The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation: Mischaracterization of Groups

The following is The Ethical Skeptic’s list, useful in spotting both formal and informal logical fallacies, cognitive biases, statistical broaches and styles of crooked thinking on the part of those in the Social Skepticism movement. It is categorized by employment groupings so that it can function as a context appropriate resource in a critical review of an essay, imperious diatribe or publication by a thought enforcing Social Skeptic. To assist this, we have comprised the list inside an intuitive taxonomy of ten contextual categories of mischaracterization/misrepresentation:

Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation The Ethical Skeptic.

Mischaracterization of Groups

ad virtutem – a form of rhetoric wherein one attacks the virtue of the opponent, through citing their being a racist, or anti-science, or Nationalist Nazi, or baby killer, or homophobe, etc. Usually comes in combination with the accusers having virtue signaled about their personal correct identity inside the good group in such a matter – thereby condemning their opponent through inclusion in the not-good group.

Akratic Trolling – when an advocate of an agenda plays the game wherein they will troll and provoke their perceived enemy, then suddenly retreat into the pure technical of science or atheism and adopt a holy or statesman facade when the perceived enemy objects to their behavior. This presents the enemy in the worst light possible through highlighting only one type of expression.

Anachronistic Fallacy – when applying modern societal morals, strictures, moors, rules, laws and ethics retrospectively or retroactively upon past events or persons. Any attempt to lens and judge historical characters through means of modern character framing. This fallacy of soundness fails in that its method only produces negative assessments, by failing to detect any higher standards versus today’s or regard of mitigating circumstances/considerations.

Anomie – a condition in which a club, group or society provides little or negative ethical guidance to the individuals which inhabit it or craft its direction.​

Antagonogenic – causing benefit as a result of or while in the process of intent to cause harm. A hacker who ironically ends up improving systems security. A leftist who influences younger generations to oppose his group, because of hate filled actions in the name of thinly-veiled virtue.

Appeal to Fear – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by increasing fear and prejudice towards the opposing side or group of people who support a disdained idea.

Appeal to Implicit Conspiracy – the default position taken by a pseudo-skeptic that in order for a counter-claimant to actively research or have confidence in their proposition, then quod erat demonstrandum they must therefore believe a conspiracy exists which is holding back their preferred alternative from being studied or accepted. This default ad hoc fallacy explanation can be accused of anyone, without discretion, distracts from the logic at hand, can never be verified and results in only finding what we already think we know, to therefore be true. A substitute form of science (pseudo-theory) issued in the form of pejorative ad hominem and straw man, all rolled up into one baseless and easy claim on the part of a pseudo-skeptic.

Appeal to Pity/Poverty/Morality (argumentum ad misericordiam) – an argument which attempts to cite the poverty level or objective refusal to seek money on the part of academics and Social Skeptics, as a way of assigning them unmerited objectivity inside a topic of pluralistic contention.

Appeal to Skepticism (Fallacy of Irrelevance)

ergo sum veritas Fallacy (of Irrelevance)

1′ (strong).  The assumption that because one or one’s organization is acting in the name of skepticism or science, that such a self claimed position affords that organization and/or its members exemption from defamation, business tampering, fraud, privacy, stalking, harassment and tortious interference laws.

1a.  The contention, implication or inference that one’s own ideas or the ideas of others hold authoritative or evidence based veracity simply because their proponent has declared themselves to be a ‘skeptic.’

1b.  The assumption, implication or inference that an organization bearing a form of title regarding skepticism immediately holds de facto unquestionable factual or ideological credibility over any other entity having conducted an equivalent level of research into a matter at hand.

1c.  The assumption, implication or inference that an organization or individual bearing a form of title regarding skepticism, adheres to a higher level of professionalism, ethics or morality than does the general population.

Appeal to Skepticism (Fallacy of Irrelevance)

2a.  The declaration, assumption or implication that a consensus skeptical position on a topic is congruent with the consensus opinion of scientists on that topic.

2b.  The argument assumption or implication that an opinion possesses authoritative veracity or a proponent possesses intellectual high ground simply through allegiance to a consensus skeptical position on a topic.

3.   The presumption or contention that taking a denial based or default dubious stance on a set of evidence or topic is somehow indicative of application of the scientific method on one’s part, or constitutes a position of superior intellect, or represents a superior critical or rational position on a topic at hand.

Inverse Negation Fallacy – The asymmetrical strategy of promoting an idea through negation of all its antithetical concepts. A method of undermining any study, proponent, media byte, article, construct, data, observation, effort or idea which does not fit one’s favored model, in a surreptitious effort to promote that favored model, along with its implicit but not acknowledged underpinning claims, without tendering the appearance of doing so; nor undertaking the risk of exposing that favored model or claims set to the scientific method or to risky critical scrutiny.

Truzzi Fallacy – The presumption that a position of skepticism or plausible conformance on a specific issue affords the skeptical apologist tacit exemption from having to provide authoritative outsider recitation or evidence to support a contended claim or counter-claim. “Pseudo-Skeptics: Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves ‘skeptics,’ often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all. A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence.”  – Marcello Truzzi (Founding Co-chairman of CSICOP)

Richeliean Appeal to Skepticism – an inflation of personal gravitas, celebrity or influence by means of implicit or explicit threats of coercive tactics which can harm a victim one wishes to be silenced. Coercive tactics include threats to harm family, contact employers, tamper with businesses, employment of celebrity status to conduct defamation activities or actions to defraud, or otherwise cause harm to persons, reputation or property. This includes the circumstance where a Richeliean skeptic encourages and enjoys a form of ‘social peer review,’ empowered via politics or a set of sycophants who are willing to enact harm to a level which the Richeliean power holder himself would not personally stoop.

Appeal to Spite – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made through exploiting people’s bitterness, spite or political orientation regarding an opposing party; or implication that certain politically disdained groups adhere universally to specific set of beliefs.

