Remember, all things being equal, Simpleton (simplest explanation) Science is much easier to promote to the public than is the real thing. The sign of being scientifically literate is one’s empowering them self to be robust to simpleton science communication. One method of promotion of simpleton science is by means of propaganda case study. By skipping right past what constitutes real scientific method and thinking, and right to the specific conclusions which stand as earmarks of those who are correct – in contrast with those who are identified in advance as the bad guys.
Richard Feynman has been popularly credited for originating the saying ‘Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.’ Dr. Kevin Folta, self-proclaimed expert on a variety of scientific matters, is offering a course on scientific literacy later this year at his University in Florida. The course is touted as a series of case studies around four very visible ‘issues of science’ made popular inside public discourse. The contention being implied by Dr. Folta, that one’s position on these four issues stands as the litmus test of one’s scientific literacy. Or more specifically, the correct conclusions around these four issues of purported science – standing as indicative of one’s acceptance into the scientifically literate club. Remember The Ethical Skeptic’s views on club quality – such an approach is never effective in achieving, nor is it really about, improvement in its target goals. Club quality is only about establishing who the bad guys are, and showing you how you can qualify to join the good guys club. Such is the anticipated propagandistic nature of Kevin Folta’s course on scientific literacy.
Earlier in our blog series, we identified the structure and nature of propaganda, and more specifically that of rhetoric:
/philosophy : argument : bias : inverse logic : sleight of hand/ : appearing to be focused on a given topic or a given case example, when a slightly different or less acceptable somewhat related position is actually being surreptitiously promoted. Enacted through opportunistic measures, desperate for an avenue of entry through any means of persuasion and locution – a form of such extreme commitment to a conclusion that it bears not the ethics and honesty of straightforwardness, science, transparency or poetry. An answer seeking a question which then targets a victim – a disliked topic or person.
Let’s take this understanding of the true nature of rhetoric, and use it as the context in which to expound upon the differences between real scientific literacy, and the fake substitute being promoted inside this academic ruse. Neil deGrasse Tyson is incorrect in the graphic below. Any line of reasoning can serve to fulfill his standard of ‘literacy,’ qualified by the fact that you declared someone to be ‘full of bullshit.’ Under this bandwagon qualification, all you have to do is be a cynic, and you are scientifically literate. Such a wonder! No, real scientific literacy involves the objective ability to spot errant method, process, definition, reason and the surreptitious manipulation of each towards an a priori conclusive end. This includes spotting such conditions in both others, organizations as well as self.
- Having fee-free access to and knowing how to access the available catalog of direct-observation based scientific research on a subject.
- Understanding the structure, process and flow of the full scientific method and why each step is important in reducing a hypothesis set.
- The ability to frame, develop and recognize the relevant, salient, sequitur and ethically skeptical next question under the scientific method.
- Appreciating the difference between incremental/technological development and scientific discovery work.
- Understanding the foibles of human nature, especially humans who seek or hold power. Understanding the nature of locution, persuasion and rhetoric.
- Understanding one’s own biases and influences/vulnerabilities imbued from external social forces.
- Understanding the difference between valid consensus and manipulated pluralistic ignorance.
- Being able to discern objectivity from an attitude surreptitiously promoting assumptions.
- Being able to readily identify the difference between a research effort and a ‘study’ – and the role of the null hypothesis in each context.
- Understanding the difference between facts, information, data and intelligence – and how and why they are reduced into a question.
- Being able to spot the methodical abuse of consilience and consensus and a condition of Unity of Knowledge Error (see below: The Unity of Knowledge)
- Promoting specific conclusions for public consumption as instances of unquestioned science.
- The habit of forming clubs of exclusivity, mocking and disdain.
- Identifying the bad guys, the stupid/anti, and those who are not in the club.
- Pretending that science can be accomplished through simply the act of examining big data.
- Promoting through social positions, one liners and tag phrases.
- Promoting/defending oligarch corporate interests.
- Boasts of consensus under an atmosphere of intimidation.
- Pitching fake skepticism as a justification for your politics and religion.
- Relying on celebrity to promote ideas as being scientific.
- An over reliance on the concepts of experts and proof (both as a boast of inclusivity and denial exclusivity).
- The methodical abuse of consilience and consensus as it serves to influence public perception (see below: The Method of Scientific Propaganda)
Scientific propaganda is not always nor completely wrong. The art of propaganda however, involves sprinkling enough correct information in at the right time, in order to collectively disguise your agenda, mislead your audience by sleight-of-hand, and without undue alarm, slip by the nuclear waste of misinformation and politics being diluted inside the scientific information. Let’s examine an example below. To the right we see the graphic outline Dr. Folta published regarding his course on ‘scientific literacy.’ Of course, instead of a focus on the scientific method and habits/resources useful to the skeptical mind, Kevin skips right through to a specific set of conclusions – apologizing for this by calling it ‘case studies.’ Remember the definition of rhetoric and propaganda.
In essence, he is saying – I don’t need to teach scientific literacy – if you are taking my course you already are (by taking the course) scientifically literate – we only need now celebrate some specific bandwagon examples of APPLIED scientific literacy. In other words, very much a familiar propaganda technique.
If you agree to and promote the conclusions I have bundled inside these supposed positions of science, then you are scientifically literate. Here, take 1 semester credit hour of ‘science.’
Now believe it or not, as it relates to the four case studies on the right. I side with the valid scientific concerns behind each one. I am very concerned about the anthropogenic contribution to the current regular upswing in Malinkovitch Earth heat cycle. I am a staunch evolutionist – sincerely advocating for a phylogeny which is clearly delineated by the allele dependencies between each speciation break. I am pro selective gene transfer for species rescue and development of our full understanding of how speciation, epigenetics and proteomics work. I am pro-vaccine when human life is threatened by the spectre of deadly epidemic.
Through the Objective Looking Glass of Consilience and Consensus
But I would not consider Kevin Folta to be an expert (as he claims) on these subjects nor the scientific method. He understands (as demonstrated in his Freedom of Information Act request emails) the corporate sponsorship model, but not the methods of objective science. Nor would I consider his boasts of proof, demands for proof and misrepresentations of pluralistic ignorance to stand as scientific literacy, in any way shape or form. Scientific literacy pertains to the integrity by which one handles method, data, reason, definition, alternative, objectivity and person – especially when proof is a difficult standard to attain, or social pressure mounts to select for a particular alternative before any real alternative study has been done. See The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation for a complete listing of the ways in which crooked thinking is applied as a masquerade of science.
Before we contrast Scientific Literacy with Propaganda however, let’s examine some key terms which get thrown around by fake skeptics a great deal: consensus and consilience, contrasted with their manipulation or the Silly Con.
