For a comprehensive categorical listing of both formal and informal logical fallacies, cognitive biases, statistical broaches and styles of crooked thinking on the part of those in the Social Skepticism movement, click here, or on the Tree of Knowledge Obfuscation icon to the left.
The Ethical Skeptic Site Glossary (and Lexicon)
Caesar’s Wife (Must be Above Suspicion) – a principle inside the philosophy of skepticism which cites that a mechanism, research/polling effort, or study which bears an implicit a priori claim to innocence (i.e. soundness, salience, precision, accuracy and/or lack of bias/agency) must transparently and demonstratively prove this claim before being assumed as such, executed or relied upon as scientific.
Cain’s Wife (Argument) – a deductive argument for an object’s existence which is derived from observations which require that object to exist, even if that object has not been confirmed or observed itself.
Cannot be Reliably Tested Error – the malpractice of disqualifying a subject, study or researcher from science by citing that it has not been or cannot be tested or reliably repeated in testing. When in fact many conclusions of accepted science fall under such a reality. This often is achieved through blocking its access to the scientific method, ignoring the topic, conflating the scientific method with the experimental method, ignoring discovery science protocols, refusing to research/test the contention, or misrepresenting its appropriate next steps or empirical questions, and further then citing that therefore the subject has failed the necessary testing methods of science.
Carrying Someone’s Water – a fake skeptic who is surreptitiously doing someone’s bidding or serving someone’s interests, with or without their complete awareness of so doing.
Casuistry – the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry. Daisy chaining contentions which lead to a preferred moral outcome, by means of the equivocal use of the words within them unfolding into an apparent logical calculus – sometimes even done in a humorous, ironic or mocking manner. A type of sophistry.
Catalyseur – 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.
Celeber Cavilla – a form of Truzzi Fallacy. A counter-claim which is specious in its assertion and usually ad hominem in its implication. However the counter-claim issuer employs it because they are under the false impression that since the accusation phrase is in such popular use, therefore the claim comes incumbent with immediate credibility in the offing, along with an assumed definition, evidence and acceptance. Very often employed in a ‘conspiracy theorist’ accusation.
Celebrity Conflict of Interest – an extreme form of epistemic anchoring or a priori bias which is introduced through a proponent’s desire to attain or maintain their celebrity status. Celebrity skeptics, pseudo-sleuths and science communicators may not even perceive that their epistemology is being imbued with a bias which tends to produce answers which favor continuation of their acceptability, club status, notoriety or income. This is the most extreme form of self inflicted coercion, ranking even above a scientific study author’s financial conflict of interest.
Certitude Exploitation – a contention (such as ‘he is biased’) which is made about a person, for which evidence has a certitude of easily being found – however which also applies to everyone, or easily explains everything or nothing about that person, in reality. In similar principle to explanitude: A theory which explains everything or bears no risk in falsification, likely explains nothing.
Channel Knowledge Flag – a skeptic who has learned their skepticism from a skeptic clique, is not one. An atheist who has learned atheism from only atheists, is not one. One who gains understanding from a single source, does not understand.
Characterization by the Undistributed Middle – a rhetorical blending of fallacy of composition and affirmation of the consequent, wherein traits shared between two distinct groups are used to underpin the claim that the two groups are indeed identical or falsely that a person in one group actually belongs in the other group. Usually a form of rhetosophy, used to support an agenda, in its conflation. All pseudo scientists promote un-vetted data, the proponent of this argument promoted un-vetted data, therefore the promoter of this argument is a pseudo scientist.
Charitable Credential Pretense – when making charitable events and promotions a visible part of one’s skeptic persona in order to deflect criticism and increase perceived personal gravitas inside targeted subjects.
Chasing One’s Own Tail – an argument, sophistry or casuistry which seeks to derive a predetermined conclusion by circularly referring back to itself as its basis for soundness. A form of circular reasoning where the appeal to itself is not as obvious or cascades into plenitude or god or forever or endless causality chains, or any another form of undefined or ludicrous realm of justification. Arguments such as atheism has no basis for its morality because one then just declares their morals to be right, as opposed to theism where god is the moral reference – which then ignores the fact that god also was simply declared as the moral reference. It is a distinction without a difference. An orphan question, attempting to solve a grand contention which mankind is wholly ill prepared to resolve, by means of ludicrous, unbounded and unsound proclamations.
Cheerleader Effect – the exploitation of the tendency for people or ideas to appear more attractive in a proactive group than in isolation.
Cheetah Skeptic – just as the cheetah is the fastest land animal, the fastest philosophical animal is a ‘skeptic’ who flees from the scientific method by means of ‘critical thinking’ when faced with any evidence or science they see as potentially threatening to the paradigm they desire to enforce.
Chekhov’s Gun – is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a fictional story must be necessary to support the plot or moral, and irrelevant elements should be excluded. It is used as part of a method of detecting lies and propaganda. In a fictional story, every detail or datum is supportive of, and accounted for, as to its backing of the primary agenda/idea. A story teller will account in advance for every loose end or ugly underbelly of his moral message, all bundled up and explained nicely – no exception or tail conditions will be acknowledged. They are not part of the story.
Cherry Picking – pointing to a talking sheet of handpicked or commonly circulated individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring or denying a significant portion of related context cases or data that may contradict that position.
Chicory Science – science cut with attractive contestable philosophical critical bases, which are glossed over or hidden. Coffee used to be cut secretly with chicory, then people learned to like chicory coffee. While the philosophy entailed may not be wrong, or provably wrong, and it may look rich, smell wonderful and taste good, it is still not science. Just as chicory, despite all its favorable traits, is still not coffee.
Choice Supportive Bias – the tendency to remember one’s choices and professional judgement as more educated or accurate than they actually were. When one chooses something because one has previously also selected that something in an earlier decision set.
Chucklehead Diversion – when using humor or mocking of others as a facade of appearing objective or to conceal the underlying message one is passing as not being threatening, serious or malicious in nature, when such an implication is false. Typically employed as well as a defensive lever posture of allowing accusation of any criticism bearer as needing to ‘lighten up” since they have not used humor to belie their agenda.
Circular Cynicism – the practice of ensuring that a subject never possesses any valid scientific evidence through the fallacious step of declaring it to be a pseudoscience before investigation is ever undertaken by science. Since the subject is a pseudoscience, all research by laymen can never be accepted as evidence, and since there is no evidence, then the subject is false and science should not study it, and since science will not study it and people research it with lay attempts at science, then it is a pseudoscience.
Circular Definition – Also called a god principle or definition. A definition which relies upon elements of itself in order to define itself; much akin to a god being defined as the only being which can define itself. For example, critical thinking (epistemic rationality) being defined as ‘ensuring that one visibly demonstrate that their beliefs/actions/thoughts fall in line with those of others who also are also epistemically rational’. An appeal to authority and circular reasoning, bundled into one error. The one who enforces a circular definition regarding human attributes, is pretending to the role of God.
Circus Partis – a false appeal to an authority who is simply ‘famous for being famous,’ or who is simply enjoying their 15 minutes of fame in the club, and do not stand as a credible authority independent of this pseudo-status. This includes personages who are simply famous for being a famous skeptic.
Cladistic Dismantling (Deconstruction) – the definition of a malady or observed set of phenomena, into numerous ‘distinction without a difference’ subsets in an attempt to disguise or cloud noise around the overall trend in numbers involved in the malady or the phenomenon’s overall impact.
Claim or Belief as Pseudoscience Error – the incorrect assumption that a claim or belief constitutes pseudoscience, when in fact it is a claim or belief which is presented as consistent with the norms of scientific research, which is indeed the qualifier as to what is and is not pseudoscience. Everyone possesses ‘claims and beliefs,’ but this is not tantamount to pretend science being practiced on everyone’s part.
Claim vs Claim-Subject Conflation – misinterpreting identification of a claim as being based on a method of pseudoscience, as tacit permission to declare the entire subject around the specific claim, to also constitute pseudoscience.
Claimspoofing – a grey-zone dishonest form of stooge posing wherein one makes the false claim, that a claim (OMG!) has been made regarding a hoax or other obviously sketchy subject. The false contention is simply crafted in order to tender the appearance of employing the ‘tools of science’ or specious methods of doubt and denial, used to dismiss the ‘claim’ as an example of applied skeptical critical thinking.
Clarity/Clarity (Argument Outcome) – a consequentialist objective of ethical skepticism. The structure and locution of an argument formulated in such a way as to provide a relational path, lend quality and locution capability to future critical path logic, and/or which allows such to be followed, replicated or understood more easily by another party.
Qualified Argument – a level of clarity and agreement which allows for a least set of differences, when full agreement is not achieved between expertise bearing parties.
Agreement – when two expertise bearing parties subsequent to an argument, agree on its basis, quality and outcomes.
Clarke’s First Law – when a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Click Bait (or Headline) Skepticism – a position backed by articles or studies in which the headline appears to support the position contended, however which in reality actually contend something completely or antithetically different. A skeptical understanding which is developed though sound bytes and by never actually reading the abstract, method or content of cited articles or studies.
Click Bait (or Headline) Libel – when asking a question in a headline which falsely impugns a person’s background or character, in order to attract attention and harm that person through implication – and then to subsequently conclude in the text of the associated article that the contention is of an unknown or unproven status.
Click Baiting – purposely altering the context, nature or question asked inside a headline or click icon of an article, to imply a more intriguing or controversial content than is actually contained inside the article itself.
