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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Has The Enlightenment Worn Out Its Welcome?

Newton's Principia and the frequently overlooked Opticks  powered the Enlightenment by demonstrating that man could understand the world thru the application of brain power and the scientific method. 

Later it turned out that Newton's science was useless when it came to living things. And so phrenology went into the dustbin. Smart people start with Darwin if the subject studied is alive. That includes humans.  

But political science and economics are two fields that stubbornly hold on to the mistake of “Newtonizing” the study of human behavior.

Donald Trump is proving that politics in no way resembles the “spectrum” introduced by Opticks and endorsed by Voltaire. Meanwhile, the task of bridging between economic theory and reality is so hopeless that Prize Winner Krugman explicitly invokes “ad hoc” mysticism and naysayers critique his result, not his wand waving method.

Libertarians fighting for the High Church Liberalism of Voltaire find a public shrugging about NSA snooping. Instead, humans worry that, in practice, libertarian's “freedom” turns out to favor the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. Curly-haired Paul has backed away from “let them die” Dad, but he’s still on the verge of the kiddie table, despite a fawning press.

Speaking of the press, it turns out that the Enlightenment inspired ethic of objective news is worthless and quickly fading in the face of competition from connected millenials with camera phones and a point of view. Given a choice, no human born of woman would voluntarily read what the NYT thinks of Hillary's Gmail account. 

When printing presses cost $5 million, the Gray Landy could indulge in the fantasy that they fed is what was healthy. Competition's a bitch, ain't it? 

Good riddance to a world made rational by mechanics and rainbows. Welcome to the evolving ecosystem of real life.


Frank Rich Gets It Right Re: Trump

This Would Never Happen In The Private Sector