In my experience, the only time the cries of bad science from the self-appointed science police were not motivated by political correctness was the controversy surrounding Daryl Bem’s study on precognition, which I have previously defended, because, contrary to Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims do not require extraordinary evidence. All the other times when people complained about “bad science,” they were politically motivated. They found the conclusions to be “dangerous” and “offensive,” and therefore it must be bad science.I had always taken the 'extraordinary claims' rule as pretty good advice, but hadn't stopped to examine it. What does 'extraordinary' mean in Sagan's mind? It means UNFASHIONABLE. If a finding disagrees with Oprah Winfrey and Khloé Kardashian and Michael Mann and Al Gore and Bill Nye and 'New Scientist', it's extraordinary and needs extra evidence. The proper rule is obvious after you peel the onion. Every claim requires valid evidence, and valid means the same regardless of fashion or consensus.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.