The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

The Awesome Insistence of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory (CMT)

A Cataclysmic Mirage is a social construct which is employed to dehumanize and enslave a target population. It is a slow moving disaster or murky offense on the part of a victim, which justifies the awesome insistence of that entity which aspires to rule. It is a Ponzi scheme which purchases a bow of the knee, through merchandising an apocryphal ownership of all the Kingdoms of the Earth.

A mirage theory is a false social construct or omega hypothesis which is employed to dehumanize and enslave through a belief in its core tenets. It is an unholy mess (the cataclysm or offense) which is enforced upon an isolated and otherwise ignorant victim population, in order to manipulate them toward specific goals/outcomes. It can involve an entrapment, but most often involves a natural cycle or process which is spun as being the fault of the victim for something they were, did, or said which was incorrect.

Cataclysmic Mirage Theory is the laid plan of oppressive royal agency, seeking to extract vengeance and/or beneficial enslavement from the very hide of their victim. A royalty which is only sustained by means of a sleight-of-hand through which the enforced royalty is gained in the first place. It is an asset which is paid as pledge to the compliant victim, out of that which was borrowed or stolen from the victim. For instance, a government might steal freedoms from a constitutional populace under a quasi-mythical threat (real but also overblown), and then sell those freedoms back to its citizens in return for their compliance. Such constitutes a Ponzi scheme, because the government never owned these things to begin with.

Natural facets of our world and society such as changes in climate, racial mistrust, personal identity, pathogens, political party, or religious choices can be escalated to serve as the basis of the cataclysmic mirage. Empty (apocryphal) threats regarding a claim to knowledge about that which is in fact impossible to know, can often be leveraged as well. Heck, even a conspicuous and questionably-placed tree was used to precipitate the ‘offense’ in one popular form of cataclysmic mirage mythology:

Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.

Yahweh, chief ruler of the Elohim, creators of their garden laborer, man – Genesis 3:17-19, Bible (NIV)

The creator of the universe survives infinity without any external sustenance, but suddenly cannot go without it (and must protect it) when he relocates (flees?) his abode from the infinite expanse of heaven and into south-central Turkey on a small minor planet called Earth. He appears to be sequestered there as well, embargoed from traveling to or resourcing the vastness/diversity of his own purported handiwork. The creator of the entire universe suddenly needs a personal garden, as apparently nature itself was not sufficient for his own needs. Having missed the call on this, he had to modify and cultivate his own specialized plants, much like man would. Unable to create any longer, he now must consume animal flesh and plant modified trees for their power-enabling critical fruit – employing mentally impaired slaves, eating of cooked flesh, and novel cultivation technology in order to exist in a manner he finds suitable.

One who is omniscient, was not able to anticipate that the very DNA he created, would imbue those creatures based upon that DNA with certain behavioral traits – including a predilection for deception, predation, selfishness, pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, wrath, and death. Then gets furious, abusive, and cruel when those very traits which had already manifested in animals and man-prototypes such as homo naledi and neanderthalensis, indeed then emerge in man, who is based 99.9+% upon that exact same, well-tested, DNA. Like this was some big surprise. In a literary sense the ruler of the elohim transitions here into the role of antagonist and no longer protagonist. There exists a possibility that the antagonist is also at this point, quite insane. But it is also clear in the subtext of the tale that the ruler of the elohim, due to some undisclosed backstory, bears enormous antipathy towards mankind.

No better is this indicated than through a ‘forbidden’ tree placed suspiciously right dead center of the very place where his naked known-DNA-trait slave was ordered to cluelessly labor-for-eternity on behalf of this suddenly impotent, immobile, and ignorant creator. Thereafter upon being offended, he demeans and more importantly, lies to, the poor creature – telling him that he is merely ‘dust’ – while later on belying this claim by declaring him to also be a soul and spirit as well. A later-disclosed soul-and-spirit factor which conveniently provides the basis for a second sentencing for the same crime – with a second and third punishment at some distant point in the future, since the monist punishment above was not enough apparently. Even men know sentencing a person twice for the same crime is cruel and unethical, much less punishing them three times or for ‘eternity’.

