Macaulay’s Idea of Progress – the bifurcation of material and social progress – Some thoughts on David Berlinski


Thomas Babington Macaulay, National Portrait Gallery, London [John Partridge d.1872]

Thomas Babington Macaulay,  National Portrait Gallery, London            [John Partridge d.1872]

David Berlinski begins his, still unacountably unfinished, book The Best of Times with this quote from 19th century British philosopher and Whig politician Thomas Babington Macaulay:

“We rely on the natural tendency of the human intellect to truth, and of the natural tendency of society to improvement.”

The 20th and 21st centuries speak otherwise according to Berlinski.

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A Froward Child Redux – some personal vindication, I may not be a complete dupe, and the inexorable advace of the Citizen Scientist


A froward child                                                                                      [Ghost of a Flea-Wm. Blake-1820]

Some exciting news for me in the last few days, and some possible intellectual vindication.  I may not be a [complete] dupe of the fossil fuel industry after all! – and – some of my long standing intuitions about the true state of science are presently being fulfilled.

Last March I was presented a copy of Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway’s recent book, Merchants of Doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming, by a family member due to concern over my lack of appropriate conviction in the predictions of immanent environmental disaster and grave peril to the Earth, its ecosystem and human inhabitants due to [apparent] increases in global average surface temperature resulting from anthropogenic carbon-dioxide being released into the atmosphere due to mankind’s the burning of fossil fuels.  [notice how carefully I define my ignorance]  I took this ‘gift’ as a kind of intellectual slap in the face – thanks.

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