Monday, July 20, 2015
  Empty argument

Via RCS, a plea for more funding to "social engineering", by something called Sir Cary Cooper.
Jonathan Michie, president of Oxford University’s Kellogg College, contributes a chapter on economics and sustainable growth. Other chapters touch on climate change, food security, the Arab Spring, and recycling. Why the Social Sciences Matter is at heart an urgent expression of faith in the methodologies and social impact of non-STEM sciences, a convincing manifesto for the central place that empirical social criticism must take in policy-making.
Climate change, food security, Arab Spring, recycling. Three giant crimes and one minor crime. "Climate change" is simply a way to increase Goldman's share value. Food security is a real problem, but it was made vastly worse by Goldman's manipulations, leading to the conditions for the Arab Spring. The actual riots and revolts of the Arab Spring occurred because Victoria Nudelman made them occur. Recycling starts with a basically good idea and turns it into a subsidy-sucker for a few giant corporations.

If Sir Cooper is going to "empirical social criticize" Goldman and Nudelman, then I'm all for his efforts. But we can be 10000000000% certain that Nasty-ass Filthy-ass Putrid-ass Sir Motherfucking Genocidist Cooper wants to "empirical social criticize" the rest of us, the NON-Goldman and NON-Nudelman types, to enslave us even more abjectly to Goldman and Nudelman. Kill the poor, enrich the Chosen.
You know what it is, really? It’s trying to show the politicians, policymakers, people in general, that social sciences are not a soft, fuzzy area; our work actually makes a contribution to everything. Say we had absolutely definitive evidence that climate change was occurring, and we need to take steps. In the end, that’s all about behavior change, isn’t it? All the science in the world, all the engineering, in the end it has to get people to change their behavior for it to be effective.
Climate change again, of course. And in that one sentence he crashes his own project, because he shows that he doesn't understand the whole concept of evidence. He understands nothing except raw bloody power, and he wants to own MORE raw bloody power.

We do have definitive evidence that the climate is changing, because the climate has always been changing. But we have ABSOLUTELY ZERO evidence for the CO2 hypothesis, and a WHOLE FUCKING PILE of evidence that CO2 is NOT the leading variable. Changes in the earth's core, probably connected with a switchover of the magnetic poles, are the leading variable, and nothing we can do will alter that. We are simply living through the upstroke side of a long cycle, a long return to the historical norm. (Incidentally, plants are trying to tell us that we're returning to the norm.)



We are spending trillions on activities that increase Goldman's share value. We should be spending those trillions on more dams, more nuclear power, and more farming.

Though Sir Vampire Cooper is clearly whoring after bloody murderpower, his argument is essentially empty and pointless. There is simply NO NEED for "empirical sociology" or "social engineering", whatever those terms might mean, because much more effective persuaders completely dominate the whole realm of behavior change.

These more effective persuaders are using actual physical engineering to accomplish their ends. Governments are using tanks and bombs to persuade Christians and Muslims to abandon their heretical beliefs. Dead heretics have unquestionably "changed their behavior." Advertisers and marketers and tyrants are using the highly refined video sequencing technology of TV, and the less refined popup technology of the Web, to force our product choices AND beliefs.

If you doubt that TV is highly refined, try a simple experiment. Turn off the TV entirely for a month. You'll find that you are able to examine all sorts of concepts and ideas with a comparatively open mind. Every single belief on every single subject had seemed to be either AUTOMATICALLY TRUE or OUTRAGEOUSLY FALSE while TV was in control. Now you can check the beliefs. Some of the AUTOMATICALLY TRUE shit will turn out to be actually true, some won't. Some of the OUTRAGEOUSLY FALSE shit will turn out to be actually false, some will turn out to be obviously true.

You can't get more effective than TV. It's maxed out. There's no way "empirical sociology" could improve it.

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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.

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