Clifford’s Law/Axiom – a belief is never benign. “No real belief, however trifling and fragmentary it may seem, is ever truly insignificant; it prepares us to receive more of its like, confirms those which resembled it before, and weakens others ~William Kingdon Clifford
Clique Rank Flag – if you gain your understanding from a inside a clique, you are at the bottom of that clique. Celebrity then, is your only recourse.
Close-Hold Embargo – is a common form of dominance lever exerted by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. In this model of coercion, a governmental agency or scientific entity offers a media outlet the chance to get the first or most in-depth scoop on an important new ruling, result or disposition – however, only under the condition that the media outlet not seek any dissenting input, nor critically question the decree, nor seek its originating authors for in-depth query.
Closet Coast Fan – a person who loudly and visibly decries a litany of subjects in order to be accepted by fellow false skeptics, but secretly listens to paranormal talk radio and watches ghost hunter and UFO programming religiously.
Coercion – an argument which is decided through the power or control held by one side over the other, often in a disputation.
Cogency – an inductive argument is cogent if it is high in quality and its premises provide swift consilience –that is, they all possess a common concordance with well-established truths and logic. Otherwise, it is said to be uncogent. Key inside such relation of consilience or alternately, deductive argument, is how efficiently it can be conveyed.
Cognitive Bias Abuse – cognitive biases are useful lenses inside a domain where much is known. This not always the case in a domain where much is in plurality or darkness. Misemployment of a single or array of cognitive biases which are strategically positioned inside a fundamental attribution error framework spun concerning one’s opponents. Most often so as to defend an a priori agenda item, or to rule out a construct one disfavors – a way of using ‘science’ of psychology to essential prove or disprove anything you prefer – through authority-implying positioning of cognitive biases employed to reinforce one’s point and/or discredit others.
Coincidence Theory/Theorist – the reactionary theory of conformance or one who crafts such complicated and highly stacked ‘rational’ alternatives as to why an astounding observation can only be served by a conventional or conforming explanation. Usually comes with the adjunct claim that the exceptional observation cannot possibly exist since ‘it would require a conspiracy of X people, if indeed it were true.’ A form of sophistry and rhetoric used to defend a political or religious a priori assumption.
Combative Habituation – when one views every discussion with perceived opponents as an eristic argument which must be won, or is compelled to attack those they perceive to be in disagreement. To artificially force a conclusion in a valid issue of plurality, simply because one perceives they are in an argument against a member of a disdained group.
Commonality Error – the tip of hand accidentally committed by a faking skeptic when they bristle with disdain at consumers who are able to test their claims for accuracy in their own or home testing environments, and subsequently cite counter evidence to the skeptic’s contention.
Compactifuscation – the merging of several disparate but associated concepts or definitions into one single descriptive term, so that epistemological weakness or strengths characteristic of a subset of the definitions held equivocally inside the term, can be ported over to the remaining set of definitions, without overt support or challenge in doing so. For instance the merging of sentience, awareness, meta-awareness, identity and meta-identity all into the term ‘consciousness’, so that studies on beetles can be ported over and apply to the hard problem of human consciousness.
Compartmentalization – the method employed by a person wishing to deceive them self, then subsequently others, by means of organizing their thoughts in such a way as to obscure data or truth regarding a matter. Equally, a method of organization relating to the structure of access to information; of categorizing data and practices into impotent silos and categories – no single one of which can service, impact or relate truth on its own accord. While a useful tactic in intelligence management circles, compartmentalization on the part of the human mind or organizations where transparency is of utmost importance is rarely employed to good ends. A focus on only clinical experiment at the exclusion of field observation, the blinders-on academic pretense of material monism or the division of a company’s fiscal accountability mechanisms in such a way as to hide profits or nefarious expenses, all these serve as methods which abrogate goals of clarity, truth and transparency.
Completeness – the structure and locution of an argument formulated in such a way as to provide a parsimonious deduction or induction critical path, which precludes alternative deduction or induction critical paths along the same line of predicates and premises.
Complexifuscation – the introduction of similar signals, inputs or measures, alongside a control measure or an experimental measure, in an attempt to create a ‘cloud of confusion or distraction’ around the ability to effect observation, control or measure of a targeted set of data. Preemption of a phenomena with in-advance flurries of fake hoaxes, in order obscure the impact, or jade the attention span of a target audience, around a genuine feared phenomena.
Complexity Tell – some problems are so complex that one must be well informed, highly intelligent and skilled in abstract critical path thinking, just to hold neutrality or a suspension of disposition about them. Those who arrive at conclusions or implied conclusions through inverse negation, should be observed for what they are.
Compositional Exclusion – citing one’s lack of adherence to one tenet of a belief system, or a ludicrously or extremely portrayed component of belief held by a group, to stand quod erat demonstrandum that one is not a member of that group.
Computational Irreducibility – the idea that some systems can only be sufficiently described by fully simulating them. The only way to determine the answer to a computationally irreducible question is to perform the computation/simulation which solves for its answer. In this context, it is impossible to ascertain the future state of a CI system, without having to sufficiently model and determine all the intermediate states in between. Such process cannot be reduced or sped up through any kind of reduction (Bridgman Reduction), assumption or shortcut. To do so alters the actual model and its answer into a state of unknown, and unrealized, error.
Confirmation Bias – the tendency to immediately accept propaganda published in the opponent’s favored group, and to reject observations, data or ideas which do not fit the opponent’s favored models.
Confirmation Reliance Error – abuse of the Popper demarcation principle, which cites that body of knowledge/finished science cannot rely upon predictive and confirming evidence alone, by then applying this principle incorrectly to the process of science – or failing to distinguish controlled predictive science from simple confirmatory observation after the fact. This in an effort to filter out selectively, those ideas and theories which are vulnerable through having to rely in part upon predictive evidence, consilience of multiple inputs, or are further denied access to peer review and replication steps of science simply because of this malpractice in application of the Popperian predictive demarcation.
Conflation Bias – the tendency of a proponent to be unable or unwilling to distinguish recollection between personal religious or unproven beliefs, and actual accepted science; and the resulting extrapolation of science entailed therein.
Conflation of Treatment and Cause – the assumption that, because a medicinal, food or activity helps to mitigate the symptoms of a malady, therefore the treatment is necessarily addressing the cause of that malady. Assuming that because exercise and low caloric intake help reduce blood pressure and weight, that therefore low caloric activity and excess intake is quod erat demonstrandum the cause of those maladies.
Consensus – is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists composing a particular field of study. It is not a popularity poll among scientists in general or even necessarily inside the field of study in question. Consensus can only be claimed when multiple opposing explanatory alternatives have been researched in objective detail, and a reasonable body of those scientists who developed the field of opposition alternatives, have been convinced of the complimentary alternative’s superiority. Just because a null hypothesis exists, and only that hypothesis has been researched, does not provide a basis for a claim to consensus, no matter how many scientists, or those pretending to speak for science in the media, favor the null hypothesis.
Consensus Appeal to Authority – in so far as scientists speak in one voice, and dissent is not really allowed, then appeal to scientific consensus is the same as an appeal to authority.
Consequent Unintendences – things we know will happen as a result of our actions, but either we don’t care, or wanted them to happen as a side effect in the first place. Something one pretends is an unintended consequence of their actions, but was actually intended to begin with.
Conservatism – a certain state of mind wherein the tendency to dismiss perceived lower likelihood events or change one’s mind very little when faced with their veracity, is dismissed as an act of rationality.
Consilience – is the nature or characteristic of an argument wherein its underpinning premises, data, multiple associated disciplines, avenues of research or predicates provide for independent but mutual reinforcement of its conclusion. This is usually regarded as important in a hypothesis reduction which cannot be easily resolved by means of Popper falsification.
Consilience Evasion – a refusal to consider scientifically multiple sources of evidence which are in congruence or agreement, focusing instead on targeting a single item from that group of individual sources of evidence because single items appear weaker when addressed alone. Also called a ‘silly con.’
Silly Con – spinning consilience as consensus. Investigating only one alternative and through manipulative pluralistic ignorance and social pressure, declaring that hypothesis as consensus and all others as unnecessary/pseudoscience/anti-science. Spinning politically motivated variations of an accepted scientific hypothesis, and selling those variations to the untrained public, for consumption in the name of science.
Consistency – this is the nature or characteristic of an argument wherein its conclusion or structure is in parallel with well-established premises or predicates. Also the instance where all portions of compound argument leverage to support each other.
Constraint – a predicate based parameter or assumption which serves to improve the quality of an argument or improve the value or clarity of an experiment.
Construct – an original explanatory framework which has not risen to the level of Hypothesis or Theory, contending for plurality screening under Ockham’s Razor, which seeks to explain a context set of repeatable data, and is distinguishable from other Hypotheses, Theories or Constructs attempting to cohesively explain the same or related data.
Construct Laundering – a proposal of Plausible Deniability on the part of one prominent SSkeptic regarding a pluralistic topic, which is subsequently then cited as a peer reference by others inside the Cabal as ‘evidence of falsification’ and finally taken as peer reviewed proof that a topic or construct has been ‘debunked’ by experts in the community at large; when no such falsification has indeed been achieved or attempted.
Constructive Ignorance (Lemming Weisheit or Lemming Doctrine) – a process related to the Lindy Effect and pluralistic ignorance, wherein discipline researchers are rewarded for being productive rather than right, for building ever upward instead of checking the foundations of their research, for promoting doctrine rather than challenging it. These incentives allow weak confirming studies to to be published and untested ideas to proliferate as truth. And once enough critical mass has been achieved, they create a collective perception of strength or consensus.
