July 06, 2016

A rational society should try to rapidly and cheaply test more ideas and policies and not some warped strawman of a science dominated nation

Jeffrey Guhin argues against a nation that uses rationality and evidence as the basis for governance. Jeffrey Guhin is an assistant professor of sociology at University of California, Los Angeles.

Jeffrey uses the examples where bad policies were promoted with claims that they were following science.

  • Eugenics was claimed to be science
  • social Darwinism
  • justifications of the Soviet and Nazi regimes
  • Pseudo science was used to justify racism

These examples were of course biased where data was cherry picked to reach a desired conclusion. They are not real science.

Wikipedia's entry on the Scientific method reviews the problems and issues with the scientific method.

I think that many forms of government and policy creation can be abused and corrupted. This is an argument for limited government and erring on the side of allowing more personal choice and freedom.

There is also evidence of what does sustainably work for governance and where engineering and planning can be applied.

There is some evidence for trying to create competition with minimized bias in simulations and small scale trials for as much testing of policy as possible.

Where possible try to apply the hard sciences and engineering.

Sociology is a weak science

In 2012, Freakonomics.com polled 1200 readers and asked “Which Social Science Should Die?” in response to budget pressures at universities

Nearly 50 percent believed that college/university presidents should eliminate sociology. Nearly 30 percent thought political science should be shuttered.

Jeffrey, sociologist assistant professor, rightly criticizes Marx

However, Skeptical educator there are three names attached to the dawn of modern sociology, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Herbert Spencer

Typical of some of those big names in sociology, Jeffrey Guhin creates a strawman of extreme science governance.

I would argue for developing methods to rapidly and accurately test, monitor and correct more policies. Constant tuning and checking that something should work before scaling it up. Try to apply the hard sciences where there should be more efficiency in water and energy management and distribution. Try to apply the scientific method with rigorous testing and looking for bias.

The process should be to have more ideas and policies compete and to as quickly as possible fail and cull the inferior policies.

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