Monday, October 8, 2018

(#2)Fruits of our Failures to Engage, Sen. McConnell thanks "women clowns" - Kavanaugh debacle

At the previously mentioned dialogue over at ATTP the following article was introduced with: 
Can better communication move people from a state of apathy to action on man-made climate change, or will it take a catastrophic Black Swan climate event* to do so?  For more about the apathy problem, read…
It struck me as ironic coming on the heels of yet another profoundly damaging Democratic Party failure.  That is their inability to stop the GOP Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination atrocity against democracy.  It serves as yet another example of avoiding the real issue and talking past each other.  So I selected the following quotes before trying to enunciate what’s missing. 

"Climate change apathy, not denial, is the biggest threat to our planet”
By Leo Barasi, Oct 5, 2018, The Guardian

The easy way to cut emissions – closing coal power stations – is exhausted. Now the public has to be convinced to make sacrifices

“Partisanship is a problem, too. Arguments about climate change are often polarised between left and right, and the public widely see it as a left issue. This is a problem because people are more likely to believe what they hear from those they identify with, and to reject what they hear from others. …”
“And there are more psychological barriers. Cutting emissions requires people to trust authorities to be competent, honest and fair – a tall order at a time when only a third of people say they trust government. …”
“Yet, daunting though these barriers are, they can be beaten with political leadership and honesty. …” (nice, a wave in the general direction of the need for truthfulness, but it still misses the boat)
Begs the question how many ‘Black Swan’ events do we want.  Have you checked in on the running tally over at the Understanding Climate Change channel lately?,

Regarding Senator McConnell gloating: “Mitch McConnell thanks ‘these clowns’ (aka rape victims) for protesting Kavanaugh”  by Kaiser,  October 08, 2018


My response:
I read Barasi’s article, can’t disagree with a thing. Although lets be honest that article was simply a repackaging of what’s been written many times, for decades now. It’s as ‘right on’ now as it was in the 90s, the problem is with its omissions.

I could not find a thing addressing the influence of lavishly funded and very methodical, strategic attacks based on deliberately dishonest media campaigns, intent on sowing confusion rather than constructive debate and learning.

You know, all those deliberate campaigns to lie about the facts, all intended to confuse an under-informed and rather apathetic public.  Instead, I’m told to look on the bright side.

I’m told that it would be impolite and only a jerk would dare actually talk right into contrarian faces and directly at their lies. 

Only a jerk would make a point of explaining God is in our minds and hearts and is profoundly personal; that no human has a one on one relationship with god, not now, not ever! That what we have is ego and personal drive to do better and have more. That what we need is each other to keep ourselves honest and moral.

Nope instead I’m told keep it polite, don’t ruffle any feathers. I’m wondering should my example be those old white men/women sitting on the Judiciary Committee who keep within everyone’s comfort zone. 

Even if it meant being incapable of exposing Kavanaugh’s rabid partisanship, which was on full display, threatening promises and all. Then standing up to demand that we recognize that in America, such behavior disqualified a person from judgeship, before anything else is even considered!! But no, our Democrat leaders fold yet again.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fruits of our Failures to Engage, Kavanaugh drama.

I had an interesting exchange today.  Related to my constant agitating climate science communicators about the need to directly engage contrarians, and just as repeatedly, being rebuffed by the big boys.  See, I've been repeatedly reassured: Climate science contrarians, or for that matter these days die-hard Trump supporters, are a “lost cause” and a distinct minority of the US population.  There’s not much point in interacting with them on social media or elsewhere.    

Seems to me simply looking at the degeneration of our public discourse, and the current attack our governmental agencies makes the folly of that smugness self evident, but evidently not.  Be clear this is about the dialogue on the street, and in media outlets, outside of the scientific community.  

We NEED to DIRECTLY ENGAGE contrarian characters and their arguments and misinformation for many reasons.

How else can we understand our own positions and arguments, if we can’t enunciate them in challenging circumstances?

How can we understand what’s going on within their heads and hearts, if we never actually listen to them?

How can we convince onlookers if we’re afraid to confront and expose the deliberate dishonestly of science's critics?

and so on.

