An exercise in prognostication 4

The Left and Islam are allies now against our civilization.

But they are incompatible and cannot long co-exist in power.

Sooner or later they will turn to confront each other. The way both deal with opposition is to destroy it. They will war against each other. Which will be the victor?

If Islam wins – and it almost certainly will – there’ll be an end to feminism, to homosexual marriage, to “transgendering”. There will be no bothering about the future temperature of the planet. Obsessive striving for “diversity, inclusion, and equity” will stop. Blacks of African descent will be regarded and treated as subservient even if they are Muslim, and there will be true “systemic racism”.  Sects of Islam will clash with one another. Torture and killing will be routine events. There will be no laughter, wine, or music (unless in secret). Life for most people will be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

If by remote chance the Left wins, there will be an equal lack of tolerance. Organized religions will be disallowed (don’t cheer, the sentence is not concluded) except for Leftism itself. It will punish heresy as rigorously as Islam would. Life for most people will be communal, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

With either of those two faiths dominant, poverty, misery, and unremitting fear will be the lot of all but the rulers.

With either in power, there will be no more innovation. New ideas come from the heads of individuals, never from governing cliques or compulsory assemblies.

How long,  you may wonder, will the man-made wonders of science and technology that we have now remain available to us? Neither Islam nor the Left believe in teaching math, science, or engineering.  Who will have the ability to maintain products of advanced technology? Where will the genuinely skilled be found?

The answer to that can only be – China. China will be the tower of know-how; the laboratory and engine room of the world; the exploiter of individual genius; the producer and withholder of all things needed for sustaining human life. 

(The life, that is to say, of those permitted to live.)

So no matter which side wins the coming battle between Islam and the Left, it will not enjoy its triumph for long.

The real winner, now that the free West has given up, will not be its ideological destroyer Leftism, nor its terrorist destroyer Islam, but its science-and-technology successor China.

Posted under China, Islam, Leftism, Science, Technology, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 11, 2021

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Paying our enemies to find ways to kill us 15

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed concern over the possibility that the U.S. is funding scientific research in China that could lead to its own demise.

A piece of news that is doubly surprising!

First surprise, lawmakers are contemplating the “demise” of the United States.

Second surprise, there are still some Democrats who object to the possibility. 

Andrew Kerr writes at the Daily Signal:

The State Department issued a fact sheet in May 2020, while Donald Trump was president, revealing that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged in a national strategy of “military-Civil Fusion” intended to eliminate barriers between civilian research and the Chinese military “in order to achieve military dominance”.

“In a clandestine and non-transparent manner, the CCP is acquiring the intellectual property, key research, and technological advancements of the world’s citizens, researchers, scholars, and private industry in order to advance military aims,” the fact sheet stated. “Joint research institutions, academia, and private firms are all being exploited to build the [People’s Liberation Army’s] future military systems—often without their knowledge or consent.”

Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Mark Warner, D-Va., joined Sens. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in a letter Tuesday to President Joe Biden demanding a complete review of all government funding of Chinese entities engaged in research that poses dual-use concerns.

They said:

U.S. taxpayer funding should not support any collaboration with [People’s Republic of China] entities that pose health, economic or security risks for the United States. The PRC has demonstrated lax biosecurity standards, violated the International Health Regulations (2005), attempted to steal intellectual property related to COVID-19 vaccines, and may be in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention. The United States should not be partnering with or funding any country that exhibits these risk factors.

But, Andrew Kerr reports, that is exactly what has been done:

The National Institutes of Health has doled out nearly $46 million in taxpayer funds to 100 Chinese institutions in the form of subgrants since 2011 to conduct research.

U.S. taxpayers [continue to] foot the bill for research in a communist country that has violated international health regulations, stonewalled a proper investigation into the origins of COVID-19, and may be in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health subagency led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, provided $600,000 in subgrants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct research that involved the genetic modification of bat-based coronaviruses.

Americans paid for the Covid-19 virus to be developed in a laboratory run by Communist China ?

To serve its military for purposes of conquest and world domination?

If that’s what happened, what were the people responsible thinking? What was Dr. Fauci thinking?

Fauci has defended his agency’s funding of the Wuhan lab amid growing concern that it could be linked to the COVID-19 outbreak, saying it would have been “negligent” for his agency not to do so.

“We have always been very careful. And, looking forward, we will continue to be very careful in what we do,” Fauci said when asked Sunday by CNN’s Jake Tapper if his agency will continue to collaborate with Chinese institutions in light of China’s resistance to a transparent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Fauci has vehemently rejected accusations from some in the scientific community and Republican lawmakers that his agency funded risky gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab, a form of research that involves the deliberate modification of dangerous pathogens to make them more infectious toward humans.

But why did he fund Chinese research at all? Why would it be negligent of his agency not to do so?

If Fauci gave tax dollars to Communist China to research infectious diseases, and that research resulted in the Covid pandemic, the outrage is so enormous, it dwarfs any act of treason ever committed against the United States. 

In fact, it is treason against the entire human race. 

And he’s still doing it? Nobody is stopping him?

Then those whose business it is to protect the US from its enemies are all traitors.

Where is the court that will try them? Where the law enforcers that will charge them? Where the public fury that can force them to answer for their colossal crime?

Stopping science being a form of white-supremacist racist oppression 6

The “Biden” administration is compelled by the Holy Writ of Wokeism to appoint black women to top government posts.

It’s not easy to find black women to head some of the posts, such as the Office of Science.

But they have found one. She has the skill to adapt Science to fit the dogma of Wokeism.

She will stop Science being a form of white-supremacist racist oppression which is all it has been hitherto.

