The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Key Warning Signs You are Dealing with a Flim-Flam Artist

Twenty five indicators that you are dealing with that base level of sociopath con man who frequents the periphery of legitimate international business. More obvious? Yes. Common traits with social skeptics? Absolutely.

For now, let’s take a break from my usual commentary regarding fake skeptics. Or perhaps not so much as a break in actuality, as fake skeptics notably constitute a very specialized form of sophisticated con – one perhaps not picked up upon by the general population as easily. So let me reword my introduction here. Why don’t we notch down our target of focus here to a less sophisticated, more readily obvious form of flim-flam artist, one known as the sales job con man. The con man does not bill himself as representing science. Heck he doesn’t even understand science – yet he is every bit the faker which is the social skeptic.

As a businessman, I have run into my share of con men. When I closed out my father’s estate after his passing, bless his heart, it turns out that he was a sucker for a con man with a half baked story. I spent years extracting his estate from the clutches of several greedy and dishonest players who stole from him or tried to swindle his estate out of money/property – one was even his trusted bank. The crooks at his major bank stole on the order of $2 million from him themselves – through an irrevocable trust scam that they ran on elderly clients in the 1980’s. Such cases are in the public domain, so go look them up, along with the banks which ran them. I was able to rescue my mother from destitution as a widow, through perseverance and aggressive prosecution of these fakers. Even at that young age, I learned the nature of, and how to spot the cheat, the swindle and the crooked sell. It played well into my ability to spot even more sophisticated fakers and cheats later on.

As a person who has executed budgets for nations, programs and clients, letting literally thousands of contracts – both which I have bid and awarded, I have run into my share of swindlers, cheats, boasters, con-men, rip-off artists – and those who delude themselves along the pathway of attempting to delude others. Just as in the case of the social skeptic, the con artist must first convince himself of the superior nature of his motives, abilities, wares and goals – before he can effectively swindle his prey. In one of my businesses I owned, I have been hired internationally for decades – precisely because of my ability to spot a con, and protect a client. I eventually sold that business after decades of global, industry leading work.

So without further ado, let’s take a quick look at that base level of sociopath con man who frequents the periphery of legitimate international business. More obvious, yes. Common traits with social skeptics? Absolutely.

Twenty five signs that the person you are dealing with is a con man

1.  Is always a billionaire or just about to be one, yet can never seem to pay for lunch.

2.  Habitually values newer opportunities/contacts over older ones – the most recent deal coming in the door is always the most lucrative one on the docket.

3.  Seems to be a dunce/incapable on every subject with single exception of how the money flows and works.

4.  Money is always imminent from some black-box mechanism (privy to trade access, Euro bonds, insurance scam, African diamonds, etc.) which is hidden from you or implied as above your understanding.

5.  Rides the roller coaster of bi-polar behavior – uses it as a passive-aggressive method of manipulation.

6.  Abuses substances, especially bipolar-enhancing-yet-sustainable ones like alcohol, and is easily addicted/chain smokes. Only ‘friends’ are drunks.

7.  Meticulously avoids providing any employable work or value other than his ‘Network’.

8.  Network of contacts never seems to include any acquaintances of duration longer than one or two years.

9.  Holds no references/friends/contacts from any of the businesses he mentions working with/for in the past.

10.  Shows sudden indignant flashes of anger when uncertainty arises concerning money.

11.  Makes flamboyant display or often mention of her generosity or team-player nature.

12.  Exaggerates his contribution or investment into a project or effort.

13.  Cannot seem to keep a spouse.

14.  Is generous with money when it is in theory – then suddenly greedy when it is on the table.

15.  Seems to constantly roll from one injury to the next – lots of down time from injury and illness.

16.  Takes ridiculous risks for no reason/no gain. Thinks gambling is an expertise.

17.  Is an easy sell himself. Gets furious or hangs up the phone if you don’t immediately accede to his latest scheme. Calls you ‘pig headed’ if you hold doubt about even 1 thing out of 100.

18.  Speaks often of the Bible or God. Habitually forces tactical discussions into tangential conjecture about how he always does the right thing.

19.  Promises the moon, delivers a rotten melon. Tells you how lucky you are, or that it is your fault.

20.  Belittles everyone they connect or work with as not matching up to his standard of motive, ability, outcomes or goals.

21.  Let’s you know at all times and repeatedly, what it is you do not personally do well – never evaluates herself. Never shows humility. Never forgives.

