Assigned Curiosity – The Power of Dogmatic Paradigms

Home » Assigned Curiosity – The Power of Dogmatic Paradigms

As mentioned in my post on Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, science doesn’t work the way you think it works. The unwashed laity think science is about the noble pursuit of truth and reality as it pertains to nature; yielding an ever more accurate picture of the way nature works. Isn’t that what we’re taught to believe growing up, in our schooling, and in mass media stories?  We picture scientists working on identifying and honing various theories through observation, experiments/testing and objective analysis; pushing with the purest of intentions to reach the ultimate Truth. Changing and refining theories as needed based on the evidence. We come to believe that scientists are humble servants of curiosity, discovery and truth/reality.

Science may have displayed some of those noble values at some point in history, but now – at least in the United States and other “First World” countries – science has deteriorated to activities driven simply by where the funding directs them and therefore where the funded prevailing paradigm exists. As an actual, real-life scientist, his/her employer/sponsor/funder will decide what they will focus upon, and – make no doubt – they won’t tolerate deviation or noble experimentation/exploration on someone else’s paid dollar. We now find ourselves in the throws of Scientism.

Enter a concept called "Assigned Curiosity"

Disciplined Minds” by Jeff Schmidt goes into great depth about how “professionals,” in both science and non-scientific arenas, are essentially beaten down to conform to prevailing, orthodox and dominant paradigms.  Their noble ideals about getting an advanced degree, pursuing meaningful work and potentially changing the world are quashed by the very qualification program they must trudge through in order to be allowed to work in their field.

Mr. Schmidt outlines a process for advanced, professional degrees that roughly follows this overview. The candidate . . . .

  • spends 5 to 8 years as a graduate student slaving away for the University paradigm owners, working insane hours per week on assigned programs
  • is totally absorbed and indoctrinated in all aspects of the University’s prevailing paradigm(s)
  • takes and passes an extremely stringent qualifying exam (all professional fields now require this)
  • obtains needed University faculty approvals even after passing the qualifying exam
  • possesses and demonstrates the right ideological/political discipline, attitude and outlook
  • and in some instances, after all of this, passes a stringent “licensing” exam to finalize the student’s final hurdle to work in the advanced field of their choice

Once this has been accomplished, the candidate can now be considered a “professional.”  But what awaits them in the workforce? While his book mentions numerous fields where this indoctrination applies, my focus on this specific article will be on Science – the author’s speciality.

As noted in Schmidt’s book, most Ph.D.s in physics find themselves working for a University or Industry – and in almost all cases (99%) their work will be funded by the military in whatever guise that funding comes.


Physics Ph.D. = Puppet of the Military

As shared by the author, 99% of the federal funding for basic research at universities comes through four agencies, all of which are, or can be tied to, the military (no matter their noble-sounding names):

  • The Department of Energy (successor of the Atomic Energy Commission) – mostly military regarding weapons and elementary particles
  • Department of Defense (through the Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and so on)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration – many military applications
  • National Science Foundation which is neither a foundation nor particularly interested in anything in pure science – at least very little outside of military applications when it comes to physics.

He shares that funded project names in University Physics programs are intentionally euphemized in techno-garbled language to hide the fact that the project’s sole focus is related to military weapon applications.

He gives numerous examples to clearly show the incestual relationship between Universities and the Military.  In fact, many military programs will actually bring senior professors on to their property for a summer, or a year, in order to indoctrinate them into what they’re to be focused upon, where the funding is readily available for grants, and what they expect from their funding.

The Net Result?

The reality for the PhD student?  . . . . Obey, conform, adapt to the ideological discipline & “assigned curiosity” of the University, your superiors and their paradigms . . . . . or be expelled, fired from your graduate job, and not obtain the professional qualifications needed to pursue your desired line of work.

The author shares much of his experiences in the realm of graduate-study Physics.  He also interviewed numerous people that have experienced the “professional” process in degreed programs both inside and outside of scientific fields.

Graduate programs are a weeding-out process that leaves very few who actually make it through the entire ordeal. And those that do, come out marching perfectly in-line with the dominant ideology and assignable curiosity – not questioning their superiors nor the paradigm to which they’ve been forced to conform.

Science is driven by funding. And who funds science?  Government/Military and corporate industry.  Your curiosity is “assigned” by the source of the funding.  Want to work on the noble pursuits of your field of choice? Tough cookies. Your employer and their funders demand you focus exclusively on your assigned curiosity. They won’t tolerate you making waves at any time.

Welcome to the world of dogmatic ideology, assigned curiosity, indoctrination and Scientism!  Science is now full of obedient thinkers. Politics, Business and Religion are too,. So much for independent, critical thinking and the wondrous discoveries it can produce.

Fair Use Notice:
– In good faith, this work contains fair use of copyrighted and non-copyrighted images from the public domain & the web for non-commercial & nonprofit educational purposes.
– This work is distributed free of charge.
– The author has neither monetized this work nor sought any profit from its distribution.
– Copyright disclaimer under section 107 of the copyright act 1976: Allowance is made for “Fair Use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statutes that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
– This work contains original work of commentary, education and critical analysis.