Heather Mac Donald writes at City Journal:

President Joe Biden has now taken the push for “diversity” in STEM to a new level. His candidate to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the largest funder of the physical sciences in the U.S., is a soil geologist at the University of California, Merced. She has no background in physics, the science of energy, or the energy sector. She has never held a position as a scientific administrator. The typical head of DOE’s Office of Science in the past has had managerial authority in the nation’s major physics labs and has been a physicist himself, Science reports.The new nominee’s only managerial experience consists of serving since 2020 as an interim associate dean of UC Merced’s graduate division.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is, however, a black female who has won “accolades for her work to promote diversity in science”, as Science puts it. Berhe would be the first black woman to head the $7 billion office, and that is reason enough, according to the diversity mantra, why she should oversee X-ray synchrotrons, the development of nuclear weapons, and ongoing research on nuclear fusion.

As head of the Office of Science, Berhe would be asked to choose strategic directions for DOE-funded science. Should the agency try to expand understanding of fundamental particle physics or of the physics of the universe? How much attention should be given to solid-state lighting, semiconductors, or artificial intelligence? With regard to energy conservation and clean energy, should DOE pursue geothermal or biomass, tackle storage issues, or seek greater energy efficiency through insulation and refrigeration? Each day, the Office of Science turns out dozens of “one-pager” descriptions of projects and proposals. It is unlikely that a soil geologist (with an M.S. in political ecology) will have the knowledge to evaluate proposals for, say, advanced scientific computing research or nuclear physics, or make the policy judgments that those “one-pagers” require.

But she is not expected or asked by the “Biden” administration to do anything of the sort. She is asked to be black, which she is; to be female by nature or choice, and she qualifies in that by nature; and to get non-white people recognized as scientists. Getting non-white people recognized as scientists is the future of Science. It is called “Diversity” and is far more important than nuclear physics.

It is fitting that Berhe teaches at the University of California, Merced. UC Merced was created as a diversity campus, in the hope of minting more Hispanic graduates with a UC degree. No one advocating for this new institution, located in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, made the case that California needed more university research capacity. Berhe herself benefited from UC’s obsessive diversity push, having received a President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program for promoting “underrepresented minority” graduate students.

A physicist wonders if Berhe “can know merit when she sees it”. Preference beneficiaries “think that merit is a myth and hierarchies of achievement are arbitrary and based on power and oppression“, this professor observes, based on years of watching academic admissions and hiring. Berhe argues that the lack of race and sex diversity in STEM is due to exclusion, rather than to the absence of a proportional number of competitively qualified “diverse” candidates in the hiring pipeline. Her co-authored articles include: Leaky Pipeline vs. Vicious Obstacle Course: metaphors for the persistent exclusion of minoritized scholars from STEM; A critical feminist approach to transforming workplace climate in the geosciences through community engagement and partnerships with societies; Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciences. She will undoubtedly further elevate the importance of race and sex as criteria for federal research awards.

Berhe’s Soil Biogeochemistry Lab at UC Merced strives, according to its website, to “create a dynamic, diverse, and equitable STEM community that represents the public”.  Scientists do not mirror the public’s demographics, however, thanks to yawning academic skills gaps. Nor is it the mission of science to be representative of population groups; its sole mission is to advance knowledge. Berhe’s lab, however, is developing and testing “sexual harassment bystander intervention training programs that incorporate experiences of diverse women” as part of a National Science Foundation consortium. Her lab recommends readings on racism and offers tips on writing the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” statements that are increasingly required of academic science hires. Expect such statements, thinly disguised euphemisms for announcing oneself as “diverse”, to become mandatory for a DOE science job or grant.

The Biden administration’s war on merit is being waged at an unprecedented rate.

The subjection of scientific research to the requirement of race and sex parity threatens future human progress. Such parity can be achieved only by sacrificing intellectual standards. An electrical engineer at a prestigious California university compares Berhe’s nomination to “putting a newspaper delivery boy in charge of Google”. Theoretical physicist Alessandro Strumia warns that by choosing scientific leadership according to a political agenda, “science itself risks becoming another form of covert political activism”.

It is that. Has been for decades. What is global warming science but a form of political activism – and not covertly but openly?

The national science agencies have already wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on identity politics. The Biden administration will multiply that waste at a time when China is relentlessly racing to surpass the United States at the frontiers of science.

China is winning. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe will help it win.

And the new great goals of Woke America – the abasement of the white race, the humbling of men, the bringing down of the barriers those villains put up by making Science, Engineering and Mathematics difficult – will be achieved.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Science, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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On being free or having free stuff 1

Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek were two great 20th century thinkers who argued for freedom. They differed on one point: Popper held freedom to be in itself the highest value; Hayek thought freedom is valuable, indeed essential, because it enables innovation.

Innovation comes from the minds of individuals. A government controlled society in which the individual’s only – and enforced – duty is to serve the collective, does not allow origination. The organized mass is sterile. It cannot invent. That’s why it’s wrong to call socialism, communism, any shade of leftism,”progressive”. A socialist society cannot advance. It can only stagnate.

That’s why Communist China has had to steal new ideas and devices from countries in which free thought and its expression are permitted.

What many people who live in countries that are still comparatively free find attractive about socialism is that it promises “free stuff”. Vote the socialists into power and you will get free school, free health care, free housing, free strawberries with free cream. Well, okay, maybe not the cream. And maybe also not the strawberries. And maybe you will have to share a house. And the health panel will decide whether you may live or must die. And what you’ll be taught will be adherence to doctrine not search for truth. But still – it will all be free. At the time it is dispensed to you, whatever it is, you will not have to pay for it. The rest of your time you’ll be working for it.

Natan Sharansky was born in Soviet Russia and lived the first decades of his life there. He eventually escaped to live in freedom in Israel.

He writes about the torture of the mind in the prison of Communism:

My father, a journalist named Boris Shcharansky, was born in 1904 in Odessa, the cultural and economic center of the Pale of Settlement, where the Russian empire stuck most Jews. He studied in the Jewish Commercial Gymnasium, because most other gymnasiums accepted very few Jews, if any. By the time he was 16, he had already lived through the Czarist Regime with its anti-Semitic restrictions, the “February” Socialist Revolution, the “October” Bolshevik Revolution, and the years of civil war when power in Odessa seesawed back and forth from faction to faction, as hunger, pogroms, and destruction decimated the population.

