Mass Hysteria / Collective Delusion

It is not a sound assumption to believe that mass hysteria and collective delusion problems come from or result from only the uneducated. All social life, be it among the educated or uneducated, is a manifestation of a will to power; there is no reason for assuming that mass hysteria or collective delusion as social actions are exceptions to this attribute of social life. If mass hysteria and collective delusion serve some social need for the educated, it will occur and historically has occurred among them just as it has among the uneducated. In Technological Society (“T.S.”), as the educated including those calling themselves scientists are quickly realizing that their lives will be spent in a random and arbitrary world of probability and statistics in which there will be no explanation for anything but just correlations in which truth and power will consist only in the control of probabilities, they will have a need for meaning and power that cannot be satisfied by such a reality; thus, there will be fertile ground for creation of mass delusional explanation and power. The last few months of the Chinese Virus collective delusion and mass hysteria are an example of how this process works for the educated classes of T.S.

Mass hysteria and collective delusion has been a historical concept for historians and for scientists ever since the Middle Ages. The first recorded analysis of such an event is the Dancing Plague of 1518 in which the population of many villages in the Western portion of the Holy Roman Empire all of a sudden started dancing for days, many supposedly danced until they died. Though such mass hysteria and collective delusion may seem to us now as crazy and as unlikely to occur, do not be so sure. In 1954, Seattle had its Windshield Pitting Epidemic in which the population of Seattle started to believe there was some strange unknown power that was going around pitting and chipping their windshields. Was it ghosts, visitors from out of space, a right-wing conspiracy, a left-wing conspiracy, doing all this damage? There were many explanations put out and all demanded the governor and President do something about them. Within a year, all such demand eventually died down allowing for real research and investigation. Turns out, it was just normal wear and tear on windshields that no one noticed until someone did notice it and used it to sell newspapers. Though these events might sound ridiculous now, but how much different from the Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic is the recent Seattle delusion that it could create a small utopia or Summer of love simply by letting a bunch of radicals with guns takeover its CHAZ district and run it as a commune? Neither the Pitting nor the CHAZ epidemics were limited to the uneducated.

 
How the educated including the very well educated get caught in mass hysteria and collective delusion was first brought out to me empirically and not just historically by the Child Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. I was involved directly or indirectly for the defense team of a couple of them — the McMartin Preschool debacle in California and the Fells Acre Day Care debacles here in Massachusetts. During this time period, highly educated and wealthy but busy parents were going through the cultural transition of no longer taking care of their preschool children nor of any longer have family to take care of them — everyone was simply too busy with their careers. So, they would send their preschool children at a very early age to day-care centers to get the education and attention their children needed but they the parents did not have the time to give. As expected, the children were all very agitated by such experience that they saw as a lack of love by their parents and many became behavioral problems and developed delusions of their own about life and love. Who was to blame for these behavioral problems? Not the parents of course. All of a sudden, there occurred an explosion of accusations and prosecutions for child abuse by workers at some of these day care centers. Many innocent persons were wrongly charged and even convicted of false charges solely because a bunch of educated and wealthy parents could not accept responsibility for their bad parenting.

 
Such mass hysteria and delusion are not limited to small social groups. The argument can be made and has been made by many historians that World War I is a case of hysteria and collective delusion by what remained of the European royalty and their loyalist worshipers still in power in Europe in the early 20th Century. Without doubt, government by royalty was on its way out throughout Europe and Russia in the early part of the 20th Century. The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria — a possible heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian Emperor — by Serbian separatists was an unfortunate event and an insult to the Austro-Hungarian Empire but was it a threat to its sovereignty or of any other country’s sovereignty? Was it any more of a threat than the social movements throughout Europe demanding the elimination of royalty? Was it such a threat that it warranted a World War and the deaths of tens of millions of lives? No. From what I have read, the real Emperor did not even like this Archduke nephew and did not want to see him inherit his throne, so the assassin kinda did him a favor. World War I is a case of mass hysteria and collective delusion by not only the ruling classes of many countries but by the highly educated and very intelligent ruling classes and their intelligentsia and bureaucracy — they were much more educated and intelligent than almost anyone running the present ruling classes of either Europe or the United States. Given that many historians blame World War I as the foundation for World War II, we can see that the results and effects of mass hysteria and delusion among the ruling classes who in T.S. control the massive power of its technology are not something to be taken lightly.

 
In fact, much of the history of the Twentieth Century can be argued to be a series of ruling class mass delusions and hysteria. World War I (as a foundation for World War II — someday they will simply be called the 20th Century World War); fascism; communism? Just these three collective delusions are responsible for 300 – 500 million deaths. No collective delusion or hysteria by the uneducated ever reached these levels of killing.

 
This problem of ruling class social delusion and hysteria and its results and effects are only going to get worse. As I wrote previously in other essays, one of the differences between the power of the old ruling classes and the ruling class power in T.S. is that in order to maintain their power the Powers-that-be (“PTB”) of the Ancients and even up to the Age of Enlightenment were expected to maintain their power by leading at the front not just by delegation and technique. If the Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Royalty of World War I had to actually be in the trenches to fight that War in the same way Caesar, Alexander the Great, and even George Washington and Napoleon had to be, it could be argued they would not have been in such a hurry to start it nor to fight it and history would have been very different. If politicians and government employees were laid off work without pay in the same way small business owners and working class employees were thrown out during the last few months, guaranteed the lock-outs or lockdowns would have lasted for maybe a couple of weeks at worse and not for months.

 
The handling of the Chinese Virus over the last few months is a perfect example of how the problem of mass hysteria and collective delusion among the ruling classes and PTB can and most lightly will get worse. As I have analyzed in other writings, during the last few decades, science has stopped being science in the classical sense of being a source of explanation for anything. Hard science now solely provides descriptions giving pragmatic value or truth: it gives predictions that can be empirically tested and falsified. The best example of this is physics. It has two major descriptive theories worshiped by scientism: quantum mechanics and relativity. These are great theories with enormous pragmatic truth in their wordgame arenas. They are inconsistent with each other and are riddled with internal inconsistencies. So, what is the only truth physicists know about them: through proof by contradiction, they and we know they are both false and are not truthful explanations of anything outside their pragmatic value. This gets worse for the soft sciences and for a pseudo-science like virology and even for most of biology. Most of biology and almost all of virology are now stuck in the statistical and data science world of genetics whose only descriptions consist of statistical models or probability models; biology has in essence become glorified bookmaking different in degree but not in substance to the bookies at the local track or the bookmakers in Las Vegas creating odds for horse racing or for anything. Like bookies, virologists and most biologists in genetics are never proven wrong nor proven right nor can they be — if something goes wrong or right, simply change the assumptions in the statistical model so it will hopefully look aesthetically better next time. If a 50-1 horse wins, the bookie is not falsified because there is always a chance of any horse winning; but the odds of winning must be changed next time. If a 1-2 horse losses, again, the bookie is not falsified; sometimes even winners lose. Simply change the odds next time.

