Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Doggerel #169: "Square"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

I haven't seen woos use this word or any modern slang updates, but many of them love to portray skeptics, scientists, and other logically-inclined people as unimaginative, stiff vulcans who don't understand emotion, art, or anything that doesn't involve explicit math at some point.

Of course, it probably involves a lot of unintentionally biased sampling. Woos generally don't hang around skeptics when we're talking about our favorite TV shows, what makes us feel warm and fuzzy, or what genre of music we like to listen to. We have lives outside our blogs, but we can be quite passionate when we post or comment about science and how people apply it.

Things probably aren't helped by Hollywood and other sources of popular media that don't understand how science works. Horror movies need someone to doubt the monster and display that something out of the ordinary is going on. The occultists who figure out the monster's weakness have easy access to exactly the right ancient, cryptic writing and know to apply the superstitions while the "skeptic" flatly dismisses the ideas contained, regardless of any merit they might show. Or that's how the story goes. Contrary to how Hollywood likes to depict things, science is an inherently adaptive, self-correcting process, rather than a collection of beliefs, like many forms of woo are. Science is hardly an inflexible dogma.

We're people just like anyone else. We go through everyday life. If you just showed up to talk about ordinary topics, you likely wouldn't spot much difference between us and the average person. We just happen to be particularly passionate about certain scientific and political topics.


William said...

I am not Herbert. I reach.

Wikinite said...

lol, white zombie ftw