Context Dancing – the twisting of the context inside which a quotation or idea has been expressed such that it appears to support a separate argument and inappropriately promote a desired specific outcome.
Continuum Fallacy – erroneous rejection of a vague claim or loosely defined data set simply because it is not as precise as one would like it to be.
contra ad populum – citing that, since an argument or preference for a conclusion is growing in popularity, it must therefore only be growing in such acceptance because of argumentum ad populum pressure, human foibles or through media promotion – and cannot possibly be growing because of the persistent and robust nature of the associated evidence.
Contradox Bias – when citing as supporting evidence the recanting testimony of a former adherent who conducted misrepresentation to support an idea, who now contends to be a member of a an opposing idea and is “coming clean” about their lies. Suffers from a form of confirmation bias, wherein one cites as an authority, testimony from someone who has demonstrated that they will lie to support their position.
Contrathetic Impasse – 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.
Contrathetic Inference Paradox – a condition where abductive and inductive inference point to one outcome or understanding, and deductive inference points in another antithetical direction entirely. Since science often begins with inductive study stemming from abductive understanding, it will dogmatically hold fast to an inductive understanding until a paradigm shift occurs – a result of the weight of deductive evidence pointing in a different direction. The job of fake skepticism is to ensure that this deductive evidence or any thought resulting from it, is never accepted into science in the first place.
Corber’s Burden – the mantle of ethics undertaken when one claims the role of representing conclusive scientific truth, ascertained by means other than science, such as ‘rational thinking,’ ‘critical thinking,’ ‘common sense,’ or skeptical doubt. An authoritative claim or implication as to possessing knowledge of a complete set of that which is incorrect. The nature of such a claim to authority on one’s part demands that the skeptic who assumes such a role be 100% correct. If however, one cannot be assured of being 100% correct, then one must tender the similitude of such.
a. When one tenders an authoritative claim as to what is incorrect – one must be perfectly correct.
b. When a person or organization claims to be an authority on all that is bunk, their credibility decays in inverse exponential proportion to the number of subjects in which authority is claimed.
c. A sufficiently large or comprehensive set of claims to conclusive evidence in denial, is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority.
Corber’s Hypocrisy – a skeptic who dismisses a large set of specific subjects and who realizes that under Corber’s Burden they must be 100% correct in such a role – speaks often about ‘following the evidence’ or that they ‘withhold conclusion’ in a state of neutrality over such subjects – when indeed such claims of behavior are not the case at all in their habit or practice.
Correlation Dismissal Error – when employing the ‘correlation does not prove causality’ quip to terminally dismiss an observed correlation, when the observation is being used to underpin a construct or argument possessing consilience, is seeking plurality, constitutes direct fingerprint evidence and/or is not being touted as final conclusive proof in and of itself.
Crabapple Picking – pointing to a talking sheet of handpicked or common touted individual cases or data that loosely seem to confirm a particular position, yet in fact are not sequitur with, nor in context with, nor logically related to the point of contention being touted.
Crank’s Tell – when you create something, there will be two classes of people who observe it. Those who appreciate it for what it brings to them and then might ask a question or move on – and those who are threatened by it. The latter can be detected in that they will not focus on the material itself, and instead will gravitate quickly towards attacking the creator of the material. Everyone can see this, except for the crank them self, who mistakenly believes they are taken as part of the former group.
Crazemo – the process of being driven by, or a person who is driven by a crazed set of fleeting emotions and surface thinking regarding every new topic or turn in a set of events. A person driven by what on the surface appears to them to be virtuous – and is irrationally vehement and vocal, despite bearing little knowledge of the entailed subject. One who often chooses a position based upon who they hate, and which side they are on – and not in relation to the science nor evidence involved. Often this type of person will claim the name of science as a virtue and issue comments back to back which are in direct conflict or fail to be consistent with each other.
Credentialism – an implication or overemphasis on academic or educational qualifications (e.g., certificates, degrees & diplomas), awards or publications as the basis of an individual’s expertise or credibility.
Credulity – receptiveness to ideas as true or false by merit of subject matter alone, in absence of employment of Ockham’s Razor.
Credulity Accusing – accusing a person of practicing pseudoscience and credulity simply because they are regarding an outlier idea. A credulist may be wrong, but as long as they are not pretending to represent Science or claim to be using the Scientific Method, they are not practicing pseudoscience; rather, are merely guilty of being receptive to an untested conclusion.
Credulity Fallacy – the contention or implication that an opponent or group of opponents does not practice evidence based, rational or critical thinking simply because they disagree with the proponent or can be pigeon holed into a group disdained by the proponent or the proponent’s organization.
Crier of the Gaps – a practice which has replaced the principle of ‘God of the Gaps’ solutions to systemic problems. Filling in and smoothing over gaps in information or understanding, through media intimidation, bravado and over-publication – as a means to defacto adjudicate/emasculate such gaps in understanding in the realm of public opinion, through jackboot ignorance, nonaganda and propaganda.
Critical Blindness – the conflation of a position of authority or influence with one’s presumed possession of a higher level of personal competence. The mental obstacle created in a person granted entitled authority before they are emotionally ready, wherein they lose their ability to create, to gracefully understand or value the dynamics of human nature, motivation and leadership; descending further into shallow and habitual negative or doubtful critical assessments of those ‘under’ or different from them, coupled with an ever growing hunger for absolute control.
Critical Elegance – the character and makeup of a construct or hypothesis, in that it both addresses every ‘must answer’ or critical path question along with many or most questions at hand, and achieves this without having to resort to assembling highly convoluted and risky stacks of conjecture in order to do so.
Critical Path (of systems, science or logic) – a preselected and interdependently ordered chain of incremental tasks, experiments or arguments which produce the most elegant pathway of progress to a reasonably constrained goal or answer. Elegance being defined as resource efficiency, plenary completeness and expediency, employed in ethical balance. Each step in a critical path relies upon a foundation of it previous steps/logic, yet adds in one incremental goal, test or claim which is being examined for validity or is sought for accomplishment (incrementalism). In science, a critical path constitutes a series of tests or analyses crafted in such a succession hierarchy so as to produce a constrained and deductive incremental answer. In the philosophy of logic, a critical path is the assembly of prior art foundational modus ponens or tolens arguments of logical calculus, which lead to sound basis for a greater incremental truth conjecture. Finally in systems engineering, a critical path is the chain of interdependency of necessary and sufficient tasks, arranged in their most elegant progression, which leads to accomplishment of an incremental process step or overall planned goal.
Critical Thinking – the ability to assemble an incremental, parsimonious and probative series of questions, in the right sequence, which can address or answer a persistent mystery – along with an aversion to wallowing in or sustaining the mystery for personal or club gain. Critical thinking is the ability to understand, along with the skill in ability to deploy for benefit (value, clarity, risk and suffering alleviation), critical path logic and methodology. A process of methodically and objectively evaluating how to approach a claim to verity through scientific method, while seeking new observations/questions which can be creatively and intelligently framed to challenge elements of fiat knowledge which underpin the claim, regardless of how compulsive, reasonable, justified and accepted that knowledge might be promoted or perceived.
Criticism – negative attack on a specific position, often implying personal competence and/or surreptitiously promoting an antithetical position.
Cryptical Thinking Fallacy – the false claim by SSkeptics that they practice scientific or critical investigatory method within a topic of discourse. False skeptics advertise this as a honed skill which affords their opinions equal weight with a scientist, or superior credibility over any layman, on any particular topic they wish to dominate and condemn.
cul-de-suck – a topic or contention which at first appears to introduce a critical path of rational thought, however which inevitably traps its arguer inside a diversion of unresolvable mystery or paradox with no discernible boundary nor critical measure. The arguer is trapped inside a cul-de-sac, however is not aware of this because the topic boundary is soft or circular in logic; the arguer perpetually perceiving that its resolution is just around the corner or resides in the next advance in thought. Topics such as realism versus anti-realism or ‘turtles all the way down’ arguments, which appear at an academic level to bear merit, however which can never be resolved, and further bear no beneficial real world application nor consequentialist outcome.
culpant et victima – whenever a culprit is being concealed as to their introduction of a deleterious contribution, the victims will be assigned the blame for their handiwork.
Cultivated Ignorance/Cultivation of Ignorance – If one is to deceive, yet also fathoms the innate spiritual decline incumbent with such activity – then one must abstract a portion of the truth, such that it serves and cultivates ignorance – a dismissal of the necessity to seek what is unknown. The purposeful spread and promotion or enforcement of Nelsonian knowledge and inference. Official knowledge or Omega Hypothesis which is employed to displace/squelch both embargoed knowledge and the entities who research such topics. Often the product of a combination of pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect, its purpose is to socially minimize the number of true experts within a given field of study. This in order to ensure that an embargoed topic is never seriously researched by more members of the body of science than Michael Shermer’s ‘dismissible margin’ of researchers. By acting as the Malcolm Gladwell connectors, and under the moniker of ‘skeptics’, Social Skeptics can then leverage the popular mutual ignorance of the members and begin to spin misconceptions as to what expert scientists think. Moreover, then cultivate these falsehoods among scientists and the media at large. True experts who dissent are then intimidated and must remain quiet so as not to seem anathema, nor risk possibly being declared fringe by the patrolling Cabal of fake skeptics.
Cunningham’s Law – an approach to Akratic Trolling which states that the best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it’s to post the wrong answer.
Curmudgeonality Error – when one is often suspicious of or hostile towards new social trends. Believing that one’s self is instead holding up the standard against a sense that values are slipping, or the world is suffering from spreading disrespect, irrationality or lowered set of standards.
