scientific methodology

…the paradox is that scientific methodology is the product of human hands and thus cannot reach some permanent truth. We build scientific theories to organize and manipulate the world, to reduce phenomena into manageable units. Science is based on reproducibility and manufactured objectivity. As strong as that makes its ability to generate claims about matter and energy, it also makes scientific knowledge inapplicable to the existential, visceral nature of human life, which is unique and subjective and unpredictable. Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.

“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

nevermind-the-moon  asked:

Do you have any bondq fic recs? :)

Do I?! :D But man, this is so not going to be a complete list of all the fic I have loved in this fandom (seriously, this fandom is like an abundance of riches - so much to adore). I’m sure I’m missing fic, but hopefully this gives a nice variety.

My favorite fic is Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by feelslikefire - it basically has everything: romance, humor, action, angst, and awesome characters. I love it a lot - it will always be the fic I recommend first.

The rest I’ll do in alphabetical order. :) Again, I’m sure I’m missing amazing fic and writers because there is just so much great stuff in this fandom that it’s hard to narrow it down (basically I ended up going with the ‘these are the ones I reread more often than is probably mentally healthy but I don’t care because I like them so much’ methodology. Very scientific, I know…).

A Garden Inclosed by 3littleowls and beaubete - lovely AU fic that had me scratching at the walls waiting for the next chapter. XD

Parallel Jump by Mistflyer1102 - a nice, more actiony fic - I live in constant envy of Misflyer1102′s action sequences (meanwhile my fic just involve long conversations of things that already happened, sigh).

Anything by skylights, but in particular million dollar question (my first ‘contribution’ to the fandom was with a terrible podfic of this fic) and feels like insomnia (woah) for side-splitting humor, and the hand beneath your head series for all the feels and angst (warning: heed the tags).

So If You Give by TheCatOnTheMoon - it has lovely humor and interactions and overall amazingness.

Some Like it Black by Unknown: Adorable coffee-shop-esque fic.

These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends by im_not_a_lizard: Another “heed the tags!” fic - it’s dark and weird and not at all nice to Q, and I feel guilty liking it as much as I do, but it’s one I go back to more often than I should.

we’re all in the mood for a melody (and you’ve got us feeling alright) by laughtershock - another AU, and quite a hilarious one at that.

I hope that helps!! I feel terrible though - this list is utterly incomplete!!

Fic Rec

Holy fucking shit.. slowly going through my fic tag and got to @threehoursfromtroy positivity campaign winner.

Place in the World (216153 words) by paxbanana


The slow burn, the angst, the humor are all so wonderful.. but you know what’s my favorite part and why this story pops out like crazy to me??? It’s SMART writing. I like reading material that challenges me, and it’s not given on a silver platter. The author is incredible in small details, big arching concepts, original characters, side stories, background.. all while staying true to the Avatar world. It’s just so… I can’t articulate it but goddamn I learned so much while reading the inner monologues and debates on (without spoiling too much) politics, scientific methodologies, practical customs.. just so much intricate detail that, as a reading, couldn’t believe how much plot had transpired in the (currently) 27 chapters at this time.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend this one, as it kept me glued to the point to ignoring the world until it was done. Man… I love a good goddamn Korrasami story. Thank you to writers and artists who contribute to this fandom.

Approaching Vajrayana – Part Four: A Tale of Two Sciences

By Jakob Leschly

This final instalment in our four-part series “Approaching Vajrayana”* addresses an issue common to all of Buddhism: how its science is perceived, and how it stands apart from our familiar modern science. This comment is not so much about which science is more valid, but more about appreciating their differences. Finally, a comment on the practical situation of studying and practicing Buddhism in modernity.


Nowadays Buddhism is approached outside of its traditional cultures, and we might want to appreciate how the great science of enlightenment stands apart from the modern science most of us have grown up with. Very briefly, we can say that Buddhism and what we loosely call modern science share a common epistemic premise of empiricism. But in the case of Buddhism, this empiricism is based on the subjective rather than the objective dimension. As a result, these two sciences end up with very different ontological views. Suffice it to say that the objectivist thrust of modern science results in information and data, while the subjectivist thrust of Buddhist science, Dharma, results in wisdom. This is not really about better or worse, good or bad. The author of this article would rather fly in an airplane constructed by modern scientists and engineers than by Tibetan lamas and yogis, yet for the important issues of life, he chooses to consult the latter.

