Communicator (communicator) wrote,

War on Science

The Republican War on Science has a silly partisan title, and I haven't read it. Nevertheless this Crooked Timber bloggy-seminar on the book is a good read. Like previous Crooked Timber seminars on China Mieville and Jonathan Strange, the contributors all line up to give a critical reading of the text, rounded off by a little essay by the author. What could be better?

Why is the right wing in America so critical of 'science'? Is this a typical right-wing thing? Is it a peculiarly American thing? What are the psychological or economic drivers behind this? Didn't the left used to be anti-science? Why has it realigned?

I'm interested in these questions.

My favourite piece (by dsquared) is about psychology.

for people who are status-insecure, the fact that the real world is a complicated, ambiguous and uncertain place creates intolerable stress, and the defensive reaction to this stress is a retreat to somewhere safer and more predictable; a world in which the unpleasant facts of the matter are simply denied

For example

Adorno carried out an analysis of the astrology columns in the Los Angeles Times, demonstrating how their underlying theme was always the same; they encouraged the readers to believe that there was an underlying order to the world, that following simple rules was always the right thing to do, and that behaving in the “right” fashion would always have the right results.

Crap art does the same thing.
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