Sure, I buy ALL this (heavy irony). The story gets more ridiculous each time I ponder it. It is not that I am ‘leaning on my own understanding’, but rather that the antagonist is inconsistent in behavior versus ascribed traits, violates his own standards of integrity, and finally lacks key facets of basic human ethics. It is almost as if the author is furtively mocking the antagonist as being demonic, in the tale’s very recount (Poe’s Law) – begging the reader to notice the hypocrisy. This is key: one cannot accept this story at face value, and yet still maintain integrity in their heart.

No holy writ should require a man to violate his own integrity in order to accept its tenets or be acceptable to the fold, no matter how authoritatively or holy it may be posed.

The story bears features of insanity on both the part of its key characters and victims. It has been abused to enslave billions of humans throughout our history. In the end this story may be mythical allegory or even completely made up. Regardless, the story relates a false construct posed in the form of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory, called ‘original sin’.

One must bear in mind that the critical features of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory never really change. The abusive tricks of the trade do not alter with time – because its elements are both logically essential in order to craft its core sleight-of-hand and thus will not evolve over time as a set. Victims however, do evolve. They begin to question the mirage and doubt the cataclysm. Thus, the practices of CMT might expand under necessity of having to adjust and become more creative, as its targets become more aware of the role of mythology or the entailed Ponzi scheme.

To wit, the features of our modern form of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory include:

      The Dirty Thirty: The Awesome Insistence of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory (CMT)

  1. Exploits isolation, ignorance, and/or an entrapment of its victim
  2. Slow moving
  3. Portends disaster/apocryphal threats
  4. Remote in observation or impossible to test
  5. Difficult to differentiate its cause
  6. Difficult to measure or hold accountable
  7. Methodical Deescalation1 pervades scientific study
  8. Has not been tracked long
  9. Nelsonian 2 or embargoed knowledge at play
  10. Dissidents are oppressed/mocked
  11. Actions of a few are the fault of the many (all)
  12. Employs Richeliean3 appeal to skepticism or authority
  13. Just happens to also fit a political agenda
  14. Exploits or creates new classes of people
  15. First steps of resolution involve sacrifice or loss
  16. Perpetrators are currently disfavored class
  17. Victims are currently favored class
  18. Appeals to virtue, justice, and instilling fear
  19. Involves adoption of an endless financial obligation
  20. Must take a long time to resolve
  21. Actual outcomes are ignored
  22. Success objectives are absent or vague
  23. Administered by royalty and decree
  24. Kingship is awarded through bowing the knee
  25. Involves an original sin on the part of an easily identifiable group
  26. Cannot be questioned/forgiven
  27. Religion: denied falsification but also mandatory
  28. Justifies violence/suffering on the part of the innocent and most vulnerable
  29. Dehumanizes
  30. Enslaves
  31. (The victim holds a power which the oppressor both fears greatly and as well desires to obviate the victim’s awareness of such power).

Moreover, just as the burden of offense that serves to enslave, is typically enforced by myth or entrapment, even so can its bad spell of belief be broken by additional myth (quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur). A good spell, if you will – typically involving a very simple truth, is all it takes to bust an enslaving apocryphal notion. Much like an entire legal complaint may collapse based upon one small tenet of the law.

The archons then took Adam and forced him into labor, cultivating and attending to their garden. But they also instructed Adam, “From every tree in the garden you may eat as you please, but from the tree at the very center of the garden, the mysterious, powerful, and ‘for-gods-only’ tree of knowledge of good and evil you are not allowed to eat. In fact, don’t even touch that tree. If you do, you will become mortal once again, and be legally mandated back to your original purpose: suffering and dying for our pleasure.”

The archons posed this command in cleverness, expressing it in such a way that it would entice Adam to eat. For they knew that by his core nature, testing this edict would be the first thing man would indeed then do. The archons were fully unaware however, that all this was evolving exactly according to the Father’s will.

Later the Father sends the emissary Eleleth to advise the daughter of Eve, Norea in her complaint against the cruelty of the archons toward her and mankind:

Do you believe that these archons therefore have any real power over you? None of them, nor this bogus legal entrapment, nor their empire of the dead and dying, will ultimately prevail against the Sovereign Power which runs this universe. For this very reason, mankind’s emancipation, one will appear in the final days and will displace the archons from their illegitimate rule over your kind.

Then these archons will relinquish their age, their archael will weep over their destruction, and their demons will lament their death.

