Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘human behaviors

Sloppy science

We can measure it.

For decades, every single year, scientists have visited the Galapagos and measured the beaks of a particular species of finch.

And year after year, with each generation, the beaks change, exactly as we’d expect from the weather patterns of the year before. Evolutionary biology works, and rigorous data collection backs it up.

For hundreds of years, though, science has gotten it wrong about gender, race and ethnicity. Eugenics and its brethren sound simple, but often lead to tragic outcomes.

The sloppy scientist says, “on average, across populations, left to its own devices, this group is [not as skilled] [neurotic] [hard to work with] [not as smart] [not as strong] [slower]” etc. They make assumptions without sufficient data, and the rigor is missing.

The first problem is that human beings aren’t averages, they’re individuals. (They can be Medians when subdivided into a dozen of categories?)

And the bigger problem is that we’re never left to our own devices. We are creatures of culture.

The math that we can do on populations of hedgehogs or pigeons doesn’t apply to people, because people build and change and experience culture differently than any other species.

Your DNA is virtually identical to that of the hordes that accompanied Ghengis Khan, as well as most Cro-Magnon cavemen–pass one on the street and you wouldn’t be able to tell that he’s different from you. The reason you don’t act the way they did is completely the result of culture, not genes.

It’s culture that pushes us to level up, to dig deeper, to do things that we might not otherwise do.

It’s culture that finds and encourages and pushes people to become better versions of themselves than anyone else expected to find.

So it was sloppy/lazy/fearful science that said that women couldn’t handle being doctors.

And it was sloppy science that worked to limit the number of Asian, Jewish, Near-Easterns or African students at various institutions.

And it’s sloppy science that’s been used against black people for hundreds of years.

And sloppy science said that a 4 minute mile was impossible and that a woman could never finish a marathon.

Sloppy because it doesn’t include all the relevant factors. (It is almost impossible to interpret results with even 6 factors and their many interrelations and intersections)

There’s nothing wrong with the scientific method, but everything is wrong with using it poorly (and often intentionally).

What we need are caring human beings who will choose to change the culture for the better.

Not all of it, of course. Merely the culture they can touch. The people they can engage with. The human beings they can look in the eye, offer to help, offer encouragement and offer a hand up.

Once we reset the standard, it becomes the new normal, and suddenly, the sloppy science seems like phrenology. Because culture is up to us.

Sloppy science isn’t science at all.

It’s the lazy or wrongheaded use of the scientific method part of the time, mixing in fear for good measure.

Ignoring culture ignores the part that truly matters.

It’s tempting to judge people by their DNA. It makes a lot more sense, though, to see people based on what they can contribute instead.

We all agree that doing politics is a serious profession.  Not anyone is capable of assuming his mandate to serving the community: a voted in political candidate is to be at the beck of his community 24 hours a day and fielding all kinds of requests; he has no reliable methods to controling his daily activities and set aside relaxation periods. 

And yet, candidates to “serving the public” are not taught and trained in schools like all the other professions. Actually, most of the students graduating from high schools and universities have acquired a terrible bad connotation for the term “politics” or “doing politics”. 

You have candidates who think that because they have an academic position, an administrative job with a private company, or just an earning job that they have the right to run for political positions, regardless of the specific job qualifications of being people-oriented and frequently communicating with voters, and listening intently and seriously to voters requests and demands. 

If candidates fail to prove that they are people-oriented before election, how do you expect him to follow up on the daily and countless people’s problems?

People enroll in the field of “political science” thinking that this field will train them for the political arena; wrong!  The field of political science does not train people in the social and psychological behavior of people, which are the right tools for doing politics. 

Acquiring sketchy understanding of the macro politics by lumping whole nations as a single entity or whole regions as potential enemies is not the correct way for training politicians to thinking rationally and for the good of the people in the long term.

There are so many candidates running for political seats (municipality, parliament…) who actually pray not to succeed in their campaigns.  They know, not just theoretically, of their limitations but also in their gut feeling, that they are not ready for serving the community 24 hours a day, day in day out.  Those candidates have learned to establishing a life-style that is mostly peaceful, secluded, reclusive, and not immersed in frequent communication with people; they are terribly bored with discussions, or reading reports, or listening to constant recriminations and requests.  They want volunteer assistants to aids them to communicating with people because their “lazy” life-style is not compatible with actual political frenetic demands. 

Yes, they pray to fail but they cannot help it accepting nominations to run: It is so nice to playing the “pasha” for a short period; playing the game of the short-lived leader; smiling in profusion, but having nothing to say or any detailed program to follow up with zeal.

Those faked “politicians”, actually ruin campaigns by their lethargy for not activily running seriously.  As voters, we like to claim that this candidate has a good program but we always fail to investigate if he is up to the demands of the task serving the community by following up on requests for the long haul.  It is character and inclination for “doing politics” that count most: Programs can be altered and improved but how can you change individual character and behaviors?

For example, if you know a candidate who is constantly pessimistic and skeptical about making a dent in any kind of reforms; that all is already lost for any change, would you vote for such a candidate? 

If this candidate is never sober anytime of the day, would you vote for this candidate?  And yet, as election comes, hop, he is a candidate and on top of the list.  He always fails and his list of candidates too!

Problems with our politicians stem from three factors; first, most of the politicians inherit their jobs, one way or another; they realize soon that they are not up to the requirements and don’t want the hassle; and thus, they delegate their responsibilities to people who were not elected in the first place. 

Second, politicians don’t work for the long term success because they don’t find the time to read, reflect, and grow their inner power.  

Third, they are not people-oriented.  Among the very few politicians who satisfy the two criteria of proven records of capable providers and verbal intelligence, only those who realize the need to strengthen their inner power through reading and reflection and actually taking short “sabbaticals”, away from the media have the potentials to become leaders of people.

In “Hiroshima my love”, Marguerite Dora says: “Human political intelligence is a hundred folds lower than scientific intelligence.”   On the face of it, many would be nodding their heads in consent.  We have got to analyze political intelligence from a different perspective to appreciate that the previous statement is not correct. 

When we deal with human behaviors that are first, in the hundreds of varieties and ever changing with time and conditions and second, the inability of human cognitive powers to assimilate the different interactions of even four factors, or variables at the same time and third, juggling these interactions in real time and under pressure, we can grasp the far complex intelligence requirements of doing and thinking politics. 

Maybe Marguerite Dora meant that the social state of affairs of mankind is not improving due to lack of intelligent political actions and appropriate decision making in institutions.  I say, encourage political institutions to get people engaged and freely expressing their opinions on reforms and you may judge on the superior mankind political intelligence.

Democracy, without prior selection of politicians based on cognitive and emotional testing for mental capabilities, is tantamount to more of the same repeated errors and mistakes for the public good.  Political intelligence would then be vastly appreciated to its own merit when candidates satisfy cognitive and emotional criteria before submitting their applications to public political posts.

The vote of the people would make much more sense when people are initiated and exposed to the complexities of serving the people and extending a higher value for the term “doing politics”. 

The necessary condition, though not sufficient, for a politician is to have demonstrated  that he loves to communicate with people, and to field requests around the day as the main job of public server:  He learns to be pragmatic because he is listening to the demands of the people. 




January 2023

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