Thursday, April 30, 2015

Health of Fields: Winners and Losers

The health of an industry is judged by what kind of people are attracted to it. When I was taking computer classes in 1995 and 1996, the classroom was packed with eager, motivated people who were determined to make something of their lives. When I took a computer class in 2001, the classroom was much more sparsely attended, and most people in it came across to me as losers.

I've been both a winner and a loser; and I am not judging these people. I am however noticing a pattern. The better the prospects of an industry, the more winners it attracts. The worse the prospects of an industry, the more it is likely that the people that it attracts are going to be losers.

Right now I am doing training in aged care; and I am very impressed with other people looking for work in the field. At the place where I am doing my training, many of the students are kind, strong and even saintly. Of course aged care is going to be a growing field as baby boomers retire; and, given what I have seen of the other people moving into the field, there are long-term prospects in aged care.

Of course eventually, as baby boomers start dying, this field is going to shrink; but there is a lot of time before that happens. Eventually the winners will start leaving the field, and eventually the losers will dominate the interested population. There is however a long time until then. So I am leaving a field where I can't compete and moving into a field that is growing. And from what I've seen so far, there is a lot that stands to be done in this field.

On Human Nature

There are many people who believe that human nature is evil, or that human nature is sin. As a father, I know that they are wrong.

My daughter's first social interaction, at age 1, was coming up to another little girl and giving her a hug. I've seen children play peacefully across gender lines and across racial lines. And I've also seen people with no acquaintence to Chr istianity, Judaism or Islam – people such as my grandmother, who was a Communist – acting in responsible, compassionate, hard-working and generous ways.

At age 16, as a student at a Christian school, I was talking to my mother about “common human nature,” and she said that I was wrong. She said that she had never wanted to hurt anyone. I realized that she was right. There are all sorts of people – such as my mother and my daughter – who are born good. Which completely refutes the claim that human nature is sin, or that human nature is of the Satan.

However neither is the nature of all people good. And for those whose nature is not good, the solution is choice based on values. Any human being is capable of choice. Which means that even the people who are naturally sociopaths or bullies or scoundrels can act rightfully if they put their minds to it.

In some cases goodness is natural; in other cases it has to be attained through an effort of will. In either case it is possible to be a good person. Having been a bad person at some times in my life and a good person at others, I know that goodness is attainable for everyone. It is a matter of choice; and everyone is capable of it.

Islam and Liberalism

The people who are against Islam in the West are frequently portrayed as bigots. A bigot is someone who judges something that he knows nothing about; and I am sure that many of these people really are just that: bigots. That description does not extend however to people who are against Islam knowingly.

I am against Islam; but I am not a bigot. I've read the Quran, and I've known any number of women who were married to Muslim men. And what I have seen is far from pretty.

Quran actually promises (Sura 76:19) boys in paradise. Mohammad himself was a pedophile who had sex with a 9-year-old girl when he was 84. And Islam was spread through extremely forcible means, including killing 150 million people during its expansion in Middle East and India.

Among the women I've known who had been married to Muslim men, very few had anything but horror stories to tell. There was a woman who had her elbow permanently dislocated. There was a woman who was being brutally beaten, whose Muslim husband said in court: “She is my wife, I can beat her whenever I want to.”

When I was working for a food place ran by a Lebanese Christian couple, they had a friend, a young Muslim woman from Algeria who was trying to get a divorce from her violent Algerian husband. Thugs kept coming in to intimidate my boss for helping her. She eventually got a divorce, but it cost her $60,000 of her father's money. At the end of which the landlord, who was Muslim, pulled my boss's lease.

Why do so many people who are into feminism support Islam, the most militantly misogynistic ideology on the planet? Probably because they aren't thinking straight. The authoritarian Western Christian man against whom they militate is mild compared to these people. They are so blinded by their single-minded focus against one form of wrong that they fail to see greater forms of wrong.

A person who actually believes in women's rights will be against ideologies that treat women as property; and that is especially the case with Islam. Evil is not limited to Christians or to the Western civilization. Islam is worse than Christianity by the standards of feminism or human rights. And Western liberals should be fighting Islamic jihadism with similar or greater intensity than they are fighting the Christian Right.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On Obesity

The issue which I am approaching here is a sticky one, as it has people passionately invested on both sides. The issue is that of obesity. It occurs to me that there is more than one consideration here.

One is that obesity is unhealthy and generally undesirable and should not be encouraged in society. The other is that there are – and I've known – many obese people who are beautiful human beings, and they should be seen and respected for what they are inside.