The Nag Hammadi Library: The Reality of the Rulers (transliteration)

The above play in ancient mythological discourse, elicits the very reality of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory and how it functions inside mankind’s social structure. Its purpose is to cause suffering to the innocent; suffering which acts as a kind of sustenance to dark oppressive agency. But it also serves to demonstrate how easily such phantom gospel of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory may be dispelled by the integrity of ethical skepticism applied to the vagary of manipulative belief.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Awesome Insistence of Cataclysmic Mirage Theory (CMT)”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 14 Aug 2021; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=52689

August 14, 2021 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | 15 Comments

The Gestalt-Heuristic (G-H) Gap and Its Impact Upon Understanding

There exists an essential dysfunction between those subject matter experts who execute the detail and craft of a discipline, or its heuristics, and those who are responsible for the direction and ethics of the organization, or its gestalt. Such dysfunction can serve to be the source of flawed decision-making based upon poorly crafted analytics and scientific study.

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was born far too late inside the history of mankind’s philosophical maturation. The degree of Babelean confusion and disarray which plagued philosophy from the First Persian or Achaemenid Empire, all the way through classical Greek philosophy and up until today, would have been greatly reduced had we already venerated Wittgenstein’s specific disciplines regarding logical calculus (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus) and the nature of language (Philosophical Investigations). For example, Wittgenstein’s Seven Basic Propositions, as outlined in his 1921 work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, can be transliterated into modern English and used as a sound basis for one’s own ongoing and applied philosophical work.1

The list below constitutes my interpretation and expression of Wittgenstein’s Seven Basic Propositions – to my perception had he written Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus after, rather than before he penned Philosophical Investigations. These are re-expressed in critical path language based upon (my grasp) of current philosophical terminology (this continues as a life’s work in progress).

       Wittgenstein’s Seven Basic Propositions (The Ethical Skeptic)

  1. Our reasonable Universe (0x) comprises everything which involves principle
  2. A principle (1) is a fact-object along with its elemental relationships
  3. A notion is a perceivable arrangement (schema) of principles (2 – fact-objects and relationships)
  4. A thought is a logical schema (3′) perceived in the mind regarding principles (2 – fact-objects and relationships)
  5. A proposition is a truth derived from fundamental thoughts (4′ – ideas which are sound in and of themselves)
  6. The stack of substantiation (truth function) of a candidate proposition can be seen as the result of one or more applications of logical schema (4) to propositions (5) – which is collectively called the logical calculus
  7. Therefore, that candidate proposition (5) which bears no logical calculus (6) must be treated with ontological silence (epoché)

From Basic Proposition Seven is derived the Pyrrhonist principle called epoché (a neutral suspension of the passionately inquisitive mind). If my neighbor shows me video supporting the notion that a poltergeist is haunting her home and family, since such an idea bears no standing under Basic Proposition Six, as a skeptic I cannot make any claim regarding that matter. I might choose to go next door and observe for myself (skepticism), however to doubt or believe such a notion would violate Wittgenstein’s edict to ‘only describe, don’t explain’. Once I begin thinking my neighbor is lying or nuts, describing myself as a skeptic, certifying that such things do not exist, or that the world is full of haunted objects and homes, I am now undertaking Wittgenstein’s path of ‘explaining‘. I have departed from the mandate of Basic Proposition Seven, to treat the matter in ontological silence.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

~Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

The Describe-Explain Gap: From Heuristic to Gestalt

As a young department head in Naval Intelligence and while attending my graduate school’s ethics curriculum in Washington D.C. I was able to observe Wittgenstein’s ‘describe-explain‘ contrast (although I did not comprehend it as such at the time) as it manifested inside a principle of information security called ‘compartmentalization’. Various subject matter experts such as those in collection, special intelligence communications, assimilation, human, electronic, signals, operations, etc. were all grouped into functional silos called compartments inside Black intelligence and operations. These compartments were given special names to identify and comprise a controlled set of functions, security clearance levels, and special accesses. In this manner very few of the individuals involved inside any particular silo could be found adept in grasping the broader view of any particular intelligence situation. They were script-following subject matter experts (SME’s), focused upon oak trees (the heuristic or Wittgenstein’s describing), who were not allowed to examine other species of tree at all, much less the entire forest (the gestalt or Wittgenstein’s explaining).

Don’t complain, don’t explain. Rather, describe and execute.

