Wednesday, July 19, 2017
  Surprising sanity!

An article by Daniel Sarewitz, amazingly published in Unnature, says it all.

The core point:
Decades of scholarship suggest that fundamental science is most effective in contributing to social goals when it is pursued in the context of practical problem solving. .... The history of modern innovations such as vaccines, aircraft or the Internet mostly shows ... that important contributions of basic science are grounded in ‘use-inspired’ research, not in leaving scientists to their own devices.

After 20 years of trying to promote this idea, I am no longer surprised that scientists are reluctant to accept it. In advancing beliefs that support their political interests, scientists are simply acting like a special interest group, no different from dairy farmers or chief executives.

But the myth of the miracle machine harms science and society because it shields scientists from accountability, governance and being responsive to human needs. A major reason that pervasive problems such as poor quality publications, hyper-competition and hype have been allowed to fester is the miracle-machine ideology: give us money, leave us alone and we’ll solve the world’s problems.
I suppose I should modestly say that Sarewitz is making the same points I've been making for 20 years but doing it vastly better. Well, he's not doing it better or worse. The difference is that Sarewitz has the credentials to get his sanity published in Unnature, while I don't have any credentials.

Credentials or not, will his article have any influence? No. He's trying to teach a toxic pile of unteachable death-loving alien omnicidists. They have built an unbreakable structure of power and money around their infinite evil. Government, foundations, accrediting agencies, "journalists", Nobel and other awards, all reinforce the same infinite evil.

Perfect contrast to Duterte's sanity. Duterte is able to IMPOSE sanity on his country because he has both legalistic and practical power. He holds the office of President, and he has demonstrated repeatedly that he will personally shoot criminals and crazies. In a world of criminals and crazies, that's the only way to get anything done.

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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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