 
Bookies can live in such an arbitrary and random world because their goal in the end is not to be truthgivers giving explanations of why some horses win and some lose but to make money — they live in a pragmatic world firmly grounded in reality. This is not true for scientism and especially not true for those scientists who see themselves as truthgivers of explanations. They do not and cannot admit to being bookies. They are gods explaining the universe. Thus when they create a statistical model, it must be taken seriously as truth and outright dogma that negates, supercedes, or cancels out all other wordgames of reality including any opposition to their models and especially purely normative concepts such as freedom that cannot be quantified. This is a will to power need. Like the assassination of what should have been an insignificant member of a disappearing royal family, this will to power need should be at most one of countless factors used in a holistic political decision-making process and not a dispositive one. However, when this need serves and satisfies an equally fervent need for power and explanation held by a political PTB or ruling class, there is a perfect foundation for ruling class hysteria and collective delusion. Such mass hysteria and collective delusion is as qualitatively detrimental to the human soul and its freedoms as World War I was quantitatively to human population.

 
In the last few months, I have watched the people of the United States and most of Western Civilization become a bunch of sheep. They have willingly tossed away their freedom of speech, assembly, religion, petitioning of the government, and much more including losing their jobs and seemingly their economic future solely to give a bunch of bookies and the politicians who pay them a source of meaning in their selfish will-to-power lives. How sad. Hopefully at least, these same PTB will soon invent Soma so as to keep these sheep happy in their pens. “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.” — Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World”.

“Scientists Say …”: Scientist or Technician?

The withdrawal of philosophy into a “professional” shell of its own has had disastrous consequences. The younger generation of physicists, the Feynmans, the Schwingers, etc., may be very bright; they may be more intelligent than their predecessors, than Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Boltzmann, Mach and so on. But they are uncivilized savages, they lack in philosophical depth — and this is the fault of the very same idea of professionalism which you are now defending.
— Lakatos, Imre; Feyerabend, Paul. “For and Against Method: Including Lakatos’s Lectures on Scientific Method and the Lakatos-Feyerabend Correspondence”. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Ill. (1999) at Appendix B, 1969 letter to Feyerabend’s Berkeley philosophy chair Wallace Matson.

Not sure if Feyerabend’s above criticism is directed at philosophers or at scientists; if at scientists, it is not warranted. Even if scientists are becoming “uncivilized” technicians in the sense they lack any holistic philosophy for their scientific wordgames, given the power of science in Technological Society (TS) and its potential for abuse by the Powers-that-be (PTB), such becoming of technicians is not necessarily a bad thing. It may in fact be the only option TS gives for continuing working class struggle against the PTB by scientists as they like everyone else in TS become wages slaves. What would make it disastrous and what most likely is happening is they are becoming not only wage slave technicians but technicians for whom the wordgame of science is a religion or at least a religious cult controlled by the PTB so as to control them. With such becoming, science is no longer science but a propaganda tool and what is supposed to be its pragmatic and instrumental truth instead becomes a dogma tool for the PTB to use for their power as an end-in-itself. As contemplated in other essays, the PTB through the normative power of their ethics and its monopoly on violence that is the law create a world in their image in which power is an end-in-itself. Because science is conceptually a descriptive and empirical instrumentalist wordgame concerned only with pragmatic power over nature and not over the supernatural, it lacks normative concepts of ultimate value and thus it is inherently open to the temptation of becoming a god for those seeking power on earth; at the same time it is not open to being directly subjugated to any normative wordgames (i.e., science is just as viable a wordgame under fascism as it is in a democracy). The only way to subjugate it is by converting its wordgame into a cult or religion having a normative form of life controlled by the PTB. We saw this at work in the recent Chinese Coronavirus debacle by the use of the phrase “scientists say” as justification by authority of whatever the PTB wanted be done (“Scientists Say …”).

 
Science was never intended to be either a cult or a religion. It demands skepticism toward all teleological views of life and at worse the only non-pragmatic limitation on its instrumentalist methodology is aesthetic: “[s]ince all models are [eventually] wrong, the scientist cannot obtain a ‘correct’ one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist so overelaboration and overparameterization are often the mark of mediocrity.” — Box, G.E.P. “Science and Statistics”. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 71, No. 356 (1976). p. 792. Conceptually, the religious can be scientific wordgame players but the scientific cannot be religious wordgame players because in the latter form of life science becomes as dogmatic as religion. The religious can place aside their religious beliefs and be total skeptics while doing science because to them science is simply a tool and not their meaning in life nor an end-in-itself. However, if science is your religion, one cannot put it aside without putting aside one’s meaning in life or the end-in-itself of being a scientist. Thus for one whose religion or meaning in life is science, one cannot be a total skeptic while doing science; instead one must accept scientific concepts as the dogma of one’s religion.

 
The recent worldwide Chinese Coronavirus debacle is the most recent example of the power of this scientific conversion: something known as statistical modeling calling itself a science and calling their conclusions “scientists say” was accepted on faith and by the authority of the PTB using the word “science” to generate dogma accepted as true without skepticism. Though statistical modeling is more of a gambling methodology similar to what bookies and Wall Street do than being a scientific wordgame, statistical modelers have been calling themselves “scientists” in order to establish their normative power within the PTB and are getting away with calling what they say as “scientists say”. The problem with calling statistical modeling a science is that like so many pseudo-sciences it does not limit itself to finding correlations as data science does nor in making predictions that can be falsified such as scientists and even bookies do with their instrumental statistical modeling nor does it deal in any type of holistic reasoning. Data science comes up with many potentially pragmatically useful correlations that can be used for normative decisionmaking but it cannot value one normative decision over another nor provide an explanation for any correlation; thus it does not need holistic reasoning. Those who use data science correlations to make normative arguments are supposed to be doing the holistic reasoning (i.e, there is a 99.79% correlation between spending on science, space, and technology and suicide by hanging, therefore we should reduce such spending to reduce suicide by hanging is a sound and valid normative argument based on data science but is still holistically irrational in terms of holistic social viability.) Bookies and Wall Street change the odds in their models as win, lost, place, and other data come in so when they lose the odds are then changed so they will win and they do this holistically (i.e., bookies set odds for the whole race not just one horse and change those odds so they will win for the whole race regardless of what individual horse wins or loses or places; Wall Street hedges their bets by creating hedge funds in case their modeling fails and incorporates those hedges into their modeling). The statistical modeling of the Chinese Coronavirus however sought to explain instead of just describing; it did not just give odds and the basis for those odds but gave explanations of what is occurring and then gave normative conclusions as to what ought to be occurring to avoid what their explanations say will occur; furthermore, statistical modeling explanations are not done holistically (i.e., hedging their conclusions of virus deaths against deaths that would correlate with the effects of their conclusions).

