Monday, September 5, 2011

On Being Governed By Scientific Frauds

There are certain papers which capture the essence of long debated issues. The following does just that, and also exposes the pathologies that allow may fictions to be debated and even gain credibility. It is an insightful and excellent American Thinker submission.

September 5, 2011

On Being Governed By Scientific Frauds

By James Lewis
The news leaked out a while ago that Al Gore scored a D in natural science at Harvard.  That would be the science introduction for Other Majors, not difficult chemistry or calculus.  So Nobel Laureate Al Gore got a D in Science for Dummies.
But don't worry.  Anybody can blow a college course and still bounce back.  A lot of us get it wrong the first time.  Unfortunately, Al Gore didn't fix his failure.  He made it much worse by peddling monstrous pseudo-science and getting even richer from it.  As well as repulsively fat -- a walking metaphor for his politics.
The more I think about it, the more it looks like global warming is a deliberate attack by the postmodern (anti-science) left on science.  Global Frauding attacks all the core scientific values -- of truth-telling, empirical discipline, and skepticism.  Our bulging Goracle gets a lifetime grade of F for setting real science back by decades.
My guess is that during the Clinton years, Al Gore planted his ideological allies in NASA and NOAA.  It could have been done through his campaign to Make Government More Efficient.  After all, he was saving the planet.  Gore deserved his Nobel Prize just as much as Obama did for winning while black.
Phony science has a long and terrifying history on the left.  Barack Obama was also officially credited by his Harvard Law professor Larry Tribe for inventing the Einstein Theory of the U.S. Constitution.  Really.  You can look it up.  This is so bizarre it isn't even funny.
Nothing is as toxic as a really bad idea.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are still being spent in "scientific" pursuit of disaster scenarios about the earth, fiddling with infinitely variable computer models.  This isn't science; the burden of proof has flipped to the skeptics, which does not happen in real science.  Albert Einstein had to predict observable outcomes before his ideas were accepted.  Watson and Crick had to prove the helical structure of DNA before anybody took them seriously.  But in Global Frauding it's the skeptics who are supposed to prove that the latest computer model is not true.  If they manage that, the crooks just make up a new computer model.  It's a sort of card sharper trick.  A con artist can always move faster than the suckers.
No real scientist makes a deal with Al Gore and the New York Times to get rich by peddling end-of-the-world stories.  No scientist is then allowed to call those planted lies "scientific truths" until somebody can prove they're wrong.  If science worked like that, Galileo would still be a pariah and the Vatican would be telling us about Ptolemaic astronomy.  In real science the burden of proof is on the proposer.  There are good reasons for that standard.
Three decades ago, MIT Professor Edward Lorenz became famous for his discovery of "chaotic dynamics" in weather data.  Scientific theorists are still building on that breakthrough.  Complex systems like the earth's atmosphere have inherent unpredictability.  They are not like Newton's theory of the solar system, which allows for precise predictions.  The solar system is simple because everything rotates around the biggest center of gravity, the sun.  Strip out the sun, and all the planets would dance around each other like a chaotic system.
As aeronautics engineer Burt Rutan has pointed out, so-called "climate modeling" is a computer game with too many unknowns.  Real scientists keep discovering unexpected climate factors; but if you don't even know your biggest variables, how can you build a model at all?  It's playing Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.
Global warming racketeers end up doing science by press release.  Their models are rigged, and any time they turn out wrong, they change the model.  Then they send out more press releases to equally corrupt jourNOlists, who phone in more scary headlines to the New York Times.  Millions of suckered voters end up believing that the sky is falling, and they vote for socialist politicians like Obama to Save the Planet.  Obama's election would "stop the rising of the seas."
The super-corrupt left keeps funneling billions in taxpayer dollars to the modeling racketeers who crank out more press releases for even scarier headlines.  Human gullibility is the only known perpetual motion machine in existence.  It's what liberals are always looking for: an infinitely renewable source of energy.
Global Frauding works like a huge criminal racket, and it should be subject to criminal prosecution, like Bernie Madoff.  No wonder George Soros keeps funding the left out of the goodness of his heart.  For him it has to be a big profit center.  According to Center for Media Research, Soros has spent 48 million dollars funding media.  Similar amounts of Soros money are funding all the usual fronts for the radical left, from to The Nation.  This is going on while the major media like the New York Times are staggering toward bankruptcy.  Soros and friends are buying influence on a huge scale.
For a hedge fund manipulator, that means immense clout to make and break news stories.  It's a dirt-cheap investment for huge potential returns.  Is Soros using his tame regiments of lefties to make more money?  Do bunny rabbits make babies in the woods? 
Bad ideas are toxic.  It took decades for 19th-century doctors to start washing their hands, because they couldn't believe that microscopic germs might be passing on disease.  It was normal for women to die in childbirth.  It had been that way for centuries.  Washing your hands with soap and boiled water was so laughable it wasn't worth trying.  Those doctors might have had humane intentions, but they were fixated on false ideas.  Any half-decent scientist knows dozens of cases like that. 
Arthur C. Clarke pointed out that major scientific advances are often disputed by world-famous scientists just a few years before they are proven to be right.  Wrong ideas are common among honest scientists, but it takes a very nasty mind to peddle science fraud on purpose.
