Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inaccuracies as They are Taught

The problem with the following is not simply that they are taught to impressionable students from often an early age, but that those students are frequently unwilling to shed their early indoctrination even the face of absolutely negating evidence. They teach the same lessons to their children or send them to schools to have others (who were taught the same lies and misinformation) do the teaching, until, generation by generation, these lies become self-evident truths, no matter how Galileo protests it still moves (or doesn’t, depending on the set of lies you were taught as a kid).

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The Bohr Model of the atom is pretty, it often reminds one of a planet and moons orbiting it, but it is inaccurate and we have known so since at least the Nineteen Thirties. Electrons do not orbit, as their pattern has no continuity of movement, only of placement (they appear to maintain a measured periphery).

Leonardo da Vinci, that great polymath for whom the term “renaissance man” was practically invented, is a painter, anatomist, botanist, musician, writer and engineer. True enough. What is avoided in these introductions to the man and his work is that he – quite understandably – was much better in some fields than others, and engineering (if one is shooting for practical, workable machinery) was not his highlight. da Vinci’s machines look great, they are marvelous designs, but do any of them work? Not in his own time or with the materials of his time, and rarely outside of miniatures, models, or reductions.

Grammar is immutable. There is a special Heaven where Mark Twain is refusing to duel with Strunk and White, possibly intent on shooting them in the back later (for safe measure). Okeh, there isn’t, but grammar is a mutable, bendable, growing and defecating beast that should be stabbed, prodded, and threatened into doing what we want of it, not what it insists is its nature that cannot be altered.

If (the right) scientists or governments don’t follow up on something, it’s because it’s obviously wrong and not worth our time. We hear that often enough, from global warming to cocaine in the veins of mummies or the very blatant and obvious trade, conflict, and relations between Japan, Russia, and the northwesternmost points of North America since well before Columbus hit the easterly side of the Western Hemisphere. Because science never bows to politics, and neither do scientists. Even those with book deals or government contracts.

Redskin refers to Native Americans’ red skin. This has fueled a delusion amongst many that, while the Eastern Hemisphere has a variety of skintones, the Western has one and everything else is somehow a violation or less-than truly Native American. In fact, the term is a polite euphemism for the scalps and skins of Native peoples which were sold to White people in the Americas and Europe for novelty purposes and to efficaciously reduce the indigenous populations where such White people might want to move and do business.

Gilles de Rais was a monstrous mass murderer and devil woshipper. He was also a patriot, poet, and friend of fellow soldier, Jeanne d’Arc, who faced a similar trial to his own, only to be absolved and sainted post-execution.

The Gettysburg Address freed the slaves in America. Except that it didn’t. The Emancipation Proclamation might get you the mileage you’re looking for, but even that document is essentially a rhetorical threat to the Confederacy and offers no dictates to the North or a cohesive United States as it appears antebellum or today.

The Western Progression of Civilization seems to hinge on a belief that White People are the pinnacle of civilization and it goes where they do. And that White People and civilization is the progress of some desert religions focusing on a set of stories and concepts held by at least three texts of today (the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran) with a throughline of Babylonian to Grecian to Roman to last few hundred years of Western Europe then their colonies. Cultures indigenous to Asia, Africa, and North or South America need not apply for consideration.

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