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Heesoon Bai crank or not?[edit]


I notice this filed under "crank":

"But it is the hegemony of the habits of mind that manifest pervasively in education that privilege science education, career, and research over other modes and branches of learning and knowing that I have problems with."

Unfortunately it's a very expensive book, but is this really crank? I notice that in the first part of this very RationalWiki page that it mentions that there are legitimate concerns about limitations of scientific method dealing with, e.g. things like morality, arts, poetry, and other such humanities/non-scientific subjects, and that this can be reasonable. What is Heesoon Bai actually talking about here? As if he's referring to things like that (e.g. that we should not just push a "STEM" education that excludes those other subjects), it seems like one could potentially make a reasonable claim for it although of course not one that would be beyond any dispute, but at least reasonable enough it might not be crank. On the other hand, if his "other modes and branches of learning" includes stuff like psychic powers and other thoroughly-disproved bullshit then yes, it is crank, but then this should be clarified in the article. What is it? (I do not want to spend that much $ on this book to find out, especially when its status as valid argumentation is in question.) (talk) 03:49, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Meh. I haven't read the book, but from the expanded quote his criticism is [1] that science's knowledge products often exclude "mythical" (etc.) knowledge products, which seems bullshit because science is demonstrably better at truthfinding than mythical or humanistic experiences, and [2] that people are pushed into STEM when the soft sciences also matter, which is very fucking reasonable. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 06:30, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
This Heesoon Bai quote seems ill-fitting for this article. There are no doubt foolish quotes against "scientism" from these kinds of academics, but everything she says in this quote seems reasonable. Sure, I don't think spirituality and mythology are useful epistemic tools, but this is far from crank, and is not too dissimilar from what is framed as valid critique in the preceding section. I also find it very strange to refer to her as an "activist", when she's very clearly an academic. This honestly reads like someone just grabbed a random quote hoping it would balance the article or something. I suggest removing it, and may do so. Monochroma (talk) 22:22, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

Hoisted by your own penchant...for cheerleading[edit]

You provide a fine definition of scientism that encapsulates its failings, then go on to make the arrogant presumption to discredit a Christian Biblical textualist for maintaining that divine agency can act through natural means and supersede them when necessary. There is nothing in this that contradicts scientific principles. In fact, it would be impossible to study a miracle because one couldn't elucidate the source reliably unless God allowed this to be done. If they did, if the miracle was supernaturally inspired, there would be no natural laws governing it to observe or measure; the mechanisms would confound physical principles. If it was bound by the laws of nature, it could be explained through those laws inasmuch as the interplay of each instrumentation of those laws is observable and quantifiable and yet would be frustrated if so much as one link in the chain of causality was not. This would almost assuredly be the case for someone to attribute miraculous status to that phenomenon. If dead sea life routinely produced bounteous victuals through the surrender of the sea to a specific inhabited portion of coastline at the same time on the same date, that would probably be considered a miracle. Scientists would attribute some theory or another to account for the missing data. A theist would countenance divine manna provision. All this perspective argues is that natural objects were set in motion at a time and via a method that transcends ordinary causation. Science, transcends naturalism. It isn't the atheist or naturalists to appoint, especially when actual naturalistic science has had such tarring and feathering over the past ten years when so much of it has run up to the limits of what can be verified through falsification (to say nothing at all of abuse.)

Either specify what you're talking about or keep your rivalries to yourself. This quote - which, like this article, is not germaine to politics whatsoever (a politically active person does not make exclusively political speech) - is flanked by a political quip in non sequitur dress and a perfectly justifiable opinion by a sensible individual (who has been demoted in credibility because he doesn't hold the reactionary opinions, lamentably predictable and vacuous Youtube style grandiose pretensions of Serious Adultiness and self-annointing appointment of the author with red pilled Reasonistas.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

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I sort of understood the first bit but the rest was total word salad, do you mind clarifying what you're trying to say? Christopher (talk) 08:05, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

Six signs of scientism: but there is only one one determining factor.[edit]

"Scientism is a term generally used to describe the cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations not covered by the scientific method." If we look at the list of "signs" below the aforementioned definition is equivalent to sign number 5. The rest are either redundant or actually irrelevant. What the author of the list appears to be doing is constructing a tool to defend the epistemic status of non-scientific texts.Ariel31459 (talk) 19:39, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

