I too have had enough of listening to radio programmes where half the programme is made up of listeners' texts, or watching television programmes that have text messages scrolling across the bottom of the screen, or people in general who think that just because they have an opinion about something, it automatically gives them as much authority as everyone else.
The sad thing is that it's not confined to telly and radio, but has leaked into the wider world. In a recent issue of Big Brain Journal I was reading, scientists were talking about the current state of the relationship between science and politics in the U.S. (not very good, in case you were wondering) and what could be done about it. One of the problems, as they, the trained scientists, saw it, was that any politician or muttonhead off the street seemed to be able to go around and make decisions on things like stem cell research or nuclear fission or evolution, without having any knowledge at all of the thing they were legislating for or against or talking about. Scientists do not think that that is the best way to get science done, or run a larger society. And I agree with them. People should shut up and do as they're told by people in authority, and not ask awkward questions.
No, wait, I don't mean that. But that's what muttonheads want you to think I mean, because they want you to think that the logical conclusion of preventing people without special expertise from making decisions that require special expertise is that we end up living in godless vats while our eggs are sucked out of us to be experimented on, killed, and then ghoulishly reanimated in front of us to wander the earth as undead atheists wishing they came from safe, two-parent, heterosexual, godly families. The scientists in Big Brain Journal offered a couple of solutions to this problem.
- Make people learn more about science.
- Make scientists learn more about people who don't know about science, so they can talk to them better.
How do you feel about science and politics?