Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Received a Cruel Answer

I attended this week a lecture at the Hebrew University presented by a visiting academic dealing with the future of the territories [Judea and Samaria], Israel's administration of the same and the need for a shift in the way problem-solving is perceived within the context of the failure of the "two-state solution" for decades.  The academic wanted to progress to a new construct and paradigm.

At the outset, he presented several examples of how scientists have made presumptions only to realize that they were totally wrong.  One was the ether experiments that were predicated on the assumption that there actually did exist such a thing. Another was the move from Newtonian physics to the theory of relativity.

The lecture included terms such as negative as well as positive core heuristics, paradigms, anomalies, theoretical apparatus, construct, gestalt, colonialism, Kuhnsian shift, categories of coherent theory, etc. and at the end, there were questions and comments. One person stated, inter alia, that the two-state solution was an Arab initiative.  Poor Peel Commission or, for that matter, the division of historic Palestine in 1922 and the creation of Transjordan. The opinion was voiced that actually the Arabs of the Gallil were treated worse prior to 1966 than those of Judea and Samaria since.

I ventured a question and asked: is there any assumption underpinning the framework that you are suggesting that cannot be touched?  Puzzled he, I added: for example, Palestinian Arab nationalism.

The answer, he half apologized, would be cruel.  If this was a class of advanced physics and a student came in, he said,  and asked what that symbol on the blackboard meant, he would not be allowed to continue in the class.

That was it.

Of course, he could simply have replied that everything is open for discussion and study and experimentation.  Or that Jewish Zionism and a specific Arab Palestinianism are a given. But that, I fear, would have opened up a new front: if the Arabs have consistently rejected a Jewish  national identity since 1920, and doing it quite violently, and rejected every diplomatic initiative this past century and following that up with, yes, violence, and if Zionism is assumed to be colonialism as was intimated in the talk, then obviously, some fundamentals are sacred and cannot be touched while others can most definitely be challenged and whittled away or belittled.

In any case, I am glad that scientists discovered the world is no longer flat.



Shtrudel said...

Just like communism claimed that their socioeconomic worldview was based on science contemporary progressives claim that their world view is based on human science...

These idiots like to pretend that the soft science of the human psyche (whether it's psychology, gender studies or similar) is the equal of the hard sciences like physics and mathematics...

Yet when humans act contrary to their expectations (e.g. first responders or soldiers rushing towards the danger rather than running away) they find a scientific theory for that too... Not realizing that they have just proven that there is no such thing as human science...

In real science something is either white or black... If something is perceived in gray then there's an incomplete understanding of the phenomena...

Jeannette said...

As a physicist, I must correct another wrong assumption in the talk. Although the "luminiferous ether" did turn out to be "totally wrong", this is most definitely not true of Newtonian physics. Newtonian physics is a very good approximation of reality, as long as things are large enough and move slowly enough.

for example, it is a waste of computing power to use relativistic calculations to determine the distance between two cars - or to get a probe into orbit around Pluto.

rlandes said...

what's the most striking about all this is that "Palestinian nationalism" is indeed an "imagined community" ironically imagined and fervently believed in primarily by Westerners.

Neither the PLO nor Hamas have shown any "national" dedication in the sense of caring about their own people. They just used the useful idiocy of people like the speaker (why not identify him?) to promote a goal of destroying Israel, consistently at the expense of their people's national interest.

indeed, to anyone familiar with the phenomenon, "Arab Nationalism" is an oxymoron invented by a Christian Arab hoping to curry favor with the Muslim majority.

breathtaking, self-delusionary, aggressive stupidity. joins the #ASSO21C (Astoundingly Stupid Statements of the 21st Century).