Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
In my estimation, Ed Barkmeyer settled the issue with:
As to funding scientific research, the sad fact is
that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. Some funding
managers are better at choosing more promising frogs, but the ratio of princes
to funded frogs is still very low. Can you really blame them for
believing that a fad science is the mark of a promising frog, when the majority
of the council of proven princes tells them so?
But I hasten to add that the same is true of nearly any organization
composed of fairly self-governing individuals. It’s a known human
proclivity discussed in the psych lit on "self deception", which is necessary,
according to some psych researchers, to foist deception off on another. The
con artist cons himself as well as the victim to get the victim to believe the
con. That's why the same old suspects always get what little funding they
can justify. With a more productive way to choose frog princes, the
funding would create a royal free for all.
This brings the conversation back to mirror neuron systems, which are
supposed to let us empathize. For example, voters choose political frogs
and put them in a slowly heating situation until it starts to boil. Then
they dine on frog legs. That is empathy.