The Age of Ignorance.

We have a serious problem when society values arts over science. Science is the study of reality – to face and accept unpleasant but highly complex truths. Art constructs a shallow and superficial lie that pleases us.

This produces incompetents surrounded by magic technology. They don’t understand Maxwell’s Law when they turn on a light. The light just turns on, like magic. How do cell phones work? How does your refrigerator work? How does a steam engine work?

Most don’t understand technology. They’ve missed out on the something fantastic.

Science though, is difficult. It requires that we look at objects with immense complexity and understand the laws that govern its interaction with other objects.

Angier believes this idea – that science is something for kids – still pervades much of our thinking, and characterises the presentation of science in culture. Part of it is the notion that argues science is just a bunch of facts with no overarching coherence. Just as bad are the media, which insist on ghettoising science and serving it up as cliches: scientists as boffins, with permanent bad-hair days; science as controversy, always set up for polarised clashes with religion.

I wonder, is this because the parents value art over science, or because the parents and children are too stupid to understand science? Seriously. At some point, individuals struggle with mathematics. I hit my upper limit awhile ago – it was past Calculus, but no where near advanced enough to understand modern physics. This restrained me to lesser science and mathematical studies. If a person’s maximum comprehension of mathematics is even lower, wouldn’t this confine them to the arts?

Art requires no intellect. It’s fake and empty. You construct a fake vision of reality that obeys no logic. Even the most complex painting lacks meaning compared to science. It has no evolution, no history, no depth or texture. It pretends to have complexity by deceiving emotions.

Unfortunately, our society is divided between builders and users. 20% or so of our people understand the world and build fantastic, life-improving technology. 80% of the population just uses it.

Engineers are some of the highest paid professionials in the world – yet they are resented by their own users because they are wealthier. Socialists seek to punish the builders. They hate technology and the success of the builders. The illogical resentment of users is born out of hatred and ignorance.

There’s also something about God and ghosts in the machine or something.

‘A good many times,’ he suggested, ‘I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice, I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold; it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: have you ever read a work of Shakespeare’s?’

I have to remember that. “Can you explain entropy?” It’s sad that so few can. Entropy is vastly more important than Shakespeare. The real History of Scotland is vastly more importantly and interesting than Shakespeare’s MacBeth.

I’ve never understood Christian-bashing though. Honestly, I grew up in New York City, so I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a Christian who believes the world was created in 6 days about five thousand years ago. I imagine they are like unicorns…

Ah, but anti-science leftists who despise technology, mathematics, and logical positivism? I meet them everyday.