Yes my five or six dear readers, I’m gonna open this can of worms. I hope you are ready to make some Spice, I’m gonna play Kwitsatz Haderach baby!
This is another ginormous topic. Evidently my niche is to bite off more than I can chew.
I’m a fan of Joe Rogan. Just putting that out there. This is really exasperating to a lot of my friends because his views on drugs, politics, and science doesn’t jive with theirs. And I’ll be honest, I will likely not be smoking a joint with the guy any time soon (though I’d not turn down down an offer to be on his show….just putting that out there). But I love the range of his guests, the fact that most of the time when I listen he is respectful to his guests, and he is willing to entertain non mainstream thinking.
I have three points I wish to make here.
1)Without free speech for opposing views, there is no science. Silencing opposing view points is the domain of tyrants, dogmatists, and bigots.
2)A free market democracy depends upon a well informed public. Silencing opposition destroys the capacity for these systems to work.
3)If I’m not a doctor, I don’t have the right to make my own health decisions?
Cliff’s Notes version: a friend of mine (who may or may not be a podcaster with Red Dirt….what….? They don’t wanna be affiliated with my ranting….? Sigh….ok…..) told me that Joe Rogan was in trouble for promoting antivaxer propaganda, and claiming that some kind of horse parasite medicine had been shown effective, but the scientists came out and blasted him because in the third world countries where the study was done, people actually do suffer from parasites, and therefor getting rid of the parasites actually helped the patients.
So we have Joe Rogan with anecdotal evidence (this product helped me), and third world science, versus the science of the USA. Well of course we are right and he is wrong. So Buffy, when you finish your tea shall we go play tennis at the Hamptons and mock Joe Rogan some more, what what?
On the point of needing free speech and freedom of thought for science to even be science, the definitive work on the evolution of scientific thought was published in 1962. Written by Thomas Kuhn, the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions details how a theory will explain our world, but then when it fails to predict or conform to real world data, there is a debate, a struggle, that eventually come up with a newer, more accurate theory. Silencing opposition slows this process. We should be grateful for that, as otherwise Hitler may have gotten the Bomb before we did. Oh yeah….in passant, Dr. Kuhn was not a medical doctor, his was only in physics….so perhaps we should not listen to him….
Likely I look like an idiot who is only on Joe Rogan’s side. For balance I wish to cite this amazing website: Sagepub.com. This article is well worth the read, whichever side you are on, and it also cites two other scholarly sites, Columbia University’s Silencing Science Tracker, and Scholars at Risk
Democracy and capitalism require a well informed public in order to function.
A Republic of idiots is doomed to failure. And a market of idiots will soon be bankrupt. But as I am not a doctor, I don’t expect you to trust my word merely. Let me share where I get this information and you be the judge.
My first source is an ex President. “Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive.” No, not Trump. Or Obama. Or any Bush, or any Clinton, or Reagan. John F. Kennedy said that shortly before he was assassinated. One of the last lessons he was trying to teach.
Finally, modern theories of capitalism were derived from the works of Adam Smith. His assumption is that the choices we make are rational, that they make sense based off of some kind of logical criterion. Without rationality, (and I would say, without a wide range of informed citizens) capitalism collapses like a house of cards.
Lastly, I don’t mean to be classist here. Is Joe Rogan wrong? I’m honestly not sure, though I suspect he is from the research I’ve done. But does he have a point? I think he does. Maybe I misunderstand him, but I think his point is that we live in a free society, where we have the right to make our own decisions about our bodies. Of coarse, like the right to free speech, there need to be reasonable limits. And perhaps I’m not the one who should be deciding who wears and doesn’t wear masks. Maybe you should have the right to decide what is put in your body and what isn’t. If I am wrong, if only the elites and the doctors should be making these decisions, if there is no room for rebels and Joe Rogens, how long before we decide there is no room for Curtis Selby.
But that is just my thought. What is yours? Let’s get some dialogue going (and likely the poor fellow who told me about this is now sorry he did).