Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Shameful Science

The Q&A after a public lecture or reading is almost always fraught for me, because Q&A's always seem to bring out the crazy in people. Like this guy: you can always tell the nutjobs by the way they ramble on for a while before they get to the point, and his question finally winds around to the idea that, if everything is vibration, why can't people effect the weather by increasing their "good" vibrations?

Which is straight up nonsense, of course, but the scientist lecturing in the planetarium at the American Natural History Museum doesn't dismiss the wack-a-doo out of hand.

Now, I know there's a part of me that believes that New Age crap, and even as the vicarious embarrassment that comes from watching somebody make a fool of themselves in public rises in my chest like bad water welling up in a choked drainpipe, I find myself thinking, "Well, it's not true, exactly, but I get where that guy is coming from."

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