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nick keighley's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by nick keighley

Comment 9 by Premiseless :

Comment 8 by Cartomancer :

Great comment.Hearing Brian Cox on about politics and how his skills are unlikely to go respected

not to denigrate Brian Cox (I'm currently struggling with his book on Quantum Mechanics) but a lot of political decisions ultimatly aren't evidence based. Yes evidence should into the making of the decision but often the answer is far more "squishy" than physicists are used to. In a sense physics is so successful because it limited its domain of application to something easy. It takes hard work,cunning science and clever engineering to measure the speed of light to 10 decimal places- but its a constant.

Should health care be free? To what extent should the government regulate or interfere in markets? How long should we imprison people? Should we execute some murderers? These and other questions are not answered only on evidence.

and come out well represented there, got me thinking about what social evolution does to ourselves. Why is it that those with most power don't think , as Brian Cox says, in terms of evidence and logic per se?

because it isn't as useful as you might first think

What is it about humans that deliver greatest power to people and groups of people who are either deceptive themselves or else governed by deceptive agency and so have not the influence to overthrow this?

I'm not sure this a good way to characterise politicians.

Hard problems for sure, to add to that of theism, though it seems to me there are memes closely related in such circles.

there are plenty of non-religious politicians (leaving aside the fact that the whole meme thing is nonsense).

Power seems to flow via deception, or is largely preoccupied in reaction to it as to render it synonymous with it, bar what seems the rare few who can manage this.The old "power corrupts" assertion seems almost insurmountable. Why is that exactly? Does the most devious playground bully most often secure the best reality?

the playgound bullies from my school mostly never got anywhere.

I'll note that the Soviet Polit Bureau was almost entirely filled by people with degrees in engineering...

[for the record: my degree is in a "numerate" subject]

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 12:26:23 UTC | #949175