When the Soviets finally emerged from the chaos, therefore, my father was hopeful. The Communists promised that a new life of full equality was dawning, without Pales of Settlement, without education restrictions, and, most important, with equal opportunities for all. Who wouldn’t want that? … [He]  was excited about building a world of social justice and equality closer to his home. …

Lucky for him, Odessa was emerging as a center for a new cultural medium—cinema. As silent Charlie Chaplin-type movies started evolving into more scripted sketches, my father put his storytelling talents to work. …

Of course, to succeed in his career as a screenwriter, he had to follow certain rules. His scripts, like every other work of art, had to follow the script of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, seeing the world through the lens of class struggle and class exploitation. As Karl Marx argued, and the Bolsheviks now decreed, “the history of all hitherto-existing societies is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight”.

Thankfully, in its final stage of class struggle, following Karl Marx’s teaching, the proletariat had seized power from its masters, establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat who would build a classless society of equals. So-called bourgeois freedoms, minor matters like civil liberties and human rights, were nothing more than facades for exploiting others. The old world and its retrograde values had to be destroyed in order to bring forth social justice. Today, such a singular vision might be called Critical Class Theory—or maybe The 1917 Project.

Everything had to serve Communist ideology: every institution, every medium, every art form. Lenin particularly appreciated the propaganda potential of movies, declaring, “Cinema for us is the most important of the arts.” So while all creative artists had to subordinate plot, character, and complexity to advancing the Bolshevik political agenda, movie-makers endured extra scrutiny. The term “politically-correct“, which is popular today, emerged in the late 1920s, to describe the need to correct certain deviants’ thought to fit the Communist Party Line. Any positive characters with bourgeois origins had to eventually check their privilege, condemn their past as oppressors, and publicly take responsibility for their sins.

At first, True Believers who championed the Revolution’s noble aims easily accepted these restrictions. But as the Red Terror grew … the number of True Believers kept shrinking …

I was born … in 1948. My father had fought as a soldier in the Red Army in World War II for four years, and had returned a hero. … (Our] family which had lost so many friends and relatives in the Holocaust, then watched so many friends suffer during Josef Stalin’s political and anti-Semitic purges …

Every day, my father went to work [as a journalist] …  seeking interesting stories. But, when it came to writing them up, his imagination had to shrink, his mouth had to be wired shut, his hand had to clamp tight, as he produced what the Party required. He knew the handicapped journalism he created was not true journalism, the art that resulted was not true art, the thoughts triggered were not real thoughts and the conversations surrounding it all were not real conversations. Yet my father remained a storyteller at heart—and now he had an audience—my older brother by two years and me.

When my father came home from work, he could leave the suffocating grey false universe he helped to create behind, and welcome his beloved family into a full-color world. From the time we were very young, he would tell us stories on three levels—explaining to us what the author said, what the author wished to say, and what the author could not say. When we started, from a very young age, our ritual of weekly outings to the movies, he would recreate the movie for us on the way home, filling in what the screenwriter probably wanted to write, and explain what he could not write. …

No [professional writer] was ever quite sure what would be permitted or not, what red line they might cross tomorrow; what “macro-aggression” or “micro-aggression” they might suddenly be found guilty of committing. To be a man of letters in a sea of fear was to worry about drowning constantly. …

Looking back at the history of Soviet literature, it’s hard to find any of the thousands of writers [who conformed] … who wrote anything worth reading or remembering. Their books, published on a massive scale—often selling millions—simply disappeared. … Eventually, their lies consumed both the characters and their authors, leaving nothing behind.

By contrast, the works that lasted defied Stalinist orthodoxies in the service of truths, both immediate and internal. Stalin killed some of these honest writers, like the poet Osip Mandelstam. Some killed themselves, like the poet Marina Tsvetaeva. Some lived daily with the fear of arrest, or under the shadow of purges, like Anna Akhmatova. Some, like the novelist Mikhail Bulgakov, accepted the fact that their books would go unpublished in Russia—his classic The Master and Margarita didn’t see the light of day for decades. Others, like Boris Pasternak, who smuggled Dr. Zhivago to the West, sought readers elsewhere and paid the price back home ….

By my generation there were few True Believers left. Your field of vision had to be very narrow indeed to still see the crumbling society around us as some kind of Communist paradise.

I spent my high school years as an academic grind, drowning in problem sets, working around the clock to amass five out of fives in mathematics and physics. Because I knew that I had to follow a very specific script to get the character reference I needed from the local Komsomol authorities, I also spouted the right slogans, participated in the right youth activities, and sang the right songs. Yet even after I fulfilled my young dreams and made it to MFTI—Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the Soviet equivalent of MIT—the scrutiny continued. We math and science students had to keep paying lip service to the Soviet gods, like everyone else. We kept taking tests on Marxist doctrine every semester, even when studying at the postdoctoral level. …

Our professors subtly encouraged us to brush such annoyances aside. We were the elite, they kept telling us, racing toward a golden future. It was all worth it. I was luxuriating in the sanctuary of science, an asylum protected from the daily insanity the Soviets imposed on nearly everyone else. I decided that the deeper I was into my scientific career, the less stressful this double life would be.

It was a comforting illusion—until I read Andrei Sakharov’s manifesto.

Sakharov was our role model, the number one Soviet scientist sitting at the peak of the pyramid each of us was trying to climb so single-mindedly. In May 1968, this celebrity scientist circulated a ten-thousand-word manifesto that unleashed a wrecking ball which smashed my complacent life. “Intellectual freedom is essential to human society,” Sakharov declared. Bravely denouncing Soviet thought-control, he mocked “the ossified dogmatism of a bureaucratic oligarchy and its favorite weapon, ideological censorship.”

