Worldview hysteria and conversion disorder

PSI Blog 20170712 Worldview hysteria and conversion disorder

Figure 1 Brasoveanu’s view of modern physics.[4]

Jesse writes:

“I am now fully on board with your view that there is no point in debating the regressives. I had the misfortune of discussing with a few pHd physicists on Quora and they started ad hominem's immediately. They got quite hysterical.

I pondered that awhile. I believe it has to do with what I am now calling "Foundational Wordview" (FW) that I loosely define as: "Any assumptions that are made by individuals that highly influence how they view and interpret phenomena in the world."

These FW's can be in any field and pop up in very unlikely places. Many religious people hold them (many don't). Many climate change people hold them. Many physicists hold them. Many politically active people hold them.

I have found that if you test the FW's of most people, it initiates a "Fight or Flight" response that is dramatic. It is basically hopeless to engage in conversations with these people because they either run away or fight you. There is no listening involved. It's an interesting field of study in it's own right. How are these formed? Are there any people without them (I keep trying to think if I hold any)? Has anyone figured out how to shatter them?”

[GB: Thanks for the comment Jesse. As you imply and Wikipedia confirms, the use of an ad hominem is a sure way of losing a debate: "Argumentum ad hominem is now usually understood as a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”[1] Being on the eventual winning side of the arguments you mention, we do not need to resort to name calling. Most dissident physicists have come across hysterical behavior involving those topics.

Ironically, hysteria is now called “conversion disorder,” in which “The sensory and motor manifestations of conversion disorder take many forms and are designated conversion reactions because the underlying anxiety is assumed to have been “converted” into physical symptoms.”[2] Maybe we should redefine “conversion disorder” to indicate the response we get when especially emotional types are confronted with Infinite Universe Theory. So far no physical effects have been reported by those who have read any stuff from the Progressive Science Institute (other than dithyrambosis, which, as you found out, can lead to lack of sleep and spousal boredom due to equations and lengthy words).

I agree that more work needs to done on what you call Foundational Worldviews. I touched on this in previous books, such as “The Ten Assumptions of Science,” in which I traced it to the philosophical struggle between determinism and indeterminism. How one gets to either view depends on the univironment, which, in this case, amounts to the person and the environment. My ever-popular Blog on scientific curiosity gives us a hint.[3] The gist is that, in science we determine the truth by interacting with the external world via observation and experiment. Children who have had their hands slapped enough times tend to stifle their curiosity. Religions are notorious for discouraging curiosity, which might lead to philosophical confusion and eventual unbelief. Cloisters keep us from venturing too far afield in search of beliefs without contradictions.

About Foundational Worldviews you ask: “Are there any people without them (I keep trying to think if I hold any)?” Of course, everyone has them, except that they tend to become increasingly deterministic with increasing contact with the infinite variety of the external world. You can begin to find out what yours are by studying "The Ten Assumptions of Science."

You ask: “Has anyone figured out how to shatter them?” Well, that is exactly what we do at PSI. There is no way to replace a powerful paradigm without replacing the foundational assumptions of that paradigm first. That will not be easy. The bigger the fish, the harder they fall. The connection between cosmogony and religion appears almost everlasting. The “shattering” you write about is serious philosophical and economic business. Nonetheless, it is proceeding apace with every step out of the indeterministic box. Cosmogonists are now talking about oxymoronic multiverses and parallel universes. The Internet spreads deterministic information with light speed. Once having learned something about the Infinite Universe, it is hard to unlearn it. Ultimately, however, it all comes down to this: horse, water, drink. You cannot teach someone who does not want to be taught. With regard to the traditional indeterministic beliefs that underlie cosmogony we only need to ask: How is that working out for you?]

[4] Not all mainstream physicists are happy with modern physics and cosmogony. In addition to presenting this amusing cartoon at a conference, Dan has written a reformist book proposing a unification of SRT and QMT: Brasoveanu, Dan, 2008, Modern Mythology and Science, iUniverse, 94 p.

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