The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
― Isaac Asimov
The primary objects of all science should be its subjects: the scientists themselves.
If you are a scientist and you yourself are not the first and foremost object under your microscopes, probes, sensors and detectors, if you’re not exposing every single theory, assumption, belief, conviction to hardheaded scrutiny, if you’re denying that you’re living in denial about your socially prevalent delusions, you’re not a scientist, no matter how many titles you hold and how many books you wrote.
I consider myself a scientist, although I don’t belong to scientific community nor will I ever attempt to write a scientifically correct article or thesis. I find that rigidly structuring scientific papers according to stiff bureaucratic standard stiffens the potential of science, makes it hermetic and boring.
I go against that trend and represent traditional science of the commons, open-sourced, easy to replicate, approachable, comprehensive, timeless … that’s the science which grows from first getting rid of cumbersome clutter in the head … and the heart, and the gut!
The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
— Nikola Tesla
When I wrote in the beginning that primary objects of all science should be its subjects: the scientists themselves, I didn’t mean spiritually or psychologically or in any complex physiological manner. My appeal to scientists is to primarily get to understand the genuine nature of their own bodies (are they even aware they have bodies, or are their bodies only vehicles carrying their heads?) using the method I propose: first getting rid of all the ideological and cultural clutter (which most scientists will find they are living in denial about) and then moving on to actual science.
When we know, we all know the same; when we don’t know, everyone doesn’t know differently.
— Duško Radović
Let me give an example, my favorite example …
Shoes are so much a part of our everyday life that we never think of their harmfulness. So much so that being without shoes in any typical social situation is considered kooky or even offensive.
Our entire civilization is embarrassingly biased when it comes to bare feet and no matter how much science I’d put in a perfectly written text it wouldn’t change a thing. Well, I don’t need to write anything new, it’s already been written by William A. Rossi in his article: Why Shoes Make “Normal” Gait Impossible.
To sum it up: there is no healthy shoe. All shoes are harmful. The only normal way to walk is barefoot.
But even the best scientist, 100% committed to the “objective” truth, will read such a text but they won’t feel the urge to change anything. They will go on wearing shoes although there is even much more objective, scientific, unbiased proof that shoes make no sense. They might — dettachedly, objectively — agree with the scientific evidence, but they’ll never risk their scientific carriers, being judged,mocked, even ostracized.
He must surely be either very weak, or very little acquainted with the sciences, who shall reject a truth that is capable of demonstration, for no other reason but because it is newly known and contrary to the prejudices of mankind.
— George Berkeley
When I see that kind of narrow-mindedness I cannot but doubt objectivity of all “scientists”; I doubt that they are really dedicated to truth, realism, goodness, service to humankind. I stop taking them seriously because such an obvious prejudice tells me they have dozens of other lame prejudices. Prejudiced scientist doesn’t pass as a real scientist — not by my standards!
I go on being barefoot even though “normal” people and even “scientists” keep seeing me as a wierdo.
I don’t blame them, because I know how social biasing works. Hoping for enlightenment I keep asking all these people a simple question: “Has anyone of you studied deeply the anatomy of the human foot, have you done experiments with walking barefoot and with shoes extensively, observing yourself, comparing both objectively and then choosing rationally the best, the sanest, the healthiest option?”
Replies are consistently: “No.”
So, I am the only one who’s done it and I am the only one barefoot. What does that tell you about yourself and your society?
I am both a scientist and the object of my own scientific research. This puts me in a position where I have to be 100% observer and 100% participant. I am trying to be 100% objective observer of myself while being 100% subjective.
That leads me to my scientific work entailing deep awareness of my prejudices, presumptions, judgments, reactions, urges, socially conditioned behaviors and many more inner “programs”. I don’t shy away from truth just because it is unpleasant or unpopular.
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
— Thomas H. Huxley
That’s precisely why I can call myself a scientist even though no other “scientist” acknowledges me as genuine. It is precisely because I don’t care about the authority of science, that I can do science — I am a barefooter and I observe everything that happens when I am barefoot: I am a physiologist, a psychologist, a sociologist, an ecologist — all at the same time. Plus a poet and a clown. I don’t take myself overly seriously, for if I would I’d lose the ability to observe myself.
Of what use is of science if it doesn’t help in resolving the greatest evils of all: misery, poverty, apathy, hatred, war. I’d rather be a pristine barefooted clown and make people laugh than be a shod “scientist” discovering the “objective” limits of our happiness — basically making people depressed. La vita e bella!
Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.
— Helen Keller
I gave up on my species. I learned long ago that expecting sanity is too much. I am not writing this to convince anyone of anything — I am merely dancing my dance, singing my song. If you benefit from it, fine, if not, fine.
I’ll end with a few of my favorite quotes on science, knowing it will take decades till people grow to be mature enough for real science. But that’s fine too.
I begin with the amazing Anthony de Mello:
The great masters tell us that the most important question in the world is: “Who am I?” Or rather: “What is ‘I’?” What is this thing I call “I”? What is this thing I call self?
You mean you understood everything else in the world and you didn’t understand this? You mean you understood astronomy and black holes and quasars and you picked up computer science, and you don’t know who you are? My, you are still asleep. You are a sleeping scientist.
You mean you understood what Jesus Christ is and you don’t know who you are? How do you know that you have understood Jesus Christ? Who is the person doing the understanding? Find that out first. That’s the foundation of everything, isn’t it?
It’s because we haven’t understood this that we’ve got all these stupid religious people involved in all these stupid religious wars — Muslims fighting against Jews, Protestants fighting Catholics, and all the rest of that rubbish. They don’t know who they are, because if they did, there wouldn’t be wars.
Like the little girl who says to a little boy, “Are you a Presbyterian?” And he says, “No, we belong to another abomination!”
… and now I’ll really end with this simple yet sublime and musing point:
Scientists are complaining that the new Dinosaur movie shows dinosaurs with lemurs, who didn’t evolve for another million years. They’re afraid the movie will give kids a mistaken impression. What about the fact that the dinosaurs are singing and dancing?
— Jay Leno
Basically, what I wanted to say is: I love SCIENCE! 😉