Monday, June 25, 2007

Ever since I happened to search for "science passion" (without quotes) in the NUS LINC, and discovered A Passion for Science and Passionate Minds, both collections of interviews with various scientists by Lewis Wolpert, I have always admired Wolpert for being a successful developmental biologist who also charmingly brought his love for science into the public view.

Not anymore, with his other book The Unnatural Nature of Science, published 1993 by Faber & Faber. At first I'd thought it was because Wolpert showed little understanding of Kuhn's not particularly difficult arguments in Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which I happen to adore unstintingly. I put aside my discomfort at Wolpert's out-of-point rebuttals and read on. And on and on, despite Wolpert dismissing the life works of philosophers of science one by one, in one tiny paragraph each. And then, I saw this, that wiped all minor discomforts out of my head.

Of course the nature of sociology itself provides an obvious, and sociological, explanation for sociologists' wishing to undermine science. In a sense, all science aspires to be like physics, and physics aspires to be like mathematics. But too great an aspiration can lead to frustration. In spite of recent successes, biology has a long way to go when measured against physics or chemistry. But sociology? Biologists can still be full of hope and are going through exciting times, but what hope is there for sociology acquiring a physics-like lustre?

Wolpert, thou art ... an example of the infantile self-absorbed egoistic scientist. Such arrogance, such fulsome arrogance! You disgrace us all.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It is a sad, sad thing, to know at 25 that you profoundly detest the laziness and unintelligence of the people of your home country. In general.

Soon enough I'll begin to hate, ad hominem, their demotivated ways, their cries for spoonfeeding, their impressions that they are world-class and deserve better, when most of them can't make it to the racing grounds let alone the starting line.

Perhaps, finally, I'll have a worldview like that of the Singapore government, unduly burdened by its hyped-up promises to an unthinking people.

And then I will leave. Or die.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I have figured out something very important, with Claire's help. Thank you Claire. =)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Having watched Infernal Affairs some time ago and watching The Departed on dvd this evening, I have to say that The Departed is an absurdly poor adaptation. Leo DiCap was not bad, but Matt Damon in the role Andy Lau played.... was truly horrible. Infernal Affairs is better any day.

Okay I've stopped whining.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I have just spent a ridiculous day at City Plaza buying clothes by the dozen, especially dresses. Where else could you find a nice $25 dress in Singapore?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a truly frightening book because it exposes the narrow-minded rigidity of the scientific enterprise. (It also explains how that rigidity aids the progress of science through crisis.) Definitely a book that anyone who studies or practises science, or who wishes to know the truth behind the facade of infallibility that science textbooks present, should read.

Rather small, A5 size, not thick. Kino sells it at $23.

I wish I had read it back in secondary school instead of staring in puzzlement at my science textbooks then.

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