The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

The Lyin’tific Method: The Ten Commandments of Fake Science

The earmarks of bad science are surreptitious in fabric, not easily discerned by media and the public at large. Sadly, as well they are not often easily discerned by scientists themselves. This is why we have ethical skepticism. It’s purpose is not simply to examine ‘extraordinary claims’, but also to examine those claims which masquerade, hidden in plain sight, as if constituting ordinary boring old ‘settled science’.

When you do not want the answer to be known, or you desire a specific answer because of social pressure surrounding an issue, or you are tired of irrational hordes babbling some nonsense about your product ‘harming their family members’ *boo-hoo 😢. Maybe you want to tout the life extending benefits of drinking alcohol, or overinflate death rates so that you can blame it on people you hate – or maybe you are just plain ol’ weary of the requisite attributes of real science. Wherever your Procrustean aspiration may reside, this is the set of guidebook best practices for you and your science organization. Trendy and proven techniques which will allow your organization to get science back on your side, at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time. 👍

Crank up your science communicators and notify them to be at the ready, to plagiarize a whole new set of journalistic propaganda, ‘cuz here comes The Lyin’tific Method!

The Lyin’tific Method: The Ten Commandments of Fake Science

When you have become indignant and up to your rational limit over privileged anti-science believers questioning your virtuous authority and endangering your industry profits (pseudo-necessity), well then it is high time to undertake the following procedure.

1. Select for Intimidation. Appoint an employee who is under financial or career duress, to create a company formed solely to conduct this study under an appearance of impartiality, to then go back and live again comfortably in their career or retirement. Hand them the problem definition, approach, study methodology and scope. Use lots of Bradley Effect vulnerable interns (as data scientists) and persons trying to gain career exposure and impress. Visibly assail any dissent as being ‘anti-science’, the study lead will quickly grasp the implicit study goal – they will execute all this without question. Demonstrably censure or publicly berate a scientist who dissented on a previous study – allow the entire organization/world to see this. Make him become the hate-symbol for your a priori cause.

2. Ask a Question First. Start by asking a ‘one-and-done’, noncritical path & poorly framed, half-assed, sciencey-sounding question, representative of a very minor portion of the risk domain in question and bearing the most likely chance of obtaining a desired result – without any prior basis of observation, necessity, intelligence from stakeholders nor background research. Stress that the scientific method begins with ‘asking a question’. Avoid peer or public input before and after approval of the study design. Never allow stakeholders at risk to help select nor frame the core problem definition, nor the data pulled, nor the methodology/architecture of study.

3. Amass the Right Data. Never seek peer input at the beginning of the scientific process (especially on what data to assemble), only the end. Gather a precipitously large amount of ‘reliable’ data, under a Streetlight Effect, which is highly removed from the data’s origin and stripped of any probative context – such as an administrative bureaucracy database. Screen data from sources which introduce ‘unreliable’ inputs (such as may contain eyewitness, probative, falsifying, disadvantageous anecdotal or stakeholder influenced data) in terms of the core question being asked. Gather more data to dilute a threatening signal, less data to enhance a desired one. Number of records pulled is more important than any particular discriminating attribute entailed in the data. The data volume pulled should be perceptibly massive to laymen and the media. Ensure that the reliable source from which you draw data, bears a risk that threatening observations will accidentally not be collected, through reporting, bureaucracy, process or catalog errors. Treat these absences of data as constituting negative observations.

4. Compartmentalize. Address your data analysts and interns as ‘data scientists’ and your scientists who do not understand data analysis at all, as the ‘study leads’. Ensure that those who do not understand the critical nature of the question being asked (the data scientists) are the only ones who can feed study results to people who exclusively do not grasp how to derive those results in the first place (the study leads). Establish a lexicon of buzzwords which allow those who do not fully understand what is going on (pretty much everyone), to survive in the organization. This is laundering information by means of the dichotomy of compartmented intelligence, and it is critical to everyone being deceived. There should not exist at its end, a single party who understands everything which transpired inside the study. This way your study architecture cannot be betrayed by insiders (especially helpful for step 8).

