This site rejects credentialism, i.e. the ideology that only those who have received formal credentials from establishment institutions have any standing to express critical points of view about technological and bureaucratic projects of the corporate establishment.
From this point of view cheerleading, of course, is fine, and therefore you’ll never see a pro-GMO activist saying a non-STEM type like Jon Entine or Owen Patterson should recuse himself from pontificating on what the cultists call “scientific issues”. This is one of the proofs that public STEM types have no moral integrity and are nothing but liars and hypocrites.
Well, we know that formal credentials mean nothing in themselves, and indeed that the more formal education one has, the more likely one is to have “learned” all the wrong things and to be arrogant in one’s ignorance. I think it was Mark Twain who said that the problem isn’t those who don’t know but those who don’t know but “know what isn’t so.” That sums up the West’s “educated” class perfectly. There’s no question that the higher one’s IQ, the more conformist and idiotic one’s likely to be where it comes to everything that’s important. Including being stupid enough to believe that IQ tests measure much more than one’s skill at taking such a test. I’m saying that as someone who scored 154 when I took the test as part of a middle school gifted-and-talented program. I also had the highest SAT score in my high school graduating class. But I’ve never been dumb enough to think my test skills were what proved my intelligence.
If I’m intelligent, what proves it is my willingness to see what is and not to lie to myself about anything. And then my willingness to learn for myself about anything which I consider important and which I haven’t previously learned. (I remain somewhat astonished at how completely ignorant electoral-type people are about the politicians they worship. I personally know many Clinton/Obama voters, and I doubt a single one could pass a high school-level quiz about what those politicians have actually done in their careers.)
I will say, however, that if a credential is to matter, then my BA in political science is the best preparation for understanding such a complex, 100% political/economic matter as GMOs. So if I were to be converted to the credentialist ideology, I’d then say that only myself and those who have a similar academic career have any standing to pass judgement about pesticides and GMOs, while STEM types must be ruled out as having no relevant knowledge.
Indeed, if we’re going to talk about expertise then to understand GMOs requires a special mix of knowledge. One must know political theory, economics, history, ecology, human medicine, and agronomy. Other sciences are far less important. Of course the whole thing is not a “scientific” matter at all, but a political controversy. Anyone who says science has anything to do with the economic deployment of GMOs is a liar or a moron.
The fact is that to understand such a vastly politically ramified matter as genetic engineering requires generalist knowledge most of all. This is precisely the kind of understanding which corporate education seeks to suppress and destroy.
And why do the universities and media hate and disparage this knowledge most of all? Because it’s the kind of knowledge necessary for true political participation, and the kind which tends to drive people to want to politically participate. The establishment is dedicated to discouraging such participation, and all its ideas and themes are committed to this suppression.
The takeaway from all this is that poison-based agriculture is properly a generalist matter, and most specifically a political/economic matter. Therefore the best credential for it is being an intellectually honest and adventurous person, while receiving the corporate/university STEM indoctrination regimen is probably the worst, most anti-intellectual way to derive an ideology.
Like I said yesterday, the corporate “scientific” establishment deserves zero trust or respect, and on the contrary should be driven out with a whip as the proven systematic liars and malign cultists they are.
If there’s to be an abolitionist movement, it’ll need to be clear about the absolute illegitimacy of the intellectual establishment, both in principle and in practice.