The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

Adoy’s Principle – or the Principle of the House Hedge

Penalty systems rarely fail, while reward systems are dispositioned to do so.
With benefits there is no do, only try. Master Yoda is rolling in his Jedi grave. The House which employs this precept has an edge; and as a result, always wins. Adoy’s Principle is both a tactic and strategy of Rent Seekers. When processes are set up such that rewards are at risk, while penalties are guaranteed in their enforcement, this displacement of risk downward and monetary reward upward, is called a House Hedge. It applies to skepticism as well as to the economics of extraction.

My dealings with the Social Security Administration and our Internal Revenue Service, combined of course with my longstanding experience in clashing with fake skeptics, has prompted me to develop a new axiom or principle. Its embodiment relates to a favorite statement of mine made by Master Yoda in the celebrated Star Wars saga episode The Empire Strikes Back. Inside the scene in question, Padawan Luke responds to a request by Master Yoda with the complaint “I’ll try”. To which Mater Yoda responds, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

This principle of human nature (or foible) can be inverted and extrapolated to stand as a truth inside broader systems of human social structure, which include of course social skeptics and governments. Systems which effect benefit to those at risk, such as the Social Security SSI Disability Administration or other social benefit, ‘try’ to attain their goal. Systems which administer punitive actions, such as the IRS, ‘do’ attain their goals. When have you ever had the IRS mistakenly forget to extract a penalty fee from you over a violation they have detected? Never. How many failure points exist inside an application for a disability benefit under SSI jurisdiction? At least six to eight failure points, all of which are guaranteed to fail to a high degree upon any application for benefit. This is the essence of Adoy’s Principle, or the Principle of the House Hedge. You will notice, that in keeping with not naming my axioms and philosophical principles after myself, I have chosen the name Yoda spelled backwards as the mnemonic for this element of the Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation. But first, let’s take a refresher look at the principle of who benefits: The Rent Seeker.


/philosophy : appeal to authority : exploitation/ : a version of appeal to authority, coined by Nassim Taleb, in which a person derives income simply because they are touted as an authority, or hold a position inside an organization with such authority, or hold a bureaucratic or power influence over the administration of assets/money – drawing unjustly thereof. Under such a model of value chain theory, even the rental of an asset involves some risk – however the principle hinges more around the idea that, for every dollar of compensation an equal and opposite flow of value should be provided. In similar context this is the origin of the statement of ethical skepticism ‘Risk is the leaven of the bread of hard work. Beware of those who’s trade is in neither.”

Adoy’s principle, a corollary to or form of rent seeking, is in effect no different than a casino’s 0.5% to 17% house edge (although in this usage it is technically a hedge, since it involves two unrelated processes with countering influences/effects – making it more akin to the hedge inside an investment fund context).1 The casino wins no matter what happens, even if every game was as fortuitous as black jack, the house will win an average of 5% to 10% because of the agency of process design. Gambler takes are designed to fail; house takes are designed to not fail (or curiously more ethical in the case of the casino, ‘fail less often’). The principle is embodied below.

Adoy’s Principle (House Hedge)

  1. Inside a conflict in interests, glitches and errors will always favor a single side.
  2. Penalty systems rarely fail, while benefit systems are dispositioned to do so.

/philosophy : entropy : suffering/ : (an inversion of Yoda’s axiom in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back: “Do, or do not. There is no try.”) – systems which administer punitive actions and/or penalties rarely if ever fail (they ‘do’); while systems which deliver awards and/or benefits often fail or are designed so as to increase the likelihood of failure (they ‘try’). The difference is called a ‘house hedge’. The house hedge is expressed in two ways.

First as the economic inefficiency of extraction by taxation: the taxing body gets to keep the house hedge illegitimately as a defacto program inefficiency.

Second as a feature of club quality: fake skeptics are allowed to deliver condemning dispositions without any scientific rigor, while their victims must produce flawless science in order to negate the easy proclamations of the fake skeptic.

There is No Do, Only Try

Take for example the benefit which is the ‘try’ of the Social Security Administration’s SSI Disability Benefits process versus an IRS ‘do’ tax penalty. Recently I had to file my taxes late because of a delayed overseas income statement. The penalty voucher for that delay, was issued without exception nor delay – as it should. No big deal: $350. I paid it – as just part of the expense of doing difficult business. Many opportunities for the working class have shifted out of the United States and overseas – and the IRS knows that it can make more money in that circumstance. It could care less where you have to go in order to earn the money. It is rent seeking.

