Science is organized knowledge, I’m told. Scientists are those possessing it, such as physicists or political scientists. Yeah…so, how is it we find a physicist at the Large Hadron Super Collider exhibiting such a different take on his science, compared to some practicing political scientists?
Seems a current hot theory on particle physics called supersymmetry isn’t holding up under the super-collider’s bombardment with high energy particles. Whatever that means. Anyway, resident physicists, seeing their expectations dashed, now say they need a new theory. You can read about it here.
This sort of thing isn’t infrequent in the hard sciences, right? Make a theory to explain something, collect facts to prove the theory and when the collected facts fail to do that, get a new theory. Sensible. So, how is it that while this characterizes the hard sciences like physics, the ‘scientists’ in the social sciences seem never to have heard of it? This confuses me, I admit. I’m clearly no scientist. But even so, I know that political science must be a science because it says so up front, and it wouldn’t tell a lie, right? And economics is called the ‘dismal science’ and you can get advanced degrees in both. And economists use a lot of math that doesn’t prove anything, just like the supersymmetrists.
We know the economists’ theories don’t work because we’re still in a moribund economy; just like the super-collider, their experiment has failed. And this isn’t the first time they’ve tried it, either. (Google: The Great Depression.) Nevertheless, the practicing political scientists–politicians–are charging hard ahead in the same failed directions of yore. You can read about that, here.
John Maynard Keynes, now the long-dead economist he once described as the source of ideas espoused by politicians, said governments should spend when nobody else does, to jump-start economic demand. Only up to a point, though. And later economists have pointed out what he somehow forgot to underline: the money government spends must first be taken out of the sick economy before it can be spent back into it. And we’re well past that point he mentioned for a limit, too. No matter, Democrats are for spending, and to stop deficits, well, just take more money out of the sick economy via tax increases and all will be saved!
Republicans grumble about this in public, but all the money being spent is funded from legislation they pass (very quietly) in the four annual funding bills provided by the House, where they have the majority. Yeah. Do what I say, or do what I do? Somehow, that seems unlikely to work for physicists… I have to wonder why it seems to work for politicians?