Just forget Popper!
There is nothing worth retaining as a take-home-story that hasn’t already been fully absorbed by the culture. A clean break from the guru is necessary. We may try and divorce the man from what has now commonly become the message. But if in fact we cannot do so and maintain Poppers exalted reputation as a good guy…. Well too bad.
I think he was a good guy. But too bad. He’s just being used as an excuse for all sorts of nonsense. The version of Popperism out there is like a diseased computer-virus, let loose on the culture and most particularly on the scientific culture.
Put your faith in reason and good methodology. Not in individuals.
I’ve seen the phenomenon so many times. That bad ideas get shored up because we feel the need to lavish great praise on an individual before tentatively criticising his work.
We must short-circuit any such childish Shiite and criticise the ideas direct. And not have Poppers memory buggering everyones ear.
Look it doesn’t matter what sort of a human being he was. And in the end it doesn’t matter if any of us have been mislead as to the nature of Popper by people who consider themselves to be Popperian.
None of these concerns are important in the greater scheme of things. What really matters is we’ve got to just trash a number of stupid ideas that are out there…….. whether or not the “REAL” Popper can be blamed for these bad ideas.
After the iron curtain came down and the Soviet Union imploded I remember seeing advertisements for lectures. And often there would be lectures scheduled at Universities which said: What Marx REALLY said.
There is just no use going into that. Not at least until the bad ideas that are out there are well and truly trashed.
I am seeing incredible stupidity combined with arrogance in a lot of debates. The likes of which I’ve never seen before. Its a generational thing. And it keeps on coming back to epistemology. And the dopey epistemology where you have a bipolar world view.
There is the CONSENSUS model. Then there is the benighted opposition model. But why only two? Why only two models?
Falsification is a good rule of thumb to tell you when to fold your arms and look with slit-eyes at someone. But its not the sort of major thing that people are making it out to be. You DON’T want to be falsifying things all over the place as a knee-jerk bully-boy-advocate-of-the-status-quo response.
What you want instead is the development of a number of small models running in parallel for any field where persistent controversies and mysteries still abound.
You want to be developing and ranking and re-ranking these competing and complementary models as the new data comes in. You don’t want falsification… you want RANKING…. And you don’t want falsification in the final analysis either…
… Instead what you are after is CONVERGENT VERIFICATION.
THE QUALITY OF MODELS IS DESIGNED-IN AND NOT FALSIFIED-OUT
Insofar as any model can almost always be improved-upon, explained better, simplified, or made to predict with greater accuracy… Insofar as all this is true the number of small models potentially out there is infinite.
From what I have seen the Popper virus would have it that the first slant, or way of looking at things that can be represented as the consensus is to be shored up….
…. Thereafter, because life is short and hypotheses are many the Popperian goes about trashing all other ideas. And though he recognises that what he is furiously backing…. Backing like a dumb-sheep-with fangs….. Though he realises that this model may one day fall from Grace…. Still for now he will treat this model like it was the revealed truth.
The Popperian acts as though he expects the replacement model to just arrive from the Brow Of A Titan… already developed, proven, and attractively presented. Already full-blown as a mature adult school-of-thought.
It reminds me of the thinking that once pervaded management. The thinking that statistical methods could lead to quality. But quality is designed-in and not some ethereal thing that comes about as a result of aberrations being inspected out.
The stupidity of this Popperism or Faux-Popperism (I don’t CARE which!!!!! We just need to get rid of it) is paralysing science. And Popperism even spilled over into issues of war and peace after 9/11.
You see since the left is so tribal they are taking the wrong ideas that back up Popperism and they are using these wrong ideas to rig things in a circular fashion.
So the trick is for a whole lot of bully-boys to agree on something they cannot possibly know AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
Its a furious race to establish THE CONSENSUS.
So these assholes move incredibly quickly and establish an impromptu left-consensus….. Step 2 is that they decide that the leftist consensus they have established on-the-fly is actually THE CONSENSUS.
Step 3 is to go about furiously “falsifying” any divergent opinion.
Popperism-gone wrong has exploded out of no-where to become a full-blown crisis. It totally took me by surprise. I guess it was brewing in the background for a very long time.
Sort of like Jihadism.
Popper is dead.
We don’t need any Popper today.
Its come to my attention that a lot of the Einsteinian Paradigm has a certain use-by date to it.
Its not likely that if better models overturn Einsteins work that I’m not going to think of him as the greatest scientist or at least in the top 5 of the greatest scientists of the 20th century……
And everybody loves Alfred.
But in the end it doesn’t matter. Yes we try to be respectful to the dead, because this reaffirms the value of life and therefore the value of all things that have value.
But if there is some interim blowback, and some of the youngsters start being abusive, in their youth and ignorance, of Popper or Einstein, merely because their work has to be overturned……
…. Well in the end I’m sorry.
I’m sorry but things have gotten that bad that we simply cannot get attached to our various gurus.