~Anonymous chief executive, now retired, who was my strategy client at a well known big-box retail/catalog chain

However, managing intelligence matters in this fashion presented a number of challenges, none the least of which was the struggle on the part of any particular compartment to describe what was occurring inside their subject domain, to higher-ups who had grown up inside different compartments. A gap of ignorance was automatically imbued between those SME’s who remained in their silo’s, and those SME’s who had transitioned into a higher role – a role which now (often for the first time in a person’s career) demanded an incumbent comprehension of the forest itself. A field intelligence professional might observe specific logistic movements which, once processed as data by an analytics division specializing in relational vehicle movements, failed to communicate their gravitas to a theater or operations head who formerly only really understood satellite imagery and perceived that his boss did not like logistics-based intelligence data anyway.

Despite the wisdom of Wittgenstein’s proposition, the stark reality is that eventually someone must be tasked with the career risk of explaining cause and effect behind a series of propositions, such that human decisions can take place. Such boldness on the part of personal Gestalt was precisely how Osama Bin Laden was located and killed. At some level in a human organization, the unscripted and almost always asymmetric nature (see The Roger Principle) of the gestalt must eventually be broached, lest an organization face risk of a Blockbuster Video scale of disaster (see Example A below).

The heuristic can only describe, while the gestalt is asked to explain.

To my experience, bringing gestalt-minded outsiders into the executive level only served to compound this challenge, in that an outsider was often even less able to comprehend what SME’s were relating, and brought with them all sorts of disruptive political baggage to boot (Some argue that 9/11 happened precisely because the Clinton administration conducted a politically-motivated purge and replacement of US Intelligence heads in the decade preceding 9/11.2 Such an event would stand exemplary as to the disastrous net effect of a broadscale and outsider-induced G-H Gap). Outsiders were a visceral catalyst, who were almost certain to engender a level of mistrust between the heuristic and gestalt components of an organization. A fundamental but unspoken disconnect (G-H Gap) between those subject matter experts who execute the detail and craft of the discipline, its heuristics, and those who direct the purpose and accountability of the discipline as a part of a larger mission, or its gestalt.

The Gestalt-Heuristic (G-H) Gap

In assembling the graphic above, I was reminded that it took me a full 18 years to develop the key value chain principles which I used to advise several large governments on their trade practices. I had to teach major Enterprise Resource Planning software developers (Oracle, SAP, JDA) how key order cycle and speed to margin (not ‘market’) principles worked. I had to sit through endless meetings where database and IT technicians thought that they knew everything about business and strategy, and held their employer hostage by knowing just a little bit of SQL code and data architecture of the company systems. I had to fight my own alma mater and explain to them that they were teaching sourcing efficiency at the cost of margin efficacy, and why this version of popular heuristic wisdom was doing more harm than good to the US economy. I swam upstream against the clueless torrent of periodical and journal articles spouting familiar but false wisdom pervasive inside my own industry.

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.

~Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

This took at least a decade of marketing and presentation, before the largest companies in America began to grasp why and how China was exploiting US trade practices. Eventually I began to encounter senior executives at new clients who presented my own ideas and client successes back to me, as if they were groundbreaking new paradigms which they recommended I learn about. That was when I began to perceive some success in my endeavors. The Chinese government (Ministry of Trade) even agreed with me on several analyses we ‘jointly’ conducted under the U.S.–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). During this extended period however, my analytical and heuristic skills began to grow outdated and rusty at the same time. I had slowly transitioned the Gap from being a member of the Heuristic class and into the Gestalt.

The Gestalt-Heuristic Gap (G-H Gap)

A fundamental but unspoken disconnect (G-H Gap) between those subject matter experts who execute the detail and craft of the discipline, its heuristics, and those who direct the purpose and accountability of the discipline as a part of a larger mission, or its gestalt. The Gap in competence wherein those who develop the analytics/heuristics/programs don’t fully grasp the question being asked (and may answer a different, political, or rhetorical one instead – under fear of negative career impact), and those who are responsible to explain and be accountable for the results, don’t really understand how those results were derived. The gap between the academic, administrator, technician, and recent college graduate versus the executive, department head, or senior associate who’s heuristic skills are rusty and/or outdated.

He’s forgotten more stuff than you will ever even know.