Associative Condemnation – the attempt to link controversial subject A with personally disliked persons who support subject B, in an effort to impute falsehood to subject B and frame its supporters as whackos. Guilt through bundling association and lumping all subjects into one subjective group of believers. This will often involve a context shift or definition expansion in a key word as part of the justification. Spinning the idea that those who research pesticide contribution to cancer, are also therefore flat Earther’s.

Astroturfing – the attempt to create an illusion of widespread grassroots support for a policy, viewpoint, or product, where little such support in reality exists. Multiple online identities coordinate around celebrity siren calls, manufactured data, fake-hoax counter propaganda and shill pressure groups; all employed to mislead the public into believing that the position of the astroturfer is a socially acceptable, rational reality and/or a commonly held view.

Authority Credulist – the opposite of a conspiracy theorist, but even worse in terms of harm imparted. Believes authority with very little question. Vulnerable to and often exploited by authorized propaganda outlets, through bearing an abject weakness in ability to grasp asymmetry, spot patterns or develop intelligence. Seeks to be an agent which foments conflict between what they view as authority, and everyone who disagrees.

Beatles Effect – people who rise through their career having not served in a supporting role, in too fast a progression, or are assigned celebrity without substantive merit – these individuals will often exhibit a cruelty in their leadership, selfishness, or an inability to get along with peers, which expresses as a knee-jerk desire to denigrate subjects and persons, without adequate underpinning research.

Bradley Effect – the principle wherein a person being polled will, especially in the presence of trial heat or iteration-based polls, tend to answer a poll question with a response which they believe the polling organization or the prevailing social pressure, would suggest they should vote or which will not serve to identify them into the wrong camp on a given issue. The actual sentiment of the polled individual is therefore not actually captured.

Bucket Characterization from Negative Premise – subject A is a disproved topic. As a ponderer of subject A you are therefore a pseudo scientist; and in being pseudo scientist you therefore then adhere to every other philosophy of pseudoscience and every philosophy a critical observer finds distasteful. Class stereotype disdain with fictionalized evidence.

Catalyseur – a conflict exploitation specialist, or any entity which stands to gain under the outcome of a lose-lose conflict scenario which they have served to create, abet or foment. Someone who acts as a third party to two sides in an argument or conflict, who advises about the ‘truth’ of the other party involved, respectively and urges an escalation of factors which drove the conflict to begin with.

Cheerleader Effect – the exploitation of the tendency for people or ideas to appear more attractive in a proactive group than in isolation.

Coincidence Theory/Theorist – the reactionary theory of conformance or one who crafts such complicated and highly stacked ‘rational’ alternatives as to why an astounding observation can only be served by a conventional or conforming explanation. Usually comes with the adjunct claim that the exceptional observation cannot possibly exist since ‘it would require a conspiracy of X people, if indeed it were true.’ A form of sophistry and rhetoric used to defend a political or religious a priori assumption.

Compositional Exclusion – citing one’s lack of adherence to one tenet of a belief system, or a ludicrously or extremely portrayed component of belief held by a group, to stand quod erat demonstrandum that one is not a member of that group.

contra ad populum – citing that, since an argument or preference for a conclusion is growing in popularity, it must therefore only be growing in such acceptance because of argumentum ad populum pressure, human foibles or through media promotion – and cannot possibly be growing because of the persistent and robust nature of the associated evidence.

Covfefe Event – a meaningless event or issue which serves to displaces attention from other topical events or issues, yet ironically exposes the meaninglessness of those displaced events or issues. Roughly synonymous in politics with ‘jumping the shark’, ‘nuking the fridge’ or ‘opening the vault’.

Crate Effect – impact of persons who purposely give the opposite response as to what they really think because of animosity towards the polling group or the entailed issue (especially if non-free press) and/or their perceived history of bias, and/or animosity towards the circus around elections or the elections themselves. This false left leaning bias is generated most often inside groups who believe media outlets to be left-leaning and unfair.

culpant et victima – whenever a culprit is being concealed as to their introduction of a deleterious contribution, the victims will be assigned the blame for their handiwork.

damnatio memoriae – is a modern Latin phrase literally meaning “condemnation of memory”, advocating that a person or argument must be obliterated, erased and not remembered at all costs; regardless of its scientific merit. This is a chief function of social skepticism. It was a form of dishonor that could be passed by the Roman Senate on traitors or others who brought discredit to the Roman State. It was also employed by those who opposed Pharaoh Akhenaten, to effectively erase his reign from Egyptian history by Pharaohs and families ruling in The New Kingdom set of its Dynastic Periods.

Desire to Offend Bias – when one excuses or bears a condition wherein, the desire to offend a targeted party is so high or is of such a first priority that, it imbues or reveals a bias or agency all of its own. The ironic bigotry of highlighting a strawman bigotry in another targeted party or disliked race. See Hitchens’ Apology.

Dichotomy of Specific Descriptives – a form of panduction, wherein anecdotes are employed to force a conclusion about a broad array of opponents, yet are never used to apply any conclusion about self, or one’s favored club. Specific bad things are only done by the bad people, but very general descriptives of good, apply when describing one’s self or club. Specifics on others who play inside disapproved subjects, general nebulous descriptives on self identity and how it is acceptable ‘science’ or ‘skepticism’.

Disinformation – when a group plants a false item of information inside the camp of thought they oppose, then alerts their allies (typically the main stream press) to highlight this falsehood as a means to discredit those groups, their movements or people disdained by the disinformation specialist and/or the condemning press channel.

Ecological Fallacy – a logical fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data where inferences about the nature of individuals or isolated observations/studies are deduced from inference regarding the group or broader study domain to which those individuals or observations belong. A compliment of the Yule-Simpson Effect, wherein results obtained for subsets of data, tend to disappear when those subsets are combined.

