Who am I?
I am a 26 year old computer engineering student from Sweden. I was never that into computers but my older brother is an engineer and so I figured it's as good a job as any. Besides, I do like the logic-based problem solving aspect of programming. I guess I enjoy chess for the same reason.
I learned the rules of chess from my father when I was around 7 years old and joined the local chess club a year or so later. I went there once a week for a few months and then dropped chess altogether.
One of my earliest chess memories comes from the only tournament I played as a kid. Me and my brother tied for last place. I still have the participation trophy.
I took up chess again as a 20 year old in 2013. My computer back then couldn't handle the graphics of Starcraft 2 (I played Starcraft 1 quite a lot as a kid), and so I searched for some other strategic game instead and discovered chess.com. So I started playing chess again and ended up buying a bunch of books (That habit has continued - I own an astounding amount of chess books, and I have finished 3 of them) and eventually joined my old chess club.
Elo rating (august 2019): 2164
I like a wide variety of music genres but right now I'm listening mostly to metal, rock and classical music. Among my favorite bands are Manowar, Sabaton and Ensiferum. When it comes to classical music I like for example Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Ravel, Dvorak, Grieg etc.
I used to go to a music gymnasium and I play some guitar. I'm currently planning to also get a digital piano.
I also have a passion for philosophy and history. My favorite historian is Paul Johnson.
I am critical of many modern sciences. That includes such social sciences as gender studies. Their methods are as far as I can tell clearly unscientific. Many times it seems as if, instead of collecting a vast amount of data and let the evidence point to whatever it points to, the general method is to make up conclusions based on ideological preconceived notions in advance and then find evidence and make biased conclusions to back them up. Scientific papers stack up, often circle referencing each other, and are later used to influence society in a certain ideological direction (in Sweden and also in the west in general, there is no doubt where on the left-right scale this ideology leans).
Here's an idea, however I certainly might be wrong here: You can remove ancient religions but they will merely be replaced by something just as "irrational", because human beings in general seems to have at the core a need for a group identity to belong to with shared moral values and righteousness which goes beyond any interest in "objective truth".
Science is merely a tool to get to material truth, that's it. Religions and the accompanying moral values emerged because shared moral frameworks are needed for human beings and societies to function properly (this is not a defense of any religious system, but an attempt at explaining their existence). Science and religion are therefore in essence completely separated, and one can't be replaced by the other.
Therefore (Sam Harris and his followers will disagree with me here) science can't be used to get to objectively true moral conclusions (whatever those are). Ideologies seem to be replacing the void that abandoning religion has created. However, since God is no longer an authority to base positions on, they have to be based on science.
The problem with this is that very few moral positions can be based on science since, as I mentioned, science is merely a tool used to obtain material facts of the world as our senses perceive it. Besides since real science often don't generate answers that ideologists like they instead turn to the kind of pseudo-science mentioned above.
Below are some interesting and, to the topic, relevant quotes:
'What impressed me most was Einstein's own clear statement that he would regard his theory as untenable if it should fail in certain tests... Here was an attitude utterly different from the dogmatism of Marx, Freud, Adler and even more so of their followers. Einstein was looking for crucial experiments whose agreement with his predictions would by no means establish his theory; while a disagreement, as he was the first to stress, would show his theory to be untenable. This, I felt, was the true scientific attitude.'
- Karl Popper
'The tendency to succumb to group-think and the herd-instinct (now formally called the "informational cascade") is perhaps as tempting among scientists as any group because we, by definition, must be the "ones who know" (from the Latin sciere, to know). You dare not be thought of as "one who does not know"; hence we may succumb to the pressure to be perceived as "one who knows". This leads, in my opinion, to an overstatement of confidence in the published findings and to a ready acceptance of the views of anointed authorities.'
- John Christy