combustion engine an example of ‘bad science’?
*”These advances in scientific knowledge, it will be
noted, are largely an inheritance of the mathematization
of science that accelerated after Galileo and Newton,
and is now the sin qua non, if
**You can argue all you like about the double-edged sword of good science and technology vs. evil science and technology, but the net effect so far is a rush toward planetary dissolution. As Vandana Shiva has pointed out, Unintended Consequences are but a conscious/visualizable manifestation of the ‘explanatory gap’ between the mathematized/quantified version of Nature and Nature itself.
***Thus it stands that mathematization/quantification is an indispensable condition for science and technology and therefore an indispensable condition bringing about the dissolution of the planet.
****Hence, a moral and ethical caveat pertaining to the tools of mathematized/quantitfied sciences appears obvious, ‘ad oculos’, or as James Joyce named it ‘the ineluctable modality of the visible’. The fact that few if any alternative epistemologies have been proposed much less allowed to survive is just tough shit. It is a product of the short sightedness of a mathematical/science based imperialism and a narcissistic epistemology that prompted by ‘mathematical universals’ remains brutally disqualified to express any empathy for the ‘other’.
*****Locked into the syllogism above, planetary dissolution is simply carrying forward the condition created by the gap between western scientific epistemology or ‘the way we can know’ the world and Nature itself, a gap that western science and technology claimed to be closing even as they opened it and left it festering like a wound.
******”JBS Haldane, speaking of certain aspects of
20th century physics, famously remarked that 'The
universe may not only be queerer than we think, but
queerer than we can think'.” Though, like planetary
dissolution this is an epistemological certainty, the
above comment is a somewhat unrelated matter to the
above syllogism, so here not central to the discussion.
However, the inevitable conclusion of a ‘quantized’
reality is the implication that all things are
1.1 It should be noted that it’s no small irony that the same epistemology that pointed up the ignorance and confusion of Biblical chronology should also be the one to bring it to a finite, wholly secular end by that same consciousness.
1.2 The control that must be exhibited in the ‘discovery’ of forces that go beyond control (and comprehension) bring those forces into play via their misinterpretation of them.
1.3 It’s the imposition of a substitute quantified, mathematized quasi-nature for its naturally evolved archetype which is harmful, not the act of quantification etc. itself. However, the imposition has long ago become the quantized case.
1.4 Nature must be quantized in order to be understood incrementally. Thus, science has little to do with Nature itself and everything to do with the act of substitution utilizing a series of techniques for implementing quantized substitutes. This also reflects the sciences ‘cumulative’ nature as put forth by Noam Chomsky et al.
1.5 But how would Chomsky answer David Bohm when we “begin with traditional Cartesian notions of order and then try to impose the dynamics of quantum theory on this order by using the algorithm of 'quantisation[?]"
1.6 Passionate conviction in mathematical analytics does not ring false here. Or reason has its passions that the heart cannot know assuming as Ludwig Wittgenstein did in the Tractatus that mathematics is the most reliable form of reason if not the only one.
1.7 “The belief that the underlying order of the
Universe can be expressed in mathematical form lies at
the heart of science and is rarely questioned.” But
mathematics is only an expression of that Universe not
its substance or source as Hegel points out. Mathematics
is considered substantive and substantial within western
epistemology to the point where it long ago began
serving as a substitute for objects of the actual world
from which it is said to seek expression.
1.8 Despite its shadow success as it relates to what the dominant epistemology regards as the ‘actual’, mathematics remains existentially suspect. Given, for the present, the essentially sensate nature of our existence, this should come as no surprise.
1.9 But mathematics as an ontological threat, though this threat was contextualized by earlier thinkers such as Giordano Bruno, William Blake, William Wordsworth et al, has more recently come into intense focus with the existentially visceral acknowledgement of global climate change.
In the literature, global climate change is
existential. But through formal systems of
quantification solutions to Global
Climate Change are invariably manifest through the
mathematical sciences. These
mathematical sciences comprise the very set of
disciplines which created the
weather anomalies we now know as global climate
2.1 Most cultures and religions contain an apocalyptic literature. But not one foresaw the precise matter by which the world would end because the dynamics of the dissolution of the world was in direct or oblique contra-distinction to the manner in which they understood the world and its apocalyptic potential.
2.2 This is no small matter since it seems incumbent upon culture and religion, especially religion, which has made so much racket about the world’s end, to get the end time’s agent at least partially right. Instead, the majority religions, especially of the West, for the most part abet the scientific/technological dissolution of the planet even while denying some of science’s most obvious truths, thereby appearing merely buffoonish.
2.3 Religion in the West has embraced this role as cultural buffoon even as its very existence has become inextricably tied to western/global quantized science and technology. Hypocrisy, irony, parody --- all are rampant in this milieu and western religion is the rightful victim to the most obvious taunts and criticisms.
2.4 It is therefore unlikely that western religion would discover the source of their so-called Armageddon, the agent behind the Apocalypse, though sclerotic institutions like the Catholic Church were face to face with advocates of a deeply formalized science by way of its numerous pogroms and inquisitions.
2.5 The churches reacted badly to the results of scientific discovery while remaining woefully ignorant about how those results were achieved. Sciences dependent on observation are attacked such as evolution whereas the Higgs Boson and its overwhelmingly mathematical foundation poses as the ‘God Particle’ with nary a whimper from the religious community. Why?
3.1 The buffoon element is already present in the term ‘God Particle.’ For science, because the Higgs Boson will give way to a different set of suppositions as its mathematics becomes more and more untenable. This is the cumulative effect of science neither named or noted in its reliance on the syntax of Being e.g. the Higgs Boson IS when in reality high energy collisions indicate that under highly controlled conditions a ‘particle’ can be observed that has some of the already limited properties required to be considered a Higgs Boson. As the famous mathematical chauvinist, John Von Neumann expressed it, “Full knowledge of the object is not requisite, but only those quantities we believe to exist.” Or as Roger Penrose counters, “conflating reality with lawfulness.”
