Monday, May 27, 2013

On academics, abstraction, and model addictio

Posted on May 19, 2013  by Judith Curry
What we can see in academic support for climate change is an emotional zeal combined with a highly developed form of abstract thought that is not very healthy, especially when it is combined with a strong sense of self-interest. – Greg Melleuish
The Australian has a interesting essay entitled  Too many academics are driven to abstraction by their addiction models, written by Gregory Melleuish.  Excerpts:
The moderate enlightenment always sought to reconcile the great body of ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things that we have inherited from the past with the new discoveries of the sciences.
The radical enlightenment, from the 17th century until today, has little or no time for tradition and wants to make the world anew on the basis of abstract, and usually untried, theories. Moreover, they believe that it is possible to inflict those theories on the world through an act of will.
We should fear this growing dominance of the abstract over the concrete and of an adversarial culture over one that seeks to reconcile ideas and the practical realities of the world.
Climate change has largely been pushed by academics and their allies in the media. Why has climate change proved to be so popular among academia as a group? I think that there are a number of answers.
The first is naked self-interest.  They have discovered that with climate change they are on a real winner. ......To Read More.....

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