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Conservatives Really Do Hate Science

Posted on Apr 4, 2012
Kaptain Kobold (CC-BY)

Charles Darwin greets a member of our evolutionary family.

Trust in science as a means of discovering and understanding reality has declined among self-identified conservatives since the mid-1970s, sociologists at the University of North Carolina found, and even more so in recent years for those who held high level university degrees.

That last fact suggests that social pressures peculiar to the contemporary conservative upper classes—a segment of society to which, increasingly, one must belong to gain access to higher learning—are trumping education to determine their stances toward controversial issues, global warming and evolution among them. —ARK

Mother Jones:

Gordon Gauchat of the University of North Carolina published these findings in the forthcoming issue of the American Sociological Review. He looked back at data from 1974 through 2010, and found that trust in science was relatively stable over that 36-year period, except among self-identified conservatives. While conservatives started in 1974 as the group that trusted science most (compared to self-identified liberals and moderates), they have now dropped to the bottom of the ranking.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 7 at 1:37 pm - you seem to disregard what
my posts are about and focus on the particulars of one odd practice
being installed in theFlorida correction system.  If the report seems
spurious, then ignore it.  Or write to Florida for more information.
But in the UK the practice of putting surveillance in private homes is
already in place.  All I said was “slippery slope” might indicate more
Big Brother actions by the state in the not to distant future. It doesn’t
matter to me if you are interested in this cautionary tale or not.

I am merely pointing out that there are facts of human actions that
could be seen as sinister forces at work in contemporary society in
various forms and that it would be wise to pay attention.  How they are
interpreted is a matter of individual perception.  WIth enough “sinister”
facts accumulated, it might give some credence to gerard’s comment
that the “truth” of daily events are becoming more widespread and more
horrifying.  I’m assuming that the words widespread and horrifying have
some meaning.  I haven’t even begun to deal with science and resulting
technologies in the thrall of profits.  Though I will interject that it isn’t
ALL of science that is guilty.

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

She—- unless you have a great deal more than the information so far on offer,
you’re spitting in the wind saying that ANY program to prevent teens becoming
lifetime “guests” of the penal system is sinister.

you’re pretty much a major cresources among the commenters here, and you
shouldn’t be afraid to back off a bit.

however, if you do have more info….it would be my pleasure to re-evaluate.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Yes, heterochromatic, I do understand that Florida wants to use the program
to try to prevent re-offenders.  “I” didn’t say it was for potential offenders. It
was directly from the article I got it from that led me to the CivSource article. 
Since it is for rehabilitation that means the offender has a history, and it does
mention “during intake processing, but doesn’t say whether the youth has the
opportunity to forego the predictive analysis. Website of article by Gizmodo
staff writer Brent Rose:

It still smacks of Orwellian “1984” statism, Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report,” “Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and “A Clockwork Orange.”  It is a slippery slope when
citizens do not pay attention to draconian type behavior mod techniques on those who do
not sign their rights away.  Neurotechnologies can be really wonderful, if any practice or
treatment are what individuals want.  It was me who asked along with the article’s author if
this kind of practice does not violate the Constitution (see paragraph 3 of the article).  My
point was interrogative that there are gruesome and shocking actions being taken against
people (see my posts April 6, 5:45am and 8:27am) that maybe we ought to pay attention to?

Well moonraven, guess we are even, you called me two names and I called you two. 
A troll I am not, but a resident for five years I yam, I yam.  I read fine.  Perhaps you need
more sophisticated reading comprehension lessons?  And if you don’t want to read anything
I say, just gloss on by.  No one breaks your electronic arm to read anything anyone says.  I
won’t miss you.  I don’t usually take kindly to e-Nazi coercion to not speak what I choose.

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By heterochromatic, April 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

She—- i’m not too lazy, i merely wished to afford you a chance to revise your
faulty description.

the program isn’t for your — “potential offenders”—- it’s for folks who have
already offended and are already in the system.

the program that they’re considering will be trying to cut down the percentage
of offenders becoming re-offenders.

it’s wouldn’t be likely to violate anyone’s constitutional rights because these
folks have already surrendered some of them on entering custody.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment


You ARE perverse.  You are also functionally illiterate.  Because I said I hate science, you claim I am a conservative.