22.  Rehashes in rambling, the same issue over and over and forgets that she just recently ranted about it before. Stalks victims.

23.  Pattern of boasting that someone whom he just met, is his close friend or business partner.

24.  Doesn’t know anyone from his neighborhood, high school or college days – seldom speaks with family.

25.  Her kids are never around her, are out of control themselves, druggies and are crooks or con men (women) as well.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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October 31, 2017 Posted by | Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , , , | 14 Comments

Poser Science: Proof Gaming

Science begins its work based upon a principle called necessity, not upon proof. Science then establishes proof, if such can be had. Popper critical rationality as it turns out, involves more than irrefutable proof, contrary to what gaming social skeptics might contend. Proof Gaming is a method of tendering an affectation of sciencey methodology, yet still effectively obfuscating research and enforcing acceptable thought.

im-a-skeptic-burden-of-proofIn order for science to begin to prove the existence of the strange animal tens of thousands of credible persons report roaming in the woods, I must first bring in its dead carcass.  But if I bring in its dead body, then I have no need for science to examine that such an animal exists in the first place; I have already done the science.  The demand that I bring in a dead body, given a sufficient level of Ockham’s Razor necessity-driving information, is a false standard threshold for science to begin its diligence, and such a demand constitutes pseudoscience.

Now of course, Karl Popper in his brief entitled Die beiden Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie contended that science should be demarcated by the proper assignment of truth values to its assertions, or ‘sentences’: ergo, science is the set of sentences with justifiably assigned truth values.¹ This was called a mindset of ‘critical rationality’.¹ It was a step above simple scientific skepticism. The task of the philosophy of science is to explain suitable methods by which these assignments are then properly made.¹ However, one can extend the philosophy of science to construct elaborate methods, which prevent the assimilation of ideas or research which one disfavors, by gaming these methods such that philosophy stands and acts in lieu of science. One such trick of conducting science research by means of solely philosophy, all from the comfort of one’s arm chair, is called Proof Gaming. Popper contended later in his work, as outlined by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy here:

As a consequence of these three difficulties [the problem or necessity of induction] Popper developed an entirely different theory of science in chapter 5, then in Logik der Forschung. In order to overcome the problems his first view faced, he adopted two central strategies. First, he reformulated the task of the philosophy of science. Rather than presenting scientific method as a tool for properly assigning truth values to sentences, he presented rules of scientific method as conducive to the growth of knowledge. Apparently he still held that only proven or refuted sentences could take truth values. But this view is incompatible with his new philosophy of science as it appears in his Logik der Forschung: there he had to presume that some non-refuted theories took truth values, that is, that they are true or false as the case may be, even though they have been neither proved nor refuted [William of Ockham’s ‘plurality’]. It is the job of scientists to discover their falsity when they can. (IEoP)¹

Social skeptics will cite the base logic of Popper’s first work, yet omit his continued work on induction (Logik der Forschung) – as a process of sleight-of-hand in argument. So, critical rationality as it turns out, involves more than irrefutable proof, contrary to what gaming social skeptics might contend. Science begins its work based upon a principle called necessity, not upon proof. Science then establishes proof, if such can be had. Sadly, much of science cannot be adjudicated on anything like what we would call iron-clad proof, and instead relies upon a combination of falsified antithetical alternatives or induction based consilience.

The gaming of this reality constitutes a process of obfuscation and deceit called Proof Gaming. Proof Gaming is the process of employing dilettante concepts of ‘proof’ as a football in order to win arguments, disfavor disliked groups or thought, or exercise fake versions or standards of science. Proof gaming presents itself in seven speciations. In the presence of sufficient information or Ockham’s Razor plurality, such tactics as outlined below, constitute a game of pseudoscience. Posing the appearance of science-sounding methods, yet still enabling obfuscation and a departure from the scientific method in order to protect the religious ideas one adopted at an early age.

Let’s examine the seven types of this common social skeptic bad science method, formal and informal fallacy.

Proof Gaming

/philosophy : argument : pseudoscience : false salience/ : employing dilettante concepts of ‘proof’ as a football in order to win arguments, disfavor disliked groups or thought, or exercise fake versions of science. Proof gaming presents itself in seven speciations:

Catch 22 (non rectum agitur fallacy) – the pseudoscience of forcing the proponent of a construct or observation, to immediately and definitively skip to the end of the scientific method and single-handedly prove their contention, circumventing all other steps of the scientific method and any aid of science therein; this monumental achievement prerequisite before the contention would ostensibly be allowed to be considered by science in the first place. Backwards scientific method and skipping of the plurality and critical work content steps of science.

