Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Being Without Scientists

On the fallacies of scientists and other heady experts and professionals:

"I urge all you scientists to go take your 'science' where it may work—and leave us in the real world without more problems. Please, please, enough of this 'science.' We have enough problems without you. ..."

--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, before an elite group of scientists

I'm sure this got them thinking.


zed said...

So does this mean you are dissappointed that Barack chose a
Nobel Prize winning scientist to head up the Department of Energy?

judith ellis said...

Ah, no, zed! I am most delighted with Steve Chu. In fact, I love science and have followed many scientists since childhood. However, the greatest among them are humble in their approach and open-ended in their anaylsis. I'm thinking now of Charles Darwin who was so open in his approach and others made a religion of his work. Science is a continuum.

Taleb is a self-described "skeptical empiricist." The "this 'science'" in the quote may refer to those "experts who do not know what they do not know. Lack of knowledge and delusion about the quality of your knowledge come together - the same process that makes you know less also makes you satisfied with your knowledge." (TBS, 147)