The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

The Hermit of Nosnix Who Couldn’t be Fooled

This Holiday message from me. When in an effort to see that no one is fooled, you cede control authority to one who cannot be fooled – then everyone ends up being fooled. The Debbles of Doubthill are the pseudosciences, topics so feared by skeptics that we all lose in their mad rush to obfuscate and squelch them. Most Debbles are dispelled in their facing, and not in their avoidance.
A persistence of blindness who’s lesson’s quite cruel
The worst form of idiot thinks he cannot be fooled.

by Theodor Eric Seussel

A planner of trestles and layer of tracks
Purveyor of cartniks with plumthings on their backs,
The Whos of Fair Pluntkin fully decked out in auld
Could barely scarce function without things which he hauled.
His hovel not cluttered his mind like Straight Lane
His cartniks lined up to shuttle plumthings again,
For short were his musings and so scarce were his lacks
That the Whos of Fair Pluntkin did cede him their tracks.
Come spring summer’s fresh offing or winter’s cold somethings
No Debble of Doubthill would delay their dear plumthings,
Cartniks would arrive here and then sometimes there
The Whos of Fair Pluntkin just didn’t care where.
Whos knew that from Kesnig and Pennington to Kuled
They were the Hermit of Nosnix’s who couldn’t be fooled.
When an idea arose in the talk of Fair Pluntkin
‘Why don’t we go looking for quazlots and buntpins?’
Such cans of rare ore good were legend of old
More precious than silver, fine jewelry or gold.
They setout a plan to build trackway and charter
And bade their tough Hermit to sit down and barter,
But he could not be bought and he would not be schooled
For he was the Hermit of Nosnix and nobody’s fool.
Thus did they cajole him and call him by name
Offering up plumthings and palace and fame,
‘Lay us the tracks there and we’ll run cartnik cans
The Debbles of Doubthill won’t thwart any such plans!’
But staid in his knowledge of their trestles and tracks,
He vowed to confuse cartniks with cans on their backs!
Quazlots and buntpins were foolish men’s mirth
Of fleeting sheer fantasy in essence and worth;
Such trackways to Debbles should never be tooled
I am the Hermit of Nosnix and I cannot be fooled!
So each newly laid line of steel and proud skill
He plotted curve ’round all Debbles of Doubthill;
For whether tracks stopped there or ran ’round their threat
In either case ran no cartnik cans yet!
Year after year Whos laid out Who plans
To find Debbles of Doubhill had blocked all their cans!
The curves he laid toward them only bent ’round again
To meetup with tracks from once which they came!
So hated he quazlots and buntpins and mirth
That he wouldn’t lay tracks there no matter their worth!
In the town of Fair Pluntkin from Debbles protected
Each winter of somethings Whos grew more dejected.
T’was cynicism which blocked them and left them to rot
Because quazlots were real and Debbles were not!
A persistence of blindness whose lesson’s quite cruel
The worst form of idiot thinks he cannot be fooled.
Thus the Whos of Fair Pluntkin had all left astray
Leaving cartnik’s tracks rusting away where they lay;
While Fair Kesnig and Pennington had taken their outfill
Because they didn’t believe in Debbles of Doubthill.
Come spring summer’s fresh offing or winter’s cold somethings
The town of Fair Pluntkin had run out of dear plumthings,
Every Who had been duped who lived Kesnig to Kuled
By the Hermit of Nosnix who couldn’t be fooled.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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December 16, 2018 Posted by | Institutional Mandates, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , | Leave a comment

The Contrathetic Impasse – Key Sign of Heavy-Handed Agency at Play

When compliant answers therefore are observed to be the goal, the dilettante, sycophant and even neutral, craving intellectual belonging, receive the instruction that method does not matter – so long as one arrives at a normative closure. This plurality learns that venom in one’s assault of specific ideas, persons and evidence – not only is rewarded with acceptance, but moreover its imposter, acclaim.
This is called the exoentropy of normatives. The contrathetic impasse is the result of such philosophical misadventure.

