Who isn’t Kuhnian?

Thinking today about those two huge debunks of pill-pusher theories: Depression is chemical, and Alzheimers is chemical. Those theories lasted for decades and NEVER DID ANY FUCKING GOOD AT ALL. The drugs for depression did massive harm. At least the Alzheimer plaque theory was only useless. Both conditions are best controlled by two little words:


I’m inclined to blame Federal funding and tenure for this long continuation of STUPID orthodoxy, but STUPIDITY was normal in academia for centuries before Federal funding. Funding is part of the cause, but Kuhn described the problem before Federal funding and Deepstate connections, and most of the truly harmful examples were running before 1946.

I was trying to think of a counterexample. Is there any area of study where BLATANTLY STUPID theories don’t hang on for centuries, preventing the better ideas and techniques from taking over?

Advertising is a fair exception. From 1840 until very recently, marketers were strictly scientific. Try an approach, check it with feedback from sales. If it doesn’t work, abandon it. The process may take only a few weeks, compared with centuries for medical stupidities.

Web advertising seems to have lost the feedback loop to some extent, and broadcasting has definitely lost the loop. CNN and MSNBC continue spewing the same poison while their audience declines to zero.

Share Value makes it possible to do without customer feedback, just as grants make it possible to ignore a total failure of experiments. When you can pump and dump the investors by making the appropriate ESG sounds, or grab the grants by making the appropriate ESG sounds, no feedback is needed.

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