Yet another weird SF fan


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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Words “Mainstream,” “Consensus,” and “Heterodox”

A few years ago, I posted the following on the use of the terms “mainstream” and “consensus”:

When I try arguing against consensus thinking, I sometimes run into the objection that creationists and/or neo-nazis also object to the mainstream. It looks like the terminology used is quite different, with fascist dissidents objecting to the mainstream. and libertarian dissidents objecting to consensus. That should not be surprising. After all, the consensus is used as a way to stop thought, whereas the mainstream implies flow, so it can change.
After considering use of the term “heterodox” mentioned on EconLog, it looks like “heterodox” is commonly used by collectivist dissidents. I made up a table plotting the number of Google results from combining “consensus,” “mainstream,” or “heterodox” with terms relating to various politicized scholarly controversies:
Term“Consensus” “Mainstream” “Heterodox”
fission496,000150,000827
ddt354,000184,000446
tobacco1,120,0001,130,00044,000
creationism381,000572,0009,730
holocaust960,0001,170,00038,700
iq974,000973,00011,600
immigration1,320,0001,330,000109,000

It looks like frequent use of “heterodox” is an even better indicator that the dissidents are spouting horsebleep than the mainstream/consensus ratio.

It also looks like I should lean a little in the direction of the Establishment in the case of IQ controversies and very strongly in the direction of the Establishment in the case of immigration controversies.

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