Sakharov warned that Soviet science was imperiled without “the search for truth”. … At the time, there were few who could understand the depths of this critique. The Soviet Union wasn’t just relying on its scientific wizards to develop nuclear weapons; we now know that the research ran in tandem with an elaborate spying operation that stole as many of America’s atomic secrets as it could.

The message was clear for us. Sakharov helped us realize that the Soviet restrictions on free thought ran deep. You not only have to control your political opinions, but every interaction with your colleagues, every new insight, has to be checked and rechecked, for fear of ideological implications that could destroy a career in this world where even entire fields of inquiry were cancelled for being politically incorrect. Soviet scientists spent so much time looking over their shoulders and in their rear-view mirrors that they could not plunge ahead and catch up with their Western peers.

Long before most others, Sakharov saw in the Soviet scientific community the equivalent of the literary mediocrity we all saw in Soviet Realism. … Life in a dictatorship offers two choices: either you overcome your fear and stand for truth, or you remain a slave to fear, no matter how fancy your titles, no matter how big your dacha.

Natan Sharansky made the decision to stand for truth.

He applied to emigrate to Israel.

As a result of both decisions, he was jailed for nine years.

Once I had done it, once I was no longer afraid, I realized what it was to be free …

And that was why, during nine years in prison, when the KGB would try tempting me to restore my freedom and even my life by returning to the life I once had, it was easy to say “no”. …

Over the last three decades in freedom, I have noticed that … the feeling of release from the fear … is universal across cultures. This understanding prompted the Town Square Test I use to distinguish between free societies and fear societies: Can you express your individual views loudly, in public, without fear of being punished legally, formally, in any way? If yes, you live in a free society; if not, you’re in a fear society.

[Today] nearly two-thirds of Americans report self-censoring about politics at least occasionally … despite the magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights

To preserve our integrity and our souls, the quality of our political debate and the creativity so essential to our cultural life, we need … a test [that] asks: In the democratic society in which you live, can you express your individual views loudly, in public and in private, on social media and at rallies, without fear of being shamed, excommunicated, or cancelled?

A lot of American voters – even if not as many as the socialist Democratic Party claimed in order to seize power –  recently voted against freedom. They voted for the political party that promised free stuff. And already masters of the social media, most of them politically correct social justice warriors, refuse to let opinions they disagree with be expressed on their forums. Free speech is deeply unpopular with the Leftists now in power in America. Freedom itself is not valued. Those “magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights” are being swept aside.

You will not be free – and the stuff you get from government won’t be free either.

Anything that costs you your freedom, costs too much.

White math 8

Students at the Claremont McKenna Colleges argued that objective truth is a social construct devised by “white supremacists” to “attempt to silence oppressed peoples” in a letter to the Pomona College president. …

So Tom Ciccotta reports at Breitbart.

These atavists say in their letter:

Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of “subjectivity vs. objectivity” as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth – “the Truth” – is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment …

Yes, the idea is “rooted in the Enlightenment” (and ancient Greece). And it is True.

Contrary to these silly claims now prevalent in almost all Western academies – lost as they are to the earthly powers of darkness – there are objective facts. Though science owes everything to Socratean doubt, and though we ourselves favor the motto “Scio nescio”, we acknowledge that there is objective truth, and it is worth seeking, however elusive it may be philosophically.

As we once heard a real scientist say: “The blood does circulate.”

Who dares believe it when the Leftist bullies want it denied?

We do.

Another report at Breitbart, by the same writer, tells us more about this nonsense going on in the great intellectual power-houses of the nation:

Brooklyn College Professor of Math Education Laurie Rubel argued this week on Twitter that the mathematical equation 2+2=4 “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy”. Rubel’s tweet was retweeted and promoted by several academics at universities and colleges around the nation. …

The tweets are part of a larger trend in recent scholarship by American academics, many of which have argued that “objective truth” is a social construct. …

Harvard Ph.D. candidate Kareem Carr suggested that math should be reevaluated because it was primarily developed by white men. …

A few academics have pushed back. James Lindsay, one of the academics behind a series of hoax papers that were published in “social justice” journals, reminded Rubel and her peers that mathematical truths are objective.

“It’s certainly the case, and the Woke need to be held firmly to the point, that feats of engineering like space travel and rocketry utterly depend upon accepting stable meanings of mathematical statements like 2+2=4 as objectively true, not mere accidents of culture,” Lindsay tweeted.

Okay, call it White Math (although it owes much to eastern cultures, particularly to India). Thing is, it works.

White Math works, and any other math (if it exists) not in agreement with White Math can’t work, won’t work.

So White Math is supreme. Like it, Professors Rubel and PH.D candidate Carr, or lump it.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Science, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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The DIE plan 3

If we lose science – real science, not social, Communist, Muslim, climate or Christian “science” – we may as well grow tails and live in trees.

And we are threatened with its loss.

Professor Jordan Peterson writes at National Review:

I have watched the universities of the Western world devour themselves in a myriad of fatal errors over the last two decades, and take little pleasure in observing the inevitable unfold. It is a failing of human reason, with all its limitations, ego, and pretensions, to serve as Cassandra; to derive a certain satisfaction in watching the ship whose demise was foretold breach its hull on rocks hidden from all other observers. The self-righteous pleasure of “I told you so,” is, however, of little comfort when the icy water wends its way around ankle, knee and thigh, threatening to swamp everything still retaining its incalculable and unlikely value, even if it simultaneously makes short shrift of the ignorance and willful blindness that is frequently part and parcel of the death of something once great.

Italics ours. That must the most mixed metaphor so far this century. But we get what he’s meaning to say, and we like the points he is trying to make, so we’ll just laugh amiably and move on.

He relates what has happened to certain STEM academics whose importance to science has been found unimportant when weighed against politically correct opinion.

