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Quantum Gravity and the Standard Model Paperback – 6 Dec 2011
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"Scepticism is ... directed against the view of the opposition and against minor ramifications of one's own basic ideas, never against the basic ideas themselves. Attacking the basic ideas evokes taboo reactions ... scientists only rarely solve their problems, they make lots of mistakes ... one collects `facts' and prejudices, one discusses the matter, and one finally votes. But while a democracy makes some effort to explain the process so that everyone can understand it, scientists either conceal it, or bend it ... No scientist will admit that voting plays a role in his subject. Facts, logic, and methodology alone decide - this is what the fairy-tale tells us. ... This is how scientists have deceived themselves and everyone else ... It is the vote of everyone concerned that decides fundamental issues ... and not the authority of big-shots hiding behind a non-existing methodology. ... Science itself uses the method of ballot, discussion, vote, though without a clear grasp of its mechanism, and in a heavily biased way."
- Professor Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, 1975, final chapter.
"There are two distinct meanings to the word `science'. The first meaning is what physicists and mathematicians do. The second meaning is a magical art ... What is of harm is the blind faith in an imposed system that is implied. `Science says' has replaced `scripture tells us' but with no more critical reflection on the one than on the other. ... reason is no more understandable this year than prayer a thousand years ago. Little Billy may become a scientist as earlier he might have turned priest, and know the sacred texts ... The chromed apparatus is blessed by distant authority, the water thrice-filtered for purity, and he wears the white antiseptic gown ... But the masses still move by faith. ... I have fear of what science says, not the science that is hard-won knowledge but that other science, the faith imposed on people by a self-elected administering priesthood. ... In the hands of an unscrupulous and power-grasping priesthood, this efficient tool, just as earlier ... has become an instrument of bondage. ... A metaphysics that ushered in the Dark Ages is again flourishing. ... Natural sciences turned from description to a ruminative scholarship concerned with authority. ... On the superstition that reduction to number is the same as abstraction, it permits any arbitrary assemblage of data to be mined for relations that can then be named and reified in the same way as Fritz Mauthner once imagined that myths arise. ... Our sales representatives, trained in your tribal taboos, will call on you shortly. You have no choice but to buy. For this is the new rationalism, the new messiah, the new Church, and the new Dark Ages come upon us."
- Jerome Y. Lettvin, The Second Dark Ages, paper given at the UNESCO Symposium on "Culture and Science", Paris, 6-10 September 1971 (in Robin Clarke, Notes for the Future, Thames and Hudson, London, 1975, pp. 141-50).
"Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunder-standing the simplest arguments ... and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."
- George Orwell, 1984