3.2 As time passes, the ‘reality’ will become far more messy as through mathematical calculation supported by recorded observation under rigidly controlled conditions, mathematicians attempt to describe how the now hundreds of sub-atomic particles ‘interact’ to create our reality and dozens of alternative realities that touch upon Haldane’s universe of events which are ‘queerer than we can think.’
3.3 Somehow, even though we cannot entirely conceptualize such phenomema, or ‘visualize’ them to use Niel s Bohr’s term for quantum events like wave/particle paradox, they are part of what we are as humans according to the cumulative and most sophisticated set of concepts resulting from 500 years of mathematical/quantized science. We are left unincorporated into our own being by our own consciousness, the source of our mathematical/quantized understanding.
3.4 When a Standard and Poors’ analyst writes apropos Wells Fargo mortgage derivatives that “Level 3 asset values use inputs that are unobservable and are often based on internal modeling “ the ‘unobservable’ inputs are literally an fubar of mathematical expressions derived from quantum theory. So it shouldn’t be surprising that physicists and mathematicians have flooded Wall Street brokerages converting/brokering physical nature into intangible assets hidden from traditional observation. Of course, we should also throw von Neumann’s Theory of Games into the mix since both quantum and quantized ‘modeling’ amply supply the denouement.
3.5 At first historical glimpse around 1500, it’s the numerical objectification of greed rather than the delinquency of numbers that appears to hold sway here. But with the rapid rise of the mathematical sciences in their role as epistemological ne plus ultra that the shift occurs.3.6 This presents a bigger buffoonery than religious millennialism because it can be supposed that if it had not had technology with which to become so ‘sinfully’ enamored, religion would play no role in planetary dissolution. As it stands now, religion’s embrace of technology (and science by extension) put an end to all that and made it a wiling dupe.
3.7 Science does not have that luxury. The apocalypse brought about by the success of science and technology is very real. And there is no substitute for its core ‘evil’ if you will.
3.8 The “mathematization of science that accelerated with the [advent] of Galileo and Newton [et al], and is now the sin qua non, if not the ne plus ultra of rational knowledge creation and validation, replacing the previously satisfactory mechanical and 'embodiable' forms of proof .”
4.1 Is ‘evil’ too strong a term to apply to mathematics, formal systems, systems of quantification?
4.2 Certainly, evil as regarded as magic does not apply here.
4.3 The notion that such tools are now indispensable for the pursuit of science certainly has a ring of habituation. And habituation certainly has a long association with evil.
4.4 One does not speak of being ‘habituated’ to God.
4.5 But certainly mathematics habituates science through its long and largely uncriticized usage. Anatol Rapoport writes “All purely mathematical theories are of the sort [a system of theorems built up from a set of postulates]and, as such are practically immune from criticism.”
4.6 Mathematics is like logic. It is both insular and fungible. (In this, its shares a number of traits with religion like ‘catholic e.g. universal and an interior logic.)
4.7 The more you quantify the world around you the more it becomes isolated from criticism and fungible with more and more applications and potential substitutions. Why is this?
4.8 The most obvious answer is that a quantized set is a simpler tool. It can be readily organized among its elements and easily communicated having a set of agreed upon symbols which take into account a wide swath of the actual world or, at least, sets of gleaned properties of the actual world.
4.9 What’s rarely noted is this utility comes at a cost. The ‘real’ from which it is derived and which was far more complex than its quantized caricature would yield different results if it was the source or, more likely in its authentic ontological sense, it would produce no results at all, much less utile ones.
4.10 When the ‘utile’, stripped down, quantized entity becomes the norm, the ‘real’ source ceases to exist in the consciousness of the user, but persists in its own ontic realm.
4.11 Blanket terms for the negative results from such a system are called unintended consequences (sometimes unanticipated consequences or unforeseen consequences). These are merely outcomes that are not the ones intended by a purposeful or telic action.
4.12 Terms such as unintended consequences etc. are usually reserved for the social sciences or the social dimensions of large technological projects.
5.1 But it’s no bother to trace this term back from the social sciences to the hard sciences, say via John von Neumann/Oskar Morgenstern’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, published in 1944 by Princeton University Press.
5.2 And from there it’s even less bother to apply the ‘law’ of unintended consequences to the hard sciences.
5.3 The hard sciences or, more accurately their purported analytic ‘certainty’, was the object of von Neumann/Morgenstern’s book, to bring mathematical rigor to the social science of economics.
5.4 The main tool for this outcome was in the title, the Theory of Games a highly quantized and, I might add, idealized, approximation of the ontic. Game theory is simply designed as the study of strategic decision making. More formally, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers.
5.5 In biographical recollection and critiques, authors insist that Morgenstern had a more ‘human’ or ‘humane’ sense of his subject than von Neumann who was content to dwell in the manipulation of statistics and probabilities, applying the cold hard mathematical approach. However, Morgenstern largely went along with von Neumann’s more analytic approach and it is the mathematical/quantized emphasis of the book which is considered ground breaking. One could ask what kind of person warms to such a work? Later, ‘subjective probability’ primarily through such instruments as Bayesian logic were applied to such efforts to more conform to a reality and humanity which had taken a severe beating under Von Neumann’s rubric. But still the blows come.
5.6 The answer is von Neumann’s position is more expressive of Reason or the rational, a hot Enlightenment term we have not yet evoked. In today’s ethical marketplace, Reason is highly prized and seldom scrutinized.
5.7 Von Neumann’s game theoretical reason is mathematically based between assumed rational decision makers. This presumes no passionate decision makers need apply. The analytical approach itself wipes away the furbelows of emotion and its presumed error.
5.8 It is therefore assumed that after the ground rules are laid the only error that can occur are errors in judgment within the framework of the game.
5.9 Therefore, reality has no place in von Neumann’s mathematical role playing, much as the Prisoner’s Dilemma Game requires its objects act like numbers when they are decidedly not. These are indeed games. Apocalyptic ones in many respects.