February 2nd 1959, nine hikers led by 23-year-old ski hiker Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov died in the snowy wilderness of the Kholat Syakhl slopes, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The circumstances around their deaths involve some murky details accompanied by moderately well documented states of the bodies which were not found until 26 February, when a search party finally encountered the group’s abandoned and badly damaged tent. Six of the group members died of hypothermia and three of fatal injuries. All of them perished along or at the end of a trail of barefoot or semi-clad footprints which they left behind in an obvious sudden rush to flee from their tent. The three who died of fatal injuries, died from forced blunt head or body cavity compression trauma exceeding that which can be delivered by a human being.1 I assembled the map to the right because I could not find a resource which both outlined the detailed circumstances of the case, but as well appropriately understood topographical maps and how to determine slope grade, in order to to assess this case in a more objective fashion.

The various theories which have been foisted to explain the odd circumstances inside what is known now as ‘The Dyatlov Pass Incident’ include some of the ones I have cited below – classed into categories familiar inside ethical skepticism. I am not here to suggest of course any solution to the mystery nor foist one explanation as ‘being scientific’; nor virtue signal about my superior doubt and objectivity skills, nor bitch about names of people who need to be visibly condemned for considering forbidden alternatives. All such activity is foolishness. I utilize this mystery simply to highlight the signs to watch for, in order to determine that agency has its hands inside a paradox. The skeptics are haplessly providing the same predictable impact that intelligence groups reliably desire. Tools. This mystery, even with its crazy alternatives, is purposeful in other words. For what purpose, we may well never know. But we as ethical skeptics can know the minds of the mystery spinners themselves.

Perceiving the Mind of Agency

To date, fatal information has been produced for each of the potential explanations proffered below. This condition, one of every known viable alternative having been falsified, in itself stands as a clue. Please note that very familiar mechanisms (see: The Tower of Wrong: The Art of the Professional Lie) exist inside the Dyatlov Pass alternative grouping, as they do in many controversial mysteries. They are

Einfach Mechanism (Omega Hypothesis – HΩ) – the null hypothesis which is enforced as the go-to answer, however has not attained that status through reasonable qualification by science. These bear a bit more evidential base or reason based upon the evidence, and tend to survive despite existing falsifying evidence to the contrary. One may be forced as the ‘consensus’ answer without merit. Anachronistic explanations, or explanations used to promote the core thesis of a current popular researcher are often thrust into the Einfach Mechanism group.

•  Low-grade slope slab avalanche (Omega/Null Hypothesis – HΩ)
•  Soviet military parachute mine, radiological or gas weapon testing
•  Panic attack from wind or snow vibratory infrasound (Fad/Anachronistic Hypothesis)
•  Local Mansi raiding party/Lone wolf attacker
•  Hypothermia induced ‘paradoxical undressing’ (Fad Researcher Hypothesis)

Imposterlösung Mechanism – an incoherent or ridiculous contention which is assumed as a potential null hypothesis simply because it sounds good enough for public consumption. These alternatives pass muster with the general public, but are easily falsified after about 4 minutes of real research. Despite this, most people hold them in mind simply because of their repetition. This fake hypothesis circumstance is common inside an argument which is unduly influenced by agency. They are often padded into skeptical analyses, to feign an attempt at appearing to be comprehensive, balanced, or ‘considering all the alternatives’.

•  Bear-Moose-Elk wildlife attack (Simple Construct)
•  Tent stove carbon monoxide poisoning and ensuing confusion/wandering
•  High winds blowing a member away – ensuing rescue
•  Misinterpreting the Aurora Bourealis and ensuing panic
•  American CIA information exchange meet up gone bad
•  Went out to take a piss, drunk and got lost. Others went to search
•  Inexperience/Misadventure

Ad hoc Alternatives/Pseudo-Theory – can’t be fully falsified nor studied, and can probably never be addressed or can be proposed in almost any circumstance of mystery. These ideas will be thrown out for decades. They can always be thrown out. They will always be thrown out.

