Monthly Archives: November 2016

Election 2016—At the Table

I have spent much of the last two years investigating the connections between politics and Christian discipleship. Many people have commented how relevant, timely, and needed such an analysis is. M…

Source: Election 2016—At the Table

Demolishing the House

Demolishing the house in order to build a new house.

This blog is named “In Search For Reality” for a reason. I want to know what is going on. What is going on in my life and around me. For that purpose some times I “look” inside of me to see how I am feeling and what I am thinking; sometimes I look outside to see what is happening. As I do that (like looking at a mirror) I find myself comparing what I see with what I feel.

As I look outside today through the window I see across the street a lot, an empty lot. In this lot a few days ago stood a house, a nice house. A nice house no more! There are plans to build a new house, a house that will be a better house than the house that was demolished. That is what we do in the US we demolish to build new, modern buildings. This is not new in any ways, this is the way we have developed this country.

This is the metaphor that I will use now to think about the changes we face in this country. And as the world has become more connected a good metaphor for what we expect to happen around the world too.

We have very good examples from recent events to show that people are fed up with the present social contract, the middle class is suffering. That is how I can explain the recent Brexit vote in the UK, and Trump in the US.  From history we learn that when this lack of representation of “the people” by “the elites” gets to an unsustained level, changes arise. Many people suffer as it did during the second world war but after that we made a better world. It looks like we are at a similar juncture in our time.

The question I have now is what kind of world do we want and how we are going to move in that direction. Technology of course will be part of this conversation as I am using this means for communication. This is completely a new game! If something was learned from this election is that political science is not a real hard science. Polling provides information that is presented as data when in fact is not data in the sense we use in the sciences (hard sciences) like chemistry or physics.

That was my major disappointment! To learn that I was wrong, to learn that treating polling information as data was wrong. That all those numbers didn’t mean a thing, that it is pure B.S. Now of course pundits and pollsters are trying to explain why and where they were wrong. But let’s face it. It is deeper that; just finding excuses to the lack of objectivity because it is not about being objective it is about perception! Perception is key, that is the answer for political science: acknowledge that we are dealing with perception that is not quantifiable.

As a scientist myself I find it very hard to move and live in a world that is not objective, but that is the world we live in. It is a subjective world so we have to lean to live in the subjectivity of the mind. As a teacher I have to learn how to help my students get a sense of objective reality through their subjective perception.

Finally, I have to know (remember) that the world is real, and that at the end that reality will not care how we feel about it. Disasters like flooding will not stop just because people don’t think there is climate change.

That is the good news!