5.10 But far more importantly, it justifies a limited set of outcomes from situations which need not morally exist and merely describes one set of game theoretical ‘pain’ as more desirable than another set by virtue of the pain’s quantity and no other factor.
5.11 Thus Hegel writes in the Phenomenology of Mind: “The evidence peculiar to this effective way of knowing --- an evidence on the strength of which mathematics plumes itself and proudly struts itself before philosophy --- rests solely on the poverty of its purpose and the defectiveness of its material, and is on that account of a kind philosophy must scorn to have anything to do with. Its purpose or principle is quantity. This is precisely the relationship that is non-essential, alien to the character of the notion.” Trans. J.B. Baillie
6.1 The law of unintended consequences not only describes the historicity of any science you care to name through the paradox of accumulation or change of the discipline over time and use of the syntax of Being which implies permanence.
6.2 there would be little or no problem with this approach except that such scientific activities are designed for implementation. They have a far greater chance of success if they lead to industrial application. If they lead to profits through commercial systems set up in tandem to exploit discoveries in the pure sciences. Is the internal combustion engine an example of ‘bad science’?
6.3 Tie this to the inherent limitations of the mathematical/quantized approach which was accelerated 500 years ago and that we have already pointed to and you have your recipe for global disaster.
6.4 It also becomes apparent why the situation is now so unique and dire.
7.1 A simple set of propositions professes a simple irony.
7.2 First, one accepts that the so-called scientific discoveries display a certain efficacy. Whether this efficaciousness is universal or relative remains a matter of debate. Actually, this debate is one of the engines that drives the sciences.
7.3 Further, one accepts the precept that ”These advances in scientific knowledge, …, are largely an inheritance of the mathematization of science that accelerated after Galileo and Newton, and is now the sin qua non, if not the ne plus ultra of rational knowledge creation and validation, replacing the previously satisfactory mechanical and 'embodiable' forms of proof .”
7.4 Finally, if the above pervasive and primary tools of quantification and mathematization indeed dominate the sciences as is easily demonstrated, those same tools have an essential role in the dissolution of the planet.
7.5 Thus, to continue to use such tools, while they in the short term may prove useful, in the long term will bring about the end of the world as we know it.
8.1 In recent decades we have witnessed or more accurately glimpsed the planet’s demise.
8.2 Pundits like Gross and Levitt point out that we would not even be aware of planetary dissolution if it weren’t for the science’s ‘discovering’ the danger. But they didn’t ‘discover’ the occurrence of planetary dissolution itself. They ‘discovered’ some of the phenomena behind it largely because they through the mathematical sciences created it.
8.3 The fact that G&L proposition is western chauvinist horse shit of the first order is not difficult to suss out. Do Gross and Levitt think that the people of the Maldives or Bangladesh cannot ‘observe’ their country’s being overwhelmed by rising sea levels?
8.4 Cultures living there may not have been able to pin point the problem as carbon emissions, green house gases et al as the melting of the polar ice caps submerge their homes. But I’m certain, like hundreds of minority cultures around the world, they have observed quite accurately, the exploitation, waste and neglect that surrounds western science and technology. The litter-ature is ubiquitous.
8.5 The world knows Gross and Levitt are killing Mama. Gross and Levitt know it too. But they take solace in the fact that they, through science, have ‘discovered’ the deadly effects the nature destroying weapons science has wrought and still wields, leering out from this or that academic podium.
9.1 A core assertion would be then that positivism along with its telic dimension is at its heart nihilistic.
9.2 The proof of this assertion lies no further away than the abandon with which the positivist gospel is applied and defended in the face of its obvious dangers.
9.3 Until recent environmental history, there had been little to say against the materially and spiritually progressive nature of scientific positivism. Environmental devastation though apparent in dozens of instances had yet to reach detectable global dimensions. Indeed, who bothered or had the wherewithal to detect any apocalyptic negatives at all. For those who mattered in, Western Europe and America, it was a material Utopia of sorts.
9.4 As stated in their book Higher Superstition, it wasn’t until the likes of Gross and Levitt, like Lenny Small in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, had felt Nature go limp under the positivist grip of their hands around her throat that they realized and belatedly reported her imminent demise. Yet, they continue to squeeze because that’s all they know how to do.
10.1 Of course, wealth has and continues to play a major role in advocating for the dissolution of the planet. The acquisition of wealth always trumps good judgment.
10.2 The connection between corporate wealth and standards of living are too obvious to reprise here. Like a quantum paradox, the current corporate agitprop insists that there is a conflict between jobs and the environment. Then corporations make the jobs less desirable by scuttling unions, reducing wages, eliminating pensions and health care by holding the workforce hostage to global trade agreements and foreign outsourcing.
10.3 That such quantum paradoxes as wave/particle and position/momentum may have provided the metaphysical underpinnings to the lies behind, say, the job/environment paradox may seem a stretch. But is it really? The quantum paradoxes are not ‘embodiable’ or ‘visualizable’ while the job/environment paradox, it is insisted by the bought off whores and pimps of capital, is equally intractable.
10.4 But all that is intractable in the corporate dimension is the headlong pursuit of wealth. If the ethos of the Kalahari Bushmen proved to be the path toward vast material wealth, power and luxury, the Koch Brothers would be wearing a strip of animal hide about their dicks, chowing down on Hoodia Gordonii.
10.5 In fact, for Hoodia, which has proven to be an appetite suppressant, the San bushmen have been ostensibly awarded royalties for their indigenous knowledge. The San have yet to profit from this agreement, as P57 has still not yet been legally developed and marketed.
11.1 Of course, there is close connection between the modern positivist sciences and modern banking.
11.2 In fact, all western taxonomies have striven to introduce positivist ‘accuracy’ and the purported universal indisputability of mathematics.
11.3 This has given rise to the irrelevant notion that behind every machine error is a human error which can be overcome by a more sophisticated protocol or software.