At the nursing home where I am doing my training, most workers are women. Some of them are attractive and some of them are overweight, in some cases seriously overweight; but they all without exception are wonderful people. They are kind, caring, compassionate, generous and good at what they do.

When I was writing on the Internet that obesity was undesirable, I was described as heartless and soulless. I don't think there is anyone in their right mind who would refer to me now as heartless and soulless. The problem is as follows. I have known – and loved – several women who were beautiful physically and had good hearts, who got maliciously attacked by women who were both mean and fat. Because I loved them, their concerns became my concerns. And because I loved them, their enemies became my enemies.

There are many unattractive women who maliciously abuse the attractive women, even to the point of claiming that attractive women cannot be good human beings. Any number of women I've loved are proof to the contrary. Really, I do not see why there is going to be a correlation between looks and personal goodness at all. Some women will be physically attractive and good human beings; some women will be physically attractive and bad human beings; some women will be physically unattractive and good human beings; and some women will be physically unattractive and bad human beings.

The monstrosity we have seen, in case of political correctness, is women who are unattractive and bad human beings claiming to speak for all women and bullying their betters out of both their beauty and personal goodness. I think I am far from the only person who says that these women do not deserve to speak for one half of humankind or to carry the banner of progressive element in society. Groups in society should be represented by their best, not their worst, elements; and this is most certainly the case for women.

Both attractive women and unattractive women are capable of being good people. The unattractive women should not be seen only for their appearance; but neither should the beautiful women be portrayed as incapable of having good personal qualities. People should be seen for the totality of what they are. And this will result in reward for both outer and inner beauty, encouraging people to develop both.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two Booms That Weren't

In late 1990s, it was frequently stated that biotech would be for the following decade what computers had been for 1990s. I knew that this prediction was wrong. There is much more that can be done with computers than with biotech; and while I expect biotech to be a solidly growing industry as medical needs of the baby boomers become more pressing, I do not expect it to ever become as big as the computer industry.

Another economic misdirection, that I also saw to go nowhere from the start, was the housing boom of the last decade. I knew that there was no justification for it, and that it was going to crash; and it did. People were burned by the collapse of the .net bubble, and they thought that real estate was a safer investment. It wasn't. The computer industry boom of 1990s realized in real prosperity. The housing bubble resulted in living expenses risisng while incomes declined; and when it collapsed – as it was bound to have collapsed – the result was the worst economic crisis since Great Depression.

The main axiom of classical economics is that people's economic decisions are based on rational self-interest. In this case, we see very little of anything rational at all. In the first case the decisions were made based on wishful thinking; and in the second case they were made based on fear. Neither is rational.

Indeed, when we look at economic decisions that are made, we see far more influence of psychology than rational interest. I do not only talk of people who gamble away their money or stuff themselves with fattening food or buy expensive sneakers that they need to sell drugs in order to acquire or keep going back for plastic surgery treatments when they are already beautiful. I also talk, especially, of the influence of marketing. With Microsoft vs. Borland, VHS vs. Beta, and fast food chains vs. mom-and-pop diners, the inferior product rose to dominate the marketplace through superior marketing. And in marketing, psychology reigns supreme.

Keynes had another explanation for what drove economic decisions: “animal spirits.” That of course is a judgmental term, but psychology is not. It is imperative to figure out just how much of the economic decision-making that people make is based on psychology, and how much is based on reason. And then it will be possible to encourage more of the latter while controlling more of the former.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sociopaths and Choice

Ther are some who claim that people possessive of the sociopathic personality disorder can only be bad people. This militates against basic reason. People have choice; which means that people of any kind of mental makeup can do the right thing.

Some people are naturally mean, and others are naturally kind. For others, it is a matter of choice. As someone who's been mean at some points in my life, and kind at others, I say with full clarity that anyone can be a good person if he is willing to work at it.

Ultimately we become what we choose to become. Even a natural sinner can be a good person if he wants to become one. If someone really wants to be a good person, he can become one, regardless of his psychological makeup or his neurology.

Nobody knows what actually causes the sociopathic personality disorder. Apparently the sociopaths have a disconnect between two centers in the brain, which means that the cure will utlimately involve brain surgery. I am not a sociopath; however I also know enough about life to know that anyone can choose to be a good person. With sociopaths, they will have to use their brains and their willpower to compensate for what their heart fails to do.