Editorial Burden Error – when pushing the envelope on evidence/reason or making mistakes as to what to discredit, impugn and attack because one is under the burden of having to find some subject to discredit or eviscerate. This because they are on a regular/urgent editorial publication schedule or have some key presentation due inside a group of skepticism.

Elastration (Banding) – The use of an elastrator to gradually cease bloodflow to the testes of a bull. A furtive method of gradual castration and extinction, without the victim fully perceiving it. A method of enacting evil, without full perception of performing it.

ergo sum scientia – when a group portrays highly visible activism on an easy or a sensible cause célèbre in support/defense of science, in order to tender the appearance of and imply to an audience that they represent critical thinking, the scientific method or the correct conclusions of science. Holding club meetings at prominent universities in or to imply their endorsement of your cause, or imply that your group represents science.

ergo sum veritas Fallacy – the assumption, implication or inference that an organization bearing a form of title regarding skepticism immediately holds de facto unquestionable factual or ideological credibility over any other entity having conducted an equivalent level of research into a matter at hand. The assumption, implication or inference that an organization or individual bearing a form of title regarding skepticism, adheres to a higher level of professionalism, ethics or morality than does the general population.

ergo sum veritas Fallacy (strong) – the assumption that because one’s organization is acting in the name of skepticism or science, that such a self claimed position affords the organization and its and/or members exemption from defamation, business tampering, fraud, privacy, stalking, harassment and tortious interference laws.

Ethical Skeptic’s Axiom – accurate, is simple. But that does not serve to make simple, therefore accurate. To a practitioner in the art, accuracy is equivalent or superior to simplicity. The idea that, in its first inception, a new paradigm must be expressed accurately first before it may be simplified. One cannot as a rule be forced to express simply, an idea which is being drafted for the very first time. Simplicity is a manner of teaching, communicating or sustaining; often to non-discipline individuals, and is not a necessary tool of formulation. Thereafter, an idea may be simplified if possible, in order to aid in understanding. See Bridgman Reduction.

Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Slow Moving Disasters – slow moving disasters (famine, climate change, pandemic, racism, etc.) will universally involve sacrifice solely on the part of a consistent and single targeted ethnicity, gender and nationality.

Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Virtue and Value – the problem with easy money on Wall Street is that people who are trained to think that money comes in absence of any form of delivery of value – those poseurs rise into positions of power. These entities coordinate with social virtue activists as a result, because they cannot attach margin to value. Those who bear no skill in provision of value, will substitute virtue in its place.

Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Virtue and Violence – violence is always presaged by virtue. Oppression is always presaged by truth. A violent movement seeking oppressive power, will always costume itself in a virtuous cause of some kind (science, the people, the children, the migrant, the worker, etc.), during its ascendancy. It does not matter who is actually in current power. Violent forces will inevitably decided that their virtue exonerates their incompetence, and more importantly, justifies violence in the establishment of their righteous power.

The Ethical Skeptic’s Razor (The Antiwisdom of Crowds) – among competing alternatives, all other things being equal, prefer the one for which discussion or research is embargoed. Power, Politics, Narrative, and Profit demand a level of transparency which obviates that same burden upon mere dissent. What is enforced by Narrative, can also be dismissed as Narrative.

Ethics-Understanding Gridlock – a paradoxical and socially paralyzing condition wherein stakeholders who grasp the ethical issues involved with a science, do not possess full understanding of the subject science itself; while conversely those who are able to understand the science, do not possess a full grasp of its incumbent stakeholder ethics.

Evil – in contrast with ‘good’, which is not a Wittgenstein object, evil does possess a definition:

  1. Causing or allowing to occur, a transpiration which bears a primary objective or likelihood of resulting in harm to an innocent party; enabled through a process of deception and with forethought and intent as to the harm potential involved. Intent to harm through fraud with scienter. A being is not evil, only method is evil.
  2. Skill in adopting an action or appearance which is otherwise defined as good (virtue), in order to accomplish definition 1.

Exception Fallacy – is the converse of the ecological fallacy, wherein one infers a group conclusion on the basis of individual, small study or exceptional cases. This is the kind of fallacious reasoning that is at the core of stereotyping.

Exclusion Induced Bias – if one is on the outside of a subject, one’s natural tendency is to be skeptical of those on the inside of that subject. A natural bias inducement which occurs when the only people who engage over a complex, highly technical or niche specialty subject are those that really care about it. This is often perceived negatively or interpreted as lacking in accountability or as elitism by laymen or outsiders. In such outside groups, a reactionary skepticism or cynicism can artificially generate by means of this exclusion barrier alone, and not from any form of philosophy, reason nor epistemology.

Exploiter – an Agent of Deskeption who poses as an Anti-Institutionalist, Champion of the Credulist and representative of the Concealed Truth. The work of such individuals or groups often becomes the source material used frequently and conveniently in a Lob and Slam Ploy.

Extremist/Fanaticist/Ultraist – a person or group of similar minded persons who fail in comprehension of two valuable human truths: 1) the value of creating allies from those who only mildly disagree, and 2) the error of siding with ‘the enemy of thy enemy’ – seldom grasping that, given condition 1) the likelihood that this new allied enemy will be worse than their old one is very high. The extremist not only does not care, but furthermore does not possess the skill to discern this condition nor fathom its principle. Orange man bad. A mental state which makes one vulnerable to manipulation by this mindset.

Fallacy of Composition – assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole.

Fallacy of Exclusive Premises – there are believers and disbelievers, and some believers are gullible. Therefore no disbelievers are gullible.

Fallacy of Extrapolated Inversion – a form of straw man argument where data describing a phenomenon peculiar to one population under a specific set of circumstances, is extrapolated and applied to a completely different phenomenon or population under a completely different set of circumstances, to underpin a straw man assertion about the latter. For example, “Despite a supposed [notice the prejudicial language] surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. The xenophobic leaders aren’t succeeding in changing people’s interest in others.”