 
Unfortunately, any explanation and normative conclusion can be supported by statistical modeling if the necessary premises for that explanation and conclusion are assumed in the modeling. In statistical modeling as with all wordgames that want to explain instead of just describe, we can make 2+2=5 as long as we assume the premise that the first 2 in any equation equals 3 and hope no one notices in the convoluted mess of numbers and premises that will be given to hoi polloi. What really happens with statistical models that are treated as science is that if their explanations and conclusions are aesthetically pleasing and are presented so that the PTB can use them to generate fear and achieve more power, they are dogmatically accepted as truth through the authority of the PTB and its use of the words “scientists say”. Thus, what are supposed to be just wordgame models of what could happen if all the assumed premises are accurate are treated as scientific dogma in a religious sense based on authority without the chance or ability for anyone outside the PTB to review or challenge the soundness and validity of the modeling — i.e., the PTB shutdown the world in the name of “scientists say” and for the common good when really it was just a few scientists say and for power as an end-in-itself for the PTB. Most of the world complied with this shutdown order without even seeing the data let alone without analyzing it and actually doing the math — most likely the vast majority could not do the math even if they had seen the data and premises. The authority of “scientists say” and the PTB is accepted in the same way one accepts the religious dogma of a religion in which one has faith. See “Scientists Say …”

 
Conceptually, can we have science in TS without it also being a religion? Yes, we can. But, whether TS will allow for such or whether it can occur without acceptance of nihilism as a morality is an additional question. Consider the following statements:

It is a dogma of the Roman Church that the existence of God can be proved by natural reason. Now this dogma would make it impossible for me to be a Roman Catholic. If I thought of God as another being like myself, outside myself, only infinitely more powerful, then I would regard it as my duty to defy him.

If you want to quarrel with God, that means you have a false concept of God. You are superstitious. You have an incorrect concept when you get angry with fate. You should rearrange our concepts. Contentment with your fate ought to be the first command of wisdom.

— “Doubt, Ethics and Religion: Wittgenstein and the Counter-Enlightenment”. Edited by Luigi Perissinotto Ontos Verlag: New Brunswick, NJ. (2013) p. 45 & n. 4.

At first glance, these statements seem to have nothing to do with science in TS but this first impression is inaccurate. I place them here because they give a foundation for further contemplation by any reader of the essays here on the nature of science in its TS form in which its technicians are expected by the PTB to have science as their religion.

 
As with anything proposed by the PTB, if the PTB say that the nature of the universe, its beginning, its existence, and its future can be explained by the instrumentalist and reasoning of science or of anything pragmatic, working class wage slave technicians as with anything promoted by the PTB should immediately be suspicious — if they want to continue the working class struggle against the PTB that is. If they do not but are willing to accept the end of class struggle and thus of history, of course, it does not matter as nothing else about TS would matter if one does not care. Science as religion as with any religion does not change the nihilist nature of the universe: it is meaningless; there is no truth or knowledge other than knowing my existence; and it has no ultimate value until the nihilist gives it meaning and value by a leap to belief in meaning and value for it.

 

The PTB want their scientists to be religious: believing in the god of science and thus not seeing themselves as technicians but as followers and believers of a true faith. They control this true faith as they control all other faiths in TS. Forget them. Forget Feyerabend’s, Ellul’s, Sartre’s, and many other intellectuals’ ridicule of technicians as somehow uncivilized hoi polloi or as inauthentic waiters. Reject this religion they promote. Nihilistically reject it all and them. Go ahead and accept your fate of being an uncivilized technician free of secular religion and secular religious dogma and thus free to be skeptical of all who claim to know not only the nature of life and the universe but of what you ought to be doing with your life. If you are going to believe in something, let it be something to which you leap not something to which the PTB want you to leap so they can have power over you in their heaven on earth they seek to create in their image. With such freedom of skepticism you will be more of a scientist than any who accept by authority what “scientists say”. Remember, God is the ultimate nihilist.

 
I will end this essay with another statement that hopefully will promote thought on the present and future of the scientific language wordgame in TS:

Let them have their belief, if it gives them joy. Let them also give talks about that. ‘We touch the infinite!’ And some people say … ‘Ya ya, he says he touches the infinite.’ And some people say ‘Ya ya! He says he touches the infinite!’ But to tell the little children in school, ‘Now that is what the truth is,’ that is going much too far.

— (Horgan, J. (2016) “Was philosopher Paul Feyerabend really science’s “worst enemy”? Scientific American, Vol. 24, October. Retrieved from: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/was-philosopher-paul-feyerabend-really-science-s-worst-enemy/)

“Scientists Say …”

The truly apocalyptic view of the world is that things do not repeat themselves. It isn’t absurd, e.g., to believe that the age of science and technology is the beginning of the end for humanity; that the idea of great progress is a delusion; along with the idea that the truth will ultimately be known; that there is nothing good or desirable about scientific knowledge and that mankind, in seeking it, is falling into a trap. It is by no means obvious that this is not how things are. — Wittgenstein, Ludwig. “Culture and Value”. Trans., P. Winch. U. Of Chicago Press (Chicago, Ill. 1980) p. 56.

A common propaganda tool in TS (Technological Society) is to quote science or some scientist as support for whatever explicit or implicit normative values one may be proposing. This technique has become very obvious in the recent virus lock-down propaganda battles in which almost any soundbite or headline of value will begin with the phrase: “Scientists say …”. To anyone experienced in what scientists actually say, this phrase is immediate warning that whatever sentences follow this phrase should be viewed with skepticism at a minimum and perhaps with outright doubt. The reality of any so-called science that really is a science and not a pseudo-science pretending to be a science or an outright fraudulent science is that “scientists” do not “say” much of anything but “some scientists” say one thing and “some scientists” disagree with them often by concluding the exact opposite. Holistically, this disagreement through critical thought is used eventually to reach pragmatic truth: that is, not true or false propositions but sentences that solve the problem about which the scientists are arguing. The acceptance of this skeptical almost nihilist epistemic reality for science and then being able to continue doing science in a leap to hope of eventually achieving non-pragmatic knowledge is what makes the scientist more than just a technician.

 
As I have contemplated and argued in more detail elsewhere, scientific language is instrumentalist language. It does not deal in true or false sentences in the classical propositional sense but in sentences that are pragmatically true or false: they either work or do not work to solve a problem. Science does not give explanations of reality, it gives descriptions of reality that can be falsified and thus in a world lacking knowledge are used to achieve useful solutions to problems. As with reason, scientific language is a great tool and a great pragmatic improvement on normative descriptive language — especially that of ultimate value — which can only say what the world ought to be and gives no way of getting there nor even lets us know if there is a way of getting there. Though, ultimately, it is no more useful in giving life meaning than any other language. “We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course there is then no question left, and just this is the answer.” Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus at Prop. 6.52.

 
Real scientists disagree and are natural skeptics on everything. Everything that non-scientists assume as scientific truths are really only isolated sentences in a vast holistic collection of sets of inconsistent and incomplete hypotheses that are always subject to be proven false by the parameters of a future experiment. This is as true of the present so-called “hard” sciences as it is of the so-called “soft” sciences — many of which are not really sciences since many of their premises and descriptive sentences are tautologies that can never be falsified (i.e., evolution). The physicist Ernest Rutherford once said, “[a]ll science is either physics or stamp collecting.” Well, those glory days may be gone even for physics whose physicists are now stuck in a convoluted mess of contradictory and incomplete theories in which they must make up words such as “dark matter” and “dark energy” to hide the fact they do not know what makes up 95% of the universe. If pressed, most physicists at least would admit the mess in which they are. Such admission would most definitely not come from those who worship science (or concepts such as evolution) as the ultimate explanation of all that is life. The fact of the matter is that all science may become stamp collecting eventually if the technicians of science continue to have their way and allow propagandists to use them and scientists as tools in propaganda by allowing the propagandists to get away with saying “scientists say” as if they all say the same thing and by treating science either as dogmatic or worse as a discipline that is decided by consensus.

