Brainy Quote of the Day

Friday, December 16, 2016

Of Deer and Headlights...

Clean Technica: Tesla "Competitors Like Deer In The Headlights"
Topics: Commentary, Existentialism, Politics

Since it's the holiday season, I am dragged by my better half to two back-to-back parties.

Invariably, two things will happen without fail: 1) someone will ask me what I do; 2) I'll tell them. It's better to keep it simple: "I make the chips that go in your I-phone" or something like that. I usually get excited and go into way too much detail. It reminds me of the blank stares I got in the Air Force (of all places) when one of my fellow officers asked me about physics. If they're honest, they'll say something to the effect of "I don't understand a thing you just said" and laugh nervously, finding other conversations to their suit, or as I learned in the AF, I'll change the subject to sports.

Unfortunately in the instant, I have no idea when what I've answered is at all political.

In an off comment due to the cold weather (18 degrees at the time), someone quipped about "wanting global warming."

I commented that the physics is a little more complicated than that, and proceeded to explain it in a cursory fashion. I mentioned the surface area of the Arctic pole reflecting heat and light into space. I didn't go in much detail about the massive amount of peer reviewed research, and made what I thought was a humorous joke: "when we're the Sahara desert, we're (humans) kinda screwed."

Science despite its claim to dispassionate aloof distance is political, but it shouldn't necessarily be so. Belief and "purity" have become the zeitgeist; decades of conspiracy theory and the de-legitimization of expertise at all levels has affected our relationship with traditional forms of reliable information and what used to be called "truth, the whole truth and nothing BUT the truth."

It saddens me that in order to be civil, we must "tip-toe" and be sensitive to another's view.

But...what if your understanding is wrong? Should we allow incorrect understanding to fester until it becomes a belief system, usually impenetrable by quaint things like "facts"?

The world is a lot more complicated, and it's imperative that we as a species get a little more acumen in the massive technology that surrounds us.

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." Carl Sagan

The societal equivalent of choosing ignorance over information is illustrated above; the headlights being a future we're not prepared for, despite its inexorable coming. 

No comments:

Post a Comment