Response to article on runamok science and technology

Reference article "Human race being terminated by 'scientific suicide' "

Well, sometimes I consider some of my blog posts here as "ranting," but the referenced article outdoes my rants by several orders of magnitude. Yet it has much food worthy of thought, if one can look past the ranting.

Skipping the many detailed points the article brings up, the part that I came away with is the assertion that "science and technology" is insufficiently balanced by application of wisdom and wider understanding, and that with most "science" being led down channels that maximize profit for businesses (of necessity, because they pay for the science being done) instead of for maximizing benefit to the ultimate wide customer base. And that "ultimate wide customer base" is largely unaware of what is being done, in order to make profit for businesses, by offering products that in narrow focus provide benefit to a limited part of the wider customer base. The author points out ten potentially runamok technologies that could spell disaster for civilization.

(He did not bring up the assertion of the Malthusian-math-based groups that say the only problem is that there are far too many people on the planet, and so the solution is to ....)

Well, I resist the urge to bring up lots of quotes from the article, yet this post won't make much sense unless the reader actually reads the hard-hitting article by Mike Adams; it speaks for itself. What I need to write about is the effect on me.

I have written posts several times that attempted to explore what happened to me in my freshman year in college, which made major changes to the course of my career and life. Many of those disruptive changes continue with me today, like 24/7 loud tinnitus in both ears, and difficulty in remembering what I had read. From being what Adams would have called a "super-geek" but of the mid-1950's, entering college as a physic major with a tentative goal of becoming either a nuclear scientist or a thin-film researcher, yet also to learn all the sciences as a side activity. This would have been possible back then (not now) and I was well on my way as of entering college - for example, I had been looking forward to college chemistry due to my enjoyment of chemistry, but college entrance testing had found that I already knew more chemistry than one who had taken their college chemistry course. I had been reading intensively in high school, averaging a book a day in addition to my studies, mostly in the sciences and of course the science fiction which doubtless kept it all exciting for me. 750 wpm reader with comprehension, I was going to learn all of physics of the time, then on to chemistry which was based on physics, then biology that was based on chemistry, then on psychology that was based on biology, then on to sociology that was based on psychology; progress from there would depend on what I had learned in the meantime, was the way my reasoning went. To be a scientist was my primary career goal, my ultimate ideal; surely a fine woman would be my partner and mate through all of this. Well, the problem was that I needed to already know the sociology part to be able to adequately connect to my beloved girlfriend, and Aspergers (they had not given it a name yet back then) needed intensive sociology-psychology working understanding to have a chance at not making the interpersonal goofs that cost me my girlfriend when I left for college, and the resulting deep despair along with other hardships such as financial, stopped me from taking care of myself, and I had no support structure then and wheat gluten sensitivity destroyed me from the inside and Asperger's destroyed me from the outside. I changed my major to psychology for a semester but did not finish it, and became a "college dropout" and that was a position from which I lived my career.

Nonetheless my dreams of becoming a scientist were never forgotten. I continued to read and learn about all the sciences for relaxation while I was on the rough road of the real world, ever struggling to get some kind of work so as to pay my bills. After retiring I did volunteer work in the sciences at a natural history museum in the research and collections department; and still do the data processing part of that work from far away, via my computer and the internet; this activity provides me a bit more self-esteem (and my boss at the museum sends me Care Packages on my birthday and for Christmas, another incentive.)

Now reading the subject article "Human race being terminated by 'scientific suicide' " my buttons get pushed. And pushed in lots of ways; my life has covered lots more ground since those high-functioning high school days. Having to survive as a grunt in the physical world of bottom-level workers, instead of the high-flying theoretical world of my preparation for life, provided much opportunity for change of point of view.

The subject of lack of wisdom in the application of science, dredged up one of the things that I sought in my high school years, that I had two modes of thinking. There was the mode I liked the most, that was wide-ranging, big picture processing mode; and there was an analytical, detail processing mode that schoolwork required. The problem was that when I was in the well-practiced analytical reasoning mode, I could not voluntarily get switched over to the big-picture delightful mode; and worse, when somehow I found myself in the big-picture mode, whenever I had to get into the detail processing mode to resolve some item, I found I could not get back over into the big-picture mode to continue what I had been exploring.

And now I suspect that is the problem with scientists of today that Mike Adams so harshly grouses about in the subject article. I suspect that it is this unbalanced aspect, that supplies the "lack of wisdom" major problem.

And, the scientists rarely get to follow their heart in their research, since they must make a living, and their employers tell what they are to research and try to find; and their employer is probably mostly motivated by making a big profit, to gain wealth and power for himself. This "wealth and power" of the businessman, small business or corporate, motivation has almost nothing to do with wisdom for humanity, the ecosystem and the civilization on which his life so intimately depends. As well as do all we others on the planet, hapless bringer-alongs in all this.

Anyway - along with the occasional opportunity to learn a little more of the sciences by reading during my working years, I also struggled to get clues to the two modes of my thinking. And at this point I have found many such clues, and protocols that look promising for finally bringing my two types of thinking into easy back and forth mode.

Much of this, of course, was also explored starting back in the "left-right brain thinking" that was so in vogue before blood flow imaging found "left-right cognition" was a vast oversimplification as to anatomy; yet, the dual processing phenomena remains. And men, like me, have fewer corpus-collosum connections between the two halves of our brains, than do women, thus making it harder for men to integrate the two cognitive processing modes.

So my pursuit of skill at "wisdom" has long focused on the union of left-right brain thinking. Would that automatically provide wisdom for humanity, resolving the problem of insufficient integration of small scientific applications into business-profit-directed endeavors?

I suspect not adequately, because of opportunity. Scientists have to get paid, enabled to live adequate lives, get married, raise families and so forth. Their scientist skills tend to not approach that subject; employers and their management will do that part, along maybe also with investors in the company. And, those non-scientists are picking out what among the many possible paths of science and technology, that get followed. And the drive for wealth and power that businessmen and many managers, has little interest in supporting humanity and civilization, and the ecosystem, despite their very lives depending on it.

There have been many comedian teams that have shown this difficulty, by their acted out portrayals, such as Bud Abbot and Lou Costello. We can laugh at it all, and that helps see the problems and de-stress about it a bit; and I wonder maybe we learn a bit of wisdom to practice as a result, given the freedom and opportunity to do so along with remembering the lesson at the right time.

But the "left-right brain integration" stimulation and practice, looks to me like the most fruitful way to resolve the blind scientific endeavors as driven by business profit - and egos galore all over the place - of civilization blindly ending up in the ditch, as is being proclaimed by Mike Adams in the subject article.

Thus I am trying to say that it is not my beloved "science and technology" that is the leader into the ditch of civilization's destruction, but something else is. I'd grouse that it is caused by the bullies that romp amongst us; but really, the bullies often can learn to be fine managers, since they are people-oriented. How to give wisdom to bullies? Well, right now that looks harder to do. As it is said, if one does not learn the lessons of history, one is doomed to repeat the lessons - and they can be hard lessons the next time again too. Bullies tend to get the girls, often far more of them than their share; and that ensures their contributing to the future, while the other thus-mateless men vanish into the dust and the pages of the textbook knowledge.

If the article is accurate, Mother Nature seems about to get tired of our childish romps and say, exterminate-yourselves, so she can start rebuilding something else from the ashes. We were just not good enough.

But - I'd like to think we still can do it right.

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