/philosophy : inductive science: objectivity in hypothesis ranking/ : is the nature or characteristic of an argument wherein its underpinning premises, data, multiple associated disciplines, avenues of research or predicates provide for independent but mutual reinforcement of its conclusion. This is usually regarded as important in a hypothesis reduction which cannot be easily resolved by means of Popper falsification.¹ Consilience is not tantamount to consensus.
Consilience is used to develop a hypothesis and provide it the underfooting of integrity through which it can be seriously considered for inclusion in consensus study. However consilience can never stand as a claim to finished science. It may provide our underpinning for our best current explanation, but this is not the same as deductive falsification in the least.“No matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white.” -Karl Popper
/philosophy : deductive science : objectivity in conclusion/ : is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists composing a particular field of study. It is not a popularity poll among scientists in general nor even necessarily inside the field of study in question. Consensus can only be claimed when multiple opposing explanatory alternatives have been researched in objective detail, and a reasonable body of those scientists who developed the field of opposition alternatives, have been convinced of the complimentary alternative’s superiority. Just because a null hypothesis exists, and only that hypothesis has been researched, does not provide a basis for a claim to consensus, no matter how many scientists, or those pretending to speak for science in the media, favor the null hypothesis.¹
When a person makes a claim to consensus on an issue, ask them what type of consensus has been derived and how was it determined. The three types of derived scientific consensus:
Professional Poll – surveys taken inside specialty subgroups at conferences, and inside associations for the advancement of science.
vulnerability: popularity contest, skewed by most powerful memebers in the sub-discipline who attend conferences and the fact that non-degree holding activists are allowed into associations. (see TES: Jan 31, 2015, Part I).
Meta-Analysis – scan of the available literature and research study base, by keyword, results in a body of studies which are then broken out by alternative position supported by the body of studies
vulnerability: keywords are weak as inclusion criteria basis, body does not differentiate between consilience/incremental development studies versus true alternative comparison and discovery research, often includes science articles touted as ‘studies’ which are simply a rehash of other studies, data analysis of data analysis is weak as compared to direct observational study, and dissenting opinions are not typically observable in the study base; especially if there is social pressure around the favored alternative. (see TES: Jan 31, 2015, Part II also see “Muta-Analysis“).
Peer Directed – a thorough vetting of all the reasonable compelling explanatory hypotheses, which through the process of peer review are coalesced into unanimous support as one alternative being the best explanation at the current time.
vulnerability: exposed to the influences of politically minded scientists/activists/pretend skeptics in positions of power, who administer consensus through peer review. Many times claims to having ‘thoroughly developed and vetted all the compelling and mutually/partially exclusive alternatives’ are false – as only the favored hypothesis has in reality been studied – this in an effort to protect one’s career from the dangers of peer review. (see TES: Jan 31, 2015, Part III)
Example: A person may, through assembly of evidence from disparate avenues, conclude or develop a theory that their spouse is cheating on them. Examination of times coming home late versus history, sudden trips out of town, strange upsurge in text messages, staying up late, strange phone calls, the person acting defensive and in a secretive fashion. All of these disparate avenues of predicate and evidence, provide consilience towards the idea that one’s spouse is cheating on them. Finally after weeks of pursuing this theory, the person finds that their partner was simply planning a surprise birthday party. The problem is that the person assembling consilience failed to examine the field of viable alternatives. They spun a conclusion through a spectre of internal obsession and blinder-focused research – providing for a Unity of Knowledge around a single favored (through fear) idea.
If we ignore the field of viable alternatives prior to declaring consensus or seek to conflate consilience into consensus – this is a premature establishment of consensus – pseudo-scientific folly (See Unity of Knowledge Error below). This is also portrayed inside Scott Adams’ Law of Slow-Moving Disasters. Karl Popper further expounds on this in his work The Logic of Scientific Discovery:¹
…my main reason for rejecting [sole reliance upon] inductive logic is precisely that it does not provide a suitable distinguishing mark of the empirical, non-metaphysical, character of a theoretical system; or in other words, that it does not provide a suitable ‘criterion of demarcation’.
In short, consensus is an agreement among divergent hypotheses, and not an agreement among data nor poll participants. Consilience is an agreement among disparate avenues of research toward the integrity (hypothesis viability) of one argument. It suffers Popper’s ‘problem of induction‘ and is not the same thing as deductive consensus.
The Method of Scientific Propaganda
The common deeper hallmarks of scientific propaganda in this regard therefore proceed according to this method:
- To conflate and promote consilience as consensus. Consilience is not a ‘unity of knowledge’ as Edward O. Wilson contends – as only diligent investigation of all compelling alternatives can serve to unify knowledge.
- To imply or default that a null hypothesis is ‘true ‘ until proved otherwise, knowing that proof is a seldom attained standard in science.
- To investigate only one hypothesis, and deem the social pressure and pluralistic ignorance around this bad habit as consensus or even consilience.
- To proscribe investigation into any alternative or deviation from consilience and give a moniker (anti-science or pseudoscience) to those who do so.
- To tamper with or conflate, the three forms of consensus into a falsely (through vulnerability exploitation) derived claim to scientific consensus of an Omega Hypothesis.
- To alter scientific paradigms or questions in a sleight-of-hand manner in order to establish a false basis for a completely separate but disguised contention.
- To teach simpleton (simplest answer) or black and white delineations of scientific arguments as settled science, through channels of journalism which cannot differentiate good science from bad.
These are the familiar actions of the propaganda spinner, also known as the Silly Con:
/philosophy : pseudoscience : social skepticism : pretend scientific methodology/ : spinning consilience as consensus. Investigating only one alternative and through manipulative pluralistic ignorance and social pressure, declaring that hypothesis as consensus and all others as unnecessary/pseudoscience/anti-science. Spinning politically motivated variations of an accepted scientific hypothesis, and selling those variations to the untrained public, for consumption in the name of science.
Folta’s “Case Studies”
So now that we have ’empowered ourselves to know when someone else is full of bullshit,’ in the deGrasse Tyson understanding, coupled with the fact that we are armed with Popper’s contrast between the Silly Con and scientific consilience versus consensus, let us examine some Foltaganda nominated (from the course graphic above) “Case Studies” in Social Propaganda posing as science:
Literate Climate Science
Promoting research as to the causes of the current rapid acceleration in global temperatures – unlinked from economic activity and the global recession and far exceeding model prediction. Understanding the contribution of AGW into this measure set.
Propaganda Climate ‘Science’
Making jokes about the bad guys and citing their political party. Promoting your specific political party and socio-economic philosophy as being supported by science, yet never once offering even one solution to the problem being used as an expedient football. Ignoring any data except the one bit you like.
