The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

The Future of Ethical Markets

Ethical markets of the future will need bear additional factors necessary to deflect exploitation by cabal, cartel and mafia entities. Specific components of objective measure for risk, value and currency will need to be brought to bear. Things which serve to disempower those who draw down the majority of a value chain’s margin, yet provide the minority of its actual value.

I am currently involved in the creation of a new marketplace – the Herculean task of one of my development companies. The team which is taking on this challenge has deliberated at significant length and depth over the last few years, as to the ethical components which should be incorporated into this new marketplace’s functionality. This style of trade has not been practiced before, so we must step carefully and deliberately. The marketplace is targeting the Asian and Latin American regions, so not only do we need to be sensitive to cultural differences, but as well our product needs to reflect the particular business practices which are peculiar to those sourcing and demand environments. Accordingly, my team has met with numerous trading entities in an effort to grasp the detailed nature of their material trades; and as well, has conducted trades of their own, in order to understand the nuances, pitfalls and complexities wound up in those regions’ international trade of goods.

Yes certainly the price-to-quantity of the traded component or supply plays critically into any market transaction consideration. Price per quantity indexing and discovery (lower left of the graphic above) are all important functions in a marketplace. However, price and quantity are not the only factors which are actually traded inside a market. The critical value of effort, material or scarcity which is placed into or imbues the traded items, are essential in any pricing play. As well, the ‘skin in the game’ which both the offer and bid makers possess, must be fairly addressed inside any value chain of goods/services. These new market factors are being added into our trading platform, as shown in the graphic above and highlighted by the gold glow around those quantified and managed transaction measures. A utility token for stakeholder risk, and one for value provision – along with a supply chain which ships exactly what the customer has ordered, nothing more/nothing less – these are the critical praxis elements of the value chain of the future. The quality-history of the product in terms of its pedigree and pathway of provenance, these elements are to be traded inside the market of the future, and not simply price and quantity.

If one is placing their season, business or family at risk, then that entity should be rewarded with greater control of the distribution of profits inside their value chain. If one is committing to raw materials or supplies necessary in manufacturing a good, then they should be compensated for this value provision – and not be abused by monopsonistic or exploitative speculators/cartels, who control nothing but market access.

   A cartel sells you your market access.
   A cabal sells you social or club legitimacy.
   A mafia sells you your own livelihood and/or life.

Intermediaries, who are simply conducting the equivalent of a phone call connecting two parties (supply and demand agents), or are performing nothing but a low-risk arbitrage/distributorship function in between, should be positioned as a lesser-value play inside a trade, all things being equal.  Today’s reality inside any given trading market is that intermediaries, because of the fog-of-trade on both the demand and supply side, draw down the lion’s share of profit margin available in the trading value chain.

For instance, a factory which produces a product may only draw 12 cents of the margin dollar for a given product. Likewise the retailer who sells the product might draw down another 12 cents of its margin value. Intermediaries who simply connect the factory with the retailer, end up drawing down 76% of the available margin, simply because they have a vantage point which allows them to see the landscape on both the supply and demand side of the equation. A sophisticated market of the future will need to level this landscape and allow both the high-value production and high-value demand sides of the value chain to survey the entire market. It is one thing to eliminate the middle-man (in old retail lingo), but when the middle-man is both drawing down the super-majority of the available margin, and as well is obfuscating the information which its partner entities need in order to derive a healthy business on their own, then this backwards structure of market needs to be changed.

Today’s commodity futures markets in the West, as well as many food and bulk trades in Asia and the Americas fall victim to this type of intermediary ruled trade practice. The result is higher prices paid by trading principals, and higher costs borne by their citizens for simply basic products. The future of market trading platforms involves rectifying this imbalance in the value chain.

The Principal Ethic of a Value Chain

Margin performance must follow a provision of value and/or an assumption of risk, or inflation ensues.

Inflation is every bit as much a dilution of economic value, as it is an increase in prices.

When risk and value are ignored, two types of default trading member emerge, whether we want them to or not. The objective of an ethical market is to make value and risk manifest and quantifiable, so that these cabal/cartel/mafia entities cannot pull of their normal exploitation.

   Huckster – sells value first and then price. A huckster differentiates product in order to obscure price performance.

Example:  A consumer goods manufacturer who only gives a discount if unreasonable amounts of units are purchased by their demand customer, who must then dump that excess inventory to the aftermarket, and subsequently damage their own brand through oversupply. Product dumping inflation ensues.