11.4 But if the apocalyptic nature of the science/environment interface has its roots in the 500 year habituation of mathematics such concerns as communications protocols and software design are mere furbelows in the headlong plunge into planetary dissolution.
12.1 Quantum is an approximation of all number sets because like all number sets each marker must quantified, discrete, or remain invisible.
12.2 Quantum mimics the gaps in number sets between values. These ‘gaps’ cannot be eradicated only minimized.
12.3 Like the gaps between numbers in number sets, quantum phenomena is not ‘visualizable’ or ‘embodiable as a continuum.’
12.4 Thus quantum is not only best expressed through mathematics, it is a set of phenomena inextricably tied to mathematics.
12.5 Without mathematics quantum would not exist. And this is not commutative.
12.6 Without the most primitive and rigid forms of discretion, quantum would not be conceivable much less ‘non-embodiable.’
12.7 Quantum is a mathematically posited reality and we are fine with that because of its myriad material uses.
12.8 The relation between the energy and frequency in a Planck relation is discrete or not at all.
12.9 The packets of energy have only a discrete value. No others. The movement from one ‘orbit’ of energy to another takes place instantaneously. There exists no value in between these orbits, neither in time nor in space.
12.10 Likewise numbers can never reflect anything but a discrete value even when attempting to approximate a smooth curve by reducing the number packet by a smaller and smaller value.
12.11 Visualize the attempt to make digitized sound conform to analog sound. The step effect in the interior of the curve can never be wholly obliterated e.g. analoged but most audio-files are satisfied with the approximation of Nature and many even prefer the digital result to the limitations of the transposition of reality which will inevitably occur in a mechanical process like analog recording.
12.12 This is true of the infinitesimals in the Calculus which are far better suited to mathematical expression while remaining mere approximations in perpetuity as regards the objects being expressed.
12.13 What would be the result if the mathematical expressions for their ur-objects were allowed to accumulate in the applied literature?
12.14 How would we acknowledge a mathematical simulation, an approximation of its real corollary that had been raised to the status of a real or actual object?
12.15 Is mathematics, at least applied mathematics, a simulation of the real?
12.16 Does not any object qua mathematical application retain some aspects of simulation? Or does it become a wholly new and real entity?
13.1 Majority interpretation sees a mathematical application that gives a predictable and coherent result, an entity.
13.2 Sub-atomic particles such as the Higgs Boson or so-called God particle began life as an explanatory gap in primarily math driven arena of sub atomic physics. This already smacks of a fait accompli. As Brian A. Silver writes of similar experiments in subatomic physics, "We put in some physical facts, follow the rules for obtaining the needed results, and almost always get what we want. The comparison between the theoretical results and experiment is rarely disappointing."
13.3 To qualify as the Higgs Boson, a candidate particle must reflect a set of properties predetermined by mathematical formula which have a predisposed history of simulation of a long abandoned ‘vizualizable’ or ‘embodiable’ reality.
13.4 It’s the math, numbers, that now drive our most essential, being oriented, appreciations of what exists and what is actual. This is not intended as a critique. After all, modern material existence would not be possible without such a compromise between the real and the ‘artifactual.’
13.5 In myriad applications, from cell phones to nukes, the math works. And formality has long ago become normality.
14.1 The particle ‘discovered’ or created at Cern need not exactly conform to its mathematical prediction. And it certainly does not and certainly will not. Thus, once again, a physical entity such as the Higgs Boson is only a simulation of its mathematical parentage or math has, once again, only simulated a reality. In either case more research and funding is urgently needed.
15.1 With the advancement and success of quantitative system the problem of scale takes on a new dimension.
15.2 Earth’s resources are, of course, finite. That we are fast approaching the upper bounds of the capacity of our planet made obvious by some quarters’ desperate interest in terra forming the moon and other planets.
15.3 Aside from commercial interests’ intense desire to purchase an object denial of global climate change, such interests’ burgeoning investment portfolio in terra forming projects and exploiting other planets belies their true feelings toward the future of earth. If man’s ingenuity could solve such problems as energy in perpetuity here on earth one would suspect fewer scarce resources would be allocated toward the exploitation of space. On a smaller scale the same logic applies to the exploitation of the poles made possible by the very degradation of the planet commerce denies is occurring.
15.4 But this is not the core issue here. Here we are concerned with the sine qua non, ne plus ultra, of the process, mathematization/quantification.
15.5 History won’t have it both ways. It won’t lay claim to the great leaps, even new paradigms, in mathematics especially with the advent of the Calculus and deny mathematics role in the dissolution of the planet.
15.6 Even if this dissolution is attributed to the abuse of the few fortunate enough to partake of the material well-being that resulted from these mathematical/industrial advances, shouldn’t the subsequent nature of the unintended consequences as laid out by scholars such as Vandana Shiva give one pause about the role of mathematics in this dissolution?
15.7 Nevertheless, the dissolution of the planet in the manner in which we are now experiencing it would most certainly not have been possible without its sine qua non, its ne plus ultra, the mathematization of the sciences.
15.8 Barrow and Tipler went to great lengths in their book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle to trace a seemingly preordained set of cosmic circumstances that resulted in creation of mankind and his environment.
15.9 Could mathematization/quantification as now practiced be a ‘virus’ that brings about the specie’s, if not the planet’s, denouement?
15.10 Certainly, after humans the earth will go on in some fashion for another 5 billion years or so.
16.1 The mathematization of the sciences has been a great success. They have predicted the dissolution of our sun at approximately 5 billion years. This precision is based on no known sentient being’s ability to physically alter the sun.
16.2 It has created an evolution that runs parallel to Nature’s. Change is generally accelerated and occasionally slowed.
16.3 The mathematical sciences orbit about Nature picking bits to exploit.
16.4 There is no choice but to let the success of the mathematical sciences play out. Whether it can outrun its own manifest denouement is doubtful. As the old adage goes, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is, the pun on probability within ‘probably’ notwithstanding.