 
For an age that loves storytelling, there is an almost universally known and simple story that attacks this propaganda technique and shows it as the fraud it is: Galileo and his heliocentric theory of the solar system. In the 16th century, the almost universal consensus among scientists accepted an ergocentric model of the solar system in which everything revolved around the earth as first described by Ptolemy a couple of thousand years earlier. A small minority including Galileo argued for a heliocentric model in which the earth revolved around the sun as proposed by Aristarchus of Samos a couple of thousand years earlier. The Catholic Church had a trial; the scientists came to present their evidence; Galileo had no opposing evidence or experts since he lacked the necessary mathematics at that time; and thus deciding the science by scientific consensus, the Church ordered Galileo to stop teaching his heliocentric theory as foundational truth but allowed him to continue contemplation of it as theory — which eventually allowed him to develop the mathematics to make his heliocentric model become the dominant consensus. Thanks to Einstein, we now know they were all wrong and both theories have been falsified; space and motion are relative, either model would work but the heliocentric one is much simpler mathematically and thus it is accepted as true pragmatically. Now that the consensus of physicists accepts Einstein’s mathematical models as descriptive, are they foundationally true and not subject to doubt? They better not be so accepted or physics is no longer a science but stamp collecting.

 
Getting into serious analysis and contemplation of the nature of scientific language may be beyond the capabilities and skills of many who quote what “scientists say” but it should not be if one is going to go around treating such phrases as dogmatic authority. The Galileo story is a simple and readily available means to understand what is going on if there were a genuine desire to understand what is going on by those who propagate the “scientists say” propaganda and by those who blindly or dogmatically accept it as true. Even if one is not able to look up the data and do the math, if one is going to read any “scientists say” propaganda should one at least be honest enough to know there must be disagreement out there by opposing scientists and should one not be so lazy as to avoid finding it and contemplating it? As always, what should be and what is are very different and incompatible. The dishonesty and the laziness of accepting “scientists say” propaganda exists and is the norm, this is why the phrase is so powerful and omnipresent by the Powers-that-be (PTB). As I have contemplated elsewhere, this dishonesty and laziness are the unavoidable reality of TS because there is a need to make science a religion. I have argued that the only way to deal with this TS reality is by accepting nihilism as a morality. But, how would this work with scientists themselves? Can scientists avoid being used and useful as propaganda tools through nihilism?

 
The philosopher of science Paul Feyeraband wrote in a letter:

The withdrawal of philosophy into a “professional” shell of its own has had disastrous consequences. The younger generation of physicists, the Feynmans, the Schwingers, etc., may be very bright; they may be more intelligent than their predecessors, than Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Boltzmann, Mach and so on. But they are uncivilised savages, they lack in philosophical depth – and this is the fault of the very same idea of professionalism which you are now defending.

Though I would not go as far as calling modern and post-modern physicists uncivilized savages; but, just as with philosophers, their need to make language — in the case of physicists, it would be the language of mathematics — more real than reality does threaten to convert them from scientists not only to technicians but to technicians who do not care if what they say becomes propaganda for the PTB. Is there a way to avoid such conversion? I will argue next — consistent with my arguments before — that acceptance by scientists of nihilism as a morality is the only way to avoid such conversion of a scientist to being a technician that worships science as one’s religion.

The Fading Out Of Objective Truth / Part II

Even a creature that is weak, ugly, cowardly, smelly, and in no way justifiable still wants to stay alive and be happy after its own passion.
— George Orwell, “Such, Such Were the Joys”, p. 284 of “Facing Unpleasant Facts”, a collection of Orwell’s essays compiled by George Packer. Mariner Books: N.Y., N.Y. (2008).

John Rawls is one of the gods of 20th Century moralism and political liberalism. Having supposedly lost his Christian faith during World War II, he preceded to spend his whole life after the War recreating the Christian God in an image in which he could have faith through political liberalism. Born a Patrician, he worked his whole life after the War as a professor at Harvard. Rawls’ arguments for principles of “social justice as fairness” use a thought experiment consisting of a hypothetical veil of ignorance. Citizens making choices about what the attributes of a society are supposed to be ought to do so from an “original position” of a “veil of ignorance” in which they will not know such things as what gender, race, abilities, tastes, wealth, position, and so forth they will have in that society. Rawls claims this will cause them to choose “fair” policies. Nice idea, problem is he did not go far enough nor did he see that for this hypothetical to work it must actually consist of two veils: one veil for the society we create and one veil for the reality that created us. He did not continue this veil of ignorance into ignorance of who if anyone would be altruistically willing to engage in such reasoning or who if anyone would even care about fairness for anyone but themselves. He did not continue it into ignorance of truth overall or of knowledge of anything except our ignorance, including ignorance of such things as fairness, the nature of language, justice, supposed natural rights for all, and most definitely ignorance of whether there even are such things as equal rights for all and much else that moralists assume as the Good despite claiming subjectivity of values as the Good. He did not continue it into now knowing the meaning of life. If he had done so, he might have been on to something. Instead of just being a hypothetical game, this veil or more accurately these two veils of ignorance would be a really rational means for normative especially for nihilist normative decision making: decision making by which the individual person seeks power over reality, over society, and over the Other in order viably to give life meaning.

Rawls did not go further to assume a veil of complete ignorance and thus nihilism because though he pretended and doubtless meant to be talking to all participants in society regardless of their particular characteristics such as ethnicity, social status, gender, race, physical and mental abilities, conception of the Good, and so forth so as to enforce a universal standard of normative values, he was not really talking to all. In reality, such talk is meant for and has meaning only for the few in a given society who have the power to control its normative values as I have been arguing in all my writings. Most of humanity, regardless of poverty or wealth, is just trying to survive in their personal struggle against reality both existentially and socially created. Requiring or assuming that any significant portion or even a small portion of humanity will go through their daily lives making decisions by forcing themselves to think they are what they are not or to assume they might never be what they are is a serious delusion blind to our Heart of Darkness. Rawls was preaching to the few Powers with the time and power in life to concentrate on creating a world in their image hoping they will ignore their Heart of Darkness to create a Christian world without the Christ. Nice try but just as delusional. In the end, as with all delusional moralists varying from Aquinas to Nietzsche, he created simply another wordgame of techniques for social engineering to keep the Powers in power creating a world in their image.

Going further with Rawls’ hypothetical as required by Acceptance of Nihilism, the veil of ignorance must actually be two veils of ignorance: one over the reality that created us and one over the reality society creates. Further, for our nihilism, this technique cannot be said to deal with good, evil, fairness, justice, the Good, nor the other usual aesthetic dogmatic language of morality and ethics but with the only attribute and state of affairs that matters: power — how to achieve it and how to control it.

