Mihai Popeti

Marburg, Germany

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138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
How immune should science be from the political environment of its time?
I think there should be a separation between scientists and politics (as a former polsci student :) ). But there shouldn't be a separation between scientists and reality, including social reality. Right now scientists de facto serve as high priests in our society, in the same way that high priests were responsible in former times to say if the chief / king had the sanctification of god in his doings. When politicians nowadays want to do something (important) they usually come up with a study of this or that. Which is almost without alternative - while on the other hand, scientists that write biased support articles for a cause because their sponsors appreciate it (not even ask - but could do well with) is not without alternative. It is for politicians to allocate fundings out of political (namely societal not power politics) reasons for science. And for scientists to use those fundings out of scientifical curiosity and interest. Of course there will always be transgressions, but I thing society should be vigilant not indulgent about it. If on the other hand, a scientist should speak his voice on societies behalf - which is what I think about Max Plank - it should not be for this or that politician or party - but for the reality itself as it presents to him (which is after all what scientists ar good about finding out).
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
In your opinion, what should the purpose of education be?
The main purpose for education is increasing the degrees of freedom on various levels. Freedom of thought - Supplying cognitive instruments / tools, powerful metaphors, learning to master grammar and algorithmic thought Freedom of affect - Allowing to feel oneself, to develop an empathic theory of mind, to be able to "deeply" connect to the world: rather then just "think about it" - "feel a part of it". Feel freely about love, death, loneliness and meaninglesness (the 4 existential categories proposed by Yalom) Freedom of expression - Ability to learn languages: foreign languages, programming languages, mathematical descriptions of reality, Ability to use one's voice in speach and tone-shaping, Graphic and literary forms of expression Freedom of communion - Team skills, Problem solving and negociating skills, basic political and social concepts applied. - I think the whole concept of education should be about enabling children to do whatever they want to do - to make them understand that learning is not something they "have to" but something they want to in order to do whatever makes them happy. I don't think a reform in education will do it. Old forms of education have their merits and sometimes when dilluted with a bit of freedom concepts have shovn worse results than the original - which only goes to show that sometimes a full-hearted choice or the other is better than any compromise.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
To publish or not to publish?
Very interesting question. I held my breath a few days ago when I read an article about the scientists being urged or pressured (or both) to withhold information about the strain. I haven't found an answer to this question and thank god, I'm not responsible for this decision. But two arguments for publishing the study, nevertheless have come into my mind. For one, the article I read about the whole thing said that there was prior exposure of the material (or big parts of it) at conferences. That means possible bioterrorists allready could have or procure most / all of the info. Withholding the information would on the other hand mean that the scientific community can't work together on finding an antidote for lack of information. Or at least they would first have to dig. If you ask me personally, I'd rather have the entire international science community know that there might be a problem, and how it would look like - to facilitate early discovery / to give more heads a chance to work on a solution - than to withold the information from potential terrorists. At first I've asked myself what the sense of this discovery was in the first place - I guess the answer is: the mutation can occur spontaniously in the wild - we might preemptively find a cure for it. Weird thinking but ok - they said "A" - and if we agree of thei initial drive or not isn't important - now someone has to say "B" in finding a vaccine or something.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
The women's revolution is the last revolution that the world will ever need. Male/Female equality is essential to human happiness.
Thank you, Joanne. I'm not sure - or "sure not" - either. But if you ask someone with III degree burns what to do he might scream "kill me"! Sometimes the long term solutions may have to come from people who are neither emotionaly involved nor indifferent. Machiavelli once said: you have to go out of the city and on to the neighbouring mountain to see and understand some of the city. It might in the end be the difference between a long-term solution and a patch destined to avoid a long term solution. Allthough I may be wrong and it might be a rationalisation to avoid a small solution where the big one is to hard to do.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
The women's revolution is the last revolution that the world will ever need. Male/Female equality is essential to human happiness.
Even if you were right on these accounts, tony, the Sentence would still also read: "Everyone is a genious, but if you would judge the average man in his ability to perform high-agility gimnastics, to connect emotionally to himself and to other people, in his supporting and nurturing skills and his theory of mind - he might end up looking down upon women because he isn't man (or woman for that matter) enough to admit there is alway a side of the story in wich he is the cripple, the looser, the "subhuman" ". We're still talking about the same average man in a race car who is proud that he can drive faster then any Plane before takeoff, just inocently forgetting his insignificant incapability to fly. People are people, this is not a gender issue. It is about every human being having strengths and weaknesses which society should learn to appreciate and enforce for the good of the appreciated person and for the good of us as his neighbours. We need a society that can transform ability into values, into movement. Generally. If we formulate it like this it doesn't put up men against women. This isn't about vendetta for the stupidity of millenia of patriarchy. Who would insure that an equal society on the male-female axis wouldn't surpress more efficiently with a more stable group a part of the population with other talents? We need the energy of the feminism, and the rage that it evokes in patriarchal types, and we need to put it to good use for us all. So be glad about every Tony and every Rhona, Gisela and Joanne. Use that energy for transformation and keep this dialogue for whatever good it brings. Thanks.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
The women's revolution is the last revolution that the world will ever need. Male/Female equality is essential to human happiness.
