Thursday, January 18, 2007

Global Memes

As our culture becomes more global, we are going to be faced with more powerful memes.
We (as a spices) need possibly new ways to deal with the infections that they can cause.

An example is the global warming hypothesis.
It seems evident that there is a strong will to believe that GWH is in fact true, regardless of the actual evidence gathered.
I'm a skeptic person by nature and tried to collect some links that discuss and reason about the actual problems and challenges connected to prove (or disprove) the GWH.

Here are some of my findings so far:

  • If you want to check for yourself how the climate is evolving on long-time scale, here you have some data, based on dendrochronology (the study of the past, using the internal rings of trees).
  • A nice presentation of the complexity of the problem can also be found here.
  • the media are also not doing all of us a favor, they actually help spreading these kind of memes, instead of providing means to check them and perhaps help confuting the most aggressive ones... See here for a discussion of the relation between media and the GWH.
  • Another nice balanced discussion can be found here.
  • This one is a very very skeptical position ;)

I also found an incredible list of "standard" answers that one can use against a climate skeptic: wonderful reading material!
Check it out here.
It really gives a clear image of the discussion around GWH: it is all a matter of clever discussion and argumentation... very little in the standard answers is devoted to check the actual facts and open problems of the meme.
All is reduced to a rethoric game (see also 38 ways to win and argument and Schopenhauer - the Art of Controversy)...
(for a counter-argumentation, read this :D )

This attitude of shutting up the adversary without solving the actual problem that originated the discussion is perhaps the most powerful element supporting global memes.

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