Adolf Hitler and Bill Gates appear to have a similar psychological makeup. Only one killed 50 million people, and the other computerized the world and gave billions of dollars to charitable causes. Both were completely ruthless, and both were egomaniacs. However one did evil and the other did good.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Mainly that anyone, even a sociopath, can be a good person and do the right thing if he is willing to put his mind to it. We are not animals; we are people. We become what we choose to become. And being a good person is possible for anyone, regardless of his psychology or neurology, if he is willing to make that choice.

We Don't Need No Political Correctness

It occurs to me that most of the problems that political correctness seeks to solve through de facto censorship have rational solutions. And these solutions are much more in spirit of American constitution – as well as in spirit of academic inquiry – than political correctness.

Wrong ideas are not meant to be suppressed; they are meant to be met either with better ideas or solid refutations. In this essay I will give solid refutations to many of the claims that political correctness seeks to solve with de facto censorship.

If someone is a neo-Nazi or a Jew-hater, then his claims should be addressed with pure reason. If, as he claims, Jews were in control, and if, as he claims, Jews were evil, then he would be facing a firing squad. That he is instead free to spread his nonsense shows that either the Jews or not in control, or that Jews are so good that they would even let live a person who wishes them dead. Or both at once.

If someone claims that women are stupid or evil, or that women belong in the house, or that women are sluts or bitches or whores, then he should be reminded of all the great women in history. This includes, but is not limited, to: Queen Elizabeth I of England who turned England from a feudal backwater to the world's greatest civilization; Queen Mary Medici of Italy who inaugurated the Italian Renaissance; Marie Curie, Hedy Lamar, Sandy Lerner, and any number of others who made great contributions in science and technology; the Hollywood stars such as Jane Fonda and Judy Garland and Olympic athletes such as Sarah Hughes; the female writers such as Harriet Stowe and Harper Lee; and of course the brilliant female political leaders such as Angela Merkel, Golda Meir, Michele Bachelet and Hillary Clinton.

If someone claims that black people are inferior, then the solution is as above. It is to remind people of all the great black people, such as George Washington Carver, Louis Armstrong, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Mohammad Ali.

For all of the wrongful claims out there, there are rational refutations. The academia, which is supposed to espouse reason, needs to make these rational refutations instead of practicing de facto censorship. The same must be the case outside the academia.

There is absolutely no need for political correctness. There is a need for real knowledge and real reason.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Elements of Conservatism

Winston Churchill said that a young man who is not a liberal lacks a heart, and that an old man who is not a conservative lacks a mind. I have reason to challenge this claim. I have known kind-hearted young people who were conservatives, and I have known brilliant older people who were liberals. As a man in his prime who votes Democratic, I would like to advise Democrats on how they can sway people who are attracted to conservatism.

There are some who are attracted to conservatism for its promise of economic opportunity. Others are attracted to conservatism because they are patriots or because they are Christians. And then there are jerks who want to batter their wives or beat up on immigrants and gays.

The first group is the most reasonable one, and one that should be the easiest to work with. These people should be reminded of recent history, which is that American economy thrived – and fiscal sanity was achieved – under Clinton, whereas American economy tanked – and budget was busted – under Bush. The Democratic Clinton administration gave America its greatest period of peace and prosperity as well as the only balanced budget in 40 years; whereas the Republican Bush administration gave America its worst economic crisis since Great Depression and a completely unnecessary extra $5 trillion in debt. With Hillary Clinton as the Democratic front-runner, there is a promise of restoration of the successful Clinton economic policies and a return to the prosperity of 1990s.

The patriots should likewise be taught a lesson in history. America's greatest ever military victory – in the Second World War – was under the Democratic FDR administration. America became the greatest country in the world in early 20th century – the Progressive Era – the time that combined economic and technological innovation with union movement, feminism and environmentalism. As for claims that Clinton was un-patriotic or that he stood for America's weakness, nothing could be further from the truth. Clinton stood for win-win scenarios. Clinton wanted America to do well; he also wanted to extend prosperity and liberty to the rest of the world. That stance, I regard as true good; and indeed under Clinton America was by far the world's wealthiest country of any size, whereas under Bush it dropped to #10. As to the people on the Left who are actually anti-American, the more experienced Democrats should teach them patriotism – mainly by showing what life is like in places such as Afghanistan, and how much better it is in a country that has had the influence of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Ted Roosevelt, Susan Anthony and Martin Luther King. There are many in Christian Right who hate America for real while claiming to wear the flag; but, with the exception of an occasional slip-up (such as Pat Robertson claiming 9-11 to have been the case of God removing his protective umbrella over America) they are smart enough not to give voice to such sentiments.

