Podcast: The Amateur Society – Stephen Hawking, Science, And Philosophy – 03.19.2018

HorseheadNebula

The death of Stephen Hawking brings to an end the latest epoch of physics and cosmology. While there will be extensive continuity, we must understand that our understanding of physics and the universe is – when properly performed – expanding and developing. What will future generations highlight about this particular period in which the triumph of science over philosophy was espoused? What is the proper approach to understanding the interaction between science and philosophy? How do we evaluate hypotheses when we don’t have the empirical tools to recreate their conditions? Why haven’t we been able to formulate a grand unified theory? How does worldview inevitably intrude on these discussions? The group addresses these questions and more on the latest installment of The Amateur Society! To join in these discussions please send a contact request to amateursociety on Skype and hop on our calls at 8:00pm Eastern every Monday.

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The Cult Of Expertise And Neo-Feudalism

neofeudalism

We are told to trust the experts. They know what is right. They know what is best. We would all be better off if we would all just outsource our decision making and follow their advice, suggestions, and commands. Those who don’t obey the experts are the ones who are making things difficult for the rest of us. If only we could get rid of those pesky fools who won’t listen to the experts then all of our problems would be solved. After all, the experts know how to solve all our problems. They told us they do. Not only that: they’re experts! Surely we don’t want to go against the experts. They’re much smarter than we are. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if we all just went along with the program?

Here at The Amateur Society we have no overarching gripe against experts generally as a category of people. When I needed reconstructive foot surgery as a child I went to an expert. The medical field provides us with any number of areas where expertise is fundamentally necessary. More broadly speaking, we are always reliant upon others who have more developed skills than we do in various areas. If you can guarantee that you are 100% self-reliant in all current and potential future scenarios, then drop me a line. I’d be thrilled to learn from your experience and abilities!

What I vigorously object to is what I call the cult of expertise.

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