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n25an

FDR3870 The Postmodernism Debate | Thaddeus Russell and Stefan Molyneux

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I have to say I rather enjoyed the points thadeus russel was bringing out.

His ideas that science is basically a moving goal posts

That much of our major philosophical ideas are moving goal posts

Its rather intriguing...

 

I loved his illustration about up and down...

that if you drop a ball down...

that depending on your perspective you might actually be dropping it up...

This idea of perspective is very illustrative of a lot of things on freedomain radio.  Atleast a lot of things that I have learned.  A lot of things in life seem right because thats what you are taught... thats all you know... thats your echo chamber but if you take it from an outside perspective... it makes it obvious that some of our givens and standards are nothing more than golden calves and treasured notions... if not outright ivory tower and fairy tale nonsense... Thats one thing I love about freedomain radio... the ability to question and throw a hard look at things...

I know there was a conflict between stefan and thadeus... stefan wanting to hold a philosophical argument to establish foundations... while thadeus was coming from an engineering point of view.  Stefan's point is somethings are sacred...  Thadeus argument was that somethings are sacred because thats what everyone agrees upon at the time...

And to me both arguments have merit...

Stefan... wanting to establish the validity of his ideas and chalenge them with new material...

Thadeus... with his point of view that frankly seems more fitting of an engineer than an academic... was looking at things as they are... letting the data speak...

Frankly, I would have liked to hear more of thadeus and less of stefan...

I have heard stefan's arguments since time immemorial... but thadeus ideas... as applied to science... are intriguing...

I am christian... but thadeus agnostic argument seems very intriguing...

I honestly would have loved it if stefan would have asked more questions... approaching the subject from the point of view of his listener... less dispassionate... more openly... If thadeus is wrong... let him dig his own grave... and if he is right... not agreeing but give him time to say his peace... less gushing and triggering but more digging... if there is something stefan does not understand let it go... Leave it as an open question for his community to explain... but let the man thadeus speak... 

As it stands... I am going to seek out some more talks by thadeus... I feel I need to hear more about his ideas... right or wrong... we don't need to argue someone elses ideas... until we first hear them... and I honestly want to hear them... 

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What I have noticed is that everybody who has a critique of science, be they postmodernists or religious people, invariably have NO IDEA what science is.

His arguments about science being wrong because centuries/millennia ago people believed it was flat is absurd because there was no such thing as science prior to the 19th century.

I'm a little disappointed Stefan didn't have him define his terms straight up. It would've made for a much shorter conversation. I don't understand why it's so hard for "the anointed" to learn that science is just theory tested against reality. Simplest definition I can possibly come up with.

1 hour ago, n25an said:

I have to say I rather enjoyed the points thadeus russel was bringing out.

His ideas that science is basically a moving goal posts

That much of our major philosophical ideas are moving goal posts

No.

Science is used to make truth statements about reality. The goalpost is reality. You cannot "move the goal post" further than reality. It's ridiculous.

1 hour ago, n25an said:

I loved his illustration about up and down...

that if you drop a ball down...

that depending on your perspective you might actually be dropping it up...

No.

Again, Stefan should've asked him to define his terms. Up is defined away from the ground, down is defined towards the ground. Up is up and down is down regardless where you are on the planet. Simple.

 

What I have learned from the conversation is that these people have such a tenuous grasp on basic notions that everything they say should be instantly regarded as nonsense. Nothing good has ever come out of people that negate reality. At their very best postmodernists are a waste of time, and at their worst... well... just remember what the nazis said: "If reality contradicts our ideology then that's bad news for reality".

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hes an agnostic about everything which is a contradictory position to have... Same with being skeptical about everything, which means you are skeptical about being skeptical...

honestly I dont think he really believes what he says. He was basically arguing there are no absolutes and laughed when Stef brought up that saying and how its contradictory.

 

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not theory tested against reality...

but theoretical definition of reality...

engineering is building a practical working model based said theory...

cutting edge engineering... building the model based on untested ideas of theoretical definition of reality... or based on best guess or last failure...

in other words... solve the problem and then figure out why it works...

another way of looking at it... is to say that cutting edge engineering is skeptical or can be viewed as agnostic in relation to the ideas of the concieved boundaries of the laws of reality or known and understood theory...

atleast thats my ideas...

admittedly the ideas of a novice...

 

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Theory:

56 minutes ago, Wuzzums said:

What I have noticed is that everybody who has a critique of science, be they postmodernists or religious people, invariably have NO IDEA what science is.

