Scientific Conservatives Have Axioms

I’m a Sci-Con, a scientific conservative.  It’s not a party, it’s a political philosophy.  As far as I can tell, it’s new.  Please, join me!

Respect history and our traditions, DON'T respect politicians or lobbyists. Validate EVERYTHING.

Remember Geometry?

Yes, way back when.  Yes, school.  Yes, hard.

 

That’s part of being a SciCon.  Doing things the hard way, the right way.  Not listening to the lawyers but deriving things using the best learning system ever invented in the last 2,500 years: Logic and Science.

Geometry has axioms.  These are things that are so true that we can trust them a lot.  A LOT.

You use axioms to prove larger statements.  And from there you can prove many other things.

One of the axioms of being a SciCon has to be along the lines of what police call a dying confession.  If someone is about to die, and they know it, and they tell you something, like so-and-so murdered me, it’s a good bet they are telling the whole truth.  After all, what’s in it for them?

So one of the root axioms of being a SciCon should be similar.

If a woman admits to having been assaulted, and there’s very little gain coming to her for speaking up about something painful, then there’s a very good chance she’s telling the truth.

Seems a bit obvious to some of you, but let’s face it, in this age of #MeToo, there seem to be a lot of “religious” and “conservative” and “family value” types who don’t want to believe all the young women out there who have been personally inspected by the predator-in-chief.

As a SciCon you must believe them.  They aren’t getting rich.  They probably don’t even want the fame.  Therefore, there is a cost to them to speaking up.  Therefore it’s probably true.

To all of you speaking up, please keep it up.  To all of you who are staying silent because you are afraid, you have friends (like me) willing to help in any way.  To those of you staying silent because you’ve been paid off, shame.

And to all those thinking of becoming a SciCon, prepare to believe.  The truth will set us all free.

 

Party like a Scientific Conservative

I’m a Sci-Con, a scientific conservative.  It’s not a party, it’s a political philosophy.  As far as I can tell, it’s new.  But it doesn’t tell you how to throw a party.

Political parties were invented shortly after the US of A.  Tom Jefferson gets credit for being the most political, and used every trick in the book to secure fame and fortune, including inventing the first political parties.

One of the basic beliefs of being a Sci-Con is that political parties are bad, in and of themselves.  It doesn’t matter if they are blue, red, green or black.  Any party that exists for the sake of the party works against democracy, works against the good of the public.

Yet there is some good in having a party.  For one thing, a party can present a “platform,” fighting for specific laws or directions that the government should take.  The party also helps integrate many people for the sake of improving the chances of making change.

So how does a political philosophy incorporate the practical necessities of having a party, without accumulating all the negative baggage?

We allow for the creation of a Sci-Con party that is position specific.  If a Sci-Con party must be created, we give it a name, such as Sci-Con Gun Control.  And let the debates begin.  From those debates and specific position is developed, and all the resources of that party focus on that alone.

Along with that, we add a clock.  Say, ten years.  Whether or not the Sci-Con party hasn’t made any headway into the issue by then, it simply disbands.  The goal is that some kind of improvement to society is made within that time frame.

The fundamental point is that the goal is specific, the work focused.  No extra money spent on lobbyists or fancy conventions.  Focus on one problem.  Define it, get everyone’s input, and work to make it better.

Is this going to be slow?  Of course, that’s what makes us conservative.  Is this going to be hard?  Yes, but we’re not afraid of hard work, especially if it costs us less money and pain in the long run.

So, that’s how a Sci-Con throws a party.  Not exactly beer and nachos, champagne and petit-fours, but still a party.

It may even be fun.

 

Scientific Conservative

Wow, that’s a mouthful.

It’s supposed to summarize my political philosophy.

First off, I’m scientific.  This means we use the process of meticulous definition, measurement, and questioning all assumptions.  This means being open about methods, experiments and conclusions.

What do you get for being scientific?  You get the absolute best way to learn.  Yup.  You heard me right.  As far as learning is concerned, science gets the gold medal.  Every time.

Secondly, I’m conservative when it comes to changing something as complex as our society.  I don’t trust any of the politicians, I trust the lobbyists even less, and I barely trust individual citizens to think.  Perhaps you can see where I’m going with this.  Trust no one!  No trust!