~A retired and beloved senior partner

Such exemplifies the risky and esoteric nature of the G-H Gap challenge. The Ten Commandments of Fake Science, Commandment 4, summarizes the key weakness entailed inside the G-H Gap, particularly as it relates to STEM organizations and scientific endeavors.3

4. Compartmentalize. Address your data analysts and interns as ‘data scientists’ and your scientists who do not understand data analysis at all, as the ‘study leads’. Ensure that those who do not understand the critical nature of the question being asked (the data scientists) are the only ones who can feed study results to people who exclusively do not grasp how to derive those results in the first place (the study leads). Establish a lexicon of buzzwords which allow those who do not fully understand what is going on (pretty much everyone), to survive in the organization. This is laundering information by means of the dichotomy of compartmented intelligence, and it is critical to everyone being deceived. There should not exist at its end, a single party who understands everything which transpired inside the study. This way your study architecture cannot be betrayed by insiders.

The Ten Commandments of Fake Science, The Ethical Skeptic

The organizational, personal, social, and psychological elements which serve to create the gap between those who explain (Gestalt) and those who describe (Heuristic) often can involve the following:

       The Heuristic

  • Resentment on the part of the Heuristic for being passed over for promotion
  • Resentment on the part of the Heuristic because they know that the Gestalt does not fundamentally understand their craft
  • Mistrust of the Gestalt because they serve goals which the Heuristic might not also value
  • Resentment on the part of the Heuristic because they were once familiar with the Gestalt and now are treated as a separate class
  • Fear of the Gestalt or their influence/level in the organization or impact upon the Heuristic’s career
  • Fear of relationships which peers may hold with the Gestalt
  • Fear of making a misstep before the Gestalt
  • Fear that specific shortfalls in knowledge might surface before the Gestalt
  • Concealment of methods, practices, programming, applications, resources or history employed by the Gestalt, as a means of power or job security
  • Fear that one’s eroding skills set might be observed by peers or by the Gestalt
  • Desire for revenge or solely monetary reward

       The Gestalt

  • Fear that their lack of competence on an array of subjects will surface, and do so at the worst time
  • Tension with colleagues who viewed themselves as competitive with the Gestalt but were passed over for promotion
  • Mistrust of those who might not be fully onboard with the goals of the organization
  • Fear that their true lack of grasp of the nuances of a particular sub-discipline or technical skill will be exploited
  • Angst over the accountability to make decisions or competently communicate the basis for them
  • Fear over making a mistake or bad decision
  • The desire to cover one’s ass or make hedged or plausibly-deniable decisions
  • Lack of clarity in vision or organizational charter
  • Circumspection regarding the ethical nature of the organization’s charter, goals and overall impact upon society
  • Desire to punish or control others, or for solely monetary reward
  • Burden to meet financial, progress, or quality objectives

One additional danger wound up inside the fabric of the G-H Gap, is an inability on the part of the Gestalt, to discern talented Heuristic from untalented. Any person who shows up with a modicum of technical skill exposure may suffice, but not really be up to the task. Two weeks of JavaScript experience makes one a ‘web and API developer’. Hire someone right out of school and hand them Microsoft Project, and they are a ‘project manager’. Likewise, anyone with Excel is a strategist or financial analyst.

These are the challenges which the Chief Executive Officer must address in managing the schism between their own Heuristic and Gestalt classes inside their organizations. I will close now by examining four noteworthy disasters which resulted from an organization’s or government’s inability to address this very poignant challenge.

Historical Examples of G-H Gap Induced Disasters

A – The 2000’s Blockbuster Video Cautionary Tale

The G-H Gap: An unethical Gestalt, a focus upon a disruption of transaction (late fee penalties), rather than the quality delivery of a product or service as a form of agreement, signaled that Blockbuster Video has lost it soul. Its goodwill was dead long before its company saw that its Heuristic tricks could not save it.

Impact: Collapse of a 9000 store, $3.25 billion big-box retail chain

In 2000, Reed Hastings, the founder of a fledgling company called Netflix, flew to Dallas to propose a partnership to Blockbuster CEO John Antioco and his team.  The idea was that Netflix would run Blockbuster’s brand online and Antioco’s firm would promote Netflix in its stores.  Hastings got laughed out of the room.

Yet Blockbuster’s model had a weakness that wasn’t clear at the time.  It earned an enormous amount of money by charging its customers late fees, which had become an important part of Blockbuster’s revenue model.  The ugly truth—and the company’s achilles (sic) heel—was that the company’s profits were highly dependent on penalizing its patrons.4

Forbes – A Look Back At Why Blockbuster Really Failed And Why It Didn’t Have To

B – The 1998 Mars Climate Orbiter

The G-H Gap: Fear and compartmentalization obscured management oversight and ability to observe a conflict as simple as some measures being conducted in feet while others used meters.

