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View Diary: "increasingly gloomy about the future of human civilization". Hell, yes! (247 comments)

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  •  It would be helpful, I suppose, (22+ / 0-)

    for public figures in the scientific community to continually remind people that what they are seeing from the IPCC or from this or that scientific study are almost invariably the most conservative, bet-hedging estimates of the situation on the ground, that they need to be framed as such for the purposes of peer review, that the reality is almost certainly far graver, in most instances, by several orders of magnitude.

    But it's difficult to make that case. Academic cultures are almost always foreign to ordinary peoples' experience. In the humanities, we have our own Sisyphian struggles with public opinion: trying to convince the public, for example, that ambiguity, complexity, and subtlety remain relevant cultural values in an era of ruthless pragmatism and draconian free market fundamentalism.

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:18:02 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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