Curse of Knowledge Effect – when better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people; or perceive that their burden of knowledge cannot be fathomed by lesser-capable people, rendering them unable to practice critical or evidence based thinking.
Cut the Feed – also known as an Entscheiden Mechanism – the pseudoscientific or tyrannical approach of, when faced with epistemology or observation which is heading in an undesired direction, artificially declaring under a condition of praedicate evidentia, the science as ended or ‘settled’ – or to cut off all scientific examination of the subject – as in a NASA notorious ‘cut the feed’ event.
Cynical Blindness – the condition where a negare attentio affect becomes so pronounced, and a person so habituated to the methods of cynicism that they neither desire to, nor can they detect methods of cynicism in themselves and others the see as allies – immediately, without reflection denying that they are a cynic when queried.
Daedalean Identity – a practice of obscuring one’s allegiance or religious faith through complicated or equivocal nominal descriptives or segmentation of one’s beliefs into an array of apparently separate and intricate platform beliefs or movements.
Damnatio Memoriae – is a modern Latin phrase literally meaning “condemnation of memory”, advocating that a person or argument must be obliterated, erased and not remembered at all costs; regardless of its scientific merit. This is a chief function of social skepticism. It was a form of dishonor that could be passed by the Roman Senate on traitors or others who brought discredit to the Roman State. It was also employed by those who opposed Pharaoh Akhenaten, to effectively erase his reign from Egyptian history by Pharaohs and families ruling in The New Kingdom set of its Dynastic Periods.
Dead Body Contraposition Fallacy – the contention that if there exists an element A, then there would be B observations which would result directly from the presence of A, for instance an animal A would result in a dead body, B. Therefore the absence of observation of B means that A does not therefore exist.
Debate – neutral or negative bifurcated criticisms and defenses between two opposing viewpoints.
Debunking – as C. S. Lewis noted, is an easy and lazy kind of ‘rationality’ that almost anyone can do and on any subject. Literally almost anything can be debunked. Debunking is a magic act whose misdirection tricks the magician instead of their audience. It is a form of bullshitting adorning the authoritative costume of denial. The debunker is spinning a facade of cherry-picked anecdotal anti-data, which is then used to linearly claim that something isn’t. This backwards method of outference runs anathema to the practices of science, evidence, and inference; a method plied by someone who will never debunk their own favored ideas and who possesses no interest in truth whatsoever.
Deducibility – the effectiveness of an argument’s completeness in such a manner as to falsify, or through effective consilience in absence of possible falsification, render at least one other hypothesis along a critical path set as false or more highly unlikely and therefore no longer relevant.
Deductive Argument/Inference – an argument which uses premises and logic to eliminate all reasonable alternative considerations, or sets of possible contribution/consideration, through comparison to the strength of its primary assertions. The conclusion is contended to follow with logical necessity from the premises and reductions. Reductions can exist as either elimination of alternatives by hypothesis falsification research, or simply by set constrainment. For example, All men are mortal. Plato is a man. Therefore, Plato is mortal.
Definition by Ergodicity – the mistake of the dilettante is to define an abstract principle by its ergodicity and not by its logical critical processes or elements. A key sign of lack of understanding.
Deliberately Obtuse – the act which a person puts on when they sense that a logical pathway may expose the weakness in their argument or are matched by an opponent who is better prepared or understands the subject to a level of skill which threatens their conclusion. A pretense of accusing the opponent of not being clear, of making pleonasm, or using a false analogy, when in fact the points being made are using concise, professional and accurate language. This is often exposed by an autoaufheben appeal wherein the person feigning the obtuseness, first claims that the argument is not understandable and then in the next breath, pretends they have found the flaw in it as well (something usually trivial or non-critical to the argument).
Delusions of Superiority Error – when one believes that they have special traits or talents not shared by other people. Usually these are confined to a narrow range of human abilities, and tend to center around issues of intelligence or education.
The Demarcation of Skepticism –
I. Once plurality is necessary under Ockham’s Razor, it cannot be dismissed by means of skepticism alone.
II. Casual Inference and Risk – once plurality of risk is necessary under Ockham’s Razor, he who aspires to dismiss it must be 100% rigorous on the strength of the critical logic, supporting study as well as probative strength of the mode and form of inference draw.
a. There is no such thing as casual or ad hoc plausible denial under Ockham’s Razor plurality.
b. There is no such thing as casual, ad hoc nor virtuous dismissal of precaution under Ockham’s Razor plurality. When an innocent stakeholder is placed at risk, this must be done under a condition of 100% knowledge of such risks, combined with the vigilance to recognize and measure the impact of hazard outcomes.
c. Virtue and the presence of other theoretical counter-risks, are not sufficient rationale to abandon a. and b. under a condition of Ockham’s Razor plurality.
III. Corber’s Burden – the mantle of ethics undertaken when one claims the role of representing conclusive scientific truth, ascertained by means other than science, such as ‘rational thinking,’ ‘critical thinking,’ ‘common sense,’ or skeptical doubt. An authoritative claim or implication as to possessing knowledge of a complete set of that which is incorrect. The nature of such a claim to authority on one’s part demands that the skeptic who assumes such a role be 100% correct. If however, one cannot be assured of being 100% correct, then the poseur must tender a similitude of such.
a. When one tenders an authoritative claim as to what is incorrect – one must be perfectly correct.
b. When a person or organization claims to be an authority on all that is bunk, their credibility decays in inverse exponential proportion to the number of subjects in which authority is claimed.
c. A sufficiently large or comprehensive set of claims to conclusive evidence in denial, is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority.
IV. If one exclusively fails to police one’s own groupthink, one is not a skeptic.
Denial Activist’s Bias – when bias is evident from the social fact that the majority of persons inside a denial based activists group, neither have studied nor had any first hand experience within the subject they are actively seeking to deny.
Denial/Dissent Blurring – denial obfuscation efforts by a SSkeptic being falsely passed off as informed dissent on their part. Conversely, spinning dissenters or those with opposing data as persons who are “Deniers.”
Denialty – when sskepticism or another institution claiming to represent ‘science’ conclusively promotes evidence showing all suspects they are seeking to protect, as being innocent, yet there is a dead body nonetheless. A state of ignorance which results from such a condition.
Dénouer – from a Middle French term meaning to ‘unknot’ (a line or rope). The skillful application of multiple forms of inference in such a fashion as to solve a complex puzzle. Reduction, consilience, heteroduction, falsification, triangulation, dead reckoning, or the sequencing of induction as a means of constraining an argument so that its solution may be then deduced. Denouement means to unravel the plot of a story to its outcome or climax.
Denying the Antecedent – the contention that since a subject is a pseudoscience, then any of its constructs, theories, results, data and observations are invalid and anyone who considers them is a pseudo scientist.
Deontology – an approach to the ethics of knowledge development that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the attractive or unattractive nature of the consequences of those actions (Consequentialism) or to the character, credentials and habits of the actor (Virtue Ethics). In science, the process of valuing the scientific method over any of its particular conclusions or the people/institutions claiming them. A deontologist seeks to reduce the unnecessary complexity of a process of questioning and the associated answers or lack thereof. Then further by conformance to a set of accepted practices, induce or deduce answers to specific questions which collectively serve to reduce the overall level of ignorance (a priori doubt, belief and stacked provisional knowledge) featured inside a given topic. Principally this process results in what is called an epistemology. A deontologist prefers a state of ‘unknown’ over even a highly probable stacked set of provisional knowledge, because of the preferential deontological ethics of declaring a precise answer to be unknown, over ‘probably known’ inside a context of low intelligence and unevaluated risk. This because when the deontologist surveys the horizon of what is truly unknown, he is able then to reduce process and focus on the correct next question under the scientific method.
Desire to Offend Bias – when one excuses or bears a condition wherein, the desire to offend a targeted party is so high or is of such a first priority that, it imbues or reveals a bias or agency all of its own. The ironic bigotry of highlighting a strawman bigotry in another targeted party or disliked race. See Hitchens’ Apology.
Deskeption – the art of crafting power through pseudo-skepticism, institutional doctrine and cultivated ignorance.
Devil’s Advocate – neutral role play in which the favored position is probed for weakness and/or is refuted.
Devil’s Bargain – an extremely disadvantageous deal, bearing a terrible price to pay (known or unknown), which someone considers accepting because they can either see no other way out of a problem situation, or desire some objective so much that they are willing to sacrifice something precious in order to attain it. The indicator of a devil’s bargain once adopted, is that the victim/participant will double down on their commitment to its ideal, any time a challenge is raised. No reflection or objectivity will be tolerated.
Diagnostic Habituation Error – the tendency of medical professionals to view subjects of discourse as if resolvable by the methods of diagnosis, when most fields of discourse cannot be approached solely in this manner. Diagnosis involves a mandatory answer, closed set of observational data, constraints, model convergence, increasing simplicity and conclusions which select from a closed field of prescriptive conclusions. All of these domain traits are seldom encountered in the broader world of scientific research.
Dialectic – a positive and mutual reductive or deductive attempt to assemble a newly crafted common position.
Dichotomy of Compartmented Intelligence – a method of exploiting the compartmented skill sets of scientists, in order to preclude any one of them from fully perceiving or challenging a study direction or result. Call your data analysts ‘data scientists’ and your scientists who do not understand data analysis at all, the ‘study leads’. Ensure that those who do not understand the critical nature of the question being asked (the data scientists) are the only ones who can feed study results to people who exclusively do not grasp how to derive those results in the first place (the study leads). This is a method of intelligence laundering and is critical to eveyone’s being deceived, including study authors, peer reviewers, media and public at large.
