How Eisenhower Predicted the Research-Industrial Complex

Seems to me that today’s “science” research is in many ways nothing more than clickbait for government funding.

From Michael Mann’s silly “hockey stick”, the 97% consensus, Ancel Keys and his followers anti-fat crusade to Emails Show How An Ivy League Prof Tried To Do Damage Control For His Bogus Food Science  and many, many more examples of shenanigans, all to defraud a gullible public.

We, the public, fall for this fraud time and again because we’re told “it’s science”. Thus, if you don’t have a PhD. how dare you even think about challenging what the scientific consensus is.

But how do we know the consensus, if there is even such a thing, is correct? Well, the scientific consensus tells us it is!  A circular argument if ever such a thing existed.

Let’s play this out:

Josh says, “I challenge the validity of the scientific “consensus” of man-made global warming.”

Alarmist says “Oh, so you don’t believe in science then, do you?” 

Josh “I do believe in science. I am challenging the so-called “consensus” of man-made global warming.”

Alarmist: “Well, apparently you do NOT believe in science because there is a consensus among scientists that prove man-made global warming”

Josh: “Where is that proof?”

Alarmists: “Science has proven it.”

Josh: “How do we know science has proven it?”

Alarmist: “Because the vast majority of scientists say it’s been proven. Thus a consensus.”

Josh: Back to square one…”But I challenge the validity of the “consensus” of man-made global warming.”

Alarmist: “Oh, so you don’t believe in science then, huh?”

Josh:  Drops an anvil on his own head to end the discussion.

 

The problem with this naive belief in “science” is that people die from it.  The anti-fat crusade has left millions in worse health and outright death because of loading up on carbs.

The man-made global warming hoax has also left millions of people to suffer and die due to the inability to use fossil fuels in order to provide electricity and heating.  Thus, people in the developing world are forced to use fire wood for heating in homes that are not properly built to disperse the smoke and pollution that comes from burning wood. Thus lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

How many remarkable scientific findings have been shelved because of a “consensus” that is so powerful that any challenge to it means the challenger must be run out of town and his reputation shattered. (See Ignac Semmelweis as one example of many.)

It many ways it seems today’s science research is done for nothing more than to secure government funding. With government dollars thrown around comes lots of competition for that funding. More competition for funding then leads to more exaggerated claims as to what the research has found and in many cases, because it’s ‘science’ and thus intimidating to the average layperson, there will be very few takers to examine the validity of said research.

After all, most Americans, are not true scientists by any stretch of the imagination. We may be interested in various fields of science but the inner workings of statistical analysis and mathematics is well beyond our competency level. Plus we have real jobs to attend to. We simply don’t have the time or skill set to dive too deeply into any research.  So, we trust the ‘experts’ not to lead us astray.

Of course, the ‘experts’ know this too.  And they feed not only off our ignorance but also on the fact that there is tons of money, and fame, at stake.  This is a prescription for lots of shenanigans. Easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes and get fame and fortune at the same time, working in a field where heretofore in high school and college one was a geek???  Now I can be one of the ‘cool kids’ and become rich too??? Sign me up!

And thus, we have a constant state of supposed scientific studies, some of which are outright fraudulent, but because there are few to police the research and the amount of money at stake, it’s well worth the risk for nefarious actors to engage.

All one has to do is get a few colleagues to go along with the scheme, get the media on your side by claiming “consensus!” and “science says”  and of course creating fear and next thing you know you have the general public on your side too…all the while you get rich and famous.  What a game to play!

And this is where Dwight Eisenhower was so doggone prescient in his farewell speech of January 17, 1961.  This is the speech which is famous because the term “military-industrial complex” was introduced into our vernacular. Unfortunately, his speech should be remembered for so much more than that.

I wish he would have used the term research-industrial complex too and maybe today we would have been prepared to be guarded against its onslaught. But he didn’t and so there was no catchy phrase to warn people of, like there was for military-industrial complex.

But a research-industrial complex it has become. As the great General predicted:

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Kudo’s to President Eisenhower.  I have such new found respect for this man after reading this speech that I will certainly be reading more about him in the coming months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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