The Buddha’s objective was to remove suffering, and his teaching has continued to successfully serve as a remedy for the cause of suffering — confusion. In that the Buddha’s teaching addresses the nature of consciousness systematically, logically, and rationally, there is no reason why the modern, analytically trained person should not appreciate what the Buddha taught.


And yet … the domain of what the Buddha taught, the concept of enlightenment, the path, and the subjective experiences of eliminating confusion are entirely unknown to modern science, and as a result, to the average modern person. Modern science has no unanimous or unequivocal understanding or explanation of consciousness and the nature of subjectivity. It is what the Australian cognitive scientist David Chalmers has termed “the hard problem of consciousness” (Chalmers 1995). As such, there is little common basis for the modern scientist to understand the science of Buddhism, and as a result, the wider community of educated modern people, brought up exclusively with the ideas of modern science, have few qualifications for gaining a logical appreciation of Buddhist insight. Unfortunately, this also applies for a large number of the cultures where Buddhism once thrived as a science, but where it is now, due to the influence of modern physicalist science, classified as religion and perceived as based on blind faith.

Although the rationality of Buddhism is not unknown to the modern educated person, it is still assumed that Buddhism is essentially a religion, not a science. While religions traditionally represent values and compassionate action, and in principle are deserving of the highest regard, the problem with directly linking Buddhism with religions is that, as venerable and important as religions might be, they are also seen to operate with blind faith and superstitions. Most modern educated people have little time for religions, and see them as invalidated by science. A Harvard professor puts it quite bluntly: “The findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures — their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies — are factually mistaken” and “… the worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is the worldview given to us by science” (Pinker 2013).

One could wish that modern persons approaching the study and practice of Buddhism would appreciate not just the humanity and goodness of Buddhism, but also the epistemic validity of its science. While Buddhism operates with empiricism, the findings of direct perception, it does not merely operate with the third-person perspective of observing what is thought of as objective phenomena. Buddhist insight in particular is founded on introspection, engaging an awareness of what is experienced by the first-person subjectivity, effectively cultivating the conditions for a wiser and greater individual consciousness, with greater epistemic capacity. Modern science has a very different project, which is about data. While on one hand the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines wisdom as “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning,” wisdom on the other hand as “being wise” generally exists as a rather vague notion.** The Buddhist science of wisdom could well be a non-starter in modernity, but again, this is not entirely the case either.


Despite the increasingly dominating materialist views of modern science, there are groups and cultures that continue to value and pursue the theory and practice of Buddhism. These include on the one hand pockets of survivors of the ancient Buddhist civilisations who study, practice, and uphold genuine spiritual lineages, and on the other hand modern freethinkers who, despite their upbringing in modernity, have sufficient education and resources to think out of the box. The latter are not necessarily Buddhist, but are exploring the domain of subjectivity studies.

As for the first groups, these include sages from the old Buddhist countries, as well as monastics and laypeople, who train their minds on the path of enlightenment. These persons might not master the language and vocabulary of the modern analytical traditions, or be able to engage the modern worldview, but they embody a universal quality of insight and its accompanying manifestations of compassion, wisdom, and strength that are naturally attractive. They embody and exhibit the brilliance and warmth that celebrate the highest human potential. These persons inspire others with their qualities, and are often beacons that provide vision and guidance.

The educated freethinkers initially comprised individual seekers and philosophers in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including the recent spiritual trend that was native to the various countercultures of the 1960s and ’70s. In the last decades, numerous modern academics and neuroscientists have engaged in dialogue about the nature of human consciousness with Buddhist scholars and practitioners, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These dialogues have extended into provocative discussions between Tibetan and modern experts in fields such as quantum physics, green politics, human rights, ethics, philosophy, and so on, a direct outcome of which has been the Mind & Life Institute with its 30 years of annual symposia. Their mission statement includes “… fostering interdisciplinary dialogue between Western science, philosophy, humanities, and contemplative traditions, supporting the integration of first-person inquiry through meditation and other contemplative practices into traditional scientific methodology.” So, in a few such cases, the earlier perceptions of Buddhism as entirely faith-based are changing.