However in contrast, my daughter’s cerebrum was crushed during her process of birth. This resulted in birth trauma cerebral palsy and her being permanently disabled. She was found to have a 75% tear (a definitive zig-zagged scar characteristic of this type of injury) through her brain (corpus callosum), on CAT scans subsequent to detecting the entailed cognitive and physical impacts. The scar had resulted from trauma during birth canal compression. It took 3 years after detection, just to get a medical diagnosis and special needs education plan in place, then a further 2 years in order to obtain a final clinical and causal diagnosis. By the time the doctors finally determined the complete degree of magnitude and cause of her cerebral palsy, it was too late to seek relief from the very insurers who are compensated highly to protect victims in such cases. Those insurers actually wrote the law under an Adoy’s Principle. This system of benefit, ostensibly created to offer relief to victims like in the case of my daughter, was purposely designed to fail. Her cost of care? …$2.6 million for lifetime. 

So I work two jobs, take no vacations, drive 10+ year old cars, get my teeth serviced at charity clinics, have had no health insurance for years at a time, and will not be able to retire. I am willing to do all this – but I am not willing to do this so that the lawyer who developed the Adoy’s Principle can sit on his yacht in Nantucket Sound and marvel at how virtuous he was.

This is a visceral example of why it is important that science be held accountable under the public interest – and not reside as the lapdog of corporations and their fake skeptics.

We thereafter fight the battle to get SSI Disability for my daughter, now in her 20’s – the period in which she should have been a taxpaying professional. We have battled for 6 years to get her warranted benefits, unsuccessfully so; ostensibly because she took out an $8,000 loan years ago to try and attend a vocational rehabilitation school. We had not the first inkling that this would disqualify her for disability. The school did not pan out as viable for her because of her mental and physical limitations, and so we immediately repaid the loan back to the bank, continuing her status as financially destitute. But because she had ‘cash’ in her bank account 7 years ago (forget her net worth of $0 before, during and ever since), she is ineligible for disability benefits. This process was ‘designed to fail’ for those whom it was meant to serve. We should have never tried anything and just sat on our asses and waited for a check. Seek reward for being rent seekers ourselves. Instead we were penalized for being ethical Americans. Do you see the pattern developing here? As a society we reward the foibles of deception, disdain and despondence – not aid those who face a bleak future because of their disability. This increase in human suffering comes incumbent with the House Hedge.

We are required to be there for our government, but they do not have to be there when we need them. In fact they design the very process of benefit such that they will not be required to help at all when the need time comes. This is the essence of Adoy’s Principle. It inevitably destroys the very culture it is meant to serve.

Below are the generic comparative risk chains for those three value chain examples I just cited (two ostensible benefit cases – cerebral palsy legal and SSI benefits – versus one IRS penalty example). One could also apply this to the relief to be derived from a vaccine injury, versus the $40 billion in profit reward which flows annually to vaccine manufacturers and their hired ‘skeptics’. The same principle applies therein. Skeptics profit from guaranteed penalizing of stakeholders, who’s incumbent relief is at high risk.

Those who are going to pay you something, will always find an excuse to not have to pay you. But the minute you owe them something, there will be hell to pay if you do not comply immediately. Those who condemn you in the name of science, do so without any course of rigor or scientific ethic; yet at the same time will demand unattainably flawless science as the requirement for release from the prison of their crafting.

Both entities are rent seekers. The skeptic who practices such rent seeking is pretending to the role of government and god.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Adoy’s Principle – or the Principle of the House Hedge”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 25 Feb 2019; Web,


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February 25, 2019 - Posted by | Institutional Mandates

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Wow, that’s horrible to hear about. Your daughter got a crushed cerebrum at birth and your son was made autistic by Dtap. You’re right that those responsible for creating situations where people suffer should be penalized while those lower down who are enduring the suffering should be rewarded to ease it, assuming i understood you correctly. The micro-issues of individuals suffering would occur much less though if the health agencies were held to standard and assumed to be wrong/responsible as the health of the nation they are responsible for declines, rather than assuming their own virtue as an Omega Hypothesis… Read more »

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