I am not the ubermensch that I used to think I was. In fact, I never was. More the weak, reedy kid with more smarts than stuff and the hatred of the redneck majority of Alibam kinder. But I was more active than now, and I miss the glory days of churning out papers and being lauded for solving significant problems and the satisfaction of having a career and a satisfying impact as a rabbinical physicist.
Then I ran across a terminal blot [Link] of a blogger I had never heard of. I found out about this because I subscribe to Science News. I have subscribed to SN since childhood when it was an exciting and useful publication. That was when society believed in science and children were encouraged to learn science; now the adults are ignorant and superstitious and bound up in their false knowledge and try to impart the same to their children. The rag, recognizing this, still tries to educate the ignorant, old and young, but somehow I suspect it only appeals to the Nerds like myself. And I read it primarily to control what I need to be reading since I haven’t the time for too many journals.
The thing that struck me about this farewell blot, which is, I think, the first I have read of this blogger, was how it portrayed much of what is wrong with science today. Mostly that is Capitalism and Careerism and Stupidity. When I was a kid, people went into science to improve society; today they seem to go into science for pay and praise. And that’s one reason I am largely uninterested in telling either children or adults about science; it’s a waste of time and effort. They don’t want to know and given the way the climate and society and politics are going, there won’t be any people to do science in the future.
So I am more bemused by this self-serving blot than I am distressed.
I have to admit that I started blogging about the same time as this blogger, but most of the similarity ends there. I was at the transition of my career from wage serf to country “gentleman.” Not that I am very gentle or refined or country. Other than growing up in Alibam and suffering from the disease of redneck from the crib on. That’s not bad; there are some traits of rednecks that stands one in good stead as a NERD, especially since growing up in Alibam assures a poor, often bad, and warped education. And one also gets the opportunity to confront tyranny and prejudice/bigotry and just plain evil on a daily basis. Where else in Amerika do pedophiles achieve high political office?
But when I was in my prime, the science community could recognize science advancement even when it came from a redneck. I don’t think that’s possible any more. For a variety of reasons.
So I suppose I should mourn for the rotting of science? Will sitting shiva serve any purpose, even if just for my benefit? I doubt it. One cannot sit shiva, I suspect, for a golem. Better that I just continue as I have and continue the good fight against stupidity. It’s the one that that I know is god-like about humanity. And apparently, a decreasing fraction of humanity at that. And recognize the self-service of contemporary scientists as just another form of being redneck.