The actual transmission of the lineages of study and practice are still taking place in the traditional cultures of Buddhism. Also in Western countries, or countries subscribing to the discourse of modernity, there are well-organised centers which facilitate Buddhist study and practice. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there are even non-Tibetan students who have mastered the considerable rigor of Tibetan academic training and achieved the Geshe degree, graduating from recognised institutions in India. Countless persons practice Buddhist meditation, with and without guidance from authentic lineage masters. Training in mindfulness and compassion is now mainstream, even though some of the popular modalities avoid mentioning the Buddhist origins. The religious stigma still hangs over Buddhism.

There are still many traditional teachers of Buddhism who dispense with engaging the culture and language of modernity and opt to just give essential instructions, almost as they would to traditional laypeople. Yet, there are masters like Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939–87), an accomplished teacher from the Tibetan tradition of Vajrayana, who embraced the modern world wholeheartedly. Possessing the skillful means of mastering both paradigms, he taught as an educated insider of modernity. And increasingly, Buddhist masters attempt to embrace the modern condition, with a growing knowledge of its language.

The essence of the Buddhist wisdom in the past spread throughout the societies of Asia. Although originally communicated to Indian students, the essence of Buddhism was gradually communicated within the native parameters of the cultures of Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, and Tibet. Similarly, the essence of the Dharma is now being communicated in ways that will eventually enable practitioners of modernity to attain realisation and to manifest compassionate action. As much as modernity presently is new to the notion of a systematic, logical, and structured science of wisdom, there is dialogue. As long as intact lineages of transmission and realisation remain, this science of Dharma with its vast scope will still be with us, and available.


posting the results of the @kideon @bace-jeleren bless curse experiment!

✨ ✨ ✨ 💀 💀 💀

so i went 3-1, opened a Rhonas and a Harsh Mentor, played an absolutely stellar Green White Exert deck.

My very scientific methodology thus must conclude that the blessing and the curse must multiply into a mildly more powerful blessing.

and praise to the vore gods for the double Mouth

will definitely be seeking more blesscurse combos in the future!

Really interesting how scientific methodology emphasizes that correlation does not imply causation and that science observes natural phenomena and cannot be used to make grandiose or universal conclusions about social phenomena, yet scientists and non-scientists alike often use science to justify the oppression of various groups. 

For example, since we know that correlation does not equate to causation, one would think that no self-respecting scientist would claim that having a “male” brain or a “bigger” brain would imply higher intelligence (and vice versa), but there are male scientists who have historically and contemporarily posited such statements (despite evidence showing otherwise and despite how the scientific method intrinsically contradicts this kind of baseless claiming). Neuroscience is a very important field but it has been used, by neuroscientists and the average individual alike, to justify misogynistic, racist, ableist, antisemitic, homophobic, and transphobic laws, ideas, and actions. 

Additionally, science can and should be used to inform policy. For instance, when legislators are formulating a law to tackle climate change, climate science obviously has to be applied to the law, and thus those legislators will require literature on climate science and feedback from reputable climatologists. 

However, science should not be used in a deterministic manner. Climate science informing policy is one thing, and absolutely needed, but climate science forming the basis of people’s racist opinions toward indigenous cultures is really bad. All of those articles about how “unregulated population growth” in China or India, or articles about hunting habits in indigenous cultures, are promoting a new brand of eugenics and colonialism, and justifying it with climate science. That is not how climate science should be used

There are countless other examples. One of the most notorious ones is how Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection is misapplied to justify eugenics. Darwin’s theory is not about traits such as “intelligence” or “beauty” or “athletic ability”. Genes that pass on traits that confer a reproductive advantage are entirely random! Those genes are preserved in a population as the organisms with that reproductive advantage survive and produce offspring. A famous example Darwin himself observed had to do with the beaks of different species of finches on the Galapagos Islands (they were called “Darwin’s Finches”), and how those beaks were essential to the birds’ feeding habits (those beaks were adapted such that each species of finch subsisted on different sources of food). But those traits are unrelated to socially constructed phenomena (race, sexuality, notions of beauty and ugliness, etc). 