5. Go Meta-Study Early. Never, ever, ever employ study which is deductive in nature, rather employ study which is only mildly and inductively suggestive (so as to avoid future accusations of fraud or liability) – and of such a nature that it cannot be challenged by any form of direct testing mechanism. Meticulously avoid systematic review, randomized controlled trial, cohort study, case-control study, cross-sectional study, case reports and series, or reports from any stakeholders at risk. Go meta-study early, and use its reputation as the highest form of study, to declare consensus; especially if the body of industry study from which you draw is immature and as early in the maturation of that research as is possible.  Imply idempotency in process of assimilation, but let the data scientists interpret other study results as they (we) wish. Allow them freedom in construction of Oversampling adjustment factors. Hide methodology under which your data scientists derived conclusions from tons of combined statistics derived from disparate studies examining different issues, whose authors were not even contacted in order to determine if their study would apply to your statistical database or not.

6. Shift the Playing Field. Conduct a single statistical study which is ostensibly testing all related conjectures and risks in one felled swoop, in a different country or practice domain from that of the stakeholders asking the irritating question to begin with; moreover, with the wrong age group or a less risky subset thereof, cherry sorted for reliability not probative value, or which is inclusion and exclusion biased to obfuscate or enhance an effect. Bias the questions asked so as to convert negatives into unknowns or vice versa if a negative outcome is desired. If the data shows a disliked signal in aggregate, then split it up until that disappears – conversely if it shows a signal in component sets, combine the data into one large Yule-Simpson effect. Ensure there exists more confidence in the accuracy of the percentage significance in measure (p-value), than of the accuracy/salience of the contained measures themselves.

7. Trashcan Failures to Confirm. Query the data 50 different ways and shades of grey, selecting for the method which tends to produce results which favor your a priori position. Instruct the ‘data scientists’ to throw out all the other data research avenues you took (they don’t care), especially if it could aid in follow-on study which could refute your results. Despite being able to examine the data 1,000 different ways, only examine it in this one way henceforth. Peer review the hell out of any studies which do not produce a desired result. Explain any opposing ideas or studies as being simply a matter of doctors not being trained to recognize things the way your expert data scientists did. If as a result of too much inherent bias in these methods, the data yields an inversion effect – point out the virtuous component implied (our technology not only does not cause the malady in question, but we found in this study that it cures it~!).

8. Prohibit Replication and Follow Up. Craft a study which is very difficult to or cannot be replicated, does not offer any next steps nor serves to open follow-on questions (all legitimate study generates follow-on questions, yours should not), and most importantly, implies that the science is now therefore ‘settled’. Release the ‘data scientists’ back to their native career domains so that they cannot be easily questioned in the future.  Intimidate organizations from continuing your work in any form, or from using the data you have assembled. Never find anything novel (other than a slight surprise over how unexpectedly good you found your product to be), as this might imply that you did not know the answers all along. Never base consensus upon deduction of alternatives, rather upon how many science communicators you can have back your message publicly. Make your data proprietary. View science details as a an activity of relative privation, not any business of the public.

9. Extrapolate and Parrot/Conceal the Analysis. Publish wildly exaggerated & comprehensive claims to falsification of an entire array of ideas and precautionary diligence, extrapolated from your single questionable and inductive statistical method (panduction). Publish the study bearing a title which screams “High risk technology does not cause (a whole spectrum of maladies) whatsoever” – do not capitalize the title as that will appear more journaly and sciencey and edgy and rebellious and reserved and professorial. Then repeat exactly this extraordinarily broad-scope and highly scientific syllogism twice in the study abstract, first in baseless declarative form and finally in shocked revelatory and conclusive form, as if there was some doubt about the outcome of the effort (ahem…). Never mind that simply repeating the title of the study twice, as constituting the entire abstract is piss poor protocol – no one will care. Denialists of such strong statements of science will find it very difficult to gain any voice thereafter. Task science journalists to craft 39 ‘research articles’ derived from your one-and-done study; deem that now 40 studies. Place the 40 ‘studies’, both pdf and charts (but not any data), behind a registration approval and $40-per-study paywall. Do this over and over until you have achieved a number of studies and research articles which might fancifully be round-able up to ‘1,000’ (say 450 or so ~ see reason below). Declare Consensus.

