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.
I can’t be more specific, because Hossenfelder deleted the original tweet. She explained in a new one.
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.
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Hopefully Sabine can make enough money on YouTube some day to be able to self-fund. It seems to me our best science was done by such people, so long ago.
Briggs linked a short essay by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, entitled “Live Not by Lies” on his Twitter feed. This is applicable to “diversity oaths in physics” and other communal lies which are the hallmark of forced collectivism.
Here is the introduction by Edward E. Ericson, Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney:
“On the day Solzhenitsyn was arrested, February, 12, 1974, he released the text of “Live Not by Lies.” The next day, he was exiled to the West, where he received a hero’s welcome. This moment marks the peak of his fame. Solzhenitsyn equates “lies” with ideology, the illusion that human nature and society can be reshaped to predetermined specifications. And his last word before leaving his homeland urges Soviet citizens as individuals to refrain from cooperating with the regime’s lies. Even the most timid can take this least demanding step toward spiritual independence. If many march together on this path of passive resistance, the whole inhuman system will totter and collapse.”??
I lost out on a machinery maintenance job in a FEDEX facility because of this nonsense. I was informed at the start it was a multi-part interview. The first part was the technical aspects of the job and my abilities to work on the different systems. Aced it. The next part was about work ethics, attendance, punctuality, expctations, etc. No problems there. Early is on time, on time is late, and late is fired in my work life. Then came the death knell, the final part of the interview… the diversity section. I knew I was toast, so I just let ’em have it.
I told them I do not play that game. That the first thing company diversity programs do is break people up into groups based on sex, skin color, religion, ethnicity, sexual oruentation, etc. all the things Dr. King told us we should NOT care about, but focus on “content of character.” They wanted to know if I would consider these things putting a team together for a special project. I told them absolutely not, that I would put together team the same way I always did, based on skills, abilities, and whether a person could handle assigned responsibilities and tasks. The looks on their faces was priceless, and told me all I needed to know. I asked if there was nothing else, then I would be leaving. I finished by telling them if they want someone qualified and reliable to keep their facility running, then I’m your man. If you want someone to play the P.C. game and coddle useless people, you nedd someone else, and that is YOUR LOSS!
“This is the theory that in the early universe gravity was attractive before it became repulsive”
Vice versa, surely?
Thanks for sharing Briggs’ share of the Solzhenitsyn article. His observations echo through the decades, predicting and warning of our current future.
“Solzhenitsyn equates “lies” with ideology, the illusion that human nature and society can be reshaped to predetermined specifications.”
Just a note on your comment: It’s NOT “ideology” writ large that he equates with lies. It is the fake, built-on-lies soul-less, anti-human-nature ideology of the crumbling Soviet Union.
His description of the Soviet edifice-build-on-lies is strikingly familiar in 2022 America:
“There’s that unnecessary bravado around our ventures into space, against the backdrop of ruin and poverty at home; and the buttressing of distant savage regimes; and the kindling of civil wars; and the ill-thought-out cultivation of Mao Zedong (at our expense to boot)—in the end we’ll be the ones sent out against him, and we’ll have to go, what other option will there be? And they put whomever they want on trial, and brand the healthy as mentally ill—and it is always “they,” while we are—helpless.”
The authoritarianism of American PC-Progs today, with their ideology of Normal-Hatred, are carbon copies of ANY authoritarians at any point in human history. The lies at the heart of PC-Progism are NOT communist/Marxist/socialist, but based on the creed of Hate-Normal-America. However, the creators of the lies of the PC-Prog belief system were the forebears of Solzhenitsyn’s tormentors.
So the “lies equals ideology” equation is only true for certain ideologies. Ideologies built on a foundation of lies make that equation true. Ideologies built on an understanding of, and that make allowances for, true human nature are not built on lies.