•  Love triangle gone bad
•  Drug abuse/Bad drugs/Alcohol
•  Horrible fight/Crazy party member
•  Drug deal gone bad
•  MiHoDeAL theories – Misidentification, Hoaxes, Delusions Anecdote and Lies (MiHoDeAL Construct)

Poison Pill Hypothesis (Embargo Hypothesis – Hξ) – the hypothesis which will never be allowed to be studied, through pejorative classification in advance of study. Ironically the very people who decry these alternatives are the very ones who keep bringing them up. Note that, in absence of any kind of evidence, these are often ad hoc as well. Their broach is NOT to introduce the idea, nor provide clarity or diligence, nor are they many times introduced by paranormal researchers at all. Rather they are entered into the mix in order to create a negative perception influence and attract skeptic patrols to enforce that influence. If you dissent, you are no longer legitimate – then you might just be a ‘believer’ (see Witch Hunt Methodology):

•  Yeti (Almas-Menk) attack (Embargo Hypothesis – Hξ)
•  Skinwalker/Panic inducing interdimensional phenomena
•  UFO/Lights in the sky panic

When fringe or paranormal theories are touted in scorn, yet ironically are raised repeatedly by, or to attract cynical skeptics in every mysterious circumstance – such idea stickiness is generated to a large degree because of fake skeptics themselves and not simply paranormal buffs. In such an affair, know that incentive is being introduced for you to adhere to another (in reality, probably false) alternative.

I have yet to ever meet a single person who claims that ‘aliens built The Pyramids’.
Ironically the idea not only survives, but moreover thrives, entirely through its interminable repetition by scoffing skeptics
and ass-kissing journalists wishing to exploit the media bandwidth they jointly hold captive.

So many of these ideas regarding the Dyatlov Pass Incident are simple in their falsification, yet still they persist. Why? In reality as well, there exists falsifying evidence, or at least a complete lack of any evidence, for every single one of these explanations above. This is one of the first indicators that a contrathetic impasse is at play. Such familiar conundrum is not mere benign happenstance by any stretch. It is our vociferous desire to oust disdained alternatives, which produces the circumstance serving as fertile ground for the contrathetic impasse.

How the Contrathetic Impasse Originates – Fake Skepticism and Dark Agency

Contrathetic simply means ‘the evidence points both ways for multiple hypotheses’. Moreover, any time you observe the rich presence of these mechanisms: Einfach, Imposterlösung, anachronsitic, MiHoDeAL, ad hoc, enforced simple/provisional, and Embargo hypotheses – be cognizant that agency has tampered heavily with the evidence and the post research discourse around the issue under consideration. Whenever you observe such pontifications being pushed en masse inside the media, those of the dilettante, malicious and idiots among us pretending that solutions to things they read about while dwelling in their parents’ basement are ‘obvious’ (as is done inside this trash piece of journalism by Jake Slocum at Cracked) – moreover, passing themselves off as ‘researchers’, ‘critical thinkers’, ‘skeptics’, or possessing superior grasp of the obvious (an oxymoron and fallacy), regarding things about which in reality they know nothing – know that social skepticism is at play. Another factor in this play was the obfuscating presence of state intelligence agency, who shut down the site for three days and kept many details secret for decades. Both fake skepticism and state intelligence agency are the same genre of impacting factor. Their detriment happens through a process called the exoentropy of normatives, an offshoot of the law of unintended consequences as it applies to dogmatic or obfuscating activities.

Exoentropy of Normatives

/philosophy : consequentialism : pseudo-skepticism/ : the effort to enforce order inside a controlled subsystem, inevitably and ironically serves to increase the level of disorder or entropy surrounding it. Moreover, systemic dynamics can serve to impart unethical consequentialist outcomes which arrive as a result solely and wholly from individual efforts to maintain normatives of propriety or the appearance of such propriety; especially when coupled with the gaming and exploitation potential therein.