We have no idea why there is something instead of nothing. Life has no meaning other than existence and it exists for no particular or general purpose other than existence. The “No Miracles” argument for scientific realism is unsound and fallacious. It only works because the advocates and worshipers of science as religion use words such as “approximately”, “essentially”, “closely”, “most accurately”, and so forth to argue it. In practice, there are multiple contradictory assumptions and conclusions among scientific theories in those few sciences that are still trying to derive holistic explanations for reality. Contradictory assumptions can prove any argument true; contradictory conclusions disprove all arguments. Further, saying that scientific reality must be true because miracles cannot be true is begging the question. It is accurate to say that scientific realism offers the simplest explanation of why the laws of physics are the same in Tokyo as in London or on Mars and as to why certain theories “approximately”, “essentially”, “closely”, or “most accurately” align with certain experiments, but as to the life of an individual which is all that matters to individual life, no science can prove to the individual that we will see tomorrow, see the sun rise tomorrow, give life, or take life.  The undisputed universal fact is that for those that will die during the night, the sun will not rise tomorrow. Seeing the sun tomorrow is as much a miracle for any individual waking in Technological Society as it was in the Stone Age regardless of whether we are the product of evolutionary genetic physical forces or by the design of an omniscient and omnipotent being. A miracle explanation of why science works is just as sound and valid as a “No Miracles” explanation. Regardless of the actual existence of the universe, we are ignorant as to whether this existence is necessary or contingent. We also most definitely know that my, our, and any individual’s existence are contingent — other than maybe taxes, death is the one certainty in reality. The individual life is a miracle to the individual and no one including science, science as religion, or religion has any rational basis to deny this existential miracle.

Thanks to science, we have probabilistic and statistical methodology that allows us to create predictive value out of some of our theories about reality but that is it. And, that is enough. We want power over reality: power to live and to give life meaning. Looking through our veil of ignorance to this reality, regardless of whether we are “weak, ugly, cowardly, smelly, and in no way justifiable” or the most distinguished of academic elites creating wordgames that bind even God, we are entitled to choose and ought to choose that which gives us the most power over the reality from which we came and to which it is trying to get us to return: be it the Big Bang, evolution, physical matter, dirt, God, or whatever. The veil of ignorance by which we see this reality allows us and if we have made the leap to wanting to live even requires us to force or at least to try to force upon the reality that created us choices that give us the most power to control this reality so as to live and prosper in it. This is the first “original position” by which the nihilist makes normative decisions of ultimate evaluation and perspective value.

However, the veil of ignorance by which most of us view the reality created by society — most notably by its language — does not allow us to know the power by which we can control social reality; the opposite is the case, at any given time except for a small minority in society, we are at its control and under its power. For that small minority of Powers-that-be, during the time they are Powers, they create the normative wordgame that controls social reality and thus by definition they are not in an original position of ignorance but one of knowledge because they are the ones that define both and thus are irrelevant to this contemplation. Unless we become one of these few, our only control of social reality is by struggling against it. Thus, if we make a leap to life as a nihilist, the “original position” of our veil of ignorance rationally requires beliefs that would give us social power but then acts or doing the opposite required by those beliefs: the veil of ignorance by which we see social reality, again if we have made the leap to wanting to live, requires us to act upon this social reality, upon the Other, and upon ourselves not on the belief that gives us power to control it but less power so as to live and prosper in it. It is only by believing in what will achieve power and by then taking the opposite action can we control the few that seek and have power as an end-in-itself endangering my individual meaning and power for life.

Let me exemplify this technique using examples from my prior essay. Assume James Watson — a Nobel laureate who in 1953 co-created the double-helix structure of DNA thus giving us a lot of power over the reality of birth, physical health, forensic investigation, and much more — has offered to give you a seminar regarding molecular biology. Also, assume he is a fanatic racist advocating segregation of a supposed Aryan race from other races. Regardless of whether DNA may simply be an instrumental “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”, from our original position of ignorance of natural reality, the nihilist choice is to accept his offer and actually to allow the seminar to try to gain some power over natural reality. Now, assume you are a fanatic racist nihilist yourself. In which case, to empower your racism you need to act upon and to empower his racism so all of you can act upon it. However, as a nihilist, you know that in the end regardless of racism or no racism, the end result will be the same with the Powers using your normative choices and acts to empower themselves over your individual life; so, despite your belief in the language of racism, you oppose giving yourself, Watson, or anyone any power affirmatively to act upon the language of racism. Assume you are not a racist; in which case, you will believe in the power to act against racism. However, again, as a nihilist, you know that in the end racism or no racism, the end result will be the same with the Powers using your normative choices and acts upon them to empower themselves over your individual life; so, despite your belief in language against racism, you oppose giving yourself or any others who are against racism any power affirmatively to act upon your language against racism. In the choices available, the end result is the same: Watson gives the seminar but is not allowed to act upon any racism (he can only speak about his beliefs) just as those against his racism cannot act upon it.

Another example is my CAT problem of the previous essay. At a certain point in our original position of ignorance of natural reality, CATs were the most powerful solution over the natural reality of smog and the nihilist rational choice through this veil of ignorance would be empower CATs and thus to empower our individual life over nature. However, through the veil of ignorance covering social reality, regardless of whether the nihilist supports CATs to thus believe in empowering them or opposed them so as not to believe in empowering, the required nihilist action is not to give anyone a monopoly on violence to enforce CATs.

Obviously, this “two veil” nihilist reasoning is at a very basic level and needs the details to be worked out. Rawls’ two books A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism working out his one veil of ignorance total about 1500 pages depending on the editions. I have to start somewhere. One more exemplification that may help to jump-start the working out is a contemplation of how these two veils may work out in a democracy.

 

The Fading Out Of Objective Truth / Part I

This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world.
— George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War”, p. 154        of “Facing Unpleasant Facts”, a collection of Orwell’s essays compiled by George Packer. Mariner Books: N.Y., N.Y. (2008).

 

What Orwell feared has occurred, the concept of objective truth has faded out of Technological Society. This disappearance does not result nor is it explained by any metaphysical “social construct” explanations but results solely from the practical reality that there is simply too much of it. Because of the power of Technological Society to measure, experience, and describe reality, our senses and minds are inundated with so much objective truth that it exceeds our individual ability to understand it either holistically or atomistically — irrespective of how one defines “truth’. For most working persons, we know the objective truth of only a small part of the reality with which we work but that is it. This is true of the work and life of everyone from the least educated service worker forced by the needs of reality to specialize in provision of detailed services to a specific clientele to the most educated of scientists forced by the vastness of their studies to specialize in either its theoretical, mathematical/theoretical, experimental, observational, forensic, or some other specific aspect of their science. To function in Technological Society, we must at some point reach Acceptance (acceptance of a statement as true) of the Storytelling stated to us by others about their esoteric corner of reality and weave it into our individual Storytelling and Acceptance of life so as to create a viable social interaction and society. The universal consolation of such fading away of objective truth is that the Other is just as ignorant of objective truth as we are.  So, why should we accept anything the Other says as true; why should they accept anything we say as true? In this cloud of ignorance, vagueness, and indeterminacy, how is Acceptance even possible except through propaganda and by the force of authority of those who control propaganda to seek the power of conning us into Acceptance of their truth as an end in itself? The first step in answering these questions is Acceptance without fear of this fading away of objective truth; unfortunately, we must reject Orwell on this issue. The next steps are not conceptual. This fading is a practical problem that requires practical solutions not more idealism nor conceptualization.

