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Monday, March 21, 2016

Hammer of Science

Hammer Of God by George Grie
Some people are running a research project to collect a bunch of data on a bunch of people. In an article on CO.EXIST I found this line:
"The hope is with so much continuous data, researchers can for the first time start to disentangle the complex, seemingly unanswerable questions that have plagued our society, from what is causing the obesity epidemic to how to disrupt the poverty to prison cycle."
These questions are unanswerable simply because the majority of people in power have a mental block against recognizing the source of these problems. If you can't recognize what is causing the problem, of course you can't solve it. It's like that old saw about workplace problems: "Any problem that shouldn't be a problem can't be fixed." The meaning is that you have some people who are so wedded to the way things are that effecting enough change to make a difference is going to be virtually impossible.

Now it might be that this research will provide proponents of change with 'scientific' ammunition that they can use to demolish their opponent's arguments, which might open the way to real change in the way people live.

Note that this research is not going to provide any new insights. That knowledge already exists, but only a minority of the population has it. Disseminating it to a larger population is the problem. If this problem looks like a nail, well then, perhaps the hammer of science can be used to pound it down.

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