What is a scientist? Who are “we” and who are “they”? — IBF

Thanks to the recent political developments, the present referent of the nomination “scientist” is no longer “a person that’s historically recognized as a scientist through his/her scientific contributions” but the actual concrete movement that’s organized around #ScienceMarch #BilimYürüyüşü who vocally demands that “Evidence Based Peer-Reviewed Information” (EBPRI) indisputably establishes facts by getting perceived as the self-evident state of affairs.

Yet this quality of EBPRI-ness obviously relies on certain exclusive circles of recognition [-] so that these scientists themselves will never become willing to acknowledge other (“their fellow”) scientists’ EBPRI as a self-evident state of affairs. As an inevitable consequence, it is impossible for them to ask, let alone agree on, most basic questions regarding their notion of EBPRI, such as: What do you call an evidence? What makes a proof? How do demonstrations work? Who is your colleague?

In other words, the message of #ScienceMarch is not “You must accept science!” but “You must accept science to be nothing other than us!” This is the message of alienation that was already being contracted and emitted by each of those exclusive circles of recognition. It is impossible for #ScienceMarch to combine these several messages of exclusive alienation, so they are only left with “nothing other than us”, i.e. their claim on the pronoun “we”.

This leads to a very interesting situation that exhibits a hierarchy of national languages (or “natural languages” as the engineers call them) where the self-perceived stakeholders of the first person plural pronoun “we” in the English language have absolutely no interest regarding the stakes of the first person plural pronoun “biz” in the Turkish language. Likewise, these self-entitled defenders of Science has absolutely no interest in defending Bilim, the Turkish word for Science. The extremely significant implication is that the real content being conveyed becomes absolutely irrelevant to what we may call the maintenance regulations concerning the form of a written language.

However, this absolute irrelevance of content also has a content of its own, which becomes embodied in another pronoun, “they”, which is the way of politics: What do politicians do? They help the ego-formations of their witnesses by declaring stuff irrelevant. “They” thus mediate the content of irrelevance and thus they mediate the usage of the pronoun “they”. But this essential “they” of politics is fundamentally incompatible with the abovementioned maintenance regulations organized around “us”, and this incompatibility is the basis for a separation, which is no longer an alienation.

The essential separation happens between the first and third person plural pronouns within each national-natural language, such as We//They in English, and Biz//Onlar in Turkish, but the essence of this separation always relates to the content of the distances between national-natural languages, so that the duality nation vs. nature gets reflected to particular pairs of languages, such as English vs. Turkish, or Turkish vs. Kurdish. As this separation happens between the essence of politics (the mediation of “they”) and that which is not political (the maintenance of “we”), the separation itself is extremely political and extremely apolitical at the same time.

It would be a quite interesting undertaking to conceive the “double-slit” of Quantum Physics in terms of this separation and thereby investigate what really motivated this civilization to build and operate a Large Hadron Collider to observe and register natural phenomena by calling them names like MACHOs and WIMPs.


See also: Topology as Tautology

[-] This implicit exclusivity, in face of the public, dons the guise of an obvious fact that truths naturally exclude falsities, but in private, it is reduced to a merely arbitrary regulation of affairs that can at best be called convenience. The same implicit exclusivity can be found anywhere a Publisher employs an Editor, most prominently in journalism, including its most extreme forms of existence such as WikiLeaks.


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