This is my first post. My introduction can be found here: http://cluesforum.info/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=838&start=1815#p2394914Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt (2000)
After reading a reference to Disciplined Minds
, here about a month ago, I sought out the text, and I did find a PDF version on scribd
This book, written by physicist Jeff Schmidt, is fascinating because it discusses exactly how a world full of smart, well-meaning scientists, lawyers, bankers, academics, nurses, businesspeople etc, through their day-to-day work on the job, are little more than pawns trained to extend the ideology and politics of their bosses and corporate owners. Even though many individual scientists, lawyers, bankers, and other professionals may think that they have liberal views in life, in their professional work they enact values and political outcomes which are vastly different from what they imagine--and very much in favor of the ruling class. The professional class is specifically trained to learn and parrot the prevailing ideology--so that they can be trusted to act on their bosses' behalf. A regular worker, with a university or high school education, would never be trusted with certain types of work--those reserved for the professional class, who have been trained in the specific ideology that is acceptable.
OK, so that's the summary you can get from the intro. I dove into the book a bit further. Schmidt worked in physics so luckily (for us), he has a lot of examples of foul play within physics. He talks about how the US gov't, by funding almost all the science research, will "direct" the "curiosity" of the professors, toward military goals and objectives. The professors dress up their work in such scientific jargon that it is incomprehensible, to anybody, how the research relates to the real world. But then if you look at some military summaries of the same research, you find the objectives clearly laid out.
So not only do we see the mechanism of how the US's top scientists can do government research and parrot the government lines. We also see how often the true goals of science research are hidden even from the scientists carrying out the work.
I hope you don't mind a few excerpts. I tried to make them as concise as possible.
DIRECTING THE PROFESSOR'S CURIOSITY
Most basic physics research at universities… is sponsored by just four government agencies—the Department of Energy (successor of the Atomic Energy Commission), the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense (through the Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and so on) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Ninety-nine percent of the federal funding for basic physics research at universities comes through these four agencies. In 1995 the federal government spent about $590 million on university physics research; about $455 million of that expenditure paid for research characterized as basic.
To what extent do the university pipers themselves call the tune when the government pays for their work? The government, like any sponsor, is keenly aware of its influence, and has known the answer to this question since the 1950s, when it began to dominate the funding of basic research in universities in the United States. In 1954, the president of the United States ordered the then four-year-old National Science Foundation to report the effect that federal research money has on educational institutions. [...] NSF gives the answer to the president in scientistic language:
It would be unrealistic to claim that Federal contracts and grants for research at universities have exercised no influence over the types and fields of research undertaken by the institutions. For example, Agency X has funds for support of a given type of work. Professor A at University Y applies for funds to carry on a project in this area...One of [his] assistants...is taken on the staff as an instructor or even assistant professor. He, too, applies for support for the same type of work and before long University Y has a strong department in the particular area. One cannot conclude that the influence of Agency X was detrimental, but one can say the Agency did influence the direction of research at University Y and perhaps the number of young scientists with the particular research interest.[\quote]
Clearly, the government understands not only that it influences the content of research at "University Y," but that it also programs new scientists with particular research interests.
OK, so the US government has been sponsoring science since the '50s, and they know how much of an influence they have--creating generations of scientists with directed curiosities that serve the military. So we know they are going to use every advantage they have to push their agenda.
What then does the government do with these loyal scientists? Let's see an example.
According to the military funding description for one particular project, this physics faculty member at UC-Irvine was researching techniques to simulate nuclear weapons
UCI physics professors Norman Rostoker and Nathan Rynn ran a plasma physics research project titled "Electron Beam Switching Experiment." In their proposal to work on the project under government contract, they described what they had been doing and what they planned to do:
We are evaluating energy storage devices that involve accumulation of electrons in a magnetic trap and rapid release of the energy by magnetic switching. … We also plan to study several other methods to produce short intense radiation pulses.
Nowhere do the researchers say why anyone would want to produce short intense radiation pulses. The funding agency is, by contrast, straightforward:
Objective: Develop ultra high power sources for simulating nuclear weapon effects and having energy storage capabilities significantly exceeding present simulators.
Simulating nuclear weapon effects? Why would we want that? Take it away, Jeff Schmidt:
Simulation allows the development of real-world systems in the laboratory. In the words of a report from a major Army weapons research and development laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland, which coordinated much of the governments effort in nuclear weapons effects simulation:
Since at this time tests cannot be conducted in a real nuclear weapon environment, simulators are the only available link to reality.
The ability to simulate the effects of nuclear weapons allows the U.S. government to get around some of the obstacles that nuclear test ban treaties place in the way of preparation for nuclear war. Professors Rostoker and Rynn, by contributing to the governments "link to reality," helped it violate one of the hopes people had for the test ban—an end to the further development of nuclear war technology—without actually violating the letter of the treaties.
Wow! The whole thing goes right over Jeff Schmidt's head. Of course, you can't blame him, really. The entire world has been fooled into believing in a magical apocalypse bomb, that can transmute metals into other metals like the vulgar exoteric misunderstanding of alchemy. But after almost 70 years, this silly story desperately needs a "link to reality", else it might die soon!
Why would the US military want to simulate nukes? I'll leave that question for now...
But the important point this book makes is that it is very easy to achieve ideological purity in your society's professional class, like scientists, teachers, bankers etc. Successful, tenured physicists are perfectly comfortable with quietly playing along with their bosses' goals, and would never have the opportunity to look into any questionable areas of science (or other policy). Any students who pursue these unhelpful areas are to be guided back onto the garden path, otherwise they do not pass the examinations and cannot continue in that career. The path to this type of career is a sort of ideological "survival of the fittest"--only the most rule-following, curiosity-directing, authority-worshipping workers make it to the top positions, while the rest of the independent thinkers "die off" in their careers.
In fact, that is what happened to me. I studied biochemistry and once I started assisting a graduate student in a university lab, that is when I started to feel the weird pressures to conform to a certain level of thought control. I had a glimpse of that world, and once I graduated I knew I did not want to enter that academic science world.
There is actually a lot more to be said about this book, but I thought these examples were particularly helpful in our quest to try to ferret out the truth among all these confusing statements from the authorities, and those who work for them.