Yet plenty of people will claim that the “genes” for race exist in our genome, when that is patently untrue. Scientists have already disproven the supposed “biological” foundation of race. Race does not exist biologically. In fact, many scientists have clarified that what you and a person living in a country thousands of miles away from you actually have in common the most is your genetic code. We share 99% of our DNA. 

Even evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, both of which are used to justify misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and ableist ideals, show that humans are social creatures who take care of each other. Yet these two fields are also used to justify divisions and hierarchies and violence (sterilization, medical abuse, eugenics, etc). 

The foundation of science is empiricism, yet the very foundation itself is turned on its head when one would deign to use science to justify the reification of structural violence or to create new avenues of oppression and privation. And believe me, scientists themselves (cis, white, able-bodied, gentile scientists) perpetrate this time and time again. 

one of the most interesting part of bloodborne is insight and how it uses it throughout the game and in the endings. the game is in a world with aliens that people cannot comprehend to the point that they cannot sense them in any way. the player is literally blind to these beings. but the more insight that the player has the more knowledge they have on the world that is beyond them and come to progressively become more and more able to see those beings that are  otherworldly to us. in fact, in the context of the game, we are to them like ants are to us. we go about our days without even noticing them until we become aware that they exist. to me, i think a lot about insight into science. the more i understand science and the natural world the more i can piece together phenomenon and use scientific methodology to find answers.

then theres the endings to bloodborne. frankly speaking, each ending continues the cycle of horrors that is the hunters dream. but each one places you in a different perspective. the least involved is the one where you lose all of your insight into the world and start fresh again. the next turns the player into the mentor for the next hunter. and the true ending turns the player into an alien who doesnt care about the people living in the world because they live on a plane of understanding that is beyond the people. in the context of the game, the more insight the player has the higher in the rank of worldly understanding that they start with in the next story of hunters. at the same time though, the less insight the player ends with the “happier” the ending is in some ways. they dont understand their futility in their lives or how horrible the cycle is. they just wake up the next day and enter a new night to live. if the player has a lot of insight and gets true ending, they learn to not care about the experiences the player has gone through because it turns out that theres a much larger world that is operating. its a strong case for ignorance is bliss because the complexity of insight in the truer endings only raise more questions into how ones life is meaningless. it lets the player choose if they want to feel special by being the hunter or know they arent special in how they will forever be stuck in a cycle.

Cymatics, the study of wave phenomena and vibration, is a scientific methodology that demonstrates the vibratory nature of matter and the transformational nature of sound. It is sound science, and amazingly cool!

By using sound waves to excite liquids & solids Cymatics reveal a beautiful symmetry through this interaction. Strange & alien looking patterns emerge evolve and transform, constantly shifting between states of order and chaos.

Many patterns are directly related to the geometric figures descended from Hebrew Gnosticism and the Egyptian mystery school, commonly known as ‘sacred geometry’.

This photo shows a 21Hz - 33Hz sweep

Disease and Medicine in the Wizarding World


  • Illness and disease in the magical world
  • What kind of healthcare is available
  • Differences in treatment and medical technology
  • Why we can’t assume that wizards are more advanced than muggles in terms of healthcare. 

In the previous essays (Wizards - an Endangered Species) I have explained why the population structure of the wizarding world is much more similar to a pre-industrial country than modern muggle Britain.

High death rates in pre-industrialised countries reflect a large disease burden. Mostly this disease burden is due to infectious diseases that are endemic and also circulated as frequent, regular epidemics. With modern medical care, developed nations like Britain have managed to cut both the disease burden and death rate from infectious diseases but clearly the wizarding world is still being plagued with….plagues.

There is a possibility that purely magical maladies exist which can only affect wizards/witches, which will explain the discrepancies between modern muggle Britain and wizarding Britain. However given that wizards and muggles are all one species with the same immune system, it stands to reason that all diseases experienced by wizards must also be able to infect muggles, whether this is literally the case is a whole different question.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

You know statistics show that women who abort become depressed afterwards. Even doctors who abort babies are proven to be in a unstable mental condition. You know aborting babies isn't something someone can really feel passionate about, it can't be someone's 'dream job'. Do these words and statistics mean anything to you? Or do you wish to continue to bathe in your pool of ignorance?