There is consensus on climate change. There is consilience around anthropogenic contribution to climate change as being significantly additive to the current Milankovitch, Total Solar Irradiance, Schumann-Core Resonance Cycle and Solar Spectral Index Infrared Shift – all of which are in a ‘hot cycle’ at the same time. This sucks to be sure, but to ignore these four factors, and declare our consilience around AGW to be consensus therefore regarding the alternatives, is pseudoscience. None of this should be employed as a political football unless a consensus solution/approach has been developed for the AGW component of climate change.
Literate Evolution Science
Promoting research as to the DNA heritance pathways incumbent inside our new gene based (as opposed to morphology based) cladistics.
Propaganda Evolution ‘Science’
Identifying ‘creationists,’ talking about the Noah’s Ark replica, and pushing abiogenesis and random mutations as matters of proved scientific consensus (when they are not even close to being supported by science nor scientists).
There is consensus on genetically generated Evolution – no doubt. There is neither consilience nor consensus on abiogenesis and random muta-genesis. Be careful to distinguish actual scientific Evolution from religious, social or wishful thinking.
Literate GMO Science
Understanding the ethics threshold, reasons for, preparation and stakeholder voices necessary in approving irreversible transgene modification of an entire (especially food) species. Understanding case histories where unbridled and inexpert hybridization has served to damage human health in the name of ‘efficiency and productivity.’
Propaganda GMO ‘Science’
Identifying the bad guys, and giving them a name. Pretending that the GMO food argument is about genetic science. Promoting a specific pesticide and a specific company and oligarch/cartel through government fraud, incest and irreversible premature manipulation of 95% of our food supply. Justifying this through specious claims (to inexpert ears) of being the only solution available to feed a growing world population. Claiming that meiosis-based reproduction between species produces the same results as a transgene based protein array alteration.
There is consensus that trans-genetic modifications CAN be benign. There is no consensus that the trans-gene modifications we have introduced to our food, are necessary. There is no consensus around the idea that specific trans-gene applications are associated with an increase in farm productivity, nor on the social necessity of such productivity were it real. There is consilience concerning the idea that glyphosate and/or the specific glyphosate tolerant trans-gene modifications we have chosen to undertake, are premature and monopolistic in focus, are unethical in a free, already-fed-well society and are causing undue harm to human (American) health. To block research of this alternative through propaganda is criminal pseudoscience.
Literate Vaccine Science
Promoting independent consumer and science led panels to conservatively identify when a vaccine is necessary in the public interest. Eliminating conflict of interest pharmaceutical company or pharma company sponsored contributors to this ethical process.
Propaganda Vaccine ‘Science’
Identifying the bad guys, giving them a name, and making jokes about how ridiculous they all are. Drooling over a couple big data studies which showed irrational autism curative influences when autism is ironically skyrocketing, as being ‘science.’ Pretending that vaccine injuries do not exist, or that brain injuries are a bifurcation of rare happenstance coupled with no impact at all. The pretense that a very small portion of the population has been vaccine injured and using the Vaccine Injury Award Court results as a scientific database to which one refers.
There is consensus that a vaccine can serve to protect against a deadly disease. There is no consensus that all of the vaccines we administer to American children are necessary. There are a few inductive statistical cohort studies which support the idea that specific vaccines do not appear to be associated with the observed increase in autism. There is consilience however, that our over-use of and early employment of so many vaccines/adjuvants, are both unnecessary, stem from financial conflicts of interest & legislative influence, and are causing a broad set (by genetic subgroup) of cognitive and auto-immune impacts on our children’s health. To block research of this alternative through propaganda is criminal pseudoscience.
I sincerely urge the students of this 1 credit hour ‘class,’ to challenge themselves – ponder this message and begin to discipline your mind prior to accepting the propaganda which will be stuffed down your throat in this class. The issues are not as simple as your simpleton science promoters might suggest. These people are not smart, nor well informed, simply because they inhabit a tenure office and wear a PhD. Beware of being passed a religion under a trick of sleight-of-hand, otherwise known as the Unity of Knowledge:
Unity of Knowledge Error (Religion)
/philosophy : pseudoscience : errant method : religion/ : to conflate and promote consilience as consensus. Consilience is by its essence inductive and therefore cannot alone underpin a ‘unity of knowledge’ as Edward O. Wilson contends. Only diligent investigation of all compelling alternatives, deductive science, can serve to finalize and unify knowledge (under consensus). To promote consilience as a unity of knowledge or substitute for consensus, in absence of having diligently investigated competing alternative hypotheses, is also know in ethics as ‘religion.’
Remember, all things being equal, Simpleton (simplest explanation) Science is much easier to promote to the public than is the real thing. The sign of being scientifically literate is your invulnerability to simpleton science – your ability to question and not take sides of belief in advance. One method of promotion of simpleton science is by means of propaganda case studies. By skipping right past what constitutes real scientific thinking, and right to the conclusions which stand as earmarks of those who are correct. Know real science, real skepticism.
You do not have to agree with me, nor with any specific conclusion, in order to do real science. Question what they offer as case studies, which skip over the real issues and pretend to be based on issues of science when in reality they are not.
- Challenge the notion that compelling alternatives have all been seriously researched, when a claim to consensus is made (also examine to see if they are generously conflating consensus and consilience in order to force a point).
- Differentiate between an alternative possessing good integrity in formulation, versus one which has been proved or accepted through competition with other alternatives.
- When they make a contention, go look up the real scientific definition and ask why they spun a different version of the real science involved.
- Raise your hand and mention that you do not care about what name has been given to the ‘anti-‘ people, you would rather focus on the issue at hand – as THAT is scientific literacy and not the former.
- Roll eyes at persons who shove themselves into the public forum for money, celebrity and career advancement, and then bitch about the public ‘harassing’ them.
Remember that propaganda and rhetoric is never about the subject at hand. The subjects stand merely as footballs to be employed in attacking someone the spinner despises. Even if the ‘case studies’ they foist on you appear to be correct. Be ethical, be skeptical.
¹ Popper, Karl Raimund (1934). The Logic of Scientific Discovery (2002 ed.). New York: Routledge Classics. ISBN 978-0-415-27844-7; http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf
We are highly risk exposed to the world’s most widely used pesticide, glyphosate. We as a regulatory entity, an industry and a technology, fail to track glyphosate’s modalities, vectors and its actual EPA Part 180 Maximum Tolerance Limit compliance inside our food supply. This is called malfeasance in the business world, and bonus sive malus inside ethical skepticism. Otherwise known as criminal ignorance and pseudoscience.
