People exhibit medieval-like ignorance when it comes to science. When they repeat, like dumb woodpeckers, “trrrrust science! trrrrrust science!,” I feel very hopeless.
Two hundred+ years since the Enlightenment, and people still don’t see any difference between science and the Word of God. They think that a prophet comes, lays down the law, and then we have to prove the strength of our faith (or trust) in his infallibility by rejecting any corrections to the prophesy.
Science, as everybody on this blog knows, is the exact opposite. It isn’t weakened by constant doubt. To the contrary, questioning, probing, tinkering, and doubting are indispensable for science to flourish. The very first contribution to a new field is never the law. It’s a start to a conversation.
I’m not a scientist, obviously, but I have learned quite a bit about the Enlightenment era and the birth of the modern mentality. It’s precisely this constantly evolving nature of the human knowledge, the normality of doubt, and the possibility of any authority collapsing under the weight of new discoveries that it was so hard for the medieval minds to accept.
People are trying to make science serve the purpose that religion used to serve, and it’s a waste of time.
Why is it always “women of color” but never “men of color”? Stacey Abrams is always “a woman of color” but Barack Obama is always “a black man or an African-American man.”
Also, why is it always “black and brown bodies” and never “white bodies”? Instead, it’s invariably “white people.” It’s kind of demeaning to be one of the “bodies” when another group is “people.”
The “brown bodies” thing reminds me of when Klara tells me after a bath, “Mommy, please help me dry my body parts.”
For a certain type of person, it’s very anxiety-reducing to have the whole family at home all the time.
It does mess with one’s mind after a while. N took Klara for a walk around the neighborhood the other day, and halfway through the two-hour walk I started imagining horrible scenarios, extraneous noises in the house, appliances turning on by themselves.
In Ukraine, when somebody publishes a puff piece on a politician like the recent WashPo profile of Stacey Abrams, everybody knows it was paid for with a bribe and has an approximate idea of how much the journalist charged for it. (Of course, in Ukraine it would be better written and less open to mockery).
I always thought it was really sad. But now I know that it’s a lot sadder when people write and read this kind of article completely seriously.