Learn to read.

We are done.  Do not address me further, nor subject folks here with an interest in discussion to your FROLICS!

A troll by any other name smells just as bad.

Report this
moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

gerard:  Glad to see there is at least one other person posting here who is not committed to destruction of the planet and its life forms.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

moonraven, April 6 at 8:50 am – Read your posts?  They are bloody
boring. Maybe you have stretched yourself too thin in so many directions
that you’ve actually fallen into the one-dimensional opinionated black hole. 
It certainly looks that way. If you are such the quasi-bohemian, all-around
academic why not post like one! Your comments show you to be the one
that is the vacuous egotist.  My posts are not at all about me.  But I
can see how your single-track mind would put your thoughts in that
narrow bandwidth.

And I certainly can be perverse, but at the same time I reflect and speak about
the world-at-large and here I’ve made note and concluded about the infinite
number of ways conservatives hate science and who will find an infinite number
of ways to scrape the skin off who they think are not exactly like them.  I never
initiate any name-calling or disparage another poster’s comments.  But I do
reciprocate!  If you are conservative and offended, Que sera.

Dumkoffs, UNITE! Your dumb life is worth nothing!  But you certainly can march
along side George W. and the anti-science Republicans!

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those
who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this
or that problems will never be solved by science.”

heterochromatic April 6 9:45 am , it is there on the Internet if you weren’t
so lazy to do your own search.  And I gave the state (ahem, Florida) and state
department (Department of Juvenile Justice) where the program is being implemented.
But for Your Laziness,
The Florida State Department of Juvenile ?Justice announced recently ?that it will begin using analysis
software to predict ?crime by young ?delinquents,

Report this

By gerard, April 6, 2012 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

moonraven: Just to shake hands, at the time of Trinity and after, I was working for SANE and WOMEN’S STRIKE FOR PEACE and The Freeze—with, among many others, Norman Ccusins, Linus and Helen Pauling and Leo Szilard, Steve Allen, Helen Caldicott—all fugitives of conscience.  Though we failed (and a kind of “science” can be said to have won out, proving itself a half-hideous victory every day!) at the time I thought I was doing better than to join in the madness. Nothing has changed my mind.

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By heterochromatic, April 6, 2012 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

She——The Florida State Department of Juvenile
Justice announced recently
that it will begin using analysis software to predict
crime by young
delinquents and will place “potential offenders” in
specific prevention
and education programs.  Deepak Advani—V.P. of
Predictive Analytics
at IBM—said the system gives “reliable projections”
so that govern-
ments can take “action in real time” to “prevent
criminal activities.” 
Don’t you think this violates the 5th, 6th, and 14th
Amendments to
the United States Constitution?—-


the way your describing it, it’s utterly absurd and
no one would even make the attempt to institute such
a program.

there’s got to be a lot more to the story than that.

post a link to something substantial, if you would.

Report this
moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Suckers for Science:  UNITE!

You have nothing to lose but your lives….

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment


Didn’t read any of my posts, huh?  This is all about you?

Phd, 7 languages, at least 15 professional careers, novelist, short story writer, critic, poet, playwright, educator, native activist, photographer, composer, painter, interior designer, accountant, business consultant—Gee, how one-dimensional I am—thanks so much for pointing it oout!

Why do foolish folks with more time on their hands than brains always clog up these threads with infantile frippery?

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Wrong planet, hettie the thread hog piecework poster for gringo goonery.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

There is no such thing as Real Science.

Just as there is no Real Religion.

It’s all just a power trip that ignorant and unevolved folks of our species buy into.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

moonraven you seem so one-dimensional.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Okay, guess I’m on a frolic of my own, so here are a couple more
for you (if the shoe fits) to be apathetic about…

The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice announced recently
that it will begin using analysis software to predict crime by young
delinquents and will place “potential offenders” in specific prevention
and education programs.  Deepak Advani—V.P. of Predictive Analytics
at IBM—said the system gives “reliable projections” so that govern-
ments can take “action in real time” to “prevent criminal activities.” 
Don’t you think this violates the 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments to
the United States Constitution?