Global Frauding is an assault by the postmodern left on modern science, one of the crown jewels of Western civilization.  The po-mo left attacks all Western values -- which is why our museums are proud to feature works of "art" like Piss Christ.
Most of all, the postmodern left has assaulted the very concept of truth, the foremost value in science.  Without honest science we would not have useful technology, and without 200 years of accumulated technology our lives would still be nasty, brutish, and short.
Global Frauding isn't science; it belongs in the long history of human folly and delusion.  The Great South Sea Bubble, Florida swampland, Bernie Madoff, animal magnetism, global warming.  They're all popular delusions stoked by greedy demagogues.
Scientists are not immune to greed and corruption. 
The prequel to Global Frauding was yet another gift from the delusional left: Jozef Stalin's phony genetics.  Led by science fraud Trofim Lysenko, Uncle Joe ordered millions of peasants to force potatoes to get bigger.  Once a generation of potatoes was forced to be bigger, the mad notion was that the next generation of potatoes would inherit the genes for bigness.  It was forcible labor for plants, a green version of the Siberian labor camps.
The Soviet Union lost the Cold War because it became an ant heap of lies.  Everybody had to lie to survive, and the ruling class never knew who was telling the truth.  Ever try to run a lemonade stand that way?  How about an auto factory?
Lenin and Stalin (and Mao and all the rest) tried the same "Great Leap Forward" fantasy on human beings.  Early on, the "New Soviet Man" program tried Pavlovian conditioning to transform millions of ordinary people into Heroes of Soviet Labor.  And to their everlasting shame, the Western left celebrated those miraculous achievements.
The left is still delusional.  Satellite photos just revealed the size of North Korean concentration camps, estimated at 200,000 prisoners.  Even NPR says they are set up to work prisoners to death.  So how long does it take NPR to figure out that they've been on the wrong side for all these years?
Obama's greatest intellectual flaw is his failure to  understand that the radical left always leads to the abuse of force.  In the process of ratcheting up statist control, human beings will start to rebel.  The left keeps grasping for more and more power, and the whole story of 100 million innocent victims of Marxism has nothing to do with them.
And yet, the evidence is there, right in front of their eyes.  This is not irrelevant to science, because all good science begins and ends with the truth.  That's the whole point.  Those who cannot face the plain truth of their own historic criminality also want to torpedo honest science.  Facing the truth is the last thing the left wants to do.  It would crumble of its own inner contradictions, like the Soviet Union.
Marxism itself was supposed to be "scientific."  But all of its predictions turned out wrong.  Normal people might learn from that experience, but the left never learns.  Today, Marxism is again a slyly celebrated subject on college campuses.  It makes kids and professors feel grandiose and historic.
Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Benjamin Rush were world-class scientific minds.  Franklin made important strides in the study of electricity.  Benjamin Rush was a pioneer in scientific medicine.  Jefferson was an all-round innovator and inventor.  Can any politician today stand up in that company?  The United States has become the world superpower, but the quality of our leaders hasn't kept up.
Obama's attempt to revive Keynesian economics is another case of the same intellectual blind spots.  Keynes himself concluded that massive deficit spending failed to cure the Great Depression.  It made the hunger and poverty last longer.
On the best evidence we have, socialism failed in the post-colonial world, which is why Russia, China, and India are now following some version of capitalism.  Obama's Dreams from My Father is therefore a cruel charade.  Obama Sr. got things seriously wrong in Kenya, and denying that plain fact can lead only to more failures.
In ordinary science any remaining debates would be based on those facts.  It's only in pseudo-science that you keep repeating a terrible idea over and over, in the face of the evidence.
The goal of science is to discover truth and to get rid of bad ideas.  From that point of view, global warming is on par with the bloody tyranny of North Korea, because they are both based on well-known falsehoods.  They are different degrees of corruption and malignancy, but they are both driven by socially accepted lies.
Sigmund Freud taught that reality testing was the greatest sign of sanity; all neuroses distort reality.  So yes, the left is scientific in one respect -- if your science studies human delusions.
Harvard University fired President Larry Summers for daring to say that boys might have a genetic edge in pure math.  Historically more than 90 percent of math geniuses have been young males.  They often seem to be mildly autistic; maybe those are the lonely kids who spend their waking hours thinking about pure mathematics instead of playing baseball.
The National Science Foundation is now investing millions of dollars in large-scale experiments on little girls, to make them better at higher math.  Nobody seems to be wondering if their normal sociability might be harmed as a result.  Whom are those little girls going to talk to?  Math whizzes devote thousands of hours to numbers and topology.  Does it occur to anybody how lonely those math whizzes often are?
A century ago, left-handed kids were forced to switch to their right hands for writing.  It never worked, and that nutty craze ended up with thousands of self-hating adults, who felt there was something terribly wrong with them.  Just a decade ago Latino kids were forced to learn in bilingual classes in California -- when parents know that it's hard enough to learn the three Rs in only one language.  Today Hispanic kids are running statistically behind the others, maybe because millions of them had to start with a handicap.  It's always "idealistic" adults who inflict their nutty fixations on helpless children.
Two centuries after Jefferson, Franklin, and Benjamin Rush, we are now governed by science frauds.  Just let that little fact bubble in your mind -- and then do something about it, please.  If we don't do anything, nobody will.  There's far too much money in scientific fraud for it to go away by itself.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Another Case For Perry

