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Lost Opportunities

Entry 2076, on 2020-09-21 at 13:36:04 (Rating 4, Comments)

If you follow my thoughts in this blog you will be aware that I find political correctness, and woke culture in general, particularly annoying. There are several reasons for this, including the simple facts that most political correctness is just based on false information instead of facts, and that although it claims to make society more fair it generally achieves the opposite. But maybe the biggest issue is this: that it distracts us from things that actually matter.

When politics seems completely engrossed in matters of so-called "social justice" and "minority rights" it wastes a lot of time and effort which could be better put to use in advancing more important issues, especially investment in science, including medicine, energy generation, and food production.

You might say that social issues are also important and that equality is just as critical to a good society as anything science can give us, but I reject that in two ways: first, we already have a good approximation to equality; and second, people's lives have been improved through science and technology far more than through any political or social movements.

For example, the drudgery of hard manual labour for the working classes (to the extent that they still exist) has been reduced through the use of industrial machinery and automation. The place of women in society has been made equal to a large extent because of the availability of reliable birth control products. And political malfeasance has been made more open to scrutiny because of internet-based communications technology which is far more difficult to censor than in the past.

So instead of worrying about whether black lives matter (which of course they do, but the argument should be about what this really means and what, if anything, can be done to improve the situation), or colonialism should be reversed (probably the most stupid statement ever made, because even if it could be reversed, no sensible person would want to do that), or whether women are repressed by the patriarchy (again, a statement which is difficult to refute because it is largely meaningless), we should be worrying about truly progressive actions, like how we can get nuclear fusion working reliably so that our energy issues are solved forever.

My rejection of current leftist principles has caused some people to accuse me of being a conservative, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I am so progressive that I have overtaken the people who call themselves "progressive" today (but in fact might be better described as "regressive").

Being progressive doesn't mean reverting to a previous state but with the roles reversed. So you can't fix unfairness from the past by introducing reverse unfairness today. For example, if women have had barriers to them gaining positions of power previously, giving them extra privileges to gain those positions is just repressing other groups in a similar way to what we have already decided was bad. And giving certain racial minority groups easier access to higher education is just making it hard for others who might more deserve it. Is this progressive? No, it's just going back in time with a different emphasis. It really is regressive in the true sense of the word.

And here's another point: the leftists claim they just want everyone to be part of society with equal opportunities and the ability to make an equal contribution. They want to remove barriers and make the world one big happy place where everyone treats others with respect. But by becoming ridiculously focussed on race, gender, sexual identity, and other divisive issues, they achieve the exact opposite. These ideas divide society, they don't unite it. How can black people become fully integrated into society when largely fake issues like "black lives matter" are so emphasised by politicians on the left, and by the media?

So what should our political discussions actually be about? Well, how about how to get universities, and other scientific institutions, working better so that we can solve genuine, instead of fake, issues? If nuclear fusion could be perfected our energy production issues could be eliminated quickly. And limitless energy could result in huge social change.

Most importantly, climate change could be reversed quickly, because abundant, cheap electricity without the need to burn fossil fuels would cause a massive drop in carbon emissions. But environmentalists often reject the exact technology that could solve the problems they are most concerned with. Nuclear power is generally rejected without any real thought by Green politicians, almost entirely through misplaced ideological dogma.

And the COVID pandemic has made it obvious to everyone how important medical research is. The number one way to fix the global economy at this time has very little to do with economics or politics, it is more based on production of a reliable and safe vaccine against this coronavirus.

But how much discussion to we see around these important ideas? Well sure, we see some, but very little compared with fake issues like gender equality, colonial oppression, and alleged violence against minority racial groups. We are ignoring the things that really matter and getting bogged down in discussions over things that don't have any real relevance or validity.

Now that last statement is deliberately provocative, and might open me to criticisms like how I belong to a very privileged group so that I can't have any understanding of how other groups might be suffering from oppression. But facts are facts, whoever is looking at them, and I prefer data to anecdotes. And data represents objective evidence accessible to everyone, making my opinion as valid as anyone's.

Finally, I have to be fair here, and point out how science denial is not solely a phenomenon on the left - far from it. While this post concentrated on how, on the left, an infatuation with so-called social justice is preventing real progress, I have to add that things are just as bad on the right. Climate change denial, vaccination conspiracies, and suspicion of science in general are possibly even bigger threats to progress, so don't assume that the solution to the stupidity of the left is a different type of stupidity from the right. I'm against all forms of stupidity!

But look at the issues being reported in the mainstream media and you will see completely irrational, irresponsible, and fantastical nonsense being promoted every day. Compared with that, anti-vaccine conspiracies shared by a few nutters on-line isn't such a big deal. So maybe this supports my theme of recent times that political correctness is a big problem (maybe the biggest) and it is being created largely through incompetence and corruption in the media.

We all need to avoid these meaningless distractions and get started on solving real problems. Currently, there are just too many lost opportunities.

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Comment 1 (5428) by Anonymous on 2020-09-28 at 17:29:06:

Interesting: "people's lives have been improved through science and technology far more than through any political or social movements"

I suspect African Americans may disagree with you when referring to the abolition of slavery or other civil rights victories.

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Comment 2 (5431) by OJB on 2020-09-29 at 10:41:29:

Yes, they might disagree, but they would be wrong. In general, technology has done far more for them than even freedom from slavery, in my opinion. Of course, that is difficult to evaluate objectively.

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Comment 3 (5433) by Anonymous on 2020-09-29 at 11:42:01:

Maybe you should ask them (instead of making statements on what has been vest for them) instead of making an objective assessment from your privileged position?

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Comment 4 (5436) by OJB on 2020-09-29 at 12:39:03:

Ask "them"? Who, exactly? And given the current emotionally charged situation, would I get a rational answer? I suspect not. One other point too: social and technological progress seem linked and both originated in the Enlightenment, so I don't think your point disproves my thesis anyway.

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