Dichotomy of Specific Descriptives – a form of panduction, wherein anecdotes are employed to force a conclusion about a broad array of opponents, yet are never used to apply any conclusion about self, or one’s favored club. Specific bad things are only done by the bad people, but very general descriptives of good, apply when describing one’s self or club. Specifics on others who play inside disapproved subjects, general nebulous descriptives on self identity and how it is acceptable ‘science’ or ‘skepticism’.
dicto simpliciter – when you presume that what is true in general and/or under normal circumstances, is therefore true under all circumstances without exception.
The Diebold Test – if you and a friend are walking down the sidewalk, and a Diebold ATM machine falls from ten stories above and crushes him, you do not need a doctor to pronounce death, nor to take an EEG nor blood pressure in order to scientifically establish that your buddy is dead. Those who appeal for such false epistemology typically are not actually looking for verity – rather just seeking to deflect anything which competes with the answer they desire to enforce.
dietrologia – the staunch insistence that the obvious or repeatedly observed explanation, cannot possibly be the truth. Invoking as a first response and without any evidence, that ‘conspiracy theory’ spinning must be the motivation behind any idea other than a preferred conventional one. There is always something hidden behind the observer’s motives, a susceptibility to hoax, desire for a conspiracy theory, a misinterpretation of the data, a lie; ie. the dietro. See also MiHoDeAL fallacy.
Discounting Vividness – the invalid presumption that all types of eyewitness testimony are universally faulty, and further, that those involving describing an occurrence in vivid or emotional detail, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, are immediately suspect and should be discredited.
Disinformation – when a group plants a false item of information inside the camp of thought they oppose, then alerts their allies (typically the main stream press) to highlight this falsehood as a means to discredit those groups, their movements or people disdained by the disinformation specialist and/or the condemning press channel.
Dismissertation – reciting scant, cherry picked or anecdotal counter-arguing evidence which appears to dismiss or plausibly deny a subject. Evidence consists often of only canned talking points from an agenda group and not authentic research. The technique is sometimes admissible in peer review, however is a fallacy when applied in a petition for plurality.
Dismissible Margin – the social engineering technique of ensuring that experts inside a body of embargoed science constitute no more than a couple percentage points or less, or that which is less than the Michael Shermer dismissible margin, of the larger body of scientists advised and educated by SSkepticism.
Dismissible Margin Fallacy – presuming that proponents inside a body of embargoed science constitute no more than a couple percentage points or less of all scientists, or that which is less than the Michael Shermer dismissible margin, of the larger body of scientists advised and educated by SSkepticism.
Disputation – a negative or neutral defense against an attack, in support of an attacked position or person.
Dissent – the either objective or irrational act of refusing to fully accede to a paradigm or generally accepted theory.
Dissent Muzzling – on a controversial issue, a group holding power offering those who are issue stakeholders or voters, the ‘choices’ of 1. supporting their particular agenda, or 2. remaining silent. No option of dissent or free speech is offered. This is a favorite masquerade of oppressive 1984-styled tyranny – feigning a ‘choice’ to visibly support or remain silent.
Diversion Program/Programmer – the antithesis of conspiracy theory/theorist. Diversion programs are used by totalitarian societies in lieu of prisons when either there is not enough prison space to incarcerate an entire population segment for their thoughts/beliefs/politics or the violations entailed do not rise to the level of high crimes. The end state of the diversion program is for the citizen to surrender compliance to a state-mandated set of thoughts/actions or silence, before being allowed back into society. Also known as corrective labor or reprogramming camps. The term also applies to those entities who seek to conduct diversion programming as a broader set of social activities on the part of their cabal or club.
Doubt – there are two forms of ‘doubt’:
Methodical Doubt – doubt employed as a skulptur mechanism, to slice away disliked observations until one is left with the data set they favored before coming to an argument. The first is the questionable method of denying that something exists or is true simply because it defies a certain a priori stacked provisional knowledge. This is nothing but a belief expressed in the negative, packaged in such a fashion as to exploit the knowledge that claims to denial are afforded immediate acceptance over claims to the affirmative. This is a religious game of manipulating the process of knowledge development into a whipsaw effect supporting a given conclusion set.
Deontological Doubt (Epoché) – if however one defines ‘doubt’ – as the refusal to assign an answer (no matter how probable) for a specific question – in absence of assessing question sequence, risk and dependency (reduction), preferring instead the value of leaving the question unanswered (null) over a state of being ‘sorta answered inside a mutually reinforcing set of sorta answereds’ (provisional knowledge) – then this is the superior nature of deontological ethics.
Most fake skeptics define ‘doubt’ as the former and not the latter – and often fail to understand the difference.
Doubtcasting – a form of rhetorical critique in which a person casts inexpert doubt upon every facet of an opponent’s argument, while adding no value themself in the process – nor offering up their own ideas to the risk of critique. Raising doubt to perpetuate ignorance. A combative method of arguing without tendering the appearance of doing so, in the case where an agent is not interested in anything other than maligning their opponent or appearing to win an argument.
DRiP Method – the method by which SSkpetics employ Pseudoscience to filter official discourse and enforce the religious goals of the Deskeption Cabal by the process of 1. D Denying Data, 2. R Restricting Research in 3. P Preventing or Pretending Peer Review.
Dual-Burden Model of Inferential Ethics – the condition which is called ‘plurality’ by Ockham’s Razor exists once the sponsors of an alternative (to the null) idea or construct (does not have to be fully mature as a hypothesis) have achieved any one of the following necessity thresholds:
‣ a nexus of a persistent and robust alternative construct observation base
‣ potential falsification of the ‘null’ exists (and certainly if that null is not really a hypothesis itself)
‣ the intent contribution of agency has been detected
‣ the critical issue involved is a matter of public trust
‣ the contention involves placing involuntary or large counts of stakeholders at risk
‣ there exists a critical immaturity of the entailed observation domain.
Under such necessity, the hypothesis reduction circumstance exists wherein an actual null hypothesis must be developed, and further be shown to have comprehensive explanatory potential to justify its contention – it can no longer reside as simply the lazy ‘null’ argument. Conditions wherein the evidence is forcing the null sponsor to contend something other than simply ‘nuh-uh’ (nulla infantis). However beware, the discipline in such defense of the null better be just as solide-en-preuve as that discipline set which was previously demanded of alternative explanation sponsors.
Duck Test – a form of abductive reasoning which proceeds along the lines of the apothegm, ‘If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck’.
Dunning-Kruger Abuse – a form of ad hominem attack. Inappropriate application of the Dunning-Kruger fallacy in circumstances where it should not apply; instances where every person has a right, responsibility or qualification as a victim/stakeholder to make their voice heard, despite not being deemed a degree, competency or title holding expert in that field.
Dunning-Kruger Denial – the manipulation of public sentiment and perceptions of science, and/or condemnation of persons through skillful exploitation of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This occurs in four speciated forms:
Dunning-Kruger Exploitation – the manipulation of unconsciously incompetent persons or laypersons into believing that a source of authority expresses certain opinions, when in fact the persons can neither understand the principles underpinning the opinions, nor critically address the recitation of authority imposed upon them. This includes the circumstance where those incompetent persons are then included in the ‘approved’ club solely because of their adherence to proper and rational approved ideas.
Dunning-Kruger Milieu – a circumstance wherein either errant information or fake-hoaxing exists in such quantity under a Dunning-Kruger Exploitation circumstance, or a critical mass of Dunning-Kruger Effect population is present, such that core truths observations, principles and effects surrounding a topic cannot be readily communicated or discerned, as distinct from misinformation, propaganda and bunk.
Dunning-Kruger Projection (aka Plaiting) – the condition in which an expert, scientist or PhD in one discipline over-confidently or ignorantly fails to realize that they are not competent to speak in another discipline, or attempts to pass authority ‘as a scientist’ inside an expertise set to which they are only mildly competent at best. Any attempt to use the identity of ‘scientist’ to underpin authority, bully, seek worship or conduct self-deception regarding an array of subjects inside of which they in actuality know very little.
Dunning-Kruger Skepticism – an effect in which incompetent people making claim under ‘skepticism,’ fail to realize they are incompetent both as a skeptic and as well inside the subject matter at hand. Consequently they will fall easily for an argument of social denial/promotion because they
1. lack the skill or maturity to distinguish between competence and incompetence among their skeptic peers and/or are
2. unduly influenced by a condition of Dunning-Kruger Exploitation or Millieu, and/or are
3. misled by false promotions of what is indeed skepticism, or possess a deep seated need to be accepted under a Negare Attentio Effect.
Dunning-Kruger Effect – an effect in which incompetent people fail to realize they are incompetent because they lack the skill or maturity to distinguish between competence and incompetence among their peers.
The Dunning Line (or Inretio Line, Latin ‘ensnare’) – ‘Discipline your mind into a steel trap, but make sure it doesn’t serve to only entrap you.’ The line beyond which, one has become so skeptical, that they have become stupid in the process. One skilled at filtering out only that information which offends their feelings and sensibility – as opposed to being based upon actual evidence or science. Named for the minimum level of prowess one can possess and still barely function as a skeptic, as opposed to a babbling cynic.
