Yogi Jaeger 💙 @yoginho@spore.social Profile picture
Jun 18, 2020 10 tweets 3 min read Read on X
There seems to be a surprising amount of confusion regarding the question “which side are you on?” in the extended evolutionary synthesis #EES debate.

Maybe I can clarify using a ballgame analogy?

Thread... 👇🏻
Consider the #EES debate in our field to be something like the last UEFA Champions League final, played between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Unless you are a big fan of either team, it was a terrible game to watch. And I really couldn’t care less who was going to win it. /1
Now, generally, I am a big fan of football/soccer. But despite (or maybe because of) all the money and prestige involved, this particular game did not represent the sport at its best. The game was so dull at times I started to want *both* teams to loose… /2
The problem is: I think that the excessive amount of attention paid to this particular game is a bad thing for the sport in general. It is too much about the commercial package, too little about the soul of the game, about what makes it exciting. /3
I like soccer/football when it’s not tainted by too much attention and money. And when it’s not focused on a small number of very rich and prominent teams. Most people following the sport are *not* fans of either Liverpool or Spurs. What’s in it for them? /4
It is exactly in this way that the Champions League is tainting the pleasure of watching football/soccer. It sucks all the attention and the money away from the local underdog you support. It prevents all the rest of us to ever get a chance to our five minutes of fame. /5
This impoverishes the experience as a whole. Even though those finalist teams may be capable of playing a beautiful game (they are… much more beautiful that my local team), it takes away the unpredictability, the diversity, in short, all the excitement I ever get out of it. /6
And in the end, aren’t we all taking these high-profile finals a bit too serious? What about all that hooliganism? For all these reasons, I much prefer the kind of local tournament, where you play against your friends. /7
In these tournaments, there are teams, but you can switch sides after each game. There is diversity, since everybody is accepted as a player, even if they may not be the next Megan Rapinoe. It’s competitive (& sometimes harsh) but at the end you can all have a drink together. /8
That’s the kind of game I want to play. Not the sort of team sports exemplified by Champions League finals. I don’t want to be on either team. Next time, I'll skip watching the final altogether. You will find me at the local kick-about. Chance are, I’ll be at the bar... /END

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More from @yoginho

May 30
@balazskegl @drmichaellevin @ThouArtThat I don't know what @drmichaellevin posted above since he blocked me. But just to make sure: we are *not* part of the same family. And the differences between our philosophies are fundamental, not "minuscule." Neither is @drmichaellevin a revolutionary. Indeed, he is a reactionary.
@balazskegl @drmichaellevin @ThouArtThat I explain why @drmichaellevin's "philosophy" is vacuous, just a PR stunt, here: . TAME is an attempt at disguising that his approach is, in fact, utterly reductionist, the culmination of modernist thinking, not the beginning of a metamodern science.johannesjaeger.eu/blog/why-tame-…
@balazskegl @drmichaellevin @ThouArtThat That's one difference between his work and that of @ThouArtThat and I, who are trying to do serious work, based on solid philosophy, which is aimed at *understanding* the world and our place in it, not to control and manipulate (i.e. engineer) everything.
Read 9 tweets
Jan 22
I traveled to Paris to give my philosophy crash course for scientists () to a wonderful group of @lpiparis_ @FIREPhD students, as I do every year.

Contact me if you want to bring this course to your own institute! It's not only fun, but also useful...johannesjaeger.eu/philosophy.html
... allowing you to become a better researcher through philosophy. The course has an interactive, discussion-based format that is based on an online series of lecture which are freely available: .
It helps you reflect on your own scientific practice and world view using a (1) process-based, (2) perspectival-realist, and (3) deliberative approach to the philosophy of science. The course heavily focuses on students' own experiences, practices, and questions.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 10, 2023
New blog post just dropped!

"Assembly theory is cool... but doesn't quite do what its inventors say it does."

reviewing this recent Nature paper:

TL:DR: potentially interesting model, wrapped in utterly misleading packaging.johannesjaeger.eu/blog/assembly-…
"I think assembly theory has lots of merit and potential, but this particular paper frames its argument in a way which is unfortunate and, frankly, more than just a bit misleading. My personal suspicion is that this has two reasons: (1) the authors hyped up their claims ...
... to get the paper published in a glam journal, plus (2) they also overestimate the reach and power of their model in ways which may be detrimental to its proper application and interpretation."
Read 6 tweets
Sep 9, 2023
Just received my expected rejection from @elife (after appeal).

The way I was rejected reflects the atrocious attitude of the journal & the whole field of biology towards conceptual work.

It also showcases a lack of intellectual integrity on behalf of the journal editors. 🧵
I submitted the paper knowing full well that @eLife usually restricts its scope to empirical work. The idea was to challenge that restriction, since (in my opinion) biology urgently needs a revival of serious conceptual efforts to prevent the descent of the field into pointless..
@eLife ... construction of large data sets that are increasingly costly to produce but yield diminishing returns in terms of insight and understanding into the workings and organization of living systems. Hence, no surprise when my work was deemed "out of scope." That's fair enough.
Read 21 tweets
Jan 19, 2022
The current #COVID19 media coverage around me seems to agree on three things: (1) there is nothing we can do against #omicron, (2) this variant is mild & the wave will be over soon, (3) we're soon going "endemic," to "live with the virus," & back to normality. /1
There seems to be very little push-back against this narrative, which is something that really surprises me. But worse than that: it does *not* bode well for the next pandemic (whether the next #COVID19 variant or something altogether more worrisome). /2
Re (1): we can't do anything & #ZeroCovid was never an option.

Well, we never really tried. Those few countries that did were isolated (either geographically or surrounded by countries who didn't implement any low-incidence measures). /3
Read 23 tweets
Feb 19, 2021
Our second paper on dynamical modularity, "Dynamical Modules in Metabolism, Cell and Developmental Biology" by @NickMonk14 & myself is now available as a preprint: osf.io/rydbn via @OSFramework /1
It complements our earlier evolutionary perspective on the subject (osf.io/vfz4t) with its more regulation-based approach and a long list of practical examples that illustrate our novel conceptual framework for the dynamical decomposition of complex systems. /2
Just like our earlier paper, the argument starts with the following observation: modular phenotypic traits imply that the underlying regulatory processes—the epigenotype of the organism—must be dissociable as well. How to decompose them, however, is not a trivial task. /3
Read 16 tweets

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