April 16, 2021

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Re: Antiscience Movement Is … Killing Thousands

"Antiscience has emerged as a ... force ... that threatens global security"

IMHO, 'antiscience', per se, isn't the issue, but 'anti-elite' is.
Anti-elite is the equal and opposite reaction to the condescension dripping
from the collegiate classes.

Ever since ~1960, when JFK started preferring 'the best and brightest' to
run everything, the underlying assumption has been that higher IQ's and
higher degrees would lead to the greatest good for the greatest number.
Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken this theory to the
reductio ad absurdum, with its technocratic wet dream that "All animals are
equal, but some animals [with higher IQ's and better breeding] are more
equal than others".

This theory was never itself based upon 'science', nor was it ever subjected
to a double-blind test. Indeed, the only real research tests of this theory
came in the form of the 'Milgram Experiments' which proved that elite
university students were capable of the most Nazi-like behavior given the
slightest provocation.

Embarrassingly, very public counterexamples to this thesis started showing
up almost immediately, with the disastrous Vietnam War being only the
largest and most obvious, and certainly the most expensive.

Nevertheless, most in the U.S. were willing to continue tolerating this new
"trickle down from the PhD's" theory (National Lampoon cover, December,
1975), so long as a few drops made it all the way down to the proles.

However, the elites forgot their noblesse oblige, and in their noble search
for economic efficiency, they decided to offshore as many prole jobs as
possible, as quickly as possible.

More education was advised for the proles, and 'retraining' for out-of-work
coal miners to become web designers became fashionable. Student loan debts
became nondischargeable in bankruptcy, and student loan interest rates
soared from less than the Fed rate to far more than the Fed rate. Oops, no
jobs after graduation. Gotcha!

The best and brightest physicians decided that prole pain was being
'undertreated', so a generation of medicine created more *legal* drug
addiction than any Columbian druglord could ever dream of.  Houston, we have
an opioid crisis.

Not content with allowing the proles to own their own modest lead-poisoned
homes, the elites invented 'derivatives' in which prole pensions were
invested, so that when the derivatives exploded, both the prole homes *and*
their pensions were gone, while the elite billionaire funds bought these
homes out of bankruptcy, re-renting them to those same proles at higher
rents than they had previously paid in mortgages.

The proles and rubes have recently been found guilty of using the wrong
forks; they have violated the 'norms' of civilized (aka collegiate) society
by questioning everything their betters have been advocating for the past 60
years; they have forgotten 'their place'. Tut-tut.

Peter Hotez is right; this story will probably not end well.  But IMHO it is
highly unlikely that readers of Scientific American will be able to solve
this problem, becuz...

  [*Animal Farm* and *1984* are both more relevant today than ever.  But the
  absence of an "Orwell's AllsWell That EndsWell" for balance should be a
  strong indication of the pervasive depth of the problems worldwide.  PGN]