Fortunately for humanity, what was reported in 2009 that the Ministry of
Justice in the United Kingdom (which apparently has a perfect record on
not pre-judging its people), which was already using a system to prevent
criminal activities, as reported in the – July 23, 2009 “The
Children’s Secretary set out 400 million British pounds (or
$657,513,739.78 in American dollars), planned to put 20,000 problem
families under 24-hour an IBM CCTV Super-Vision in their homes.  They
were to be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on
time and eat proper meals.”  But late last year, the BBC reported the Brits
came to their senses and in December it was announced that the appeal
court agreed with an April 2011 judgment that the cameras were
unlawful.  Well!  Humans are intelligent after all???  Liberal ones at least.

Are we Americans also getting closer to Big Brother?  Better be careful
and better watch out!

Conservatives love pseudo-science and hate real science. Why?  Mainly
because those who study and conclude from real science are real and
more unbiased thinkers, and conservatives definitely do not want people
to think themselves into conclusions about the spurious reasons for
which the conservatives think they and they alone live.  If more people
question the “lies” perpetrated by the conservatives then less people will
support their nefarious intentions to manipulate and exploit the public
for personal gain.  The Republican conservatives also exploit religion
which is about as deceitful as a religious population can get.  They
prostitute religion in order to frighten the gullible public into thinking
they will go to hell if they don’t vote and support the conservative
political agenda.

Pseudo-science is used to JUSTIFY a vulgar amount of insidious and
unjustifiable crimes.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 6, 2012 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous:  Is there a point you’d like to make, or are you just perversely off-topic for the hell of it?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

The facts of American daily life are adding up to be shocking and
gruesome.  A few will be listed here, and others ought to list a few
also and maybe we the people can come up with a definitive list of
the disgraceful facts of daily life of Americans:  To start my list is
the decimation of democracy throughout the entire state of Michigan.

Then the Republican Party of Racism has come up with the most
malodorous program to force minorities to show identification
cards to vote.  This is Republican insurance that voting would be
racially pure and craft the body politic to craft their racist ideology. 
They hide their insidious plan with the seemingly moral intention to
prevent voter fraud.  There is never a mention, though, about how they
rig voting machines to skew the votes of those who do “get” to vote in
order to manipulate election outcomes and control who wins political
office or affect referendums.

Tennessee educators will now be able to teach anti-evolution drivel
in the public schools. The “Monkey Bill” posed to be signed by the
Republican governor was passed, reported in various news media
April 3, by the Republican dominated Tennessee General Assembly
would protect teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and
other scientific theories.  It is completely mind-bending how ignorant
people can be and even more amazing how much more ignorant are the
people of Tennessee.

Okay, there are three.  You are requested to testify to the horrifying
truths gerard speaks of (I’m sure she meant facts not truth, since
absolute truth is elusive), by adding to the list your pet horrors.  But
please list facts, not unsupported opinions.  Corroborated facts speak
for themselves.

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By heterochromatic, April 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

wrong century, asshole fraud….

take a hike, liar.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

For those of you posting here who feel that writers such as Ward Churchill, Vine DeLoria and Daniel Wildcat are too bitter a pill to swallow, there are native folks writing fiction out there:

N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie for starters.

It isn’t necesssary to follow in the footsteps of “Natty Bumpo”, who was white—even in the t.v. version in the 50s.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

therefore unecessary

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

When you “quote” from a novel written by a Native American, let me know.

There are a number of highly-regarded Native American novelists out there.

It is there unnecessary to post supposed quotes from white racist 19th century colonial novelists.

You have never posted anything on this thread or any other that was not a personal attack attempting to discredit folks who do not promote the genocidal policy of the US government and its partner in crimes against humanity, Israel.

We are done here.

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By heterochromatic, April 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

moonie—- you’re just soooooo full of shit…

that comment was entirely a quotation that anyone of your supposed age and with
your supposed knowledge should recognize as coming from one of the most
famous and well-read novels printed in English.

you’re a bit of a fraud and quite foolishly floundering as your mistakes are
multiplying like hobgoblins.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

There was no quotation.

