Sunday, April 12, 2020

If he deletes it the text will stay on the page.

A few days ago Philip Mirowski opened up a draft of a paper for comments. I'd already made mine before I read the above.

"Democracy, Expertise and the Post-Truth Era: An Inquiry into the Contemporary Politics of STS Version 1.1"
It's a draft and I won't copy his words, but he begins with a quote.
One part of the US vote was a loud vote against expertise. Clinton became, among other things, a symbol for technocracy... Views and debates within STS about the nature of expertise seem oddly irrelevant in this context. The differences between accounts of expertise in realist terms (Collins and Evans, 2002), as institutionally constituted parts of larger regimes (Jasanoff, 2004) or as discrete networks (Eyal, 2013), while stark for readers of this journal, are subtle given the wholesale rejection of expertise by voters and the more selective rejection of expertise being continued in some announced appointments. It seems that optimism about the coexistence of democracy and expertise may be misplaced... (Sismondo, 2017)
The whole thing is a joke. No discussion of what the supposed "experts" achieved, or failed to. No reporting of fact. The history of ideas is rationalism built on priors and hot air. Nothing on the record of Volcker and Rubinomics, Greenspan/Ayn Rand, Krugman, Rodrik and Deaton, Tyler Cowen and Tom Nichols. As for "democracy" I brought up my old standbys: Latour is a neoliberal Catholic and The Church is a monarchy;  Feyerabend belongs with de Man and Robbe-Grillet; democracy is relativist as to truth but strict as to form; lawyers are orators not philosophers. "I began to find myself in a dangerous situation as an advocate. I came to believe in the truth of what I was saying." etc. Weber and Kafka. The absurdity of thinking of science as intellectual as opposed to technical. Engineers themselves aren't considered intellectuals, but engineering is seen as a model for intellectual activity, "creating concepts" etc. Game designers are seen as intellectuals, builders of virtual worlds, like philosophers' possible worlds. Science fiction is fantasy. Fantasy is not observation. From my comments:
Science is empiricism. The current wave of "science denial" is a backlash against rationalist bullshit claiming to be science. Shiller and Fama won the non-Nobel prize in economics in the same year for making diametrically opposed arguments. "Teach the conflict"? Angus Deaton won for discovering what they teach in every introduction to systems engineering: efficiency and stability are in inverse proportion. Or as they teach you in kindergarten: don't put all your eggs in one basket.
I should have included Schrader

"The Post-Truth Era." And when exactly was the "Era of Truth"?
What Exactly is neoliberalism? etc.

new tag for Video Games

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