Posts filed under Politics

Science as Radicalism

Hey, read this. Seriously.

Science as Radicalism

William Gillis

It’s no secret that a good portion of the left today considers science profoundly uncool. A slight affinity with it persists among a majority, but few asides of scorn by the continental philosophers influential in the contemporary leftist canon see spirited response and science’s most prominent champions remain dated historical figures like Peter Kropotkin and Élisée Reclus. Indeed there’s a lingering whiff of technocratic stodginess and death that the word “science” has never quite shaken. Those leftists most associated with it have a tendency to either be authoritarians looking to legitimize near-fascist narratives, or doe-eyed activists enchanted by saccharine visions of self-managed bureaucracies and The Meeting That Never Ends. To a great many who identify as radicals “science” appears in our lives primarily as a place our various enemies habitually retreat to conjure the authority their shoddy arguments couldn’t.

. . .

The fact of the matter is that the remarkably successful phenomenon that the term “Science!” has wrapped itself around is not so much a methodology as an orientation. What was really going on, what is still going on in science that has given it so many great insights is the radicalism of scientists, that is to say their vigilant pursuit after the roots (or ‘radis’). Radicals constantly push our perspectives into extreme or alien contexts until they break or become littered with unwieldy complications, and when such occurs we are happy to shed off the historical baggage entirely and start anew. To not just add caveats upon caveats to an existing model but to sometimes prune them away or throw it all out entirely. Ours is the search for patterns and symmetries that might reflect more universal dynamics rather than merely good rules of thumb within a specific limited context. As any radical knows “good enough” is never actually enough.

— William Gillis, Science as Radicalism
Human Iterations, 18 Sextilis 2015

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Science as Radicalism

Officer Involved

Normally, people who write newspaper headlines are notorious for removing any word that they could possibly cut — often paring away so many words that they leave ambiguous or utterly cryptic headlines.[1] Not always, though:

Officer-involved shooting leaves 1 dead

Sometimes, an officer is involved. Ever notice how far a newspaper writer will go, when an officer is involved, just to avoid writing Police killed a man in so many words?

Here’s the story to go with the headline:

Metro Police are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting Sunday morning near Buffalo and Alta Drives.

According to police, the incident was a neighbor dispute with possible shots fired on the 7000 block of Palmdale Avenue. SWAT teams were called out to assist as the barricaded male suspect was shot and transported to University Medical Center where he died of his injuries.

“At some point the individual came out carrying a rifle. Our hostage negotiators asked a number of times for the subject to put down the rifle and at some point raised the rifle in their direction, ” Metro Capt. Matt McCarthy said. Several of our officers fired on our subject to stop the threat and the subject went down.”

No officers were injured.

— Jonathan Cisowski and Mauricio Marin, Officer-involved shooting leaves 1 dead (23 Sextilis 2015)

Metro Police have shot eight people in Las Vegas this year. They killed five of the eight people they’ve shot.


Black Bottom

Here’s a story about Black Bottom LLC, in Detroit. If you don’t know this history, it is something that you ought to know. If you don’t know this group, then they are some folks you ought to check out.

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Who Fixes Detroit? Young Black Detroiters Want To Resurrect A Lo…

Black Bottom was once a vibrant black oasis in Detroit, till it was demolished for a freeway. Now, young black visionaries in Detroit are experimentin… (via Lester Spence)


Hey Las Vegas

Shared Article from Raw Story

#BlackLivesMatter activists shut down Jeb Bush campaign event in…

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush ended a town hall early on Wednesday after being interrupted by members of the Black Lives Matter movement,…

Arturo Garcia @


In which the New York Daily News runs a lifestyle story about a perfectly ordinary human practice that has been completely, unremarkably common for 99% of human history, and everybody freaks the hell out, because it involves women breastfeeding.

Shared Article from NY Daily News

Pa. mom breastfeeds friend's son, promotes milk sharing

A Pennsylvania mom posted a picture of her breastfeeding her friend's son to raise awareness about "milk sharing."

Jacqueline Cutler @