The Threat to Science No One Talks About
Joe Brewer

‘Stated plainly, the religious cult of modern economics is destroying our civilization. ‘

Yes absolutely. ‘Civilization’ — which isn’t just ‘science’. I think you mean ‘knowledge’, don’t you? And above all ‘humanity’. Alongside laissez-faire neo-liberal economics the other thing that is destroying us is a blind belief in empiricism, in data and numbers — for example that computer technology — essentially reducing existence to systems in binary code — is the summit of human achievement.

I agree with the essential thrust of what you are saying, but it seems to me there’s a huge hole in the centre of it — which others have also identified and commented on. It is the essence of our own humanity; our sense of ourselves in the universe; the fact that we live in a world where concepts like love, beauty, truth, honour, justice, bravery, compassion, just don’t really matter any more. They are not part of the fabric of our lives, just decoration, nice ideas if you’ve got time for them. That’s the problem, not whether we can still make computers. In fact, digital technology is precipitating us deeper and deeper into hell — with increasing and deadly speed in ways which nobody responsible for it’s development seems capable of either seeing or taking on. You are right, we are systematically deskilling ourselves and we could lose everything.

That’s not a very positive way to respond to a call to arms that I would essentially support, but we perhaps need to be clearer as to exactly what it is that is worth saving.

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