Monday, June 09, 2008

This and That

3 comments:

stefan said...

Dear Bee,


ah, I should replenish my stock of chocolate...

And maybe it would be great if it was possible to distribute virtual chocolates for blog commenters, to attenuate occasional aggressiveness ;-)

Cheers, Stefan


PS: Thanks for the hint about the publish button!

Arun said...

Dear Bee,

This may be of interest -

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/06/13/9590/

This is written in the context of a political campaign. But maybe it is useful in a scientific context as well. E.g., in the LHC produces a world-gobbling blackhole case.

Quote:

"Political Jujitsu, like the martial art, is a form of self-defense that is only effective when a person is forcibly attacked. Smears are intended as a weapon for character assassination, used by aggressors who prefer to remain hidden from view, which we could liken to the art of assassination, Ninjutsu.

This approach is founded upon the recognition that human beings organize our knowledge in the form of stories. Facts alone will not demonstrate the moral character of our candidate, just as they do not encapsulate the moral failures of our opponents. New information can transform the stories we tell, just as a new ingredient can transform a recipe. Adding turnips to a cake makes for a very different dining experience! Instead of simply seeking to “update” the facts, we must craft alternative stories that reveal the deception at work.

.....[example deleted]

This sample shifts the role of facts from asserting a falsehood in the original attack to revealing the existence of a deceiver in the response. The emphasis becomes one of questioning the sources of such messages to confirm their validity, instead of digressing into a “he said, she said” that only reinforces the false idea as it is repeated over and over."

Not sure yet how exactly to use it, but it seems to me that this insight may be useful.

Arun said...

The key point being "This sample shifts the role of facts from asserting a falsehood in the original attack to revealing the existence of a deceiver in the response."

So far, e.g., in the evolution battle or the LHC/blackhole fuss, the scientist has been using facts to say "this is not true". If the idea is correct, it would be fruitful for the scientist to use the facts to expose the deceiver (creationist, anti-LHC luddite, etc.)