That linked Solzhenitsyn bit is solid:
”But we can do—everything!—even if we comfort and lie to ourselves that this is not so. It is not “they” who are guilty of everything, but we ourselves, only we!” [emphasis in original]
The corruption, or sin, creeps in when we agree to it. Don’t agree to it and “they” lose power. “They” are not forcing us into anything. They can’t. What they can do is offer rewards for compliance (you get your grant for extolling DIE), and they can revoke privileges for noncompliance (you have to find another job). It’s your choice. You are not a victim. You are responsible. “Oh, but they forced me to do it! — No, you chose to do it because you were unwilling to make a sacrifice by refusing. Free will is God given. If you put the blame where it belongs you’ll see you also have the power to change it.
We are gradually accumulating a population that is incapable of sustaining our current technological civilization. The end result will be some sort of Latin American feudalism. The Ruling Class will have to import whatever technology they can use (if they are capable of using it) for other, non-woke countries, like Russia, China, Iran…
Four years later was booed at Harvard for predicting what would happen less than 30 years later give or take
According to Jordan Peterson, each year China graduates more engineers than currently exist in North America (or “The West” – not sure the exact quote)
As a faculty member at a land grant university, this hits the nail on the head. I’ve never been so discouraged about academia as I am now. Everything is about DEI now. Most universities require a DEI statement just to apply for a faculty position. Many use this statement as first screening device. When I ask others about what is the mission statement of a land grant university, they just look at me kind of strangely. DEI has become the mission for nearly all universities. I’ve caught myself saying and writing the “correct response” numerous times now. I feel dirty every time. Just someone seeing this could get me in trouble so you’ll understand if I don’t use my real name.
Kent writes: “However, the creators of the lies of the PC-Prog belief system were the forebears of Solzhenitsyn’s tormentors.”
Who did you have in mind?
The Neoliberal War on Dissent in the West
Check the video Spain’s National Police brutalize voters in Catalonia polling center (a school) today in an attempt to suppress #CatalanReferendum vote.
If you doubt any part of this story it’s because you haven’t been in contact with academia in the last ten years.
It really is that bad.
Hossenfelder could fight back. She could, if she chose to, retain her integrity and defy authority. It’s an option.
And let’s be real: the mathematics of early universe inflation is utterly useless foppery, whereas standing up for truth is the most valuable and noble thing a person can do.
“Kent writes: “However, the creators of the lies of the PC-Prog belief system were the forebears of Solzhenitsyn’s tormentors.”
Who did you have in mind?”
Great question–I just happen to be immersed in the history of the who/what/why/when/where/how facts of the covert influence operation that destroyed Normal-American culture.
Short answer: The Comintern genius, Willi Muenzenberg, planned, staffed, organized, and created methods for the insertion of the suicidal belief system into our culture. He focused on the three-legged-stool of American cultural transmission: the media, education/academia, and Hollywood. His only miscalculation? The length of time required to destroy our culture–he imagined a handful of years for results. It took 8-9 decades. Other than that, he was spot-on and successful.
Long answer? See the book for full details: Willing Accomplices: How KGB covert influence agents created Political Correctness and destroyed America.
Sadly this will not end until really bad times hit. By that I mean near-to-apocalypse bad times. Like wheelbarrows of cash for a loaf of bread Weimar Germany or Cortez razing Tenochtitlan. I can visualise the old fart in the White House leading America to such a debacle. We are only one failed war away, just as was Germany, Rome, etc; the historical record of such societal collapses stretches back to prehistory.
Many westerners, perhaps Americans among them, will end up like Romans, so oppressed by their own government that they support and join the barbarian invasion. History is full of these scenarios.
The worship of DIE can be likened to the Aztec worship of Huitzilopochtli and the belief that human sacrifice would keep them safe. Completely irrational. Then some white men with shiny hats and boom sticks walked into Tenochtitlan and, well, the rest is history.
Can’t escape the possibility that a lot of human suffering is coming, one way or another. Shortly before he passed away, the late Rene Girard stated that he though the Apocalypse had already begun. Maybe he was right.
And many of the Chinese engineering, “students,” in the Western institutions are actually covert PLA operatives.
I receive my engineering school’s alumni magazine. At this time it is nearly unreadable because the writing is so inaccurate and Woke.
