X-Message-Number: 19187
From: "mike99" <>
Subject: RE: science studies and social constructivism
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 13:50:11 -0600

At 9:00 AM +0000 2002-05-31, CryoNet wrote:
>Message #19176
>From: "mike99" <>
>I disagree about the foundation of social constructivism. Any reading of
>texts in this field quickly reveals that almost every one comes from the
>Left, not the Right. They are not fascist, but rather Politically Correct

David Stodolsky <> wrote:

You can find the article in the European J. of Social Psychology (don't
have the ref handy. but it's probably over ten years back). The point was
that an ethnomethodologist standing at the entrance to the gas ovens would
be occupied with taking notes, rather than taking action.

Mike99: "Would be"? Does this mean that they were, or that some theorist
claims retroactively that a personality type he has defined afterwards is
the same as the ones who were actually there? I am guessing that this is
pretty metaphorical.

is the area of social science which theoretically underpins social
constructivism. For a description of its development, see Mullins, NG.
(1973). The development of specialties in social science: The case of
Ethnomethodology, Science Studies, 3, 245-273. I was at the Univ. of Cal.,
Irvine at the time (early 70's) that Harvey Sacks, the patron saint of the
movement, was professor there, so I know this area quite well. Sacks
promoted "Conversation Analysis", the precursor to the attempt to apply
text analysis to all things.

Mike99: Thanks for the references, but I don't find this convincing evidence
to prove that social constructivists are fascistic.  The various "science
studies" groups at Harvard are centered around Lewontin, who is avowedly
  By the way, you did not respond to my point about the Sokal Hoax, which
clearly showed that at least the "science studies" social constructivists
were politically on the Left.

>Traditionalist religions don't waste their time writing social
>constructivist critiques of science; they waste their time writing
>creationist nonsense that mimics science.

Calling these creationists intellectuals is giving them a bit too much
credit. And they certainly don't rise to the level of academics. Their
stuff doesn't make it into peer reviewed journals.

Mike99: Who called them intellectuals? Despite the fact that quite a few
have doctorates in geology and other physical sciences, I never called them
intellectuals. They have their own journals and "peer-review" one another,
all within one ideological family. Mainstream science papers would be
peer-review rejected by the creationists, of course.

>As for opposition to nuclear power, isn't this mostly a Green political
>cause? I don't recall seeing the Greens ever listed as traditionalists,
>conservatives or fascists.

Greens tend toward conservatism....

Mike99: Only if you re-define conservatism so that it has no connection with
any political parties that call themselves conservative.

...opposing genetically modified crops, etc.
There was a book in Danish on Eco-facism a few years back. Probably similar
work is available in English. I recently spoke with one of these Green
extremists, he felt that one billion was the maximum population that the
Earth could support, and that the rest should be exterminated.

Mike99: Extermination of human beings is a particular form of evil that
knows no political boundaries, having cropped up on both the extreme Right
(Nazism) and the extreme Left (Communism). Hitler killed more rapidly, but
as _The Black Book of Communism_ documented so thoroughly, the Communists
are history's most prodigious butchers, having exterminated as many as
100,000,000 civilians during the 20th century.
   Among the Greens the same baleful phenomenon has been raising its ugly
head. As depicted in the sci-fi movie "Twelve Monkeys" there are some Green
scientists who have the knowledge and may soon have the will to create a
bio-weapon that "purifies" the Earth of homo sapiens. A couple of years back
Greg Benford also had an experience like yours of talking to a Green who
wants to reduce human population numbers, and he specified that he was a
biologist who could actually do it through genetically engineering disease
   Such talk makes it even clearer to me why we life extentionists are such
a small minority!

Michael LaTorra

Extropy Institute: www.extropy.org
World Transhumanist Association: www.transhumanism.org
Alcor Life Extension Foundation: www.alcor.org
Society for Technical Communication: www.stc.org

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