Nelsonian knowledge is the virtual forbidden knowledge, which betrays its possession through one’s exacting efforts to avoid it in the first place.
Nelsonian knowledge involves a keen prowess in knowing what to not-know, where to not-look and how not-to-look at it. As regards the poseur, intelligence cannot be derived from the ‘reliable’ sources they choose to examine. Rather it is often those sources which they conspicuously demand that everyone avoid, which tend to offer the greatest probative potential.
The Riddle of Not-Knowledge
When I was little my parents used to set up an elaborate play each Easter. My Dad would compete with my brother and I in the hunting of Easter Eggs in our backyard. Each spring we would get out our baskets after church, and set our minds ready to find as many decorated eggs or chocolates as we could muster, hidden in various places in the backyard. After all the hunting was over, Dad would without exception, come in an abysmal last place as compared to the parity in haul attained by my brother and me. It took a couple years before we finally began to wonder, since our parents had hidden all the decorated eggs and chocolates in the first place, why my Dad was so abysmally poor at then finding them. He would inevitably end up with only 1 or 2 eggs. What a terrible Easter Egg hunter my Dad was! Eventually I figured out that my Dad was avoiding all the spots where the eggs actually were hidden; in the end, only ‘finding’ those eggs we did not find. He was simply doing cleanup duty and putting on a fun charade for us kids.
One year my Dad ‘found’ an Easter Egg hidden from the previous year. Curious as to why we found 25 eggs when he had hidden only 24, its was an unforgettably entertaining moment for two little boys when he cracked open that extra egg in order to eat it.
Now the term ‘Nelsonian knowledge’ (and inference) is derived from a tale told of Admiral Horatio Nelson of the British Navy. A colorful tradition has been derived from this legend, purportedly from the Battle of Copenhagen: wherein being informed of a command signal to cease action and retreat, holding a telescope to his blind eye, Nelson exclaimed, “I really do not see the signal!”1 Similar doctrine and result can be advanced in politics through a form of governance called Tyflocracy (blind-eye government). Either way, Nelsonian knowledge involves a keen prowess in knowing what to not-know, where to not-look and how not-to-look at it.
It is said that a secret not worth sharing, is not worth keeping. In this same vein, a forbidden topic not worth studying, is also not worth squelching.
Later in life, while advising a company encountering problems with fraud-embezzlement, the company’s CFO was implicated in the embezzlement, not because she was caught with her hand in the cookie jar per se – but rather, because of her conspicuous absence at every critical meeting and detachment from every decision point in which the fraud mechanisms were approved/executed. In other words, although she did not personally reap any proceeds from the fraud, her knowledge of the fraud was betrayed by those meetings and decisions points she avoided, and not prima facia by those inside of which she was present. Her’s was a crime of virtual knowledge; investigators amazed at her skill in avoiding such a pervasive deceptive element under her professional purview. This ‘amazing skill’ involved a knowledge called Nelsonian knowledge. One betrays their possession of Nelsonian knowledge, through their robust efforts undertaken to avoid it. And just like my father, who managed to search every single darn spot in the backyard in which an Easter Egg was not located, her exacting efforts to avoid all facets of the fraud, demonstrated her intimate knowledge of the fraud itself.
The Riddle of Nelsonian Knowledge
It behooves the holder of Nelsonian knowledge to know more about this embargoed knowledge than would be reasonably expected inside standard ignorance. The irony with Nelsonian knowledge is that it demands of its ‘ignorant party’ a detailed awareness of schema, its depth and a flawless monitoring, which is unparalleled in official knowledge.
If our desire to avoid so-called ‘baseless pseudoscience’ is as casual as we imply;
casual to such an extent so as to justify our complete disinterest in it as a species,
then why is our knowledge of specifically what is forbidden-to-study, so damned accurate and thorough?
If it is all worthless fodder, then why are its opponents so well organized, trained and armed?
This is Sherlock Holmes’ proverbial, ‘Dog that didn’t bark.’
Such knowledge is called ‘contrived ignorance’ or Nelsonian knowledge and inference.2 And if as to prove the point, please note that Wikipedia fails to define this principle correctly (rendering it as ‘Willful blindness’). Nelsonian knowledge and contrived ignorance are active process (agency), and bear less in common with the passive state of willful blindness (apathy). Those are not the same thing.
Even to the point of crafting its very language, Wikipedia employs Nelsonian knowledge, in the defining of the term Nelsonian knowledge itself.
Nelsonian inference would be the treasure digs and trail in blue on the treasure map above, while the Nelsonian knowledge would be the treasure map itself. Such is the game played by our most talented ‘skeptics’. Their ability to conspicuously look only at evidence which will show them to be correct (what they call ‘reliable’ sources), betrays that they bear virtual knowledge of that which so threatens their very being (probative sources). A terror so deep, that they would willingly deceive themselves in the process of deceiving others (see The New Debunker: Pseudo-Skeptic Sleuth)
Nelsonian Knowledge (Inference)
/philosophy : pretense : knowledge obfuscation/ : A precise and exhaustive knowledge, about that which one claims is not worth examining. No expertise is so profound in its depth as that expertise prerequisite in establishing what not to know. Such Nelsonian knowledge takes three forms:
1. a meticulous attentiveness to and absence of, that which one should ‘not know’,
2. an inferential method of avoiding such knowledge, and finally as well,
3. that misleading knowledge or activity which is used as a substitute in place of actual knowledge (Nelsonian Displacement).