Fictitious Burden of Proof – declaring a ‘burden of proof’ to exist when such an assertion is not salient under science method at all. A burden of proof cannot possibly exist if neither the null hypothesis or alternative theories nor any proposed construct possesses a Popper sufficient testable/observable/discernible/measurable mechanism; nor moreover, if the subject in the matter of ‘proof’ bears no Wittgenstein sufficient definition in the first place (such as the terms ‘god’ or ‘nothingness’).

Herculean Burden of Proof – placing a ‘burden of proof’ upon an opponent which is either arguing from ignorance (asking to prove absence), not relevant to science or not inside the relevant range of achievable scientific endeavor in the first place. Assigning a burden of proof which cannot possibly be provided/resolved by a human being inside our current state of technology or sophistication of thought/knowledge (such as ‘prove abiogenesis’ or ‘prove that only the material exists’). Asking someone to prove an absence proposition (such as ‘prove elves do not exist’).

Fictus Scientia – assigning to disfavored ideas, a burden of proof which is far in excess of the standard regarded for acceptance or even due consideration inside science methods. Similarly, any form of denial of access to acceptance processes normally employed inside science (usually peer review both at theory formulation and at completion). Request for proof as the implied standard of science – while failing to realize or deceiving opponents into failing to realize that 90% of science is not settled by means of ‘proof’ to begin with.

Observation vs Claim Blurring – the false practice of calling an observation or data set, a ‘claim’ on the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such observations into the category of constituting scientific claims which therefore must be now ‘proved’ or dismissed (the real goal: see Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy).  In fact an observation is simply that, a piece of evidence or a cataloged fact. Its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘claim’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

As Science as Law Fallacy – conducting science as if it were being reduced inside a court of law or by a judge (usually the one forcing the fake science to begin with), through either declaring a precautionary principle theory to be innocent until proved guilty, or forcing standards of evidence inside a court of law onto hypothesis reduction methodology, when the two processes are conducted differently.

Proof by Non-falsifiability (Defaulting) – by selecting and promoting a pet theory or religious tenet which resides inside the set of falsification-prohibited constructs, SSkeptics establish popular veracity of favored beliefs, by default. Since their favored theory cannot be approached for falsification, it would be pseudoscience to compete it with other falsifiable constructs and claim it to be an outcome of the Scientific Method. Therefore the scientific method is disposed of, the non-falsifiable theory is assigned a presumption of truth, and furthermore can never be disproved. A flavor of unseatable ‘King of the Hill’ status is established for pet SSkeptic beliefs.

All of these tactics are common practices which abrogate the role and discipline of science.  Additionally, a key set of symptoms to look for, in determining that Proof Gaming is underway, are when

  1. one of these tactics is conducted inside a media spotlight,  and when
  2. every media outlet is reciting the same story, and same one liner such as ‘extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence’, verbatim.

This is an indicator that a campaign is underway to quash a subject.

The sad reality is, that on most tough issues, any one single person or small group of outsiders is poorly equipped to prove a subject beyond question. Popper recognized this later in his life work.  We simply do not have the resources and time to accomplish such a task.  SSkeptics know this and use it to their advantage.  The people who are calling for research for example on the connection between cognitive delays in children and the potential role which immunizations have had on this, are simply asking for science to do the research. The response they receive is “You can’t prove the link,” thus we are justified in waging a media campaign against you and scientifically ignoring this issue. This is Proof Gaming.  Complicating this is the fact that the issue is broader than simply MMR and Thimerosal (the majority body of current study), involving the demand for science to research the causes of valid skyrocketing levels of developmental delays, autoimmune disorders, and learning disabilities in our children. The issue bears plurality and precaution, but is answered with ignorance. The Proof Gamers who sling epithets such as “Deniers” and “Anti-vaccinationistas” and “Autistic Moms” are committing scientific treason. One should note that the handiwork of such SSkeptics is rarely characterized by outcomes of value or clarity, is typically destructive and control oriented, and is reliably made media-visible (see our next Poser Science series on the tandem symbiosis between virtue signalling and malevolence).

