The End of Science

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The End of Science

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:47 pm

Thread about the end of science and other old ways as put forward by various technologists and futurists.

To start with the Register's Anton Wylie article Google and the End of Science - Bringing it all back Hume. It's commenting on Google's research director Peter Norvig claim that: "all models are wrong, and increasingly you can succeed without them" and the Wired article The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete

Short summary:

    Chris Anderson: "Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves."

    Anderson contends that the same applies for all science - its models are inherently of limited value. Either they are wrong, for example they "caricature... a more complex underlying reality" (quantum mechanics), or we don't know how to prove them experimentally (string theories about the universe), or they raise more questions than they answer (epigenetics in biology).

    So the irony is that science, having made its tribal lay with the philosophical school of empiricism over three centuries ago, and seemingly having derived sustenance from it, now has to kill it to go forward. The alternative for scientific theorising, if Anderson is correct, is to be killed by it - by it and Google.

    Never has hard thinking been more required
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Re: The End of Science

Postby Russell Parr » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:09 pm

Very interesting.

Of course, science will never die. Instead, it appears that we will rely on AI tech to assist in, or take over, science more than ever in the future.

It reminds me of bitcoin, which IMO will continue to grow, eventually massively, as more people learn to trust it. Perhaps even more interestingly, this also reminds me of a fellow named Clif over at halfpasthuman.com who claims to have created an algorithim that surveys the internet for linguistic patterns that enable him to make vague, yet reliable predictions of the future. Personally, his reports and language seem too advanced for me to get a good grip on, perhaps someone else here might better understand what he's on about, if so inclined to check it out.

I'll have more to add regarding the articles, probably tomorrow (it's midnight here).
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Re: The End of Science

Postby Russell Parr » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:36 am

Automation increases freedom. What will we do with such freedom? Are we heading towards Idiocracy? Endless entertainment is but a mere click or tap away. The opportunity to devolve into a simple-minded, hedonistic lifestyle has never been easier.

On the other hand, we live in a time where information is available at an unprecedented level. "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice," quips Donald Miller. Anyone with a smartphone has the world's knowledge in their pocket. And with that, anyone can learn from the greatest spiritual teachers of the past and present at their own whim. The opportunity to gain enlightenment has never been so easily accessible.

As bleak things look, I do not think all is lost. As it goes, most will follow the path of least resistance. But there will always be those that buck against the norm, for better or worse. I believe that when humanity becomes swollen with ignorance, the propensity for a sage to emerge and stand over the rest also increases.
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