With the Christians, it is important to remind them of what Christianity actually means. A Christian is meant to forgive sins. A Christian is meant to love the next person. A Christian is meant to accept as his neighbor the people from hostile tribes who are willing to do the right thing, as was the case in the story of the Good Samaritan. All these are values held by Democrats much more than they are held by Republicans.

Finally, the people who want to batter their wives or to beat up on gays or immigrants should not be welcome in the Democratic Party at all. They should be dealt with in the same way in which the Republicans dealt with the ghetto blacks and the hippies. They should be shamed out of the political discourse, and they should be treated as criminals.

The Reagan coalition, like the FDR coalition before that, is a collection of elements that are incongruous with each other and that should not be a part of a single political force. The Democrats have the capacity to reach out to these elements and convince them that it works in their interest to work with the Democrats instead of remaining a part of the Reagan coalition.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Players and Oppression

For a long time on Google Groups, there was a poster named Gordon Roy Parker who claimed that women are evil and that men should play them. This is a disastrous advice.

A relationship that starts with fakery can only remain fake. Eventually either the woman or the children will realize the fakery all around them. If the woman realizes that she has been conned, she will leave, or at least try to leave. If the children realize the fakery, they will rebel.

To prevent the latter from happening is hired an army of priests and psychiatrists. Whenever the former happens, the woman gets attacked from the moral brigade. This brigade is totally in the wrong. Morals exclude conmanship and deception; and for people claiming morality to support players and conmen is an outrage.

A person actually possessive of principle will look at what is formative to the relationship. If the relationship starts with deception, then he will confront instead of supporting the deceiver. If a man wooes with roses and keeps with fists – or if the man plays the woman, as Mr. Parker advises us to do – then the man actually possessive of principle will confront this situation. At this point the participants will then have a choice as to whether to end the relationship or whether to start anew based on truthful things rather than false things.

Growing up in a player situation is very destructive to children. Either they themselves adopt insincerity as way of life, or they become either traumatized or rebellious. A lie is made the authority over their lives and over their minds. They have two choices, neither of them desirable. One is to identify with the lie. The other is to cling to what they see and what they know and be bullied or demonized.

Unfortunately the thinking such as that of Mr. Parker is quite common around the world; and fighting this kind of thing is not for the weak-minded. It is however necessary. The man who plays the woman creates life-long snares built on fabrication and conmanship.

The people in a free country – indeed people everywhere – deserve better.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Making Sense of Feminism

Tori Amos wrote extensively in her first music album about the nastiness that she had faced in school. To this nastiness, there were any number of explanations given. The most famous ones – made by Andrea Dworkin and Naomi Wolf – implicated either men as such or beauty as such. Both are wrong.

There are many men who are not nasty to women, me being one of them. As for beauty, this was perhaps one of the most wrongful analyses in all of history. Beauty has existed long before 1980s, and it has also existed outside the Western civilization and outside patriarchial society. And within the history of the Western civilization itself, it was the times favoring beauty – the Renaissance, the Romantic era, the early 20th century and 1960s and 1970s – that were most favorable to women.

There is nothing wrong with using something that one is strong in – such as, in these women's case, the brain – to compensate for what something that one is weak in – such as, in these women's case, beauty. But the brain needs to come up with rightful rather than wrongful analyses. Beauty did not cause fascist school cultures; fascism did. And in implicating beauty as such, are attacked many good people, many of whom, as I have discovered, have compassion for those who have less than they do and are willing to do much to help.

The artistic perspective supports both beauty and compassion. Having known two genius-level woman artists who were both also exceptionally beautiful, I've seen in them wonderful personal qualities. They were kind, warm, compassionate and giving. They went out of their way constantly to help people who had less than they did. It is absolutely wrong that they be equated with abusive school bullies or with fascists who have developed these ignorant school cultures.

It is likewise absolutely wrong to equate beauty with stupidity. Russian women are both beautiful and smart. In attacking beauty in the name of intelligence, these feminists create a false dichotomy between intelligence and beauty. This dichotomy is very wrong. There is no correlation between intelligence and beauty. One can be smart and beautiful; smart but not beautiful; beautiful but not smart; or neither smart nor beautiful. Being beautiful does not make one dumb, and being unattractive does not make one intelligent.

