Posts Tagged ‘baducation’

WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD?

October 21, 2020

Science works, so we suppose, because it is more evidence-based, more logical and more objective than other subjects. So much so that nowadays we are all urged to argue in an ‘evidence-based’ manner.

The extraordinary truth though is that nobody knows what ‘The Scientific Method’ is, or how it actually works.

Back in 1997 when my own scientific project sank into a quagmire of ‘Conflicting Evidence’ I felt that the only way to rescue it would be to track down The Scientific Method and apply it to my problem. Easier said than done. Little did I realise that I was embarked on a quest that would last 20 years and range across 25 centuries. The gurus of the business, the Philosophers of Science and the Statisticians, turned out to have little grasp of real Science and were embroiled in squabbles of their own making, having to do with the colour of angels. Indeed they’d so befuddled the subject that no proper scientist would go anywhere near it. Instead scientists carried on, as they always had done, using Common Sense. Unfortunately, from my point of view, none of them seemed willing, or able, to explain just how Common Sense Thinking worked. So I set sail to find out, starting from the suspicion that Common Sense must be a survival mechanism largely inherited from our animal forbears.

Finally (2018) I cracked it . If it seems insane, not to say downright immodest, to claim that one is the first to understand how Common Sense Thinking, and The Scientific Method (much the same), work, I entirely agree. But sometimes the truth dawns first not on the brilliant, but on the first to ask the right question — in this case “How do animals Think?”, because of course they do, otherwise they wouldn’t still be here.

Einstein averred that ; “Science is no more than a refinement of everyday thinking” but admitted “The physicist cannot proceed without a much more difficult problem (than physics), the problem of analysing the nature of everyday thinking.”

If Science stems from Common Sense, and Common Sense is born with us as a vital part of our inherited survival strategy, then why do we need to understand it? Because it must be adapted to a modern world vastly different from the ancient one in which it evolved. To think straight nowadays, and make best use of wonderful modern tools such as search engines and the Internet, we need to become thoroughly familiar with Bayes’ Rule, Ockham’s Razor, the Principle of Animal Wisdom (PAW), Gambling Theory and The Detective’s Equation — almost none of which form part of a contemporary education, even though they could all be picked up by 14-year-olds. Indeed much of modern education actively undermines our capacity to think straight.

If you are interested in thinking as well as it is possible for us humans to do you might want to look at my book Thinking for Ourselves [ Amazon paperback, 2020, 605 pages, £14.50]. The book is described in more detail elsewhere on this site while there is a short and I hope readable resume’ to be read at:

https://mjdisney.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/scamsmv5.pdf

CLOCK TIME IS NOT HUMAN

October 17, 2020

Time is the most mysterious concept in all of Physics, and yet Time is the journal and magic-carpet of our human lives. In its first guise as Clock Time — it is a modern dispassionate concept measured by clockwork or crystal; in its second, as Human Time, a deeply personal measure, yet as old as the hills. So why on Earth do we continually confuse the two concepts, by some quirk of history calling them by the same name, when in truth they are fundamentally different. By confusing the two we can warp our entire lives, overvaluing old age for instance, undervaluing childhood. After all, there was never any good reason to imagine that Clock-Time was measuring Human-Time as well.

Two coinciding life-events drove me to wonder about this confusion. A fine young student of mine died of incurable cancer just as he was about to complete his Astrophysics degree . And my very old father opted to undergo an extremely risky operation to restore his health: “But Dad, what if you die prematurely?” I asked

“A year more or less at my age is of little consequence” he replied , “After all it would be only one in ninety. If I were nine instead it would be far more valuable, being a whole ninth of my entire life.”

After pondering the matter I concluded that Dad must be right. Human Time and Clock (or Calendrical) Time were two entirely different concepts, and that being the case I should investigate the relationship between the two. That turned out to be richly insightful. Indeed without understanding that relationship, I don’t see how anyone can become wise.

Dad survived his op. and lived happily until he was 96, when he died in a fit of rage occasioned by his bloody family. And I was able to comfort the student’s parents by explaining he had lived, in Human Time, for more than half the total human span.

You can download an essay on the two kinds of Time, and some of the consequences which follow, by double clicking on

https://mjdisney.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/humantime.pdf

IMMIGRATION BOMBSHELL

October 16, 2020

 

An immigration rate of about half a per cent a year as we presently have in Britain, sounds innocuous. I certainly thought so. Thus people who object to it are sometimes branded as ‘racists’ or worse by ‘liberals’. But liberals generally don’t understand that half a per cent a year is the equivalent of 3 British mothers out of 4 raising an extra child. So it is dramatic. Even as a very experienced user and teacher of maths myself, I was very surprised indeed when I worked this out last year (2019). Indeed I was so shocked I refused to believe it for weeks until I had re-done the calculation in several independent ways. But it seems there can be no doubt about it.