A great example of such influence can be found in the poor but insistent effort contributed by social skeptic Benjamin Radford in his hack job for the Center for Inquiry. Possessing such a mad rush to debunk some TV show, personality and idea over which he was frothing at the mouth, and to get an article out with the least effort possible, he subsequently rushes past details about the state in which the tent was found, then conflates pictures of the uninjured hikers with the trauma reports of the three severely injured ones, straw manning: “The photographs are crystal clear: the bodies were not “mutilated” at all.”. “They were cold and lay together to conserve heat, as any novice hiker is taught to do.” exclaims Radford, fully ignorant of the fact that none of the hikers were found in a warmth conservation huddle at all. Save for two bodies which were laid beside each other (probably the first to die since they were clad only in their undergarments) and separated by 1 or 2 feet, their bodies were spread out over a length of about 700 meters along a creek bed below the tent downhill (see graphic at top). A full kilometer from any possible snow slide area. They were running in such a panic upon fleeing the tent, that not one, but two of them discarded their working flashlight along the way, one well out of any avalanche potential danger area. The remaining living seven had fled in a second panic away from the fire, which was their only remaining chance to survive, and into a creek bed or to freeze to death in an attempt to ascend the hill back to the tent. How did that all of a sudden become a good idea? Dubinina, who lost her tongue, ‘lost it while she was still alive’ according to the medical examiner’s report, her stomach containing 7 ounces of blood from the tongue removal injury, which was too far back to have been bitten off by her own teeth. This is only a small sample of the details which would have taken maybe 8 minutes of research to determine. Unfortunately Radford did not invest 8 minutes. You see, these disdained subjects and researchers, they are not worth his time. And if he had found anything of credibility, his club would summarily evict him from membership.

It is not that Ben is wrong in his conclusion – it is that his methods are wrong. In order to improve his acclaim, he obsesses over a show, an embargoed idea and a person. This activity has nothing at all to do with science nor skepticism. And the fact that he could be right in this circumstance, is simply accidental. Wrong methods cannot be presumed to be beneficial simply because they have served to produce compliant answers in the past. He is not serving science, skepticism, nor any quest for actual truth, precisely because of this mechanism of exoentropy of normatives.

When compliant answers therefore are observed to be the goal, the dilettante, sycophant and even neutral, craving intellectual belonging,
receive the instruction that method does not matter – so long as one arrives at a normative closure.
This plurality learns that venom in one’s assault of specific ideas, persons and evidence –
not only is rewarded with acceptance, but moreover its imposter, acclaim.

This is called the exoentropy of normatives. The contrathetic impasse is the result of such philosophical misadventure.

His fixation on the ridiculous served to compromise the integrity of his work. ‘Henceforth man now knows that the snowmen exist. They can be encountered in the Northern Urals, adjacent to Otorten mountain.’ read a scrawling by one of the party on a brochure the group held. This was not an entry into one of their at times farcical diaries, as goes the spin. The statement is odd yes, however one can do nothing with it. Nonetheless, the scrawling served to cause an avalanche in Radford’s mindset, rendering him utterly useless as a researcher. As a skeptic you cannot afford to froth over such statements. If they do not add value, table them. Ignore them until they do support a schema – which they may never do. To obsess over their presence is to introduce not just bias, but agency into your repertoire. This is a mistake of tumbling into a mindset of religious negative reactance. It is fake skepticism.

Thereafter, Radford implies that the post mortems were done by ‘mountaineers and not doctors’ (which is complete horse shit), ignores a good 80% of the case details, save for those which were useful in the 20 minute total effort he put into this typical skeptic piece of garbage. It is one thing to credulously swallow fantastical creature tales, but it is another thing altogether to be so disdainful of that idea, and so motivated to impress your ‘colleagues’ for club rank, that one commits the same fallacies or worse in the process of running away from it. I don’t believe in Yeti’s, but I believe even less in stupidity and propaganda being passed off as scientific thinking. Taking risk, thinking and knowing you are gonna catch hell for your research avenue, takes a lot more effort and courage than does throwing shit at people while ensconced inside the safety of your high-school-mentality clique.

“We all fantasize about infallibility, and that’s the point. Total jerks aren’t just fantasizing. They take their dreams of infallibility out into the real world. Self love is great, but, like they say to lovers, get a room. Be an infallibilist in your own fantasies and fight for fallibility in reality.”  ~ Jeremy Sherman, Ambigamy

The incentive is high to tap into the limelight that childish denial tricks can afford bad wanna-be journalists. This perspective involving the specter of surreptitious hand tempts me toward favoring the Soviet Military explanations. There is no more heavy handed a dark agency than the old Soviet mafia and KGB. Well, global socialists (Globzi’s) have topped them as of late – but we’ll save that discussion for another blog article. Shallow press, such as in the two examples cited above, is one of the chief mechanisms of such agency.

