Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘“hard sciences”

Cool down on Convictions: “Fact is a bitch”

Note: Re-edit “Fact is a bitch,  (Written in November 24, 2007 and posted in 2008)

The most common starter in any conversation is: “The Fact is…”

Our politicians, journalists, and commentators use “Fact is…” to mean truth, evidence, axioms, observation, conjecture, deduction, opinion, belief, interpolation, or personal experience in arguments…

Even practiced scientists have sometimes hard time differentiating what is fact and what is Not a fact most of the time.

For example, scientists in human sciences have reached a consensus that if the analysis of data is significant at a level of 5% that is, the chances that less than five observations out of a sample of 100 observed might not exhibit the general behavior statistically, and hopefully based on a judicious experimental design, then the behavioral scientist might be inclined to state that the effect in a relationship is a fact.

(The dangerous events is what happens on both extreme tails on this “Normal Curve“))

If a scientist decided to repeat the same experiment and set the level at 1% because the phenomenon is most important from his point of view, and the effect turned out not to be significant, then would the relationship stops to become a fact?

Even in “hard sciences“, dealing with materials and natural phenomena, which do not vary that much as humans vary in their characteristics, the laws are applicable within certain ranges and conditions. (If you apply any equation with considering the magnitude of the problem, you run in deep problems for the users)

Can we consequently deduce that fact is relative?

May we go one step further and claim that the only fact is that everything is relative?

Or this is called truth?

What is then the difference between fact and truth?  Maybe it is the relative degree of uncertainty in the proclamation?

When people say: “It is a fact”, do they mean anything such as a “pass partout” concept? If what they observe with their senses is considered fact, then a colorblind person or with other defects has the right to disagree with what “normal” people senses?

Again, the concept of normality is a matter of consensus, or is it not?

If for example the sample of individuals contains 10% color blind in an experiment related to discriminating among colors, then a mindless level of 5% is certainly not appropriate if the scientist failed to control that “fact” or factor.

Let us move from scientific lucubrations to questions weighting on the mind of middle-aged individuals.

For example, we can say it is a fact that “everyday is made to be lived before we leave this world“, but the truth is we can’t help but think one second ahead of time, and about tomorrow, and thus relinquishing the power of the moment.

Another example, we may say it is a fact “not to take ourselves too seriously: nobody is going to survive”, but the truth is we believe that we are actually surviving all calamities and pandemics.

Worse, we believe that our immediate offspring is going to acquire all the best qualities that we believe we have: Are we ignorant that nature has a way of tending toward average in its progress and development?

If I state that, logically, there is no meaning for life: we are going to die, the human specie is going to vanish and Earth is a goner as well, sooner or later. Is that logic a fact because billion of species have vanished and billions of planets and stars have disintegrated? With what facts can you counter such a logical statement?

If I say: “Give me a delicious stupid reason to hang on to in order to forget this harsh reality, since we enjoy thinking ahead of time and planning for our survival” then can you be kind enough to offer me an antidote for excessive logical or deductive tendencies?

Does anyone have a character, firm and insensitive enough, to ally completely with logic and rationality?

Maybe nothing is real for modern man as deep feeling is, and the hope that a boring paradise is waiting at the end of the rainbow with unlimited pleasures, probably cloning what we have been experiencing on Earth, these pleasures that we have forgone because of aging and diminishing power?

If I say: ” The fact is I started enjoying the stories of novels, and do not care that much about the endings; I do not rush to know how the story ends: if I got a happy ending then I feel depressed and if it is a sad ending then I say “this is not news to me”. Would that sentence expresses logic, a state of mind that varies from day-to-day, or it could be accepted as a fact for the moment in the individual psychic?

Maybe the common denominator among modern men is relishing rediscovering the wheel, and then feeling happily surprised that an ancient philosopher has stolen his copyrights.

Content is necessary, but it is the variations on the main content and how it is communicated that set individuals apart.

I am shocked at editors who believe it is their right to transform the style of an author to suit an abstract targeted public.

Go Graphics, do your communicating!

Scientists have been claiming in the last 30 years that sciences were stranger than science-fiction stories.  So far, the interviewers and the respondents did not attempt to clarify what is meant by “strange” before extending answers and comments.  So far, we have no clear idea what is meant by “science”; are we talking of natural sciences (labeled hard sciences) or are we including human and social sciences such as biology, neuroscience, psychology, medicine…

For example, with the launching of space programs in the late 70’s, many editors of science-fictions complained that actual space programs have pictured space trips fictions as redundant.

It appears that what is meant by science is hard science.  Sciences, meaning natural sciences or “hard sciences”, are so far stranger than science-fiction stories.  Why?

First, sciences are not backed up by any validation process by people, not even by advanced technology:  A few people are specialized and involved in sciences, while most common people take the words of scientists for granted for a single day, until they read or hear other alternative “truths or facts”.  Science-fictions are supported by narrative logic and fictitious rationality, made easy to understand by well-written stories.

Second, Scientists claim that sciences are neutral.  I don’t think anyone can get excited by such neutral approach that disturb their state of mind, though scientists are big liars in matter of neutrality. Science-fictions are based on current frustration, disorientation, doubts, fear… And thus, are not neutral:  They extend a release valve to believing in a better future.

Third, Sciences talk about cosmology, nano particles, expansion of the universe, quantum mechanics, relativity theory, chaos theory…Not of any concern to common people.  Science-fictions describe possibilities of living in different societies, customs, highly man-made environment managed and controlled by robots.  Science-fictions extend our horizon and forces us to re-evaluate our values and the meaning of man and life.