What do I believe in?  Hard and fast data.  Facts.  A fact is something all of us agree upon.  That’s it.  If we don’t agree, then let’s figure out why using civilized dialog.

If Alice doesn’t agree with Bob about something, and it’s because she’s keeping her eyes closed, that’s her right.  But then Bob’s right to ignore Alice.

If Alice has her eyes open and has a great argument as to why she doesn’t agree, then that’s fine as well.  In this case, Bob and Alice and we will gather data together, or do an experiment that everyone agrees with ahead of time.

Will this process take much longer than what goes on today?  You bet!  And that’s what makes me a conservative!

It doesn’t mean I want to double the military or keep a hundred guns in my house or tell pregnant women what to do with their body up to the point where they give birth.  No.

Being a conservative means I take things as slowly as I can.  Being scientific means I make progress in a very specific manner.

So the next time your friends try to tag you for one party or another, and you want to throw them for a loop, let them know you’re of no party.  And that your political philosophy is scientific conservatism.  That will stop them in their tracks.  It’s been working for me for some time.

Maybe there is a way to create SciCon parties.  I’ll work on that one.

 

Believe me. Don’t believe me.

It dawned on me the other day that I’ve been cursed.  I’ve carried this curse since childhood, but it wasn’t until only recently that I recognized it as such.

It’s not a bad curse, like having things break when I touch them.  It has more to do with people telling me things.  I have a problem believing them.  Not the people, the things they tell me.  See?  There’s part of the curse.

I don’t combine the person with the thing they tell me.  To me, they are two very different things.  A person I love can tell me “We ate asparagus last night,” and I know that she believes that what she is telling me is the absolute truth.  The thing she said, we had asparagus for dinner, might be true, but then again, maybe not.  I check my memory to review.

Good news!  My memory and her statement match.  Yes, I believe her statement, but only AFTER I checked my memory.  But what if it doesn’t match?  More good news for my relationship, she’s always been right.  Well, almost.  But when she’s wrong it doesn’t matter.

The point here is that accepting any statement and immediately putting it into a box marked “true” is something that many in our society seem to have lost.  Perhaps we never had it.  This is most evident when watching any of our partisan political parrying. [1]

Is it just me or do Republicans in general seem to accept the statements made by their favorite entertainers lock, stock, and barrel?  I hear some of these statements repeated by friends or relatives of mine, and I think, “How can they actually believe this is true?”  Here’s two that come immediately to mind: “The arabic culture has never contributed anything of value to society,” [2] and “All teachers are being indoctrinated by a socialist out of New York City.” [3]

Their talking heads, whether it’s Fox or Rush Limbaugh, espouse incredible nonsense on a continuous basis.  Supposed experts back them up, but such false authority isn’t even needed.  There is something about the continuous vitriol and wild conspiracy theories that keeps these “conservative” minds drinking from the same unhealthy cup time after time.

The curse continues.  All I can do is shake my head, and worry about the future of my friends, and the future of our world.  Is the answer to let their leaders continue to manipulate them for their own greedy ends?  Or to somehow spread the curse, my curse, that some call skepticism.

I don’t know the answer – but perhaps you can help.  Any ideas?

 

[1] Full disclaimer: I started out as a Republican.  I converted to Democratic.  Then I became liberated.  Today I’m a fully committed Scientific Conservative.  But that’s another column.

[2] I took this one personally, as my culture also originated from the fertile crescent.  In fact, all of our cultures did.  I carefully pointed out that the terrible arabic culture has contributed many major advances to civilization, such as the arch, arabic numerals, and algebra.  And that was only for “A.”  They responded, “What have they done lately?”  I rolled my eyes.

[3]  The idea that any large group of people could be so indoctrinated so that they all believe the same thing is so absolutely ludicrous that I didn’t know what to say.  Even today, if we were to ask everyone in the world whether the Earth was round, we could find those who say “No.”  Even more incredible is thinking that such (generally) wonderful people as teachers could be taught to all think in the same way and accept a common doctrine.  I’m still not sure how to react to this one.  Ideas?