10. Enlist Aid of SSkeptics and Science Communicators. Enlist the services of a public promotion for-hire gang, to push-infiltrate your study into society and media, to virtue signal about your agenda and attack those (especially the careers of wayward scientists) who dissent.  Have members make final declarative claims in one liner form “A thousand studies show that high risk technology does not cause anything!” ~ a claim which they could only make if someone had actually paid the $40,000 necessary in actually accessing the ‘thousand studies’. That way the general public cannot possibly be educated in any sufficient fashion necessary to refute the blanket apothegm. Have them demand final proof as the only standard for dissent. This is important: make sure the gang is disconnected from your organization (no liability imparted from these exaggerated claims nor any inchoate suggested dark activities *wink wink), and moreover, who are motivated by some social virtue cause such that they are stupid enough that you do not actually have to pay them.

The organizations who manage to pull this feat off, have simultaneously claimed completed science in a single half-assed study, contended consensus, energized their sycophancy and exonerated themselves from future liability – all in one study. To the media, this might look like science. But to a life-long researcher, it is simply a big masquerade. It is pseudo-science in the least; and at its worst constitutes criminal felony and assault against humanity. It is malice and oppression, in legal terms (see Dewayne Johnson vs Monsanto Company)

The discerning ethical skeptic bears this in mind and uses this understanding to discern the sincere from the poser, and real groundbreaking study from commonplace surreptitiously bad science.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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September 3, 2018 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain | , | Leave a comment

When Skepticism is a Symptom of Cognitive Impairment

While fake skeptics plead that their habits stem indeed from established ‘methods of science’, perhaps their form of methodical cynicism does not arise from rationality at all. To the contrary, such intransigence may in reality be a symptom of underlying physiologically based cognitive impairment. The brain protects itself through skepticism, because it does not possess the resource nor oxygen permeation capacity, necessary to handle the demand placed upon it by novel or challenging constructs.
An impairment which expresses in the form of angry dissonance, much like hypoxic or math anxiety, in the mind of those who no longer possess the bandwidth, cerebral functional integrity and depth requisite in the wielding of great ideas.

I bought my mother a replacement for her old flip phone this last year. She resisted me for months on this, declaring that she “did not need a new phone”. So finally, when her old flip phone crapped out, I convinced her to let me add her to my family mobile plan, and get her a new LG smart phone. I placed it in ‘simple mode’ – a brilliant option on LG phones which positions just the most important six icons on the main screen when the unit is powered up.  It took me two weeks just to teach her how to push the button on the screen which answers incoming calls.  Then another month on how to identify the top and the bottom of the phone (she kept answering it with the speaker down by her mouth).  Finally, when I thought it to be the right time, I suggested that she press the button for ‘messages’ – when it had a “1” beside it. I told her that it might just contain a note, just like an email but much easier, with pictures of the kids or me; or a note saying hello, I love you, or some good news. Good things. Easy to open and view. That was too much for my mom. I had crossed the line.

Even to this very day she has abjectly refused to even attempt to push the text message button and read what is inside. My urging only serves to generate an odd form of anxiety inside her. A fear of the new and overwhelming. Now this was not the way my mother was when younger. She was an early adopter in her younger years, researching health way before it was popular, doing yoga when no one had even heard the word ‘yoga’, and trying brand new technologies as soon as they came out. She could not wait to get the first Polaroid cameras, touting the quickness to the photo, and avoiding that horrid 10 minute drive to the drug store to drop off and pick up film and photos.

Now mind you, she can see the phone just fine, as her vision is still great. She can observe all the screen objects and easily work all the buttons. Nonetheless these feature challenges I have observed to impart an anxiety inside her; anxiety shared in common with her reaction to other novel technology, new ideas, creativity and situational developments. She clings obsessively to the familiar, the explained, the old. My mother is not alone in this proclivity by any means.

In similar fashion, each of my brilliant friends from high school and undergraduate school have slowly begun to succumb to this ‘lack of curiosity and intolerance of innovation’ – syndrome. I call it a syndrome because it appears to come on with age, increase in severity with age, and is irreversible once past inception. The victim does not seem to be able to ‘change one’s mind’ about this form of cynical intolerance. One becomes solely dependent upon the school-styled skills of memorization, procedure, training and chains of familiarity. Paradigm shattering ideas, which my scientist and engineer buddies used to love to ponder for weeks on end, now only serve to make them anxious. They avoid the topics now, and say little to nothing about them any more.

They call it ‘critical thinking’ – but I rarely witness anything of the sort inside its execution. It should be instead entitled ‘conformance protocols’ – a type of thinking welfare for those of impoverished cognition.

