Pseudoscience is not exactly an unfamiliar concern here on Trilema - even when the term is not explicitly mentioned, most of this blog, from its origins to the seven years later present day chiefly deals in imposture, no small part of which being intellectual.i
On that solid basis, we are allowed today to make a very instructive comparison, opposing actual scholarship as represented by yours truly to amateurish balderdash, as represented by Steve Dutch (an unqualified nit, in this field, and otherwise a practicing geologist from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay). We'll be culling from "Science and Pseudoscience", a thorougly amusing exercise in anthropologic narcissism. Here goes :
To quote his explanation,
Theories that claim to be scientific but fly in the face of scientific consensus are often called pseudoscience, and the clash between science and pseudoscience is a recurring theme in Cosmos. Above is an attempt to classify knowledge and represent the major domains of intellectual activity. For every legitimate intellectual activity there is a counterculture equivalent. It frequently comes as a revelation to people to learn that there is an intellectual counterculture, that not everything claimed to be intellectual really is.
which of course brings to mind a "joke", oft retold on Trilema in its neverending quest of silencing idiots, pompous nitwits and other steve dutches :
During the class of "Appreciation of the Great Accomplishments of the Soviets under the Englishtened Guidance of Comrade Stalin, Defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of Everything" (AGASEGCSDSSE for short) this guy in a suspicious dark suit and wearing sunglasses indoors is explaining to the famished kids how great life is for children in Stalin's Soviet Union because they get icecream, and how horrible life is in the Evil Capitalist Pig Empire of Imperialism, where children have to take it in the ass during private parties for the old rich folk. At about this point in the festivities, Svetlana starts crying.
"What's the trouble, little girl ?" asks the friendly doberman.
"I want to go to the Soviet Union!!!!"
So then, wouldn't you agree that it'd be nice and good to engage in "Fine Arts", whereas engaging in "Artistic Narcissism" would be bad and undesirable ? Really ? What gave it away ? Was it the term "Narcissism", because in the particular flavour of socialistoid pseudoscience (aka ideology) you inhabit that is the code word for those nasty kulaks who keep preferring unwholesome things for no comprehensible reason anyone could state ?ii And if you were confronted with actual items, as opposed to summaries produced by summary-readers, trustworthy fellows who never saw the thing in question, what then ? Oh, you carefully avoid looking at any actual items, but instead stick to the safety of some echo chamber or other ? Good for you! I hear that's how you get to that kingdom your father reserved for you in Heaven.
We can agree that Pangloss does the best possible work, scientifically speaking, at the best possible University on the side of the greenest bay ever seen by human eyes (for which reason they call it "Green Bay"). We can also agree that stat rosa pristina. What we can't possibly agree is that a constructive view of stupidity as "anti-intelligence", a sort of backwards world where up is down, down is up, they say hello when they leave and goodbye when they meet could ever have anything to do with the subject matter, or be in useful to any actualiii purpose. We can't agree to this for the exact same reason we can't agree to Cartman's view of cunts (they have balls, right guys ?) : anyone who's even remotely seen the thing immediately knows that this isn't a fucking elephant, but a strange dog with popcorn toes chewing on a garden hose that someone affixed a cardboard garret to.
There is no such thing as "scientific consensus" ; moreover if such a thing appears to be, there's necessarily no science to be had anywhere between the consensiheads. Counterculture is a very strange thing to put on the same side as pop-whatever, because pop[ularization] IS counterculture. The two are the exact same thing. "Modern democracy", ie uppity jobbagy who are guilty of the physical absence of their lordiv keeps trying to pretend otherwise, but culture, as well as art, and science, as well as any and all intellectual pursuits are strictly reserved for the lordship, and strictly possible for lords alone. That's culture. What parrots do in their trees, what monkeys do in their nation of Africa, what Steve does at Wisconsin is, definitionally, both pop and counterculture.
The fellow continues in this vein, Sociology (intellectual domain) - Racism ("counterculture" equivalent) ; Politics (intellectual domain) - Political Extremism ("counterculture" equivalent) and so following. That his current views (such as, picking randomly, universal franchise) are the most outstanding political extremism from both a theoretical and a historical perspective doth not interest in the slightest - extremism is what people who aren't Steve do! And racism is bad mkay! Fuck a goat for science today!
