"Communist Physics" is the title of a post by Simon over at Classical Values.
Let me excerpt from his post:
"Conserve momentum comrades? I don't think so. The time has come to liberate it from those who have captured it in the name of greed and personal profit."
To which I wrote the following reply.
"The beauty of the falling acorn of carbon dioxide is that it is an invisible, odourless gas.
"You and I, without the advantage of advanced test equipment, have no way of knowing whether or not the particular gas is increasing, decreasing or remaining the same.
"And even if we take advantage of advanced test equipment, we still have no way of knowing whether or not increasing CO2 levels are actually beneficial or not.
"The assumption on the Left is that the increase in CO2 is driven by human activity. They then throw in the assumption that human activity is bad. Therefore, increases in CO2, driven by human activity, is bad.
"Of course, this is a faulty syllogism. It requires us to make a conclusion on the "goodness" or "badness" of human activity. And it does so without evaluating either the accuracy of whether or not this is a valid assumption, but it does so in a way that completely fails to test the validity of the assumption.
"The model of the unseen falling acorn--simplicity in the face of increasing complexity--has a few advantages in political debate. As complexity increases, uncertainty also increases. Is it linear, logarithmic or exponential? Or, are there different orders of variability possible between endogenous and exogenous variables? And how well-defined are endogenous variables like "human activity is bad"?
"As complexity increases, it seems that the increasing uncertainty is handled with catch phrasing, such as "settled science." Complexity dissappears. It helps, again, that the falling acorn is neither seen, felt, smelt or touched. (Touched as a discrete element.)
"I have been working on formulating an equation that reflects the role of prejudice in determining held beliefs that includes a high value for prejudicially held beliefs. For example, what value does examining the question of "is that stop light truly red" when one is arriving at an intersection.
"Most of what we rely upon for moving through our days is based upon a large set of prejudicially held beliefs that simply make living possible. The tap on the left is hot. A plugged in soldering iron is hot, even if it isn't smoking.
"The reality of the human condition is, of course, that acorns are indeed falling every moment of every day. It isn't really news. Why else do we populate certain acorns with emotional appeals? When has a polar bear ever helped you? Following Katrina, how many new storms were predicted?
"Are polar bears attractive in some way? Are Category 5 storms destructive? Do we hold these beliefs prejudicially? Of course we do. We don't re-examine the beauty of the beast, nor do we challenge the ferocity of the storm.
"But these are diversions.
"The simple truth is, there is a certain subject body of folks who have called themselves scientists who have relied upon emotional appeals in order to assert the validity of their "science." I have heard critics concerned more about the leading role scientists have in society being diminished as a result of Climaquiddick.
"I disagree. I think it's more important that folks become used to the idea that even among experts a high degree of uncertainty exists, and that as systems increase complexity, the uncertainty of the theories, views and ideas of those who are inquiring into these fields face greater probablity of not knowing what is in fact going on, rather than greater probablity of in fact knowing what is going on.
"I believe this is called the Prosecutor's Fallacy."
Chances are that this comment had too many characters to be added as a comment to Simon's original post. Such are the limitations of the intertubes.
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