Tony. You won't run as fast as the fastest female runner, wrestle as hard as the best female wrestler and I guess you aren't a Marie Curie for that matter. Don't worry, I'm neither. "Women" aren't anything. Statistically they might be (though I hear lots of talk and see less studies) "somehow", but that doesn't mean anything on the personal level. I agree that jobs should be given based on an aptitude test. And I would even go so far in saying that "affirmative action" sometimes does wrong. Boo-hoo on that, man. We have wasted the aptitudes of our women for at least 4 or 5 millenia now because we have judged them by our criteria and built a society where their aptitudes talents and geniouses for that matter didn't come to serve us all. Because we were too short-sighted. I'm not talking of the 2.5 % andvantage a man may have sometimes over a woman, I'm talking about a farm that has two cows and you're only milking one because sometimes you observed her giving 2.5% better milk. Rational my ass. I see this as a rebelling phase. Rebelling most of the times means that you do a small stupid thing in order to avoid doing the big stupid thing that was going on, only to (if you're not neurotic) stop doing the small stupid thing after you realised the big stupid thing has indeed been stopped. It's in the history of individuals and societies over and over. And it's got a name: dialectics: the circle goes round - thesis - antithesis - synthesis. Remaining in the thesis is stagnation. Which for living organisms and societies means death.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
The women's revolution is the last revolution that the world will ever need. Male/Female equality is essential to human happiness.
Oh, but it is easy to explain tony, i did it below. The olimpic games have been designed as a test by men for men in the areas that men do best. I hope you are confortable with overexagerating as a means to make a point: So as far as you don't go to say it would be fair to have a race swimming between men and dolphins, a wrestling competition men vs. Grizzly and a cheetah competing in a 300 m running - it would only be fair to have the biologically best compete in an AREA where they are the best. So I think the feminist perspective has a point here, though they just narrow it down to the gender aspect of competing. Competing between people with different talents and strengths is absurd when it comes down to narrow aspects where one is bound to loose the competition. And we live in a society that enforces male values, partly lucky me (because who really wants half of his species unlucky? or unfulfilled partners?). In fact society biases so much that half of the gender people out there would be eager to sacrifice womanhood and the things women are really much better then men (on the average, like men on average are better in strength tasks), just for the sake of a misunderstood equalty. While equalty should mean: my best in A is as good as your best in B though I am way better than you in A and you are way better than me in B . And we shape a world where we put A and B to good use for each other. No matter what your favourite cake is, it would be hell to be allowed only to feed on it as a sole source of nourishment for the rest of your life.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
The women's revolution is the last revolution that the world will ever need. Male/Female equality is essential to human happiness.
I really think that you guys get hung up on semantic questions rather than intrinsic ones. But it reveals how much energy is involved in these issues. If you say that equal is the ideal where difference is a fact you can be sure that his psyche will interpret this as: you want to make us all the same. To be more precise: you want to erase me as a unique being. I also think tony is biased. But I think he is biased by a general thing: "I want that my strengths and/or the strengths of the group I'm identifying with to compose the criteria for judging general worth". This brings a double psychological comfort: it makes me one of the best (because noone can beat me at a quizz I designed) and it assures that the same doesn't happen to me, that I am not judged and valued by other people's subjctive and arbitrary criteria. The problem with that bias is more subtle an more severe than the patriarchal/male chauvinist one: We all have it. We. All. Me, Tony, every female manager who looks down on a housewife, everyone who feels better about themselves about being "right" where others "just don't get it", so I guess: sometimes you too. To the point of the topic: the women's revolution done in that spirit will free us from this prison just to get us in the next larger prison. Which would be fine for sure, but leaves me wanting.
138868
Mihai Popeti
Posted over 3 years ago
The women's revolution is the last revolution that the world will ever need. Male/Female equality is essential to human happiness.
IAbout Tony below... I used to ask myself the same question in university: why "equalty" on the one hand and no mixed olympia sports on the other hand? For myself I have found some answers wich sumed up are actually one: there is a basic equality in nonequality or heterogenity. I a few months ago I found a quote atributed to Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” What I was doing and what you seem to do is judge an entire population based on criteria originally defined by one half of the population. By the monkeys who are now denigrating the fishes. So maybe we men should ask a different question: how come that a lot of you women, even if not the majority, are better then the majority of us men on items in which by biology or cultural boosting we should be best? How would we men score on a "test" made on the strengths of women? As a thought experiment, I imagine a world in 500 years when the lot of our technological problems will be solved and our societies will turn to art. And one of my grandgrandgrandchildren will come to have a splendid scientifical mind but no art inclination whatsoever. And maybe society will allow him to be a part-time kindergardener or a houseman and practice what he does best as a hobby. Because society doesn't realise how important it is. Michael Sandel made the point beautifully in one of the ethic lectures on youtube (starting with Rawls I guess) : What makes one more deserving for being born with the exact qualities that society demands at a certain time that would be regarded as unimportant 100 years before or after. Why be proud about the random winning of the genetic and cultural lottery? So yeah I think that the gender revolution is a very important one, to answer the starting question. I just don't think that it is a specific female revolution. There are other people in society who have at least the same amount of stake.