Last month when the Tic-Tac UFO incident study set reared its disdained head again, I sent a note seeking some feature input, to my buddy in Forward Looking Infrared Technology Development at Raytheon. Twenty years ago, we would have stayed up for hours discussing the possibility that some of our anomalous observations were indeed something of Earth-shattering import. Now, he not only won’t speak about such things, but he inevitably resorts to the mindless meme-styled one-liner taunts – “It’s space aliens!!” I can no longer get anything of depth or quality out of him, nothing more than a bot would tender in response. He is up on the latest happenings with former Pantera members, or how the Dodgers are faring – but that is about it. He is a hollow cubicle-bound shell of his former self. This is a significant problem which mirrors itself in the minds of many of my ‘skeptic’ acquaintances as well. They get anxiety over such subjects, and begin to progressively avoid them, reactively shutting down as they age. This process has nothing to do with wisdom – and everything to do with lacking a young dynamic mind and sufficient cognitive capacity.

“A growing body of research reveals that the prevalence of late-life anxiety coexisting with cognitive impairment is more common than may have been suspected. And it appears that a symbiotic relationship exists between the two.”

~Stanford University School of Medicine researchers Sherry Beaudreau, Ph.D., and Ruth O’Hara, Ph.D. in their study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry1

My friend thinks he is being funny. But he forgets that he has used the same one-liner over and over for years in the same circumstance. Perceiving each time that he has contributed something innovative and comically original. But to me, I observe the collapse of his intellectual integrity – a mind no longer possessing the bandwidth to examine paradigms and novel information – rather only now able to follow the Laplace/Lagrange scripts which we were taught in Calculus VI or the sensor calibration protocols on certain satellite systems.  He no longer creates, no longer envisions, no longer challenges anything familiar – only and exclusively denying the novel or intimidating idea. His career – his life – his youthful mind, have all stalled. And perhaps frustration over this reality may impart more to his cynicism than the impairment itself; nonetheless, I observe a hollow form of what used to be my friend. Nigh unto watching a loved one sink into dementia. He thinks it is because he is ‘smarter and more scientific’ now. I see it as a form of creeping cognitive impairment – no different than the case of my mother and her new smart phone.

High Anxiety – A Sign that One’s Intellectual Capacity has been Outstripped

All this reminded me of my flight training in the Navy. After passing the 50 meter underwater swim, the Dilbert Dunker and the Ejection Seat Simulator (or ‘rocket chair’ as it is affectionately known), all with flying colors – I thought that the hypobaric altitude chamber would be a cinch to accomplish. In the altitude chamber, atmosphere is gradually removed by means of a vacuum, to simulate the conditions of higher altitude so that the pilot can recognize by this prior experience, the signs of hypoxia. Hypoxia is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the brain tissues. Please note that, even though technically the oxygen-deficient blood of the cognitively impaired mind of an adult at sea level would be known as hypoxemia, the condition in the brain tissue under circumstances of hypoxemia is nevertheless called hypoxia. So we use the term endogenous hypoxia here to describe any condition of shortage in oxygen to the brain tissue under normal conditions, necessary for certain complex cognitive integral functions. Endogenous hypoxia is not something which at low levels, can necessarily be detected by its sufferer.

But what are the symptoms of low scale endogenous hypoxia? The same as low magnitude exogenous hypoxia (altitude sickness), which are2

  • confusion/disorientation
  • anxiety
  • behavioral change (usually anger)
  • ataxia

It is these first three symptoms, confusion/disorientation, anxiety and anger which interest me the most. When I was in the altitude chamber, I and two other candidates were selected to stay in the chamber the longest, and allow the other pilot candidates to observe how hypoxia works. My buddy Alex had been assigned to sort a deck of playing cards into a box with four slots cut into and labeled by card suit.  At 26,000 feet he was failing miserably. Laughing at him while I observed his difficulties, I noticed that I was struggling to perform some rather simple math equations which I had been assigned to solve. I recognized the abstract symbols on the paper, but could not attach any meaning to them, nor to the associated procedural library I had stored in my brain. It was at that moment that I began to realize that the abstract symbols were terrifying me. Math anxiety. I could not translate the abstract symbolic set before me, into a structured and procedural way to resolve them in my mind. It was not simply confusion – I was threatened by symbols I recognized but could not resolve. It was a procedural anxiety over an abstract challenge – pure and simple. The chamber director spoke over the loudspeaker and asked “Midshipman TES, how are you doing over there?”. I just stared at him with a look of bewilderment and displeasure on my face. It was a topic of great fun over beers later that evening. “TES, you looked like you were going to kill the instructor there man.” Something the instructor told me he had seen many times before.