17.1 Now one might say, now lad, mathematics since 1500 is like any other mathematics. It’s merely a tool.
17.2 But can ‘merely a tool’ also be a sine qua non and ne plus ultra. A perfectly good house can be built without a hammer.
17.3 Sine qua non implies a fundamental involvement , a metastization if you will, with the subjects of the sciences.
17.4 A critique of the Ne Plus Ultra implies something more sinister than an encroaching pathogenic.
17.5 But perhaps these two qualities do not actually inform much less drive the sciences. But one would be hard pressed to tease away the mathematics from its object and have anything left. In most cases there would attain no ‘object’ at all.
17.6 It’s safe to say that math = science and that science = math. This is of course why they are called the mathematical sciences.
17.7 But this framework (math = science/ science = math) is not commutative. For example, we accept the adjective noun combination mathematical sciences, but rarely use the term scientific math except in the most clumsy and ignorantly iterative way.
17.8 There is no true equivalency here. Here the adjective ‘mathematical’ defines and denotes the inner processes of those sciences which benefit from it and are now often derived from it including their ‘objects’ of study. It is not commutative and given the progress within the sciences in general the term ‘mathematical’ holds primacy science now being an unnecessary addendum.
17.9 What physicist cannot look at a series of equations and not immediately recognize the subject within the ‘objects’ to be plasma physics or string theory.
17.9 It is almost virtually impossible to speak of any human endeavor as being scientific if it does not have its basis in mathematics
18.1 Let us reprise, the tantalizing coincidence of the birth of calculus accelerating the Age of Exploration/Exploitation and the meteoric rise of the scientific discoveries and instrumentation that has propelled us toward our current denouement.
18.2 Such an approach gets you nowhere.
18.3 You can discuss elements of scale such as over-population, the rise of the use of coal, the internal combustion engine etc. and a tipping point for all such toxins.
18.4 Scale is not an answer but a symptom.
18.5 Once we realize that scale is a symptom complex, quasi-ethical concerns about good versus bad science evaporate.
18.6 For example, there is little doubt that the internal combustion engine and the burning of fossil fuels produce atmospheric toxins. It is equally true that transport of goods via internal combustion vehicles over greatly improved roadways has improved the lives of much of the world’s population.
18.7 Was the invention of the internal combustion engine bad science? Would we be better off if science and engineering had safeguards against such a planetary toxin once discovered being exploited?
18.8 Such are the conundrums one faces when one does not consider the root of the problem.
18.9 The Age of Exploration/Exploitation dovetails nicely with the nascent sine qua non of mathematics.
18.10 But it is safe to say there would be no Age of Exploration/Exploitation if not for the mathematical sciences.
18.11 It therefore appears that the mathematical sciences are the ne plus ultra which has brought us to our current global state.
19.1 Generally, the elements of calculus are not discrete in themselves. But their results issue a discretion, say the distance between A and B.
19.2 Thus a symbolized entity illustrates a ‘property’ of Nature.
19.3 But this property,’ distance’, does not operate in Nature itself the same way as it does in calculus.
19.4 In Nature the distance contributes to what we might now refer to as an ecosystem though the use of the word system has its own limitations.
19.5 The distance derived from calculus draws nothing from a notion such as ‘ecosystem’ until its techne and telos are revealed, say a road grade.
19.6 Then reflexively the distance derived from the calculus can apply ecological principles. But, by then, it’s too late. The choice of ‘distance’ is limited and in and of itself discrete. The discretion may be limited to one but since the entity itself is derived from properties which are limited to the calculus answering to it and not Nature, it is at best a discretion of 1.
19.7 This entity derived from properties limited to the calculus such as distance bears little relationship to the Nature it is drawn from.
19.8 Yet when the mathematical sciences are ne plus ultra, Nature is strangled even when the science has the best intentions.
19.9 Its therefore not surprising that the success of the mathematical sciences as regards its manipulation and utility of the natural world measures that success in the framework from whence it arose.
19.10 Thus the internal combustion engine has been a startling success. And the internal combustion engine is a bane to the planet.
20.1 We have not yet said “Nature has outlived its usefulness.’
20.2 However, one could say that the internal combustion engine powered by fossil fuels has outlived its usefulness.
20.3 We are not willing to say that Nature has outlived its usefulness because we erroneously believe that Nature is revealed through the mathematical sciences.
20.4 But this ignores the hermeneutical dimension of mathematics.
20.5 As implied before, mathematics has very powerful hermeneutical properties. All of the entities that fall under its aegis give up their heuristic interpretation in order to conform to a set of hermeneutical properties which define the mathematical object. Most often this process goes entirely unnoticed.
20.6 When scientific anomalies occur or experiment s fail then the hermeneutical process undergoes scrutiny.
20.7 Though not of Nature, these mathematical objects prove far more efficient in eliciting certain properties from the natural world. Thus mathematical objects are often mistaken for their natural counterparts.
21.1 Several questions.
21.2 What constitutes ‘bad science?
21.3 Does ‘bad science’ alone explain planetary dissolution?
21.4 Do ‘unanticipated consequences’ fall under the rubric of bad science, good science or good science gone bad?
21.5 Do currently discarded theories of science such as the ‘aether’ or ‘phlogiston’ constitute bad science? If so is all of the history of science in some sense bad science? Is the sum?
21.6 Aren’t coal burning plants, atomic fission and the internal combustion engine examples of ‘good science’ in that they are inherently utile, their deleterious effects notwithstanding?
21.7 In the way we are using science here aren’t we simply referencing whether the science ‘works’ without the consideration of ‘unanticipated consequences’?
21.8 Will ‘unanticipated consequences’ persist? Do ‘advances’ such as binary orientation and computer modeling reduce ‘unintended consequences’ or increase them?