They key for ethical skepticism, is to go and look for yourself – research your alternatives – don’t just shoot at people and ideas you don’t like. That is not skepticism. All you do with that self aggrandizing exercise is provide an environment where people are afraid to think differently or to speak up against oppression.

I Doubt My Own Favored Alternative

The low-grade slope slab avalanche is strong and naturalistic in terms of its explanatory potential. As well, it had snowed heavily all that fateful day of February 1, 1959. The sheets of ice which form on top of an underlayment of snow could account for the broken rib injuries as well as the penetrating head wound. Plus the grade immediately above the tent, towards the Kholat Syakhl peak, did broach the 13 – 15 degree threshold (my graphic at the top of this article shows an average 14 degree slope on the critical fall line in question), well below the typical minimum for an avalanche to occur – but I suppose not impossible. This form of avalanche theory is my a priori favored hypothesis. It bears the most explanatory power. Save for the tree climbing and 8 photographs (their last ones taken that night) of the lights in the sky and curious random shots into the night horizon/snow. Anyway, that means that I now look for a means to kill my favorite alternative – not kill everyone who thinks differently (as Radford exemplifies above).

The box niche they had dug into the hillside of snow for the tent was done with protection from a slab avalanche (and the wind) in mind in the first place. It’s placement, cut into the snow bank could have explained why the tent and belongings were not swept away with the avalanche mass. As you can see by the PisteHors chart to the right, this would place any avalanche in a range of occurrence near 0.1 percentile in likelihood based solely upon frequency of avalanche by slope. Below a p-value threshold certainly. However incline is just one of the elements of the Avalanche Triangle, which includes type of terrain (not just angle of incline), snow-pack, and weather as well.2 Alternating ice and snow layers  tend to cake and form like a frozen lasagna on the leeward/south side of a mountain – as was the condition of the slope just above their camp. Melting in the sun during the day and freezing back to hard layers overnight. That may well have been what happened here. Especially given that, on the leeward side of a mountain in particular, land grade does not always equal snow grade either.3

However this alternative still features some critical path elements which not only do not bear soundness, but are falsifying in their deductive impact. In other words, elements which are imminently fatal to the alternative as being comprehensively explanatory.

  • First, you have to stack multiple risky conjecture upon conjecture in order to assemble a slab avalanche scenario which explains even 40% of the observation set. This introduces plurality. Is it necessary? I do not know. If it explained 90% of the observations, then perhaps. But the alternative does not do this.
  • Second, where did the avalanche snow go? Temperatures never rose to such a sufficient point during the 3 weeks of winter, so as to melt it away before the tent was found.
  • Third, a recent re-investigation has started. Accordingly a video of the relative slope grades made via drone has been released. The slopes can be seen in the video from 00:14 to 00:29. In no way do these slopes approach anywhere near a ‘risk of avalanche’ circumstance.
  • Not just a part of the tent, but a standing tent pole and fully intact tent attached to it (impossible in any avalanche) was found sticking up out of relatively shallow and precipitation-accumulated snow cover.
  • As well, why flee a full 1.5 kilometers away from the shallow avalanche footprint and more importantly your supplies, boots and clothes?
  • How do you leave a working flashlight laying on top of the tent as you flee, and further then another working one laying on the ground 300 meters down the hill, well away from the avalanche slide zone? You need those flashlights, why were they discarded so quickly?
  • Why climb a tree at night in -14ºC limited visibility, when you had just built a fire to keep from dying? Climbing a tree in such a circumstance equates to a mindset of ‘I want to die’, or ‘I am about to die’.
  • Why split up before anyone died and while two had a fire? Have everyone huddled in a warm circle and use the only pair of boots to have one person gather wood.
  • Why would an avalanche break ribs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in bilateral symmetry for two individuals and not harm anyone lying right next to them in the same orientation in some kind of similar fashion, not even touching other body parts or members?
  • Why would experienced, level 2 snow survivalists, simply abandon their only source of hope, the tent – which they would have already been inside of by the way? The protocol would have been to dig straight up and then re-excavate the camp for clothing first. If you can all flee quick semi-clothed then you can also quickly dig back down and get boots and jackets and tools, at the very least – before you choose to abandon camp.
  • Their bare footprint tracks were depressed initially departing right nearby the tent – so any avalanche was not very deep nor extensive at all; certainly not the avalanche which you see in movies. This renders the paradoxical undressing alternative impossible as well (at least as being reason why the whole event began).
  • Why were the most severely injured individuals (per hoc aditum, from the avalanche) given the extra clothing, sent the farthest most arduous path, and were in the end the ones to have survived the longest? Yet they too ran 75 yards away from the fire.
  • Why change minds and try to go back after having fled 1.4 kilometers? And by leaving your fire?
  • This flight involved a level of panic and events far in excess of that which level 2 ski hikers are trained to survive under (which includes low grade slab avalanches).

