"This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…"
Varela: That point is important, because for people like myself, who come from a place that is not a dominant center like the United States or Europe (although I have worked most of my life in the U.S. and Europe), it is very clear that what is called international science is a particular style of science. This is not to say that the system prevents different voices from coming in, but today what ordinary citizens all over the place would consider real science is fundamentally European-American science.
Newcomb Greenleaf: Of course, a good example of that is the Chinese science of acupuncture. Westerners are still very puzzled that acupuncture seems to work. How does this work? They don’t like it. Most Western scientists would like to ignore the whole thing and feel that in non-Western cultures there really was never any significant understanding. They would like to regard the Third World as always somehow scientifically primitive.
Livingston: Here’s a case with acupuncture; we have two different theories that account for the same phenomena but are based on a very different argument. For instance, if you apply the meridians of the acupuncturists to the Western practice of using procaine injections to relieve spasms and tensions, you will find that there is a great deal of overlap between the acupuncture points and the injection points. But the interpretation of what happens in the process of massage, heat application, or acupuncture, on one hand, and injection of procaine on the other is radically different. Both interpretations account for the phenomena.
Dalai Lama: That is my point. National origin is not an especially fundamental problem; differences arise unconsciously due to a variety of environmental factors. You are very sincerely trying to explain the truth, but due to other factors you are unconsciously conditioned; as a result, you have different a explanation."
A huge problem of socioculture and the how it ruins an open discussion within science; I notice frequently with European-American branches of science and their arrogance and will to ignore data that doesn’t originate from them, where even their peer reviews are subject to a social conditioning. Like in the case of David H. Hubel and Torsten N. Wiesel for the discovery of specific neurons that receive a message through the retina and cortex as to a location and a field size of what activates them (of which they received a Nobel Prize for) but over in the Soviet Union you had legitimate experiments which had a better and more substantial data and I quote: In the soviet union these same experiments were repeated, but this time the conditions were altered from those used in the Hubel and Wiesel experiment at Harvard. They [soviets] went through six or seven different variables that made the whole physiology much more dynamic and plastic than in the Hubel and Wiesel paradigm. It has been very difficult to get these findings published in the West. So the channels of science get affected by the sociocultural conditions. A very helpful experiment, but it wasn’t listened to. Good data, good questions, good experiments, but it wasn’t listened to.
And it troubles me to know that if this is the sort of science we are okay with, what other valuable data and experiments is the European-American culture and peer review ignoring on the basis of a corrupt or ignorant sociocultural structure? I feel like in the end, the ones who feel these effects worst are the citizens. Imagine the repercussions of ignoring an experiment or valuable data that can save lives but was ignored for social, economical, or political reasons? Just a thought.
"Every killer makes his pain another’s problem. But only those who’ve marinated in privilege can conclude that their private pain is the entire world’s problem with which to deal."
Some of the most creative leaps ever taken by the human mind are decidedly irrational, even primal. Emotive forces are what drive the greatest artistic and inventive expressions of our species. How else could the sentence ‘He’s either a madman or a genius’ be understood?
It’s okay to be entirely rational, provided everybody else is too. But apparently this state of existence has been achieved only in fiction [where] societal decisions get made with efficiency and dispatch, devoid of pomp, passion, and pretense.
To govern a society shared by people of emotion, people of reason, and everybody in between — as well as people who think their actions are shaped by logic but in fact are shaped by feelings and nonempirical philosophies — you need politics. At its best, politics navigates all the minds-states for the sake of the greater good, alert to the rocky shoals of community, identity, and the economy. At its worst, politics thrives on the incomplete disclosure or misrepresentation of data required by an electorate to make informed decisions, whether arrived at logically or emotionally."