Durable Franchise – a business product or service which bears a feature in that, as it grows in consumption or employment, it also serves to create a condition by which its criticality grows inside its target specific market or channel – artificially promoting it to the status of category killer or monopoly. An application, refreshment, drug, vaccine, practice or technology standard, which displaces all competing entities or alternatives, or serves to habituate the user into increasing dependency or demand for the product or service over its lifespan.
The Duty of Science (Einstein) – The right to search for the truth implies also a duty that one must not conceal any part of what one finds to be true. The right to search for the truth is commensurate also with a duty that one must not conceal any part of what one finds to be true, nor obfuscate what one fears could possibly be true.
Ecneics – refusal to study a topic, so one can then cite the fact that no evidence exists, and moreover then can declare the subject to be invalid. Anecdotes in support, only serve to reinforce the correct conclusion in denial.
Ecological Fallacy – a logical fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data where inferences about the nature of individuals or isolated observations/studies are deduced from inference regarding the group or broader study domain to which those individuals or observations belong. A compliment of the Yule-Simpson Effect, wherein results obtained for subsets of data, tend to disappear when those subsets are combined.
Editorial Burden – when employing one’s position as a regular/urgent editorial publication journalist or pretender, or some key presentation due inside a group of skepticism as a reason to boost one’s profile in attacking various subjects and people, without sound basis, ethics or rationality.
Editorial Burden Error – when pushing the envelope on evidence/reason or making mistakes as to what to discredit, impugn and attack because one is under the burden of having to find some subject to discredit or eviscerate. This because they are on a regular/urgent editorial publication schedule or have some key presentation due inside a group of skepticism.
Educative Difficulty Effect – that information acquired in a course of academic instruction or that takes longer to read and is thought about more (processed with more difficulty) is more easily remembered or validly applied.
Effect Inversion – one sign of a study which has been tampered with through inclusion and exclusion criteria, in an effort to dampen below significance or eliminate an undesired signal, is the circumstance where an inverse or opposite relationship effect is observed in the data when the inverse question is asked concerning the same set of data. If a retrospective cohort study purportedly shows no effect relationship between a candidate cause and a malady – there should also be no relationship between the candidate cause and the absence of the malady as well (if the two are indeed unrelated epidemiology). The presence of a reverse or apparently ‘curative’ influence of the candidate cause being evaluated in the data may signal the impact of data manipulation.
The Eight Tropes of Ethical Skepticism
I. There is critically more we do not know, than we do know.
II. We do not know, what we do not know. Only a sub-critical component of mankind effectively grasps this.
III. Much of what we do know, is founded upon a pretense of possessing accurate and salient defining elements of the observed realm in which we reside.
IV. Even what we do know is filtered through the lens of Machiavellian desires for supreme power, unless we take action to prevent such.
V. The corrupt nature of human social intelligence is to construct elaborate contrivances of (self) deception; to constrain and expire itself inside the actions of methodical cynicism, provisional knowledge and ignorance, if left unchecked.
Methodical Cynicism – a method of cultivating ignorance through corruption of the process which regulates our social and scientific understanding. The exploitation of denial mandating a personal belief set while at the same time tendering an affectation of science.
Provisional Knowledge – the contrivance of a series of purposed provisional arguments, into a stack of probable explanations wherein we ignore the increasing unlikelihood of our conclusions and simply consider the stack of plurality to be plausible; and eventually by Neuhaus’s Law, rendering any other idea proscribed.
Ignorance – the action of blinding one’s self to an eschewed reality through a satiating and insulating culture and lexicon.
VI. All things being equal, intransigence concerning what is known presents more risk than does the unknown, known unknowns and unknown unknowns combined.
VII. Only we, along with our love and care for each other, are real.
VIII. Knowledge vetted by this understanding can be held inside a standard of acceptance.
Einfach Mechanism – aka The (Wonka) Golden Ticket – have we ever really tested the predictive strength of this idea standalone, or evaluated its antithetical ideas for falsification? Does an argument proponent constantly insist on a ‘burden of proof’ upon any contrasting idea, a burden that they never attained for their argument in the first place? An answer they fallaciously imply is the scientific null hypothesis; ‘true’ until proved otherwise?
Einfach Mechanism – an idea which is not yet mature under the tests of valid hypothesis, yet is installed as the null hypothesis or best explanation regardless. An explanation, theory or idea which sounds scientific, yet resolves a contention through bypassing the scientific method, then moreover is installed as truth thereafter solely by means of pluralistic ignorance around the idea itself. Pseudo-theory which is not fully tested at its inception, nor is ever held to account thereafter. An idea which is not vetted by the rigor of falsification, predictive consilience nor mathematical derivation, rather is simply considered such a strong, or Occam’s Razor (sic) stemming-from-simplicity idea that the issue is closed as finished science or philosophy from its proposition and acceptance onward. A pseudo-theory of false hypothesis which is granted status as the default null hypothesis or as posing the ‘best explanation’, without having to pass the rigors with which its competing alternatives are burdened. The Einfach mechanism is often accompanied by social rejection of competing and necessary alternative hypotheses, which are forbidden study. Moreover, the Einfach hypothesis must be regarded by the scientific community as ‘true’ until proved otherwise. An einfach mechanism may or may not be existentially true.
ekdíkisi (εκδίκηση) – an idea that operates under the theory that persons who use science as a self identity and battering ram to condemn others, often suffer from repressed outrage/injury over childhood or teen age rejection. Such individuals therefore seek to take the position of power afforded through ‘representing science’, as an arsenal of revenge against the opposite sex or a perception of inadequacy over their genitalia or degree of sexual activity or desirability during young adulthood. Greek for ‘vengeance’.
Elastration (Banding) – The use of an elastrator to gradually cease bloodflow to the testes of a bull. A furtive method of gradual castration and extinction, without the victim fully perceiving it. A method of enacting evil, without full perception of performing it.
Elegance – the expression of parsimony in design. A descriptive which identifies the inherent trait of a design or process, wherein it comprehensively and completely accomplishes all goals of its crafting in the fewest stacked set of entities possible, and not one entity less. The two design features indicating elegance:
2. Complexity (plural entities) – when critically necessary
Elegant systems are often breathtaking to behold, not because of their complexity, but rather because of their reach.
Elemental Pleading – breaking down the testing of data or a claim into testing of its constituents, in order to remove or filter an effect which can only be derived from the combination of elements being claimed. For instance, to address the claim that doxycycline and EDTA reduce arterial plaque, testing was developed to measure the impact of each item individually, and when no effect was found, the combination was dismissed as well without study, and further/combination testing was deemed to be ‘pseudoscience’.
Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ) – 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’?
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’.
Poison Pill Hypothesis – the instance wherein sskeptics or agency work hard to promote lob & slam condemnation of particular ideas. A construct obsession target used to distract or attract attack-minded skeptics into a contrathetic impasse or argument. The reason this is done is not the confusion or clarity it provides, rather the disincentive which patrolling skeptics place on the shoulders of the genuine skilled researcher. These forbidden alternatives (often ‘paranormal’ or ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘conspiracy theory’ buckets) 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 and do not visibly support the Omega Hypothesis. A great example is the skeptic community tagging of anyone who considers the idea that the Khufu pyramid at Giza might have not been built by King Khufu in 2450 bce, as therefore now supporting conspiracy theories or aliens as the builders – moreover, their being racist against Arabs who now are the genetic group which occupies modern Egypt.
Emotional Priming – a process of pseudo-education wherein a popular controversial issue such as Creation-Evolution, or Monsim-Dualism is framed as a whipping horse, posed in a false dilemma, so as to polarize the general public into ‘science’ and ‘woo’ camps of belief. The visceral reaction to the woo camp of belief inside academia imbues a type of anchoring bias and emotional agency on the part of those who self appoint or are tasked to ‘represent science’ – thereafter influencing their objectivity just as severely as would a religion.
Empathy Gap – the tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings, in either oneself and over-estimate it in others.
Emperor’s New Clothes Cozenage – a cultural state in which such delusion persists or when one underpins argument for a supposed tenet of science by its being too intricate or incomprehensible for those unfit for their positions, or too stupid, or untrained, of of lower caste or incompetent to comprehend.
en suite – a principle which cites that two or more entities flow naturally into a compatible series. One or more ideas, tests, observations, or hypotheses which are compatible with or mutually supportive of each other. Similar in nature to consilience of observations, this would relate more to the mutual fit/compatibility of differing hypotheses. Once one hypothesis is proved, it would thereafter serve as consilience for the other.
Entscheiden Mechanism – aka as the Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ) – 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’.
Epibelieology – the study of the patterns and effects of health & disease conditions in defined populations; while yet at the same time meticulously avoiding study of the cause of those same diseases or conditions.
Epicaricacy – schadenfreude is the enjoyment of witnessing the misfortune of others through their own mistake, accident or self inflicted agony. In contrast, epicariacy is the enjoyment of witnessing the harm one individual receives at the hands of another, usually maliciously-minded party. The similar English expression would be ‘Roman holiday’, a metaphor from the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by George Gordon (Lord Byron) wherein a gladiator in ancient Rome expects to be “butchered to make a Roman holiday,” i.e. the audience would take pleasure from watching his forced suffering at another’s hands. The term suggests motives of pleasure or political expediency beyond simple schadenfreude; consisting more of debauchery and exploitation for gain in addition to sadistic enjoyment. One exception to both meanings, and common mistake in their application however, is citing schadenfreude or epicariacy in the case where one is witnessing a temper tantrum. Temper tantrums are intended forms of violence upon others, and in no way reflect a person being in a state of misfortune or harm.