I know the anti-abortion crowd have a bunch of distorted or misinterpreted studies for the basis of their fake statistics, something that finds no support under rigorous scientific methodology. From the linked APA page:

The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult [AFAB people] who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy. The evidence regarding the relative mental health risks associated with multiple abortions is more equivocal. Positive associations observed between multiple abortions and poorer mental health may be linked to co-occurring risks that predispose [an AFAB person] to both multiple unwanted pregnancies and mental health problems.

Also I’m seriously going to need a source for abortion providers being mentally unstable, because I looked and couldn’t find anything of the sort. If true, though, could it have anything to do with the relentless harassment and threats they face from anti-abortion assholes, hmm?

Providing necessary and, in some parts of the world, stigmatized services so that people can safely exercise their reproductive choices can’t be anyone’s dream job? Maybe not to you, anon, but as with so much else you speak for yourself and not for everyone.

And honey, the only pool of ignorance I bathe in is made of the tears of know-nothing anti-abortionists like you. Ahhh.

[Image description: Oprah relaxes in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne]

anonymous asked:

You can speculate all you want but i don't think you should analyse each move and end up portraying them in a light they may not want to be in..if they're still lowkey about their relationship which i assume is the case since they haven't done anything too scandalous yet,it isn't right to do that.. Sorry if i sound like a bitch,just trying to get my point across

I am very careful to point out, pretty much every time, exactly that. That I am always open to this being something else, than Grethan. And am always very clear to point out, that one event is not enough to point to anything, definitively. It’s a matter of adding pieces to a puzzle, trying to make every piece fit into what you think is the greater image. I am never forcing the pieces into places they are not suppose to fit. 

But I am also very aware, and am putting together several puzzles, of images where opposing views are dominant. That’s scientific methodology. I.e. you can’t simply promote your own point without taking the time to analyze the others as well, to some extent. Otherwise your theory falls apart. 

Do you think that I should stop analyzing them all together? Why? Do you think that they read this blog, and due to my theories become more introverted and scared to be discovered (if Grethan is real)?

You don’t sound like you’re bitching. You’re simply stating a point of view. I respect that. 


Ted Carpenter, 1976.

Some years ago, Oliver LaFarge published a short story about an ethnologist who, as a young man, financed his studies among American Indians by collecting their treasures for museums. Over the years, his love of subject deepened to the point of identity, and towards the end of his life, he devoted much cunning to removing these pieces from museum storage and sending them back to their heirs. His actions came to light after his death when the Indian heirs again offered these pieces for sale.

The story is true. I knew him well. The dilemma he faced, anthropologists are only beginning to acknowledge. The truth is, though native informants may have liked anthropologists personally, they often distrusted their motives. Some suspected profits from books; others noted it was a paid job.

But what disturbed most was the feeling that when their dances and tales were filmed, taped, and written down, they were stolen from them as surely as their lands and furs were taken away. When they saw their sacred treasures under glass, heard their songs on the radio, watched their dances on TV, they not only objected to errors they spotted, they felt robbed. None of this had anything to do with them. They felt used. And they were.

The world’s largest collection of primitive art was put together by a man of great wealth and acquisitiveness who personally inked catalogue numbers on every specimen he bought, then stored these treasures in an inaccessible warehouse. The moment he catalogued a piece, it became his.

Anthropology, as an offspring of colonialism, reflects what Lévi-Strauss calls ‘a state of affairs in which one part of mankind treats the other as object’. The search for self-knowledge, which Montaigne linked to the annihilation of prejudice, has never been a dominant theme in twentieth-century anthropology. Not really. The trend has been towards the manipulation of peoples in the very course of studying them.

I don’t refer to the close link between British anthropologists and the Colonial Office, or to the American anthropologists working on CIA counter-insurgency projects. That was mere Winnie-the-Pooh.

I refer to the anthropologist’s role as a translator. Humane translation preserves and presents. Paul Radin insisted that the only acceptable ethnology was the life history, self told by members of indigenous society. But those who undertook such effort found themselves far removed from the mainstream of anthropology.

Even the concept of relativism has become, in the words of Stanley Diamond, ‘a perspective congenial in an imperial civilization convinced of its power. Every primitive or archaic culture is conceived as a human possibility that can be “tasted”; it is, after all, harmless. We, at our leisure, convert the experience of other cultures into a kind of sport, just as Thorstein Veblen’s modern hunter mimics, and trivializes, what was once a way of life. Relativism is the bad faith of the conqueror, who has become secure enough to travel anywhere.’

