Science has created a new world of knowledge because it's a fairly effective
vacination against the singles. It's
an improvement in human thinking that opens windows into a little of the
territory outside the edges of (easy) human comprehension.
Every engineer uses
scientific knowledge to create the things everybody uses. The physics
of electricity and magnetism leads to telephones, TV's, and computers.
Chemistry leads to sophisticated plastics, semiconductors, and pharmaceuticals.
The mathematics of tensor analysis leads to the shapes and reinforcements
of the giant engineering structures. But using the knowledge
of science isn't the same thing as using the thinking
that produced that knowledge.
singles is simple, but it's very subtle. Improvement of thinking
that avoids the singles has been a striking
improvement of man, a gift of evolution.
We think of ourselves
as the "highest" form of life on earth. That perspective makes it especially
difficult to understand the six-factor color of a bird, a knowledge beyond
human comprehension, except through some pretty sophisticated mathematics—which
few humans understand anyway. We tend to think simply egocentrically,
"What I see is what exists"...a symptom of the
Yet, that issue of
dimensionality of color vision, which so few realize is an issue at all,
is much the same thing that brought several economists Nobel prizes.
Human purpose and human values, like color perception, are multicomponented.
Competing single-purpose egocentrisms give us conflicts, even wars—symptoms
of the singles.
while supressing disconfirmations—a common underpinning of pseudoscience
and "addiction" to casino and lottery—is a symptom of the
Ignoring the gambling
losses while exalting gains—and seeing statistics as a tool exclusively
of liars rather than a source of some of the most useful and powerful understanding
of the world around us—is a symptom of the singles.
singles corrupts our personal knowledge files.
obviously one of science's most important concepts to us as day-to-day
human beings. Since Aristotle coined the word—meaning "at work"—from
our vivid experiences with a need for food (fuel for our cars, too, now),
rest, and sleep, we have sensed it as some single, simple entity, somewhat
mysteriously contained within our food and fuel, coming ultimately from
the sun according to modern science. The energy of science is
simple, single number. But the thing Aristotle had in mind is complex,
multi-factored, statistical, and woven in the fabric of thermodynamics
as intricately as colored threads in a Persian rug. Even though we
usually "forget" them, the waste products of processes are as much a part
of it all as is the fuel-air mix...the food-oxygenated blood functioning...the
sun and the falling rain. Removing wastes is central to Aristotle's
"energy." We eventually must remove the silt
from our reservoirs.