Thursday, August 06, 2015

"Discovery" "News" is Terrible--Unless as an Example of Herded Ignorantium Posing as Knowing

If you watch this video, you may notice a few problems. One is that they just parrot what others have said. This perhaps above all else is why professional media organizations posing as news or journalistic outght to be required to cite sources or else oblivioned out of search results.

Among the problems: propagating the unscientific definition of a planet applied by the IAU--which sounds official and impressive in name but which really is just a conference, where not-planetary scientists voted on redefining matters and...whose participants--if they were actually scientists--should have known better regardless, given that the definitions they did vote for (applied to Pluto and other objects like it, among other names for planets) are thoroughly unscientific in nature.

Now take a moment to ponder Neil DeGrasse Tyson advocating for the unscientifism and what that means about this otherwise excellent communicator... Okay, mainly that contemporary scientists are often terrible metaphysicans--or at least ontologists. You can add historians and philosohpers when they think the ta meta phusica...or Aristotle, is just boring and outmoded philosohpy rather than strict, careful-for-facts-and-naure's-reality thinkers...which apparently the scientists knows (or acknowledges without realizing it) with a certain morsel of vocabulary in his statement,

"In science, we call things what they are based on their attributes, not what they're next to."

Generally speaking, Mr. Tyson isn't alone in the large herd-mentality-ism that currently benights plenty of the "scientific" community, or publications meant to coney science to the masses; even National Geographic often makes one want to gnash teeth with how imprecise they are. Then there are a few self-appointed scientists-of-scientists among scientifist-communicaties and followers-along who likewise exhibit an awful ignorance of the necessities which underpin knowledge that is scientific vs. knowledge that is just following-along in mentality with a scientifist herd. (I find it interesting that men like these are largely intellectual descendents of popular figures like Bertrand Russel, who in old books on the problem of classifying types of knowledge are typically skewered quite validly, often on the basis of showing quite plain contradictions, or worse--equivocations--in their own words.)

The problem is that people want to follow the fads--or the attention-getters (who, we might speculate, are tickets to getting more bacon?), rather than keeping faith to the facts--which are more difficult to discern and remember than the concepts. (It's a temptation for me too.) But it's the facts and the patterns and their proper contexts for application and knowing contexts where application is not appropriate and knowing sound reasons why and being able to apply all this that makes..."science"; not simply knowing vocabulary, concepts, and the latest chattering-class opinions on these things: the history of science actually is one where the consensus is opposed the real scientists and their work to advance knowledge rather than let the engaging personalities retard it.

This is true even of some of the philosophers who created categories and metaphysics--quite often natural scientists themselves--who are often casually dismissed, perhaps more because they're too "sexist" (different in attitude) or hold other politics than modern "intellectuals", or because in one particular or another they were wrong (given a few thousand years less reserach and experimentation rather than upon the basis of their categoris' and considerations' validity.

Over at our Discovery video they also say Pluto "is the king of Dwarf planets", and at very least they could get their facts so as not to oversimplify: the NatGeo article at least mentioned some possibilities that the assertion of Pluto being bigger than Eris may be wrong. Plenty of other stories still asseverate to Pluto being the smaller of the two. Sadly they're also just parroting,

"which forced astronomers to consider, for the first time in history, what the definition of a planet truly is."

That is, they need to be forced to answer,

What "astronomers"?

Overall we might add, "what scientists?" e.g. PZ Myer's article (linked above) obsesses with public outcry against "demotion" (a word used a lot, including Mr. Follower's blog linked above) on the basis of "emotional attachment to [an] idea" or "cultural convention" and of course (for him) "religion" but he's hacking away at merely the superficial politics himself while presenting himself as genuflecting for real science vs .the scientifically illiterate--and pandering to them. The people he refers to may be upset for essentially emotional and mythical (political) reasons, but so is he: damn ignorants won't submit to the superiors intellects and their herd!

Given this situation, Alan Stern seems to count but he's apparently few; the rest are engaged in politics while pretending to advocate for science, and in the meantime real (and co-held) understanding slips away further and further.


hastily added addendum (minutes after publication):

Apparely commentator numbero uno on follower's blog actually realized a similar thing about this herd, ironically finding the locus of the problem, differently enough, as one of pretend-vs-real-"scientific-consensus" (which is opposite my own "who cares about conensus--it's often wrong and reality has nothing to do with consensi"):

No, the IAU did not HAVE to come up with a definition of planet; Pluto is NOT just another object in the Kuiper Belt; the IAU definition was created in a flawed, political process that violated its own bylaws, and was immediately opposed by hundreds of professional astronomers in a formal petition led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto.


Myers likes to pretend there is no controversy over Pluto. How is it scientific to pretend there is a consensus about a subject when there is not? How is it scientific to ignore some of the world's leading planetary scientists to force a very confusing, vague, and controversial view on the world?

I may be only one out of nearly 7 billion people on this planet, but I went back to school to study astronomy for the express purpose of getting the demotion of Pluto overturned. One would think people like Myers would applaud that sort of involvement with science, but apparently, the only type of science they support is the type that follows their own dogma.

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