People have right to empower themselves against their aggressors, and that most certainly is the case with people at the receiving end of these school cultures. However many of these women became aggressors themselves and have been maliciously abusing the beautiful women, especially ones also gifted with sensitivity. It is important that the less attractive women not be subject to bullying; it is also important that the more attractive women not be subject to bullying as well.

Feminism needs to affirm all women, and that also includes the attractive ones. Being beautiful does not make one an enemy of other women. Many beautiful women are also beautiful human beings, and they should be treated as such.

Conservative Values and Global Warming

Convincing people is a matter of addressing their values rather than one's own values. In addressing the conservatives on the matter of global warming, it is not enough to talk about maintaining a clean environment or protecting the planet. It is however possible to talk to them on this matter based on their beliefs and values, and I for one am willing to contribute one such effort, centered on the following conservative values: Responsibility, progress and family values.

Responsibility means not destroying what one cannot recreate. Responsibility means not leaving the world a worse place for oneself having been in it. Responsibility means being careful stewards of the world's resources and not blindly destroying irreplaceable treasure or flooding the atmosphere with gases that cause hurricanes and floods. A responsible person will do everything in his power to make sure that people's requirements are provided for in such a way as to leave the world a better and not a worse place for oneself having been in it.

Progress means moving from less efficient and brain-intensive technologies to more efficient and brain-intensive ones. This likewise means clean energy. Solar and hydrogen energy stand to fulfil people's energy needs at present and greater levels with vastly fewer destructive effects. Clean energy is progress in every way; and a true believer in progress will support clean energy.

Family values means leaving the world a better place for one's children than one has found it. It means creating for one's children a better future. This likewise means clean energy. It means moving energy production toward technologies that are less destructive to nature, so that one's children can have a livable world.

Two other conservative values – honesty and realism – require accepting reality and working with reality. And this means accepting, and working with, the reality of anthropogenic global warming. This reality was known to both the Soviet and the American scientists as early as 1950s. It became common knowledge in 1980s, when it should have been solved. Instead the problem has been denied, and now we are facing a much greater crisis than it should have ever been allowed to become.

What all this means is that clean energy is compatible with conservative values, and that a conservative true to conservative values will support clean energy. Ultimately even the entities supporting the denial of global warming, such as the oil industry, stand to benefit from clean energy conversion. Oil will last longer and will be used for higher-end goods such as plastics and pharmaceuticals, ultimately making more money for the oil companies.

Clean energy therefore makes every bit of sense according to conservative values and according to even the conservative vested interests. It is the responsible thing to do; it is the progress-generating thing to do; and it is the thing to do if one actually cares about one's family and its future. A conservative true to real conservative values will support clean energy conversion. And a conservative who is against such a conversion is not a true conservative.

Jocks and Nerds: Who's More Exciting?

A lot of younger people see the bookish or the “nerdy” type of people as boring, and the jock type as exciting; but over the long term the opposite is true. As people gain more knowledge, their minds become filled with all sorts of observations and information that makes them exciting to talk to; whereas the people who do not do the same amount of exploration do not have as much information and observation, making them much less interesting company.

Many young girls see the jocks as exciting; but many of these jocks believe that manhood means dominating the woman and making her a pregnant-and-barefoot punching bag. Pretty soon they become not only boring but also violent and oppressive. Whereas a nerd is a lot more likely to believe in women's rights and to give his woman a much greater measure of freedom and respect.

I was a nerd in school, and I've lived an exciting life. A fellow nerd, to whom I will refer by his initials JP, has posted pictures on Facebook of him dancing with beautiful skimpily clad women at a ball. Whereas any number of former jocks have lived much more predictable, straight-laced lives.

Often people's natural attractions are counterproductive. They see as exciting the people who ultimately become boring, and they see as boring the people who ultimately become exciting. As they get older and more experienced, their attractions tend to become more informed. However there are also any number of situations in which they do not improve and lead them instead into all sorts of nasty situations.

What determines people's attractions? Well it can be any number of things. However this tendency to see the bookish types as boring and the jock types as exciting is obviously wrong-headed. The more knowledge people have, the more they become interesting company. And that makes them more, not less, exciting than the people who do not pursue knowledge.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Who Owns Family Values?

While, for many people, family values is synonymous with conservative Christianity, in reality family values is something that exists just about everywhere. That means the Jews; that means the Hindus; that means the Russians; and that means the Orientals and the Africans.

In Jewish culture, child's education is paramount. Parents put in vast amounts of time and effort into their children's education, reading with them, studying with them and training them to be the best that they can be. For a Jew, the worst shame is to not take care of one's children. That is more than can be said of many American Christians.

