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.

Lying is an art form which ranks among the greatest of the humanities – bearing parity with such human affairs as mercy, semantics, history, love, literature, or war. The Paul Ekman Group, which teaches methodologies useful in spotting lies, has identified nine key reasons as to why people lie.1 Within this essay, we seek to extrapolate beyond this body of work, and identify a chain of principle regarding the lie of the syndicate in particular – a foible-in-common which further then leverages the amplification gain to be had through collective humanity: the antiwisdom of the crowd.

Specifically, people lie in order to

  • attain or preserve something precious,
  • win or preserve the admiration of others, or
  • exercise power over others by controlling the information their target can access.

When a group in authority, seeks to exercise or preserve that authority, all these ubiquitous human factors not only come into play, but moreover become part of the re-enforced culture of the club itself. It’s alright to lie a little. After all, it’s for the club, it’s for science, it’s for virtue, and besides everyone in the club is also doing it. What I have found in business, is that even an individual habitually attentive to meticulous details of accountability, will suddenly compromise or abandon such practices when it comes to personal or club gain. Everyone is honest until money is actually sitting on the table. Then things change. A syndicate will loan to you only under the auspices of a lengthy and iron-clad contract, yet then demand that a loan they take from you, be borne upon a mere handshake. They suddenly become stupid – taking one for the club.

Once an individual has attained a scarce membership, one that they regard to be precious, worthy of admiration, or which affords them heady power over the information which others are allowed to consider – thereafter, preservation of the club (or syndicate) in the best interests of the individual, becomes paramount.

The Razor – Crowds are Anti-Wise

Inside a previous article we identified the principle that partial truths constitute the most effective form of lying. But what happens when spin, disinformation, and partial lies are wholly inadequate in controlling the critical information which the target of the lie might receive? What if the topic is not vulnerable to talking points, appeal to ignorance, or misrepresentation? For example, there is no way to ‘spin’ the ramifications of putative election corruption, elite island debauchery, fraudulent FBI warrants, or anomalous creatures. There is no ad hoc method available to rescue the notion that one got blind-drunk the previous night and had sex with an animal (hence the expression ‘screwed the pooch’). Information threats of this nature must be made subject to embargo alone. Embargo of research – embargo of its very mention.

Syndicates which bear the risk of the three primary motivations to lie, inside a milieu of anomie, are more likely to lie, more likely to spin disinformation, and more likely to frame an embargo of threatening ideas.

anomie – a breakdown of ethics, circumspection, awareness, standards, or clear purpose on the part of those inside a club.

Through this process of reverse osmosis, over time a syndicate or collective party will therefore be more likely to also be inhabited by a number of accrued false paradigms. Tangled webs which themselves must also be protected by means of more lies. This is what makes the silence of embargo a much more sustainable tactic than mere lying. Individuals then are inoculated by this collective antiwisdom as one requirement of an elite membership. This is the central purpose of the university, governance board, and media systems in America. No evolution better demonstrates this anti-wise effect than the emergence of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

A herd of quislings with scientific degrees allowed themselves to be so intimidated by the toxicity fabricated around Trump by the political, media, and academic establishment that they covered up something they believe to be true — that the [SARS-CoV-2] lab leak theory is credible enough to warrant investigation.

John Nolte & Alina Chan: Scientists Admit Covering Up Lab Leak Theory to Avoid Being ‘Associated’ with Trump

One should not misevaluate through Gaussian blindness, a crowd attempting to measure the weight of an ox, or guess the number of jelly beans in a jar, as is framed inside James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds for instance. Such non-sequiturs stand merely as exploitation of the constrained-obviousness of a tight Normal arrival distribution and the simplicity of a single variable, coupled with a Pollyanna view of the methodology by which complex issues are prosecuted.

There is no subterfuge or career risk wound up inside the anonymous guessing of the weight of an ox. Being wrong here, does not serve to embarrass you nor your fellows. Large groups of people are not ‘smarter’ than individuals, simply due to the fact that crowds bear a greater incentive to lie, to not be wise. Syndicates in particular, those who hold the power of embargo, bear an enormous incentive towards antiwisdom. They do not exist to protect truth after all, they exist to protect the club.

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

There exists an exculpatory gain-amplification (antiwisdom) to be realized, through having every fellow inside your syndicate also participate in the lie. An amplification effect above and beyond the mere willingness to lie, on the part of an individual.

The reality is that crowds will adopt a wrong just as often as will individuals, all things being equal. However, the likelihood of the crowd enforcing a wrong to a greater degree or frequency as compared to an individual, increases as a function of the perceived scarcity of the crowd’s (syndicate’s) membership, veneration, and power. This is the very basis as to why the fashion apparel industry exists. Fashion is a lie, which becomes truth through the Overton Window power of the club. This power serves to introduce error, more often than it does rare truth.

The humanity of collective lying is an economy after all, just as are all the other humanities – and people will do what they must in order to preserve syndicate or clique brand against an outside threat. In order to accomplish this, a crowd may choose to prevaricate, disinform …or even embargo. It is the visceral desperation of this final tactic, the embargo, which stands as a warning flag of agency to the ethical skeptic.

If a subject is of such an abject nature of threat, that no form of prevarication nor disinformation will suffice to control its dissemination – then that subject must be embargoed by the syndicate. Embargo therefore, stands most often tantamount to an admission of validity which resides somewhere inside the threatening message. Debunking as well therefore, is a pretend method of engaging that subject and a tactic of its overall embargo. Debunkers constituting the erstwhile hit men, doing the disdained and dirty work of the syndicate.