Epistemic Commitment – is a compulsion on the part of a proponent to uphold the factual assertions of a given proposition, and to tender apologetic or No True Scotsman pleading exceptions, when faced with contraindicating data. It contrasts with dogma in that epistemic commitment may be released through respectful discourse, whereas dogma typically is not.
Epistemological Psychic Study – when a statistical trend study shows a trend in data, but the only data elements supporting the contended trend all exist in the future and/or none of the past data supports such a trend; their being included simply to serve an appearance of statistical rigor and significance. Usually applied to support a political cause, and in an arena where the observable final outcome will be well beyond the proponent’s lifespan or political career.
epoché (ἐποχή, “suspension”) – an active suspension of disposition. The suspended state of judgement exercised by a disciplined and objective mind, in preparation to conduct research. A state of neutrality which eschews the exercise of religious, biased rational or critical, risky provisional and dogmatic dispositions when encountering new observations, ideas and data. In contrast with a wallow in passive neutrality or apathy, epoché is a form of active investigation based upon a discipline of impartiality. A desire to find the answer, tempered by the wisdom that answers do not come as easily as most people believe. It is the step of first being skeptical of self, before addressing challenging or new phenomena. Underpinned by both a examination of the disciplines of true knowledge development (epignosis) and the repository of vetted and accepted knowledge (gnosis). If someone relates a challenging observation to you, you suspend disposition, and catalog it. If you toss it out based upon a fallacy, trivial flaw or terminal disinterest – then you are a cynic, not a skeptic.
Equipollence Error – similar to false equivalence, this error pertains more to a situation where a substitute idea or method is assumed as being equal in force, power, or validity as the idea, principle or method it is replacing, and possessing the same effect or significance/meaning.
Equivocation – the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning, sense, or use in professional context by glossing over which meaning is intended in the instance of usage, in order to mis-define, inappropriately include or exclude data in an argument.
Equivocation Straw Man – using opponent’s habit or ease of simplicity in communication, to compress a principle into a single name or word, to further then equivocate that word or name and afford a pathway to then straw man his position.
Erga Omnes – Latin term referring to rights and obligations which are owed towards all. A limiting principle in copyright infringement which cites that one entity cannot defacto own as intellectual property a legal right or contract/agreement/legal statute principle through the tactic of holding possession of the copyright on the most accurate or legally cost expedient way in which it is expressed, written or described.
Ergo Sum Scientia – when a group or person portrays highly visible activism on an easy or a sensible cause célèbre in support/defense of science, in order to tender the appearance of and imply to an audience that they represent critical thinking, the scientific method or the correct conclusions of science. Holding club meetings at prominent universities in or to imply their endorsement of your cause, or imply that your group represents science.
Ergo Sum Veritas – the assumption, implication or inference that an organization bearing a form of title regarding skepticism immediately holds de facto unquestionable factual or ideological credibility over any other entity having conducted an equivalent level of research into a matter at hand. The assumption, implication or inference that an organization or individual bearing a form of title regarding skepticism, adheres to a higher level of professionalism, ethics or morality than does the general population.
Ergo Sum Veritas Fallacy – the contention, implication or inference that one’s own ideas or the ideas of others hold authoritative or evidence based veracity simply because their proponent has declared themselves to be a ‘skeptic.’
Ergo Sum Veritas Fallacy (strong) – the assumption that because one’s organization is acting in the name of skepticism, evidence or science, that such a self claimed position affords the organization and its and/or members exemption from defamation, business tampering, fraud, privacy, stalking, harassment and tortious interference laws.
Ergodicity Ignorance – the failure of a data scientist or one who is attempting to interpret a series or body of data inside a dynamic system in that they are unable to grasp that the system will possess the same behavior averaged over time, regardless of the makeup or state of the system. If you tax the richest 15%, a new 15% rich who benefit from the new dynamic will arrive to take its place, however the historical statistical tier breakout will not change. Hence, Goodhart’s Law. When one statistic becomes the focus of an attempted system change, it ceases to be a good statistic.
Eristic Argument – an argument which is posed with the goal of winning and embarrassing an opposing arguer, as opposed to seeking clarity, value or common ground. Usually stems from the arguer’s past psychological injury, narcissism and combative habituation.
The Error of the Atheist – oppose the cabal, yes – but never instruct a person as to what the correct metaphysical choice should be – lest you become the cabal.
Error of the Default Null (Omega Hypothesis or King of the Hill Pseudoscience) – a variation of argument from ignorance. The practice of assigning a favored or untestable/unfalsifiable hypothesis unmerited status as the null hypothesis. Further then proclaiming the Default Null as the null hypothesis until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.
Error of the True Null (Omega Hypothesis or King of the Hill Pseudoscience) – a variation of argument from ignorance. Regarding the null hypothesis as objectively ‘true’ until proved otherwise, when it simply is the null hypothesis from the standpoint of the logical calculus in a hypothesis reduction hierarchy and not because it has been underpinned by a Popper level scientific rigor. Further then proclaiming the True Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science.
Error of the Guilty Null (The Precautionary Principle) – the practice of assigning a favored hypothesis the status as null hypothesis, when in fact the hypothesis involves a feature or implication which would dictate its address as an alternative hypothesis instead. A null hypothesis which is, by risk or impact, considered potentially harmful until proved innocent, should be treated as an alternative under correct parsimony. Further then invalidly proclaiming this Guilty Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science until such testing is conducted which could prove it to be false or until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.
Essential Schema – an organized structure of thought and perception that interleaves information frameworks by the relationships among key data. A mental framework of epistemological or preconceived ideas, representing some aspect of the world, concept of learning, system or event. It can be utilized as a system of organizing, perceiving and retaining new information. Schemata influence attention and the efficacy of absorption/retention of new knowledge. People are more likely to notice and retain data which fit into their schema. Essential Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information and the passage of time.
Essential Schema Filtering Error – when one uses pop psychology studies such as the 1980’s Loftus Study to dismiss memories and observations which they do not like. By citing that memories and eyewitness testimony are unreliable forms of evidence, pretend skeptics present an illusion of confidence on dismissing disliked eyewitness essential schema data, when neither the Federal Rules of Evidence, science nor even the cited studies make such a claim which allows the dismissal of eyewitness testimony at all.
Ethical/Ethics – a consistent praxis which is transparently focused upon benefiting its stakeholders in terms of value preservation and attainment, or robustness to risk. One who does not pretend to be everything to everyone, nor seeks to obfuscate any part of value and/or cost.
Ethical Inversion – a social condition and form of linear induction which prohibits the execution of actual science, ironically in the name of ethics. A false condition wherein proper study design is deemed to involve unethical or inhumane techniques, thus researchers are allowed to employ flawed study design, which in turn only serves to produce results that mildly suggest there is no need to conduct proper study design in the first place. So none is undertaken.
Ethical Skeptic – one who practices the method of suspended judgment, engages in dispassionate evidence gathering and objective unbiased reasoning in execution of the scientific method; shows willingness to consider opposing explanations without prejudice based on prior beliefs, and who pursues goals of clarity, value, discipline and the assessment of risk, in support of our knowledge development.
Ethical Skepticism – /epoché vanguards gnosis/ : Inquiry prompted by genuine curiosity under a suspended disposition of judgment, through dispassionate evidence gathering and objective unbiased reasoning in the process of executing the scientific method. A willingness to consider opposing explanations without prejudice based on prior beliefs, and a sincere pursuit of the goals of clarity, value, discipline and the assessment of risk, in the process of our knowledge development.
Ethical Skeptic’s First Axiom – accurate, is simple. But that does not serve to make simple, therefore accurate. To a practitioner in the art, accuracy is equivalent or superior to simplicity. The idea that, in its first inception, a new paradigm must be expressed accurately first before it may be simplified. One cannot as a rule be forced to express simply, an idea which is being drafted for the very first time. Simplicity is a manner of teaching, communicating or sustaining; often to non-discipline individuals, and is not a necessary tool of formulation. Thereafter, an idea may be simplified if possible, in order to aid in understanding. See Bridgman Reduction.
Ethical Skeptic’s First Axiom – accurate, is simple. But that does not serve to make simple, therefore accurate.
Ethical Skeptic’s Second Axiom – an idea cannot be a conspiracy theory, if it is also the null hypothesis.
Ethical Skeptic’s Third Axiom – danger trumps conspiracy. That which introduces a danger (risk and/or uncertainty) constitutes a more extraordinary claim (demands more evidence) than that which is deemed conspiracy theory.
Ethical Skeptic’s Axiom of Authority and Conspiracy – when an authority is not transparent and instead chooses to obfuscate, then Ockham’s Razor is immediately surpassed and conspiracy is part of the legitimate hypothesis base. One cannot be a victim of what they have earned.
Ethical Skeptic’s Axiom of Extremism and Science – if they will choose to be an extremist politically, this offers a glimpse as to the poor integrity and instant-grits rigor placed into their claim of ‘settled science’ as well.
Ethical Skeptic’s Axiom of Fact and Belief – the direct derivation of belief from mere ‘fact’ is one level of competence below ignorance.
Ethical Skeptic’s Axiom of Nelsonian Knowledge – in order to distort the truth, you first have to know it.
Ethical Skeptic’s Axiom of Truth and Suppression – only the truth demands active, trained and organized suppression. In a free thought and information society, lies will eventually falsify themselves. Suppression of an idea usually involves fear of some element or form of truth.
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum of Formal Rhetoric – when one argues solely in formal rhetoric, an informal fallacy becomes a formal fallacy.
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum of Malice and Human Rights – “Within the context of an impingement of human rights, incompetence and malice are indistinguishable.”