Empirical data:

35 minutes ago, n25an said:

not theory tested against reality...

but theoretical definition of reality...

engineering is building a practical working model based said theory...

cutting edge engineering... building the model based on untested ideas of theoretical definition of reality... or based on best guess or last failure...

in other words... solve the problem and then figure out why it works...

another way of looking at it... is to say that cutting edge engineering is skeptical or can be viewed as agnostic in relation to the ideas of the concieved boundaries of the laws of reality or known and understood theory...

atleast thats my ideas...

admittedly the ideas of a novice...

 

 

!(((SCIENCE)))!

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4 minutes ago, n25an said:

define empirical data???

Empirical

based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

Data

facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

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so verifiable observable facts and statistics of a level that it can be used for reference or analysis

and what's science... ???

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reality -- the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

which explains why theory is always changing...

because man's understanding of reality always is changing...

interesting...

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Once a theory has been proven to be in accordance with reality it is rarely superseded.

The theory of natural selection will never change.

The Earth is a globe will never change.

The standard model will never change.

Planck's constant will never change.

Up is up and down is down will never change.

Theory of relativity will never change.

Postmodernists are incapable of understanding science will never change.

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Science makes falsifiable and testable statements about empirical reality. Any statement that cannot be tested or in theory shown to be false is not scientific. If a statement that is simpler or explains new phenomena is found it replaces the older statement. You can transform the geocentric theory into a scientific, falsifiable statement but it falls apart once can measure the parallax motion of the stars. Until that, the heliocentric model was more likely to be true since it could explain more and was easier. But in theory, the geocentric theory had a slim chance of being correct.

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17 hours ago, Wuzzums said:

What I have noticed is that everybody who has a critique of science, be they postmodernists or religious people, invariably have NO IDEA what science is.

His arguments about science being wrong because centuries/millennia ago people believed it was flat is absurd because there was no such thing as science prior to the 19th century.

I'm a little disappointed Stefan didn't have him define his terms straight up. It would've made for a much shorter conversation. I don't understand why it's so hard for "the anointed" to learn that science is just theory tested against reality. Simplest definition I can possibly come up with.

No.

Science is used to make truth statements about reality. The goalpost is reality. You cannot "move the goal post" further than reality. It's ridiculous.

No.

Again, Stefan should've asked him to define his terms. Up is defined away from the ground, down is defined towards the ground. Up is up and down is down regardless where you are on the planet. Simple.

 

What I have learned from the conversation is that these people have such a tenuous grasp on basic notions that everything they say should be instantly regarded as nonsense. Nothing good has ever come out of people that negate reality. At their very best postmodernists are a waste of time, and at their worst... well... just remember what the nazis said: "If reality contradicts our ideology then that's bad news for reality".

All this.

Also, I felt frustrated when he let Russell make that point about if there is such a thing as absolute truth blacks being inferior because of their lower iq on average. You cannot expose yourself as more of a racist than this.

 

Being inferior at something does not make you simply "inferior". That is like me saying I am inferior to anyone who is taller in me when in fact I am only inferior in height.

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16 hours ago, n25an said:

reality -- the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.

which explains why theory is always changing...

because man's understanding of reality always is changing...

interesting...

 

Our understanding of reality is not "changing". It is adjusting. It merely becomes sharper and sharper which allows it to explain things at a progressively smaller level with more accuracy. This is different from changing itself in such a way that contradicts the fundamental principles of the previous theory. 

For example, we will never "discover" that the Earth is flat in the future. And then that is round again. And then that it is, in fact, banana-shaped and so forth in this chaotic never-ending cycle of uncertainty. At best, it is possible that we might discover that it is a tad more elliptical then we previously thought it was. This as an analogy. 

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If you are pre-determined how can you determine your own history(his story)?  I can Fly, I can Fly, I can Fly. Oh wait, no I can't. Not enough happy thoughts:sad:. Atheism A - Thesim (A God, Not a God issue, there is/not a/irrelevant to  Area 51), pantheism everything is one, all is pre-determined Freewill is an illusion, God or Existence Jerking itself off) Deleting Idea of Freewill.........Error.......#2HIGVL##!!!=#. Balls I'll go with Freewill, an illusion. But then if all is one, how do I determine everything either? Conclusion Thor, Loki, Zeus, Aries are all REAL!!!!!!!!!!(because they are:turned:) Yay pragmatism (Archetypal). God Virtue, God War..........................................

Why wouldn't computers develop like in the movie Avatar (The World Tree) in the absence of the conceptualisation of objective reality, maybe objective reality is the presence of consciousness.

There are no facts, only interpretations. Nietzsche

"Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand"

William Strannix: You're a maniac. Drown your own crew.
Commander Krill: They never liked me anyway.
Doumer: I bet they fuckin' love ya now, huh?