A troubling notion which is 10% correct bears more inferential gravitas than does a truism which is 90% correct.

A religion at heart is defined by its grimoire of forbidden questions and embargoed ideas.

After all, a topic not worth studying, is also not worth investing copious amounts of focus and time around crafting a web of Nelsonian obfuscation. This brings us therefore to the point of crafting a principle of ethical skepticism from these predicates. A syndicate which is burdened by the human motivations to lie, serves only as a gain amplifier of this foible of human nature.

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.

[Embargo] is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you many not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

~ Robert A Heinlein

Just as a false faith will costume itself in a public display of good works, even so a false truth-club will adorn itself in facts, coupled with embargo. Such exemplifies the ephemeral and mercurial nature of the complex relationship between humanity and truth. That occult reality which surrounds us merely reflects this very trickster nature back upon us – a form of pedantic and satirical mirroring. A mocking of that which we refuse to observe – very likely serving as the ironic basis behind our embargo as a species to begin with.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Ethical Skeptic’s Razor – The Antiwisdom of Crowds”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 7 May 2022; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=65555

  1. Paul Ekman Group: Why Do People Lie? 9 Motives for Telling Lies; https://www.paulekman.com/blog/why-do-people-lie-motives/
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Frank Truth Warrior

Direct hit! The simplest tell for any controversial truth is its censorship by the powers that be. On the flip side, big lies are invariably propagandized.

david

The “antiwisdom of crowds” reminds me:  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Tommy Schopenhauer

For a very long time (since the beginning of recorded civilisation, in fact), thinking for yourself and being wary of groupthink has been the hallmark of great and independently minded thinkers. Nearly every great philosopher, artist or scientist worth their salt knew and ceaselessly communicated this to the world. This is as true for greek antiquity as it is for the 20th century. In the last few years, however, the opposite “position” has finally broken into the intellectual mainstream (or maelstrom …) as not only viable, but increasingly mandatory. Yet, at the same time, our contemporary “thinkers” and intellectuals still… Read more »

Code Jinn

The “wisdom of crowds” also won’t work too well if the jar of jelly beans is deceptive, such as if it contains a large hollow box concealed in the pile.

Thomas Schmidt

Reading this long after discussion has stilled. Wonder about this with respect to the Covid injections. I am covered by Aetna, and have taken no injections. Aetna covered millions of Americans and must surely know which of those Americans have taken injections, and which haven’t. It would be trivial to divide the populations into random samples and see the results of the experiments of taking or not taking in the two populations, hopefully balanced by age. It should be simple to show from these data that the vaccinated group has a lower death rate. I could probably do that in… Read more »

Thomas Schmidt

Do you have a link on your retroactive county study? I’ve about had it with the gaslighting and I’m doing something about it. I’m assigning my data-science-practicing grad students examples of Covid “misinformation” for them to “debunk” with the idea being that they’ll do the work, check the conclusions, and then decide what is in fact misinformation. That I expect them to tie up the resources of the people who regularly send me “safe and effective” propaganda at one school is an added benefit. it seems that you were already on the investigative path that Covid has exposed for me.… Read more »

Scott S Manzel

I turned off CNN more than 15 years ago. I turned off FOX 10 plus years ago. I found in my gut, what you have explained eloquently. Thank you for your tireless work. It is very difficult to find this trail. I wish there were a series of 20 second video clips you could develop for the masses. THAT would be a challenging mission. And perhaps, rewarding. I know that’s not what you do. Maybe a small, inexpensive millennial team could be assigned the task. With your oversight. Not what you do, but so many are lost.

John Day

2000 Mules is up on Bitchute
https://www.bitchute.com/video/iv6LTEPEHI5P/

Gwen

“…anomalous creatures.” = Biden?

“This is the central purpose of the university system in America.” Perfect.

I really enjoyed this post. Thank you.

John Day

I hate to litter your comments section, Friend, but the information-embargo dam is bursting.
https://drjohnsblog.substack.com/p/adenovirus-hepatitis-question?s=w

ABN

Embargoed information also includes this: The Vanden Bossche Warning. I am providing this video because I think you very much need to see it and, I hope, incorporate it in the information you offer your large audience, many of whom have the ability to understand it. I read almost all your essays and Twitter posts but do not recall ever seeing you refer to what Vanden Bossche is saying. If I am mistaken, my apologies. If you think Vanden Bossche is wrong, I would very much like to know why. Personally, I am sure there is a very good chance… Read more »

ABN

the link did not work: https://thehighwire.com/videos/the-vanden-bossche-warning/ or here: https://americanbuddhist.net/2022/05/07/the-vanden-bossche-warning/ (this link includes a brief summary of his ideas)

Harry

“Among competing alternatives, all things being equal one should select for the alternative which is embargoed discussion or research.” I think you could have written that a little more clearly: “Among competing alternatives, all other things being equal, select the one for which discussion or research is embargoed” On the specific topic of the article, I am dubious about the nine reasons for lying cited by Mr Ekman. He allows for “win or preserve the admiration of others” and for “avoid embarrassment”. He does not include “avoid loss of face”, presumably believing that it is covered by the other two.… Read more »

John Day

Embargo material: “AnalF**k69”: Hunter Biden’s Password Revealed In Whistleblower Tell-Allhttps://www.zerohedge.com/political/analfk69-hunter-bidens-password-revealed-whistleblower-tell-all