Ministry of Science

Who decides truth? Is there a distinction between truth and reality? Can I claim that mathematics straddles the gap between the two? This isn’t an experimentally falsifiable claim, so no one can stop me.

Anyway, this looks kind of cool.

I became Minister of Science in 2012 and have held the position since. Though I was exiled last semester, I was never properly impeached. In accordance with the constitution, the president appointed an interim Minister chosen from a pool of one candidate, who was selected by the club at large. Unfortunately, his innovative political strategy of smoking weed was less effective than anyone had hoped, so upon my return, a battle of wits ensued. Maybe it was also a battle of fists, but it totally smarted. I won and there’s a video to prove it, but the interim Minister prefers to forget it.

What follows was my original vision of the Ministry of Science. Today, I see the Ministry of Science as more of a buttressing

In my brief experience with this society, I have found that absurdism tends to ignite its own kindling, so my ministry will focus on harnessing the power of absurdism’s creative conflagration towards practicality, without direct regard to absurdism itself. Science has spoken to me and it sayeth, “Thou shalt forge a list serve.” THOSE WHO WISH TO BE ON THE LIST SERVE FOR THE MINISTRY OF SCIENCE SHOULD EMAIL LBANKSTO@TULANE.EDU. A list serve will allow for expedient access to the members of the ministry and will be a great resource for when Department of Gadgetry finds itself wanting manpower. The list serve will also be used for dissemination of shards of wisdom regarding Science. (Did you know that neutrinos travel faster/slower than the speed of something? Here’s the link…). Finally, we will be able to share our various musings over science with thought-provoking questions. As an example, and to get this started: ” A perfectly inelastic collision is when two objects hit each other and they stick together. In such a case, momentum is conserved but not energy. Where does this energy go? If the kinetic energy goes into heat, what causes that? For example, maybe with friction kinetic energy becomes heat because the particles of different surfaces collide and excite each other. When I ask physicists about this inelastic collision thing, they say something about ‘impulse,’ (what is that, really?) but that doesn’t tell much. I’m looking for a conceptual answer, preferably one which is elucidating and curt.” These musings should ideally be simple to understand and interesting, not the rigorous equations of Scientific Fundamentalism.

The gospel according to Phil describes our ministry bisected into The House of the Withered Vine and School of the Withered Vine, which seem to correspond to Real Science and Scientific Fundamentalism, respectively. Of course, we cannot alter this duality without an amendment to the constitution (how drab!), but I think a more effective partition would be The House of Cain and the House of Abel. The House of Cain, named for Engineer Tubal Cain, ought to contain those more practical scientific affairs such as the Department of Gadgetry and the Department of Chimerical Affairs (see below). The House of Abel, named after Mathematician Niels Abel, will house the more cerebral departments such as Indoctrination and Worship. Since I cannot get rid of the original division of the ministry, it will have two overlapping bisections, just as four circles forming two overlapping venn-diagrams, the circle of life.

The gospel according to Phil doesn’t seem to say how the department heads should be chosen, so, unless someone can cite a relevant verse I will appoint department heads. EMAIL ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A DEPARTMENT HEAD. Tell me which department head(s) you would want and maybe give a brief description of your plans and why you want to be whatever, but don’t put too much effort into it. Department heads will be appointed.

Department of Gadgetry- The soul of the House of Cain, the department of gadgetry should, of course, make gadgets. The department head will be tasked with ordering materials at the cheapest possible rate, assembling capable persons to work on projects, devising ideas for contraptions. Possible gadgets include: A bicycle-swing (which Niko Neko and I will complete before the break). juggling balls with lights inside (maybe the kinds that will light up when you shake them. And we could stick the left-over light all over bikes or something). A machine to blow bubbles (should be simple). Glow in the dark bubbles. A raft (Bret was saying it would be possible). A Theremin (I believe there are plans on Youtube). A giant centrifuge. etc. According to scripture, the department is also responsible for submitting budget proposals, but don’t worry too much about that because you can appoint an accountant to perform that task for you.

Department of Indoctrination- The gospel according to Phil 113:1 describes one task of the Department Chair of Indoctrination as “Shall show science movies from time to time.” In short, this person is responsible for proselytizing the liberal artists by making science fun. Yet Science is not fun- she demands frequent blood sacrifices. The Department of Indoctrination must be an expert liar, capable of exaggerating and simplifying what is normally complicated and uninteresting. The Department of Indoctrination is analogous to the Ministry of Propaganda in this way. I will charge the Department of Indoctrination with advertising Free School and, with the aid of the Department of Worship, ensure that the lectures are interesting to even those liberal artists. The Department of Indoctrination is part of the House of Cain.

Department of Worship- I am creating the Department of Worship in the House of Abel and in the School of the Withered Vine. The task of the department head will be to coordinate worship- both in the Free School, which should be accessible to the masses and the Prep School, where the only the devout scientists will venture. Prep school should have its own meeting time and location, which will probably be something like 9:00pm on Mondays in Stanley Thomas. The Chair of the Department of Worship should also be on his game with respect to scientific news and be a main contributor to the Musings to the List Serve.

Department of Chimerical Affairs- This new department will be in the House of Cain and in the House of the Withered Vine. Its task shall be to feed and possibly cloth the small chimeras (vulgarly called ‘cats’) which frequent our garden.

Department of Ethno-Dendrology- Located in the School of the Withered Vine and the House of Abel, this Department raises the question: “What’s more important, the Nature of Sound or the Sound of Nature?” I myself am primarily a member of the physics congregation, so it is possible that Biology or other weaker sciences might be neglected. The chair of the department will be responsible for advocating for more Biological and maybe Chemical research. Also, this person should be expected to find people to give biology-related Free and Prep Schools.

Department of Entomology- This one hasn’t existed for a while and I don’t really mind Maybe the Chair of Ethno-Dendrology will be able to find someone to fill the position, but if not, I’ll probably appoint Andrew’s Adam’s Apple or Hermand, the love-able Mimosa tree.

Department of Auxillary Studies- I have no clue what the constitution is talking about with this one, so unless someone can tell me what the department is for, I’m going to appoint Katie’s Colorful Skirt.

Department of Exponential Growth- The School of the withered Vine and the House of Abel. It is responsible for creating more departments of exponential growth and also for growing the Benevolent Society as a whole and gluing gnomes to things.