Clothing themselves in liberal platitudes and employing what they called ‘scientific methodologies’, anthropologists translated other cultures into unreadable jargon and statistics, almost none of it translatable back into life energy. They erased cultures with irrelevancy and dullness. A few ended up talking to each other in a language known only to themselves, about subjects having no existence outside their closed circle. Little wonder informants felt shut out.

This was not true of a handful of reports published around the turn of the century. Publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology contained detailed, matter-of-fact, accurate descriptions of Zuni ceremonies, Hopi pottery designs, etc. These are used today as reference works by the Zuni and Hopi in their efforts to keep alive their heritage.

Almost nothing published in the last fifty years could serve that end. These later reports aren’t repositories of knowledge; they’re graves. No retrieval from them is possible.

Between 1946 and 1965, a typical research project began with a government grant and the assembly of an interdisciplinary team. Ideally, this included a psychologist, economist, etc., that is, representatives of categories meaningful to our culture, though alien to the culture studied. Generally no one was invited to participate who had shown prior interest in the subject, say someone who had learned the language of the subject group. The thought of including someone from the subject group itself never occurred.

If it was American Indians, reservations were taken as geographical locales, though for many Indians, social drinking-dancing clubs, which cut across reservation lines and centered in cities, were primary. Time categories were based on government budgets, not indigenous calendars.

Every category came from the dominant culture. The indigenous culture wasn’t preserved and presented: it was swallowed.

By the time administrators, missionaries, social workers, and anthropologists got through with indigenous peoples, most were eager to forget their pasts. When ‘Dead Birds’, a superb film on tribal warfare in New Guinea, was shown at the Administrative College, Boroko, one student angrily turned off the project: ‘What right does anyone have to record what we choose to forget?’ His statement was applauded.

The dilemma I faced in New Guinea was this: I had been asked to find more effective uses for electronic media, yet I viewed these media with distrust. I had been employed by government administrators, who, well-intentioned, sought to use these media for human control. They viewed media as neutral tools and they viewed themselves as men who could be trusted to use them humanely. I saw the problem otherwise.

I think media are so powerful they swallow cultures. I think of them as invisible environments which surround and destroy old environments. Sensitivity to problems of culture conflict and conquest becomes meaningless here, for media play no favourites: they conquer all cultures. One may pretend that media preserve and present the old by recording it on film and tape, but that is mere distraction, a sleight-of-hand possible when people keep their eyes focused on content.

I felt like an environmentalist hired to discover more effective uses of DDT. There seemed no way to reach those who needed this information most. Even students at the University of Papua and New Guinea, though often sophisticated about the uses of media for political ends, still naively though that when their images and words appeared within media, this gave them public identity and power. They failed to grasp that this merely acknowledged their existence within these new environments; it in no way guaranteed them creative roles there. What was everywhere needed was the sort of media sophistication which comes only with detachment, dislocation, study. Such sophistication is not easily achieved.

I therefore decided that both the written report and film I produced would be addressed to no particular audience. Like the cry, ‘Fire!’ I hoped they would received the widest possible circulation and not just be heard by arsonists. This meant shunning ‘scholarly’ publications, which have long since become a means of information control; it also meant avoiding conventional formats, another means of neutralizing information. Hence the format of this book.

-Edmund Snow Carpenter, 1976 - Oh, What A Blow That Phantom Gave Me!

The “Interstellar” Standpoint Theory

(Warning: The following contains spoilers.)

Standpoint theory is a philosophy that comes out of feminist epistemology, or rather the study of the ways in which gender influences our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, inquiry, and justification. This theory aims to identify ways in which dominant conceptions of knowledge systematically disadvantage marginalized groups. It strives to reform these practices so that they serve the interests of these groups instead of oppress them. Various feminist epistemologists have argued that dominant knowledge practices disadvantage women by excluding them from inquiry, denying them epistemic authority, disparaging their cognitive styles, producing theories of social phenomena that represent certain genders as inferior, and producing technologies that reinforce gender-based social hierarchies. Feminist epistemologists trace these failures to flawed conceptions of knowledge, objectivity, and scientific methodology. 

