No individual has what might be called a scientific view of the whole world, only of portions of it; and these, too, are always incomplete…. Those with the greatest reliance on science must take on faith both the knowledge they believe to be vested in other experts, none of them with a complete picture, and the knowledge that will be achieved tomorrow. When it comes to action, we draw only on those areas of science that seem relevant, so science is translated into technology–the fragments of the whole that serve conscious purpose. When we suspect some threat from technology, we can dip into science for counterarguments, but we seem unable to draw from science that unifying vision that must underlie sound decisions…. The day-to-day work of science, like conscious purpose, depends on highly selective attention.

Mary Catherine Bateson, Our Own Metaphor


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