The solution for the pilot facing hypoxia? Procedure and training. In order to function under a risk of hypoxia – the competent pilot trains himself or herself as to how to carry out basic functions to regain oxygen and keep the aircraft in flight all the way to touchdown or tailhook. Becoming procedurally minded is a must in such a situation. Again in Naval Intelligence, I once was tasked to fly on short notice from Washington D.C. to Sigonella, Sicily – without my uniforms. I was able to quickly purchase an officer’s cap in the Naval Academy Midshipman Store – whereupon I could obtain the rest of the ensemble at a later time during my tasking. Accordingly, I wrote my name on the courtesy card inside the officer’s cap while tucked away on top of crates inside the cargo compartment of a C-130. Years later I realized, that I had misspelled my own name – while riding there at 36,000 feet of altitude. The cargo compartment had been slightly depressurized for much of the trip. For those suffering cognitive impairment, procedure is everything. Even down to how to spell one’s own name. Procedure is your life blood. As long as you follow procedure, you can be somewhat cognitively impaired, and still be a reasonable B student or apothegm-spouting ‘skeptic’.

Note: which is also why I do not hire B students, the following dangers exist inside the body of B students:

  1. They are A students who were lazy, or
  2. They are C students who cheated or had unfair access to ‘word’, or
  3. They are mildly cognitive-impaired yet know how to follow a procedure or a lesson plan.

Few of these types do I want in my organizations.

A problem exists however, when the majority of society is functioning under such a burden. This provides a fertile breeding ground for social skeptics.

The irony is that today, this same disorientation anxiety exists in the minds of skeptics, when challenged with abstract constructs which they cannot resolve into the easy, nonthreatening and procedural. The only difference resides in the fact that in everyday life, this ‘hypoxia’ victim must adorn a costume in the form of method and power-identity, in order to socially conceal their disorientation and anxiety. An anxiety which prompts them into attacking those they see as the messengers of the abstract: ‘woo’ and ‘pseudoscience’. They must hold the social power at all times, so as not to be found out.

To me, this is why social skeptics seem to react with such negative vehemence towards issues which should otherwise bear little social detriment and paucity of true impact on their lives. They compensate for their fear with high school social tactics – becoming virtue signaling, chest pounding science-bullies in the process.

Sometimes, skepticism itself is a sickness. The brain protects itself through skepticism, because it does not posses the resources nor oxygen permeation capacity, necessary to handle the demand placed upon it by a novel idea. Once I observe a person to head down this style of fake (dissonance-anxiety) skepticism, they never come back. They cannot heal themselves of this physiological malady.

Is Procedural-Mindedness a Symptom of Cognitive Impairment?

The creative mind, functions in a way that is wholly different from the task oriented mind. A recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports, entitled Brain networks for visual creativity: a functional connectivity study of planning a visual artwork, by Nicola De Pisapia, Francesca Bacci, Danielle Parrott and David Melcher elicited this very principle.3 In the study, the authors tested the idea that creativity (planning an artwork) would influence the functional connectivity between regions involved in the brain, which are also implicated in divergent thinking and generating novel ideas. The key observation which arose from the study was that creative generative processes, require a complex use of multiple regions, and networks, of the brain simultaneously – a demand in resources far outstripping the normal daily or procedural task. They measured functional connectivity by means of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) during three different conditions: rest, visual imagery of the alphabet and planning an artwork to be executed immediately after the scanning session. Therein they found a stronger connectivity between areas of default activity and executive decision capacity during the creative task, and this difference was enhanced as well in professional artists. These findings suggest that creativity involves an expert balance of two brain networks typically viewed as being in opposition. This demanded, according to the study, several orders of magnitude more in cognitive processing ability than did procedural tasks.

Creativity is roughly definable as the process of generating novel and worthwhile ideas or objects and is thought to involve several types of cognitive abilities. One widespread idea is that creativity must involve both novelty (new ideas or objects are the outcome) and usefulness (the new idea/object must be worthwhile). There is widespread consensus that creativity is a fundamental and valuable part of human cognition.4

Indeed, the ability to register an abstract symbology, and resolve it into a procedural understanding takes just this sort of cognitive capability and creativity on a person’s part. To be able to grasp, receive and digest a creative work takes every bit the cognitive capacity which is required to create it. Skeptics often lack this ability and project their dissonance-anxiety towards those who do have this talent.