Undersiege.

Note: Did anyone think Thaddeus Russel looked annoyed towards the end of the video? Interesting seeing different people contrast ideas.

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19 hours ago, Wuzzums said:

Once a theory has been proven to be in accordance with reality it is rarely superseded.

The theory of natural selection will never change.

The Earth is a globe will never change.

The standard model will never change.

Planck's constant will never change.

Up is up and down is down will never change.

Theory of relativity will never change.

Postmodernists are incapable of understanding science will never change.

so how do reconcile newtonian physics vs einsteinian physics vs string theory vs theory of everything...

or the new quantum computers in development that have ones and zeros and structures that are both one and zero at the same time...

  • Downvote 2

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16 minutes ago, RichardY said:

Note: Did anyone think Thaddeus Russel looked annoyed towards the end of the video? Interesting seeing different people contrast ideas.

I noticed this.

 

4 minutes ago, n25an said:

so how do reconcile newtonian physics vs einsteinian physics vs string theory vs theory of everything...

or the new quantum computers in development that have ones and zeros and structures that are both one and zero at the same time...

did you even understand what he said?

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4 hours ago, n25an said:

so how do reconcile newtonian physics vs einsteinian physics vs string theory vs theory of everything...

or the new quantum computers in development that have ones and zeros and structures that are both one and zero at the same time...

-1 for changing the subject while pretending to make a counterargument

You barely understand the principles of science or reality and expect me to enter a debate with you over newtonian and einsteinian physics? (rhetorical question)

EDIT:

Quantum computers are not feasible because the whole informatic infrastructure of the entire planet is based on a binary system. A quantum computer relies on a ternary system which might give some advantages regarding data storage and speed to number of transistors ratio but practically it can't do anything that a regular computer can't. Again, you just heard the word "quantum" and assumed it's somehow relevant to the discussion when in fact it's an engineering problem not a scientific problem.

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Postmodern relativism and extreme skepticism are not new or revolutionary worldviews. We like to call it Buddhism in the east, particularly "Yellow Buddhism" as it was commonly known in the Manchu Empire. The adherent might feel a warm and fuzzy tingle of moral and intellectual enlightenment superior to all the absolutist peasants, but in the end, they will end up in communism. Just like it happened in every Asian country where Buddhism was dominant. 
Note that Communism was not born in Asia, and yet East Asians are the most harcore propagators.
Buddhist_sects.png   37749484_404.jpg  Eary coincidence, I would say.

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On 10/25/2017 at 8:39 PM, Wuzzums said:

What I have noticed is that everybody who has a critique of science, be they postmodernists or religious people, invariably have NO IDEA what science is.

His arguments about science being wrong because centuries/millennia ago people believed it was flat is absurd because there was no such thing as science prior to the 19th century.

I'm a little disappointed Stefan didn't have him define his terms straight up. It would've made for a much shorter conversation. I don't understand why it's so hard for "the anointed" to learn that science is just theory tested against reality. Simplest definition I can possibly come up with.

I realize my ignorance of science, and perhaps of debating, when you expose how simple it is to actually define science and...well, the list of things that were talked about that I deleted to shorten my post.

The first definition I would have given is "the study of reality", however I think that is more general than science since before the 19th century there were "natural philosophers" that functionally did what scientists did.

Or they didn't. Honestly I know little of science and had little patience for learning back when I was in public school. However it also means I can't define science from pseudo-science except by differentiating them based on whether the theory holds ground in reality (or more particularly the conclusion if I cannot understand the premise), which would make it "science", or not, which would make it "pseudo-science"

1 hour ago, Mishi2 said:

Postmodern relativism and extreme skepticism are not new or revolutionary worldviews. We like to call it Buddhism in the east, particularly "Yellow Buddhism" as it was commonly known in the Manchu Empire. The adherent might feel a warm and fuzzy tingle of moral and intellectual enlightenment superior to all the absolutist peasants, but in the end, they will end up in communism. Just like it happened in every Asian country where Buddhism was dominant. 
Note that Communism was not born in Asia, and yet East Asians are the most harcore propagators.
Buddhist_sects.png   37749484_404.jpg  Eary coincidence, I would say.

I suppose I'll need to study Buddhism more, since from what I know it's a hierarchical system in which a bunch of enlightened rule eight or so tiers below it and view the world as a struggle and attempt to forge themselves like metal into something strong, usually by just killing their ability to feel pain. Also I would figure Confucianism would have more hold of China, and Shintoism or Japan, than Buddhism, which I suppose might only be true for Ancient China and post-Edo Japan respectively. 

