When I was at Cornell, I attended a lecture by Alan Guth on inflation. This is the theory that in the early universe gravity was repulsive before it became attractive. Sort of like the experience women have after switching off NPR. [I had to have my hilarious joke, which will get me in the end. Fixed.]
Inflation? Sabine Hossenfelder is a somewhat well known YouTube physicist. On the 19th, she tweeted:
I wrote a research proposal about inflation (in the early universe, not your supermarket) and it bounced back because I didn’t explain its relevance to “sex, gender, and diversity”. I need to add a paragraph on this. Anyone has an idea what to write?
Enter an army of wags who answered in just the way you’d guess. Some were of the stripe that the Big Bang led to inflation which led to physicists which led to woke which led to demands to put DIE on grants about inflation.
deleted a tweet from yesterday in which I asked a question about research proposal submission. This was an honest question and not intended as a criticism on the funding agency. I deleted it because I felt too many people took it out of context. Thanks for your understanding.
Naturally, somebody saved the original, which is in the picture heading this article.
I also don’t know which funding agency Hossenfelder meant. Perhaps the NSF, which is the big one in physics.
In a cursory search, I discovered a grant that had some boilerplate on Diversity.
NSF’s mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.
The answer to this is: no it doesn’t. Diversity is not essential to anything, except to the careers of Diversity consultants and the zampolit who police university STEM departments.
The NSF also promotes the idea that Diversity is the “cornerstone of good science.”
The answer to which is: no it isn’t. Devotion to Reality is. Or was. Diversity is our weakness in science, and everywhere.
After we’ve had our fun, like I did, making sarcastic replies to Hossenfelder’s tweet, we are still left with the request itself. Or she is. She must and will still write something. She will still have to say how an obscure physical theory, one that is solid complex math, relates to “sex, gender, and diversity”.
I know it’s pedantic to say so, but there is no relation, in any sense, between “sex, gender, and diversity” and inflation. It has to be said because the request is not sane. It does not accord with any rational standard of evidence. It is absurd. It is an indication that something has gone horribly wrong.
Doubtless, Hossenfelder will copy and paste or tweak some idiotic paragraph she finds on her funding agency’s sites about the joys and wonders of “sex, gender, and diversity” and how without them, there is no possible way to understand inflation. She’ll do this to get along, to keep her position. And, if she is not a fool (and she does not seem to be one), she won’t believe what she is writing.
But she will nonetheless be corrupted in some small way by forcing herself to write what is not true as if it is true. One corruption is minor. Many corruptions added together, in one person or across a group, are not. They cause strain that when suffered over a period of time cause the system to break.
Because, as is clear, Hossenfelder, or many like her, will come to believe, in some small way at least, that, yes, “sex, gender, and diversity” are important to inflation. Believing takes some of the pain of lying away.
And then she has to think about those who really believe that “sex, gender, and diversity” and inflation are related. Will they have a better chance to get the grant? They might. It depends on how much the agency believes in The Cause.
Making people lie and convince themselves to believe to some degree, that “sex, gender, and diversity” are important to inflation will eventually cause “sex, gender, and diversity” to be not ancillary to inflation, but to be more important than inflation.
One day, likely soon, we will awaken and discover inflation means “sex, gender, and diversity”.
Don’t believe me? It’s already happening, as regular readers have seen time and again. Right now real work, which is to say Reality, still dominates physics. It can’t and won’t continue to. We warned you years ago Diversity oaths were coming to grants, like this one. And we will see the consequences.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.
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