21.9 What study or discipline is endemic to all of these questions? What epistemology?
21.10 You can hardly call them mathematical sciences without admitting the role of mathematics.
21.11 You can hardly claim that nuclear fission is not a product of the mathematical sciences.
21.12 So isn’t it reasonable to ask the role of mathematics in the conception and acceleration of technology which in turn is responsible for global climate change.
21.13 Take nuclear power. Pollution wise it is not at present seen by most as imminent a threat to the planet as, say, burning fossil fuels. Of course, spent fuel rods and nuclear waste remain strong candidates. If the Wipp or Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were such a fine example of the progress of the mathematical sciences why has there been so much public resistance to it. Then there are nuclear accidents and nuclear war that currently or potentially play a role in pollution and climate change. At best, they represent poor alternatives.
21.14 Given the relative ‘cleanliness’ of nuclear power it provides little solace as an energy solution as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima have so graphically demonstrated.
21.15 Despite avoiding some of the problems associated with global climate change, alternative energy technologies have their own negative consequences.
21.16 This suggests that the mathematical sciences incapable of producing anything other than negative unintended consequences at odds with the environment.
21.17 Perhaps, the epistemology of mathematics itself, the ne plus ultra of the mathematical sciences, is double edged. On one hand it represents rapid technological progress and dominant, faux- universal epistemology. This on the other hands excludes the mathematical sciences from our cultural and epistemological concerns when at heart it gives every circumstantial indication that it’s is leading us to planetary dissolution.
21.18 Once again having said this it appears to refer to matters of scale. But it must be recalled that pollution of such scale that it would threaten the planet is a symptom, not the source of the problem.
21.16 The source remains the instrument itself. In this case the mathematics of the last 500 years.
21.17 This is not a result apposite Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Wittgenstein’s result may suggest certainty but in context mathematics is too narrow for reality. Perhaps, consistency, precision, efficiency, were exactly what was not required for the continued blossoming of the planet. If so, too late now.
21.18 Much could be said here about the spread of the mathematical sciences into all other aspects of our culture from Von Neumann and Morgenstern’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior to Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Scientific Management.
21.19 Taylor’s theories certainly raised efficiency on the factory floor if not elsewhere. But their inhuman side has become a source of parody with their outright ignorance of what constitutes a human. You’d be hard pressed to divorce the inhuman side of Taylor’s scientific management from the mathematical sciences themselves.
21.20 What makes Taylorism such an apt example is its close proximity of theory to action and the instant revulsion it created in the humanity that was rendered subject to it. Now, modern methods of scientific management or more subtle, more coercive and more authoritarian. Much of this is due to the reduction of psychology to mathematical principles.
22.1 Western epistemology? The organism has a mechanism. That’s all we know. That the organism is lost in the search for the mechanism is of no consequence. As Lacan puts it, "Flip through [Descartes On Man] and confirm that what Descartes is looking for in man is a clock." To calibrate Taylor’s time/motion studies no doubt.
22.2 Western epistemology absolutely does not credit thinking ‘outside the box.’ One could joke ‘No money in that’ and not be wrong. Other cultural restraints are, of course, at play and perhaps we’ll get to them later.
23.1. The purpose of this paper is not to deny that mathematics through the mathematical sciences can reveal underlying ‘structures’ within reality. It’s simply to state several caveats.
23.2 First, these ‘underlying constructs’ are and remain mathematics in so much as they are mere constructs and not the ding an sich.
23.3 Secondly, such constructs are comprised of mathematical ‘idealizations’.
23.4 Thirdly, mathematical constructs are at best approximations of real or actual phenomena. Now, most studied, ‘relevant’ phenomena are simply mathematical entities which conform to a limited number of properties required to confirm the equations.
23.5 Fourthly, these idealized qualities account for the iterative nature of mathematics as opposed to the less predictable phenomena they attempt to mimic.
23.6 Fifthly, the readily repeatable or iterative nature of mathematics makes it a far more attractive and simple route for the study of nature than, for example, mere observation. Here think of Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre.
23.7 Convenience, utility and success at revealing underlying constructs accounts for the sine qua non/ne plus ultra dominance of the mathematical sciences especially, as cited many times in my earlier work such as Tale of the Tribe: Deconstructing the Demiurge.
23.8 This success, this reliance on the mathematically utile, cannot be denied. But at the risk of sounding melodramatic, at what price.
23.9 I would argue that because it is processed, that is an easily or easier iterative idealization, all mathematics is discrete that is can only yield the utile by being diced into conformal units which have no analog in the Natural world reaching a real expectation in Planck’s quantum ‘wave packets.’
23.10 Our world is now largely comprised of these mathematical idealizations. These idealizations have superceded and overwhelmed objects in the natural world. Virtually, all of our determinations are dependent on these idealized constructs and have little or nothing to do with the natural world.
23.11 But they do not comprise an evolved, holistic world ergo are insufficient for the sustainability of the planet. Stop gap technological measures based on the mathematical sciences appear daily and are just as quickly found wanting.
24.1 Of course, without the mathematical sciences in all likelihood we would not be approaching ecological disaster. I think it’s equally true that few of us would want to go back or explore alternatives which do not embrace the mathematical sciences.
24.2 Not god, but the calculus has created the best of all possible worlds. From the perspective of western epistemology, suffering is diminished in our modern world to the degree that we can embrace Leibniz’s supposition and reject Voltaire’s.
24.3 The planetary dissolution that results from the embrace of mathematical sciences introduces a kind of apocalyptic suffering that may be manifest for just a few generations and primarily affect those least responsible for climate change.
24.4 But already a new era of suffering has affected the west, witness Chernobyl, Yakushima, Katrina, Sandy etc.
24.5 To any reasonable observer it is now obvious that the relevant institutions intend to do little or nothing to slow global climate change. As regards this paper this matters not at all.
24.6 The observation put forth in this paper is that relevant institutions intend to do little or nothing to slow the mathematical sciences.
24.7 Once stated in this context, the term relevant institutions shifts dramatically from the political and economic to the scientific. Greed and self-interest may be the driving forces ensconced within the political and economic arenas, but mathematics is the self-interested tool among the scientific institutions.
