I have several fits-and-starts in my stack of stuff, all centering around scientific debates not just about how human history is written, but how human achievement is defined, going back long before history could be written.
Just pausing to think about these things for a few minutes, like two people sitting on a stoop, chatting, can be a constant source of education or entertainment, you’re choice, and you don’t have to read a book or attend a seminar to know anything about how to participate in it. In fact, it’s probably the most universal activity of all mankind. It’s called “thought” and despite what the Ivy elites like to think about themselves, it’s distributed rather uniformly across the human landscape, and, as you all already know, used for an endless range of purposes.
Even today Science, which is the central theme of this series of teachings, can only make a guess as to how much time Man gives to thought, and of what kind, or to what benefit; to self, the group, (family, clan, tribe, enterprise, or even the higher callings, the arts, literature, gods–or God or lower callings, e.g., the Dallas Cowboys, the Lakers, or lower, lower callings such as admiring the magnificence of Beyonce’s arse.
Yet, world history is a result of the entirety of that that thinking.
In all these things, for those who have chosen one of the many sciences as professions, the best their Science can do is quantify only the tiniest impact these human choices have on the human condition as judged by Nature, which rules individuals’ and peoples’ conduct by the simplest mechanism; survival…both good and bad, and sometimes neutral, as in what finger is best to use in picking one’s nose.
The pursuit of survival is what created “common sense” in the first place, and it is assumed to be exclusively a property of thinking by the human species. Therefore common sense has largely been considered to be survival-enhancing, only at a lower order of thinking. Or so thinks Modern Science. ‘Twarn’t always that way. Still common sense predates Science and even political ranking of humans by thousands of years. Common sense is humanity’s Model T Ford; with only a few moveable parts, but could always get you from here to there (if you weren’t in a hurry) and was easy to maintain at home without a 300-page manual. If the world were to suffer a serious technology setback, a new, common sense-based version of the Model T would appear in very short order, whipped up by parts found in barn, more likely in the Midwest (which is another story altogether) but based on the same “bottom-up” survivalism that had carried Mankind forward in the past. Once again it would take millennia for a new ranking system based on power to rise so that “Mankind” could once again going about building tombs and other temples to themselves
It’s therefore interesting as well as instructive that once you understand that Man is just barely able to get things right, regardless of education, in the area of just over 50%. Outside of the Periodic Table of Elements and the finite laws of Mathematics, virtually every “law” has imbedded in it an anomaly that says “this may not be true all the time.”
And Science’s treatment of Covid is the perfect example.
Although this is not where I ultimately want to take this line of thinking, I’ll begin with Covid, since, because of Covid, what is and what is not “scientific” is very much in the news nowadays—both at the delivery-end of Science, identifying a disease and developing counter-measures to combat it, and at the other end, the growing hordes of the higher-educated, more alluent population of America’s growing inability to tell a horse from a mule, apparently due to a simple loss of common sense.
Long before Covid what we always knew about plagues and epidemics is that plagues don’t wait for Man to have some sense of knowing just what it is that is happening when one occurs.
Best example— The Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, which took nearly half of the European population between 1346 and 1353, when there were not the sorts of governments that knew how to summon an effective safety and prevention response. In fact, it appeared it was every man and woman, or at least every village or castle, for themselves. People of every rank were on their own, and every folk superstition and common sense precaution was invoked to ward it off to keep this “invisible” disease outside their front doors. In some places Jews were even blamed and were promptly burned out on the ancient belief that fire could purify just about anything.
Who knew it was a bacteria (Yersinia pestis) that came from fleas that inhabited rodents from ships docked in Italy, having returned from (you guessed it) China? In a generally unsanitary human environment there were precious few places these fleas couldn’t find, …but while a 50% death toll is a catastrophe of the first order, studies made in the early-2000s and reported at Forbes Magazine in 2014, showed that the surviving populations were defined by the survival-of-the-fittest natural laws that had always been in charge, even among Man, even when the threat exceeded his ability to understand and react. So what the study found was that Black Plague survivors were stronger and healthier, and even a little bit wiser…still centuries before they’d learned the learning the virtues of just taking a good bath.
Note: I avoid using the term “pandemic” here, as it’s merely a synonym of “epidemic”, which Americans had always used previously in our history, only it seems places like Wikipedia, within weeks, had allowed the altering of almost all of history’s “epidemics” over to “pandemic” by its volunteer army of editors, most of whom are politically tainted, so to provide the necessary stream of consciousness of readers, suggesting that either the Government or big Pharma, or both, want to impress on Americans that Covid is something very big and very unique, and should be raced to the front of our consciousness about how special this virulence really is.
So, the insertion of this newer term has a kind of Madison Avenue smell to it, as when Kraft Foods announces a “new and better” cheese spread, and then launches a new ad campaign. People my age have seen similar campaigns by dozens of food groups that began with radio in the 30s, often indicating that R&D budgeted money had been transferred to Marketing and Advertising. I quit watching Hollywood films for the same reason I stopped eating “new and improved” food brands. The appearance of a new script, save to capture the attention of 19-years olds, I stopped looking for in 1990. A Doo-Wop 50s rocker, you can imagine how quickly I quit Rock after Buddy Holly’s plane went down and “Bubble Gum” music appeared on the charts.
On Covid, the statistical evidence is countraindicative, and has been this way since Marxist scientific materialism and later, Fabian Socialism in England (which I’ll deal with in due course) as a kinder and gentler approach to achieving political power through Science, simply made their statistics up as they went along. (F A Hayek edited a volume of essays from that period, Capitalism and the Historians, which featured the methodology by which Marxists and socialists made their cases by blatantly lying about facts, only in forums where they could never be publicly contradicted, their intended audiences safely sheltered from the fact. In other words, their “beat went on” despite the facts. Thus was born the structure of the modern media paradigm.
The late 19th Century is an important era to learn how all these mind-boggling lies can be so easily cemented into the human information.
Since we don’t know with certainty whether this Covid disease arose “in nature” or in a laboratory in China, unlike the bacteria that inhabited the Black Plague flea, the range of its virulence is still a mystery to us, in part because easily half of the American people, closer to 2/3rds, have lost all faith in the Government to tell the truth.
This is again how Natural Law responds to survival-endangering behavior among species. And Natural Law is always outcome-determinative.
While we don’t know what the true purposes of the Government or drug producers are, (profit, power, or both) we do know we are being lied to. Not “mistakened to”, mind you, not oops’ed to, but lied to. The one wrinkle in this equation is the Bureaucracy Rule, which are indispensable elements of big governments, but non-existent during the Black Plague, except in the Church. Bureaucracies have invented their own special type of lie over the past two centuries, whose purpose is either the bureaucracies perpetuation or to cover up a lie or mistake they have committed. In this case, world, national and state health organization have different imperatives to that of their employers. (If you want to fully understand the nature of bureaucracy, what I call HomoBureaucraticus, it is no different in nature than that flea on the toe of a rat which infests the hold of a seagoing vessel. It doesn’t mean to destroy, it just does, but once identified, it will kill everything, including its own host (and itself), to keep from being found out.)
The former Soviet Union is the best recent example, a Living Dead corpse still wandering about, not yet knowing it is lost, thus, not yet seeking to be found.)
Part II, Science and the Historians, coming up.