• Modernity,  Polemics

    The Effect of Postmodernism on Science

    Drawing on the work of the late French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena. (source) A revolution starts slowly and insidiously. That’s its nature. Before you even recognize it, you’ve been caught up in it throes. By the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late. Revolutions must happen this way or else they wouldn’t happen at all. In the last…

  • Guns

    Facts About Gun Violence

    Questions we will answer: Is gun violence in America getting worse? What about murders committed by a gun in particular? Where is the gun violence and violence in general occurring in the US? How does the distribution of murder compare with the distribution and availability of guns? Are school shootings getting worse? How effective are current gun laws? How does the US compare to the rest of the world in terms of gun violence? How about all forms of violence? How about suicides? Are suicides getting worse? How do we compare to other countries? Did gun law changes in Australia and other countries make a positive impact on violence rates?…

  • Epistemology

    On the Regress Argument

    Read On the Nature of Truth and Reality and What Is Knowledge? before this one, please. Justified knowledge (truth) requires evidence or proof. One problem that arises in epistemology is called the Regress Argument. The Regress Argument simply states that if any proposition is justified knowledge, it must be based upon another proposition which in turn must itself be justified knowledge or a justified true belief. This regression goes on infinitely with every piece of justified knowledge dependent upon another piece of justified knowledge. Most traditional systems of logic have dealt with this problem through what is called Foundationalism. In Foundationalism, basic tenets are held to be irrefutably true, so that any proposition based upon those…

  • Polemics

    Is Healthcare a Right?

    Is healthcare a right? This question has become highly politicized in recent years. Before thinking about the answer, we should note that this is an entirely different question than whether or not the government should provide healthcare to all citizens. Separating these two questions is very important. There are many government services that are beneficial to the people that the government provides which are not fundamental human rights. Conflating the two issues can lead to irrevocable damage to our civil liberties. What’s more, confusing fundamental human rights with those things which are simply nice for society as a whole or which might be better characterized as aspirational ambitions of a developed…

  • Polemics

    The Myth of the Non-Incentivized Nonprofit or Government Agency

    There is a persistent idea that anything organized or done in an effort to make a profit is necessarily bad. At the same time, many believe that any organization that is not for profit, or even better, a government agency or governmental entity, is free of the perversities and corruptions that we sometimes see in for-profit enterprises. In fact, there is a healthy competition between for-profit corporations and not-for-profit entities like charities, NGOs, and governmental agencies for your money and attention. But it is important to remember that each type of organization is subject to potentially perverse incentives. For corporations, the incentive is money. The idea that a corporation might make money (and…

  • Modernity

    Depression, Anxiety, and Choice

    People who suffer from depression often share a common characteristic that might not be obvious: a sense of loss. You don’t actually have to lose something to suffer from a sense of loss. To be sure, many mourn real losses, but many also mourn potential losses. We look at where we are in life and become sad at where we are not. A universe of possibilities exist and most seem better than the one we find ourselves in currently. So we mourn the loss of a thing we never had in the first place, but maybe now imagine we should possess. We mourn the potential but unpossessed and we mourn…

  • Polemics

    Scientist?

    The perpetuators of Scientism are obviously “Scientists” themselves. Scientists, in the Scientism sense of the term, do not believe that they are subject to the problems of other humans, such as cognitive dissonance. Bill Nye, one of the high priests of Scientism, shows this characteristic well, as demonstrated in this piece by Scott Adams.  He sees cognitive bias and cognitive dissonance in others, he sees an explanation of why others can ignore “facts” and rationalize the world to fit their own narrative, but he cannot allow for the possibility that he might do this himself. In fact, he defines cognitive dissonance with his own example better than any other example…

  • Polemics

    The New High Priests

    If scientism is a new religion, then people like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson are it’s high priests. They rhetorically slay the adversaries of science by invoking the unassailable authority of science itself and foster a belief in its inerrancy. They are religious zealots of this new religion. Both are famous for issuing quips and responses that feed the salivating crowds of those too captivated by science, but which do little to persuade an adversary. This type of rhetoric in ineffective at least, bullying in the average case, and dangerous in the worst case. Take, for example, this quote from NDT: The good thing about science is that it’s…

  • Polemics

    Scientific Nonsensus

    I’ve said before that we need to be careful of those who claim “scientific consensus” as an argument-ender. This issue has become even more prominent recently as people or groups are dismissed at once as being “science-deniers” or “truth-deniers.” We are told that we now live in the “post-truth” era where “facts” have been made irrelevant by the idiocracy. These buzzwords are applied to a variety of subjects ranging from vaccines to climate change, or from economics to sociology. Though it feels good to immediately label all anti-vaxers as such, it is dangerous to do so and wrong. This pat appeal to science, what I call Scientism, makes an authority…