It’s the science stupid!

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Unfortunately, it has become quite fashionable to correct others and point to “science” as the basis for your argument and beliefs.  While using the word “science” is a broad characterization, I believe that the true message that is being conveyed is that you are stupid and I am more intelligent because I implicently trust the science.  

There are very few labels in life that are worse than calling someone stupid.

While the scientific method has resulted in great discoveries and has increased our knowledge of the way things work in nature, it is not foolproof and is subject to changing theories and discoveries.  The basis of the scientific method is really observation.  Changing different inputs and then watching and documenting the results to get an understanding of how things work.  And there are other factors to consider that tend to skew things and pollute the sauce and actually make the “science” stupid.

We are human.

One problem with science is that we tend to interject bias into our studies.  We want results to be a certain way to prove or disprove our theories and hypothesis.  I believe that it is really impossible to completely remove all bias due to the human condition.  We have opinions, feelings, emotions, aspirations, ego, shame, empathy and all of these characteristics are part of being a living and breathing human.  

There is art.

The portion of discovery that gets lost is the side opposite of the science.  This is the side that could be termed as art.  Often there is an element of intuition that goes against the math, the chemistry, the facts.  This intuition is difficult to describe and measure yet it is involved in nearly every great discovery.    

There is faith (or luck).

When a doctor finishes a medical procedure he will often end with a comment like, “Now we wait to see if this is successful.”  Even with all the modern medical innovations there is still the knowledge that, in the end, things may work or they may not.  I call this faith.  Others may call it luck.  Regardless of your viewpoint, there is a realization that even with the best data and knowledge, things don’t always end as planned.   

So before you sell out to science and call others stupid for their questioning or apprehension to get on board, consider that your “science” might be flat out wrong.  And by making your comments about their failure to believe the science, you are doing harm to both of you.  You are likely degrading them for their apprehension to go “all in” and you may actually be the “stupid” party to discount these common failures in science in your self-righteous haste! 

Angry, Cool, Weird and Stupid

Ah, here we go again- another election cycle!  I used to really enjoy politics.  Political science was a favorite of mine in school.  I love the unique characteristics of politics and the history that goes along with it.  But I can tell you politics is not something I care for anymore.  I really dislike the new face of politics.  The discourse is broken.  There is no civility.  It makes no sense to me.  Here are a few observations in this election season and the leadership lesson that goes along with it:

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Angry:  Voters are angry and the politicians are completely puzzled. Why are they so angry?  What could possibly be wrong?  Maybe years of gridlock, ideology and rampant spending?  Voters want anyone but the establishment.  And this is really evident on both sides.

Leaders:  The problem with angry is that you can make some really bad decisions when you are angry.   Leaders need to guard their tempers and stay composed.  If your team is angry, you need to address it head on.  Don’t put your head in the sand and let it fester!

 

Cool:  There is a new phenomenon emerging- the cool factor!  This is the breeding ground for the PC (politically correct) group.  We have become obsessed with the coolness principle.  What is cool anyways?  Are we still in high school?  I just don’t get the attraction.  Grow up please!

Leaders:  Cool at its roots is being self-centered.  I do what is cool so I look good.  Cool people make me feel better.  If I get invited to hang out with the cool group then I am cool too.  Be approachable- not cool!

 

Weird:  Both sides are convinced that the other side is weird.  They are freaks.  Guns, global warming, faith, same sex marriage, abortion, environment- anyone that doesn’t think they way you do is just weird.  They are broken.

Leaders:  Everyone is different so get over it.  Diversity is a strength.  You will never feed innovation if everyone thinks the same.

 

Stupid:  Both sides are convinced the other side is just stupid.  If they were just smarter they would see that I am correct.  They are just ignorant.  I am smart and have this all figured out.  Really?  Do you actually think you are just superior and everyone else is not up to your intellect?

Leaders:   Look at all sides of an issue.  Don’t get tunnel vision.  Don’t typecast others as stupid just because of your title.  A line person has first hand knowledge.  You can’t completely understand things until you are in it.  Don’t assume you have it all figured out.  Question yourself.

 

We have become intolerant of any viewpoint except our own.  Can you see the crazy arrogance in this?  We will never solve the problems in this country without an open mind and you will never be an effective leader being close minded.  Consider other options.  Look at the other side of the issue.  You may see a better solution.  And keeping an open mind will make you a better leader!

 

So what do you think?  Do you have any insights on the elections that you would like to share?  Do you think we have become increasingly intolerant?  Click on “Leave a Comment” and let me know what you think!