Judging what is Science and Culture, and what is Cargo Cult*

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 8.57.34 AMThis photo supplied by Elon Musk’s ‘The Boring Company’ (a mimicry of words that portrays it as something different.  As an engineering and scientific research firm, like The Boeing Company, to news media). On the English QWERTY keypad they seem “quite close”.  E next to R .  We use this photo without permission.  It is in the public domain now.  This portrays what Elon Musk says is, ‘the reality of the tunnel designed. ‘ A ride at 100 mph/170kmh?  Does this section of track look like it has even been used in 20 years?

The LA Tunnel – home of Hollywood and its American ‘Culture’

Bricks for Homelessness [“LEGO-like blocks” for Fun Projects, like solving homelessness.]

To disprove the thesis: ‘the competitive spirit among humans is dead’ one only needs to visit your local cricket boundary, or rugby pitch and prove it wrong.  There you will find “healthy bodies leading to healthy minds” in active competition both physically and mentally.


Quotes on Rugby

They do not play the game for its own sake.  To show what they DO play it for read “Quotes on Rugby” above, as well as, reflection on your own experience.  They do it to help themselves and their fellows by reaching beyond, like any artist.  It may be for a Creator and through “him or her” to help humanity.  Or the game may be called “The Creator’s Game” directly, as among the North American First Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederation (Iroquois) – what the French first named LaCrosse.

Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 9.14.26 AMAn image from the website


Science and Culture – S.T.E.A.M.

That is why those of us who appreciate science, appreciate that through friendly sports competition the best and brightest athletes will rise.   And through their victories, examples, and methodology help their fellows – even by negative examples, and even their most defeated and most reviled competitor might dust herself off and heal – to potentially, one day, defeat even the ‘victor.’   Take Walter Bonatti, the famous Italian Mountain climber, part of the Italian team that first summited K2 in 1954…

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 9.30.28 AMWalter Bonatti sits with a lunch tray on his knees, while talking and gesticulating; he is back from climbing Pointe Whymper in Grandes Jorasses, with the Swiss mountain climber Michel Vaucher. Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc (France), 1964.

As Bonatti said much later, in 2010, trying to explain the summiting of so many mountains in so short a time period,

“It was the era when European countries picked off the 8,000m peaks in the same way they had colonies 100 years previously.” 

“On 31 July, two members of the Italian team Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni reached the summit, securing the first ascent of K2 for humanity.  However, after the expedition Bonatti found himself accused and at the center of a bitter controversy based on conflicting accounts of events which occurred during the ascent.  Only 53 years later, did the Italian Alpine Club officially recognise that both Lacedelli and Compagnoni lied in their account of the ascent and that Bonatti’s version of the facts was accurate.” – Wikipedia]

53 years later. Wow. Author (me) stops to consider.  This great Italian climber, finally the ‘victor’.

“Mountains are the means, man is the end,’ Bonatti said,  “The goal is not to reach the tops of mountains, but to improve the man.” 

This is also how we can judge what is Science and Culture what is not science, Cargo Cult, although it looks a lot like science.  If the best and brightest are constantly tested – in their season- through competition we know who to rely upon and can make predictions based on their own experience and data.  This is something all the Cargo Cults in the world cannot do.  And they can never produce research to show themselves wrong, that others can use to prove to themselves.  Even once.

They will eventually starve waiting for the planes* to arrive.  But we are competitive, we will always take care of a few survivors who showed promise and we may always have Cargo Cults, that can sum up neither their own correct aspects or their fundamentally incorrect and fatal aspects.

* “In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war (WWII) they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he’s the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things  cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land.” – Prof. Dr. Feynman, Caltech Commencement Speech (1974).







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