 
This new world lacking in objective truth can be contemplated even in the simplest of technical problems without getting anywhere close to any of the complicated and convoluted technical, philosophical, social, and even individual emotional happiness issues facing society. For example, this week I was faced with the question of replacing my car’s catalytic converter (CAT). This seems to be a straightforward question with a necessarily required answer: CAT gone back, so replace with new one at great expense. These are truths that demand Acceptance. Unfortunately, I am personally knowledgeable about the historical and technical process that lead to this Acceptance and thus am able to question it. Back in the day when most cars had carburetors, unless carburetors were well tuned and well tuned on a regular basis (such as weekly which no one except a few motorheads ever did), they were only fuel efficient in a narrow operating band thus there was always some excess fuel dumped into the exhaust system resulting in the smog you can see in photographs of most US cities in the 1960’s and 70’s. The catalytic converter was designed to chemically burn off that excess fuel and thus reduce smog: the carbon monoxide (CO) is converted to carbon dioxide (CO2); nitrogen oxides (NOx) are broken down into nitrogen gas (N2) and oxygen gas (O2); and hydrocarbons (HC) are converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Sounds good and worked great with those smog filled photos of US cities disappearing by the late 80’s. However, at the same time there was technical progress occurring so that by the start of the 21st Century carburetors are rare even in the cheapest of cars and motorcycles most of which now have fuel injectors instead of carburetors. Fuel injectors controlled by computers can change the fuel/air mixture as often as 1/100th of second and are now the norm. In this type of reality, I and many knowledgeable engineers and scientists argue catalytic converters are a waste and do more harm than good in many ways including by the need for mining and refining of rare metals such as platinum for their manufacture. Now, not only can all the benefits of a CAT be achieved by proper tuning of fuel injected engines, such tuning would provide more power, more fuel efficiency, and more reliable engines with resulting cleaner air at far less expense for these better results. A humorous anecdote on this issue is the fact that at one point during this historical process fuel injection would not create the excess fuel and heat necessary to bring CATs up to their necessary operating temperatures, so “smog pumps” were added to engines to create higher temperature exhausts; that is, smog was created so that the CAT could remove it. As far as I am concerned, anyone who is truly morally concerned about clean air, the environment, supposed global warming, fuel efficiency, the reduction of overall pollution both air and land and so forth should remove their CAT from their fuel injected cars and do some cheap re-tuning so as to run without it. Problem is, such removal would be a criminal violation of the federal Clean Air Act and many state laws.

 
How do you know any of my statements about CATs are true? You do not. It took me years of experience working on cars and the necessary background education to reach these conclusions — or did it? Maybe I am just full of shit and bull-shitting you? Maybe all I care about is getting an extra 5% in horsepower by removing the CAT and could not care less about fuel efficiency or clean air? How would you resolve these questions? Spend the days if not weeks necessary to get the foundation education and experience that would allow you to personally inspect the detailed, convoluted, and complicated objective reality of CATs so as to make your own individual conclusion? Spend hours viewing the conflicting articles, blogs, opinions, and so-called expert analysis available on the internet for and against CATs to find some opinion you trust and can accept? Since CATs are required by law, maybe you should have the government resolve this dispute by holding hearings, examining and cross-examining all sides of the issue, and making objective findings? So, do you have the lobbying money necessary for spending on professional lobbyists to contact government officials to get them to question the Acceptance of CATS and begin the process for such hearings? Do you have the lobbying money necessary to cancel out the lobbying money that would be spent by those who profit off CATs to oppose you? Do you have the time and resources to do such lobbying yourself instead of hiring a professional? Even if your lobbying is successful and you get a hearing, who will make the final decision? A politician? A qualified engineer or scientist? Who will decide whether the engineer or scientist is qualified? Who will decide the politician is qualified to make the final decision on such a technical issue?

 
Most likely, unless you are a motorhead for whom the joy of engine horsepower cancels out the threat of violence from the monopoly on violence called the law, what you will do is just bite the bullet, accept the Acceptance of CAT, comply with the law, and spend money installing a new CAT. By default, the law is the final arbiter on this issue. As you should do; most people have more important problems to deal with in their lives than the morality of their CAT. As Camus complained, “[n]obody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” Being normal and surviving life by being normal is not a sin, it is usually the only option allowed for survival in Technological Society as anything close to being a free individual.

 
Now translate this CAT contemplation into the voluminous amount of bigger objective truth problems faced by Technological Society varying from questions of what the age requirements for voting in a democracy ought to be to the whether the use of zoos is a social good or an unethical treatment of animals and all the problems in between. How would you come to understand and epistemically synthesize the objective truths of reality available to you in all these questions to reach true answers? Will you spend the days, weeks, months, perhaps years necessary to get the foundation education and experience that would allow you to personally inspect the detailed, convoluted, and complicated objective reality of all of them so as to reach your own individual conclusions? Spend an similar amount of time viewing the conflicting articles, blogs, opinions, and so-called expert analysis available on the internet for and against all of them to find some opinion you trust and rely on it? Rely on the law and its Inner and Outer Party elites to decide for you? Trust a qualified politician? Trust a qualified engineer or scientist? Trust a qualified something else? Who will decide whether the politician, engineer, scientist, or whatever is qualified? If science cannot accurately predict the weather 10 days from now, why should you trust them to predict the weather 100 years from now for purpose of making “global warming” decisions? Perhaps, the best option is just to flip a coin and take your chances? Perhaps, just trust those you like and thus award charisma and supposed niceness as a person with Acceptance of their truth. “[F]or while every one well knows himself to be fallible, few think it necessary to take any precautions against their own fallibility or admit the supposition that any opinion of which they feel very certain may be one of the examples of the error to which they acknowledge themselves to be liable.” — John Stuart Mill, On Liberty at Chapter II “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion” (1859).

 
This issue of trusting experts and of determining qualifications of experts for purposes of Acceptance is an especially important and pertinent issue in Technological Society because the objective reality for resolving of this issue involves the same complicated and convoluted mess of facts and states of affairs that results in the fading away of objective truth from the other aspects of objective reality. The problem gets worse when ruling class ideology — ethics that is — and morality get involved. Because “moral character and ethics matter more than science”, the University of Illinois disqualified James Watson, a Nobel laureate who in 1953 created the double-helix structure conceptualization of DNA, from speaking at the University of Illinois on DNA which is something about which he is undisputedly a qualified expert; according to University of Illinois associate professor Kate Clancy, Watson is or may be a racist and thus is disqualified from opining on any aspect of objective reality and anything he says is by definition not objective reality. Many including myself have ridiculed the University for this action but admittedly they do have a point though it is not the point they are making. Expertise, even undisputed expertise, in one aspect of objectively true reality does not make objectively true one’s other opinions in other areas nor one’s general opinions on reality and especially not one’s normative evaluative or perspective opinions on objective reality. Quite the opposite, usually expertise in one area because of the time and resources spend concentrating and specializing one’s knowledge in that one area leads to unfounded and outright delusional conclusions in other areas for which one lacks time to study. Historically, Martin Heidegger and even Adolf Hitler were well qualified geniuses in some areas of thought such as continental philosophy for the former and political and military strategy for the latter but they were racist Nazis much of whose other thought despite their intelligence was and is totally delusional and incompetent as any basis for Acceptance.