It is my conjecture that the inability of skeptics to register or create per hoc aditum asymmetrical or complex scenarios in their mind, produces a kind of dissonance-based anxiety and anger – which they then express towards the messengers of such threatening symbologies. They lack the physiological cognitive resources (possibly oxygen permeation) which are required to calmly digest and contemplate such challenges to their paradigms and comfort zones.

If you doubt this, simply examine the comments section of any post, article or study regarding the 768 forbidden subjects identified in The Skeptic’s Dictionary. You will observe endless angry diatribes on the part of those who lack cognitive depth – those who have been trained in the use of the weapons necessary in concealing their pathology. Heavy use of one liners, Bridgman reduction and personal attacks. They are angry and employ a pretense of science as their billy club – of this fact, society has little doubt. (Note: I do not get such anxiety. I embrace change and challenging new abstract ideas with passion – only rejecting them when the evidence becomes overwhelming. On any typical issue I may hold 7 different alternative explanations and supportive evidence sets in my mind, without anxiety nor dissonance at all. I also have been certified by my cardiologist to be ‘arterial plaque free’ – because of a certain method I used to eliminate calcium phosphate-LDL cholesterol plaque from my heart and brain blood vessels. I noticed a significant boost in my cognitive capabilities after the associated therapy.)

I have seen this often in business meetings, where the subject matter, or the array of complex challenges outstrip the ability of some of the members present to process and register what is being contended or discussed. Often these people will get angry and lash out at the person they perceive to be forcing their dissonance. They become unethical in their anger. They become caricatures of science and skepticism, frothing inappropriately over people and events serving to introduce the abstract which exceeded their resource capacity, rather than the ideas over which they should normally be intellectual masters.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The ethical skeptic must always have the mental capacity to tolerate the introduction of new ideas, listen to the eyewitnesses without being threatened in the process. It is a sign of one’s intellectual reserve – the ability to exhibit the grace, integrity and acumen requisite in the wielding of great ideas.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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How to MLA cite this blog post =>

The Ethical Skeptic, “When Skepticism is a Symptom of Cognitive Impairment” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 5 Jul 2018; Web, https://wp.me/p17q0e-7SS

July 5, 2018 Posted by | Social Disdain | , , | 7 Comments

The Opposite of Skeptic: Apparatchik

Apparatchik, it is the opposite of being a skeptic. The majority of our modern so-called skeptics since 1972 have been trained as apparatchiks, not skeptics. They are not simply ignorant agents, rather agents of ignorance. A class of fake skeptic which is smart enough to follow a lesson plan, but stupid enough to be insensitive to the plight of others, and to fail to observe the game of manipulation in which they have been used as pawn.

I was working with a hospital client in Ohio in 2007, just before the first official college football BCS National Championship game ever played, January 8, 2007. A group of us working in a conference room included several justifiably proud Ohio State football fans, wherein I was plied with the question, “What’s your prediction for the upcoming BCS championship game TES?”  I stopped for just a moment and then said “A rude awakening.” Florida of course went on to thrash the heavily media-favored Ohio State in that game 41 to 7 (although a mercy touchdown at the end made the final score 41 to 14). This lack of power ranking awareness on the part of many Ohio State fans and sportswriters that year elicits a foundational term inside ethical skepticism called anosognosia. Anosognosia is a deficit of self awareness that renders a subject vulnerable to being misled by propaganda and/or into becoming an apparatus of such propaganda in the first place. The anosognosiac bears the irony that they possess a greater degree of ignorance than do the very people they accuse of residing in the same state. Therefore, anosognosia is is not congruent with simply cluelessness. Anosognosia combines cluelessness, with the desire to condemn others, along with a mind bereft of its own manipulation/vulnerability. This constitutes a class of fake skeptic which is smart enough to follow a lesson plan, but not caring enough to observe the plight of others, nor their own role in contributing to harm.  For instance:

Blathering incessantly about the dangers of ‘supplements’ despite the fact that the term bears no specific meaning; all the while ignoring a National Crisis in Opioid Abuse which has raged and caused the deaths of millions of our citizens – at the hands of the major pharmaceutical giants.