In any event, in an ongoing dialogue at ATTP I responded to a pal's sidestepping non sequitur with the following:

I wrote: "Guess I’ll never get you to discuss my actual content –  blithe dismissal is as far as your interest goes. But, than it seems we’ve turned into a society that rather talk past each other. {Have you checked political polls lately, looks to me like the fruits of our general apathy and that god-awful laziness when it come to actually confronting what the other is trying to express.}"

This prompted his angry complaint: “… your propensity to falsely define me, for example. cc wrote:
"Have you checked political polls lately, looks to me like the fruits of our general apathy and that god-awful laziness when it come to actually confronting what the other is trying to express."
Implicit in your statement is the belief that I am not paying attention to what is going on in US politics. …   
I'm sharing my response mainly because it drifts into the current Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination which serves as a perfect example of the fruits of intellectual's benign neglect of the lower classes, and which has been weighing heavy on my heart these past days.  

Oh please STOP already!  It’s not all about you! Excuse the sloppy rhetorical device. 

I’m trying to discuss the need for more direction citizen dialogue, engagement, motivation, networking - you know a healthy Democracy demands an informed and engaged citizenry and all that.

Please, I was asking about the fact and not poking at you.   

Consider what we have witnessed in America this past week.  You know the Kavanaugh hearing and the voter opinion polls that look like they’ve gone though a wild 15/20 point swing.  Republicans have suddenly been justified and energized and Democratic momentum seems to have evaporated.  What happened?  How can that be understood, what does that portent for the coming election?

Then my point:
Kavanaugh was a very passionate partisan, even belligerent and threatening.  A man who felt free dropping conspiracy theories without offering a shred of evidence, in order to distract from the actual issue at hand. 

Kavanaugh delivered an emotionalized, personalized, angry, even threatening diatribe.  He showed himself to be the great white American male playing the victim card like a consummate performer.  He used anger and indignation to evade all questions and America ate it up because of, …  Why?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Considering critique of "Missing Key to Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” "

I received an interesting critique on my column - The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” - I appreciated the questions and enjoyed the opportunity to correct the writer's misunderstanding regarding what I wrote.  I invited the writer over here to share, but alas, it never happened.  So, I'm going to share his critique anyways. 

Critique:  It appears to me that the author is considering every product of the human mind just as imaginary as every other. 

For instance the completely subjective religious experience, and the striving to be objective science are both: "products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down." 
Citizenschallenge:  That’s an incorrect assumption.  

"Imaginings" is more akin to “inventions of the mind” or products of our mindscape.  

The critique misses out on the evolutionary aspect.  Religion was amongst the mindscape’s earliest inventions, probably a couple hundred thousand years ago.  

It took humanity tens of thousands of years and even civilized humans took many more millennia before the human mindscape developed the understanding and discipline that enabled it to invent science, barely 500 years ago.
Now, it is true that every single recorded phenomena, experience and so on must have either begun as some sort of sensory input influencing our mindscape, or came as a product of the workings of said mindscape (something commonly known as imagination). 
Precisely my point.

Of course just because something is relayed through a human mind, this doesn't automatically make it imaginary. 
I never implied it did!
In a sense the author is trying to put a divide between the real world and the way we perceive and interpret the real world, equating the latter to imagination. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Confronting Republican Deception - Science, Activism, Networking, Engaging in debate.

Selections from the previous list of key blog posts.

The Situation:  The disconnected-from-physical-reality GOP attacks on climate science (a.i.) have reached horrifying levels with the Trump Administration.  Yet science loving rationalists, pluralists, progressives, liberals, Democrats still haven’t developed effective messaging for directly confronting the most childish of Republican arguments.  

Why?  Seems to me, mainly because rationalists rather sidestep that Me First driven willful ignorance.  This acquiescence to malicious nonsense has been a fatal error for the national dialogue.

Engaging and arguing with contrarians should not be seen as an exercise in futility, since those are teaching opportunity for explaining the simple logical geophysical reasons behind some of the disingenuous arguments to onlookers from our own side, who probably don’t understand the science very well themselves.  Making teaching opportunities out of false claims.

Even on this fateful US election eve, little effort seems expended to help geographically dispersed individual activists, of diverse talents, network with like-minded for sharing information, developing ideas, raising enthusiasm for debate.  Such efforts would facilitate better appreciation for what we are all about, while encouraging a sense of community and pro-active cooperation.