The whole piece is written in this manner - we find for instance that "some theories are dangerous in themselves". Such as you know, political extremism, which is evidently (but not explicitly - why bother defining terms and what sort of pop-countercultural-science would that be!) defined as "any political practice that ends up hurting". So yes, by this definition political extremism makes perfect sense as an example of why "some theories are dangerous in themselves" : those theories which are dangerous, are therefore dangerous. Such as you know, the political extremism of electing a certainly-male-allegedly-black dude as US President ; or the political extremism of funding goatfuckers on the borders of Pakistan to "fight the Soviets" back in the 70s ; or the political extremism of "Saddam has nucular weapons" or so following. Such useful concept, this. Especially in retrospective.
Then there's of course "quack medical cults", which are bad because "they can lead people to avoid conventional medical treatment". You know the kind - antiepileptics work for depression this decade, unlike anticoagullants that used to work last decade up until the patents expired and so the "science" of the matter was pop-discovered to counter-culturalize a little. God forbid people avoid "conventional" medical treatment, especially when actual researchers have to resort to FOIA requests to be able to get together the data to conclusively show that not a single thing conventional medicine does in the whole field of psychiatry actually works. Have some Lipitor, it's conventionally good for you, and you wouldn't want to engage in Medical Narcissism now wouldja ?!
He also prints a very amusing numeric table, from which we find that Heliocentric Astronomy and Quantum Mechanics clock in at 10`000 : 1 in favour ; whereas "Evolution" and "Quarks" (don't ask me) can barely manage 1`000 : 1. We could therefore say that Heliocentric Astronomy is ten times more likely a correct model of astronomy (pretending to not notice that the Sun is marginal in a rotating arm of a galaxy that's marginal in its cluster that's in turn marginal etcetera) than "Quarks" are a model of ??? ; and in the same manner Quantum Mechanics is ten times as likely as Evolution. Relatedly, I hear that you're ten times as likely to be married as you are to have herpes. No, wait, actually it's the other way around : herpes simplex incidence is about 90% for both hsv-1 and hsv-2, whereas marriage is more of a 30% sort of affairv.
Meanwhile, extraterrestrial intelligence stands at even odds, for unexplained reasons, and Loch Ness / Bigfoot (possibly the same thing ?) stand at 1:100, which is to say a million times less likely than Quantum Heliocentrism (don't ask). In fact, while "extraterrestrial intelligence" is even odds, UFOs are 1:1`000, which allows us a convenient means of evaluating both the size of the universe as well as the difficulties of travel and organising light arrangements. There's five Loch Ness-eses and five Bigfoots for every UFO, yo!
This is about as far as I can make it in the jungle within Mr. Pecuchet's skull. A bon entendeur, salut!———
- Not for any proper reason other than laziness - as the species moved on from having to work for food, the shameful half thereof (which usually extends well past 90% in practice) moved on from pretending to be hunting or working the fields to pretending to be thinking (and, most recently, to pretending to be altogether - look throughout the "civilised" world, the most numerous will be alleged existences, inexistent but for the allegation). [↩]
- But... why couldn't anyone state that reason ?
Oh, right, because if they did they'd be kulaks themselves, right ? You just don't understand how anyone could ever prefer "Artistic Narcissism" to "Fine Arts" and that's all there is to it! [↩]
- Steve Dutch and a lot of other "intellectuals" of his faux brand of cereals evidently uses it to jack off. Good for them, but I prefer my cereal with cow's milk rather than prostate's milk. [↩]
- Yes, any group of "common people" which does not have a lord is guilty of paricide, and to be hanged in integrum for this reason alone. Because where is he ? If he's not physically there it must mean they killed him, and the peasant who killed his lord is the foremost and arguably the only true criminal.
In any case the peasant can never escape his lord. Whatever he may do, let him run away, he'll be his lord's runaway ; let him deny, he'll be his lord's insane peasant ; let him kill, he'll just be his lord's murderer and naught else, it is not possible for the peasant to exist outside of lordship, nor for lordship to end. [↩]
- No I'm not kidding - there's about 50 mn couples living in the US to a population of about three hundred million. [↩]