Story a Day, Day 7: Science! Don’t Believe Anything You Read.

Today’s prompt: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/09/science-rears-its-head-in-repu.html

Like Picasso, I also had a blue period that lasted from my mid teens to my early thirties.  I didn’t express my blue period through painting, but rather through getting ragingly drunk, often throwing up, and passing out at my friend’s houses.  Later, while looking through Picasso’s paintings, I realized his blue period referred less to his “blues” than to the fact that he painted blue.  So I guess my blue period is really more of a reddish brown period.  Goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read.

Actually, you can’t believe a single thing you read.  Not a one.  You can learn about this in Plato’s Republic, about only trusting what you can perceive through the sense, not doing it.  Everything we do puts way too much faith in other people, and people will always put themselves first, and they will lie like nobody’s business to keep themselves there.  I didn’t read this in a book: I experienced it first hand.

Even though I worked for companies that shared my last name, my two-decade drinking and partying and not giving a damn habit still made me somewhat expensive.  I of course got a salary that was generous (but that I deserved), but even that wasn’t enough to keep up with my lifestyle.  My family worked hard for their money, and I was the fortunate generation that was going to make sure it was enjoyed.

Even though I made more than I needed, was given more than I wanted, I still found myself lying on expense reports.  Doubling up so I could keep some money for those extracurriculars that wouldn’t look too good on a receipt.  And people bought it.  Wholesale.  Nobody double checked. I just invented things, and people whose job it was to check these sorts of things–whose whole lives were about reading my receipts–were completely fooled.  Because I’d written it down and I was in a position of authority, of course it was true.  Don’t believe one iota of what someone else tells you.

I started thinking about this: I lied for my interest, but what about other people?  We paid doctors to give us medicine.  Why wouldn’t they just give us something regardless if it worked?  If we got better, great! If we got worse, well, they tried.  Who were others to argue?  Lawyers, its a given.  But teachers give information and then they test on that very same information.  It doesn’t matter if its true. A test just validates a teacher’s ability to engage a student’s memory.

Scientists worst of all–we PAY them to be right.  We don’t even understand the data and barely the answer, so how easy it must be to just make something up.  Even better, why not just make something up and call it inconclusive–nothing is 100%, therefore it needs more studying. Hmm. Who should study it?  Well, I’m the guy with both a lab coat and the bullshit degree (given to me by teachers, see above). That qualifies me to do it.  Give me some more millions in research.

So who could I trust?  Everyone does this–its not a bad thing.  Unless we’re all bad. But personally, I feel like if you haven’t figured this general system out, you’re either stupid or lazy.

I knew, having realized this, that I needed to figure things out for myself.  Gravity, sure. Air? Yes- we breath it, you can bottle it, compress it.  Water is water.  But thats just my point: water IS water–the idea of H20 is entirely abtract.  That someone found these tiny things that we can’t even see and decided to name one hydrogen and another oxygen is entirely abritrary.  Its like naming your kid Catherine, and from then on, all blonde newborns that we see are named Catherine.  It’s that arbitrary, but we think someone was really smart for saying that.

I’m not saying science is a trick. I’m saying that science that we don’t explore ourselves is a trick. I don’t believe anything that I haven’t done myself, and with all the serious things going on in this world–you shouldn’t base your answers off of what someone else says.  I believe in my past and my rectitude now because I lived my past, I know it.  But scientists?  No.  My present? Yes. My future?  We can’t know what’s coming.

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About Big Adam

A NYC doorman, a community organizer, wannabe ape, sometimes blogger, sometimes writer, always crossword puzzle incompleter, I will ride bicycles with your papa, dance Bhangra with your mama, take you on dates that cost nada.
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