Saturday, November 22, 2008

Is science like democracy?

This post is a reaction to TED lecture of Lee Smolin from 2003, which was republished recently at YouTube. In fact, I was quite surprised, how deeply Mr. Smolin recognized the connection between society and spin network of Aether fluctuations, on which the Aether independent logic of LQG theory is based.

Of course, the title question is highly political, because for many mainstream science proponents is rather unpleasant to admit, such proclamativelly objective organization like science is driven by inter-subjective meaning of scientists like sectarian community, rather then by bare facts - despite of their origin. Such stance is somewhat idealistic or even hypocritical, indeed - because just these members are refuting or even proactivelly denying the introduction of new ideas into mainstream from outside, especially from so-called cranks. These proponents are labeling the opponents purportedly by this (often quite rude) way, and they've developed a various lists of ad-hoced criterions (1, 2), analogous to Malleus maleficarum handbook from medieval times, which could help them to distinguish the harmful people violating the scientific integrity without having familiar with their ideas at all. These proponents are often masquerading like proper skeptics, while exhibiting one or more symptoms of pathological disbelief. The sectarian character of mainstream community is feeded by educational system, as we can demonstrate somewhat later.

Unfortunately mainstream science - the theoretical physics in particular - is rather close to sectarian society being the non-profit organization dependent on mandatory fees more, then other parts of free market society. But the stance, the science is dependent to inter-subjective meaning like democracy follows directly from so-called scientific method based on peer-review and Popper's methodology, by which theories simply have no place in science, only facts - because theories could be never considered proven with certainty. But the decision, what is still fact and what is just a theory is fully arbitrary here and it depends on the inter-subjective consensus of scientific community. It can be demonstrated easily by number of boundary phenomena, like the homeopathy, various psychic phenomena or cold fusion, which are refuted by mainstream science proponents for years - not saying about Aether concept and many others.

For example, mainstream science decided before years, Aether doesn't exist, because its motion should be observable by using of light - which wasn't confirmed experimentally with sufficient precision. But the analogy of light waves in vacuum are waves at wave surface and by using of such waves surface can be never observed, because is serving as a space for them already. Therefore the negative result of M-M experiment and others cannot serve as a ultimate evidence against Aether concept.

Therefore, Mr. Smolin is right in large extent and mainstream science still depends on inter-subjective opinion heavily, thus exhibiting a character of democracy or even meritocracy. Simply because facts are rarely considered by science, only interpretations of facts - exactly the opposite, what the scientific method should be. This is logical consequence of tautological character of symmetry in Poppers methodology, where each negation of some theory becomes another theory, which should be tested independently. From this perspective Poppers methodology doesn't bring any ultimate criterion of the validity of so-called scientific approach and Mr. Smolin is quite right in his point, something like scientific method doesn't exists, in fact.

In analogy to previous example, the famous M-M experiment "proving the absence of Aether reliably" should by still handled with caution, because the absence of Aether wasn't, what the M-M experiment has measured, exactly - such conclusion is just a weak interpretation of its result and this interpretation can be mistaken by the same way, like whatever other interpretation or theory. Unfortunately, many mainstream science proponents are driven by tendency of pathological disbelief to deny, rather than doubt, their approach to reality is biased - so that Aether concept was thrown out of science for more then one century.

With compare to above, AWT introduces a concept of so-called pluralities, which are generalization of dualities used in quantum field theories. Dualities are originally a concept of projective geometry, which can be called an "perspective of interpretation" or "point of view". The significant point here is, the things often appear reciprocal from reciprocal perspective. The simplest example is Maldacena duality: when you're sitting inside of gravitational lens, the path of light appears straight, the space-time appears curved for you and everything appears OK from relativity perspective.

But whenever we are observing the same phenomena from outside, everything will change: here no signs of time dilatation and curved space - but the path of light appears curved, instead. This leads to the Lorentz symmetry violation, the causality violation (you can see a multiple images/consequences of the same phenomena) and other effects following from quantum mechanics. The nested Aether foam concept introduces a concept of pluralities here. This doesn't mean, the causality of scientific thinking is violated - it just means, it strictly depends on the observational perspective, the postulate set chosen in particular. By AWT every rule violates itself in less or more global scale, the progressive approach of mainstream science becomes brake of the further evolution less or more lately and the roles of intuitive and formal thinking alternates during such evolution, thus forming a nested phases of Aether foam. Such behavior can be demonstrated by relation of interactions inside of nested fields of density gradients to Goedel incompleteness theorem and the liar paradox. By such way, AWT reconciles the positivistic philosophy of many mainstream proponents with constructivism of Lee Smolin and others independent scientists.

