We have a visitor over for the month. Visitor is a weird way to put it. He’s a fan who because a friend, who became one of my forever hyper extended adopted family, in this case a little brother. (Not that he’s little. He’s built much like my kids. Genetics of adoption. If my other hyper extended family adopted little brother reads this, yeah, I know you’re small and slight. I don’t know how you got that from mom’s family but I don’t judge.))
Visitor is a funny way to describe it, because he came over for the express purpose of help me clean, box, paint and help Younger Son carry heavy stuff, so I don’t kill myself. (The plan is to get this ready for staging and selling, anyway, and if nothing shows up, rent in the desired area till we find something. Though hopefully something amazing just shows up. This minimizes our monetary exposure, (aka double mortgage) and is less likely to drive me nuts.) Anyway that’s what he’s here for. That and a lot of book talk and stuff.
Anyway, he’s been commenting on the books lying around the house. (Pretty much every room.) Particularly the ones on soviet science. (Yes, it’s for a book I’m collaborating on with another of the hyper-extended family.)
Soviet science is amazing. Mostly because it wasn’t really science as it was interpreted in the US for the longest time. (Or in much of the Western World since Enlightenment.)
Look, science is a particular thing. A METHOD of acquiring and testing knowledge.
Every year in school, in every STEM discipline, we learned the scientific method the first day of school.
Notice event, effect, or phenomenon; formulate hypothesis that explains it; test hypothesis with experiments; confirm or deny hypothesis; if denied formulate new hypothesis that covers new observations. Test the new hypothesis, etc. ad nauseum.
This scientific methods allows for hypothesis and “known processes” to change. Take the Medieval idea that life could spontaneously generate and that maggots were “created” by rotting meat. It made perfect sense at their level of observation. Except when we got the microscope, we could observe more accurately that the eggs were already there. (I believe before we got the microscope, actually, but it’s one of those days when there isn’t enough caffeine and I don’t feel like going and researching the size of fly eggs. Forgive me. If I do it, I’ll fall down a rabbit hole and still be researching tomorrow.)
Or take things that “moderns” meaning people in the 20th century loved to make fun of, or rail against, like bleeding sick people. Our ancestors weren’t fools. It turns out that in the absence of antibiotics, if you bleed people some amount it kicks the immune system into high gear, and some people can be saved. (Now, the theory of humors formulated to explain it was nuts, but you know, they didn’t have the whole picture. Which meant they were applying the “fix” to tons of things that it could not help) We now know that, through studies made.
There is a never end of this stuff, where the theory and “scientific understanding” of something changes, as our understanding and instruments change. Which incidentally is why “Believe the science” is bullshit. Science thrives on being challenged. And it changes.
One of the most fascinating parts of soviet science was the untold amounts of time and money poured into studying paranormal phenomena.
If you don’t know it, we also had a program that studied things like mind communication and other psi-powers.
It was tabled not because these things don’t occur and haven’t been observed, but because it’s impossible to systematize. There seems to be not just a high degree of correlation to one individual, but what is called “the joker effect” in that the same say far-seer or telepath, will suddenly get completely fluent….. and insane results, with no rhyme or reason.
In the Soviet Union it was never tabled, and they had AMAZING results. I mean, particularly if you read books written early on by sympathizers of the Soviet Union. Why, their mind readers were right every time. They had people who could look inside our secure installations, they–
This is brought up apropos someone in the comments yesterday saying that the early virus released in Wuhan was 100% lethal very fast. Yeah, I heard the same thing a year and a half ago. It was also transmissible for weeks before symptoms showed.
Look, people, that’s like strange ice, and hot snow, okay?
First of all an immediately lethal virus would be about as useful as a bio-weapon as an accordion is useful in an air raid. Second asymptomatic transmission is the holy grail of a viral weapon, yes. Kind of like perpetual motion is the holy grail of mechanic engineering.
So, why would there be reports of this?
Because China is a totalitarian country. When the supervisors, who wouldn’t know science if it bit them in the nethers, tell you they want a perpetual motion machine, it’s not worth your life to disappoint them. Instead, you give them what they want, and swear it works, even if you have to install hidden batteries.
Soviet science had amazing results, not because they had amazing results but because amazing results were reported. Because they had to be, because the researchers wanted to continue breathing.
… and most of it was never checked, because it was what the higher ups wanted.
This is the greatest disadvantage of totalitarian regimes. Every time someone with gape-mouthed certainty tells me that China is going to bury us in blah blah blah, my eyes roll under the sofa and then I have to clean the cat hair off them.
Understand once and for all — which our “elites” can’t and don’t — that even the most powerful person in China has not a clue what is actually working and what they can and can’t do. Hell, like the publishing industry, there’s falsification at every level, because there has to be (in the case of publishing, because it’s almost impossible to get accurate figures. In totalitarian regimes because it’s not worth your life.)
Your rulers dictate that you obtain impossible results, so you fake them. This gets rolled to the next level, where now they want even crazier results, and so on up the line. Which is why the CIA who believed the reports thought communism in Russia was so d*mn successful.
It’s very important that you be aware of this, and keep it in your mind at all times for two reasons::
First, our idiot rulers believe everything they get from abroad. The level at which they are enmeshed with the totalitarians can be measured by their credulity. It behooves us to know when they’re being even more idiotic than is permissible, and why they might be doing crazier things than normal, so that we can extrapolate what they think they’re seeing, and stop them before they destroy our economy by putting the entire country under house arrest (say.)
Second, this method of “science” has been creeping into the US.
I’m not going to say anything about my friends who do science founded by the government. I’m not going to say anything, because for certain levels of science, it is only possible to do research if you have government funding. But I am going to point out this is a massive risk.
We are already seeing that even in the hard sciences most studies can’t be reproduced. Also if you dig, hypothesis that big government wants confirmed are always confirmed. Also, if you dig, there was no possible way to fairly evaluate the hypothesis in the time/with materials given. But failure will destroy careers.
And then there’s “Climate” science where you falsify the numbers so it shows what the bureaucrats want in the finest Soviet fashion. And then that’s used for the next round of “what the bureaucrats want.” (Harry readme) And in the name of this industries are set to be destroyed, impossible methods of propulsion are being demanded, and socialism is proclaimed as the savior of the Earth. Oh, and your children are being terrorized in school.
Western Civilization got where it is, where we banished historical levels of poverty from the world not because of some imagined racial superiority, not because we stole “wealth” from other civilizations. No. What made Western Civilization (And the US) great was the ability to use the scientific method and with it break the teeth of powerful people’s erroneous assumptions.
We retain civilization only insofar as we refuse to give in to the totalitarian “make the ruler happy” bullshit that has pervaded most of human history. And if we perish, it’s dark ages for… well, a very long time.
Refuse to believe lies. Demand the numbers. No. The real numbers. Dig into the entrails of studies. See if anyone tried to reproduce them and failed.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light of rationality.
Hold high the lamp of freedom of thought. Tell the hordes of totalitarian goblins to go defenestrate themselves.
To survive, humanity must know the truth, as close as our minds can understand it.
Anything else is suicide.