Christopher Nolan, with his 2014 cinematic masterpiece “Interstellar,” offers an account of what overcoming these epistemic failures might look like. Not only does Nolan take aim at the stars, but he also takes aim at advocating for the entry of female scholars into different academic disciplines, especially in the sciences. 

The film opens with a narrative from Murphy Cooper, the female theoretical astrophysicist named after Murphy’s Law, which is interpreted here as “whatever can happen, will happen.” Murph, as she’s nicknamed, is the scientist who solves the equation for interstellar travel (and thus saves humanity) by following her intuition and believing in a ghost she feels to be real. In the beginning of the movie, she says that “science is about admitting what we don’t know.” Although she doesn’t know for sure if the ghost exists, Murph follows her intuition, which is what ultimately grants her the scientific knowledge required for saving the entire human race. The greatest scientific advancement in human history comes through this feminine intuition, and Nolan provides another similar example of this as well. 

The film closes with a scene of Dr. Amelia Brand, a female biologist, as the first inhabitant of humanity’s new home, a new Earth. Dr. Brand had left Earth following her heart, as she knew the mission would bring her into close proximity of a planet that her former lover was last known to be on. During a debate amongst the crew regarding the decision of which planet is most feasible for them to reach, Brand defends her reasoning to visit her lover’s with the assertion that “love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that even if we can’t understand it yet.” Ultimately, Brand’s planet of choice is the planet that ends up being the new home for the human race, and the planet that Brand arrives to as a lone pioneer, as the mother-figure and founder of a new, and assuringly more advanced, civilization. Brand was in the right all along, based on her perception of love. 

The juxtapositions to these feminine standpoints are those of Dr. Mann (fittingly named) and Professor Brand, Amelia’s father. Dr. Mann ends up being the cowardly main antagonist of the storyline, trying to sabotage the mission of saving humanity in an attempt to preserve his own life. Professor Brand ends up being the greatest liar humanity has ever known, deceiving the masses with the false promise that he would be able to save them. Nolan depicts these masculine characters as immoral with narrow-sighted selfish interests. The women, with their altruism and honesty, are the outstanding heroes here. 

With “Interstellar,” Nolan has generated new questions in showing how feminist values can play a causal role in scientific transformations. Nolan promotes a standpoint theory that supports egalitarian and liberating social movements. More importantly, he defends these feminist developments as cognitive, and not just social, advances. 

The central concept of feminist epistemology is that of a situated knower and of situated knowledge, a knowledge that reflects the particular perspective of the knower. Perhaps the greater situated knower in “Interstellar” is the collective human species, having the situated knowledge of our helpless existence in the universe. If only the perspective of greater humanity was to love, then perhaps the indifference of the universe wouldn’t be as frightening. Perhaps Nolan’s critique is that humanity is too masculine, as he depicts our attempts at dominating and manipulating nature as only destructive and detrimental to our own well-being in the long run. Maybe Nolan suggests that if humanity could be more loving, then we could have a grounding that no force in the universe could take away… 

The “Interstellar” Standpoint Theory: In loving each other, we are at home in the universe. 

From GeekyCon in the South Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida this is…

  • Television: Star vs. The Forces of Evil is back on the air and back on the list at No. 8. And Adventure Time is now a mobile game, putting the show back on the list at No. 17.

  • Movies: Avengers returns at No. 3, probably because of the after-credits scene in Ant-Man, which tops our charts. And Maze Runner found its way to No. 15. Here’s the new trailer.
  • Music: All that drama put Taylor and Nicki at Nos. 2 and 3 respectively, but even that couldn’t knock 5 Seconds of Summer out of No. 1. And rumors about a new Frank Ocean album bring him back to the list at No. 18.
  • Celebrities: The First Family of Reality TV dominated the top half of the celebrity list. Kylie Jenner moved up one to first place, Kim K is up 11, now No. 3, Kendall rose two to No. 5, and Caitlyn rounds out No. 10.

  • Games: Life is Strange episode 4 got a release date, sending the franchise to No. 9.  

  • Web celebs: Tyler Oakley revealed the cover of his new book and rose five spots to No. 7. Carter Reynolds made waves crashing VidCon and appeared at No. 9.