Like the Solzhenitsyn quote above, this is in similar vein…
“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
? Theodore Dalrymple, the pen name of Anthony Daniels, MD
To add another anecdote, we had a proposal for a new course in Stochastic Processes get turned down because it failed to explain how knowledge of stochastic processes would lead to less discrimination towards blacks and other minorities.
I was of the opinion that we shouldn’t bend the knee and basically refuse to give out the services of our department until the requirements were made sane. But the people responsible for the proposal decided to try to pretend to throw in such requirements. The technique they used was to say that analysis of stochastic processes “often involves working on diverse teams.” If taken literally this would mean that we could only meet the posted outcomes for the course by making sure that we had students of different races every semester, but of course no one involved in the proposal process from our department expects it to be taken literally (though I would not be surprised if it was eventually.)
The proposal was held up for several months by a committee that might not have been convinced by the new excuse, but also has had a history of rejecting things for petty and technical reasons so the hold up might be unrelated.
Thirty years ago I applied for a job as an archaeologist, in California. I had all the necessary experience and credentialism, but the last thing I was asked at the interview was my feelings about native Americans. I could tell what the interviewer wanted to hear by the way she said it, and by the way she looked at me. I have nothing against native Americans, but I resented being put on the spot like that. Nonetheless, I gave her a solid line of woke BS. It worked; I got the job. The PC lies I had to tell always bothered me, but I had to eat and pay bills.
She is a good physicist, but she is a socialist and she usually lets that come in her work, either as some parenthesis between physics articles or as the way in which she interorets things, like why physics research is in stalemate, because of the pursuit if beauty, acvording to her. So, she is yet another lefty raking a taste of the honey of keftusm in power….
not that you’d care, but somewhere today yet another of your commenters is dying a horrible death in an ICU….
For those of us tempted to political despair – despair away.
There is no democratic way of extricating our own selves from this communist quicksand.
The commies own it all.
One thing all of us can do is to pay more attention to Briggs’ posts on Aquinas. Jesus and His Catholic Church are your salvation – literally – not politics.
Politics for the commie-satanists is religion and they defend their creed to the death.
Shekcy R (sorry … Intentionally misspelled to avoid moderation)
I’ve noticed some missing voices … I trust you’re not gloating?
I mourned for a commenter a few (8 or 9?) years back … some one who was a bit of a troll but wasn’t obnoxious
When I was still in the workforce oh so many years ago, I was listening to a debrief on a contract award. I was surprised to learn that the percentage of subcontracts awarded to minority-woman-owned small businesses and outreach to historically underprivileged colleges and universities was considered part of our “Mission Suitability” score. And all that time I thought mission suitability had something to do with making rockets that don’t blow up. Silly me.
Our daughter and son in law were professors in academia at University for ten and more years, and they kept letting us know what was going on. It was very difficult to accept, my coming from a Catholic schooling background of the fifties, where all had been in right order, so we were taught. It took growing up to understand that all people, priests, nuns, and laity, all have their personal difficulties concerning temptations, and that many of us give in to sin, to our great sorrow. Anyway, all of this is true, and the works of God in bringing us to Himself, will continue until no more will accept His Son.
Do read Isaiah in the chapters of the thirties and forties, and just see what God does, Who He says that He is, and more. He is the living God. Worship Him with all of your being.
God bless, C-Marie
As an early career physicist, this is very accurate. I’m at the stage of applying for faculty positions. I’d say at least 3/4 of those in the US, and 100% of those in Canada, demanded DIE statements. I refused to apply to any that did which rather limited the number of applications I could send out.
My own department recently adopted a statement formulated by our internal zampolit that claims that diversity is the central mission of the department. Not, you know, physics.
NSF grants also now require a “broader impact” section – which is where the “this is how models of quantum tunneling in Cu substrates will benefit diversity” stuff goes.
Increasingly I don’t even care if I land a faculty job. Ask the indications are that the ideological madness is just going to continue getting worse, and spending the rest of my life trapped in that bughouse doesn’t seem all that attractive.