Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Conundrum

Human knowledge is expanding, apparently at an increasing rate. That is, not only are we getting more knowledgeable, we are getting more knowledgeable faster. Underlying this growth is the unprecedented access to information brought about by the Internet.  The English language version of Wikipedia has over 5 million articles. It appears that every major scholarly journal is also online. Yes, there is chaff in the wheat. But my perception is the wheat greatly exceeds the chaff.

Why then is ignorance celebrated on Twitter, Facebook and the like? Being ignorant and spewing your "feelings" seems to be the definition of "expertise." How did this come to pass? Why is it tolerated? No, not tolerated - applauded? How did it become an acceptable substitute for fact based analysis in the "scientific" community? How did it become socially unacceptable to point out the facts? Worse, how did it become socially acceptable to engage in ad hominem attacks in the crudest possible language against those who point out the abject failure of emotional reasoning? (I think "emotional reasoning" has eclipsed "holy war" as the greatest English language oxymoron of all time.)

A simple and very "politically incorrect" example. (It doesn't matter - Big Brother - Google and Facebook et al have already filed me in their databases as in opposition to the "narrative.") Take the statement "gender roles are culturally assigned." Five million years of the history of homo sapiens doesn't support this view. Intense studies of our closest genetic cousins - chimpanzees - doesn't support this view. And yes, chimpanzees have elaborate social organizations. The roles of male and female chimpanzees are consistent across all bands. The genetic mandate for men and women is different and in fact in opposition. None of this is new news. None of these facts take more than a couple of hours of research to validate. If I were to suggest this on Twitter I would be inviting a shitstorm from the ignorant. (I guess I just did as this blog entry will eventually end up on Twitter. Fortunately I have few followers and they rarely retweet.)

One of my mother's favorite expressions was "if wishes were horses beggars would ride." Who are these "experts" who share the drivel that gender is a "social construct?" Who are the blind that agree with them? (My apologies to those with less than perfect sight.) As a child I went to a Disney production in Madison Square Garden. Tinkerbell dies. Someone, probably Mickey tells the audience that if they clap real hard Tinkerbell will come back to life. And they clap their little hearts out. I named this the "Tinkerbell effect." If I want it badly enough it must be true. Like gender is a social construct.

(Disclaimers follow - feel free to take a pass)

Nothing that I have said supports inequality of the two genetic genders. Nothing prevents workplace equality, choise of sexual partners, modes of dress, ad nausium. Social acceptance of individual rights that do not infringe on the individual rights of others is a laudatory goal. Building the argument for such social acceptance on delusional wishful thinking is a best counterproductive.

Fair winds and following seas :)

P.S. With all this knowledge why do we still not have a clue about gravity? :)

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