Category Archive 'and Economists'

16 Mar 2007

The Social Limits of Truth Seeking

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Melanie Phillips points out a Guardian book review by “Mike Hulme, professor in the school of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia and the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research — a key figure in the promulgation of climate change theory,” which inadvertently spills the beans about which comes first from the eco-leftie point of view, the facts or ideology.

Too often with climate change, genuine and necessary debates about these wider social values – do we have confidence in technology; do we believe in collective action over private enterprise; do we believe we carry obligations to people invisible to us in geography and time? – masquerade as disputes about scientific truth and error…

The danger of a “normal” reading of science is that it assumes science can first find truth, then speak truth to power, and that truth-based policy will then follow…

If only climate change were such a phenomenon and if only science held such an ascendancy over our personal, social and political life and decisions. In fact, in order to make progress about how we manage climate change we have to take science off centre stage…

This is not a comfortable thing to say – either to those scientists who still hold an uncritical view of their privileged enterprise and who relish the status society affords them, or to politicians whose instinct is so often to hide behind the experts when confronted by difficult and genuine policy alternatives.

Self-evidently dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth seeking, although science will gain some insights into the question if it recognises the socially contingent dimensions of a post-normal science. But to proffer such insights, scientists – and politicians – must trade (normal) truth for influence. If scientists want to remain listened to, to bear influence on policy, they must recognise the social limits of their truth seeking and reveal fully the values and beliefs they bring to their scientific activity.

It is always hilarious when the mask starts to slip.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

11 Oct 2006

That Lancet Study

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No one not professionally involved ever reads any studies, as the left understands only too well. But leftists control a great many prestigious academic positions, institutes, and publications, and have all the allies they could possibly desire in the mainstream media. Consequently, we are continually, at decreasing intervals, subjected to the shabby and contemptible tactic of the appeal to the purported facticity of yet another carefully contrived research study.

Figures lie and liars figure. And today’s sophisters, calculators, and economists habitually design the methodologies, choose the selection basis of the data, project the extrapolations, massage the numbers, and juggle the math. Then, hey, presto! out pops the great Herr Professor authority figure, waving his formulae in our face in precisely the manner of the witch doctor menacing a tribe of gaping savages with his rattle, and we too are supposed to fall to the ground and bury our faces in the dust, grovel, and obey.

The moonbats are barking with joy over what is becoming an election year tradition: the Lancet-published, Johns Hopkins-produced, October-released study of Iraqi war casualties, currently headlining in all the MSM, including the New York Times.

It is particularly sad to see so famous a medical journal as Britain’s Lancet, reduced to serving as leftist propaganda organ, but no wonder. Just look at that journal’s editor, Richard Horton raving at a leftwing rally. Horton is manifestly an extremist opponent of the Iraq war, who has previously damaged that journal’s reputation by publishing sensationalist junk science.

The Iraqi casualty study pre-election press release was invented by Les Roberts in 2004. Roberts ran unsuccessfully in the democrat primary this year in the 24th Congressional District in New York (Utica and neighboring environs). Gilbert Burnham, the 2004 second chair, took the lead this year.

Some of the better responses to this nonsense come from:

Mark Coffey

Texas Rainmaker

and Gateway Pundit

But the definitive answer came from an Iraqi, Omar Fadil:

Among the things I cannot accept is exploiting the suffering of people to make gains that are not the least related to easing the suffering of those people. I’m talking here about those researchers who used the transparency and open doors of the new Iraq to come and count the drops of blood we shed.

Human flesh is abundant and all they have to do is call this hospital or that office to get the count of casualties, even more they can knock on doors and ask us one by one and we would answer because we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.

We believe in what we’re struggling for and we are proud of our sacrifices.

I wonder if that research team was willing to go to North Korea or Libya and I think they wouldn’t have the guts to dare ask Saddam to let them in and investigate deaths under his regime.

No, they would’ve shit their pants the moment they set foot in Iraq and they would find themselves surrounded by the Mukhabarat men counting their breaths. However, maybe they would have the chance to receive a gift from the tyrant in exchange for painting a rosy picture about his rule.

They shamelessly made an auction of our blood, and it didn’t make a difference if the blood was shed by a bomb or a bullet or a heart attack because the bigger the count the more useful it becomes to attack this or that policy in a political race and the more useful it becomes in cheerleading for murderous tyrannical regimes.

When the statistics announced by hospitals and military here, or even by the UN, did not satisfy their lust for more deaths, they resorted to mathematics to get a fake number that satisfies their sadistic urges.

When I read the report I can only feel apathy and inhumanity from those who did the count towards the victims and towards our suffering as a whole. I can tell they were so pleased when the equations their twisted minds designed led to those numbers and nothing can convince me that they did their so called research out of compassion or care.

To me their motives are clear, all they want is to prove that our struggle for freedom was the wrong thing to do. And they shamelessly use lies to do this…when they did not find the death they wanted to see on the ground, they faked it on paper! They disgust me…

This fake research is an insult to every man, woman and child who lost their lives.

Behind every drop of blood is a noble story of sacrifice for a just cause that is struggling for living safe in freedom and prosperity.

Let those fools know that nothing will stop us from walking this road and nothing will stop our friends and allies from helping us reach safe shores. There’s simply no going back even if it cost us more and their fake statistics will not frighten us…our sacrifices, like I said, make us proud because our bloods are not digits in those ugly papers. Our sacrifices are paving the way for future generations to live the better life we couldn’t live.

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