No, these victims were traumatized a second time during this cascade of events. They panic fled their tent, then they panic fled their last hope, the fire, as well. No, this alternative, just like all the others, is a fatally flawed answer incentivized as truth. It too, unfortunately and despite my favor for it, is an Omega Hypothesis.

It is not the first terrifying event at the tent which defines this case;
rather the second terrifying event, later beside the fire. The key critical path element exists here.

These were survivalists, who had devised a means to survive the night, as they were trained to do in desperate circumstance.
Something intervened to change that last hope stratagem.

Contrathetic Impasse = Cultivated Ignorance

In the end, none of these explanations stand in any way tantamount to a satisfactory provisional explanation. Their flaws are not mere ‘gaps’, they are fatal flaws – and an intelligence specialist understands the difference. I am not chalking this case up to ‘solved by barstool critical thinking’. So, given this state of epoché, let’s instead use the case to examine the circumstance involved here, that of the contrathetic impasse.

An intelligence agent, is nothing but a conspiracy theorist who has kept you alive.

“One does not conduct deception for the sake of deception itself. It is always conducted as part of a conflict or in a competitive context, intended to support some overarching plan or objectives of a participant.” ~Robert Mitchell and William Mitchell, Intelligence Specialists 4

The contrathetic impasse is a lens tool used by intelligence agents to spot agency at play. Agency which believes that it has gone undetected, will eventually become abusively habitual both in regard to self and target.5

Contrathetic Impasse

/philosophy : hypothesis reduction : paradox-paralysis/ : a paradoxical condition wherein multiple competing hypotheses and/or ad hoc plausible explanations bear credible inductive evidence and research case history – yet each/all hypotheses or explanations have been falsified/eliminated as being sufficiently explanatory for more than a minor portion of a defined causal domain or observation set. For instance, the MiHoDeAL explanation contains 5 very credible possible explanations for challenging phenomena. However, the sum total of those 5 explanations often only amounts to explaining maybe 5 – 15% of many persistent paranormal phenomena. The presumption that one of those explanations is comprehensively explanatory, is a trick of pseudoscience. Another new hypothesis is therefore demanded in the circumstance of a contrathetic impasse paradox.

Causes or influences which contribute to a contrathetic impasse:*

1.  Foundational assumptions/investigation are flawed or have been tampered with.
2.  Agency has worked to fabricate and promote falsifying or miscrafted information as standard background material.
3.  Agency has worked to craft an Einfach Mechanism (Omega Hypothesis) from an invalid null hypothesis.
4.  Agency has worked to promote science of psychology, new popular theory or anachronistic interpretation spins on the old mystery.
5.  SSkeptics have worked to craft and promote simple, provisional and Occam’s Razor compliant conclusions.
6.  Agency has worked to foist ridiculous Imposterlösung constructs in the media.
7.  Agency has worked to foist shallow unchallenged ad hoc explanations in the media.
8.  SSkeptics seem to have organized to promote MiHoDeAL constructs in the media.
9.  There exist a set of repeatedly emphasized and/or ridiculously framed Embargo Hypotheses.
10.  Agency has worked to promote conspiracy theory, lob & slam Embargo Hypotheses as an obsession target to distract or attract attack-minded skeptics to the mystery. The reason this is done is not the confusion it provides, rather the disincentive which patrolling skeptics place on the shoulders of the genuine skilled researcher. These forbidden alternatives may be ridiculous or indeed ad hoc themselves – but the reason they are raised is to act as a warning to talented researchers that ‘you might be tagged as supporting one of these crazy ideas’ if you step out of line regarding the Omega Hypothesis.