Fallacy of Ludic Dismissal – the contention that the change in statistics with regard to upswing in the belief in a disdained topic can unequivocally be shown to be an effect of media, hype hysteria and promotional campaigns by pseudo scientists.

False Consensus Bias – The false belief that, or willingness to acceptance the claim that, scientists are all in agreement any given subject. In psychology mostly, but also with regard to scientific consensus and the public, the idea that everyone regards issues in the same manner as we ourselves do.

Filbert’s Law – or the law of diminishing information return. Increasing the amount of data brought into an analysis does not necessarily serve to improve salience, precision or accuracy of the analysis, yet comes at the cost of stacking risk in veracity. The further away one gets from direct observation, and the more one gets into ‘the data’ only, the higher is the stack of chairs upon which one stands. To find a result use a small sample population, to hide a result use a large one.

Frank’s Law – under fundamentalist oppression, precaution will always be spun as anti-ism.

Friable – the tendency of an apparently solid object to break into factions or crumble when placed under duress or dynamics which exploit its internal friction. The readiness by which a group can be exploited and caused to divide into factions of disagreement or hate.

Fundamental Attribution Bias – when one considers the traits of another to stem from the disposition of that individual such that it may affect that person’s behavior as opposed to situational factors; yet views their own behavior as stemming from chiefly situational factors.

Fundamental Attribution of Doubt Bias – when one views skepticism inside one’s own disposition as constituting justifiable doubt, yet views skepticism in another as constituting conspiracy theory. When one’s position is held solely because it is backed by an institution or person which cannot be questioned outside the context of conspiracy – this amounts to an appeal to authority.

Gaslighting – a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and/or sanity. Using persistent denial, disinformation, misdirection, contradiction, manipulated statistics and organic untruths, in an attempt to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s beliefs, understanding or confidence in self.

Gaussian Blindness (see medium fallax) – the tendency to characterize an entire population by both the mean (μ) of the population as well as a Normal Distribution profile or other easily applied distribution, as being descriptive of the whole body of a set of data. I’ve got my head in the oven, and my ass in the fridge, so I’m OK.

Genetic Fallacy – an informal fallacy of irrelevance regarding the origins of an argument or the person making the argument, wherein a conclusion is suggested or rejected based solely on someone’s or something’s history, origin, or source and/or rather than its current meaning or context.

Gestalt-Heuristic (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.

Godwin’s Gaffe – the habit of repeatedly referring to Godwin’s Law, as a defense against methodological comparatives of fake skeptics to Lysenkoists or the Nazi or Communist Parties. While at the same time them self, subsequently bearing no compunction to not comparing anyone who disagrees with them to such oppressive institutions.

Google Blame Ranking Effect – if advice about what you are personally doing wrong, inhabits 90% of the first three pages of ranked responses on Google, it is most certainly wrong.

Green Eggs and Ham (Poll) Error – the combined Crate-Bradley Effect in polling error. Including sentiment of those who have never heard of the topic. Including responses from those who know nothing about the topic, but were instructed to throw the poll results. Finally, treating both of these groups as valid ‘disagree/agree’ sentiment signal data. The presence of excessively small numbers of ‘I don’t know’ responses in controversial poll results. There exists an ethical difference between an informed-yet-mistaken hunch, versus making a circular-club-recitation claim to authority based upon a complete absence of exposure (ignorance) to a topic at all. In reality, the former is participating in the poll, the latter is not. The latter ends up constituting only a purely artificial agency-bias, which requires an oversampling or exclusion adjustment. One cannot capture a sentiment assay about the taste of green eggs and ham, among people who either don’t even know what green eggs and ham is, or have never even once tasted it because they were told it was bad.

Bradley Effect – the principle wherein a person being polled will, especially in the presence of trial heat or iteration-based polls, tend to answer a poll question with a response which they believe the polling organization or the prevailing social pressure, would suggest they should vote or which will not serve to identify them into the wrong camp on a given issue. The actual sentiment of the polled individual is therefore not actually captured.

Crate Effect – impact of persons who purposely give the opposite response as to what they really think because of animosity towards the polling group or the entailed issue (especially if non-free press) and/or their perceived history of bias, and/or animosity towards the circus around elections or the elections themselves. This false left leaning bias is generated most often inside groups who believe media outlets to be left-leaning and unfair.

Group Attribution Error – the biased belief that the characteristics of an individual group member are reflective of the group as a whole or the tendency to assume that group decision outcomes reflect the preferences of group members, even when information is available that clearly suggests otherwise.

Haspel’s Paradox – a suppressed idea mutates to ever more virulent forms, these are then invoked to justify its continued suppression.

Hasty Generalization – basing a broad conclusion about a group on rumor, stereotype, a small sample set or scant observational experience.

Hate Rhetoric – unleashing of a sometimes rhythmic and sermon-like rambling circular logic, stringing together a series of emphatic good sounding one-liners and memes into a web of defacto hate. A surreptitiously directed hate, focused on persons who coincidentally also happen to be of a different ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic grouping than the person issuing the rhetoric.

Hegelian Dialectic – three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction; an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis; and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. In more simplistic terms, one can consider it thus: proposition → anti-proposition → solution. In a Machiavelli Solution, a third party creates and/or exploits the self-sublation condition of this bifurcation in thesis, in order to sustain a conflict between two opposing ideas or groups, and eventually exploit those two groups’ losses into its own gain in power.

Hindsight Bias – the inclination to see past events or actions by people or groups as being more predictable than they actually were; also called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect.