Mr. Lee Smolin basically said, most difficult thing in science is to admit, someone else could have his piece of truth. By AWT the theories is behaving like condensate of neural waves inside of human brains, which are intensifying the information spreading by such a way, we can compare it to density blob, focusing the information spreading around it like optical lens. But the very same effect makes a communities of different theorists mutually intolerant, because such gradient exhibits a "surface tension", which leads to repulsive interactions, which we can observe at the case of mercury droplets easily. Occasionally, such community can close itself into sectarian informational singularity due total reflection phenomena, occurring at the surface of such causality blob. thus changing itself into boson condensate. Such singularity is formed by systematic censorship and personal relationships (a biased view attracts another people with biased view and their actions are synergistic) - so that only single-minded opinions will prevail at the end by selection. Such selection occurs even during fall of matter into black holes, which are collecting just a denses parts of matter, while radiating the rest at the form of so called accretion radiation. Most groups in blogosphere exhibit the very same behavior.

"Autoritätsdusel ist der größte Feind der Wahrheit," Albert Einstein, 1901

If it's so, isn't it strange, why just mainstream science is meritocracy driven?


Zephir said...

List of famous crackpots from notoriously skeptical perspective.

Zephir said...

Dark side view: Why being nice doesn’t always work

Zephir said...

World's Physicists Complete Study Of Physics

HARIMA, JAPAN—Saying that there was no more knowledge to acquire about the physical nature of the universe, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics announced Monday that it had concluded the scientific study of matter, energy, force, and motion. "Yeah, that about does it for physics," said IUPAP member Sukekatsu Ushioda, powering down Japan's Super Photon ring particle accelerator. "All done. Math can pretty much take it from here." The world's top physicists also announced that they would celebrate the conclusion of physics by meeting at PJ's Pub later tonight for drinks.

Zephir said...

Older brains make good use of 'useless' information

Young people are thinking schematically (and often in biased, idealistic way) - only wise people can use their experiences in full depth for long term predictions. On the other hand, older people often tend to believe in everything, thus lacking critical thinking. Young people have problems to understand motivations of holistic aether theory, for example - aged people tend to accept it indiscriminatively.

For example, the proponents of multi-particle phenomena, like room temperature superconductivity, gravitational waves reflection or cold fusion are mostly older scientists - young physicists tend to ignore these boundary phenomena in general. In addition, young people often don't want risk their scientific carrier - as the result, young people are often more conservative regarding new ideas, then those older ones.

Zephir said...

In a huge, grandiose convention center I found about 200 extremely conventional-looking scientists, almost all of them male and over 50. In fact some seemed over 70, and I realized why: The younger ones had bailed years ago, fearing career damage from the cold fusion stigma"
I have tenure, so I don't have to worry about my reputation," commented physicist George Miley, 65. "But if I were an assistant professor, I would think twice about getting involved."

Well, this is how modern science is working - it doesn't study phenomena, because they're unexpected, potentially useless the less - but just because they're expected and predictable well. This is the reason, why we are spending billions in LHC research, while ignoring cold fusion. The "natural human inquisitiveness" is not crucial for young scientists - they're looking for stable personal carriers, wandering around conferences and safe life inside of ivory towers of their formal misunderstanding of reality.

Zephir said...

Climate change emails between scientists reveal flaws in peer review
A close reading of the hacked emails exposes the real process of science, its jealousies and tribalism.

Scientists sometimes like to portray what they do as divorced from the everyday jealousies, rivalries and tribalism of human relationships. What makes science special is that data and results that can be replicated are what matters and the scientific truth will out in the end.

But a close reading of the emails hacked from the University of East Anglia in November exposes the real process of everyday science in lurid detail.

Many of the emails reveal strenuous efforts by the mainstream climate scientists to do what outside observers would regard as censoring their critics. And the correspondence raises awkward questions about the effectiveness of peer review – the supposed gold standard of scientific merit – and the operation of the UN's top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Zephir said...

In fact, the concentration of egocentric asocials is much higher in scientific society due the positive correlation of Asperger's syndrome or bipolar disorder and intelligence. Does the Sheldon character from "Big Bang Theory" sitcom appear so improbable for you? It's in fact the stereotype of highly intelligent scientist!

