In an era when we are increasingly reliant on scientific data and rational scrutiny, it seems we are concurrently struggling with the unfortunate reality of decades of stunningly bad science; fictional or unduplicated results, fraudulent studies, and a trillion-dollar, global industry rife with political and vested interest intrusion and influence. I know, quelle surprise. So, now what?
The result is a stark reality in which billions of human lives are directly and indirectly affected by an arguably untrustworthy scientific community. Medicine and pharmacology, technology, finance, education, food production, public and corporate policymaking — slicing clear across the breadth of our modern world — all of it is influenced and populated by some form of data collection, research, interpretation, dissemination, and study. One problem is obviously related to and inclusive of the peer review system and its inherent politics and biases, the gatekeepers of revered scientific journals, and the flailing efforts of greater academia. There is simply no aspect of our collective epistemic consideration left untouched by this malefic distortion, yet it is imperative that it be addressed, and now.
Latin maleficus wicked, mischievous, from male + -ficus -fic
Latin distortus, past participle of distorquēre, from dis- + torquēre to twist
The remedy to this widespread concern will, of course, require considerable effort, resources, and time — and likely a wholesale upheaval, reformation, and disruption to the greater scientific community. It’s a shame countless billions of dollars and generations of effort have been burned up in senseless, myopic, narrow-minded, infantilistic, narcissistic stupidity. This seems to be a common theme of this past century.
Incremental change may suffice, but the great machine powers onward based on the understandings and decisions and rationalities defined in an antiquated, hazy, polluted, distorted set of circumstances. We’ve handicapped a generation of likely clearer thinking, broader perceiving, internet empowered scientists. Is it fair to demand of them an impartiality and capability birthed of cynical, dogmatic, ideological, politically pressured, and economically influenced infrastructure?
The truth is we as a species could and should be much further along our evolutionary, relational, intellectual, spiritual, regenerative, and wholistic technological paths. But it seems the agendas of the few continue to dominate the narrative, pitting otherwise well-meaning, considerate, generous, kind, loving humans against each other. It’s a disturbingly effective strategy, evidently in long-game format.
Certainly, one could brush it off or soften the effect with a metaphysical or esoteric pleasantry — it had to happen this way; we chose this reality to explore darker aspects of the human experience; our expansion required us to delve into shadow aspects of our existence; we are infinite creator beings and ultimately cannot be harmed; we are fractals of a galactic, cosmic, universal construct and greater forces are at play — but I, too, wish not to suffer in the meantime. Like most people, I would rather not feel perpetually confused, angry, defensive, imposed upon and offended.
I certainly don’t know how we’ll solve this endemic problem, nor other systemic failures we are currently living through. The events of 2020 have definitely surfaced malignant and hidden cancers of our fair modern life, and we’ll have to address them, or continue sliding into further destructive eventualities.
To that end, this humble, inconsistent, thematically divergent collection of articles and observations is my meager effort to foster a ripple of uplift in our universe. Thank you for playing along, since the ‘second wave’ began, in 2015. I invested a few months this past winter editing, purging, and updating the whole archive. Life is change.