A great example of number 10 above is the skeptic community tagging of anyone who considers the idea that the Khufu pyramid might have not been built by Pharaoh Khufu in 2450 bce, as supporting ancient aliens as the builders – or being racist against Arabs who now are the genetic group which swept though modern Egypt three thousand years after Khufu’s reign. Heavy-handed agency at play.

* Please note that these six action steps constitute a typical counter-intelligence operations plan. All six are typically used.

The contrathetic impasse. A sign that heavy handed influence is at play. It is what senior intelligence officials use to spot counter-espionage. You are not gonna solve the mystery – just step back and watch the players involved instead. Examine and ponder their proclivities and behavior. The fakers will begin to bear consistent habits. Never wallow in such a mystery. Either solve it and add value, or maintain epoché, step away and say ‘I don’t know.’ Never pretend, as that is the habit of your foe. Watch him and learn to spot his group and their handiwork.

This is what ethical skeptics do.

epoché vanguards gnosis


How to MLA cite this blog post =>

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Contrathetic Impasse – Key Sign that Ockham’s Plurality is Necessary” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 17 Nov 2018; Web,

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , , | Leave a comment

The Spectrum of Evidence Manipulation

Unconscious bias occurs with everyone and inside most deliberation. Such innocent manifestation of bias, while important in focus, is not the First Duty of the ethical skeptic. The list of fallacies and crooked thinking below outline something beyond just simple bias – something we call agency. The tricks of obfuscation of evidence for which ethical skeptics keep vigilant watch.

Michael Shermer has outlined in his November 2018 editorial for Scientific American, a new fallacy of data which he calls the ‘Fallacy of Excluded Exceptions’. In this informal fallacy, evidence which does not serve to confirm one’s a priori conclusion is systematically eliminated or ignored, despite its potentially robust import. This is a form of, not unconscious bias, but a more prevalent and dangerous mode of corrupted thinking which we at The Ethical Skeptic call ‘agency’. The First Duty of Ethical Skepticism is to oppose agency (not simply bias).

Fallacy of Excluded Exceptions

/philosophy : pseudoscience : data manipulation/ : a form of data skulpting in which a proponent bases a claim on an apparently compelling set of confirming observations to an idea, yet chooses to ignore an also robust set of examples of a disconfirming nature. One chisels away at, disqualifies or ignores large sets of observation which are not advantageous to the cause, resulting only seeing what one sought to see to begin with.

“Excluded exceptions test the rule. Without them, science reverts to subjective speculation.” ~ Michael Shermer 1

Despite his long career inside skepticism, Michael is sadly far behind most ethical skeptics in his progression in understanding the tricks of fake epistemology and agency. That is because of his anchoring bias in that – he regards today’s ‘skepticism’ as representative of science and the scientific method, as well as all that is good in data reduction and syllogism. He is blinded by the old influences of bandwagon hype. Influences as master which he must still serve today, and which serve to agency-imbue his opinions. The celebrity conflict of interest.

Agency and bias are two different things.
Ironically, agency can even tender the appearance of mitigating bias, as a method of its very insistence.

Well we at The Ethical Skeptic have been examining tricks of data manipulation and agency for decades, and already possessed a name for this fallacy Michael has been compelled to create from necessity on his own – precisely because it is a very common trick we have observed on the part of fake skeptics to begin with. Michael’s entrenchment inside social skepticism is the very reason why he could not see this fallacy until now – he is undergoing skeptive dissonance and is beginning to spot fallacies of agency his cronies have been committing for decades. Fallacies which he perceives to be ‘new’. Congratulations Michael, you are repenting. The next step is to go out and assist those your cronies and sycophants have harmed in the past through fake skepticism.  Help them develop their immature constructs into hypotheses with mechanism, help them with the scientific method, help them with the standards of how to collect and reduce data and argument. Drop the shtick of a priori declarations of ‘ you are full of baloney’ and help them go and find that out for themselves. Maybe. 2

Agency versus Bias

Bias is the Titanic’s habit of failing to examine its ice berg alerts.
Agency is the Titanic telling the ship issuing ice berg alerts to ‘shut up’.