Impact: $125 million loss/Loss in discovery

The Mars Climate Orbiter was a satellite meant to collect data on Mars for two Earth years (about one Martian year) and act as a relay station for data from the Mars Polar Lander. Launched in December 1998, the Orbiter was set to arrive at the Red Planet later the next year. But on September 23, 1999, NASA announced the orbiter was lost. An investigation revealed the loss was due to confusion in mathematical units: While one team working on the spacecraft had used standard U.S. measurements, like feet, the other team had used the metric system. “The problem here was not the error, it was the failure of NASA’s systems engineering, and the checks and balances in our processes, to detect the error. That’s why we lost the spacecraft,” Dr. Edward Weiler, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Space Science said in a statement at the time.5

The Week – 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters

C – The 1970 Ford Pinto

The G-H Gap: Fear and overemphasis of cost reductions as the basis of middle and upper management bonuses and promotions created a circumstance where an $11 part was left out in order to reduce weight and cost over all other objectives.

Impact: 900 Deaths/117 Lawsuits/$100 billion in penalty and goodwill

In 1968, Lee Iacocca, then president of Ford, decided to fight back against Japanese automakers in the small-car market. He demanded a car that weighed no more than 2,000 pounds and cost less than $2,000. The result was the Pinto, which went into production in 1970. The Pinto’s fuel tank, positioned between the rear axle and bumper, exhibited serious flaws during low-speed testing. Ford ignored suggestions to move the fuel tank or reinforce it, figuring the additional cost of $11 per vehicle would exceed potential damage payouts. But when Ford’s decision became public, the company was hit with multi-million dollar lawsuits, and its public image suffered for decades afterward.6

ListVerse – Top 10 Failures of Modern Science

D – The 2021 Covid-19 Vaccine

The G-H Gap: Panic, preservation of obscenely accelerating pharma equity values, an overemphasis on the need for perceptions of guaranteed vaccine success, lack of public health official’s ability to understand technical nature of case-control heuristics and cohort studies – all combined to create unjustified confidence in relaxed NPI protections and endangered the population once again under Covid-19 spread, especially with respect to the Delta and Lambda variants.

Impact: 12,000+ Deaths/Loss of human rights/$9 billion in research/Loss of trust in science

The intense rush of the vaccine to the market and enormous pressure to make the various Covid-19 vaccines a ‘success’ pushed scientists to quickly issue 90+% ex ante efficacy studies in support of vaccine rollout and even more importantly, eventual mandatory enforcement. This purported efficacy however did not prove out in later deductive study, as a mere two months after 50-90+% vaccine compliance was achieved in many nations, enthusiasm on the part of citizens waned. Anecdotes of failed vaccine batches, breakthrough cases, or even injury and death raged through alternative news outlets and social media. Vaccine efficacy (RRR) was subsequently estimated to be from 15% to 40% in the vaccinated population, and was observed to be dropping fast.7

Metrics: Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel’s Director of Public Health Services

Exhibit 1 below shows a differential analysis between all counties in the United States, and indicates little to no relationship between differing vaccine adoption rates by county relating to any kind of change in Covid-19 cases for each county, 5 weeks after vaccine uptake. The actual Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) shown on this chart equates to 8% when all is said and done. Even this 8% RRR can be attributed to panic effect, wherein hard-hit counties were more motivated to get the vaccine, but also showed larger drops as a mere artifact of their high caseload at seasonal peak.

Exhibit 1 – Dec 13 – May 29 adoption in vaccination compared to subsequent drop in Covid-19 cases as a percent of population by US county

Moreover, while this disaster in efficacy was blamed on the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), the same ex ante studies which had projected vaccine efficacy at 90+% had also shown an equivalent performance against the Alpha and Delta variants of Covid-19, at 88% effectiveness.8 Exhibit 2 below, shows the subsequent unprecedented-in-speed-and-scale, but seasonal case rise in Florida. This turned out to provide disastrous falsification for these G-H Gap plagued studies. In a state with a 49.1% vaccination rate, this visceral rise in cases constituted a white crow moment. One which was widely ignored by the media.