In Asia we see the same stress on education, also on hard work. Asians work extremely hard to provide for their families, and they do a lot to sacrifice for their children. Same is the case in India – a place that is probably the most family-oriented in the world, where family is paramount and everything revolves around it.

Africans also have family values, and an average African woman works harder than just about anyone in America. These women practice exceptional self-discipline and strength. They do all the hard work while dealing with very misogynistic men; and a lot can be learned from these women.

The Middle East and Eastern Europe are full of family values as well. Families there are very strong, many decisions are made by them, and people do not have much to help them when the choices made by families are wrong.

In all of these cases, there are both good qualities and bad qualities to the respective civilizations. What it shows however is that American Right has no business claiming monopoly on family values. In having family values, they are just one group among many; and many of the groups around the world that also have family values are more advanced in family values than are they.

This also includes American liberals. Most of the liberals that I've met have been completely committed to their families. They would stick with their families through thick and thin, doing everything that they needed to do to help them thrive, prosper and be their best. Indeed I've seen more by way of family values in liberals than I have in conservatives.

It is wrong for conservatives to claim that they have family values and that others don't. Most of the world has family values, and that has been the case for centuries. Family values is a global phenomenon and one not limited to a population. And in America itself, there are many populations that have family values but are not

Cinderella and Feminism

The story of Cinderella is that of a woman being rescued, by marriage to a man, from bondage to a mean-spirited matriarch. Of course there are many situations in which a woman's marital situation to a man is of such a character that she either needs someone to rescue her from it or has to do so herself.

Both men and women are capable of wrongdoing, and that is the case with both male authority and female authority. As feminism continues to grow, there are going to be more matriarchial women, and not all of them are going to be good people. It will be necessary to learn how to deal with them in the same way as it is necessary to learn how to deal with patriarchial men, who also will continue to exist, feminism or no feminism.

In both patriarchial and matriarchial situations, there are liable to be abuses. This means that the potential for these abuses must be checked – through people having other options than staying where they are. The best outcome of this social change is that people will be able to choose whom they deal with. People more comfortable with male authority will choose male authority, and people more comfortable with female authority will choose female authority. And those at the receiving end of abuse or oppression by either will have options besides putting up with it.

Feminism will not turn everyone into good people; but at least it will give people more choice. There will be more matriarchial situations for those who want such a thing, and there will continue to be patriarchial situations for those who prefer male authority. Yes, some of these matriarchs are going to be jerks. Same with the patriarchial men. But with a meaningful choice, there will be more meaningful freedom; and people will choose the order under which they will choose to live.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Non-Scientific Applications of Scientific Method

In order to be valid, a theory has to be falsifiable. Falsifiability is a set of conditions which, if met, would render the theory false. Thus, if your theory is that moon is made of green cheese, then if a spacecraft goes to the moon and brings back a sample of rock that is not green cheese, then the theory has been falsified.

This logic has a vast range of applications, including for people who have nothing to do with science. Say someone has a theory that you are an alcoholic. This theory cannot be falsified by you saying that you are not an alcoholic; it is however possible to prove that you're not an alcoholic. An alcoholic is someone who cannot control his drinking. If you can control your drinking and keep it to say a glass of wine a day, then that theory has been falsified and you are not an alcoholic.

There are any number of other applications. Say for example that someone has a theory that Obama is a Communist. This theory can likewise be falsified. A Communist would have nationalized the banks and the car industry; instead Obama bailed them out. This not only means that Obama is not a Communist, but likewise that he is a very powerful influence in favor of business, and American business owes him gratitude.

Or if someone has a theory that Jews are evil and control everything. If that had been true, then people saying such things would all be dead. That they are instead free to spread their lies shows either that Jews are not in control, or that the Jews are so good that they would even tolerate those who wish them dead. In either case, this theory can be easily shown to be wrong.

I am against the anti-spiritual bigotry that we see among many who claim to have the scientific worldview; but I am enthusiastically in favor of science as such. Indeed I am convinced that science can ultimately have insight even into spiritual phenomena. And I've known distinguished scientists who had highly spiritual worldviews – worldviews in which they were working to reconcile real spiritual experience with factual knowledge that we see from science.

Different people orient by different methodologies. There are many who orient by “common sense”; there are others who orient by logic; and then there are many who orient by religion. I think that all of the above have the capacity both for right and wrong directions. But the scientific method has more to recommend itself than either of the preceding; and it can be of use in all areas of life and for all sorts of people who are not scientists.