"1. Using the words “science,” “scientific,” “scientifically,” “scientist,” etc., honorifically, as generic terms of epistemic praise. 2. Adopting the manners, the trappings, the technical terminology, etc., of the sciences, irrespective of their real usefulness. 3. A preoccupation with demarcation, i.e., with drawing a sharp line between genuine science, the real thing, and “pseudo-scientific” imposters. 4. A corresponding preoccupation with identifying the “scientific method,” presumably to explain how the sciences have been so successful. 5. Looking to the sciences for answers to questions beyond their scope. 6. Denying or denigrating the legitimacy or the worth of other kinds of inquiry besides the scientific, or the value of human activities other than inquiry, such as poetry or art."

I'll also fight for "pop" over "popular"[edit]

Because pop-psych is a concept used by psychologists to describe gross misunderstandings of their field. But "popular psychology" just sounds like an unpopular magazine. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:24, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Just looked it up. The phrases 'pop psychology' and 'popular psychology' are sometimes used interchangeably. But the former is sometimes used in the pejorative fashion in the manner you described. Fair enough. Nerd (talk) 21:47, 20 December 2018 (UTC)


@Ikanreed So this bit is problematic because it gives the impression that economists believe in 'scientism' because it says, "Economics" right at the start. Some of the things listed are also wrong. The supply-demand curves are extremely useful in analyzing market behaviors. Competitive and free markets do exist, though some are freer and more competitive than others. Humans sometimes behave as Homo economicus though this model should be used with care. See, simplified models are pedagogically useful because they help you understand the basics without getting bogged down with the details. Moreover, this particular example is odd because while most if not all of the examples above are instances in which science is obviously misunderstood an misapplied. It is not so clear with this example. Nerd (talk) 21:58, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Let's do a bet. If you can find an academic paper that
  1. Is published with a date of 2018
  2. Refers to "homo economicus" explicitly
  3. Is not an implicit or explicit rejection of the concept
  4. Is supported by material evidence
  5. And is not put out, specifically, by a far right or libertarian think tank.
I will totally accept that it's used in a sane manner and not a nutter concept right wingers jack themselves off with to pretend they're scientific. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:06, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
@Ikanreed I would agree with @Nerd to a certain extent. The current phrasing has the unintentional effect of painting the entire field of Economics with the same black brush, when in fact it is attempting paint only fringe theories with that brush. Poor phrasing begets poor understanding. That being said, Free Market Economics is bullshit in practice, leading to extreme inflation that simply isn't sustainable, among other problems. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:08, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

@Ikanreed Why does it have to be from 2018?

@GrammarCommie Free market economics leads to extreme inflation? That's new to me. Please elaborate (on my talk page). Nerd (talk) 22:12, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Because with a large enough sample size, any stupid idea can be found to have a paper. 1-3 years is the standard I usually try to hold myself to when trying to verify something is meaningfully discussed in academia. But more to the point, if you go back to the 80s or 90s the undue cultural respect granted to useless wanker economists was very high, and, though you may disagree, the field has only had anything resembling real standards of evidence, as were used in the realms of real sociology, in the past 15 or so years. At all. Like seriously at all. As in that's why it's on this page in the first place.
But either way, with the volume of economics research produced, and the fundamental nature of the concept, 1 year is pretty generous. The real restriction that's hard to pass is the last one. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:23, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
@Nerd He likely want it to be the most up-to-date study available. Free market economics is unstable, and given the current economic model in the U.S. is borderline free market and behavior there can be extrapolated from the practical to the theoretical, and vice versa. Currently we are likely headed from another economic bubble into another major crash, potentially bigger than the last one. That bubble is caused by market inflation (how the stock market behaves, not currency inflation per se), which given the cyclic nature of economics means that the bigger the boom, the higher speculation tends rise. To put it another way, imagine a bubble being inflated by smaller bubbles, and then the people behind those smaller bubbles being surprised when the whole thing bursts. Regulation mitigates those effect (though it is unlikely any amount of regulation can prevent or stop the effects entirely), and FME argues that less regulation is good. Therefor, FME is bullshit for it's naive understanding of human greed and behavior. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:28, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
Nah, I just specifically think the Homo Economicus, specifically, is trite bullshit with zero applicability to anything, but was common as a base assumption in the field for decades. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:31, 20 December 2018 (UTC)