The pundits should get another job. A survey of Democratic and Republican "insiders" concluded that Romney has a better chance than Perry to win the general election. Forgetting the fact that Perry would govern as a conservative, whereas Romney is at best an unknown (given his mixed record,) the conclusion is ridiculous. I gave several reasons why it is wrong in my last post, but let me add to them.

This election as most Presidential elections will be a referendum on the incumbent. That's good news no matter who runs. It doesn't mean a good candidate won't do better than a poor one, but the overwhelming tide will be driven by the view people have of Obama.

The premise most of the Romney people start with is that the Tea Party "extremists" that ran in Nevada, Colorado and Delaware lost because of their "extreme" conservative views. Nonsense! They were poor candidates, poor spokesmen, and some had past baggage to contend with. Does anyone seriously think Christine O'Donnell or Sharon Angle would have won if they were "moderate?" If this were true, how did so many other Tea Party candidates win?

A voters passion about an issue drives their votes, not casual likes and dislikes. For decades the Left couldn't figure out why they always lost ground on the abortion issue. Until recently the pro choice voters outnumbered the pro life by as high as 70% to 30% (today that number is about even.) Passion is the difference. Only 1% of choice voters would completely rule out a candidate who supported life, whereas 10% of life voters would never vote for a choice candidate. That means the right lost 7/10 of  1% of all voters (1% times 70%,) and the Left lost 3% of all voters (10% times 30%.) Judge Jeanine Pirro once asked me how I liked her campaign (during that short period when she opposed Hillary for the New York Senate seat.) She had been running an ad saying Hillary would not complete her term because she would run for President. I said to Pirro she was wasting her money. She answered that they had polled it and 80% of voters wanted Hillary to finish if she won. I suppose that was correct, but NONE of that 80% would change their vote on the issue, and winning or changing votes is what wins elections.

This is a long winded way of saying that moderation (Romney) might show better numerical support on certain trivial issues, but on the things that people really care about and vote on Perry wins hands down. A winning candidate supports issues that people care passionately about, and Perry has done that for 25 years. Romney is maybe, maybe just now finding his way.

I question the argument that Romney's business success will resonate with voters more than Perry's record. Romney and his record at Bain Capital is impressive, as is the job he did running the Winter Olympics. But when compared with Perry's record on jobs, taxes, tort reform, and his fantastic campaign skills (see Kay Bailey for details,) Romney runs a distant second. Worse for Romney is Romney care. Do you think anyone cares about his ridiculous defense of it (claiming it is different from Obama care in that the state has a right to impose it and the federal government doesn't?) Will Perry get more votes trashing it, or Romney by defending his plan (which is contrary to all free enterprise principles) while saying he would repeal Obama care?

Perry is better on the issues that count, on articulating them, and has a record to prove it. Anyone who thinks Romney's chances are better than Perry's better brush up on political history and political science.