Certainly yes, I am a skeptic. One of the first rules of ethical skepticism, after the tenets concerning conducting your own investigation and holding open an ‘allow-for’ disposition regarding multiple strong explanatory approaches, is to be skeptical of your own thoughts, and indeed, work. So yes, I am skeptical of the data I have produced below. But as an ethical skeptic I also have a problem in that I have never seen this data published, despite the critical importance of this issue inside social discourse on the rapid decline in American health and skyrocketing rates of auto-immune, allergy and microbiome related disorders since 1995. So I went and pulled the official sources and did the analysis myself. As a note, this is the reality I face in 90% of the instances regarding tough social issues inside which we find so many social skeptic ‘experts’ and so little actual data/research.
I would also not be maintaining integrity inside my own philosophical base, were I to not raise the warning flag of concern about what I see inside my data regarding glyphosate regulation and monitoring practices and risk vector pathways within the American food supply chain (see my chart below).
Raising a warning flag of plurality is an ethical skeptical action. It does not stand as a claim to final proof, neither is it an accusation of conspiracy, nor is it tantamount to credulousness/bias – nor any other of the red herring and strawman objection protocols employed by fake skeptics. It is simply a call for research, under the context of risk based necessity.
Now set aside the fact that the very foods in vector exposure V below are the very same ones which make me break out, gain weight, get painful intestinal disorders and become very sick. Set all that aside for whatever reason you choose: apophenia, placebo (just mistaking that I get sick), a priori confirmation bias, etc. I assure you that these are not contributors to my observation base in the least. But some of you use these things as methodical cynicism defense mechanisms, so I recognize that and allow for it. Be that as it may, yes let’s set this personal observation aside – and simply address the risk vector pathways incumbent inside the current practices involving application, regulation, tracking, and most importantly – weighted risk exposure, regarding glyphosate employment inside the United States food supply.
Set aside as well, the fact that the top two contribution vectors, Aspirated/Whole Grains and Corn Sweeteners, are the top two soaring allergy/sensitivity growth food commodities since 1995. Don’t let correlation move you to causality, we wouldn’t want that at all. Better to just ignore it instead. ‘Cuz that is being skeptical after all.
Below I have assembled a chart which is drawn from the following three resources on pesticide use, EPA Part 180 MTL tolerances and corresponding food consumption rates by commodity in the United States. I extracted the data on glyphosate and glyphosate bearing foods – and compared that to the rates of US consumption in pounds per capita, in the chart below. This took a good 8 hours of data assimilation and sorting in order to derive a picture which is not available to the American Public.
- US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs Index to Pesticide Chemical Names, Part 180 Tolerance Information, and Food and Feed Commodities (by Commodity) December 12, 2012¹
- United States Department of Agriculture: Profiling Food Consumption in America, Chapter 2²
- Food and Drug Administration: Pesticide Residues and Industrial Chemicals 2004 – 2005 sorted by Pesticide/Chemical³
Several alarms were raised inside this analysis. Not conclusions mind you – as I am always skeptical of my own work – rather, flags. Flags which not only indicate practice exposures inside the regulation, administration and monitoring of glyphosate in the US, but as well correlate highly with specific foods which are showing to produce health problems in the United States since glyphosate’s introduction to the food supply chain in starting in 1995. So without further ado, let’s outline these exposure pathways which emerge from the analysis in the chart below.
Vectors and Modalities for Glyphosate Entry and Risk Exposure in American Diets ¹ ² ³
First, the most widely employed pesticide inside the American food supply is neither tracked for actual level compliance to EPA Part 180 MTL’s for ANY food at all, nor in many cases is even specified for Maximum Tolerance Limits on several critical foods which employ large scale use of glyphosate.¹ ³
II. Cheese, Butter & Dairy Contents are Highly Exposed and Neither Regulated nor MTL Tracked
Both the content of glyphosate inside these critical caloric contributors, as well as the fodder and feed contribution (100 – 400 ppm) to such foods is neither monitored for actual EPA Part 180 MTL compliance nor even specified for a Maximum Tolerance Limit.¹ ³
III. Dried Beans Contents are Highly Exposed and Neither Regulated nor MTL Tracked
Both the content of glyphosate inside these critical caloric contributors is neither monitored for actual EPA Part 180 MTL compliance nor even specified for a Maximum Tolerance Limit.¹ ³
IV. Animal Fats are Highly Exposed and Neither Regulated nor MTL Tracked
Both the content of glyphosate inside these critical caloric contributors, as well as the fodder and feed contribution (100 – 400 ppm) to such foods is neither monitored for actual EPA Part 180 MTL compliance nor even specified for a Maximum Tolerance Limit.¹ ³
V. High Risk/Content Exposed/Desiccated Foods Are Not MTL Tracked
The content of glyphosate inside these critical caloric contributors is not monitored for compliance to EPA Part 180 MTL’s at all.³
Set aside the increase in use (potentially attributable to desiccation practices – which has been recently claimed and disputed by several resources). No monitoring has been conducted to observe the prevalence, nor ppm impact of modalities and practices of any kind, including use of the Monsanto desiccation instruction. This is a risk exposure and a warning flag. You cannot make the claim that there is no problem, and attack people who bring up the issue, even if you are Snopes, if you have not conducted any actual research.†
Aspirated Grain Fractions and Whole Grains
Refined Wheat, Barley & Oats
High Fructose Corn Syrup and Other Sweeteners
Safflower, Sunflower, Cottonseed, Canola, Soybean Oils
Cattle, Poultry & Pork Meat Products (including fats, oils & milk derivatives)
Corn/Corn Feed Sourced Products
VI. Feed and Forage Content Contribution is Neither Regulated nor Tracked
Both the content measures for glyphosate inside these critical caloric contributors to our meat supply (feed contribution 100 – 400 ppm) are neither monitored for actual EPA Part 180 MTL compliance nor are they even specified for a Maximum Tolerance Limit by modality contribution to our food.¹ ³
The bio-accumulation, given glyphosate’s persistence in soft tissue, is not modality measured and EPA Part 180 MTL tracked for bio-accumulation sensitive food derivatives such as Cheese, Cream, Butter, Milk, Dairy, Shortening and Animal Fat derivative products.
