Wokeness is making war on science — and even math

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  3 weeks ago  •  27 comments

By:   MSN

Wokeness is making war on science — and even math
Wokeness is making war on science — and even math

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Wokeness is making war on science — and even math

© Provided by Washington Examiner

I keep wanting to write about something other than the woke revolution. Heaven knows there are other things happening right now. But, as Michael Corleone says, just when I thought I was out, it pulls me back in.

The latest insanity is the attack on scientific principles. Oxford University has hired a team of students to diversify and "decolonize" its STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math.

What does this mean in practice? The usual: Digging around for women scientists in times and places in which they were rare, placing heavy emphasis on anything non-European, and reassessing the "history of modern measurement, which is tied deeply to the idea of the 'Empire' and Imperial standardization."

That's right, they're coming after imperial measures, which is what the units of size and weight employed in the United States are called everywhere else. The U.S. is now almost alone in using ounces, yards, and so on. But they survive informally elsewhere, especially in Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of the Anglosphere.

The U.K. adopted the metric system in the 1970s when it harmonized its regulations with Europe's. In theory, things are now sold in meters and liters. In practice, most people still mentally buy apples by the pound and milk by the pint.

I remember a Brussels official once explaining, with the air of a man letting an obstinate child win a game, that we Brits were still allowed to sell pints of beer, provided we didn't call them that. He meant it, too. A market trader in Sunderland was prosecuted in 2001 for selling bananas with imperial scales — that is, in the units his customers preferred. He became a national cause celebre. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the so-called Metric Martyr's travails contributed to what eventually became Brexit.

It is curious, on one level, that Oxford should thus line up with the bureaucracy against the little guy. But when absolutely everything is seen through the prism of anti-colonialism, the word "imperial" is fatal.

In fact, the truly imperialist project, the project spread with revolutionary fervor by French radicals and imposed with force of arms by Napoleon, was the metric system. Similar to all revolutionary ideals, it is abstract, inhuman, and rooted in theory rather than practice.

While the imperial system corresponds to familiar sizes — a foot, a thumb, a pace — the Bonapartist measures are based on a calculation (later discovered to be a miscalculation) of the distance from the poles to the equator. The imperial system is evolved, organic, Burkeian, while the metric system is imposed, arbitrary, Cartesian. The one is domestic and handy, the other cold and logical. This is why, after more than 200 years, pre-revolutionary units survive patchily even in France. I have been to remote rural markets there and heard traders talk in inches ("les pouces") and pounds ("les livres"). If Oxford were truly on the side of indigenous traditions, it would be anti-metric.

But when it comes to wokeness, we are way past logic or consistency. We are in a world where everything is racist and oppressive and patriarchal — not just the theories developed by white men, but in scientific principles themselves.

A state education panel in California is looking at ways to root out what it calls the "white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom." What are the identifying characteristics of this culture? Among other things, one is an excessive emphasis on "getting the right answer." No, really, that's a quote.

This kind of thing is becoming mainstream. Last year, the National Museum of African American History and Culture defined "the scientific method" as "an aspect of whiteness," along with "hard work," "objectivity," and "progress."

It is, if you think about it, the logical endpoint of wokery. The essence of identity politics is that feelings trump facts, that "lived experience" matters more than empirical data. In order to claim that, say, racial hatred is on the rise or that women are more repressed than ever or that gay people are more persecuted, it is necessary to disregard some pretty ineluctable evidence. After a while, you start to argue that the facts themselves, the whole concept of scientific inquiry, is a white, patriarchal imposition.

Mathematical principles are perhaps the purest thing we can conceive of, as the laws of physics turn out to be surprisingly malleable when applied to the beginning of the universe. The one constant, there during the Big Bang and since, immune to the weirdness of quantum physics and unrelated to human observation, is math.

"Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals four," wrote Winston Smith in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. "If that is granted, all else follows." In the novel, he is tortured into renouncing that truth.

What is our excuse?

Tags:Opinion, Science, Math, Education, Race and Diversity, woke, Cancel Culture, United Kingdom, Britain

Original Location:Wokeness is making war on science — and even math


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Texan1211
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    3 weeks ago
A state education panel in California is looking at ways to root out what it calls the "white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom." What are the identifying characteristics of this culture? Among other things, one is an excessive emphasis on "getting the right answer." No, really, that's a quote.

And this is our educational system, hard at work inventing things to whine about.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2  FLYNAVY1    3 weeks ago

In this meandering and tortured effort to get to trying to equate mathematics and racism.. the one point that is worthy of discussion is why the US still lags in making use of the metric system.

The fact that we here in the US are trying to support two systems is very expensive.

CNN - Metric mishap caused loss of NASA orbiter - September 30, 1999

95% of all my engineering work is done using SI units.  The rest is dealing with contractors that still talk in cubic feet of concrete rather than cubic meters, or older HVAC types that want to talk British Thermal Units vs Joules.

The metric system, like mathematics, is a unifying system that transcends languages and cultures.   