You were making one of your usual racist personal attacks by posting white stereotyping of Native American speech.

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By heterochromatic, April 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

moonie——- If you really were someone who is well-read you would have
recognized the quotation instead of demonstrating how little your claims are to be

you’re tangled in your web, child.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Another racist slur from the shameless piecework poster.

I wouldn’t be caught dead photographing for Life magazine.

I photograph what I cherish, LIFE, as opposed to DEATH.

I don’t know why Hettie is still here posting for peanuts when he promotes and cherishes only DEATH.

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By heterochromatic, April 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

me heap-big photographer from LIFE magazine.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Sciencehighway:  I believe I have answered your question.

I also believe, sadly, that you are trying to justify a life decision that I consider to be unjustifable.

I do not regret nor feel anguish at bailing out on a science career.  I chose Humanities instead—in several senses of that term.  I have had a long and satisfying run as a poet, playwright, fiction writer, critic and educator as well as a careful photographer of LIFE.  I have been able to visit a large chunk of the planet, learn several languages and participate in several cultures—which in most cases have enriched my own mix of Abenaki and French Canadian, even when they provided me with negative models to avoid.

When Oppenheimer said at Trinity Flats, “I have become Death”, he was not precisely whistling Dixie.

He was a smart one among our species of largely unevolved dummies:  He learned from his experience, and he suffered on many different levels from having been a Sucker for Science.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 5, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment


Perhaps you should read my interesting post again?

I did not say that science was to BLAME.

I said that science was used to JUSTIFY a host of unjustifiable crimes.

Obviously, the culprits are foloks of our species, and historically all those unjustifiable crimes were not done solely by whites (history is long and whites are, after all, the minority on the planet). 

However, the industrial revolution (sic for counter-revolution), the replacement of the opiate of religion by the opiate of science, and the rise of capitalism happened simultaneously, and the dominant group in those 3 has been whites—who have used capitalism as an ideology and science as a justification to support their commiting genocide against all non-whites on the planet for their land and resources in order to keep churning out unnecessary “products” for folks to go into debt for and maintain the hierarchy of capital in place.

You can say science has been perverted, and that its industrial and bellicose aspects came to be dominant.
I won’t disagree with that. 

My point was that I was aware of that perversity and chose NOT to spend my working life building a better plutonium bomb at Los Alamos National Lab.  As a native person I have more respect for the forms of life than to do that.

And that is the difference between me (and native folks in general) and the whites who have been dominant from the Age of Reason (sic) on through the Age of Robber Baron Capitalism (still with us) and the Age of Nuclear Holocaust (ditto).

To native people, there are two choices: 

1.  Stop worshipping the devil of science in the name of dominating the planet and its life, and live.

2.  Continue the mode of the past 3 centuries and die, taking the rest of those life forms with you.

Native folks are not in a dominant position to be able to impose a life-preserving decision, as whites did their worst trying to exterminate us.

The irony here is that if you want to keep living you will have to join us and accept many of the modalities that we used for many thousands of years that you sneered at as “primitive” and “useless”.

It’s up to you whites.

I hope you make the right call, but I am not optimistic.  Moreover, the hatespeech directed at non-whites on these boards from folks supposedly with social consciences is sad prrof that my pessimism is warranted.

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sciencehighway's avatar

By sciencehighway, April 5, 2012 at 8:19 am Link to this comment


As one whose career was also pre-determined by Sputnik, I have great respect for your background as well as the reasoned, if anguished, choices you have made.

However, speaking now as one who has read the same transcripts you have, written numerous articles on both the Space Race and the nuclear age as well as written and directed the PBS documentary “Dr. Teller’s Very Large Bomb” (featuring the final interviews with both Hans Bethe and Edward Teller) I have to ask you… What did the AEC Oppenheimer hearings possibly have to do with science?

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By snoozer, April 5, 2012 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the definition of science is the posing of a question and the gathering of evidence, facts, etc. to answer the question and add to knowledge.  Technology is the application of scientific knowledge, for results that can be arguably “good” or “evil.”  So if knowledge is more or less synonymous with reality, some people seem to prefer to stick their head in the sand.

