a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!

I used to have an account under this very username on physforum.com (lol just checked, it's probably offline forever!), where I would occasionally engage people who were more or less delusional about their pet theories: a university professor who was convinced the sun was made mostly of iron, anti-global warmers (this was a decade ago), and armchair cosmologists with no mathematical grasp of anything at all. There was never anything good that came of this relatively mild white-knightery, and I'm more or less done-skis with correcting folks who aren't reasonable in their scientific beliefs.

We have been living in an era where the technology of our everyday necessities is beyond most people's interest, area of expertise, or capacity of comprehension. It's a little weird. It probably wasn't too hard to explain the entire telegram system to a young adult. But understanding the full complexity of the internet is arguably a life-long endeavor. Do you ever miss the farm, where you just knew how all the tools worked because they broke all the time so you had to fix them? Or maybe way back when, the days of throwing spears at stuff; if you didn't know how everything in your world worked by the time you were an adolescent, you might die. Now, you've got kids needing to budget hopefully no more than 15 hours a week completing an exercise in which one mathematically derives the result of a guy's entire PhD study from less than a century ago.

So I agree, that's probably what some of this is, a primal rebellion against all the weird shit people don't understand.