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
2.1  evilgenius  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2    3 weeks ago
In this meandering and tortured effort to get to trying to equate mathematics and racism..

Pretty much my summation. It's intellectually lazy writing, but what other kind of click batey hate non-sense appeals to those reading opinion pieces from the Washington Examiner?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

I'd like to see a convention of everyone in America who has actually been negatively effected by "cancel culture". I have a feeling they would all fit into a high school gym. 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Participates
3.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JohnRussell @3    3 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1    3 weeks ago

Please stay on topic.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
PhD Participates
3.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JohnRussell @3    3 weeks ago
I'd like to see a convention of everyone in America who has actually been negatively effected by "cancel culture".

Apparently my accurate depiction of those persons hit too close to home for some.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4  seeder  Texan1211    3 weeks ago
A state education panel in California is looking at ways to root out what it calls the "white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom." What are the identifying characteristics of this culture? Among other things, one is an excessive emphasis on "getting the right answer." No, really, that's a quote.

I see this is a little hard to take on.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4.1  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @4    3 weeks ago

If caring about getting the right answer in math makes me racist, then I guess I’m guilty - and proud of it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @4.1    3 weeks ago

Funny, but no one else seems able to address that issue.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Expert
5  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

In most modern math texts lots of space is devoted to finding approximate answers

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
5.1  Hallux  replied to  Greg Jones @5    3 weeks ago

So, in a 200 page math textbook, what would be 'lots' ... approximately?

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
5.2  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Greg Jones @5    3 weeks ago

'In most modern math texts lots of space is devoted to finding approximate answers.'

So of mathematics textbooks produced ... say the last quarter century, which have you studied?

I'm not saying you fabricate stuff just to bait others for a reaction. I'd like to know what experience stands behind your assertion.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
6  Hallux    3 weeks ago

The author of this piece is one Daniel John Hannan, Baron Hannan of Kingsclere, a favorite of the woke right (yes they exist) such as Sean Hannity.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Hallux @6    3 weeks ago

The author is not the topic.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
6.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Texan1211 @6.1    3 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
6.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Texan1211 @6.1    3 weeks ago

The author is not the topic.

No, but his (convolututied+conspiracy)^3 attempt in trying to blame the metric system as having some sort of racial bias to taint math and science sure it....  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.1.3  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1.2    3 weeks ago

I'm sorry you seem to have misinterpreted the article.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
6.1.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Texan1211 @6.1.3    3 weeks ago

This article would have made Glenn Beck take pause knowing his listeners wouldn't go down the rabbit hole you've posted.  Is this what passes for "wokeness" in Texas?  Looks like they need to work on their ACT/SAT scores some more in that state.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.1.5  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1.4    3 weeks ago

ha,ha,your petty little childlike insults are amusing in a 3rd grade recess kind of way.

well done, man. well done. you should be proud!

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
6.1.6  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Texan1211 @6.1.5    3 weeks ago

Whatever suits your narrative

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.1.7  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1.6    3 weeks ago

whatever is clearly seen.

what, no more childish insults to throw at me?

jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
7  Tacos!    3 weeks ago
and reassessing the "history of modern measurement, which is tied deeply to the idea of the 'Empire' and Imperial standardization."

That’s kinda dumb. The so-called Imperial system is just a system of measures that happened to come from a nation that built an empire. The measures are just measures. They weren’t crafted to dominate people, nor are they used for that purpose. People use Roman numerals without worrying about Roman imperialism, cruelty, injustice, or other alleged failings. We use Arabic numerals and algebra without sweating over Muslim conquests. And nobody uses any of these systems to endorse imperialism, etc. They’re just systems people have grown accustomed to over time.

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
8  Trotsky's Spectre    3 weeks ago

'While the imperial system corresponds to familiar sizes — a foot, a thumb, a pace — the Bonapartist measures are based on a calculation (later discovered to be a miscalculation) of the distance from the poles to the equator. The imperial system is evolved, organic, Burkeian, while the metric system is imposed, arbitrary, Cartesian. The one is domestic and handy, the other cold and logical. This is why, after more than 200 years, pre-revolutionary units survive patchily even in France. I have been to remote rural markets there and heard traders talk in inches ("les pouces") and pounds ("les livres"). If Oxford were truly on the side of indigenous traditions, it would be anti-metric.'

Unadulterated drivel! The imperialist system? What is supposed to be understood by that? Which imperial system is intended?

How did this word soup get published?

The Washington Examiner has fallen on hard times.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
9  Thrawn 31    3 weeks ago

Man I wish the US would go to the metric system. The standard system is so dumb and makes no sense. There is no method to the madness, at all. 

Additionally I don’t have a problem with recognizing the contributions of women and racial minorities to the sciences.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
10  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

I think a lot of people are not sure just what wokeness means, so here goes.

"Woke is a term that refers to awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial justice. It is sometimes used in the African-American Vernacular English expression stay woke".

Wikipedia

 
 
 
FortunateSon
Freshman Silent
11  FortunateSon    3 weeks ago

The left is not woken

they are broken.

 
 
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