Category Archive 'P-Hacking'

02 Nov 2020

Politics and Expert Dishonesty are Ruining Science

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Pasha Kamyshev (Pierson 2009) correctly observes that politicization of Science and arguments consisting only of appeals to credentialed authority have widely underminded respect for experts and what purports to be science.

My current view is that large numbers of fields which are considered “scientific” in the West are a complete mess and lack the essential feature of what it means to be a science in the first place. …

Big Tech has fully bought into the frame of “experts” vs “laypeople” as if experts are always “correct” and laypeople are “wrong,” (unless they are repeating a statement by the experts).

If the laypeople are “wrong,” then there has been a massive failure of education to produce correct models for people to use for home reasoning. Obviously, the default answer for many people is to simply pour more money into education. But we lack understanding of what science and science education even are. Science is meant to produce world models, and education is supposed to impart them to everyone else. Neither is doing this, really, and what we have in place of those instructions is one large uncanny valley of ever-changing statement production. …

I have heard stories of professors at Yale in one department being mad about professors in another department teaching p-hacking to students. Inter- and intra-discipline fights are common, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as the overall combined output of the field is correlated with reality. However, the journalistic tendency to signal boost any paper that can have political impact amplifies some fights over others, further screwing up an already shaky system.

So right now science is losing its status among the general population. It is also losing status among those who can actually read statistics. This is both horrifying and encouraging. Without a structured way to sift actual reality into social reality, the social reality will diverge from reality, with further and further breakdown of health and sanity for society.


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