The Compiled Data From the Three Resources
List is complied from resource 1, matched to commodity measures from resource 2 (consumption lbs per capita indexed against MTL ppm ratios). Then sorted, highest to lowest in terms of contribution to overall amount in weight of glyphosate consumed (theoretical) in the per capita diet. !!! indicators show where risk exposure exists but is not Part 180 defined. Yellow commodity highlights indicate non-animal derived foods, while beige highlights indicate animal derived foods. Green highlights indicate animal feed and fodder commodities. Direct unknown risks rank first, quantified MTL risks second by theoretical per capita quantity of glyphosate exposure (lbs), while indirect (feed and fodder) risk ranks last in priority flagging. Resource 3 shows that none of these food commodity types are tracked for actual parts per million Part 180 MTL compliance and impact on the American diet.¹ ² ³ And here is why we need to be concerned about this:
Abstract (Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins Article (PDF Available)Glyphosate, a synthetic amino acid and analogue of glycine, is the most widely used biocide on the planet. Its presence in food for human consumption and animal feed is ubiquitous. Epidemiological studies have revealed a strong correlation between the increasing incidence in the United States of a large number of chronic diseases and the increased use of glyphosate herbicide on corn, soy and wheat crops. Glyphosate, acting as a glycine analogue, may be mistakenly incorporated into peptides during protein synthesis. A deep search of the research literature has revealed a number of protein classes that depend on conserved glycine residues for proper function. Glycine, the smallest amino acid, has unique properties that support flexibility and the ability to anchor to the plasma membrane or the cytoskeleton. Glyphosate substitution for conserved glycines can easily explain a link with diabetes, obesity, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary edema, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, prion diseases, lupus, mitochondrial disease, non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, neural tube defects, infertility, hypertension, glaucoma, osteoporosis, fatty liver disease and kidney failure. The correlation data together with the direct biological evidence make a compelling case for glyphosate action as a glycine analogue to account for much of glyphosate’s toxicity. Glufosinate, an analogue of glutamate, likely exhibits an analogous toxicity mechanism. There is an urgent need to find an effective and economical way to grow crops without the use of glyphosate and glufosinate as herbicides.
¹ (EPA 180 MLI) US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs Index to Pesticide Chemical Names, Part 180 Tolerance Information, and Food and Feed Commodities (by Commodity) December 12, 2012; https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-01/documents/tolerances-commodity.pdf
² (USDA Chap 2) United States Department of Agriculture: Profiling Food Consumption in America, Chapter 2: http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf
³ (FDA Pest/Chem) Food and Drug Administration: Pesticide Residues and Industrial Chemicals 2004 – 2005 sorted by Pesticide/Chemical (PDF, 95KB) http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodScienceResearch/TotalDietStudy/UCM291686.pdf
† Snopes: “Grain of Truth? Are U.S. farmers saturating wheat crops with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide as a desiccant to facilitate a quicker harvest?”; http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/roundupwheat.asp.
‡ Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins Article (PDF Available)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305318376_Glyphosate_pathways_to_modern_diseases_V_Amino_acid_analogue_of_glycine_in_diverse_proteins
At the basis of The Lie, is the contention that one only needs to seek professional medical advice when one is sick or something hurts. This precludes the role of any medical profession involving health, nutrition and prevention. This is a serious broach of ethics and scientific acumen on the part of social skepticism. It is just plain institutional-stupid. The reality is that we erroneously assume our bodies to be simple systems – just like a car. And the sadder truth is that current medical science has taught us to treat our cars better than we do our own bodies.
Mysteries Are Almost Always Woven of Bad Assumption Fabric
I run, typically 3 to 4 times a week, and have for most of the last 12 years, as well as most of my life in fact. I consume 1700 – 2200 calories per day and track my food and nutrition measures religiously. I have followed this protocol over the most recent decade of my life. Every aspect of my life is imbued with the circumspect, precise and skeptical approaches of science. I study each facet of my existence and take no assumptions for granted. Data and observation logs abound everywhere. I smile when people offer me common or ‘evidence based’ wisdom on matters which I directly study; driving some of my work associates (not lab associates) crazy through my habitual approach to each issue via the scientific method. I focus more instead on direct observation and results-based study. ‘Evidence’ as it turns out, often constitutes simply semi-objective propaganda – and the wise ethical skeptic understands this. This is a substantial reason for my personal success in life.
When one possesses the means to directly test common wisdom – one should always do so.
My times for a 5K in cross country in high school ranged from 17:10 to 20:15 depending upon how far into the season we were and how difficult the course was. Flat course runs through garlic country were easy, hilly runs through pine coast country were not as easy. I barely finished in the top 5 on my cross country team my senior year, finally lettering in a sport to which I had dedicated my fall semesters for 3 years. But despite being co-captain of my swim team each summer, lifeguarding, riding bicycle to and from wrestling practice in winter, and participating in track & field in the spring, I just could not seem to generate the results I sought in terms of field competition in each sport. I carried more weight than was optimal for these high school sports.
I recall once complaining to my cross country coach, about this inability to produce results from my training commensurate with my buddies on the cross country team. He smiled and stated “K, you weigh 180 lbs man. All these guys who finish in the top 5 each year, on average weigh 135-145 lbs. I tell you what, tomorrow I will strap a 40 lb weight pack to each of them and we’ll do a 10 K practice. Then we will see who is indeed getting results from their training.” I laughed and swallowed the partially understood medicine, but never forgot it.
Later in life this proved to be accurate. When assaulting armed Marine insurgents in US Navy summer training, swimming 1/3 mile after jumping from a zodiac, diving 100 ft under water holding my breath, followed by a run up a hill carrying a 40 lb gear loadout and my M16 – I was able to make it across a 2 mile long sand-field and up the 400 ft foliage hill well before my fire team, surprising the flanked insurgents before they could even ready their weapons, substantially mitigating their defense. A specialist always does well at his or her specialty. But life is not a specialty, it demands a personal rounding and an ability to distinguish and focus on the goal at hand. An ability to distinguish propaganda from results. Life is never about attaining the best in one specific statistic or technique – rather preparing for the overall battle. What challenges arise from that battle (life), no one can predict – among goals which are often hard to discern and measure.
Health is One Such Multifaceted Battle
One such challenge of life is the difficulty of managing body mass inside the context of metabolic disorders stemming from Endocrine-Immune-Biome Disruption (EIBD) – from toxins concealed inside our foods, along with the low nutrition level of our mega-industry sourced Western diet. For me, keeping trim for presentations and the example to be portrayed by a CEO, was a very daunting process. One which I studied with the same passion, direct engagement and objectivity I exhibit in every other facet of my life.
To keep trim, I cannot eat Western food, I cannot consume the way my associates and friends consume, I cannot eat glyphosate bearing foods, I cannot eat Western grains/wheats/corn/canola/soy/alfalfa, I cannot eat most meats, I must supplement my diet with specific protein sources, high levels of sublingual b-vitamins, vinegar with the mother, raw garlic, pro-biotics, pre-biotics and stomach enzymes. I must workout regularly and cannot consume anywhere near the Western prescriptive 2700 calories a day.