Hype and name calling has no place in pluralistic research, and the media pundits who commit this are practicing pseudoscience plain and simple. Once plurality has been established, the games should be over.  But not for Proof Gamers.   Attacking proponents who have done case research to call for further science (not proving the subject) for not “proving beyond a shadow of a doubt,” their contentions, is an act of pseudoscience.

This fake demand for proof before research is Proof Gaming, is an abrogation of the Scientific Method and is Pseudoscience.

epoché vanguards gnosis


¹  The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Karl Popper: Critical Rationalism”; http://www.iep.utm.edu/cr-ratio/#H2.

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Social Disdain, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Word About Polls

Pollsters and those who fund them, you have to ask yourself: If 59 to 70% of the population in any given year believes that your media outlet pushes biased/corrupt propaganda† – would that not mean that ANY poll conducted in your name will automatically contain extreme levels of skewed collection data? A scientist might think so; might think so for nine specific reasons listed herein. But a deluded political group, might strategically use such an effect to their advantage. They might want to even swing an election by means of exploiting, but not acknowledging, such a bias effect. This reality exemplifies the nature of the new poll and electorate gaming underway in American politics.

70-year-old-white-femaleBelieve it or not, I actually had the nine points inside the critical redress of this blog post written a week before the 2016 US Presidential Election. However, I had not yet gathered all the material I wanted to elucidate and support each point. So, with risk of appearing to provide predictive power through having 20/20 hindsight, I want to point out several factors which notoriously influence, especially political polls, into reflecting unanticipated or purposeful bias. Pew Research has provided an excellent outline of the dangers of collection and analytical bias here. While most of this material is derived from sampling bias I have observed over the years, it does align well with, and is supported by, the Pew Research principles defined herein and in the footnotes. (1, 2, 3, 4 Pew Research)

If there existed any question about the political goals entailed inside the Agenda of Social Skepticism, let’s dispense with that notion now – a direct observation by millions of scientists and persons as a result of the 2016 US Presidential Election. It became poignantly clear in the aftermath of this election that Social Skepticism is not by any means a democratic movement.  The same tactics which Social Skepticism applies inside enforcement of their pretend science dogma (and wild claims to consensus), are the same exact tactics employed inside the election poll taking and the fake protests ongoing across the US right now. They both bear features of manipulation by agenda bearing forces and hate-based paid protests against a race, a gender, and a people. These are the same tactics employed by the shills who infest social media and are paid to push dogmatic pseudo scientific messages, all relating to one set of political goals and one single religion. These are tactics, tradecraft, signature practices developed and implemented by the same minds behind these various expressions of tyranny.

Employing that segue into pseudoscience, let us examine one tactic of social manipulation which is practiced by Social Skepticism. This tactic is the art of poll and consensus manipulation. Polls in American politics notoriously skew to the left, towards the hate and talking points agenda of Social Skepticism. They also claim to incorporate ‘science’ in their collection and statistical protocols – no surprise there. The astute American citizen has learned that nothing could be further from the case. Here are ten specific reasons why polls are notoriously unreliable, especially polls generated for the sole purpose of effecting and influencing the outcome of an election.

Poll Skewing Factors

Well known in industry, but ignored by ‘statisticians’ in highly contested or manipulated public polls:

I.  Means of Collection – bias-infusing polls use exclusively land line phones as their channel and means of respondent communication – a tactic which is notorious in excluding males, mobile professionals and the full time employed. (2 Pew Research)

II.  Regional Bias Exploitation – call sampling is conducted in the New England states or in California, reflecting a bias towards tax oriented businesses, such as healthcare, insurance, government offices, and the corporations who work and contract with such agencies. (4 Pew Research)

III.  Bradley Effect – people have a tendency to express opinions and intent which fit a social pressure model or keep themselves out of the ‘bad guy’ bucket when polled on polarizing issues. This tends to skew polls notoriously to the left. (1 Pew Research)

IV. Crate Effect – impact of persons who purposely give the opposite response as to what they really think because of animosity towards the polling group (especially if non-free press) and/or their perceived history of bias, and/or animosity towards the circus around elections or the elections themselves. This false left leaning bias is generated most often inside groups who believe media outlets to be left-leaning and unfair. (5 Political Hay)

V. Crate/Bradley Power Effect – the misleading impact of the Crate and Bradley Effects falsely convinces poll administrators of the power they hold to sway the opinion of ‘undecideds’ and misleads their sponsors into funding more and more polls which follow the same flawed protocols and traps. (5 Political Hay)

VI.  Trial Heat – the overall pressure which is placed on respondent results based on the structure of or questions inside the poll itself (1 Pew Research)

a.  Leading preparatory questions – employing questions which are pejoratively framed or crafted to lead the poll respondent, in order to skew undecided voters, prior to asking the core question, and

b.  Iterative poisoning – running the same poll over and over again in the same community and visibly publishing the desired results – akin to poisoning the jury pool.