He cites the case of the highly distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Tomáš Hudlický, of Brock University (Canada), who submitted an essay to the extremely eclectic journal Angewandte Chemie, “a prestigious place of scientific publication among chemists”. It was accepted and published. It memorialized and updated “a piece written thirty years ago, which has been widely recognized as powerfully influencing the direction of the chemistry subfield in question (organic synthesis)”. Then all hell broke over the author’s head. Some sentences in the (approximately) 4,000 word essay “raised the ire of a Twitter mob” – of “about a dozen” in number – “howling about ‘academic feudalism’ and calling it an ‘anti-diversity screed’”.

At once the editor of the journal snapped to attention, removed the essay from the journal’s website, condemned it as “unfair, untrustworthy and lacking in “social awareness”, apologized abjectly for having published it, and declared the author and two of his editors to be “discriminatory, unjust, and inequitable”. He fired the two editors.

Hudlický himself went on being punished. The journal Synthesis was about to dedicate an entire issue to him to celebrate his 70th birthday, but upon hearing that he lacked social awareness, was unfair, untrustworthy, unjust, discriminatory and inequitable, cancelled the project. Another journal, Highlights in Chemistry expunged all mention of him and his work. A European chemical society (name not as yet made public) objected to other researchers in his field collaborating with him. And his professional colleagues at Brock University turned against him.

Whatever had the professor said that amounted to such frightful sinning against political correctness?

According to Dr. Greg Finn, Provost and VP Academic at Brock, the essay “’contains descriptions of the graduate supervisor-graduate student relationship that connote disrespect and subservience. These statements could be alarming to students and others who have the reasonable expectation of respectful and supportive mentorship’”. He cringingly begged for mercy on the University for having such a disgusting human being on its staff, pleading that the offending statements “’do not reflect the principles of inclusivity, diversity and equity included in the University’s mission, vision and values as approved by our Senate and Board of Trustees’”. [To risk being appalled or merely mystified by the actual statements, go here.]

The story makes glaringly clear the fact that, Professor Peterson writes, “research prowess is no longer as important as willingness to mouth the appalling commonplaces of political correctness in the hallowed corridors of academe”. 

He further proves his case:

A highly cited professor of physics, whom I cannot name, at a university I cannot name either (suffice it to say that the former has garnered 100+ publications and 7000+ citations in a highly technical field) had his standard Canadian Federal grant application rejected because he had failed to sufficiently detail his plans to ensure diversity, inclusivity and equity (DIE) practices while conducting his scientific inquiry. It is now standard practice for university hiring boards to insist that their faculty job applicants submit a DIE plan with their curriculum vitae — a terribly dangerous occurrence of its own.

Ah, there is one thing we can praise! The acronym of the plan’s name could not be more suitable. DIE. Die the institution of the university. Die morality. Die science. Die the human race. 

Do not be afraid that it will be a protracted process of dying. Western medical science is to be replaced by Native American healing practices. And – politically incorrect though it is to say so – those practices have been found less effective than the wicked white man’s methods.

For a while you will have a choice. To start with, the “Indigenous knowledge” of medicine will be reckoned “equally valid to Western science”. That’s obviously insufficiently respectful of “Indigenous knowledge”. In time the replacement will happen. We can all rest easy on that score.

I believe that the fundamental reason such plans are required, particularly of those who practice in the so-called “hard” STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is so that those who could not hope to assess the quality of research endeavors in those specialties as a consequence of their own inability or ignorance, can be made into judges by enforcing the adoption of standards of attitude and behavior that have nothing to do with the fields in question.

Consider this, in addition: a group of three professors at Concordia were awarded a New Frontiers in Research Grant (announced in late 2019) aimed at “engaging Indigenous understanding and involving Indigenous communities in the co-creation of knowledge, the project aims to decolonize contemporary physics research and attract Indigenous students.” The head researcher, Dr. Tanja Tajmel, “questioned the colonial assumptions made in the way Western science evaluates light and what it considers knowledge.” Dr. Louellyn White [whose name surely requires additional self-abasement – ed], associate professor in First Peoples Studies, added that “Indigenous ways of knowing have been suppressed and marginalized throughout academic history and we are finally gaining momentum in elevating Indigenous knowledges as equally valid to Western science… If we, as an institution, do not embody the Territorial Acknowledgement by recognizing and affirming the expertise of our Elders as Knowledge Keepers, the acknowledgement becomes nothing but empty platitudes.” Dr. Ingo Salzmann, the last of the three principal investigators to whom the funds were awarded, says, “The culture of physics certainly changes with diverse people involved.” He argues, “Therefore, decolonizing science involves challenging the underlying hierarchies.”

The refusal of the research grant application specifically requesting funding for what must now apparently be regarded as “colonialized physics” and the success of the application that had the magical mention of “indigenous knowledge” should alert us to the fact that with the increasingly successful politicization of the university the STEM fields comprise the next frontier for occupation by the politically correct.

Qualified and expert researchers in such fields are already in great danger of being pushed aside by activists of the proper opinion. The rest of us will pay in the longer run, when we no longer have the will or the capacity to make use of the rare talents that make people highly competent and productive as scientists, technological innovators, engineers or mathematicians [or doctors]. Wake up, STEM denizens: your famous immunity to political concerns will not protect you against what is headed your way fast over the next five or so years.

Everyone must wake up to the plan to undo the achievements of our civilization. The DIE plan.

What, if anything, can be done about it?

Posted under education, Science by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 5, 2020

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CO2 does us good 7

Man-made global warming?

Malcolm Roberts sizes up the lie:

 

(Hat-tip to Cogito)

Posted under Science by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 26, 2019

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Old Glory and new designs on the moon 5

 

So it’s 50 years today (July 20, 2019) since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the flag of the United States on the moon.

Why planting a flag on the moon was so hard

With virtually no atmosphere on the moon—and, therefore, no wind—flags that fly freely on Earth would hang like limp cloth in the lunar environment. So engineers had to rethink flagpole design entirely. …

To deploy the flag, one astronaut used a sampling hammer to pound the lower vertical section into the ground. The other astronaut extended the telescoping crossbar and raised it to a 90-degree angle with the vertical section to click it into place. Then the two astronauts slid the upper part of the pole into the lower one.

