The 15 biggest myths

By | September 26, 2015

The 15 biggest myths of our time:

1) That everything can be priced, and has a monetary value, and that it should have a monetary value.

2) That evolution did not occur to humans, and that if it did (for liberals) it definitely did not occur above the neck and is definitely, definitely not still occurring.

3) That there are absolutely no genetic differences in any way between human races except for skin color.

4) That destroying the humanities will lead to a resurgence of the economy and relatedly that STEM has all the answers to life.

5) That space exploration is completely useless and harms the economy or takes away money and resources from elsewhere (zero sum fallacy).

6) That humans do not have certain fairly hard-coded behaviors, many related to partner selection and mate preferences.

7) That equality of opportunity is possible, or even desirable.

8) Related to number 1, that everything can be measured and that if it cannot be measured, it doesn’t exist, and even if does exist, if it can’t be measured then it doesn’t matter.

9) That IQ measures absolutely nothing and is not real because a single locus (genetic or physical) cannot be located.

10) That IQ is the only thing that determines someone’s value, intelligent, adaptability or suitability for a good life.

11) That there is no human nature; that humans are not bounded animals, just like any other animal. This is related to point 6.

12) That Big Data is going to answer every important question, and that there is a mathematical solution to every problem.

13) That everything important has already been discovered or invented, or alternatively, that there will be a singularity, and soon.

14) That humans are unconnected from nature, and that if we essentially destroy the existing ecology of the earth and make the entire world look like the UK, that this will not have absolutely deadly and drastic consequences for everyone. (This belief is extremely common in liberals — particularly among humanities types, and on the other side of the political and C.P. Snowian cultural divide, among engineers.)

15) That anti-depressants, psychotherapy, massage therapy and most other such things demonstrate results from anything but the care effect. (Note: they do demonstrate results. The important question is why.)

Notice that I skewer both sides; both have their myths that they live by to make sense of the world and to signal tribal affiliation. I want no part of any tribe, not even the tribe that would have me as a member.

The more you read, the more you need to read.