Blaming this on the Delta variant was taken by the public as a form of ad hoc rescue, excuse-making on the part of public health officials. Trust declined in both them and in proclamations pushed from major news media outlets.

Exhibit 2 – Florida’s July-August Covid case rise outpaced every prior outbreak – despite half the population having been vaccinated immediately prior to this record-setting outbreak

In addition, it was determined that vaccinated individuals could transmit Covid-19 just as readily as did unvaccinated individuals – detecting “similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people.” ~CDC Statement 30 Jul 2021.9 “What they (Covid-19 vaccines) can׳t do anymore is prevent transmission.” ~CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, 6 Aug 2021.10 11

Quoted material: CDC Statement 30 Jul 2021 and 6 Aug 2021 CNN discussion between Wolf Blitzer and CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky

The vaccine was no longer a vaccine ‘anymore’ (sic), because under United States law it could not prevent the infection of the individual who received it.

26 United States Code § 4132(a)(2)

“The term ‘vaccine’ means any substance designed to be administered to a human being for the prevention of 1 or more diseases.”

However, there was no ‘anymore’ about it. The science had been corrupted by means of the G-H Gap from the very beginning. These stark changes in ‘settled’ scientific claims both torpedoed support for mandatory vaccination inside the public mind and engendered therein a deep cynicism that government and public health officials were speaking with the right epidemiologists when they formulated their vaccine strategy at its inception. Trust in public health was essentially violated and consequently underwent even further erosion.

These failed ex ante and errant estimates necessitated the development of a series of booster shots based upon the exact same intervention approach which had failed in the first two shots (two shots for most vaccines). In addition, the transmission/viral load potential negated the supposed benefit of the vaccine in terms of rate of transmission, and as well rendered their mandatory enforcement upon citizens, a serious violation of human rights.

Quoted material: CDC Statement 30 Jul 2021 and 6 Aug 2021 CNN discussion between Wolf Blitzer and CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky

In essence, we lacked in each of the disastrous case examples above, the presence of that character which necessarily carried the Gestalt. The agent who’s purpose is to explain the why and how of what our Heuristics must ethically accomplish – yet perceives as well the what where when and who of its execution. The G-H Gap left the ship rudderless in each cautionary tale, and careened victim, business and society hard aground in the process.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Gestalt-Heuristic (G-H) Gap and Its Impact Upon Understanding”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 7 Aug 2021; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=52186

August 7, 2021 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , | 8 Comments

Subception – The Invalid Martial Art of Skepticism

The techniques of subception function analogous to canned basic moves performed by students of karate. The YMCA/Skeptical Inquirer novice version of skepticism comprises the great preponderance of supposed skills employed by critical thinkers. In reality this defense is not related to objectivity at all, but rather fear and enormous ego.
Subception is an unconscious perceptual defense, used to deflect stimulus which threatens one’s core vanity.

As part of my ongoing diet and exercise regimen I recently began an in-depth study on potassium and its dynamic with regard to overall health and wellbeing. In the past, I have committed the error of potassium and other critical nutrient starvation, unwittingly as part of my overall lifestyle discipline. If one exercises and maintains a calorie-restricted diet, I have determined through analysis and experience that nutrient supplementation is essential – finding out the hard way that one cannot get all the nutrient you need from a ‘typical Western diet’ – contrary to the reflexive propaganda promoted by celebrity skeptics and health authorities.1

Encountering folk and pseudo-skeptic wisdom, promulgated in lieu of actual vetted knowledge has become commonplace whenever I study a new concept, and my foray into the wonders of potassium did not disappoint in this regard. “Be careful or your heart will go into arrhythmia!”, was the first knee-jerk caution I was given. Such discourse frequently reminds me of the old Far Side cartoon entitled ‘Nerds in Hell’, where a nerd standing in line in hell turns to the person behind them and says, “Hot enough for ya?”

At the time, I was breaking ground on methods to sustain a dietary intake of 60% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance for potassium (USRDA is 3400 mg per day for my age and gender).2 This equates to nearly 4 baked potatoes (the highest potassium-content food) each and every day of one’s life, or a whopping 700 calories. Easily 40% of one’s total caloric allotment inside a disciplined diet. From the remaining 1050 calories you must derive 110 other nutrients, or face (sometimes dangerous) malnutrition. Take it from someone who has actually tested and falsified the folk, academic, and pseudo-skeptic wisdom – noisy anti-supplement experts have no idea what they are talking about. Paramount inside this lesson, was the realization that I should have been able to spot this deception earlier by means of the very practices which such persons employ.

