There is such a thing as a theory of the Higgs Boson, which particle may be indirectly observed in LHC experiments. But, the physics surrounding this particle, and the Higgs field or ocean that is supposed to exist, are not well-known at all. No one can observe Planck-sized particles directly today, if ever. I hope and trust that the physicists diddling with these objects have some rational idea of what their super-collisions will produce.Comment Posted By mannning On 31.03.2008 @ 13:07
Ed: In the esoteric reaches of modern science, just how does one apply "common sense?" Just how do we identify who to believe? Which expert, by name, is right? A long string of degrees is absolutely no guarantee that we will get a valid opinion. You raise an issue, and there will be those who take either side--go, or no go--and they will have plausable reasons for their position. The poor citizen has no practical way to exercise his presumed responsibility, in my opinion. It is a crap shoot, and the dice are loaded by idiot savants.
Common sense might dictate halting every program that has the slightest chance of destroying us, even unto a probability of .00001, given that the theory behind the experiment is sufficiently settled to provide such a probability number, and that we could understand the risk that the theory is wrong. In which case, our current world would possibly miss any number of worthwhile scientific results.
Is this what we want?
Confused!Comment Posted By mannning On 31.03.2008 @ 12:47
Your thesis is that we the public bear responsibility, together with the scientific community, for their experimental programs, primarily because we pay taxes that are used in part to pay for the programs.
Now what? My knowledge of particle theory, black holes, colliders, and the possibilities of destroying the earth is rather superficial. Many citizens get a glazed look if you bring up superstring theory, or M-theory, or The Theory of Everything.
So how do we exercise our responsibility? Voting is good, but it is not well-adapted to this purpose. Write-in campaigns to Congress are sometimes effective, but are also not timely or easily organized.
I do not have the time to search out copies of planned programs for every scientific endeavor, and then to understand them sufficiently to say yea or nay.
As to scientific authorities, we know how the eugenics program faired in the 20s and 30s, and that terrible effort was signed off on by most major scientists and many political leaders.
It is not very simple to determine just who we can listen to in the community. Who has a unbiased view? Who has an axe to grind? Who are the mad scientists today? There are massive competitions in the scientific community, fueled by superegos, super minds, and super pride. It is not unusual for a major scientist to be exiled for many years for a heretical view about, say multidimensional systems.
So, I humbly ask what I should do to perform my responsibility?
I think, as with many issues we don't have the expertise or knowledge to judge for ourselves, that we listen and evaluate what experts say. In this case, I am not referring to the two "Luddites" who are suing CERN. But there are other responsible voices as the Times article brought out who recognize the concerns and are prepared to make sure the experiment is safe.
Common sense helps a lot as well.
ed.Comment Posted By mannning On 31.03.2008 @ 01:28
The question is, how similar is Obama's deep down mindset?Comment Posted By mannning On 20.03.2008 @ 16:57
>> Beyond that, Wright is an anti-white, anti-Semitic, conspiracy mongering, race baiting, unity destroying anti-American, Christian preacher.Comment Posted By mannning On 20.03.2008 @ 16:55
Rethinking: Someone tell me why we need to have Obama in the White House along with his mentor Wright always near? Do we really want to be subjected for four or eight years to such overly nuanced black issues as seen by Obama, and the "undernuanced" diatribes of Wright popping in whenever it suits, followed by the usual apologia from Obama that tries to make us accept these poisonous rants? I think not. Do we not have any sense of the integrity, decorum, and balance that should be shown from this national pulpit? Or, will we hear "God Damn America" over and over again? I cannot imagine why we should!Comment Posted By mannning On 20.03.2008 @ 14:33
When a scion of the Black Hate America crowd cleans up his act to run for president, yet will not detach himself from the hip of the Rev. Wright, he has sent us a clear message. His cleanup was purely cosmetic. It is all there, boiling just under that placid surface and smooth delivery.
When he avoids telling us which of Wright's nastiness he rejects (he leaves it up to us to identify the exact statements)and which he actually agrees with, one must conclude that he retains much of the thrust of Wright and Co. and reserves the right to bring Wright back to the party at his pleasure at any time.
The post itself is excellent!Comment Posted By mannning On 18.03.2008 @ 21:12
I think there is a moral component to every major decision made by the government, and tacitly or directly so by the people, and which extends to the resulting actions from those decisions.
That includes starting a war, continuing a war, stopping a war, and post-war actions, too. Other factors include: political; social; econimic; religious; military, geographical; historical; humanitarian; and, legal, each of which also has a moral component.
1. Civil War: From a Southern viewpoint, both the States and the people believed they were morally right to defend their territory, their citizens and their way of life against Northern aggression.
2. WWII: The US went into the war to prevent Nazi Germany and Japan from carrying out their avowed objective of conquering the world, first Europe (which was done), then Russia, then the Middle East, North Africa, Far East (well on the way) and eventually North/South America.
This was a morally defensive position, and we could not wait around for further developments. Few think that we could have stayed out of it.
3. Iraq: There were 22 morally valid reasons to go into Iraq in a preemptive strike. So one of them didn't pan out fully(the 500 chemical shells seem not to count as
WMD, but they were, in fact). Not the least of which is the necessity for fighting to quell, yes, Islamic aggression.
Thus, one should say that there are valid reasons-- good, sound moral reasons-- to go to war, to continue a war, and to end a war.
Or else, to go dig a hole somewhere and shiver with fear and cowardice.Comment Posted By mannning On 17.03.2008 @ 22:04
Please disregard the fragment.Comment Posted By mannning On 16.03.2008 @ 20:06
>>>There are arguments against any and every war â€“ good, sound moral arguments.Comment Posted By mannning On 16.03.2008 @ 17:48