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25 July 2014


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I think this is the direct consequence of the perversion of science. Science, to paraphrase Hyman Rickover, is predicated on judgment based on logical reasoning and verified facts. Yet, this dimension of science is rarely appreciated these days--especially those in positions of power and influence. Even "social sciences," if properly practiced, should be predicated on these two principles, but how often do we see people invoke "social science" to justify nonsense about human progress and human rights? These make no more sense that a notion that things should fall downward...and that they should be made to fall downward if they do not. Completely anti-scientific nonsense, based solely on unjustified faith of the self-righteous, masquerading as science.

G. I. Hazeltine

A perhaps not off topic story. I worked for many years in my youth as an Outward Bound instructor, and in related forms of serious outdoor education. A good part of that time was spent off trail in the North Cascades in Washington. In those days we still built fires, and depended on them.

I, as nearly all my cohort, had come up in the Boy Scouts, and had a well thumbed and cherished copy of the Boy Scout Manual on a shelf at home.

We had always built our fires in the prescribed way - log cabin or teepee (a tiny structure of fine twigs, in one shape or the other, as kindling), and had taught large numbers of people to do the same.

Now in the North Cascades it rains a lot, and at higher elevations there is wind. Wind and rain tax fire building skills. Just as one has gotten a corner of the log cabin to light, the wind shifts, or gusts, or both, or a large drop of water lands on your work, or all three. So you hunch closer to the ground, and try again. It does work, eventually.

But one day I happened to come across a fellow lighting his fire in a radically different way. He picked a fat bouquet of 9 inch or so, fine, barkless twigs, from standing trees. Having already arranged the progressively larger fuel, he inverted the bouquet, hunched over it (still standing), and inserted a doubled match from below. As one twig caught fire he turned that side of the bouquet to the bottom, and if necessary his back to the wind, and in some small fraction of a minute had a torch, which he placed against a short piece of a 2" or so branch, and quickly laid his carefully selected and progressively larger pieces on the blaze.

My God, I thought - and I've been down on my knees all this time - half of it in the rain - doing it the wrong way!

I must have showed this to dozens of experienced Outward Bound and similar types and there have been two distinct reactions, about equally divided. Remembering that the facts of the demonstration could not be argued with. And that sometimes building a fire is serious business. The Boy Scout Manual was wrong.

1) Holy .... ! And I've been down on my knees all this time doing it wrong!

2) Extreme discomfort.

At first I couldn't figure it out, but came to believe that there is a direct line to Bible literalists, and Morning Joe watchers.

If the Boy Scout Manual is wrong about fire building, what else is it wrong about? And if the Boy Scout Manual is wrong about what is probably its core teaching, then what of the rest of the core teachings?

Something like that.

Analyzing for themselves the parts of the whole, individually, is out of the question.

The ground would move under their feet.

Bill H

I think this is much what Mr. Sale says, but what I observe of administration process is to state that, for instance, Russia was at fault for the shootdown of the Malaysian airliner. There in initially some pushback, asking for details and evidence, but they provide none, merely repeating the initial statement. When asked about counter claims made by other parties or countries, the administration does not address those claims but merely repeats the original accusation. They will sometimes say that there is evidence but will never provide it. They never try to disprove other claims, merely repeatedly making their own accusation. Eventually the accusation is accepted as the truth.

Witness a line on CBS News where the anchor said as part of the background that "Russia invaded and annexed Crimea."

Babak Makkinejad

Richard Sale:

2300 years after the demise of the (Universal) Persian Empire and 2200 years after the end of the Warring States period and the establishment of the Middle Kingdom, we are living again the same experience; it never changes - actors and the scenery change - the theme of Great Power Rivalry endures.

There is evidently no cure for it; men acts like mannequins in a great play, signifying nothing.


"The administration doesn’t act as if it’s judgments are merely hypotheses. No, instead, they desire to think in decrees."

More lamentable is how our Press take dictation without reason and dutifully inform us of these proclamations sans facts.

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