   Shyster – sells price first and then value. A shyster blends product in order to obscure value performance.

Example:  A food distributor who delivers CIF shipments which contain a mixed blend of production lots which might or might not fail quality inspection individually, yet overall averages to an acceptable product quality. Human health suffers as a result.

We have all run into these types of entities in our past of course. But in a complex market, their presence and role may be obscured by the intricacies of the trades themselves. Their presence causes market inefficiency, friction and inflation. Their presence causes suffering. These players are the cabals, cartels and mafias who rule our information, news, currency, consumer goods trade, agricultural trade, food trade, electronics trade, material resource, equity markets, etc.

An Example of Exposed Corruption

In one particular former socialist country, now attempting to free itself from the heavy hand of its Bolivar masters, producers were fully unaware that the freight costs they were paying to ship their goods were a full 80% higher than their counterparts in neighboring free trade countries. This placed an extra $8 per unit (or 30%) premium upon their product globally. It made them non-competitive for decades. They were told that the ‘arrogant West just did not like them’ and refused to buy their products. They were unable to see this cost imbalance until they were afforded access (pro bono) to our market package.

This excess cost was strangling them collectively as an industry. Its burden carried by this nation’s producers because the logistics providers were the ‘only game in town’, as authorized by their nepotistic Ministry of Trade – and the fact that one of the ministers wanted to be very rich, at the expense of his nation’s entire group of producers.

There were some rather angry producers as a result of this learning experience. History isn’t kind to men who play god.

These producers bore all the value, as well as all the skin in the game. Meanwhile this Minster and his service-monopsony bore zero risk – zero value. This type of Crony activity is just sick, and boils my blood. I spend much of my life helping to topple unethical entities just like this (think skepticism as well).

This is the future – the ethical exchange of value, the ethical compensation for risk, an understanding of who the stakeholders are in the trade and commerce equation – and which parties constitute the undue and low value influences. Yes, we ‘cut out the middle man’ in some markets over the last 50 years – but we still have a long way to go, in order to make these principles the ethic inside of our broader world.

This revolution will apply to claims to ‘represent science’, medicine and governance in our future as well. A smart and informed stakeholder population is rising fast, and will demand no less. Nor should they.

   How to MLA cite this article:

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Future of Ethical Markets”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 3 Dec 2019; Web,

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Epoché Vanguards Gnosis

Epoché vanguards gnosis does not imply ‘riding the fence’ nor ‘being in the middle’; as often in a bifurcated dialectic there is no fence nor middle to begin with. Atheist, Theist, Agnostic – be none of these. Rather, epoché is a separate condition of suspension which allows one to contemplate what is really at play.
Exploit stakes seldom go uncaptured. It is the duty of the ethical skeptic to watch for the Party which serves to benefit in a conflict – even if they ‘don’t exist’.

One of the conditions we would watch for in Intelligence, and which is taught in counter-intelligence graduate schools, is a familiar play called the Machiavelli Solution. The Machiavelli Solution is a manipulation of a Hegelian Dialectic in social or scientific discourse; the condition where two opposing parties are locked in heated and diametrically opposed disagreement on a topic. Beyond such commonplace discourse it is often paramount to watch for manipulation of the dialectic under a special condition called self-sublation; a condition which allows a third, and more importantly a Fourth, critical party to enable gain or power through means of the conflict.  Yes we watch for the third party in a fight between two equals, but the astute intelligence researcher also both divorces himself from the bifurcation, and watches like a spider, for The Fourth Party stakes, and more importantly, stakeholder. The one who stands to capture gains from this exploit. They are almost always there, whether anyone observes them or not.

Such knowledge of the nature of deception is the reason behind the ethical skeptic’s discipline of epoché vanguards gnosis. This principle is not trivial, as its objective insistence upon separation from the conflict stands as a critical aspect of discipline on the part of the ethical skeptic. Even a middle-position will not suffice as the perspective for such objectivity. I will elicit the critical nature of this principle by means of the Machiavelli Solution (Hegelian Dialectic) and The Fourth Party, below. Finally I will offer some brief bullet-pointed examples as to why this tenet of ethical skepticism is important in addressing both bias and agency. They serve to exemplify why opposing agency is The First Duty of ethical skepticism. This does not serve to make one a conspiracy theorist – instead, such an ethic renders one a scientist of mankind.

