Parecon and Science/Technology

This essays is excerpted from the Zed Press book, Realizing Hope


Defining Science


Like every label for a complex personal and social practice the word science is fuzzy at its edges making it hard for us to pin down what is and what isn’t science. Nonetheless, for our broad purposes, we can assert that science refers to an accumulated body of information about the components of the cosmos and to testable claims or theories about how those components interact, as well as to the processes by which we add to our information, claims, and theories, reject them as false, or determine that they are possibly or even likely true.


My personal knowledge that the grass I see from my window is green is not science, nor is my knowledge that my back was hurting an hour ago, or that my pet parrot Zeke is on my shoulder. Experiences per se are not science, nor are perceptions, though both can be valid and important. 


It isn’t by way of science that we know what love is or that we are experiencing pain or pleasure. It isn’t science that tells a Little Leaguer how to get under a fly ball to catch it. Science doesn’t teach us how to talk or what to say in most situations, nor how to add or multiply numbers. 


Most of life, in fact, including even most information discovery and communication, occurs without doing science, being ratified by science, or denying, defying, crucifying, or deifying science. 


And yet, most knowing and thinking, and especially most predicting or explaining, is much like science, e

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