Once they got the flag up, several factors made it look as though it was flying, First there were wrinkles in it because of how tightly it was packed. And these add to the illusion that the flag is waving. Also, the astronauts didn’t always get the horizontal crossbar extended all the way—they were working in pressurized spacesuits and really cumbersome gloves, after all—which caused the flag to bunch up in places. That also made it look like it’s waving.

President Trump has new designs on the moon.

Charlie Spiering reports at Breitbart:

President Donald Trump welcomed Apollo 11 astronauts at the White House on Friday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Americans landing on the moon and planting the American flag there. …

Trump called the moon landing event “one of the greatest achievements ever” and said that the United States was committed to continuing the exploration of space.

Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 11 lunar module pilot, and Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 command module pilot, came to the White House for the event as well as Neil Armstrong’s two sons. Other family members of the three astronauts also attended the event. (Armstrong, the first man to land on the moon, died in 2012.) …

Trump said he was pleased that the United States no longer had to rely on Russia to get up into space, thanks to the private space industry working with NASA.

Yes, that’s what Obama had brought the US down to! (He had assigned a different, earthbound task to NASA – “to reach out to the Muslim world”!)

Now that we have a visionary – with sound business sense – in the Oval Office, NASA will go back to doing its proper job.

“NASA is back,” Trump said. “We’re having rich guys use it and pay us rent; I like that.”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine also attended the event, declaring that it was important for the United States to return to the moon long-term in order to launch a mission to Mars.

“We prove that out on the moon, then we go to Mars,” Bridenstine said.

But Collins appeared to disagree.

“Mars direct,” he said shortly.

Aldrin disagreed. “You’re impatient,” he interjected off camera.

Trump brought up the debate live in the Oval Office during the Oval Office meeting with the press.

Aldrin supports building a moon base and space station to help launch future trips to Mars, a proposal that Vice President Mike Pence and Bridenstine also favor.

“Who knows better than these people right?” Trump asked, pointing at the two astronauts.

But Bridenstine repeated that NASA needed to learn how to live onsite on the moon using available resources for long-term exploration. He argued that the mission to Mars should be launched from a space station to escape the earth’s gravity. …

Trump seems fascinated by the idea of going straight to Mars and only favors talk about returning to the Moon as long as it is focused on the ultimate mission to Mars.

The god of the gaffes 17

Why would baffled scientists reach for a supernatural explanation of puzzling phenomena?

David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale, reviews books that argue against Charles Darwin at the Claremont Review of Books in an article titled Giving Up Darwin.

Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. … Two other books are also essential: The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (2009), by David Berlinski, and Debating Darwin’s Doubt (2015), an anthology edited by David Klinghoffer, which collects some of the arguments Meyer’s book stirred up. These three form a fateful battle group that most people would rather ignore. Bringing to bear the work of many dozen scientists over many decades, Meyer, who after a stint as a geophysicist in Dallas earned a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge and now directs the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, disassembles the theory of evolution piece by piece. Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.

Gelernter explains the anti-Darwin arguments:

In the famous “Cambrian explosion” of around half a billion years ago, a striking variety of new organisms—including the first-ever animals—pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years. This great outburst followed many hundreds of millions of years of slow growth and scanty fossils, mainly of single-celled organisms, dating back to the origins of life roughly three and half billion years ago.

Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life. Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated. They could not have all blown out suddenly [if, he is saying, Darwin was right], like a bunch of geysers. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors: Darwinian evolution is gradual, step-by-step. All those predecessors must have come together, further back, into a series of branches leading down to the (long ago) trunk.

But those predecessors of the Cambrian creatures are missing. Darwin himself was disturbed by their absence from the fossil record. He believed they would turn up eventually. Some of his contemporaries … held that the fossil record was clear enough already, and showed that Darwin’s theory was wrong. Perhaps only a few sites had been searched for fossils, but they had been searched straight down. The Cambrian explosion had been unearthed, and beneath those Cambrian creatures their Precambrian predecessors should have been waiting—and weren’t. In fact, the fossil record as a whole lacked the upward-branching structure Darwin predicted.

The trunk was supposed to branch into many different species, each species giving rise to many genera, and towards the top of the tree you would find so much diversity that you could distinguish separate phyla—the large divisions (sponges, mosses, mollusks, chordates, and so on) that comprise the kingdoms of animals, plants, and several others … But … the fossil record shows the opposite: “representatives of separate phyla appearing first followed by lower-level diversification on those basic themes”. In general, “most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged”. The incremental development of new species is largely not there. Those missing pre-Cambrian organisms have still not turned up. (Although fossils are subject to interpretation, and some biologists place pre-Cambrian life-forms closer than others to the new-fangled Cambrian creatures.)

Some researchers have guessed that those missing Precambrian precursors were too small or too soft-bodied to have made good fossils. Meyer notes that fossil traces of ancient bacteria and single-celled algae have been discovered: smallness per se doesn’t mean that an organism can’t leave fossil traces—although the existence of fossils depends on the surroundings in which the organism lived, and the history of the relevant rock during the ages since it died. The story is similar for soft-bodied organisms. Hard-bodied forms are more likely to be fossilized than soft-bodied ones, but many fossils of soft-bodied organisms and body parts do exist. Precambrian fossil deposits have been discovered in which tiny, soft-bodied embryo sponges are preserved—but no predecessors to the celebrity organisms of the Cambrian explosion.

This sort of negative evidence can’t ever be conclusive. But the ever-expanding fossil archives don’t look good for Darwin, who made clear and concrete predictions that have (so far) been falsified—according to many reputable paleontologists, anyway. When does the clock run out on those predictions? Never. But any thoughtful person must ask himself whether scientists today are looking for evidence that bears on Darwin, or looking to explain away evidence that contradicts him. There are some of each. Scientists are only human, and their thinking (like everyone else’s) is colored by emotion.

