Surveillance and culture war from a scientific viewpoint

I’m a 70% realist and 30% idealist. Science is the best way of discovering the general patterns of reality. The non-general aspects of reality that can’t be measured or quantified can be discovered through art and emotions. A realist must therefore be driven primarily by curiosity and find pleasure or meaning in trying to explore everything that exists, no matter what it is.

The ideal of science is to be as neutral as humanly possible. You have to be as emotionally detached as a zoologist describing a collision between two objects in three dimensional space: a lion for example attacking a zebra. It’s not pretty. It’s bloody. The zebra is in great pain when being eaten alive. The biologist, however, just observes it from a distance, with no more emotions than a CERN physicist watching two particles collide, or an astronomer looking at two asteroids crashing into each other.

Science is emotionless. Ice cold. Psychopathic. But emotional indifference is what you need when trying to accurately describe the general patterns of reality without it being distorted by your own interests and values: biases such as ideology, politics, religion and aesthetics.

Science got a problem, however, because ideology, politics, religion and aesthetics are part of reality. Biases are real. Art is real. Empathy is real. Non-general experiences are real. So how can an emotionless observer ever discover the reality of emotions? It’s impossible. It’s like a psychopath trying to experience empathy. Or a blind person trying to see.

Only 0.00000…1 % of human beings are able to always observe all phenomena without ever having any emotions at all. Such persons, if they exist, are machines. Science is never pure.

I’m only 70% scientific. The rest consists of biased interests and values. In science mode however, when I got my science hat on, I can describe wars and violent conflicts with the same degree of emotionlessness as a zoologist, feeling the same dopamine-driven curiosity as Steve Irwin when being in a deadly jungle of never-ending conflicts.

I’m an empath however when exiting the hyper-focused state of mind that characterizes curiosity-driven science.

Research, by the way, shows that even psychopaths can deep down feel some empathy if you somehow manage to break their hyper-focus, their intense monotonous hunter’s focus on 1) acquiring power and control over others, and 2) their hunt for feeling anything: cheap and vulgar dopamine and adrenaline kicks.

As a scientist I’m not opposed to mass surveillance, not opposed to tyrants. Because science is just neutral. In science mode I’m simply observing intelligence officers and their informants with the same curiosity that Steve Irwin had when studying creatures in the jungle.

The scientist in me also has a “Zen” attitude to the culture war between “woke ultra-liberals” and moderate/radical cultural conservatives. For example, when I say that these two groups are now at war, real actual war, then that’s just an observation of facts, like stating that a piece of sodium will explode in water:

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