24.8 One might say on moral and ethical grounds, though little heed is paid, greed and self-interest can be debated. The same cannot be claimed for mathematics within the sciences.
25.1 Theories in the mathematical sciences are both true and not true. They are not true in the historical sense because they are usually superceded or utterly falsified by later research. This Chomsky calls the cumulative effect where later science builds on earlier science whether good or bad. There is always a lesson to be learned.
25.2 But scientific theories are true in a critical sense before history overtakes them in that they are for a time, for their time, ‘existential.’ A muon remains a muon as long as it serves a set of mathematical properties which constitute a muon, ”internally identical until the instant of decay.” The theory of General Relativity is reinforced as true only as further experimentation and calculation benefit from its tenets.
25.3 If it is indeed too late to stem some kind of global apocalypse, it cannot be attributed to the symptoms of the mathematical sciences alone e.g. the myriad polluting technologies. The mathematics behind the technology has created the fait accompli.
25.4 The mathematical sciences are not only the sine qua non and ne plus ultra within its own paradigm but epistemology wide. It is the ruling epistemology. Advanced weaponry, the byproduct exclusively of the mathematical sciences and now attainable worldwide, has carried on the long tradition of western and now American hegemony. It is quite clearly ‘how we know the world’ e.g. our epistemology.
25.5 Who knew each and every limited mathematically driven success had concealed within it the very symptoms that would lead to planetary dissolution as sure as if an large asteroid were headed our way?
25.6 From this perspective there is no good science or bad science. At best, for several hundred years, the mathematical sciences provided a minority of the world’s population comfort beyond that of Medieval European royalty while it rushed to destroy the planet.
25.7 But here we are not casting blame on the symptoms whether those symptoms be military, like unexploded ordnance, depleted uranium bombs, gas and germ warfare, drones etc. etc. ad nauseam or just plain old green house emissions.
25.8 Science, religion, philosophy much less economics and politics never got down to focusing ethically and morally on the core science, the driving epistemological source. Mathematics always got an ethical by. It was immune from ethical judgment even as its cultural and historical roots were exposed. Irrelevant caveats such as numbers never lie were our bromides for a planet at the mercy of a highly destructive mathematics based epistemology.
25.9 Even as mathematics and the mathematical sciences got this ‘by’ of utter objectivity, no one made the connection that by such an exception it implied mathematical science is something other than a human activity and beyond ethical scrutiny except at the level of product or symptom.
25.10 The mathematical sciences do provide a higher level of truth, and a higher level of falsehood. A level of falsehood so high it can lead to the dissolution of the very species which became dependent upon it.
25.11 Who knew? After all the mathematicians, scientists and engineers regarded mathematics as providing a glimpse into a higher order of reality, even god. Problem is a glimpse into something real becomes not ‘real’ when subjected to the discrete limitations that makes mathematics possible, makes mathematics what it is.
25.12 With mathematics for a while you’ve got something that works. Is utile. And in march the engineers.
25.13 But little or no account is taken for what other aspects of the ‘real’ may be affected by the initial mathematical exposition. This is usually detected when inconsistencies or symptoms appear. A new look at the math may occur but no thought given to the existing epistemology can ever be given to the whole picture, only the parameters of the isolated, discrete problem. Those parameters may change but they remain parameters because with the mathematical sciences that is the way we know the world.
26.1 As even a casual reader of this paper will now understand, its core thesis is that no matter how progressive, how eco-friendly a technology is, if it is derived though the mathematical sciences it will simply accelerate the dissolution of the planet.
26.2 However, this thesis probably will not be tested for several reasons.
26.3 One is the greed and perfidy displayed on the part of the corporate entities. Millions are spent on propaganda designed to block international pollution reduction goals and regulation. Greed will continue to cloud the picture and obscure the case against the mathematical sciences.
26.4 Second, in a one epistemology world model like that presented by the mathematical sciences, there is little or no way to test the thesis.
26.5 Thirdly, in this atmosphere of greed and from the myopia of one epistemology even if true, the dissolution of the planet through the mathematical sciences simply becomes a fait accompli. Who cares if humankind gets the reasoning wrong? In this instance even notions of reason are either muddied by money or limited by the tools available.
27.1 For example, a ‘description’ (definition) of a muon from Wikipedia reads thus:
The muon (pron.: /'mju??n/; from the Greek letter mu (µ) used to represent it) is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with unitary negative electric charge (-1) and a spin of 1/2. Together with the electron, the tau, and the three neutrinos, it is classified as a lepton. As is the case with other leptons, the muon is not believed to have any sub-structure at all (i.e., is not thought to be composed of any simpler particles).
27.2 There are a few more properties associated with a muon, but with the inclusion of these you have for all intents and purposes a full description.
27.3 With highly specialized instrumentation precisely calibrated a pseudo-visualization of an object that fits these properties also is possible.
27.4 Would this sort of ‘description’ be a primary way of describing an apple? Such a mathematically scientific description certainly exists. In fact, numerous ones exist depending on the experimental goal and through which discipline. But none of these reductionist derived mathematical objects is an apple. We call it a scientific description and it would entail those properties of an apple applicable to the scientific experiment and, most importantly, an anticipated result or property of said apple.
27.5 With an ‘object’ such as a muon that has only a mathematical numeration of properties to comprise its description, its reality, mathematical prediction even of its existence beforehand becomes if not easy, preordained. Either an object exists with said properties or it does not.
27.6 An apple has such ‘properties’ but they were not intended to comprise all that is ‘apple.’
27.7 But much of our current world, especially in the field of communications, operates on principles derived from the properties of mathematically defined objects. Objects which are comprised only from their scientific properties and do not exist as such outside those properties.
27.8 Thus the conundrum: On the one hand, the object is said to have been derived from the world. But it has no authenticity except in the man altered world of mathematics.