Darwin’s main problem, however, is molecular biology. There was no such thing in his own time. We now see from inside what he could only see from outside, as if he had developed a theory of mobile phone evolution without knowing that there were computers and software inside or what the digital revolution was all about. Under the circumstances, he did brilliantly.

Biology in his time was for naturalists, not laboratory scientists. … But the character of the field has changed, and it’s not surprising that old theories don’t necessarily still work.

Darwin’s theory is simple to grasp; its simplicity is the heart of its brilliance and power. We all know that variation occurs naturally among individuals of the same type—white or black sheep, dove-gray versus off-white or pale beige pigeons … [M]any variations have no effect on a creature’s prospects, but some do. A sheep born with extra-warm wool will presumably do better at surviving a rough Scottish winter than his normal-wooled friends. Such a sheep would be more likely than normal sheep to live long enough to mate, and pass on its superior trait to the next generation. Over millions of years, small good-for-survival variations accumulate, and eventually (says Darwin) you have a brand new species. The same mechanism naturally favors genes that are right for the local environment—warm wool in Scotland, light and comfortable wool for the tropics, other varieties for mountains and deserts. Thus one species (your standard sheep) might eventually become four specialized ones. And thus new species should develop from old in the upward-branching tree pattern Darwin described.

The advent of molecular biology made it possible to transform Darwinism into Neo-Darwinism. The new version explains (it doesn’t merely cite) natural variation, as the consequence of random change or mutation to the genetic information within cells that deal with reproduction. Those cells can pass genetic change onward to the next generation, thus changing—potentially—the future of the species and not just one individual’s career.

The engine that powers Neo-Darwinian evolution is pure chance and lots of time. By filling in the details of cellular life, molecular biology makes it possible to estimate the power of that simple mechanism. But what does generating new forms of life entail? Many biologists agree that generating a new shape of protein is the essence of it. Only if Neo-Darwinian evolution is creative enough to do that is it capable of creating new life-forms and pushing evolution forward.

Proteins are the special ops forces (or maybe the Marines) of living cells, except that they are common instead of rare; they do all the heavy lifting, all the tricky and critical assignments, in a dazzling range of roles. Proteins called enzymes catalyze all sorts of reactions and drive cellular metabolism. Other proteins (such as collagen) give cells shape and structure, like tent poles but in far more shapes. Nerve function, muscle function, and photosynthesis are all driven by proteins. And in doing these jobs and many others, the actual, 3-D shape of the protein molecule is important.

So, is the simple neo-Darwinian mechanism up to this task? Are random mutation plus natural selection sufficient to create new protein shapes?

Gelernter’s answer, in agreement with the books he is reviewing, is No. He explains why in some detail. We have no quarrel with him over this point. We are not scientists and have no idea whether the answer is solidly proved or not. We accept that the answer is No, and that, consequently, Darwin has been caught out and disproved – in part.

But the reviewed books are about giving up Darwin; negating evolution.

It can hardly be surprising that the revolution in biological knowledge over the last half-century should call for a new understanding of the origin of species.

A new understanding. Darwin was wrong. Evolution is wrong. Species do not evolve. So what does explain the existence of species?

We held our breath at this point in the article. A new theory, as exciting and revolutionary as was Darwin’s when it was sprung upon the world, but better in that it explains the phenomena which Darwin failed to explain, was about to be set before us.

You may be as disappointed as we were with the answer. What explains the “sudden explosion” of Cambrian species; how did all those new living things appear over “a mere 70-odd million years”?

Why, God put them there.

That’s it. Let your heart sink. It’s God again. Not that the word “God” emerges from the scientist’s lips or pen. No, no! In fact Professor Gelernter is careful to inform us that “religion” is not mentioned by the scientists whose work he is discussing.

What they offer us, is the uncertain semi-rationalist’s euphemism for God: “INTELLIGENT DESIGN”.

Intelligent Design, as Meyer describes it, is a simple and direct response to a specific event, the Cambrian explosion. The theory suggests that an intelligent cause intervened to create this extraordinary outburst. By “intelligent” Meyer understands “conscious”; the theory suggests nothing more about the designer.

Can  a “conscious” mind be understood to be anything but a human-type mind? So a human-type mind designed – and made – living things on this earth at least once “over a period of 70-odd million years”.

Gelernter reveals that he himself does not find Meyer’s answer satisfactory:

But where is the evidence? To Meyer and other proponents, that is like asking—after you have come across a tree that is split vertically down the center and half burnt up—“but where is the evidence of a lightning strike?” The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer long before molecular biology and biochemistry. …  An intelligent designer might seem more necessary than ever now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell. …

 “Our uniform experience of cause and effect shows that intelligent design is the only known cause of the origin of large amounts of functionally specified digital information,” [Mayer]  writes. …

Known? Who knows “intelligent design” to be that cause?

If Meyer were invoking a single intervention by an intelligent designer at the invention of life, or of consciousness, or rationality, or self-aware consciousness, the idea might seem more natural. But then we still haven’t explained the Cambrian explosion. An intelligent designer who interferes repeatedly, on the other hand, poses an even harder problem of explaining why he chose to act when he did. Such a cause would necessarily have some sense of the big picture of life on earth. What was his strategy? How did he manage to back himself into so many corners, wasting energy on so many doomed organisms? Granted, they might each have contributed genes to our common stockpile—but could hardly have done so in the most efficient way. What was his purpose? And why did he do such an awfully slipshod job? Why are we so disease prone, heartbreak prone, and so on? An intelligent designer makes perfect sense in the abstract. The real challenge is how to fit this designer into life as we know it. Intelligent design might well be the ultimate answer. But as a theory, it would seem to have a long way to go.