Wondering where the lists come from? They come from your conversations. Check out our About page for pleasingly scientific methodology.

Originally posted by to-cut-a-womans-hair

The Consulting Detectives Scientific Method

Everyone knows (or should know) the Scientific Method, the methodical system consisting of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. As a consulting detective I must administer a similar system of reaching conclusions that includes deductive, abductive and inductive reasoning. The steps are as follows:

1. Prompt/Question-
     Weather it is handed to you or you think of it yourself you still have a problem. The solution can be found rather easily. For example lets say you must determine the economical status of an individual using data presented from a single encounter.

2. Observe Everything-
     So you have your prompt, now you must collect data. When you observe you must observe everything. You should look at all articles of clothing that are visible, smell any fumes or scents, feel the texture of their belongings that you may find yourself holding. Use all of your senses that you can possibly use to collect data short of licking them.

3. Disregard Useless Data-
     Once you take in all the information you can it’s time to delete some. Yep you just spent so much time gathering those facts and now you gotta sort through the important stuff. Remember nothing is small to a great mind, but something can be negligible to the situation at hand. If you observed that they don’t wear a lot of red or are half deaf in one ear than you probably don’t need that in determining their economical status. This excess information should be disregarded but saved for possible future prompts that may come your way.

4. Formulate a Hypothesis-
     This does not mean to theorize before getting your solution. The last thing you want to do is to shape facts to fit answers, you want to shape answers to fit facts. This step lets you create a basis that you can experiment off of. In this case you could be able to tell that the person is higher than a very low class status but lower than a very high class status. All you’re doing is creating a boundary line that you can work in and be sure of based on the facts available.

5. Experimentation (not quite what you think)-
     In this version of the scientific method that I use and created experimentation is probably not what you are thinking of. For this you need imagination. Start creating scenarios in you mind’s eye and plug in variables until all the facts are proven to be true. Play with it until there are a few possible solutions.

6. Analyse and Subtract-
     Analyse these few solutions that are left. Get rid of everything that is absolutely impossible. Set the highly improbable to the side for further examination and focus on the more obvious answers. The improbable can sometimes be the explanation but don’t plan on it, the more obvious solution is generally the correct one unless you’re missing some of the facts that disprove it which leads to the next step.

7. Revise and Re-experiment-
     Once you get new data you should go back and revise your hypothesis. Just like in any scientific inquiry new information can change everything so you should be ready to re-experiment and play with more scenarios.

Once you are happy with what you got you should see if you were correct so that you know if you’re on the right track. Now i’m not saying you should go around formulating peoples incomes and then asking if you were correct, I actually advise against this. You should instead start out with someone you know well enough to not get offended or try a totally different question all together until you are proficient enough to move on to much higher situations like per se a murder case.

The Klaroline Experiment:

I decided to do a little experiment today.

Picking one of the most obvious days of the year (April 1st), I changed my URL from klarolinestormborn to bigbadhybridandlittlewolf. 

My hypothesis was that people would take it as a joke and play along with it. Like many initial beliefs, however, scientific methodology proved mine incorrect.

My followers dropped like flies and I received panicked and hateful messages questioning my transfer from a Klaroline blog to a Klayley one.

Now, I am a diehard Klaroliner- as I have proved many, many times. My fingers bleed words onto your computer screens encouraging you all to persevere and to keep faith in our ship. 

That is where my point lies.

I have left you all with no doubt to where my loyalties lay, and yet you still doubted them.

You wonder how TVD and TO continue to hurt and baffle us, and that is the answer.

Your faith in me is strong, yet at the first sign of any change or anything new or different, all hell broke loose.

It’s even APRIL FOOL’S DAY and you still question the legitimacy of my faith.

And this is why Julie Plec is able to hurt us.

Klaroline is endgame. That is a canon fact.

So why on earth do you doubt it?

Because Camille and Hayley and Genevieve and Stefan and Enzo get in the way?

I just spent an hour perusing the Klayley tag (for my prank) and it didn’t hurt at all: and she is carrying Klaus’s child for crying out loud!

Keep your blinders on and don’t let anything anyone says or tries to shove down your throats make you think any less.

There is no competition. There is no alternate. There is only Klaroline.

That is all I have to say.