Hoary Glory Bias – when one cites old ridiculous arguments from opposing groups from ancient times or older eras of scientific understanding, to serve as exemplary rationale as to the impeccable nature of and false incumbent merit of argument on the part of the arguer’s allegiance group. Usually employed while implying that modern opponents hold to similarly ridiculous versions of argument today.

Hoax (Strawman) – anonymous hoax perpetrated to discredit. Typically outfitted fitted with a hidden “key” – the obvious or semi-obvious flaw or Achilles Heel which reveals the event or contention to be merely a hoax; purposely set to be discovered at a later time, to discredit a specific targeted subject or persons to whom the hoax relates.

Hate Hoax – A skit/joke or special kind of strawman hoax which celebrates oppression or mocks people based upon their opposition to oppression, based upon race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or political beliefs – is indistinguishable from and should be treated as, the real thing.

Hostile Media Channel Effect – the tendency to see a media report or specific network as being biased and purveying only pseudoscience, owing to one’s own strong partisan views.

Ignorance – is not a ‘lack of knowledge’ but is rather a verb, meaning ‘a cultivated quiescence before an idea or group which has become more important to protect than science, human rights, well-being, and life itself.’ The belief that one has personally attained a state of immunity to incorrect information. The action of blinding one’s self to an eschewed reality through a satiating and insulating culture and lexicon.

Illicit Major Fallacy – all researchers of pseudoscience are irrational. No scientists study pseudoscience. Therefore, all the positions of scientists on pseudoscience are rational positions.

Illicit Minor Fallacy – all skeptics are rational thinkers. All scientists are rational thinkers. Therefore, all scientists are skeptics.

‘I’m Not a Scientist’ Rhetorical Exclusion – an artifice of rhetoric in which one begins a pseudoscientific assertion with the preamble ‘Now, I am not a scientist but…’ What the claimant has done with this is to imply that scientists are a group, marginalized from society, which had made the claim of being the only ones worthy to speak on a topic of contention. It is used to isolate the concerns of science as therefore being fringe or oppressive in nature by default.

Inchoate Action – a set of activity or a permissive argument which is enacted or proffered by a celebrity or power wielding sskeptic, which prepares, implies, excuses or incites their sycophancy to commit acts of harm against those who have been identified as the enemy, anti-science, credulous or ‘deniers’. Usually crafted is such a fashion as to provide a deniability of linkage to the celebrity or inchoate activating entity.

Induratethe nature of a solid object in terms of being robust to breaking into factions or crumbling when placed under duress or dynamics which seek to exploit its internal friction. The integrity of character, mission and/or knowledge by which a group can resist being exploited and caused to divide into factions of disagreement or hate.

Inflation of Conflict – disagreement in a field of knowledge legitimizes an opponents’ assumption of the invalidity of that entire field.

Ingroup Bias – the tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others, or the ideas of others they perceive to be members of their own groups.

Ingroup Bias Projection – when citing superior morality, rationality or intellect as traits more likely characteristic of members of one’s own group.

Journalistic Hyperbole, The Principle of – when a journalist cites that an issue is the ‘most’, ‘worst’, ‘deadliest’, ‘open-shut’ or scientifically settled, you can safely discern that the journalist fears that the issue might not even be real and/or is attempting to escalate the language of the argument to intimidate opponents. Hyperbole betrays self doubt or a lack of real evidence.

Just World Bias – the tendency for SSkeptics to want to believe that the world is fundamentally just and rational, causing them to rationalize an otherwise unconscionable injustice as deserved by the victim(s) for their being irrational.

Käseglocke – German for ‘cheese dome’. A condition and/or place where nothing can get in, and nothing can get out. A society, culture or club where development has stultified and the organized group no longer provides benefit to themselves nor those around them or society at large. A group which has ceased learning and/or its ability to increase understanding. See anomie, with respect to the morals and ethics version of such a condition.

Latet Misandry – the deceptive employment of positions of skepticism or channels of skeptical media to promote ideas or ‘scientific’ evidence supporting the hatred of males or men. To conceal a hatred of males behind a pretense of rational thinking, social justice or science.

Lemming Inertia/Karen Train – the propensity for a syndicate, club, or advocacy group to be deluded by ad populum (appeal to club popularity of an idea) and ad virtutem (appeal to virtue of self and their ideas) in support of a notion – to the extent that even if they are found wrong, the movement can no longer be stopped. The belief that because one is acting as proxy in the name of some oppressed party, therefore they are now qualified to rule over others, silence speech, scream, attack, and harm in the name of that virtue costume – without any further circumspection or accountability from that point onward.

Lie of Allegiance – committed when a proponent of a specific side in a false dilemma argument misrepresents their membership group as holding one socially acceptable or attractive philosophy in name, yet that group in reality teaches/practices another less acceptable or extremist philosophy altogether.

Lob & Slam Ploy – a version of good cop/bad cop wherein a virtual partnership exists between well known fake news ‘satire’ news outlets, and so called ‘fact checkers’ media patrols. The fake news is generated and posed to the web as satire, subsequently stripped of its context by a third party, and then inserted into social media as true – whereupon it is virally circulated. Subsequently, ‘fact checking’ agencies are then alerted to this set up (the Lob), and then slam home the idea of the fake nature of the ‘news’, as well as the lack of credibility and gullible nature of those who passed it around through social media. This in itself is a fake ploy, a form a Fake-Hoaxing and Hoax Baiting practiced by social agenda forces seeking to artificially enhance the credibility of a news ‘fact checker’.

