Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, December 18, 2017

Seven Words...

Image Source: US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Topics: Commentary, Existentialism, Science, Research

The entrance paragraph on Scientific American couldn't be more stark and foreboding:

Do you want your medical treatment to be based on science? The Trump administration disagrees. It has now banned the top US public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from using seven words or phrases: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” [1]

Vulnerable - 1 : capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; 2 : open to attack or damage : assailable vulnerable to criticism
Entitlement - 1 : a : the state or condition of being entitled : right; b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
Diversity - 1 : the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : variety; especially : the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization programs intended to promote diversity in schools; 2 : an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities : an instance of being diverse a diversity of opinion
Transgender - : of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth; especially : of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth
Fetus - 1 : an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth — compare embryo [2]
Evidence-based - Evidence-based medicine is an approach to medical practice intended to optimize decision-making by emphasizing the use of evidence from well-designed and well-conducted research [3]; Evidence based practice (EBP) is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, 2000) [4]
Science-based - Science-Based Medicine is dedicated to evaluating medical treatments and products of interest to the public in a scientific light, and promoting the highest standards and traditions of science in health care. Online information about alternative medicine is overwhelmingly credulous and uncritical, and even mainstream media and some medical schools have bought into the hype and failed to ask the hard questions. [5]

Truth is being burned, or at least objective truth. It is a tearing at what used to be our time-honored political norms, only possible in a republic made insipid by "lowest common denominator programming" - reality television, that slowly conditioned an Idiocracy public with as Sagan opined "critical faculties in decline," to think a former star and faux billionaire with a catch-phrase line could be president. It is slowly, daily being eroded by a mountain of lies that eventually he and his enablers figure we'll all get tired of joking our way through with late night hosts and SNL cold openings; that we'll collectively slump from sheer exhaustion of a Sisyphus resistance, and accept the insane. A relativism has crept into the public zeitgeist for at least citizens whose sanity and rationality I have to question, as they dismantle the critical thinking skills of the developing next generation by burning to ash the foundation of The Enlightenment.

This is the digital version to the 20th Century brute-force method done by Sturmabteilung (SA - assault division). Instead of brownshirts, we get irrational strains of credulity in White House press briefings; insane tweets from septuagenarians that somehow think themselves sex symbols still, throwing out 280-character mental defecations during morning bowel movements. We do have them though, as they occasionally show up at pep rally-styled events designed to pump the ego of a narcissist; with tiki torches or as online trolls, howling at anything that challenges their dogma or conspiracy theories. His presidential daily briefs have to be modified - translation: truth either omitted about Russian intelligence operations against us, else he'll be "upset" and the briefing will "go off the rails." Is that the description of an administration, or managing an inmate at Arkham Insane Asylum?

Seven words - magically shat out without a study, peer review or sign off by an authority at the Center for Disease Control (repeat: the Center for DISEASE Control) that won't STOP them from doing their jobs; just the public's understanding of it to be able to support whatever actions they instruct during a crisis. The reaction to pandemics could be slowed. That results in more (unnecessary) dead bodies. Or maybe that is the point.

Seven words - that could easily apply to the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation et al, any number of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics organizations that rely on objective EVIDENCE to design experiments, evaluate data from the same and make decisions that could affect the lives of 7.6 BILLION PEOPLE ON THE PLANET.

This is existential. This is Orwellian.

If this is NOT opposed and stopped, I am afraid our continuance is not (as it never was) guaranteed. Our brief "Candle in the Dark" out of ignorance is being snuffed by a tribe of baying nincompoops led by someone beyond human comprehension, enabled by opportunistic cowards that before interference by foreign powers, betrayed this republic to oligarchs awaiting our demise to harvest the mineral riches from our properties and corpses, picking their teeth with the bones of gullible brownshirts.

Seven words - that could easily be the lit match to the funeral pyre for our species.

[2] Merriam-Webster online, from vulnerable to fetus

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