The Talk We Need

Human minds are fallible, and prone to making the same mistakes over and over. We're wonderfully adapted to a situation that we don't actually occupy - a situation of small groups, limited resources, short lifespans. It's fairly easy to point of the flaws in the way that we narrate the world, the imbalances in our discourses.

This leads us to assume, in some sense, that our social structures are the problem, leading us into bigotry, economic and environmental shortsightedness, and all manner of other stupidity. But those structures spring naturally from the way we approach the world. We're the problem; these things are just comfort food - fatty, too salty, prone to make us die young, but eminently suited to what we want at some base level.

So, the structures of discourse and dialog we build aren't everything, but they're not nothing, either. Even if we have a tendency to make poor choices, we've built a few discourse that bring us to actions that are contrary to our nature. It's not amazing that there's backbiting and politics in scientific circles; what's amazing is that the process works at all, dragging us into closer contact and comprehension of the objective reality we actually exist in.

The scientific method is an artificial aid to understanding. Like glasses, or any other tool that improves on human capacity.

We need heuristics for modern life that serve that function. We need a folk science that draws us an map that is "accurate enough", and which naturally self-corrects because of the basic stuff that lies at it's foundation. A system in which our hard-won knowledge filters ever outward, simplifying into common language without disconnecting.

I don't know how to build that. I'm not sure anyone does. I think we should try to find out.