want to entrench in the downtrodden, disenfranchised paradigm from which only they can save them by creating awareness and making demands. Libtard or Lefty are already loaded terms, and this is not necessarily combined with the Radical Chic. It tends to have an overdose of commodification of activism, though.

Without realising or even bothering to try and consider how much collateral damage there may be within this class, or the long term effects on everyone or anyone else, they tend to just beat their own drum in blissful myopia.

A great example of this kind of person is Rachel Dolezal. In tribute to her glorious spray-tan, I've decided that we shall call this phenomenon the Orange Gaze. I've erred in the Pomo ways by defining this term too lucidly already, so suffice to say I'm always up for playing the pomo drinking game.

Tales of epistemology and loathing from the Ego Chamber

There are certainly fascinating epistemology questions in science. David Hume asked a few of those, and left them unanswered. The Demarcation Problem is another one that comes to mind.

Despite major unanswered epistemological problems, science went ahead and cured plenty of third world famine, third world hunger and put first world men on the moon. This while the Pomos are still puzzled as to what their genitalia denote.

The reason why we may know in science is because science has a more solid methodology. It may have its issues too, and it is only now becoming aware of at least one of its methodological ones in statistical significance. Yet in trying to solve these riddles, one does not need to decolonize anything, unless that means getting rid of the assholes who suffer from sophism. One merely needs to do science and allow one's ideas outside of the Ego Chamber, where they may be scrutinised and even ridiculed according to their merit.

There are enough engrossing problems in science and the philosophy of science without the need to invent more. We'll certainly get further in solving them without burning our universities.

10 May 2016

White tears the most valuable currency but not as valuable as fauxtrage

This formerly glorious publication which I shall not even bother naming has also fallen into the habit of censoring its comments section, at least when it comes to white tears. Fortunately, I could still save this obviously far superior comment from the rather myopic agitprop from whence it came. I know it is superior because the quality of your commentary is inversely proportional to how long it stays unscathed. That's why the sanctimonious finger-wagging op-eds rarely get deleted, but the comments rarely last long.

Anyone - black or white or of any other pigmentation persuasion - with a Rhodes Scholarship can but only cry White Tears. Someone with a Rhodes Scholarship is in the very lap of privilege, the likes of which not even the majority of pale South Africans born with a silver spoon will ever see. That is why it is not uncommon to see their ilk waiting on tables instead of whipping their slaves on their ill-begotten land, which they refuse to give up, you see.

A similar campaign was started by someone for Darryn August. It also managed to raise more than R 100 000 and is currently just shy of R 200 000. Leaving the problematic notion of trying to quantify a qualia in the manner of how much charity is charity and beyond which charity is obscene behind for a second and just taking things as they are presented:

The notion that this is only minority white capital showing black capital who is boss is entirely falsified (read: It is revealed for the spurious, contrived notion that it is, directly from the shallow depths that it had to stoop to). Sorry, I didn't do a pencil test on Darryn August so I cant tell you if his skin colour merits charity, nor how much is really enough and beyond which it would just be obscene to extend further goodwill to someone. But feel free to decide for yourself and don't forget to judge someone else's charity harshly if it causes cognitive dissonance and doesn't fit within the neat, convenient, lazy, regurgitated ideological blinkers.

By the way, instead of pontificating about how much the goodwill of other people puts you to shame, perhaps it is more fruitful to find a cause that you feel is worthy and donate to that. Per definition, there are very few people who are truly privileged like a Rhodes Scholar would be anywhere in the world. One person's charity does not pacify yours. You should be ashamed because for an activist you didn't do much in any active sense, but it's not too late. You too can do some good for a change. It would be a radical change, but it is worthwhile. Whataboutery on the other hand is a lose-lose scenario.

Contrary to what is claimed, anyone can in fact start a crowdfunding campaign. It is true. Many have, but the reason why this particular White Tip campaign was so successful is largely because it gave people like me an opportunity to tell people like the Rhodes Must Fall rascists and remedial Radical Chic journalists that they are full of manure.

19 April 2016

Cell C supports gorgeous women doing things to men at a company

Finally, someone admitted it. What gorgeous women do to men at a company. Nobody hires women to do actual work. It's true. We just put up with your lovely kind in the workplace, despite the adverse effects you have on us when we perform actual work like scheduling golf club and strip club meetings.

We put up with you, the fairer sex, when you're clever - but not too clever, and gorgeous - but not too hideous. Just like we put up with those delicate purely ornamental pot plants and the often disputed ambience of the barely functioning air conditioner. Just another one of those necessary evils of the workplace, you see.

But hey, one day when one of my chest-beating ilk decides to retire, I hope to see one of you mammary-bearing, cherry picking members of society replace one of us old boys. That's just the kind of equal opportunity go-getting that I would like to inspire around here, at our great sacrifice. I mean we're not used to women who may be smarter than us and certainly not ones who are expected to get over the ridiculously low bar we've established for ourselves. If that's not motivation for you girls, then I don't know what is. You go, girls! You go!

Godspeed to you, and remember: On this side of the glass ceiling, nobody can hear your screams.

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