How could a small percentage lead to apocalyptic growth? Mainly because immigrants arrive every year whilst births and deaths are lifetime events, and Life-expectancy in Europe today is about 80 years. So you have to multiply yearly immigration rates by 80 to appreciate the real scale of it. Then again, only the female half of the existing population breeds, while immigrants come in in both sexes. So that’s another multiplying factor of 2. Now we can begin to see why the current figure of roughly 300,000 immigrants/year is equivalent to 160 times that amount in a lifetime, or 48 Million. It is indeed equivalent to 3 British mothers out of 4 having an extra child. [Alternatively note that the immigration rate is about half the annual birth rate; that should make one think — indeed that’s what started me calculating.]

I don’t think any of us can have a fruitful. discussion of immigration (or population control in general, which was my initial interest) unless we understand the scale of it. There is no avoiding the conclusion that at anything like its present level immigration will swamp Britain. That’s not racism, that is simple algebra. Alas very few of our governing or media elite are numerate enough to comprehend the scale of the problem while residents in certain areas know only too well they are being swamped, or have been already.

I discuss Population and Immigration as impersonally as I can in my recent book History of the Brits (from a scientists point of view), Amazon 2020. It is described elsewhere on this site under ‘My Books’ Category Here is the summary at the end of Chapter 16, which deals only with the numbers:

“Any discussion of population and immigration which doesn’t take numbers into account is worthless. Who sensible would argue that all or any immigration is either wholly good or wholly bad – surely it is a question of how much; and that takes some calculating:

We have found that:

  1. Indigenous Brits have largely descended from a few hundred hunter-gatherers who were stranded here when Doggerland was inundated around 6500 BC. There is thus no way Brits can argue that they are especially talented people who got here because of, for instance, their seafaring enterprise. The silly buggers were simply cut off. Lucky devils!
  2. Subsequent invasions must have been more of ideas than people. Ideas can obviously fly.
  3. The indigenous British population is approximately 400 generations old.
  4. So as to make up for occasional setbacks such as plagues and droughts all animal populations must be able to grow exponentially. Such is the nature of exponential growth however that minute rates of growth or decline can lead eventually to apocalyptic changes in population. We all need an intuitive grasp of this vital process. [See Box]
  5. Many debates about immigration policy are confused, and have led to shouting matches, because educated but innumerate people have confounded immigration rates with population numbers and so have dramatically underestimated the long term effects of immigration. To compare a rate with a number one must first multiply the rate by twice the life expectancy of the existing population – 160 years in Britain. Thus the current rate of roughly 300,000 immigrants a year corresponds to a total number of 48 million migrants! This dramatic multiplier, which was by no means obvious, needs most careful thought – and acknowledgement.

NB The vital Intergenerational Population Multiplier is:

X= (b+B)/2 where b is the average number of children per mother (close to 2.0) while B=2IT/P where I is the net annual immigration rate (about 300,000 at present), T the average life expectancy (about 80 years), and P the existing population (about 67 Million in 2020). If you work it out B comes to about 0.75 extra babies per mother — as claimed above.

(The 2 in B arises because only the female half of the indigenous population breeds so the fair ratio of immigration to breeding has to be I/(P/2) = 2I/P while the T converts a rate into a number.)

Furthermore:

Britons are comparatively wealthy; immigrants are comparatively poor – which is mostly why they come. Thus, immigration must necessarily drain the per capita accumulated wealth of a host country. People don’t talk about this. Thus the present immigration rate is halving the UK’s annual accumulation of wealth – which is a very slow process.[Note 3]. Thus each immigrant costs the UK roughly a million pounds, but for some reason people never talk about that This is already showing up in the present housing crisis – the canary in the mine.

The great news is that we can, if we want to, reduce our present population to a sustainable level (less than 20 million?) in only two generations without any need for draconian restrictions such as a One Child policy, provided we now halt immigration almost entirely. Because of the aforesaid 160, small numbers of immigrants arriving per year are , in this context, equivalent to large numbers of extra babiesEvery citizen should understand that. It is not obvious, but it is absolutely spinal!

But the point of this post is simply to help anyone interested in these subjects to understand the Maths, and if possible to check it. To that end I have written a short algebraic essay which you can click on at:

https://mjdisney.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/immigmaths-copy.pdf