Fourth, Sciences are no longer driving technology advances.  Technology is short-circuiting sciences and has reduced sciences to an “after-thought” validation of a technological invention or processes by trying to explaining why the technology actually works.  Technology is interested in explaining how it works:  Just try to comprehend the manuals of how any device function.  Common people do not care why a device works and are ready to experiment and use it, even if safety and health factors were not investigated and tested before the release of a version.  Science-fictions try to describe why and how in layman terms, and the implication of technology in our daily life; its consequences in our near future.

Five, Sciences are boring and insipid for common people, while science-fictions is here to last in our dreams.

Sixth, Sciences are done within clubs of professionals reading “peer-reviewed” articles, while science-fiction authors communicate with many sources of intelligence and audience:  Safety, health, survival are more important in how heroes and protagonists interacts in the story.

Seventh, sciences are not perceived as factors for change; technology and science-fictions are.  Science-fictions are admitted to be literature for change; a literature that catalyze children to growing in radically different worlds from their parents.

Eight, technology gave science-fictions a big boost via video games and new kinds of movies such as “Star War”, “Matrix”, and the 3D versions.  Sciences do not appear to have made an impact on imagination of science-fiction authors.

Science-fictions were originally based on theories of hard sciences, particularly on mechanical inventions…  It is no surprise that transistors and computer technologies were not predicted in science-fictions:  When Galvani experimented on the reactions of muscles in frogs in the 18th century, applying electrical impulses or shock, it was done on live subjects and in a period when all inventions were focused on mechanical devices, manufacturing mass production tools for the “industrial age”, and boosting colonial expansions… For example, all Jules Verne fictions invariably considered the original people as second grade species good for extermination if they retard “colonial development”…

Suppose the question was: “What is stranger: Social sciences or science-fictions?”  I bet that both common people and social scientists will admit that science-fiction is far stranger.  Why?  Everyone of us consider himself expert in psychology and sociology based on personal experiences, even if based on a single experience that hurts deeply.

In any case, what we call science-fictions nowadays refer to predicting social and human transformations as well as organizational and control mechanisms.  Hard science is not exciting and has stopped inspiring science-fiction authors’ imagination.

Fact is a bitch,  (November 24, 2007)

The most common starter in any conversation is “The Fact is…”

Our politicians, journalists, and commentators use “Fact is…” to mean truth, evidence, axioms, observation, deduction, opinion, belief, interpolation, or personal experience in arguments.

Even practiced scientists have sometimes hard time differentiating what is fact and what is Not a fact.

For example, scientists in human sciences have reached a consensus that if the analysis of data is significant at a level of 5% that is, the chances that less than five observations out of a sample of 100 observed might not exhibit the general behavior statistically, and hopefully based on a judicious experimental design, then the behavioral scientist might be inclined to state that the effect in a relationship is a fact.

(The dangerous events is what happens on both extreme tails)

If a scientist decided to repeat the same experiment and set the level at 1% because the phenomenon is most important from his point of view, and the effect turned out not to be significant, then would the relationship stops to become a fact?

Even in “hard sciences”, dealing with materials and natural phenomena, which do not vary that much as humans vary in their characteristics, the laws are applicable within certain ranges and conditions.

Can we consequently deduce that fact is relative?

May we go one step further and claim that the only fact is that everything is relative?

Or this is called truth?

What is then the difference between fact and truth?  Maybe it is the relative degree of uncertainty in the proclamation?

When people say: “It is a fact”, do they mean anything such as a “pass partout” concept? If what they observe with their senses is considered fact, then a colorblind person or with other defects has the right to disagree with what “normal” people senses?

Again, the concept of normality is a matter of consensus, or is it not?

If for example the sample of individuals contains 10% color blind in an experiment related to discriminating among colors, then a mindless level of 5% is certainly not appropriate if the scientist failed to control that “fact” or factor.

Let us move from scientific lucubrations to questions weighting on the mind of middle-aged individuals.

For example, we can say it is a fact that “everyday is made to be lived before we leave this world“, but the truth is we can’t help but think one second ahead of time, and about tomorrow, and thus relinquishing the power of the moment.

Another example, we may say it is a fact “not to take ourselves too seriously: nobody is going to survive”, but the truth is we believe that we are actually surviving.

Worse, we believe that our immediate offspring is going to acquire all the best qualities that we believe we have: Are we ignorant that nature has a way of tending toward average in its progress and development?

If I state that, logically, there is no meaning for life: we are going to die, the human specie is going to vanish and Earth is a goner as well, sooner or later. Is that logic a fact because billion of species have vanished and billions of planets and stars have disintegrated? With what facts can you counter such a logical statement?

If I say: “Give me a delicious stupid reason to hang on to in order to forget this harsh reality, since we enjoy thinking ahead of time and planning for our survival” then can you be kind enough to offer me an antidote for excessive logical or deductive tendencies?

 Does anyone have a character, firm and insensitive enough, to ally completely with logic and rationality?

Maybe nothing is real for modern man as deep feeling is, and the hope that a boring paradise is waiting at the end of the rainbow with unlimited pleasures, probably cloning what we have been experiencing on Earth, these pleasures that we have forgone because of aging and diminishing power?

If I say: ” The fact is I started enjoying the stories of novels, and do not care that much about the endings; I do not rush to know how the story ends: if I got a happy ending then I feel depressed and if it is a sad ending then I say “this is not news to me”. Would that sentence expresses logic, a state of mind that varies from day-to-day, or it could be accepted as a fact for the moment in the individual psychic?

Maybe the common denominator among modern men is relishing rediscovering the wheel, and then feeling happily surprised that an ancient philosopher has stolen his copyrights.

Content is necessary, but it is the variations on the main content and how it is communicated that set individuals apart.

I am shocked at editors who believe it is their right to transform the style of an author to suit an abstract targeted public.

Go Graphics, do your communicating!


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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