 
A more recent exemplification of this point is the power of genius intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, and even a Jacques Derrida who arguably should be disqualified from giving any expert social and political commentary and opinion that results in discretionary power outside their specialties. These three truly are gods in their respective fields of linguistics and continental philosophy of language but this god complex makes them want to create a world in their image regardless of whether that image has anything to do with what reality is or may be — they are completely delusional once they leave the wordgame world they created to seek power over reality. Chomsky single-handedly created the wordgame of modern analytic linguistics with its generative and transformational grammar changing a simple sentence such as “the dog ate the bone” into something such as “[S [NP [D The ] [N dog ] ] [VP [V ate ] [NP [D the ] [N bone ] ] ] ]”; the complexity of these grammars when applied to any analysis of anything even remotely more complicated in language than a simple object/predicate sentence would confound even the most genius of physicists and mathematicians and their equally complicated grammars and syntax for the language of mathematics. Foucault and Derrida ingeniously created wordgames that treat the language for describing reality as if it were reality. As Wittgenstein pointed out in his writings on mathematics, the power of wordgames is that their rules bind even God: even for an omnipotent and omniscient being to understand what we mean for example by a simple phrase such as “the seventh digit of π”, this being would have to know the semantic and syntax rules of English and the mathematical rules for calculating π to seven digits and then would actually have to do the calculation — that is God would have to follow the rules of our social construct wordgames to understand them. No one can just know “the seventh digit of π”, it must be calculated; perhaps calculated outside of time and space by God but it must be calculated. In essence, God would have to become a Man to understand our social construct language — no doubt this conclusion makes Christians happy at least. Having the power to bind God through one’s wordgame creation understandably makes one a god. This is why persons such as Chomsky, Foucault, and Derrida and all worshipers of social construct language as reality are dangerous if given the power through a monopoly on violence to create a world in their image — think intellectual power joined with political power such as with a Lenin, Bukharin, Mao, or any of the many others whose thoughts were the foundation of the numerous communist genocides of the 20th Century responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions.

 
Luckily, the former three unlike the latter three are purely academic intellectuals and cowards who do not have the stomach to do their own killing. They prefer to act as prophets for those who are willing to do the killing; they are only competent outside of their created wordgames as preachers pontificating delusions to their worshipers — this is why I find them scary and would disqualify them from pontificating if I had the power to do so. Which is why I do not seek nor should be given such power; unlike them and their worshipers, I admit my temptations and act to avoid acting upon them.

 
For practical reasons based on the limited ability of the human mind to understand the vast quantity of objective truths available in reality through the sense experience provided by Technological Society, the concept of objective truth along with the hope of maintaining this concept through Acceptance of those in authority as qualified to provide us with objective reality have already or will soon fade away and rightly so. This fading away is the one objective truth remaining. Now what? The first step is the doing away of the fear felt by Orwell so as to gain Acceptance of this fading away in order to provide not conceptual replacement but practical solutions for this practical problem. Throughout history, practical inventions very often have preceded conceptual explanations for those inventions: from the ancient Greek aeolipile to Michael Faraday’s inventions of the transformer, the electric motor, and the electric dynamo or generator. It was Watt’s invention of the steam engine that led to the science of thermodynamics and not the other way around; it was Faraday’s inventions that created the need for the science of electromagnetism and not the around way around.

 

Because of the complexity of Technological Society, lone inventions by lone inventors may be a thing of the past but the realization and rejection of the fear of having lost objective truth is a something that requires Acceptance by the individual before it can proceed to social Acceptance. By such Acceptance, I do not mean the hypocritical and inconsistent acceptance preached by social justice theory and by most worshipers of science and law as religions by which they ridicule as subjective anything with which they disagree but accept and require everyone to accept under threat of violence their agreed truth as objectively true. Before we can leap to the next practical steps, there must be a nihilist Acceptance without fear not only “that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world” but also that this fading is a good thing allowing humanity to proceed to the next leap of faith in life.

Evolution

One item left out of my last essay complaining about delusions that have taken over political debate is the concept of evolution. It is such an assumed part of life that even I assume it as a given that it is a useful concept. Everything from a single cell to the most convoluted questions of mind and body and of social and cultural states of affairs are described as having “evolved” or as the result of evolution. Except in esoteric areas of analytic philosophy dealing with epistemology and philosophy of science and among very abstract theoretic biologists and chemists, no one bothers to question why such a concept serves as a truly universal explanation of almost everything in life: the reason evolution is a god that can explain everything and anything is because the concept of “evolution” is a tautology. Tautologies are aesthetically beautiful and powerful because they are always necessarily true explanations of everything and can be used as premises in any argument because they will always be a true premise.

 

However, in science, tautologies are bad conceptually because they cannot be falsified. By any definition of science, something that cannot be falsified is not and cannot be a science regardless of its truth: i.e., “all bachelors are unmarried males” is undisputedly and clearly true, it is not science. Real scientists such as physicists are keenly aware of this problem. So for example, there is an ongoing dispute in physics presently as to whether the universal constant “c” that is the speed of light is a tautology. The present protocol for measuring time and distance are based on atomic oscillations within the cesium atom. The unit of time is defined by the frequency of atomic transitions in cesium atoms, and the unit of space is defined in terms of the distance traveled by light in that same unit of time. So, therefore c is essentially defined “one light-year per light-year”, i.e. The Physics Detective. Some philosophers of science have been making this argument since Newtonian physics were discovered or created (depends on your metaphysics). Since we measure the universe by distance and time with both measurements requiring parameters measured visually, the nature of vision must be a constant? Resolution of this issue is above my pay grade. But, this serves to exemplify the need to be aware of tautologies if one wants to call a concept “science” or to be a science.

 

In its humble beginnings, evolution was tautologically defined by “natural selection” in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Because “natural selection,” “preservation of favored races”, and “struggle for life” all reduce to the same concept once we accept that “struggle” includes reproduction as well as survival — as everyone does and must do for evolution to be an explanation. These humble beginnings were quickly forgotten as evolutionary biologists have tripped over themselves for decades trying to find a non-tautological definition of evolution including perhaps a workable recursive one but have failed miserably at these attempts. Popular attempts at doing so these days always include elements from formal logic to give them credibility. A typical attempt:

The Principle of Natural Selection: For all reproducing entities x and y, all environments E, and all generations n: if x is fitter than y in environment E at generation n, then probably there is some future generation n’, after which x has more descendants than y. — Godfrey-Smith, Peter. “Philosophy of Biology”. Princeton University Press: Princeton, N.J. (2014) p. 34.