These are the things I have learned through hard study, record keeping, practice, trail and error and discipline. I find the smug platitudes about diet from social skeptics to be not only Pollyanna, but malevolent towards persons like me.
Below you will find five lies I disabused myself of along this journey. Lies which stand as ‘evidence based’ common wisdom, promoted by people who have never been there, never done that, never understood the background principles, never conducted any direct observation or sensitivity testing and never attained any results in the matter from a personal perspective, whatsoever.
The lies of social skepticism. Fake knowledge which arises from Diagnostician’s Error.
Lies About Diet and Health – Of Which I Disabused Myself Along the Way
1. Obesity Arises from Eating too Much and Lack of Exercise
Example of The Lie: “An obese friend of mine commented on how well his new diet was going, as he absentmindedly devoured an entire low-carb cheesecake while happily engaged in his sedentary pastime. …There’s plenty of blame to go around for what is being called the 21st century pandemic of obesity. The western lifestyle is always the first target of blame, for good reason. Americans eat too much and exercise too little.” (http://www.theness.com/index.php/the-skeptics-diet/)
The Truth: Obesity is a symptom of Endocrine-Immune-Biome Disruption (EIBD). ‘Overweight’ is caused by eating too much and moving too little, and can be corrected through lifestyle changes – obesity cannot be corrected through such changes, and requires a totally different strategy.
While some associated symptoms may ease, obesity is neither cured nor resolved by one simply losing weight.
Therefore they cannot, a fortiori, be caused by the same mechanisms, nor in any way shape or form, be the same disease. We do not deem Alzheimer’s and Dementia, one disease called ‘Crazy-Forgetfulism,’ for this very same reason – they are not caused by the same thing, even though their symptoms might appear similar to the uninitiated. This is a central tenet of epidemiology. One we ignore in the case of obesity through its obfuscation by fake medicine, social messages and social skepticism. Social skeptics enjoy the leverage and condemnation they can deliver through an amalgamation of these disorders into one category of simplest explanation judgement. A judgement which serves to defer responsibility from their clients, and onto the very victims of their clients.
Obesity is an epidemic, among certain genetic profiles which are susceptible to toxins concealed in our average Western Diet. It is not simply an extreme version of being overweight, and the statistics show this (see graphic to the right from the CDC). The Lie, exhibited most effectively inside its related quote above, courtesy of The Emperor Himself, Steven Novella can be summed up in this:
It is the concealing of these toxins (pesticides, deleterious DNA proteins, hormones), the commensurate dilution of our much needed nutrient from our food in lieu of fast growth/higher calorie plant matter, coupled with push-promulgated erroneous common wisdom, which is the bad practice and assumption set residing at the core of the modern obesity pandemic.
/philosophy : pseudoscience : malfeasance/ : the study of the patterns and effects of health & disease conditions in defined populations; while yet at the same time meticulously avoiding study of the cause of those same diseases or conditions.
2. Excessive Body Mass Index Causes Disease
Example of The Lie: “People who are [high BMI] are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions.” (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/)
The Truth: Obesity is a symptom of Endocrine-Immune-Biome Disruption (EIBD). The following co-morbidities begin BEFORE a person becomes obese, and are caused by the same EIBD factors which cause the obesity commensurate with or after the morbidity factor itself has already begun in a person’s body. In other words, they are not ‘at risk’ for them, rather they most often already have these maladies. It is the absence of medical intervention early on, which prevents us from regularly observing this co-morbidity. (list generally from the same resource (CDC) as cited in ‘The Lie’ above).
High blood pressure (Hypertension)
High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia), liver dysfunction
Type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders
Coronary heart disease
Nutritional deficiencies (micronutrients, b-vitamins, minor proteins)
Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
Sleep apnea, asthma, allergies and breathing problems
Chronic inflammation (bodywide) and increased oxidative stress
Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
Low quality of life
Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning (Intestinal disorders, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, CFS, Endocrine Disorders)
These conditions are not caused by body mass – they are caused by the SAME THING which causes the excessive body mass to begin with. By not looking for this single cause, we are committing criminal pseudoscience.
3. You Get All the Nutrition You Need from a Healthy Typical Western Diet
Example of The Lie: “…if you live in a Western industrialized nation you probably have adequate nutrition.” (https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/everything-causes-cancer/)
The Truth: This is a most serious piece of bullshit common wisdom promulgated without any evidence, by social skeptics. Not only is our modern western diet serving to destroy the mechanisms which protect the EIBD susceptible body, but as well our modern western diet cannot provide the nutrition a person (with EIBD at least) needs. Supplementation is mandatory: in particular – B vitamins, Micronutrients and a complete array of all 19 human amino acids.
Inside social skepticism today, all you have to contend is that supplements are evil, and the Cabal will grant you immediate voice in publication.
But to a person who has done actual study, this is a mistake of malfeasance on the part of people overconfident in their rational and skeptical abilities. Malevolent cluelessness even worse than simply pseudoscience.
The clear results based understanding – supplementation is essential to modern western health – one simply cannot mathematically intake a sufficient b-vitamin and full protein array by means of a 2700 calorie per day modern diet. It is impossible.
4. Doctors are the Authority About Managing Health and Preventing Disease
Example of The Lie: “…in order to be a primary care physician one ought to have the education and training of a primary care physician. Because, after all, patients (or, at least, naïve patients) aren’t going to divide themselves neatly into two lines based on the seriousness of their condition, one going into the M.D. PCP’s office and one going into the N.D. PCP’s office.” (https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/twenty-days-in-primary-care-practice-or-naturopathic-residency/)
The Truth: At the basis of the Lie, is the contention that one only needs to seek professional medical advice when one is sick or something hurts. This precludes the role of any medical profession involving health, nutrition and prevention. This is a serious broach of ethics and scientific acumen. It is just plain institutional-stupid. We need a professional health discipline which focuses on prevention, nutrition and habits, period. The idiots at Science Based Medicine have the audacity to attempt to preclude via legislation such an entity from ever existing – and the tools of nutrition from being made available – when these resources indeed reside at the core of human health.
If our doctors are going to be over-booked under-paid body repair mechanics – then we need medical resources which help us stay healthy – not just repair mistakes and maladies. Higher medical care provider costs and longer appointment wait times are not an indication of a healthy nation in the least. They stand as indicators that we are failing under the burden of false medical science.