Quote

[Jot:]

All this.

Also, I felt frustrated when he let Russell make that point about if there is such a thing as absolute truth blacks being inferior because of their lower iq on average. You cannot expose yourself as more of a racist than this.

 

Being inferior at something does not make you simply "inferior". That is like me saying I am inferior to anyone who is taller in me when in fact I am only inferior in height.

If superior is defined as better, and inferior as worse; then if your metric for defining the quality of a race is by it's aggregate IQ, then by definition having a higher average IQ makes a race superior to one that's lower.

However I'd argue X races are superior based on having a greater culture and tendency towards libertarianism and cultural nationalism rather than ethnic nationalism. 

Breaking it down to people; assuming all else is equal, guy X being better at piano than guy Y makes him superior unless piano skills aren't the thing of guy Z. Superiority and inferiority are subjective unless measured relative to something. Which might make it still subjective given whether or not A is valued makes all the difference of whether or not it's "objective" or "subjective". Although if I defined piano skills as the metric for human superiority/inferiority, then it would be objectively provable that John is superior to Johan because John has mad-piano-skillz and rocks the crowds while Johan can't differentiate a piano from a pancake or a toilet and repels crowds. Or John is superior to Jacob because he gets slightly more of an income for his piano playing than Jacob (should I use income of piano playing to determine superiority of piano playing, which itself is my example's standard of superiority/inferiority).

Or, to be more concise, superiority at something is objectively provable given a standard, and if a bunch of people are statistically higher on average than another, then that people is superior to the other people so long as what's being measured is of value to the measurer or judger. Which therefore makes superiority/inferiority subjective. Yet also objective... I think this warrants a separate discussion. 

Therefore my argument is that... Races (and people in general) can be defined as superior/inferior relative to a given standard, which itself is relatively valued based on the preferences of the judge. 

Like Jews could be called the master race if IQ is the standard because they're the highest (I think), and similarly so are the Singaporeans and Hong-Kongese (I think--this or another city). However this is all only if IQ is the metric by which races can be measured. It all depends on the metric as well as what on the metric is subjectively defined as optimal, from there an objective measure can be made. 

 

NOTE TO MODERATOR: I might have pressed quote a few too many times. Will submit now to see what it looks like and then adjust accordingly. (Please delete this sentence before releasing)

Edited by Siegfried von Walheim

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I think you are a cool dude but I am asking how your idea of science deal with the adoption of new theories that at the moment better explain reality...

I am not asking you what the theories say...

for example what If a theory came into being that discounted planks constant...

how would this affect your idea of science...

for me in my early years all electrical circuits and electrical concepts were based on electron flow

at the college and university level it was based around electron hole flow... and they took it into some very interesting directions...

I figured this was mostly due to the idea that electrical circuit theory could more easily build on it...

the precision and directions that the ideas went in were very interesting...

another interesting idea is how today centrifugal force is not thought to exist whereas for a long time it was believed to be as real as pluto being a planet...

for my sake... I adapt and have not learned to be married to any concepts... because for me a new theory can change all that...

the question is are you the same... and if you are why ... and if not why...???

 

On 10/26/2017 at 10:18 PM, Wuzzums said:

-1 for changing the subject while pretending to make a counterargument

You barely understand the principles of science or reality and expect me to enter a debate with you over newtonian and einsteinian physics? (rhetorical question)

EDIT:

Quantum computers are not feasible because the whole informatic infrastructure of the entire planet is based on a binary system. A quantum computer relies on a ternary system which might give some advantages regarding data storage and speed to number of transistors ratio but practically it can't do anything that a regular computer can't. Again, you just heard the word "quantum" and assumed it's somehow relevant to the discussion when in fact it's an engineering problem not a scientific problem.

 

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On 10/26/2017 at 3:53 AM, ofd said:

Science makes falsifiable and testable statements about empirical reality. Any statement that cannot be tested or in theory shown to be false is not scientific. If a statement that is simpler or explains new phenomena is found it replaces the older statement. You can transform the geocentric theory into a scientific, falsifiable statement but it falls apart once can measure the parallax motion of the stars. Until that, the heliocentric model was more likely to be true since it could explain more and was easier. But in theory, the geocentric theory had a slim chance of being correct.

ok

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On 10/26/2017 at 2:41 PM, Jot said:

 

Our understanding of reality is not "changing". It is adjusting. It merely becomes sharper and sharper which allows it to explain things at a progressively smaller level with more accuracy. This is different from changing itself in such a way that contradicts the fundamental principles of the previous theory. 