Machiavelli Solution – a three stage ‘solution’, implemented through an often unseen or unappreciated agency’s manipulation of a population. This is what fake and celebrity skeptics are doing to us today – they work to foment conflict between the public and science/scientists – in order to exploit the self-sublation into their own power and enforcement of their own religion, sol-nihilism. There are three steps to this:

1. Hegelian Dialectic – three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction; an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis; and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. In more simplistic terms, one can consider it thus: proposition → anti-proposition → solution.​

However, the proposition and anti-proposition become stuck in a thing called self-sublation​​. A state in which both extremes have been falsified, however no one can give either extreme up, because of the perceived risk of a victory by the other side:

2. Self-Sublation (autoaufheben) – Hegelian principle of a dialectic which is stuck in stasis through an idea both canceling and sustaining itself at the same time. A doubled meaning: it means both to cancel (or negate) and to preserve at the same time.​

The proposition/anti-proposition tension now stuck as its own perpetual argument, this gives rise to the surreptitiously played​

3. Machiavelli Solution – a third party creates and/or exploits the self-sublation condition of a Hegelian dialectic bifurcation at play, in order to sustain a conflict between two opposing ideas or groups, and eventually exploit those two groups’ losses into its own gain in power.​

medium fallax (see Gaussian Blindness) – the tendency to regard or promote the mean (μ) or other easily derived or comprehensive statistic as constituting an equivalent descriptive of the whole body of a set of data or a closely related issue – assuming immunity from the burden of identifying a causal critical path or developing testable mechanism to prove out the contention made (critical elements of scientific theory); or the process of misleading with statistical indications as to the makeup and nature of a body of data. I’ve got my head in the oven, and my ass in the fridge, so I’m OK.

Meta-Awareness Deficiency – a lack of awareness of the motivation or value systems of others. The tendency to make assumptions regarding “right thinking” which fail to take into account the unique circumstances or social structure in which other people live.

metánoia – Greek μετάνοια, meaning ‘contrition’. The state of mind or action when one suddenly realizes that they are not, nor ever have been ‘The Resistance’ – but rather have been a soldier in The Evil Empire all along. The chagrin over having been duped over a period of time, into committing or supporting harmful or heinous actions as part of a larger group.

Moral Recourse – an appeal to morality wherein a faking arguer who actually bears no interest in the science behind an issue, is outflanked, and actual science is no longer on his side. He will shift to moral arguments and attempt to make his opponents appear to be bad or immoral for their stance. This is the shift we see underway now in vaccine science for instance, now that early immune activation and injected aluminum are linked in numerous studies to autism, the argument is no longer scientific, rather a moral appeal.

Myth of the Excited Scientists – the mythical, dis-informative and/or Pollyanna contention on the part of fake skeptics wherein they will claim that if any evidence whatsoever for a disliked subject were actually found, then scientists surely would be excited about it and then dedicate their lives to study of the subject from then on.

Nazi – someone who has refused or opposed my righteous insistence. A person who is not of color and is not silent or defends a person who is not of color. A person who’s wrong opinion or lack of silence can be justifiably countered by force or violence. A person who speaks things I do not like and can therefore be censored, blocked from media access or attacked violently as part of my expression of free speech and justice.

Negativity Bias – psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories associated with a disliked organization or concept, compared with positive memories of the same.

Non-merchandising Defense Error – claiming correctness on your part or incorrectness on another party’s part because merchandising or product sales have been conducted in the name of the opposing idea. Anything can be merchandised, that does not de-legitimize the underlying issue involved – but fraud is a tort, even if you do not merchandise it.

omnis doctrina – when an authority insists that, in order to be a member or adherent to a club, citizenship, religion or group, one must believe all the tenets of the charter or mantra of that group without question or dissent. Ideas such as ‘you can’t just throw out parts of the Bible which you don’t like, and keep the rest,’ or ‘you cannot pick and choose the science you like and do not like’ or ‘you cannot be an American and toss out the 4th Amendment’. An appeal to authority, which can slip by and sound more reasonable because it is offered in a rhetorical reverse fashion of posing.

Outgroup Homogeneity Bias – individuals see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups.

Panduction – an invalid form of inference which is spun in the form of pseudo-deductive study. Inference which seeks to falsify in one fell swoop ‘everything but what my club believes’ as constituting one group of bad people, who all believe the same wrong and correlated things – this is the warning flag of panductive pseudo-theory. No follow up series studies nor replication methodology can be derived from this type of ‘study’, which in essence serves to make it pseudo-science.  This is a common ‘study’ format which is conducted by social skeptics masquerading as scientists, to pan people and subjects they dislike. There are three general types of Panduction. In its essence, panduction is any form of inference used to pan an entire array of theories, constructs, ideas and beliefs (save for one favored and often hidden one), by means of the following technique groupings:

  1. Extrapolate and Bundle from Unsound Premise
  2. Impugn through Invalid Syllogism
  3. Mischaracterize though False Observation

parafonía – the circumstance wherein a person, organization, or club has ceded fealty to, is financially or critically dependent upon, or has based their future viability upon a principle or organization which is showing to be increasingly unacceptable over time. The stark or sudden realization that one has hitched their wagon to the wrong team of horses. The dawning realization on a person’s part that one is in fact a member of a criminal enterprise or organization.

Pathologizing – establishing a ‘halo of condemnation’ around a subject or person as a first step of deliberation inside a social context. A term framed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Skin in the Game. It is what fake skeptics and other forms of poseur do to disliked subjects (‘pseudosciences’) and to persons (‘woo believer’) who research them. A true skeptic is a friend, not an enemy. They tend to be specific on help, encouraging on subject and mute on persons, personal habits, eccentricities and preferences. What fake skeptics and poseurs (Nassim Taleb’s Intellectual Yet Idiot- IYI) do is to pathologize persons who act differently than do they, and subjects they fear or dislike. They focus on person and personal traits and not upon prosecuting the subject at hand. Aside from standing in the gap when pathologizing emerges – fakers focus upon foibles.