To design is to purpose. The believers in the Intelligent Designer must be asked: What was his purpose? Why did the Designer design and make the life-forms?

And how intelligent was he when he made so many mistakes; made so many life-forms so badly that they could not survive?

Although Stephen Meyer’s book is a landmark in the intellectual history of Darwinism, the theory will be with us for a long time, exerting enormous cultural force. Darwin is no Newton. Newton’s physics survived Einstein and will always survive, because it explains the cases that dominate all of space-time except for the extreme ends of the spectrum, at the very smallest and largest scales. It’s just these most important cases, the ones we see all around us, that Darwin cannot explain. Yet his theory does explain cases of real significance. …

We know that evolution happens. It is happening about us all the time. We ourselves evolve. If there are important questions about the evolution of species that remain unanswered, why not say, “Just as we now see from inside what Darwin could only see from outside, as if he had developed a theory of mobile phone evolution without knowing that there were computers and software inside or what the digital revolution was all about, so in the future we might learn what made the Cambrian explosion possible without looking to the supernatural to explain it.”

An Intelligent Designer is surely the least plausible, the most absurd “explanation” for how things are and how they came about. There is always the possibility that natural explanations will be found for natural phenomena however perplexing. There is no possibility that we will find anything outside of nature.

Posted under Philosophy, Science, Theology by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 11, 2019

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Blacking whiteness out – the redaction of history 4

White culture! Ugh!

What an abomination. It must be got rid of.

White people, white ideas, white inventions, all bad from Thales, Newton, Einstein; from Homer, Shakespeare, Cervantes; from Leonardo, Velazquez, Rembrandt; from the Framers of the American Constitution; from Pythagoras, Epicurus, Aristotle; from the bringers of the Enlightenment; from the scientists and technologists of our time. Who needs their physics, astrophysics, medical cures, the internal combustion engine, aircraft, nuclear energy, computers, the internet, film, television, the cell phone? Such people, such ideas, such things are believed by Whites to be incalculably beneficial to the human race! How wrong they are!

All must GO.

Pull down the statues. Burn the buildings. Discard the things. EMPTY THE LIBRARIES. The records must be weeded out and destroyed, not a trace allowed to remain. A Great Cleansing of the Past must be effected. What Whites have thought, what Whites have done, must be eradicated from human memory. Even if the ideas and works have included ideas and works from non-white cultures, out with them. Whiteness stains and spoils whatever it touches.

Whiteness is a taint. An evolutionary malformation.  A corruption of the human strain. A character fault.

Fortunately, remedial plans are being made and authoritatively explained by Social Justice Warriors in positions of influence. The flame now lit for a great Cultural Reformation won’t flicker out. They are taking action.

For instance, a librarian named Sofia Leung at that great institution of learning MIT, writes:

If you don’t already know, “whiteness as property” is a seminal Critical Race Theory (CRT) concept first introduced by Cheryl I. Harris in her 1993 Harvard Law Review article by the same name. She writes, “slavery as a system of property facilitated the merger of white identity and property” and the formation of whiteness as property required the erasure of Native peoples. Basically, white people want to stay being white because of the privilege and protection whiteness affords under the law that they created. Harris also makes this really good point, “whiteness and property share a common premise — a conceptual nucleus — of a right to exclude”. Bam! That really hits it on the head.

As I’m collaborating on [a] book about CRT in Library and Information Studies (LIS), I’ve been having lots of discussions on these topics with some really smart folx. …

As others have written … libraries and librarians have a long history of keeping People of Color [POC] out. … Legal and societal standards revolve around whiteness and libraries are no different.

If you look at any United States library’s collection, especially those in higher education institutions, most of the collections (books, journals, archival papers, other media, etc.) are written by white dudes writing about white ideas, white things, or ideas, people, and things they stole from POC and then claimed as white property with all of the “rights to use and enjoyment of” that Harris describes in her article. When most of our collections [are] filled with this so-called “knowledge” it continues to validate only white voices and perspectives and erases the voices of people of color. Collections are representations of what librarians (or faculty) deem to be authoritative knowledge and as we know, this field and educational institutions, historically, and currently, have been sites of whiteness.

Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence and the fact that they are physically taking up space in our libraries. They are paid for using money that was usually ill-gotten and at the cost of black and brown lives via the prison industrial complex, the spoils of war, etc. Libraries filled with mostly white collections indicates that we don’t care about what POC think, we don’t care to hear from POC themselves, we don’t consider POC to be scholars, we don’t think POC are as valuable, knowledgeable, or as important as white people. … [L]ibrary collections and spaces have historically kept out Black, Indigenous, People of Color as they were meant to do and continue to do.

On this, Rod Dreher comments at the American Conservative:

The left really is trying to destroy our civilizational heritage. You think I’m a Chicken Little about this stuff, but this below is what it means to have barbarians march through our institutions.

The Teaching And Learning Program Manager at MIT libraries, Sofia Leung (“I believe that social justice work is library work and that we should all be collectively engaged in our liberation”), has detected impurity in the stacks.

This woman is not some SJW kook beavering away in the basement of  Evergreen State, or a dyspeptic grad student in Grievance Studies. She is an important librarian at MIT. What’s more, the venerable trade publication Library Journal tweeted her blog entry. The blog entry in which she calls for the purging of library collections because white people wrote them and loved them and collected them. Their existence offends her sense of justice.

Do you not see what’s happening here? Those who control a culture’s memory control its people. Sofia “Social Justice Work Is Library Work” Leung wants to throw certain books down the memory hole because they are racially impure. …

Well, yes, of course she does. Bam! I mean to say, folx …  for goodness sake … if libraries are to exist they must be filled exclusively with the books of all those Black African writers who have contributed so much to the knowledge and wisdom of mankind through the ages. Will the present libraries, once purged of White garbage, be big enough, will there be enough of them, to hold all those cultural riches?

Posted under Africa, America, Art, Culture, Europe, History, Leftism, Science, Technology by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 20, 2019

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