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... at least we settled one thing: we've still no idea what a photon really is :)

Besides all this, another question come to mind:
how come a whole range of progressive can be so idealistic in social, or political matters, and so down-to-earth materialistic in science matters.
You all jumped at my throat when I was singing praises to God Reason and pragmatic ThirdWayers, yet now those same people do exactly the same about science: all of a sudden, pragmatic, hard-fact, purely-rational approach is no longer damned.
I proclaim my idealism about science, and all I hear is Vade Retro!

What is a progressive in the end, is it an idealist, or not? Or the idealism is limited to the working class? The philosophical dreamer continuously building new, better worlds, is in reality reduced to hard fact science and restricting philosophy to production-means ownership issues.

The conclusion would be that poemless was right: progressive is no progressive really; it's just another word for marxist.

Why not call a cat what it is then.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 10:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how come a whole range of progressive can be so idealistic in social, or political matters, and so down-to-earth materialistic in science matters.

Who's idealistic around here?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 10:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
we've still no idea what a photon really is :)
It depends on what you mean by "really".

Can you calculate a phonon dispersion relation, by the way?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 11:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how come a whole range of progressive can be so idealistic in social, or political matters, and so down-to-earth materialistic in science matters.

Because science deals in facts, predictive power and universally applicable theories. Politics, by its nature, does not have the luxury of universally applicable theories and easily controlled experiments. That is not to say that science cannot inform politics - it obviously can, just as science and politics can inform religious dogma (the other way around, though... not so much).

But attempting to turn politics into a physical science with universally applicable theories and three-significant-figures predictive power has historically not turned out so well. Just as attempts to turn science into a political or religious enterprise has never really been terribly productive.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I, personally, feel extra-ordinarily bored by your comments.
by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 07:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's your prerogative. Me, I feel extraordinarily exasperated with all the attempts to claim the mantle of science to justify personal superstitions.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 08:04:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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