For example, we will never "discover" that the Earth is flat in the future. And then that is round again. And then that it is, in fact, banana-shaped and so forth in this chaotic never-ending cycle of uncertainty. At best, it is possible that we might discover that it is a tad more elliptical then we previously thought it was. This as an analogy. 

I hear you... I don't agree but I see your point...

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4 hours ago, n25an said:

for example what If a theory came into being that discounted planks constant...

how would this affect your idea of science...

You are simply not getting what science is or are refusing to understand. A theory that contradicts a theory VALIDATES SCIENCE, it does not disprove it. Science is a methodology, not a goal, not a belief system, NOT A CONCEPT. You need science in order to disprove a scientific theory. Science will NEVER be superseded by a superior methodology because, like I said before, you cannot set your goal post further than reality and reality and science go hand in hand. You can't have such a thing as science in a world where reality is subjective.

People don't "believe" in science in the same way people don't "believe" in truth or reality.

Saying that Pluto used to be a planet has nothing to do with science. A planet is a concept. A concept has a definition. Science determined that Pluto's characteristics weren't in line with the definition. Therefore Pluto does not fall under the concept of planet anymore.

4 hours ago, n25an said:

another interesting idea is how today centrifugal force is not thought to exist

Related image

 

I propose another theory:

When a person denies reality it either comes from a position of stupidity or malice. There is no 3rd option.

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Science is about measurement.

Measurements are contextual. Try this, measure your foot at the start of the day, measure your foot after walking all day. Different size? Why? Context. Does you foot not have a size? Does it not exist? It does, in context.

Measurements are valid in context.

Contexts change, usually the range of a measurement increases.

When contexts change, a theory, being a measurement, will be "superseded" by a more precise theory which accounts for all previous context and the the new context of measurement.

 

Example:

 

Newtonian Momentum: p = m x v

momentum = mass x velocity

 

Einstein Momentum: p = m x v / square_root( 1 - ( v_squared / c_squared ) )

momentum = mass x velocity, devided by the square root of 1 minus the square of the velocity divided by the square of the speed of light

 

You can see how Einstein Momentum is an extension of Newtonian Momentum:

Einstein Momentum = Newtonian Momentum / square_root( 1 - ( v_squared / c_squared ) )

 

This is because it extends the measurement of momentum, accurately, to really high velocities (velocities so high no one had ever observed them, the new context of measurment).

 

We can also see how the Einstein Momentum reduces to Newtonian Momentum at low velocities:

Let v = 0.000001 x c (the speed of light)

then v_squared = 0.00000000001 x c_squared

and v_squared / c_squared = 0.00000000001

and square_root( 1 - ( v_squared / c_squared ) ) = square_root( 1 -  0.00000000001 )

The square root of 1 is 1, but is the difference between 1 and 0.99999999999 is negligible, it makes not noticeable difference because v is so low, eh?

So we just say that 1 is basically 0.99999999999, and devide  m x v by 1

p = m x v / 1 = m x v

So, at low v, the Einstein equation reduces to Newtonian.

 

The measurement in this case is momentum, the context is the velocity of the thing being measured.

 

This is how theories are superseded. They are extended to include new context.

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8 hours ago, lorry said:

Science is about measurement.

a theory, being a measurement

Oh c'mon. 

Math is not science.

Measurement is not science.

Facts are not science.

Theories are not science.

Science is the process of testing theory against reality. Math, measurement, facts, and theories are all parts of science. They're necessary but not sufficient in order for one to engage in science.

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9 hours ago, Wuzzums said:

Oh c'mon. 

Math is not science.

Measurement is not science.

Facts are not science.

Theories are not science.

Science is the process of testing theory against reality. Math, measurement, facts, and theories are all parts of science. They're necessary but not sufficient in order for one to engage in science.

 

Don't conflate the methodology with the purpose. Science is about one thing and one thing only, measurement.

And yes, math is a science.

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37 minutes ago, lorry said:

And yes, math is a science.

No it's not.

I explained what science is.

I explained what math is.

Saying math is science is like saying a motor is a car.

Science is purposeful and math is methodological if you want to use those terms. 1+1=2 is math. Using 1+1=2 to explain something about reality is science. Richard Feynman (mathematician extraordinaire) explained this in depth at his lectures and the reason why he's referred to as a "scientist". His passion was always math and the moment he reached a dead end with the subject and decided to put his math into practice he became a scientist.

Each time someone removes the realm of reality from science you're in the realm of bullshit. Science cannot possibly be "ABOUT ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY, MEASUREMENT" because a measurement is a human construct meaning a measurement can be made within and outside of reality.

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