Times have changed, and so have I

In March this year, the Tencent News mobile app was revamped and the function of “lead reading” was added, which means that some users with the ability to identify news value are granted “flip” permission, after “flip The selected contents are more easily seen by general users. This measure, to a certain extent, makes up for the chaos of the current proliferation of self-publishing and spam everywhere.

An editor of Tencent News, whom I have known for a long time, also invited me to be the “knowledge officer” of science popularization, and to lead the news reading. I agreed. Sina Weibo has become such a ghost now, it’s good to have a relatively clean source of information.

I’ve been using the app every day since then, but I’m probably disappointed that I’ve posted very little original content myself, and most of the content that I’ve “flipped” is not popular science. Most of the content “flipped” is not popular science, but mostly current affairs, literature and history. There is an important reason for this, is that I am more familiar with science information, so it is easy to see all kinds of errors in it, and is not willing to recommend.

For example, today I came across a self-published article entitled “What is tumbleweed, blocking roads and flooding towns in the United States, and why does it not survive adulthood in our country? . The main content is that after the invasion of “tumbleweed” to the United States, the reason why it can become a vicious weed in the West is because Americans do not eat it. In China, “even if the plant has a ‘knife’, as long as it can be eaten, it must still be consumed. “. So the reason why “tumbleweed” is not rampant in China is because Chinese people are so good at eating it, they eat it all up, just like crawfish.

This is an article that is purely a hodgepodge. In the article, “tumbleweed” refers mainly to the plant Kali tragus (scientific name Kali tragus) of the Amaranth family (formerly Quinoa), which is probably not a species, but several morphologically similar species. It is a collection of several morphologically very similar “cryptic” species, but there is no proper classification scheme yet). After its unintentional introduction to the United States in the late 19th century, it quickly spread to most of the United States and Canada, and in some places became widespread. However, with a little common sense about the ecology of invasive plants, one would not attribute the main reason for the proliferation of invasive plants to “no one to eat”. The main reason is that the invasive sites have superior environmental conditions and lack of pests and diseases of their origin.

Moreover, although it is edible when young, it is hardly a delicacy. Like many plants of the amaranth family (including amaranth and spinach, which have been cultivated for a long time), it is high in oxalic acid, which is not even a healthy food. This article says that “people like to eat this [plant] as a wild vegetable, and it is more common in the northern part of China …… creating hundreds of ways to eat it “, is completely open-minded. Really so delicious, how can not buy it in the supermarket?

Even the crayfish (crayfish), although much more delicious than the spiny sarpon, and in China is a real invasive creature, but also simply not eaten extinct. On the contrary, it is still in a serious state of invasion in Yunnan and other provinces. The reasoning is simple: people eat crayfish, the vast majority of them are artificially farmed, one low cost, the second quality control. Crawfish in the wild, not only the effort to capture, and because of its mixed diet, the body may contain uncontrollable toxins. Those who say “I would like to go to Yunnan to eliminate invasive species”, just a few words on the mouth naturally particularly cool, really let him act, I think only as a shrinking turtle. But I have to admit, I’m not sure what I’m doing now.

But I have to confess that I’m also making the most of my time. Professor Ge Jianxiong of Fudan University has already said that to talk about history today is to talk about politics. In fact, not only history, but also science popularization today, is also about politics. Any science that is not political, regardless of whether you are the Science Squirrel Club, or paper clips, all fall under the iron fist of the people. A few years ago, this is still unimaginable, but in a few years, history travels so fast that one has to wonder what it will be like after a few more years.

The first thing that comes to mind is the question, “Why is the water blue?” The first thing that comes to mind is that all those science fiction like “Why is the sea blue” and “How many parts does the Chinese space station consist of? For example, “Yuan Longping let all Chinese people eat” is a simple folk belief, you dare to challenge it, now is to report your article to disappear, microblogging off the small black room for 15 days The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what you’re doing.

Another example is “Dragon Boat Festival can not say happy, only say wellbeing”, this inexplicable saying, from 2015 onwards suddenly on the network fire, but in just a few years can be This inexplicable expression, which only suddenly became a hit on the Internet in 2015, has become a “traditional folklore” in just a few years. Now I can still flirt with this, but in the future it is not easy to say, you may not finish half a sentence, the ancestors will be flirted with.

Another example is “cherry blossoms are Chinese”, I am glad that after I wrote a rebuttal article a few years ago, at least there is still media to publish it. In the spring of 2020, when I did a live broadcast for the Tatsunshan Botanical Garden, I also frankly told the relevant knowledge. But when I did it again this spring, I was reminded not to talk about Japan, and I did as I was told and didn’t mention a word about it, which naturally didn’t lead to any controversy in the end. In the future it is not easy to say, may not mention Japan is not enough, must clearly say cherry blossom is China. Patriotic is not absolute, is absolutely not patriotic.

Another example is the above just discussed “any invasive creatures will be buried in my big eaters national mouth”, now can also be approved a number of, later it is not easy to say, may provocateurs I will be buried in my big …… (this may be too frightening, stop.)

The day before yesterday, the fruit shell network posted an article by Wang Dapeng, an associate researcher at the Chinese Institute of Popular Science, saying that responsible science popularization should focus on and respect public values, and that “the ability to correlate scientific issues with some of the values that the public originally holds dear is a key factor in determining whether science popularization is effective. This is a key factor in determining the effectiveness of science popularization. These truths are naturally not wrong, and can even be said to be clichés in communication science. But I would like to say that, as I said more than ten years ago, Chinese science popularization should be divided into two factions, one for the “left” and the other for the “right”. one for the “left” and the other for the “right”; for the “left The science popularization for the “left” is too little and should be strengthened. Now more than ten years have passed, I don’t know how much the science popularization for the “left” has been strengthened, but the science popularization for the I don’t know, but the science for the “right” is simply not allowed to be popularized. Can you say that the former science popularization people do not understand the reasoning of researcher Wang? No, the times have changed.

Since this year, my beloved has repeatedly criticized me for “provocative” behavior on the Internet, hoping that I can think about the family and give some virtue to future generations. At first I wasn’t convinced, but now I think she’s right. In fact, I do science for my own knowledge. I must have figured out what I know myself first, which is the first step, and then I will be interested in sharing them with others. If that’s the case, I can skip the second step of science popularization in the future, and it won’t stop me from seeking knowledge anyway.

I’ll leave it to the young people to do the science of the new era. Just like history, as long as humans are not extinct, science popularization will always exist in some form. The cause will always be immortal.