VII.   Form of Core Questionasking different forms of THE CORE question than is implied by the poll, or different question by polling group. 1. Who do you favor, vs. 2. Who will you vote (will vote) for? vs. 3. Who do you think will win? (3 Pew Research)

VIII.   Follow Through Effect – only 35 to 55% of people who are polled, on average, will actually turn out to vote. (6 2016 General Election Turnout)

IX.  Oversamplingdeclaring a bias to exist in a population a priori, in the larger S pool from which an s sample is derived. Then further crafting a targeted addition of population members from S, to influence sample s in the opposite signal (direction and magnitude) from the anticipated bias. (1, 4 Pew Research)

X. Influencing Effect – the tendency of a polling group to exaggerate polling results in favor of their preferred outcome during the influencing stage of polling, only to subsequently retract such collection/analysis tampering at the end of a polling period so that their final tally aligns more in sync with the actual outcome, or anticipated final results (fictus scientia – see at end of this article).

democracyIronically, item IX above, Oversampling is typically addressed in the Notes section of the polling analytical reports. However, such oversampling signal compensation typically only is practiced as a means to address prima facia and presumed S-pool biases, and rarely reflects any adjustment attributable to items I – VIII above.

Until polls are conducted by low profile, scientific, unbiased collection and analytical groups, and not these agenda-laden parties listed below, they will continue to mislead – and to be used as a lever in this pretense to effect a political end-game. For the record, below are the polls indicating both the retraction-back-to numbers the day before the election (reflecting the shock of the early voting results which had them pare back their wild landslide victory they had predicted for Clinton). In other words, the poll models never actually resulted in the final November 7 differential – as that was a manual intervention in panic – so that the models did not look so badly errant in the end.

A note about models and prediction:  If you adjust and tweak your model or its parameters, so that it now results in numbers which are more in concert with actual early return data – you have not increased the predictive reliability of your model. Simulation and modeling professionals get this – poll statisticians do not.

Enjoy a laugh, but remember – these are the same people and the same methods, which are employed to advertise to you what it is indeed that scientists think. (7 Real Clear Politics). But such conclusions are derived with much less confidence bearing methods of data collection, as are even election polls. Also, for the record, as of Feb 16th 2017 at 11:03 am PST, the final outcome of the popular vote was Clinton 65,853,516 – Trump 62,984,825; a 2.2 percentage point Clinton edge, with respect to the number conventions used below. So no one below really got the final results right, with the exception of the conservative IBD/TIPP tracking poll for a Trump Clinton race only. (Source: CNN Election Results Update, 2/16/2017 Election update).

The average Clinton skew (below right column) was 6.7% in favor of Clinton during the course of the polling and election influence timeframe. The final poll results then un-skewed back to 3.3% by the time of early returns voting. Where the poll ended does not count since, that is a display to save scientific face (fictus scientia). It is where the poll resided during its influencing timeframe, which counts. What is clear, is that the polling firms were exaggerating their Clinton lead results by a 2:1 magnitude during the critical opinion influencing period. Then subsequently retracted to a 1.1 point actual unacknowledged bias or 2.6% end state methodological bias.

Actual Final 2016 Election Result                                                               Clinton +2.2             (average skew = 4.5 points left bias or a 8.7% error rate or bias)

skewed-polls

epoché vanguards gnosis


†  The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today; 7/03/2015

1  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research, Election Polling; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/election-polling/

2  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research, Collecting Survey Data; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/collecting-survey-data/

3  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research,, Questionnaire Design; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/questionnaire-design/

4  Pew Research: U.S. Survey Research,, Sampling; http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/sampling/

5  Political Hay: How Poll Bias Obscures Trump’s Likely Election; https://spectator.org/how-poll-bias-obscures-trumps-likely-election/

6  2016 General Election Turnout Rates; http://www.electproject.org/2016g

7  Real Clear Politics http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

November 11, 2016 Posted by | Institutional Mandates, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , | Leave a comment

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