Of key importance is how well this play-in-health exemplifies the deep entrenchment by which methods of subception centerpiece inside our daily lives. The natural mind is both vulnerable to, and as well trained to utilize common, folk, and pseudo-wisdom in lieu of actual rigorous and disciplined skepticism. Instead of going and looking, we habitually fall back on easy and pat apothegm. Sometimes we get lucky and folk wisdom bears out as correct. However, most of the time such fiat acumen results in harm to ourselves and more importantly those around us. A core principle of ethical skepticism involves nurturing the meta-awareness to know when such harm could be at play.

    The Meta-Awareness of Ethical Skepticism:

If I was wrong, would I even know it?

If I was wrong, would I be imparting harm?

I did not know, I went and looked. Everything else was vanity.

What I found was that fake skeptics used a series of reflexive and canned techniques in order to screen information from their conscious perception. I did not know, so I went and looked for myself. It turned out that the supplement skeptics were wrong, and they could not detect this by means of their circular methods. As well, they were imparting harm to their innocent victims who trusted that they represented the opinion of science, and even worse just flat out did not care that they were doing so.

An Invalid Martial Art

American psychologist Carl Rogers defines subception as3

       Subception

a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness.

People who are in denial, especially in the example cited above, those who have not suffered endocrine/microbiome/autoimmune injury, will cling to ideas through what I call the illegitimate martial art of subception. Subception constitutes a series of canned-reflexive moves which the belief-laden person employs to deflect incoming observations, study, experience, or knowledge which threaten to introduce cognitive dissonance to their consciousness.

The tactics and techniques of subception function analogously to yama-zuki or kokutso dachi techniques mastered by students of karate. Just as is common within the body of karate practitioners, the YMCA/Skeptical Inquirer novice version of skepticism comprises the great preponderance of skills used by critical thinkers. What is uncommon within such circles is the requisite meta-awareness regarding the discipline’s employment. A critical focus upon not simply the tools, but how-why-when not to apply them; the art of becoming first a philosopher, student of both self and mankind (karate: budō), before pretending to use (abuse) its implements. Wikipedia’s article on karate offers an excellent exegesis on this very principle:4

[Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan Karate] interpreted the ‘kara’ of Karate-dō to mean “to purge oneself of selfish and evil thoughts … for only with a clear mind and conscience can the practitioner understand the knowledge which he receives.” He said that “Karate is properly applied only in those rare situations in which one really must either down another or be downed by him.” [Those who abuse] what they have learned bring dishonor upon themselves.

[However, Funakoshi also] promoted the character trait of personal conviction. In “time of grave public crisis, one must have the courage … to face a million and one opponents.”

Such embodies a portion of the philosophy behind ethical skepticism. Choose your battlefields wisely, however learn to know when to stand in the gap for those who cannot defend themselves when the time of such need arises. Know how and when to oppose agency, maliciousness, and oppression. The typical practitioner of skepticism in contrast falls prey to a shortcoming in this regard – in that they will attack anyone and any topic which has been targeted by their syndicate, as a means to self-aggrandizement and celebrity. There is no meta-awareness in their consciousness.

Tactics of subception employed by the fake skeptic fall into several species groupings as shown below. Subception is the poorly trained student, bullying those around him with his supposed skill, canned moves bereft of the true discipline. It is part of the ‘everything else was vanity’.

Subception: The Vanity of an Answer Looking for its Next Question

Rhetorical Argument – when you don’t want the question to be answered

Memorized Apothegm – when you had the answer already

Ignoratio Elenchi – when you don’t want the question to be asked

The Art of the Professional Lie – The Tower of Wrong – answering the question through imperious authority

As Funakoshi is purported to have said, karate practitioners must “never be easily drawn into a fight. It is understood that one blow from a real expert could mean death.” Today’s foolish fake skeptics, science enthusiast experts, ready for war on any club-targeted topic, are falling hard now in the public perception – precisely because ethical skeptics are standing in the gap for those who are being harmed through their celebrity, intransigence, bullying, and agency.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Subception – The Invalid Martial Art of Skepticism”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 5 Aug 2021; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=52082

August 5, 2021 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | Leave a comment

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