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

——read the study. the distrust in science among
self-identified Conservatives w/grad degrees is
concentrated among those of strong religious

it’s not that conservatives have all changed, it’s
that the composition of the group calling themselves
conservative has not grown (and has shrunk) in the
more educated part of the population EXCEPT among the

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By berniem, April 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Reactionary thought + faith based on superstitious dogma = stupidity! When one can find justification for one’s bigotry, intolerance, and deluded sense of moral superiority only within the pages of some book of myths, what more can be expected but a total repudiation of reason, logic, and the intellect required to benefit from the knowledge that science and objective inquiry have provided since humankind awoke from the darkness of the mystically obsessed Middle Ages? Conservatives in general are lemmings and their loudest proponents are con artists. Does anyone really believe that shysters like santorum, gingrich, romney, and, unfortunately, obama actually believe the bible thumping BS they spew? The pious nonsense is nothing but grist for the rubes and if I sound cynical, it’s because their deeds in no way can be justfied by their claims of divine guidance. FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!!

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By gerard, April 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Moonraven:  Interesting comments!  I question the idea, however, that science is to blame for “western” over-reaching and excessive cruelties etc. etc. This tendency began to appear before science was any significant factor in what was known as “civilization.”  (Not that “white westerners” had any monopoly on cruelty and persecution!)
  An additional human impulse also must bear some responsibility for excesses:  Adventurism, trying to do excessivly dangerous things for no other reason than to see if they can be done, regardless of consequences.  The “because it’s there” impulse.(As with the a-bomb which every other nation in the world would take if it were offered.)
  The question that remains unanswerable is: Might I have committed any of same crimes in the same circumstances? Personally (or as a social group) We like to think we would not.  But there’s no way to prove it.
  Doing the same (bad) things over and over is what we are being faced with—plus the obvious, overwhelming need to STOP and recalculate. Furthermore, it’s not just us “white people” (though we have more than enough sins on our plate to eat).
The fact is that any of us who (at this late date) refuse to join the HUMAN race in every sense of solidarity, and refuse to CHOOSE TO REMAIN loving caring HUMANS AT ALL COSTS will die in the most important sense of that word.

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By moonraven, April 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Hey, I am about as far left as possible and I hate science, too!

Context:  Just to add a bit more backstory, I entered university on a math and physics scholarship—one of the post-Sputnik National Science Foundation whiz kids.

Then I read the transcripts of the Oppenheimer hearings.

Point:  Science has been used as the wrathful god to justify creating nuclear holcausts, meltdowns, drone attacks, depleted uranium attacks, seeds which do not reproduce and decimate Third World economies—and the list goes on ad nauseum.

The slogan has been If we CAN do it, we MUST….commit genocicde, destroy the planet, starve folks to death in the name of profits, and that list goes on ad nauseum, too.

The white European Crusaders had God, the curent crop has God AND Science.

It’s the same old tale of murdering non-whites for money.

I just said no.

If others had said no with me, maybe our species would not be facing extinction—and taking the others with us.

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By gerard, April 4, 2012 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

As the truth of daily events becomes more widespread and more horrifying, while science and resulting technologies do nothing to free themselves from their profitable participation in all aspects of the
“military/industrial complex”—what can one expect? 
  Routine “scarification” by media breeds terror. Terror breeds free-floating environments of fear which in turn breed conservativism (keep things under control—authoritarianism—because they could be worse). All new concepts become suspect automatically.  Repressive behavior becomes habituated. Reppressive behavior, usually based on fear, is non-rational.  Science is rational.  Ergo:
the search for security in ignorance overcomes the search for the insecurity of changing discoveries and new knowledge.  It’s definitely not rocket science, as they say. 
  Who can do something about it?  All institutions of learning—so-called—could stress the reasons for the conflicts and confusions and help people “get on with life”  instead of seeking refuge in some backwater where they can preserve the illusion that nothing is happening and you don’t need to understand it, do you, Mr. Jones.
  PS—it would also help if science itself would make new knowledge more easily available and less “cloistered” since apparently popular media are not capable of doing so.
  The problem is, why not?

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