If all we suffered from was mere bias, things might even work out fine.
But reality is that we are victims of agency, not bias.

Just maybe as well, embarking upon such a journey you will find as I did – that you really did not understand the world all that well, nor have things as figured out as you had assumed. Your club might have served as a bit of a cocoon, if you will. Maybe in this journey you have so flippantly stumbled upon, you will observe as ‘new’ a fallacy that ethical skeptics have identified for a long time now; one which your cabal has routinely ignored.

Evidence Sculpting (Cherry Sorting)

/philosophy : pseudoscience : data manipulation/ : has more evidence been culled from the field of consideration for this idea, than has been retained? Has the evidence been sculpted to fit the idea, rather than the converse?

Skulptur Mechanism – the pseudoscientific method of treating evidence as a work of sculpture. Methodical inverse negation techniques employed to dismiss data, block research, obfuscate science and constrain ideas such that what remains is the conclusion one sought in the first place. A common tactic of those who boast of all their thoughts being ‘evidence based’. The tendency to view a logical razor as a device which is employed to ‘slice off’ unwanted data (evidence sculpting tool), rather than as a cutting tool (pharmacist’s cutting and partitioning razor) which divides philosophically valid and relevant constructs from their converse.

Your next assignment Michael, should you choose to accept it, is to learn about how agency promotes specific hypotheses through the targeting of all others (from The Tower of Wrong: The Art of Professional Lying):

Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ)

/philosophy : pseudoskepticism/ : was the science terminated years ago, in the midst of large-impact questions of a critical nature which still remain unanswered? Is such research now considered ‘anti-science’ or ‘pseudoscience’? Is there enormous social pressure to not even ask questions inside the subject? Is mocking and derision high – curiously in excess of what the subject should merit?

Entscheiden Mechanism – the pseudoscientific or tyrannical approach of, when faced with epistemology which is heading in an undesired direction, artificially declaring under a condition of praedicate evidentia, the science as ‘settled’ and all opposing ideas, anti-science, credulity and pseudoscience.

But Michael, as you begin to spot agency inside purported processes of epistemology, we have to warn you, there is more – oh, so much more which you do not know. Let’s take a brief look shall we?

Agency as it Pertains to Evidence and Data Integrity

So, in an effort to accelerate Michael’s walk through the magical wonderland of social skepticism, and how it skillfully enforces conformance upon us all, let us examine the following. The fallacies, modes of agency and methods of crooked thinking below relate to manipulations of data which are prejudices, and not mere unconscious biases – such as in the case of anchoring bias, wherein one adopts a position which is overly influenced by their starting point or the first information which arrived. They may hold a bias, but at least it is somewhat innocent in its genesis, i.e. not introduced by agency. Prejudicial actions in the handling and reduction of evidence and data, are the preeminent hint of the presence of agency, and the first things which the ethical skeptic should look out for inside a claim, denial, mocking or argument.

Unconscious bias happens with everyone, but the list of fallacies and crooked thinking below, outline something more than simple bias. They involve processes of pseudo-induction, panduction, abduction and pseudo-deduction, along with the desire to dissemble the contribution of agency. You can find this, along with agency-independent and unconscious biases, all defined at The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation: Misrepresentation of Evidence or Data

And of course, all of these fallacies, biases, modes of agency and crooked thinking can be found and defined here:

And as well, more modes of agency can be found at The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation itself.

The Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation

A compendium of fallacy and corrupted thought commonly employed inside Social Skepticism



epoché vanguards gnosis


How to MLA cite this blog post =>

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Spectrum of Evidence Manipulation” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 2 Nov 2018; Web,

November 2, 2018 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Tradecraft SSkepticism | , , | Leave a comment

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