28.8 When such mathematical conditions are placed on the natural world, a substitution takes place between the actual object in the natural world and its mathematical approximation. With the mathematical sciences we have rapidly, within a 500 year span, reached a tipping point where the mathematical world is not only our primary descriptive tool but the foundation upon which all description functions. This is solely because of the short term utility of observing the world in this manner.
29.1 There is some debate over whether Hegel and other philosophers were in error when they required that calculus required infinitesimal quantities. Whether this error was of commission e.g. an error in understanding the calculus or omission e.g. simply being born too soon to have been privileged to later developments in mathematics is also debated.
29.2 But is Hegel in error at all. Or are there not, no matter how cleverly concealed, gaps between numerical valuations, even infinitesimal gaps.
29.3 Quantification is fundamental to the mathematical sciences. Reduction occurs essentially during quantification. As Hegel says mathematics “purpose and principle is quantity.”
29.4 Hegel goes on to call mathematics “alien” and states that mathematical knowing “does not affect the concrete fact itself…”
29.5 In the immediacy of “comprehending” this is true. But in reality the mathematical sciences through their myriad applied states have a most profound affect on the concrete fact. In our current world, that fact is being reshaped to respond to the quantities and values the mathematical sciences can work with while discarding or ignoring others.
29.6 What the mathematical sciences require is that the ‘objects’ of the natural world be rendered fungible that is rendering objects or entities down to where they are capable of mutual substitution. This requires a reduction or series of reductions and must be able to homogenize both the individual entity via its properties, and sets or series of objects or entities.
29.7 In a set requiring apples and oranges a reduction we refer to as fruit creates a situation by which the objects become more mathematically fungible. No distinction between apples and oranges is necessary. The obvious differences between apples and oranges are for the most part ignored to achieve say another set of values called ‘fruit’ or ‘lunch’.
29.8 This makes things in Nature equal which are not so. Thus, Nature must be discarded for various forms of homogeneity which resemble aspects or properties of the natural world in order for the mathematical sciences to flourish.
29.9 We have long ago past the tipping point where the natural world is the primary source of discovery whether even by reduction and certainly not as ding an sich.
29.10 For experimental purposes, we have become accustomed to calling a scientific reductio of an apple an ‘apple.’ If it conforms to several pre-established properties it is for all intents and purposes an ‘apple’ we are talking about. It goes through the mathematical process and it comes out an ‘apple’ as well as a list of properties that conform to an apple. This is a consequence of the mathematical sciences being the dominant epistemology.
29.11 In its ‘scientific’ state an ‘apple’ is more fungible that an apple from the natural world. For example, apples have been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. It is now believed that apples have and ACE inhibitor quality. An ACE inhibitor (or angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor) is a scientific reductio found in many natural sources such as apples and specially fermented milk and synthetic ones such as Captopril. However, few would take Captopril for its apple like taste. The fermented milk lies somewhere between an apple and Captopril as an expression of the natural world. But the ACE inhibitor has become the marker for what constitutes an ‘apple.’
29.12 There is no need to belabor this point. Western epistemology has demonstrated its preference for the ‘idealized’ object through its reliance on the mathematical sciences as the core mediator and transformer of its natural source. Further, that the natural world can be actualized by its mathematical counterpart is not in doubt. It’s the outcome of such a formulation that remains in doubt.
29.13 Quantification as demonstrated in the mathematical sciences is the ne plus ultra of the ne plus ultra. If such a dominant quality is, after all, not satisfying the conditions of reality wouldn’t that reality, for example the natural world as opposed to the mathematical one, be expected to respond negatively? 29.14 And binary processes are just an acceleration of the quantification. They have in short order made themselves indispensable and have proven havens of banality.
29.15 Walter M. Elsasser writes "Clearly, the Cartesian Method fails," analyzing complex systems by dicing them into "smaller and simpler components"; assuming discretion; threading them mentally. "[T]his identification of a phenomenological concept (memory) with its special, mechanistic form, storage, is the point at which the mechanistic-reductionist interpretation of organic life is most readily attacked and can be laid open to an epistemological critique."
30.1 Even with man’s penchant to anthropomorphize everything, investing any and all objects with human qualities, Nature in its harshest moments used to be itself, a matter of cold indifference. In turn, many cultures took on qualities of nature and their immediate environment, still a fundamental staple in the pharmaceutical industry.
30.2 Meanwhile in western epistemology, with the advent of a plethora of scientific ‘successes’,‘god’s will’ and even god himself became untenable even a nuisance.
30.3 Now, Nature appears downright hostile in an entirely new way. Instead of appearing indifferent but brutal or poorly anthropomorphized and inscrutable, Nature seems to have entered into a life and death struggle with the mathematical sciences. At no time in man’s history have the ‘intentions’ of Nature been less inscrutable. This is because it’s the mathematical sciences, our only surviving epistemology that’s in direct conflict with it. As standup comic George Carlin joked, “The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.” And if you quantify what is unquantifiable with the zeal of our current computerized culture, you might quantify yourself right out of the lexicon with an incomprehensible suddenness.
30.4 Certainly, the most obvious source of this end is our heavily industrialized, mechanized, digitized world. And the mathematical sciences are the ne plus ultra of that world, that world’s only apocalyptic possibility.
30.3 The Nobel Prize winning atmospheric chemist, Frank Sherwood Rowland, once wrote to his wife from the field, “The work is going well, but it looks like it might be the end of the world.” That statement rather sums up the macroscopic conclusion of this brief paper.
31.4 The other dimension is the obvious reality nothing that can be done to prevent what appears to be a rapidly approaching environmental apocalypse. Good science, bad science. It’s all mathematical science in the end, the ne plus ultra.
31.5 With the mathematical sciences and western epistemology, you can’t win for losing.
31.6 The final proposition of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus
reads “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in
silence.” Proposition 31.5 of the Syllogism is not quite
so elegant. But it is also not quite so wrong. We
remained silent before the awe of the mathematical
sciences for too long. Now for our denouement.
End of Part I