I feel that this opening statement of the NY Times article is worth a remark.
The word "mania" suggests that a mass of humanity has lost its senses somehow, and will (past now, so "did", I suppose is the word that is logically required) "upend their lives" responding to a scientific prediction. I'm questioning that slant on the travel of millions to watch the eclipse from the best vantage point. Not sure how many lives were "upended" in this desire to see the total eclipse. What is meant here, by this word "upend"? I'm sure there were vehicular accidents given the numbers, and likely some people were careless enough to damage their sight. That could count as "upending" some individual lives, no doubt there. Is this sloppy journalism?
The second part of the statement indicates that this "upending" did happen in response to a scientific prediction. I think I have to disagree there. The scientific prediction was accurate (as eclipse prediction has been for a very, very long time) but I don't think the masses moved for that reason. The masses went to experience a physical phenomena that speaks to us in the language of awe, not science. I don't think there are too many scientific words in most people's description of this event. Words like "awe", "amazing", "sublime", "no words", "breath-taking" and other such synonyms are more likely flying around the social network today than scientific terms and vocabulary.
I don't think that "science" can take credit for this unscientific response from the masses. If it is, it is glomming.
From the same article:
We tend to trust scientists.
We trust scientific expertise on many issues; it is, after all, the best advice we can get.
In my opinion, today we are left with no other available advice from which to choose. The scientific perspective has all but swallowed other ways to think about and understand our natural world. Other paradigms do exist, philosophy, religion, art...but science has scientifically removed them from the equation. We are told, almost forced, to bow to the findings of science over everything else.
According to science, humanity has no way out of any difficulty but "their" way. Articles of this type keep the division alive and well, as though science is embodied and not the persons who study science. The scientist themselves don't seem to part of the "we" and "them" equation. The scientists themselves seem to have been removed from the equation.
I appreciate science, I don't worship or idolize it. I believe other paradigms should have as much exposure as science does so that we can see a phenomena, or a situation, from a few different angles rather than just one.
Be a lamp unto yourself.