Pedophrasty – (coined by NN Taleb) sensationalism involving children or their abuse, sickness or risk of death, employed to manipulate an argument by means of an ad virtutem fallacy – accusation that an opponent is ‘endangering the children/starving children and therefore lacks virtue or is an asshole, by means of their argument position. Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures.

petitio contrarium – the ad hominem rhetorical accusation that a proponent of a practice or state, is necessarily implying that they are also therefore opposed to or condemning the antithesis or exception to that practice or state. The false contention that a person who lives healthy in order to avoid illness is also therefore blaming people who get sick for ‘not being healthy’. The idea that if a parent does not favor their child to grow up to be a trash collector, they are therefore prejudiced against trash collectors. The false social notion that if a person campaigns research to stem the tide of increasing autism, that they therefore necessarily hate or are discriminatory towards people with autism.

Pluralistic Ignorance – most often, a situation in which a majority of scientists and researchers privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most other scientists and researchers accept it, often because of a misleading portrayal of consensus by agenda carrying social skeptics. Therefore they choose to go along with something with which they privately dissent or are neutral.

ad populum – a condition wherein the majority of individuals believe without evidence, either that everyone else assents or that everyone else dissents upon a specific idea.

ad consentum – a self-reinforcing cycle wherein wherein the majority of members in a body believe without evidence, that a certain consensus exists, and they therefore support that idea as consensus as well.

ad immunitatem – a condition wherein the majority of individuals are subject to a risk, however most individuals regard themselves to reside in the not-at-risk group – often because risk is not measured.

ad salutem – a condition wherein a plurality or majority of individuals have suffered an injury, however most individuals regard themselves to reside in the non-injured group – often because they cannot detect such injury.

probis malum – it becomes moral to cheat when you’re convinced that your opponent is evil. The process of convincing one’s self or group that a targeted opponent is on the side of evil. This let’s loose the dogs of war. And all is fair in love and war. Even just. Even virtuous. A key hint of this factor in play: someone who regards all who oppose them, as equal to Hitler or another iconic symbol of evil in their mind.

Pseudo Scientific Naturalism – when one employs or implies furtive hyperbole as to what science has concluded, eliminated, disproved or studied, foisted to proactively preclude a group’s agenda from being qualified as a religion.

qualitas clava Error – 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.

quo facto malo – Latin for ‘having done this evil’. When a person desires to do evil to another, they will manufacture or fantasize in their mind, offenses their target has committed, which serve to therefore justify their actions; harm which they had conducted or intended to conduct from very beginning, but were simply waiting for the right excuse to blame it upon.

Rank Assent – one employs or allows the trials and injustices faced in one’s apprenticeship inside a career or social standing, to stand as a type of barrier to entry to their field – after the trial or injustice no longer applies to them personally. I am not going to expose this immoral assault, because once I have passed and survived it, it will be a great barrier to entry for those who follow me. Very common in Hollywood and Music.

Reciprocating Effect – cause and effect are reversed, then reversed again, over and over in a chicken and egg relationship. The effector hysteria around an observation is said to be the cause of it, and then vice versa, ad infinitum. It assumes no validity to the basic genesis of the argument.

Red Shirt Syndrome – a belief that injury/calamity/ruin only happens to other people (those in red shirts on Star Trek – The Original Series) or those who deserve it for some subconsciously held reason. Ignorance of the principle that a pervasive systemic injury happens to almost everyone exposed to it, to varying degrees, and not merely to the unfortunate few. It is just the few who are indeed detected or measured.

Researcher’s Catch 22 – the instance brought about through over-representation of fake skeptics or science communicators in the media. A condition wherein, on one hand if one is too liberal or permissive in their semantics regarding a paranormal topic, they will be crucified for promoting ‘woo’ by our fake ‘science communicators’ who don’t know their ascience from a hole in the ground. On the other hand if they choose the wrong words – reminiscent of catch-phrases familiar to skeptics, Atheists, monists and nihilists – thereafter such agency will jump on the chance to crucify the topic as therefore a ‘pseudoscience’ as well (by your own admission as a researcher). Either the researcher’s individual reputation, or their field of career study – is placed at risk. This presents a possible no-win scenario. This is also a common challenge which faces a focused-research corporation head with regard to competitors and stockholders.

Rickrolling – a form of bait and switch or big politico advisory business wherein one sets up a fake scandal, which tantalizes the opposition, take years to prosecute and extract critical evidence – and finally where in the end, when the protected critical documents, recordings, testimony, media are exposed – it turns out to be nothing but a mocking of the whole process, exposing it as a complete and foolish waste of time. Term is derived from the internet meme of users pursuing avenues of research, being redirected as a bait and switch spoof, to videos of Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Road to Damascus Fraud – a person of weak integrity, who is seduced by one philosophy and extols it through practices of vehemency, virtue or deception, who then switches to the exact opposite philosophy and thereafter uses similar tactics and/or intensity of fanaticism – is not to be trusted. They have not ‘seen the light’. Their conversion is not evidence of validity of their latter philosophy, nor evidence of the invalidity of the former.

Rosach’s Axiom – if a person chooses an invective towards another, with multiple possible definitions or high possible equivocation potential – then they wish for all to infer the most pejorative version of definition, but will imply publicly that they meant the least pejorative definition.

Sacred Citizen Complex – the regard of self or of others, defined by some characteristic such as race, skin color, religion, gender or other special status, as being exempt from laws, ethics, morals or other strictures of normal society – simply because of that characteristic or some form of history or institution of injustice they base such exemption upon. The idea that certain persons can be racist/bigoted but others cannot – simply because of such a characteristic.

Scapegoating – the practice of singling out a person or group for unmerited blame, almost always for targeting with consequent negative treatment. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals, individuals against groups, groups against individuals, and groups against groups.

Scarecrow – a high visibility claim that an opposing group has proposed ideas which are of patently ludicrous viability; when in fact no such theories or ideas have been proposed by the disliked group, and moreover that the only broaching of such a construct, theory or idea originates solely from the claiming group itself. Extreme Straw Man.

