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.

   Crony Driven Entities

   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.

It is the job of a flat ethical price-making market to offer the intelligence to the value provider and risk bearer so that those parties may discern this process:

   1. Know what value is
   2. Know what value is needed most
   3. Choose the highest need of the highest value
   4. Hedge the risk which achieves this.

The Crony creates a Fog of Trade, such that the value provider and the risk bearer cannot discern the above. That way they reap your value and hand you the unhedged risk. This in turn serves to creates a displaced grey market inhabited by the huckster, hustler and shyster. Consisting mostly of poseurs who wish to be real someday, but must cheat a little along the way in order to survive.

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, three 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 or inflates a product value in order to obscure price performance.

Example:  A consumer goods toy 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. eBay is flush with supplies of that toy as a result.

Hustler– deceives two parties as to value and price, as the go-between in a pseudo-transaction. Misadvertises to both parties that they have a value or price commitment from the other party.

Example: An intermediary tells a chocolate products manufacturer that they have a committed supply of cocoa bean from a producer in West Africa – and tells the cocoa bean producer that they have a proof of funds MT-799 and ICPO from a buyer. Neither is in fact true, and when the parties meet, trust plummets, and subsequently there is a low probability of transaction success. The most likely outcome of a hustle being that each party thinks that the other party, as well as the hustler, are fraudulent players.

Hustle Chain – a chain of agents and/or hustlers who in sequence make representations upline and downline to each other between a putative buyer and a seller (or value provider and risk undertaker). The longer the chain of such entities the more exaggerated or ‘certain’ the representations. A chain of eagerness or greed in which favorable information is spawned and unfavorable information is filtered out, in both directions. Value, capability and availability of the product are exaggerated as the ‘pseudo-offer’ is passed upline, while willingness, demand or ability to pay on the part of the bidder are up-spun as a ‘pseudo-bid’ coming downline. This type of unqualified principal or procedure-less pseudo-trade collapses 99 out of 100 times.

Shyster – sells price first and then value. A shyster blends, shorts, conflates or confuses 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.

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. 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.

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

November 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , | 1 Comment

The Art of Knowing Nothing

There exists a difference between the number zero, a state of absence and the concepts of nothing and nothingness. It behooves one to know the difference. The nihilist is a person who claims specific revelation knowledge as to that which is comprised by all conditions of Nothing. The ethical skeptic on the other hand is a student of Nothing before he or she can ever claim to bear expertise at anything.

A friend was challenged by his son the other day, with the contention that the number zero (0) was not really a number at all, rather that it represented the concept of nothing – and that therefore, all of our numeric systems needed to be revised in order to reflect this principle of reality. This approach of course presupposes that non-zero numbers, indeed are real in themselves – a predicate contention which the philosopher cannot grant free pass (and of course the mistake which the Romans made with I II III IV, etc.). The numeral ‘zero’ bears a specific function which is mathematics related. As such, and given that maths involves the manipulation of symbols/placeholders/numbers/numeral digits – concepts or symbols thereof which serve as placeholders for series concepts – therefore, zero is indeed a series number and is not akin to ‘nothing’. Without the number 0, the series -2, -1, 0, 1, 2… would have no coherency, and advanced sets of maths/computer science would fail due to the resulting lossy glitch in that logical/computational series.

The numeral ‘1’ for instance is merely the next series symbol for the condition of a single instance of a domain, set, entity or (quality or quantity) state – all concepts which are useful in defining the conditions of Nothing, below. The numeral ‘1’ too is merely symbolic – quad erat demonstrandum the number ‘zero’ bears all the same elements of validity as a number, as does the number ‘1’ or any other numeral.1

What my friend’s son was doing, was to conflate a ‘condition of Nothing’, with the numerics of zero. While the equivocal concepts of both do indeed overlap, this overlap is much less in magnitude than the layman might first assume. It behooves the ethical skeptic to fathom and adeptly ply the difference between zero and nothing.

There is zero, and there is Nothing – wherein the two are not necessarily the same thing at all.

Zero is an issue of series. Nothing is an issue of state. Intent is sticky and robust, more so than either zero or Nothing –
and may persist well beyond the boundary conditions introduced by each of those limited concepts.

The Conditions of Nothing

But fathoming the depths of this tenet of philosophy serves to give pause in the mind of the ethical skeptic: What other concepts of Nothing exist, and how are they defined under a Wittgenstein level of clarity as well? Further then, how does this help us define the term ‘nihilism’? Below I outlay my most recent foray into defining the depths of Nothing. The list begins with the most objective and ends with the most subjective concepts. The Wittgenstein anchor terms used herein are set, entity, (quantity or quality) state, domain, known, unknown, number, transaction, condition, member and series.

Make Sure That You Know Nothing (The Conditions of Nothing)


  0/Zero/Aught – a number which place-holds for termination of a quantitative series

  Nil/Zilch/Love/Zot – a state of attainment represented by no quantity of a known entity

            aleph_0/Aleph Zero – the termination (cardinality) of the series set of natural numbers

Sets & Domains

  Nought/Naught – any set or entity which produces no associated quantity or quality

  None – a known set or entity which exhibits an absence of quantity or quality

  Blank – a set which is devoid of its associated entities

  Void – a defined domain which contains no set, entity nor quantity or quality

  Nada – a void of known entities or sets inside a known domain

  Non-Existent – the state of a known set or entity in which it is absent in all known domains

  Non-Entity – a putative member of a set which does not actually belong to that set

  ∅/Empty Set – a set of a known entity, quantity or quality which does not exist in a given domain

Nothing States

  Non-Extant – a set or entity, known or unknown, which is absent in all domains

  Oblivion – a condition in which the complete set of an entity is rendered non-extant

  Absent – a set, entity or state which is prohibited detection in a domain

  Emptiness – a domain in which all sets or entities are prohibited detection

  Nihil – a state of inability to exist, regardless of domain

  Nothingness – the domain of all sets or entities which are nihil


  NaN – not a number. A value that is undefinable or unrepresentable

  Idempotent – a transaction which contributes no change in (quantity or quality) state

  Nix/Exterminate – to render a set or entity to one of the various conditions of Nothing

  Annihilate – to render a set or entity to the sate of nihil

  Nihilism – a faith, that all Conditions of Nothing fully describe that which appears absent

As the astute observer may notice herein, nihilism, because of its desperate claim to grasp all that is Nothing, without any evidence of such knowledge, is indeed a personal choice of faith. A hunch, a metaphysical selection, just as believing in God is a metaphysical selection. Which is fine. However, when one enforces that personal choice upon others (by mandating it as an outcome of logic, rationality or science), it also becomes a religion often called Atheism (distinct from agnosticism or ignostic atheism).

So now that you the ethical skeptic have plumbed the depths of Wittgenstein’s Nothing, and have perceived just how impossible it is to know Nothing; therefore stand firm against those who purport to possess short-cut revelation knowledge as to the entirety of Nothing.

That sure would be something.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Art of Knowing Nothing”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 30 Sep 2019; Web,

September 30, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , | 4 Comments

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