The former (#1) is taken to actually be known on the part of a poseur. It is dishonest for a man deliberately to shut his eyes to principles/intelligence which he would prefer not to know. If he does so, he is taken to have actual knowledge of the facts to which he shut his eyes. Such knowledge has been described as ‘Nelsonian knowledge’, meaning knowledge which is attributed to a person as a consequence of his ‘willful blindness’ or (as American legal analysts describe it) ‘contrived ignorance’.
A man will always ‘fail to understand’ a point which he comprehends but does not like.
Nelsonian knowledge is that set of inferences at the bottom of The Map of Inference. Its expressions include abductive, panductive, revelatory and critical thinking forms of inference. In other words, ‘ways to not know’.
Nelsonian Inferences – Ways to Not Know
Nelsonian knowledge goes a step further than does mere willful blindness or apathy however, in that Nelsonian knowledge is 1. a meticulous absence of that which one should ‘not know’, 2. an inferential method of avoiding such knowledge, and finally as well, 3. that knowledge or activity which is used as a substitute in its place (organic untruth or disinformation). However, when the tactics of Nelsonian knowledge are deployed on a social scale, such an effort is known as cultivated ignorance. Remember that in all these contexts however, the word ignorance is a verb. Hence the saying of ethical skepticism
Never pay heed to an argument which gets stronger with less information – as is the habit of fake skeptics.
Even falsehood informs – the art of intelligence is winnowing truth from the schema of lying and falsehood.
Not-Knowledge and Cultivated Ignorance
When Nelsonian knowledge becomes a goal of a cult, institution, academia or society as a whole, such activities and the resulting sets of ‘wisdom’ constitute a wholly new entity called cultivated ignorance. This form of ignorance does not constitute any kind of nescience – the accidental ignorance which is a result of inexperience or being a novel player. Rather, cultivated ignorance is a form of pluralistic ignorance which is crafted purposefully as a means of establishing control of a population. A means of influence and oppression which avoids the appearances of conspiracy theory; through tactics of false or semi-true slogans, the six mechanisms of the professional lie, fake science principles, compartmentalization, disinformation, partial information, counter-intelligence, social skeptic patrols and media control. As I mentioned above, ignorance is a verb in this context. It is cultivated when the population is trained to avoid those avenues through which they might receive contrary information to that which is being promoted by the Cabal in the first place. First mastered by Abrahamic religions, the torch of managing cultivated ignorance has been passed to academic nihilists, oligarchs and their global-socialist governance partners.
/philosophy : counterintelligence : Nelsonian knowledge/ :
If one is to deceive, yet also fathoms the innate spiritual decline incumbent with such activity – then one must abstract a portion of the truth, such that it serves and cultivates ignorance – a dismissal of the necessity to seek what is unknown.
Science misses details, except when it plans to do so.
The purposeful spread and promotion or enforcement of Nelsonian knowledge and inference. Official knowledge or Omega Hypothesis which is employed to displace/squelch both embargoed knowledge and the entities who research such topics. Often the product of a combination of pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect, its purpose is to socially minimize the number of true experts within a given field of study. This in order to ensure that an embargoed topic is never seriously researched by more members of the body of science than Michael Shermer’s ‘dismissible margin’ of researchers. By acting as the Malcolm Gladwell connectors, and under the moniker of ‘skeptics’, Social Skeptics can then leverage the popular mutual ignorance of the members and begin to spin misconceptions as to what expert scientists think. Moreover, then cultivate these falsehoods among scientists and the media at large. True experts who dissent are then intimidated and must remain quiet so as not to seem anathema, nor risk possibly being declared fringe by the patrolling Cabal of fake skeptics.
Cultivated ignorance is the effort on the part of social skepticism, to promote invalid forms of inference – forms of inference which only serve to obfuscate and block knowledge, not derive it. Its heart and soul resides in the practice of employing Nelsonian knowledge.
This is only part of the reason why we as mankind, are clueless as to critical issues of our being. Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are there mysteries of which everyone is aware, yet no one seems to want to urgently solve, or even solve at all? Not-knowledge is a peer to knowledge. And if not-knowledge is based upon risky stacks of linear induction, is employed as a political weapon, or is based upon Nelsonian inference/ignorance, then it is our job to challenge not-knowledge as well.
Those who adorn them self in inferential clothing woven from the cloth of ignorance should not act all indignant when someone points out that they are naked.
Nelsonian knowledge. As an ethical skeptic, never allow yourself nor anyone in your organization, to work under such a principle. Ignorance causes suffering.
The Ethical Skeptic, “Nelsonian Inference and Cultivated Ignorance”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 7 Mar 2019; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/2019/03/07/nelsonian-inference-and-cultivated-ignorance/
- Wikipedia: The Battle of Copenhagen; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Copenhagen_(1801)
- Wikipedia: Willful blindness; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willful_blindness
Your intellectual honesty is of such magnitude as i believed that i would never find in my life, beyond my own. I feel like i devouted christian by heart, not by knowledge, reading the New Testament for the first time, and finding in words everything he believes and lives by instinctively. Thank you so much for your divine work brother
Do you think this means consciousness is all brain based?
a recent peer-reviewed study
Kamo, Thanks for this article. This is why I have published the Ethical Skeptic’s Map of Inference https://theethicalskeptic.com/2019/03/04/the-map-of-inference/ Be wary of ‘scientists’ who do not cite, nor recognize the limitations of the method of inference they are employing. To plug in a formaldehyde soaked, 20 year old brain and observe some circuitry firing (with no control measures) you don’t really understand, and then attribute that to equate to the person, memories and identity of the brain’s former owner – is religious wishful thinking. It makes for entertaining journalism. NDE’s are religious wishful thinking too, yes. They are both a form… Read more »