Machiavelli Solution

/philosophy : agency : deception/ : 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 (aufheben) – 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.​

Catalyseur (Third Party)

/philosophy : sophistry : conflict : agent/ : 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.

However, the Machiavellian Solution catalyseur is not necessarily the one who benefits most inside this charade. Push social movements will not occur unless someone benefits. It is amazing how the inchoate can be inspired to enrich the Crony, without the Crony having to benefit them back at all – save for the notion that they represent something virtuous. A Fourth Party exploiting for gain, people’s desire to no longer regard themselves as unapproved. Sound familiar?

The Fourth Party

The Fourth Party is the one who surreptitiously functions behind the catalyseur or third party promoting the Machiavelli Solution. While the catalyseur is often underappreciated in their existence or role in fomenting the conflict to begin with, The Fourth Party is the unseen agency behind all this. In order to determine the presence or role of The Fourth Party, one must observe for a significant period inside a state of neutrality – be an ally as well as a critic to both sides in the argument – and then begin to gauge the stakes which are at play inside it as well. Is there a benefit to be had? Who would derive such a benefit? – regardless of whether or not that ‘who’ is deemed to exist exist. If there is a benefit to be had, then my experience is that exploit stakes seldom are left uncaptured. That ‘who’ will exist, no matter what anyone says about the matter. This Party is denoted in the graphic to the right by the symbol set which denotes that entity which benefits from the upward consolidation of power and profit, commensurate with the downward displacement of risk and accountability.

A kind of synergy therefore exists between that Fourth Party and the anti-proposition. The anti-proposition is the punching bag, the symbolic icon of disdain and evil. It is the lever of manipulation of a person’s desire to regard them self as approved. Approval by means of mechanism: ‘I am a skeptic’, ‘I am saved’, I am an evolutionist’, ‘I doubt’. The ease by which the mechanism may be selected is a key flag as to this formula being in play.

Because a vision softly creeping, left its vision while I was sleeping.
And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening.
And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.

The anti-proposition is that idea/activity on the part of the disdained unapproved enemy – the infidel. We believe the devil to exist in the anti-proposition; but it is often the case that in reality the devil exists in The Fourth Party.

For example, this is what fake and celebrity skeptics are enacting upon us today. They work to foment conflict between the public and science/scientists – in order to exploit the resulting self-sublation into their own power and enforcement of their own religion, sol-nihilism.

Through ‘science enthusiasm’, ‘science communication’ and ‘representing skepticism’, etc. they become the ironic hero in the very play of conflict which they principally fomented to begin with. One can detect them through their use of weapon words, which seek conflict, rather than understanding. If your science communicator employs words such as ‘woo’, ‘denier’, ‘anti-science’, ‘bubba’, etc. Do not trust them with anything, especially that which you regard as scientific truth.

However, in the case of fake skepticism – it is the question of ‘who benefits from the ignorance of sol-nihilism?’, that concerns the party for which the ethical skeptic must watch. The benefit derived from the ignorance of sol-nihilism is extraordinarily large; non-commensurate with gain in terms of mere celebrity and blog accuracy for the masses. Someone other than the pawn skeptic is deriving the substantial benefit from that ignorance – and that somebody is who we watch for – The Fourth Party.

Exploit stakes seldom-to-never go uncaptured.
It is the duty of the ethical skeptic to watch for the Party which serves to benefit in a conflict – even if they ‘don’t exist’.

The key is to not get caught up in the self-sublation of two opposing Hegelian ideals, but rather watch for the third party (actually often The Fourth Party behind them) who stands to gain from the sustained conflict. You will observe the ethical skeptic to avoid the self-sublation stasis inside ideas which stand exemplary of this principle. Conflicts such as

∙  conservative – moderate – liberal
∙  anthropogenic global warming – climate change – denier
∙  capitalism – collectivism – socialism
∙  atheist – agnostic – theist
∙  evolution – intelligent design – creation.

The ethical skeptic instead chooses to point out that, not only are both parties in the bifurcation wrong, but the middle is wrong as well – simply serving to lend credence to the false bifurcation in the first place, and just not selecting (or appearing to select) a side. This stasis of self-sublation is a key sign that the issue is being manipulated by a third (and Fourth) party who stands to gain from the conflict. The ethical skeptic, by not participating in this play, is not ‘riding the fence’ nor ‘being in the middle’; as there is no fence nor middle to begin with – that is part of the whole deception. Rather it is a separate condition of suspension called epoché.

