Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Introduction to Mad Scientist Musings


Welcome to my blog!  Those that know me need no introduction.  Those that don’t can see my professional website for my qualifications as a scientist and engineer or my personal website for my book, The Philosophy for the Future, and some of my other writings.  Or you can follow me on twitter:  @george_sowers

My intent with this blog is to express my opinions on a wide range of topics including Space, Philosophy, Science and Politics.  Any ideas contained herein are my own, not those of my former employers or current clients—or anyone else for that matter, unless expressly indicated. 

As a matter of orientation, I come from a pragmatic-scientific point of view.  Debate is useful as a means to approach truth. I will often take a contrarian stance just to see how the arguments play out.  But as a local talk show host was fond of saying, before I tell you where I stand on a particular issue, I need to tell you where I sit.

I’ll start with philosophy, for that is the subject that underpins all else.  I am a pragmatist in that I believe that outcomes and consequences are what ultimately matter.  This belief functions as judge and jury in most debates.  I spent twenty years building a philosophical edifice based on the principles of logic and science and pragmatism.  In it, power, defined as capability to effect outcomes and deliver consequences, becomes the highest value for humanity.  In fact, the quest for ever increasing power, on multiple levels is a fundamental aspect of human psychology, which I call (after Nietzsche) the Will to Power.  If that intrigues you, see my book.  A warning, however, it is heavy going.

My views of science follow.  Science is the combination of logic (math) and empiricism that is the best approach yet discovered for acquiring power. It’s offspring, technology, is pure power, simply put.  Sad to say, I believe the institution of Science is in a (mild) crisis.  Politics has infiltrated, turning some scientists into political activists and turning science from a pursuit of knowledge to a tool of the state.

My political philosophy is libertarianism.  I believe it follows from my philosophy of power and the ethical theory it engenders, that individual freedom should be among the highest social values.  As such, I am an advocate for a smaller state and very suspicious of “well meaning” encroachments on liberty.

Space is easy.  From the philosophy of power, it is imperative we harness the infinite resources of the wider cosmos to the benefit of humankind.  My thirty years in the industry has provided me a perspective how to do that most effectively and expeditiously.

Finally, I welcome comments and suggestions so long they are in the spirit of a productive debate, with the express purpose of inching closer to truth.  To quote Chapter 1 of the Philosophy for the Future:

I believe in the anarchy of ideas—ideas battling it out in the arena of selection.  The selection criteria: pragmatism!

George Sowers, May 2017.