Obsessing about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Advocacy on lipstick or defending agricultural food pesticide proliferation, all the while remaining silent on the priority fact that sperm counts continue their extinction event drop in Western men (Sperm Counts Drop 52% in 40 Years in Western Men).

A person who refuses to read the Overwhelming Science Linking Brain Injury, Early Frequent Immune Activation and Injected Contaminants – and declares anyone who does to be a ‘baby killer’ or ‘anti-vaxx’ – as opposed to the reality that they are simply asking for science and safety – not an elimination of vaccines. Instead they simply spout imperious propaganda, straw man and name calling.

These are not ignorant agents (the noun), rather agents of ignorance (the verb). It is not simply stupidity, but stupidity as contagion. These are persons who maintain an obdurate hatred of their fellow men – and cover it with deceptive personas of correctness, misleading others and themselves.

Anosognosia

/psychology : self awareness : errors/ : a deficit of self awareness. A vulnerability to a sales pitch involving the ‘stupid’ versus us, on the part of those who see themselves as superior minded. This relates to the complex intricacies involving intelligence and rationality; a perception spun on the part of social skeptics which is wielded to seek compliance and social enforcement of their goals.

The principal actor inside a social club critical mass of anosognosia is a special form of pro-active cluelessness player, called an apparatchik. An apparatchik is a person who is smart enough to follow an instructed method and set of pre-prepared talking points, yet not smart enough to detect a condition of being manipulated, nor bearing skill in detecting any real or important alternative priorities. This is the opposite of a skeptic, and ironically constitutes the majority of people who call themselves ‘skeptics’ today.

Apparatchik

/politics : propaganda : lackey/ : the opposite of being a skeptic. A blindly devoted official, follower, or organization member, of a corporation, club or political party. One who either ignorantly or obdurately lacks any concern or circumspection ability which might prompt them to examine the harm their position may serve to cause.

An apparatchik will almost always call themselves a ‘skeptic’.

Twenty Apparatchik Signals

1.  Possesses few or no ideas of his or her own crafting

2.  Is an expert or issues ‘Twelve Reasons Why’ styled arguments on an unreasonably large array of subjects in which they could not possibly hold expertise (or on one in which you hold extensive expertise and detect deception/laziness on their part – see Margold’s Law)

3.  Quickly or habitually slips into rhetoric in an effort to win an argument, rather than conducting further research

4.  Appeals to the authority of their club or argument ad populum

5.  Talks down to you, not with you

6.  Can relate few or no instances where they actually conducted hard or extensive investigative field work

7.  Seldom regards direct or extensive experience as sufficient qualification to argue with them

8.  Focuses first on the ‘facts’ or circumstantial aspects or informal fallacy around an argument – as opposed to its coherence, soundness and logical calculus

9.  Enjoys condemning people through ‘raising the specter of doubt’ (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)

10.  Subconsciously treats science as a social ranking and popularity endeavor

11.  Patrols social media seeking to embarrass targeted people

12.  Tends to adopt a cause célèbre or correctness personas/religious stances at a young age and with excessive vigor

13.  Resorts to familiar catch phrases in response to novel information

14.  Seeks visibility, club reinforcement and celebrity at every chance

15.  Is insensitive to risk, suffering or the plight of anyone different than themself

16.  Finds fault more easily in others than in themself

17.  Not really all that clever once you get past the tag lines

18.  Steers every line of reason into an inference which serves to insult or ‘anti______’ bucket-condemn persons they engage/argue with

19.  Will draw a conclusion based upon skepticism alone

20.  Their quality of life/success/achievement, does not seem to be compatible with the rigor by which they hold others accountable

The apparatchik is a pretender.  A child-mind, motivated by the Ten Pillars of Social Skepticism. It behooves the ethical skeptic to avoid such persons – as they only seek to engage with you as a means to continue their propaganda masquerade. Spend your quality intellectual pursuit time inside research of ideas which will reduce the risk and suffering born by your citizen peers – not in fighting useless fights with people who hold their position, precisely because they could not discern the core arguments of its issues in the first place.

epoché vanguards gnosis

How to MLA cite this blog post =>The Ethical Skeptic, “The Opposite of Skeptic: Apparatchik” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 4 March 2018, Web; https://wp.me/p17q0e-7hb

March 4, 2018 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Social Disdain, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , | Leave a comment

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