Inside the context of EIBD, 90% of health and medicine resides in practices of prevention, nutrition and personal discipline. These are not things today’s primary care physician can help you with. By the time you are seeking help for an EIBD related malady in point 2 above, it is often too late. Of the malady challenges I have solved in my life, here is the record of each contributing entity:
Primary Care Physician: 2 of 11 maladies (.182)
Alternative Care Professional: 4 of 11 maladies (.366)
Me: 5 of 11 maladies (.455)
And here is the key to this: had I not done the research, threw out the baloney enforced by Science Based Medicine, these maladies solved by Alternative Medicine and by me, would have turned into more grave body injury and sickness to be handled by my PCP doctor. Of the two things my PCP handled, BOTH were injuries sustained from bad food impacting my health, during a time where I was not aware of this impact. We cannot continue with the idea that a PCP is our first contact regarding health. This current profit-focused and clueless patient approach to health is not working. It is the health approach of malevolent morons. Our emphasis needs to be on our most effective means of promoting good health (bullets 2 and 3 above). That more than anything will help alleviate the burgeoning costs of medical care.
5. The Endocrine-Immune-Biome System is a Simple Machine which is Easily Managed & Corrected through Doctor Visits
Example of the Lie: “Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (T4).” (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20155362)
The Truth: The thyroid (along with a couple other EIBD flags) is the canary in the cage, for Endocrine-Immune-Biome Disruption (EIBD). If you have low thyroid output, your body is not simply having one piece of its equipment malfunction (as if it were a fuel injector circuit or something). This is not a case of ‘one statistic-one fix’ diagnosis and treament. The simple truth is, that once you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you are about to embark on a long journey of endocrine, weight, metabolic, immune system, well being and feeling, health and microbiome management. You have EIBD and your doctor, your simpleton science medical fakers, don’t know it.
If you had the right resources, those who would advise you on health maintenance and disease prevention, after you show up with a TSH measure of 3 milli-international units per liter or higher, THEN we would be practicing medicine. The current practice resembles a poorly administered version of auto mechanics for the body. It is akin to coming into your auto mechanic for lessons on how to drive.
The reality is that we assume our bodies to be simple systems – just like a car. And the sadder truth is that current medical science has taught us to treat our cars better than we do our bodies. Social Skepticism would have it no other way, because that is what enriches their sponsors and their clients.
Three social forces operating on the globe today, relate in direct proportion to the level of unhappiness exhibited by a country’s population. Islam, Socialism and Corruption, these three social factors tend to not only establish and foment misery on the part of their victim populations, but moreover tend to prompt their victims to export their wares into target nations – seeking a migration of their tradecraft for all global humanity to enjoy as well.
I conducted a review of several disparate databases which were published in the last year, relating to human happiness and various national demographic profiles. First I examined the World Happiness Index by Nation (World Happiness Report, Chapter 2), which was released on World Happiness Day 2016. (1 Helliwell) I then compared the happiness index contained therein, by nation, ranked in order of decreasing happiness, with published census statistics on population which was Islamic, Christian (3 & 4, Pew Research), the percent of public policy which was socialist (5 Wikipedia), and the level of corruption control as measured by the World Bank (6 World Bank). The following four graphs result from this comparative.
But before we examine them, let’s look at the ten happiest nations on the planet as ranked by the World Happiness Report. (1 Helliwell) With the exceptions of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, they are all concentrated essentially in Northern Europe. Each nation features a unique combination of low corruption, low levels of Islam, and for a good part, low levels of socialist national policy. One should take notice in graph two below, that the optimal mix of socialist policy to overall policy, appears to be about 28-30% in the happiest countries on the planet. One should remember that oligarch corporations are socialist mechanisms however, and not capitalist entities. So bear these indices with a healthy grain of salt.
The Ten Happiest Countries on Earth (2016 Happiness Index) of 234 Nations
- Denmark 7.526
- Switzerland 7.509
- Iceland 7.501
- Norway 7.498
- Finland 7.413
- Canada 7.404
- Netherlands 7.339
- New Zealand 7.334
- Australia 7.313
- Sweden 7.291
Now let’s examine the entire index of 155 nations (the ones which were given a rank, among 234 global nations), ranked in decreasing order of happiness (blue line in graphs below), as compared to these independent factors (Corruption, Socialism, Islam and Chistianty). Of course we realize that ‘correlation does not prove causality‘ but… neither is it an excuse for ignorance either. So without further ado, here is what I found.
Corruption Control Index
As corruption is controlled, the Happiness Index of the population of each country on the globe, rises accordingly and in 1:1 direct proportion.
Percent of Public Policy Which is Socialist in Approach
As socialism increases in prevalence above a certain y-intercept, as a percentage of public and economic policy, the Happiness Index of a nation declines in 1:1 direct proportion. Notice however, that the happiest countries feature an elegant mix of 80% capital and 20% social approaches. As socialism trends upwards, comprising 40% of a nation’s socioeconomic structure or more, happiness downtrends accordingly.
Percentage of Population Which is Islamic
As the percentage of the population which is Islamic increases, the Happiness Index of the nation’s people decreases in 2:1 direct proportion.
Percentage of Population Which is Christian
As the percentage of the population which is Christian increases, the Happiness Index of the nation’s people increases mildly in 1:2 direct proportion.
My conclusions? On this data stand alone, none really. The data must be compared to other indices and to direct observations. My advocacy work on behalf of the suffering peoples of this globe, I will concur stems mostly inside these very profiled corrupt, Islamic and socialist nations; tending to underpin the statistics however, which I observe here.
For those of you who scoff at the Christianity mild correlation with an increase in nation happiness, I agree. These same statistics show that there is a mild increase in happiness as it relates to the level of atheism professed in each nation as well. To my perception, this effect of Christianity and Atheism BOTH relating to an increase in Happiness Index – probably and most likely relates to the availability of freedom and choice inside each nation’s social structure.
To ignore this data however, is not wise.
1 John F. Helliwell, Haifang Huang & Shun Wang; The Distribution of World Happiness, Chapter 2, World Happiness Report; United Nations World Happiness Day Project; March 20, 2016, pp. 20-22.
2 Worldometers; World Population by Country, 2016; http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/
3 Pew Research Center; Religion and Public Life: Christian Population by Numbers in Country, Table: Global Christianity; http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/table-christian-population-in-numbers-by-country/
4 Pew Research Center; Religion and Public Life: Muslim Population by Numbers in Country, Table: Global Islam; http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/table-muslim-population-by-country/
5 Wikipedia: List of Socialist and Formerly or Partly Socialist Nations; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_states
6 The World Bank: Worldwide Governance Indicators: Control of Corruption Index; http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#reports
One of the tenets of Ethical Skepticism is “Monitor those who do the monitoring.” A confluence of three pitfalls derive from a monitoring process which has gone awry. In-group biases tend to reinforce in the mind of the watchers, the need for their quality entity (external entity skepticism in lieu of science) and they may fail to be able to recognize a quality outcome – becoming the source of error themselves. The net result, many times is an unbound combination of lack of accountability and coalescence of power to the authority who watches. This stands as a god-proxy. A mistake wherein the network may value itself above product or topic and become a regularly self-justifying and error stimulating/generating mechanism.