Hence my website’s tag line epoché vanguards gnosis. Most of self-sublated dialects are posed in order to deceive and exploit the participants therein. With Theism and Atheism in particular, this is why I choose the path of ignosticism and not agnosticism for instance. There is no middle ground. Instead I watch for the hidden Machiavelli behind the curtain.

This Fourth Party is the truly brilliant party in the whole play. Exceptionally brilliant.

   How to MLA cite this article:

The Ethical Skeptic, “Epoché Vanguards Gnosis”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 17 Nov 2019; Web,

November 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , | Leave a comment

How to Argue Like a Child

The following is the formula of discourse on the part of an arguing child. Their case is never about mere disagreement, dissent nor the material at hand. Their ‘disagreement’ is that you should not even be allowed a voice in the first place.

Those who are perpetually captive inside a child’s mind engage in debate by means of the following method; the method of the faking skeptic or immature arguer. The agency who patrols social discourse and seeks to derail any stakeholder discussion which might serve steer science or its social discourse into a direction they disfavor. This style of arguer does not discuss the material at hand; their concealed goal is habitually instead, to discuss you. Their goal is to shut you down, if you dare disagree or even ponder a different conclusion.

The following is the step by step method of an arguing child. Their case is never about mere disagreement or the material at hand. Their ‘disagreement’ is that you should not even be allowed a voice in the first place. When such is the case, their form of argument most often contains the following elements:​

      The Ten Characteristics of Arguing Like a Child

1.  nulla infantis – ‘nuh uhhh, shut up.’ Fancy ways of simply issuing a baby’s ‘no’. Usually accompanied by a code-phrased demand that their opponent be silent.​

2.  Herculean Burden of Proof – exclaiming ‘prove it! prove it! Unsubstantiated claim!’ to all manner of philosophy, personal experience and things which are metaphysical in nature, impossible or would take a 1700 page treatise to prove.​

3.  Focused on Irrelevance – fails to grasp the difference between a point which is relevant, salient or critical path, from one which is not. Doesn’t care, just needed to feign subject competence.

4.  Fail to Recognize Their Own Argument – when their argument is given back to them verbatim and by quote (without straw man), they do not recognize it, or accuse you of crafting a straw man.

5.  Canned Apothegm – lead in is often first accompanied by an authoritative claim to simplicity or other canned catch-phrase they were taught by a club inside which they are attempting to increase their rank.

6.  Lazy/Silver Platter – typically know very little about the topic and then want you to do their research for them; like a bad lab partner or project worker.​

7.  Threatened by Competence – they grow angry if their opponent incidentally cites personal professional or life experience in the subject – the inappropriate response often revealing an inner wound for which they are covering.​

8.  Insulting & Demeaning (The Actual Goal) – their cleverness is invested into a campaign of insulting or demeaning you, woven into the fabric of put-down humor or their informal argument. They will usually begin the insults on the third exchange. They will float their ‘PhD’ or other comparative appeal to authority in some manner. They think they are too smart for you to detect this.​ As they age in cynical behavior, the insults will come earlier and earlier in the discussion process.

9.  non tu es – ‘no, you are…’. Whatever you offer them in terms of critique they throw back in your face with a childish ‘No, you are…’; however often wrapped up in a pretentious pleonasm in actual personal attack form, usually non-sequitur or straw man – and not an informal critique of method.

10.  Slam Condemnation – they want to end the conversation with a coup de grâce not related to the critical path argument at hand – something to show how superior they are to you and how unacceptable you are, with your ‘opinions’.

One may notice that this process is devoid of anything which pertains to the critical path of argument at all – save for possibly step 5. However, I have found that arguers who conduct their discourse in this manner, do not grasp the critical path well enough to know whether or not their canned apothegm actually is salient in the first place. So most often not even step 5 in this arguing method applies to the subject at hand.

As an ethical skeptic, when you point out this set of methodological errors on their part, you are not committing an ad hominem informal fallacy. You are simply citing that their method of arguing has weakened the ability for anyone to conduct sufficient or scientific discourse. You are asking them to stop, and reengage under protocols of normal human respect. This is a valid topic of meta-discussion and is in no way tantamount to a critique of them personally (even though they may perceive it as such).

   How to MLA cite this article:

The Ethical Skeptic, “How to Argue Like a Child”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 10 Nov 2019; Web,

November 10, 2019 Posted by | Argument Fallacies | | Leave a comment

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