Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Death of Objectivity

A civil society needs at least some non-partisan institutions.  Where there are no umpires, the players argue incessantly.  Where there are corrupt umpires, the players riot.

Who then are the umpires of American society?  At one time the Fourth Estate played that role, but no longer.  The left leaning main stream media utterly abandoned any pretense of objectivity with the coming of their King, Barack Obama.  That slobbering love affair has been fully consummated and government tyranny is their demon seed.

Bloggers have admirably stepped up to the plate to call the balls and strikes, but it's not clear which if any of them -- with the exception of the Watchman of course -- will gain the respect of the fans.  Which citizen journalists will pass the test of time and win the right to put on the striped shirts?  At the moment it seems that each side has their own umpires with no widely accepted arbiter of the truth in sight.

And this month a second grand American institution was thrown on the ash heap of objectivity.  Who can be more unbiased than a scientist, right?  Scientists care not about politics or consensus, only analysis and truth.  Scientists welcome critique of their work.  They not only welcome it, they actively seek criticism through peer review.  Until recently, that is.

A few weeks ago we learned that 'researchers' in England lied about global warming.  There is no other word for it.  These clowns were not even pretending to engage in scientific inquiry.  They intentionally misrepresented their findings to fit their world view.  That is anathema to a true scientist.  They destroyed underlying data so that their findings could not be verified or replicated.  That's the scientific equivalent of a mortal sin.

The climategate exposé does far more than raise doubts about global warming.  It shakes the foundation of peer reviewed scienctfic 'fact' to the ground.

We can't trust journalists.  We can't trust scientists.  We never have been able to trust politicians.  Who, but the Almighty himself, are we now able to trust?

Lost in the details of these events is the realization that two pillars of civil society have crumbled.  Some will argue that less dependence on trusted intermediaries is a good thing if it drives citizens to make their own truth inquiries and evaluations.

The trouble is, that won't happen.  We live in a complex world and none of us can practically absorb and evaluate all the details.  We don't have the time or the capacity.  We need trusted intermediaries to summarize and report to us in a balanced and reasonably unbiased manner.  Without them, who will speak truth to power?

We need to wake up.  Tyranny is already on the march in America.  Without journalism and science to shine
the white hot light on scoundrels, we need to increase our personal vigilance. As Ronald Reagan warned us:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
That is more true -- and more possible -- today than at any time in our nation's history.


  1. Good article Uncle Wayne!

  2. Very profound. I hadn't linked the loss of scientific credibility with the loss of journalistic credibility.

  3. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    Ronald Reagan the plagiarist?

    Try Edmund Burke more than two centuries earlier.


  4. Reagan won the cold war. Burke opposed the French revolution. The attribution to Reagan is appropriate for he actually followed the creed which Burke rather hypocritically espoused.

  5. It's amazing how, after death, certain beings get beatified. Before too long, Reagan will probably be recognized as a god (if we aren't already there), simply because he was around when a dysfunctional system reached the end of its line.

    And none of this changes the appropriate attribution.