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02/10/2017

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Brian Sheller

We might call this marching fad Hope on a Hamster Wheel (or just stick to calling it daily life in Flatland)?

'Peacefully marching in opposition to the accelerating violent destruction of the planet. That should work if we can just signal our paper virtues hard enough!'

Propensity to 'march' in this way seems to be a good exhibit of well cultivated human docility and seems to fit within the flatland model.

'Let's go stomp around in a well designed corral and change the world, guys! If only we can send a message (to billionaire's son's playing god)!'

It seems to me that all of this marching is inherently self-defeating since it's always self-indulgent and never can satisfy the proclaimed goal, though it does provide to the marchers a much sought-after religious experience. Warm fuzzies is all anyone gets out of these marches, not unlike a fiery sermon, and that's all anyone was really after in the first place.

The preposterous list of 'scientific issues' exposes the feelgood self-indulgence with this particular event. I wonder if disappearing (slaughtered) Pacific Salmon can get a shoutout in the next sciencey tweet?

- Once the march is over, it's back to work for the exhausted, indulged and gratified slaves. Go Team!

David Laskaris

"But this is not an ideal world, is it? What we've got here is a bunch of big-brained, highly social, story-telling monkeys."

Ahhhh, like breath of fresh air, Dave, you always pull me out of Flatland and back down to Earth. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Brian

Science has always been used politically, both subtly and overtly. The question that has always plagued scientists is whether they should be the ones to do so. Should scientists quietly sit back in the subtle (or not so subtle) political reality that pays for much of their work, letting others frame that work with whatever political motivation they choose, or should scientists actively choose a political side and openly promote their work within that context.

The problem, as Dave points out, is that they want to do both... and neither. They want their cake (funding), they want to use that funding without interference (eat it, too), they want to be considered "above" the level of petty politics (somebody else gets the check for the cake), but they want their work to be used in a way that makes them feel good about what they do (get the paid bill so they can write the cake off as a business expense).

A tough spot to be in. What do do?

Awww, fuck it... let's have a march!

Jim

It's so frustrating to read anything on the mainstream liberal sites like Vox these days. They fundamentally do not get it, and they never will.

For instance, the article ends with a bit about how a marketing campaign might be better than a march by pitching how science moves economic expansion, and thereby convince someone from Alabama to support, essentially, regulations on industry, the electrical grid, and transport (which is what the scientists are asking). The good folk of Alabama might be morons, but they ain't stupid, and they tain't a partin' with thar pickups any time soon.

Freaking marketing and economic growth. Seriously.

America is splitting further and further into isolated political camps. Marches will likely only increase this polarization, but then, what else can they do? They're totally screwed politically. The Republicans hold all the keys to the kingdom right now, with the Insane Clown Posse at the top.

It'd be nice if the scientists could focus on gathering political support for just hard science, like the article is suggesting, but humans are "a bunch of big-brained, highly social, story-telling monkeys". They won't be able to help themselves.

One thing is for certain. We're going to see a heapload of every kind of protest in our immediate future. And hey, good luck to them, I'd like to hope they'll have positive effects, but I don't see a President Trump, who is dismantling the EPA, reacting the same way to protests as President Nixon did when he created the EPA.

Idiocracy

Dave - "What we've got here is a bunch of big-brained, highly social, story-telling monkeys."

Jim - "The Republicans hold all the keys to the kingdom right now, with the Insane Clown Posse at the top."

Thanks for the laugh you blokes! Much appreciated... infact what more can one do other than laugh at all the clownish monkeys?

However the thought of a troop of deranged hairless circus primates with launch codes is a little distressing... 8-P

Alexander Ač

And now, of course, we know what scientists are fighting for. Its not just science per se, its our prosperity as well. And that is something which requires resistance :-) Here is Jonathan Foley, world famous global ecologist:

The greatness of America is strengthened by science—it helps us lift people up, improve the human condition, and build a better world.

Our future is dependent on science. Will we embrace science again, solve the challenges of our time, and thrive? Or will we turn our backs on science and fail being a great nation, dooming our future?

I’m a Scientist. This is What I’ll Fight For.

best,
Alex

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