 

Sounds good and no doubt such acceptable writing will help one get tenure in academia worshiping evolution, but the obvious question is how does one determine “fitter” — especially in humans. In the animal world, one can say that the “fitter” are those who survive and reproduce the most but this brings us back to a tautology. In the human world, even this definition of “fitter” fails miserably. Socrates, Alexander the Great, Jesus Christ, Julius Caesar, and on to Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and many more x’s were all fitter than the average y’s in any E by most definitions yet they had no descendants or none beyond their first generation n. In the human world, one can make an good argument that the actual principle of natural selection is that the less fit not the “fitter” are “probably” the ones with the most descendants.

 

The fact is that if the word “evolution” disappeared from biology including genetics, all of which are now based on the statistical and probabilistic analysis founded upon Mendel’s statistical studies, nothing would change or be lost pragmatically — only a secular god would be lost from the pantheon of secular gods we now have.

 

Instead of acknowledging this reality, the worshipers of the god of evolution deal with it by the common technique I call “assuming the contradiction”: they simply create another concept that assumes evolution as a truth under a different name so that the tautology and any contradictions it may cause nominally disappear. The present fad conceptualization is called “hyperadaptationism” or “Panglossian hyperadaptationism” that differentiates between serious evolutionary theory and comic evolutionary theory. The practitioners of this fad have their own conventions and blogs where they laugh at comic theories and of course take serious the serious theories, i.e.Panglossian Hyperadaptationism and Survival of the Funniest . How do they differentiate between comic and serious evolutionary theories? The same way psychologists differentiate between delusion and reality: they vote on them. If a majority agrees a theory is serious or real, then it is. If not, it is not. Pretty much as scientific as psychology or evolutionary theory can get.

 

So, again, if you want to hold or run a political office, get real:

Even if we took the most optimistic view possible, and assumed that in general men’s consciences have been approximately molded by evolutionary forces, the best we could hope for is that they should lay down principles which have been useful. Unlike the God it has replaced, natural selection cannot be supposed to possess or to embody foreknowledge.

If the human race perishes in a nuclear war, it may well be (although there will be no one alive to say it) that scientific beliefs did not, in a sufficiently long time scale, promote “survival”. Yet that will not have been because the scientific theories were not rationally acceptable, but because our use of them was irrational. In fact, if rationality were measured by survival-value, then the proto-beliefs of the cockroach, who has been around for tens of millions of years longer than we, would have a far higher claim to rationality than the sum total of human knowledge. — Putnam, Hilary. “Why Reason Can’t be Naturalized”. Synthese Vol. 52. pp. 3-23 (1982) at p. 5-6.

Ethics Is The Problem Not The Solution

The political writer Charles Krauthammer once said, “conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.” I guess my problem is that I think both are stupid and they both think I am evil. Funny word this “evil”. Except for suicidal or masochistic martyrs, it is a word individuals only apply to others. Even the worse persons I have met — such as murderers — always see themselves as good whereas everyone else is evil. According to the Dunning-Kruger Effect in statistics, the same may be true of stupidity: it is always the Other that is stupid, whereas I am smart. I have had it with both of them. They, conservatives and liberals, are both stupid and both evil. They are both because they are completely out of touch with reality due to their concern for what the world ought to be — the ruling class ideology of ethics — instead of what it is. Here are basic examples.

I.           Stop arguing and whining for or against socialism. The United States is a socialist state for a significant part of its population and will continue into socialism just as the rest of the world is doing unavoidably because Technological Society demands and needs it to take care of its wage slaves. Those over 65 years old in the United States live in the socialist world of Medicare, Social Security, subsidized elderly housing, and other government programs fiercely protected by their AARP lobbying. I remember a world before these socialist programs for the elderly; it sucked for the elderly. Those elderly without families that could afford to take care of them in their old age lived in miserable conditions both physically and mentally or died shortly after retiring. The poor in the United States live in a socialist world of Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and many other welfare programs. Again, I remember a world before welfare; it sucked for the poor also. They lived in miserable conditions both physically and mentally. A significant part of our population — more than any country in the world — lives in the socialist utopia called prison.

 
The only ones left out of this socialist world are the middle class and much of the working class. Both these groups now are made up of educated people working what were once called white collar jobs as distinct from blue collar jobs. The proletariat now includes teachers, middle management, educated professionals, and even intellectuals. Both of these groups now have children who expect a better life than what the poor or what their parents have or had. As wage slaves, this better future is not going to happen unless they unite and fight to take it from the Powers in the same way the working class and middle class unionized and fought and succeeded in fighting for a better life in the 20th Century. Those days are gone. There will be no unionizing, no unification of workers, and no rebellion. “Physical rebellion, or any preliminary move towards rebellion, is at present not possible”. — Orwell, George. 1984. Signet Classics Penguin Group: NY, NY (1977) at p. 210. The only option is to join the poor and the elderly in socialism; if you cannot fight them, join them is a rational strategy.

 

We need to find a way to preserve individual freedom in a socialist state to avoid an Orwellian 1984 future. Being in denial as to this reality or wasting energy on building something that will occur naturally by necessity in reality anyway is a waste and delusional. Doing either of these is both stupid and evil — viewed from my good. My good is as free and open a society as Technological Society can be. Unfortunately, that may not be that free or open. If so, we need to admit to it and start the historical material and spiritual struggle necessary for historical progress to continue into the next step — whatever that may be: anarchy or tyranny.

 

II.            Stop with the “correlation is not causation” nonsense. Causation is correlation with a correlation coefficient that approaches or is 1. Conservatives preach about the beauty and power of Western Civilization. Fine, then pull out a philosophy history book and read David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature and all that has been written since including modern instrumentalist philosophy of science from Bertrand Russell to Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen on their being no logical relationship of truth or false in science or even an empirical relationship of cause and effect other than experience of frequent association between objects. The political liberal battle cry that all is a social construct cannot be limited solely to their dis-favored social constructs; it includes all social constructs including cause and effect and especially including their secular religion of evolution that they use to explain everything from the smallest cell to the largest social and cultural entities when it is to their benefit. Evolution is a tautology; as a tautology, it cannot be falsified and thus it is not a science but a religion that can be used to explain anything as is true of all tautologies. Forget causation and explanation. Go to real religion if you want life explained for you, do not turn my beloved science into a religion for you secular needs.

 
In the modern world of massive amounts of data that no human being is capable of synthesizing, “correlation supersedes causation”. — Anderson, C. (2008). “The end of theory: the data deluge makes the scientific method obsolete”. Wired, June. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2008/06/pb-theory/ ; and Grey, Jim. “Jim Grey on eScience: A Transformed Scientific Method”. The Fourth Paradigm. Ed. Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, Kristin Tolle. Microsoft Research: Remond, Wash. (2009). All we can do is build models that have predictive value through algorithms that can be falsified. “Since all models are wrong the scientist cannot obtain a ‘correct’ one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary, following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist so overelaboration and overparameterization is often the mark of mediocrity” Box, G.E.P. (1976). “Science and statistics”. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 71 (No. 356), pp. 791-799.

 

If you cannot deal with this reality, you have no business being conservative or liberal nor be anywhere near holding or running a political office regardless of how good and ethical you may be. Since ethics is ruling class ideology, if you are so delusional that you cannot deal with the above, you are as much a danger to your ruling class as you are to me and everyone else. (Maybe that is a good thing?) With this expectation, now I am being stupid though not evil.