Scooby-Doo Science – a mindset born by fake skeptics wherein every mystery is easily resolved by current science understanding or the pretense that science has studied a subject when it has not – a ‘science’ which also features a convenient ability to highlight the bad person in the argument – usually of a consistent gender and ethnicity.

Screaming Shield – a method of defending one’s power by establishing a condition in which innocent people will be harmed if your power is threatened. A way of holding others hostage, at risk of harm, if the cases arises wherein one challenges your monist or supreme control. Placing munitions manufacturing inside of a baby milk factory, or propping up a socialist government by means of it critically supporting all the poor. Therefore if you topple the government, you are Q.E.D. ‘harming the poor’.

Seth’s Razor – all things being equal, any explanation aside from the simplest one, constitutes a conspiracy theory. Also, everything is a conspiracy theory. The principal technique of methodical cynicism, enforcing stacks of mandatory or pseudo-probable misinformation, as truth.

Shibboleth – is any custom or tradition, particularly a speech pattern, that distinguishes one group of people (an ingroup) from disliked or targeted ‘others’ (outgroups). Shibboleths have been used throughout history in many societies as passwords, catch phrases, simple ways of self-identifying, signaling loyalty and affinity, maintaining traditional segregation or keeping out perceived interlopers.

Shirky Principle – a risk value chain perspective which warns that complex solutions (such as a charity, government program, extremist advocacy, or institution) can become so wound up and convoluted inside the target problem they are the solution to, that often they inadvertently serve to perpetuate the problem.

simulans legatus – when purposely positioning one’s self inside a group of the most extreme members of an opposing group of thought, one can simply present a statesmanlike posture and akratically troll the community, thereafter highlighting only the natural absurd, abusive and fanatical extreme responses of the opposing side.  All while maintaining a calm rational composure in contrast. A passive sales technique and method of misrepresentation of both your and their groups, capitalizing on combative habituation and the fact that there is always an extreme 8% in any group.

Social Inversion – a condition wherein the people who say and do the right things, look the right part, use the proper words, become the elite and/or are members of the right party/club and clothe themselves in proper method and virtues – tend to produce the most ineffective outcomes or even detrimental results. In contrast, those who can never seem to say, do, be or in any way portray things which are correct or socially acceptable in the eyes of the correct group, tend to produce better results or at the least results which are not as calamitous as the correct group.

Stakeholder Ethics – a principle or condition wherein those who bear the negative impact of a decision are allowed to hold those who make that decision, accountable. Further then are allowed to dissent, and reverse that decision or remove the decision maker, even if they claim to be an ‘expert’. A claim to science is not a free pass to tyranny.

Straw Man Conundrum – when one habitually misrepresents their opponents, the question arises: Does this stem from a shortcoming in effort, or a shortfall in acumen?

synítheia – (Greek: ‘habit, convention’) – the tendency to attribute patterns in data to underlying factors which an individual can control, as opposed to first examining demographic or primary factors which are not the result of personal habits or control. The bias of explaining that one’s own perceived or stereotypical habits, when contrasted with a target population, created therefore an observed statistical difference in that target population. Ascribing better disease outcomes in a population which is younger, falsely to their ‘being less obese’ or ‘more healthy’, for instance.

Taleb’s Law of Tolerance – a toleration of intolerance will always escalate to extremism and proscription as the standard.

The Left Pole – a political point held by fake skeptics, relative to which any differing opinion in any direction is considered therefore right wing, alt-right, anti-science, racist or phobic.

Tyflocracy – from Greek: τυφλός (tyflós: blind eye). A power wielding and expansive form of governance or administration which is willfully or maliciously blind to a suffering subject group or citizenry – often displaced in favor of groups who are not under its charge, employed as a means to increase its power. A group who strategically apportions risk, dismissing or refusing to examine its impart to a disfavored group over which they rule or have administering authority and impact – wherein a condition of negligence is indistinguishable from malevolence.

Universal Attribution Error – in this error a person is likely to make an internal attribution to an entire group instead of the individuals or disparate factions within the group.

Verschlimmbesserung – (German) to make something worse while trying to make it better. The fallacy of judging disasters by the measure that, those who bore the ‘good intentions’ should bear no fault, or place themselves as disconnected from the disaster.

Weapon Word – words of mass defamation. A fashion term inside SSkeptic discourse, being forced onto the public, and targeting a goal of defaming targeted individuals, observations and in the deceptive obviation of access to science by unwelcome topics. Words plied to place SSkeptic compliant peer pressure on budding scientists or persons of influence in grade school, high school and beyond.

Wicker Man Position – a position, as in the case of religion’s often being called ‘the ultimate strawman,’ where so many special exemptions are able to be pleaded or apologists habitually spin the idea that any critique offered towards their side constitutes strawman, ignorance or tu quoque errors – that the defended philosophy or position actually has no effective defining essence which can be pinned down in the first place.

Wittgenstein Attribute by Exception – a condition wherein the definition of a concept, term, quality or attribute can only be objectively described by comparison to what it is not. A logical object which is exclusively tenable through outlining cases wherein it or its qualities are absent. Often framed by ‘I don’t know how to define it, but I know when I am in it’, for example; usually involving merely a personal standard of measure. Attempts to define as logical objects, concepts such as love, happiness, genuineness, good, enlightenment, etc. Two errors result from a positive logical object approach in defining this type of Wittgenstein attribute:

a. epistemological study or social deliberation of such qualities ends up being more equivocal, ineffective or subject to personal experience than is presumed beneficial, and​

b. the pseudo-objective standards of such a definition, can be worn as a masquerade by entities which truly do not actually bear such concepts as qualities.​

epoché vanguards gnosis

How to MLA cite this blog post => 1
  1. The Ethical Skeptic, “The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation: Mischaracterization of Groups” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 17 Feb 2018, Web;
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