For further reading: Philip TetlockAny individual expert is likely to be wrong. This is because just the experts are trained to have specialized, i.e. biased view of reality. Even Albert Einstein, the relativists never accepted the concept of quantum mechanics. He spent whole rest of his life by finding of errors in quantim mechanics.

Zephir said...

Scientists, you are fallible. Get off the pedestal and join the common herd and response We're not on a pedestal: peer review keeps scientists firmly grounded

The problem of LHC security opened the controversy of Popper's approach to scientific method and CERN scientists are apparently unable to manage it. So far every theory or prediction was considered false until it wasn't confirmed. The LHC case reversed this situation completely: we all must be perfectly sure, disaster cannot happen there. The naive skepticism of scientific community suddenly doesn't work here. The disparaging stance: "I doubt, such thing could ever happen because of lack of calculations - it's your turn to prove me, such possibility can happen" becomes dangerously ignorant stance here.

Now it's job of scientists to have all calculations prepared for all scenarios possible - not just for these awaited ones. Scientific community isn't apparently prepared to such supersymmetric situation. The LHC case revealed limits of contemporary scientific method - or rather ignorant interpretation of it, because Poppers method is completely symmetric in fact.

Zephir said...

Hermits and Cranks: Lessons from Martin Gardner on Recognizing Pseudoscientists.

Zephir said...

Why experts are usually wrong

In dense aether theory it's because such people tend to occupy (mem)branes of causual space-time. Each membrane consist of pair of 1:N dual surface gradients, like the surface of soap foam membranes. They're thinking in transverse waves along predefined causual gradients (ideas, theories, formal models), thus behaving like particles-antiparticles.

Instead of this, the informally thinking people usually maintain less dogmatic, holistic stance close to centers of causual bubbles of aether foam. We are saying, they keep a discretion, a distance from problem. They're exchanging information along longitudinal waves of energy, preferably.

Zephir said...

We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low-Quality Research

The main cause: the growth in the number of researchers.

Zephir said...

Journalist wrote anti-science article and he gets pummeled in comments.

A "mammoth of research" is about to rise behind London's St Pancras station, a biomedical centre costing £600m and housing about 1,250 "cutting-edge" scientists. Ask not its value. Science jeers at the idea.

Zephir said...

Do Scientists Understand the Public?
If scientists want to educate the public, they should start by listening
Scientist listen to the public? Surely you’re joking Mr. Mooney!
Scientists From Mars Face Public From Venus.
The identity of the modern scientist.
We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low-Quality Research The main cause: the growth in the number of researchers.
Statistical evidence, that science turns authoritarian.
Is "publish or perish" biasing science toward gradualism?
The corruption of science?
Scientists, you are fallible. Get off the pedestal and join the common herd and response
We're not on a pedestal: peer review keeps scientists firmly grounded
Philip Tetlock: Any individual expert is likely to be wrong.
Why experts are usually wrong
Extremists have to believe that more people share their views than actually do.
People with relatively extreme opinions may be more willing to publicly share their views than those with more moderate views. The concentration of egocentric asocials is higher in scientific society due the positive correlation of Asperger's syndrome or bipolar disorder and IQ..

Zephir said...

Study demonstrated, people grow more confident in some beliefs when they find out later that a majority of people disagree with them.

It's a sort of surface tension phenomena: mercury droplets are repulsive mutually the more, the more they becoming small and negligible. In such way, some people would rather prefer to die, then just change their opinion.

We can play with this stance in discussion - it's simple to manipulate people in occupying of quite opposite stance which they're actually holding just keeping them in permanent negation.

Actually this article is about well described phenomena, known as a confirmation bias

Zephir said...

Philip Gibbs wrote the rules of an Anti-Crackpot Index as a parody of John Baez's Crackpot Index.

Zephir said...

The first analysis of the term pseudoskepticism was conducted by Marcello Truzzi, Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University, who in 1987 claimed that pseudoskeptics show the following characteristics:

The tendency to deny, rather than doubt
Double standards in the application of criticism
The making of judgements without full inquiry
Tendency to discredit, rather than investigate
Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks
Presenting insufficient evidence or proof
Pejorative labelling of proponents as 'promoters', 'pseudoscientists' or practitioners of 'pathological science
Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof
Making unsubstantiated counter-claims
Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence
Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissing it
Tendency to dismiss all evidence