Clubs fail to ensure quality. Ethical Skepticism is the very absence of club quality.
In classic quality control theory, there exist five principal approaches to improving and sustaining quality of process and delivery. They revolve around the ethos of designing elegant procedure, being smart, and treating people in an ethical manner. Accountability imbued from outsiders is rarely effective, rather only standing as a cathartic and futile gesture on the part of someone looking to profit from the process, not share in its success. Shortfalls in this regard are what result in human and systemic error. Error does not stem primarily from an absence of monitoring errors; rather, it stems from a bad assumption, bad training, bad process …and sometimes (many times), bad monitoring itself. The key elements entailed in designing a process of quality, in order, are †
I. Craft process(es) based upon clarity and value regarding human, training, system and their symbiosis
II. Interweave self-checking mechanisms which highlight and correct error as an elegant aspect of each step
III. Right-Pace productivity expectations to enhance quality, not make things produce as fast or low-cost as possible
IV. Inform those who are stakeholders, and reward those who are critical, in achieving and sustaining quality delivery – Punishment and social derision are ineffective at producing sustained quality, or even quality at all.
V. Monitor the mechanisms which monitor the process/quality.
Skepticism as Quality
In this same manner, (Ethical) skepticism is a quality mindset one maintains while doing actual science. It is not an add-on which decides, judges, derides, intimidates, concludes or provisionally stacks externally to or in lieu of science. This latter approach is demonstrably and timelessly ineffective.
What my businesses have found over the years is that, if you do the first four things right, then the majority of error will be generated regarding pitfalls inside element V. In other words, your goal is to craft a process which is effective enough from a quality standpoint, that the monitoring process itself becomes the weakest link in the chain. As a young executive, the first time my organization achieved this state, it surprised me. From then on, I understood.
Treating people ethically is the key to quality – you do not punish quality deliverers and reward external parties – this is anathema to a sound approach in establishing quality. This however, is the practice of Social Skepticism.
In real ethical business and engineered process, you inform stakeholders (those directly impacted) and you reward those who deliver quality. Unconcerned parties do not get a voice – no matter how many buzzwords they know.
This lens into the principle of quality elicits a key tenet of Ethical Skepticism. That of watching the watchers. Systems are systems and humans are humans. Once established, they tend to erect mechanisms which serve to defend the existence of the system or human organization itself. Just as in the principle where the old bootleg networks of the prohibition era simply became drug networks after prohibition was repealed, any self-justifying network (one in which the value incorrectly resides in the network itself and not the product) will find targets which serve to reinforce justification for their existence. It was the network after all which was important and not the drug they were supplying.
With this in mind, several current pitfalls intersect to produce the current reality we observe with regard to Social Skepticism:
A. The value, in the mind of the member is incorrectly shifted from the product or topic, and into the Organization itself.
B. The watchers or Organization themselves may be unconnected to the issue, fail to recognize success and be where the majority of the error is then generated.
C. The Organization errantly begins to see quality as an external process of authority, derision and punishment – this always fails.
A or B or C or any intersection thereof. The watcher network may value itself above product, begin to fail to be able to imbue a quality outcome and become a regularly self-justifying and error stimulating/generating mechanism of its own.
This is the condition (A or B or C or any intersection thereof) we find ourselves in today. Fake skepticism run amok; wherein its participants reside in a state of such epistemic commitment and in-group bias, that they cannot observe the ineffective and many times destructive quality role they have played inside the public’s understanding of science and skepticism. This is the condition wherein a god proxy has arisen and is now exercising power.
The watchers are abusing the public and are not being held to account themselves. They are only producing errant outcomes and quality somehow never seems to arrive. An excellent example may be found inside this blog by Vixen Valentino, where as an astute observer of process error, she has identified the hypocrisy of appeal to motive accusations carelessly foisted by this self-justifying watchers organization. This is not how science is done, and not how skepticism is done. This introduces another form of informal fallacy for our consideration, qualitas clava error.
Qualitas Clava Error
/philosophy : fallacy : demarcation of skepticism and pseudo-skepticism/ : club quality error. The presumption on the part of role-playing or celebrity-power-seeking social skeptics that their club or its power, is important in ensuring the quality of science and scientific understanding on the part of the broader population. The presumption that external club popularity and authority, lock step club allegiance and presumptive stacks of probable knowledge will serve to produce valid or quality outcomes inside scientific, rational or critical thought processes. The pretense of encouraging skepticism, while at the same time promoting conclusions. Such thought fails in light of time proven quality improvement practices.
Those who truly value the outcomes of science, those who truly seek to develop knowledge and alleviate suffering – must be ever vigilant to watch for those who are simply using science as a battering ram to build their ego, money, politics and celebrity. At the supposed benefit of increasing quality which never seems to come; all at the cost of understanding and the sustaining of human suffering.
There is no club inside Ethical Skepticism. There should not be a club, as Ethical Skepticism is the very absence of club. Nor does teaching people how to think ethically skeptical constitute a qualitas clava error – an ethical skeptic encourages dissent by means of originality of thought and hard field research – not simply parroting of the provisional knowledge and one-liners held by him or his cronies. Ethical Skepticism is a process of personal choice regarding knowledge. It is an allegiance to preparing the mind to conduct science; a respect for quality knowledge improvement and the subject at hand, above all else.
† There are numerous references which I can cite with regard to quality and process design – however, these five principles stem from my own decades of experience. They overlap 100% with established industry wisdom, but this version is a crafting of my own, employed through 30 years of creating effective and industry leading businesses and processes. The focus of this blog is not to provide a dissertation on quality control, rather highlight this tenet of Ethical Skepticism. However, if you seek some academic backing and foundational resource on systemic quality, some excellent reading can be found here:
Oakland, John S.; Total Quality Management (Fourth Edition); Routledge, 2014; ISBN-13: 978-0415635493.
Peters, T.J., Waterman, R. H.; In Search of Excellence; Harper Business, 2006; ISBN-00-6-0548789.
Hadley, M.E., Levine, J.E.; Endocrinology; Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2007; ISBN-0-13-187606-6.
¹ Many thanks to Vixen for highlighting to me this very important aspect of Ethical Skepticism, one which I had long forgotten to address.