Why write that essay:

I’m hoping it might resonate with some of you and that you’ll be in a position to do more with it than I ever can here in my Colorado hinterlands.  It has my copyright, but that’s about establishing my authorship, I invite its copying and sharing. 

Exploring the Map v Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth

“… During the Q&A I had a chance to ask Dr.Trenberth, (58:00 video 3/3) 

Science communicators, I ask for a moment of your time and consideration, please.

As a follow up to The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” I want to share a selection of blog posts that focus on various other aspects (keys) to better understanding of the Republicans blind-faith driven mass deception and self-inflicted self-stupification regarding matters of extreme importance to our future health and wellbeing.

I’m looking for help to network with others who understand what I’m trying to say with these essays, virtual debates and blog posts.  I’ve added a selection of excerpts from these blog posts and FCFP columns in the next post.   

Exploring the Map v Territory Problem - via the Brown Ocean Effect and Dr. Trenberth

Colorado Floods - statistical certainty vs geophysical realities - 2013

2018, now what? Considering the Republican Dialogue Problem in 14 VERSES.

CO2 Science - Blue team: "Pruitt, it's certain as certain gets! It's the physics! Don't you know?

CO2 Science - Pruitt, proof is in the pudding! Impossible Modern Marvels

Schooling Pruitt's Red Team about our planet and its climate engine (FCFP)

(Sd7) Abuse of Our Free Speech Rights (LandscapesAndCycles - Jim Steele) (FCFP)

(Sd3) Mr.GOP don't buy Jim Steele's Fraud - LandscapesAndCycles

(Sd1) Revisiting Jim Steele's LandscapesAndCycles Fraud 
            An index of past research - Steele debate #1

Fruits of Ignoring Deliberate Deception.

I am an Earth Centrist.

Earth Centrist ponders, polite or honest?

Saying No To Reality (Four Corners Free Press column)

Citizenschallenge’s  “Hall of Shame”

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria”

The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s
“Nonoverlapping Magisteria”

“… missing was a much more fundamental division crying out for recognition.  Specifically,                                        
the magisteria of Physical Reality vs the magisteria of our Human Mindscape. …”

© Peter Miesler, August 21, 2018

The increasingly shrill and disconnected from physical reality attacks on science by faith-based organizations and individuals has me thinking about an essay evolutionary biologist and historian of science Stephen J. Gould wrote some twenty years ago in an attempt to address the tension between scientific truths and religious truths.
His solution was the notion of “Non-overlapping Magisteria” which delineated two teaching “authorities” (magisterium), the “magisteria of science” and the “magisteria of religion.” It wasn’t his original idea, rather a continuation of a centuries old dialogue between scientists and the Catholic Church that I don’t have the space to get into.
In any event, Gould concluded there should be no conflict because each realm has its’ own domain of “teaching authority.” Since these “magisteria” do not overlap, they cannot contradict each other and should be able to exist in mutual respect.
When it first came out

Friday, August 31, 2018

Diary 8/31/2018 - reset

It’s been an interesting, satisfying month for me.  Feels like I’ve cracked a riddle I’ve been circling around for decades.  When I think of some of the posts that lead to this breakthrough I’m reminded of a complain I once received about sometimes repeating myself and being boring.  

I giggle because yes, I’ve been working with variations on a theme that to disinterested eyes probably are boring as hell.  Oh well, I have no time for them, I’m interested in the eyes with genuine substance and curiosity behind them.

Besides, these blog posts are my self-study homework, they force me to think, do some research, to double-check myself, and then to share finished projects, some better, some not, still each adds a little more to my appreciation for this magnificent Earth I’m part of.  

I’ll add that though outreach is secondary, I do hope this resonates with some and that they find value in these efforts and I’d love to have a discussion about it, make a comment.

Now my warning, I will be doing a bit of repeat of some posts in order to start September from the top so to speak.  As for the labels I attached to this post: defending reason, engaging in constructive debate, reasserting need for honesty, celebrate learning, Earth Appreciationthat's sort of a declaration of what my blogs are all about.

Thanks for dropping in and best wishes, cc