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum of Rhetoric – what is posed in the rhetorical, can only be opposed with the rhetorical. One cannot answer a rhetorical question with objective reason and evidence.
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum of Silence – silence cannot be refuted. However, ontological silence should not be confused with rhetorical silence.
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum of the Cabal – a cabal is detected not through their unity in message, but rather their unity in ignorance. A cabal is a consensus of ignorance.
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum of Truth and Authority – Who monopolizes truth, also sells it at a dear price.
Ethical Skeptic’s Dictum Regarding Lie Accusation – always remember, that when all the rhetoric of fake skepticism is exhausted, and all the data has been vetted to inference, the last resort of a cornered scoundrel is to simply call their opponent a liar.
Ethical Skeptic’s Law – if science won’t conduct the experiment, society will force the experiment. One can only embargo an idea for so long.
The Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Advanced Intelligence
Neti’s Razor – one cannot produce evidence from an entity which at a point did or will not exist, to also demonstrate that nothing aside from that entity therefore exists. The principle which serves to cut secular nihilism as a form of belief, distinct from all other forms of atheism as either philosophy or belief. From the Sanskrit idiom, Neti Neti (not this, not that). Therefore, you are wholly unqualified to instruct me that this realm is the only realm which exists, and efforts to do so constitute a religious activity.
I Am that I Am – that which possesses the unique ability to be able to define itself, renders all other entities disqualified in such expertise. There is no such thing as an expert in god. The principle which serves to cut theism as a form of belief, distinct from all other forms of belief as either philosophy or religion. From the Torah idiom, I Am (I Am that I Am or in Sanskrit, Aham Bramsmi). Therefore, if god existed, you are unqualified to tell me about it. So, theism falls into a lack of allow-for domain.
Non-Existence Definition – six questions form the basis of a definition: What, Where, When, How, Why, Who. The answers to this set of six questions still forms a definition of expert attributes, even if the answer to all six is ’empty set’. Therefore, when one applies the ethics of skepticism – one cannot formulate a definition which is specified as ’empty set’, without due empirical underpinning, a theory possessing a testable mechanism and a consilience of supporting research. We have none of this, and can make no claims to ‘non-existence’ expertise in god.
Principle of Indistinguishability – any sufficiently advanced act of benevolence is indistinguishable from either malevolence or chance.
Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Ethics – being ethically obtuse is indistinguishable from being scientifically or technologically inept. Intelligence or acumen in no way excuse one from accountability under the public trust.
Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Slow Moving Disasters – slow moving disasters (famine, climate change, pandemic, racism, etc.) will universally involve sacrifice solely on the part of a consistent and single targeted ethnicity, gender and nationality.
Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Virtue and Value – the problem with easy money on Wall Street is that people who are trained to think that money comes in absence of any form of delivery of value – those poseurs rise into positions of power. These entities coordinate with social virtue activists as a result, because they cannot attach margin to value. Those who bear no skill in provision of value, will substitute virtue in its place. Those who cannot provide value, must extract.
Ethical Skeptic’s Law of Virtue and Violence – violence is always presaged by virtue. Oppression is always presaged by truth. A violent movement seeking oppressive power, will always costume itself in a virtuous cause of some kind (science, the people, the children, the migrant, the worker, etc.), during its ascendancy. It does not matter who is actually in current power. Violent forces will inevitably decided that their virtue exonerates their incompetence, and more importantly, justifies violence in the establishment of their righteous power.
Ethical Skeptic’s Laws of Critical Path
Law of the Trivial – our tendency to devote disproportionate amounts of focus upon irrelevant matters, while leaving important matters unaddressed.
Law of Wallowing – our tendency to devote disproportionate amounts of time to the menial, while sacrificing important elements of process, or while serving no process at all.
Law of the Non-Sequitur – our habit of responding only to that which is immediately salient, while sacrificing or obfuscating the sequitur or broader issue at hand.
Law of the Non-Critical – our tendency to focus primarily upon cause-to-effect, however exercised inside a non-productive or dead-ended sequence of actions, or by no critical sequence whatsoever.
Ethical Skeptic’s Principle of Celebrity – never trust a video which is filmed through glass. Never trust a message which is delivered by celebrity.
Ethical Skeptic’s Principle of Stakeholder Expertise – a stakeholder does not have to be a degree-holding expert in a discipline, in order to spot principal incompetence inside that discipline. As well, the stakeholder possesses the right of review of any claim which places the stakeholder under loss, harm, or risk.
Ethical Skeptic’s Principle of the Fool – Derived from Sun Tzu’s “Never interrupt your enemy in the midst of their making a mistake”, a principle which cites ‘Gently applaud the growing celebrity of a fool’, or ‘Receive with grace, the encroaching visibility of a fool’.
Ethical Skeptic’s Principle of Money and Power – it is difficult to get a person to study and know something, when their income or power depends upon their not studying or knowing it.
Ethical Skeptic’s Conspiracy Razor – never ascribe to happenstance or incompetence, that which coincidentally, surreptitiously and elegantly supports a preexisting agency. Never attribute to a conspiracy of millions, what can easily arise from a handful of the clever manipulating the ignorance of millions.
The Ethical Skeptic’s Razor (The Antiwisdom of Crowds) – among competing alternatives, all other things being equal, prefer the one for which discussion or research is embargoed.
Ethical Skeptic’s Second Razor – never ascribe to happenstance or incompetence, that which coincidentally, surreptitiously and elegantly supports a preexisting agency. Never attribute to a conspiracy of millions, what can easily arise from a handful of the clever manipulating the ignorance of millions.
Ethical Skeptic’s Third Razor – dangerous demands greater level of evidence than does crazy. Any claim which exposes a stakeholder to risk, ignorance or loss of value – regardless of how ordinary, virtuous or correct – demands extraordinary evidence. For a skeptic, a person who claims to represent science and uses ‘facts’ to lie, misrepresent, manipulate, and push politics – is worse than someone who claims there is a Galactic Federation of Aliens out there. Dangerous is much worse than crazy.
Ethical Skeptic’s Fourth Razor – all things being equal, a claim to correctness (lack of misinformation) bears the greater chance of being a lie.
Ethical Skeptic’s Five Laws of Risk – in order of progression of application logic, five laws frame the ethics of risk in a social context:
- A system which imparts risk upon stakeholders, perpetually bears the burden of proof of any reasonable or implicit claim to have mitigated that risk.
- In absence of a reasonable accounting of risks, there is no such thing as a claim to virtue.
- A peer reviewing a risk strategy must also bear that risk them self.
- Stakeholders placed at risk, are peers in its review.
- An ignorance of risk or absence of risk strategy, is itself a risk strategy.
Ethics – there exist three domain-forms of ethics. The first is normative ethics.
Normative Ethics – objective practices of morality and social codes of conduct (virtue, religious, moral, identity, personal conduct, etc.)
However, since one of the entire purposes of this blog is to expose pretense, false virtue, concealed religion and identity warfare (the abuse of ethics), we choose to focus instead on more professionally applicable contexts of ethics. More specifically, those of meta-ethics and praxis of science and skepticism:
Meta-Ethics – the study of the disciplines and philosophical bases behind professional standards of practice (skepticism, objectivity, consequentialism, deontology)
Applied Ethics (Praxis) – the decision theory behind professional standards of practice or social codes of conduct (law, procedure, codes of conduct, standards of practice).
Ethics-Understanding Gridlock – a paradoxical and socially paralyzing condition wherein stakeholders who grasp the ethical issues involved with a science, do not possess full understanding of the subject science itself; while conversely those who are able to understand the science, do not possess a full grasp of its incumbent stakeholder ethics.
Euphemism – a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. A thinly veiled or cleverly posed insult.
Evidence Based Appeal to Authority – when a claim to be ‘evidence based’ is used to excuse a sufficiently large set of comprehensive claims or is tendered inside a domain with a sufficiently large unknown – it is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority. Part of Corber’s Burden.
Evil – in contrast with ‘good’, which is not a Wittgenstein object, evil does possess a definition:
- Causing or allowing to occur, a transpiration which bears a primary objective or likelihood of resulting in harm to an innocent party; enabled through a process of deception and with forethought and intent as to the harm potential involved. Intent to harm through fraud with scienter. A being is not evil, only method is evil.
- Skill in adopting an action or appearance which is otherwise defined as good (virtue), in order to accomplish definition 1.
ex ante – an inference which is derived from predictive, yet unconfirmed forecasts. While this may be a result of induction, the most common usage is in the context of abductive inference.
ex praesidio nocere – the state or condition wherein the majority of harm is being derived from those very entities which ostensibly are put in place to protect from harm.
Exception Fallacy – is the converse of the ecological fallacy, wherein one infers a group conclusion on the basis of individual, small study or exceptional cases. This is the kind of fallacious reasoning that is at the core of stereotyping.
Exclusion Induced Bias – if one is on the outside of a subject, one’s natural tendency is to be skeptical of those on the inside of that subject. A natural bias inducement which occurs when the only people who engage over a complex, highly technical or niche specialty subject are those that really care about it. This is often perceived negatively or interpreted as lacking in accountability or as elitism by laymen or outsiders. In such outside groups, a reactionary skepticism or cynicism can artificially generate by means of this exclusion barrier alone, and not from any form of philosophy, reason nor epistemology.
Exclusion Inversion – a version of autoaufheben appeal or circumstance wherein a counter-arguer cites that a subject is too complicated for their opponent to understand and therefore declare a valid opinion, however is not so complicated that they themself cannot determine that the opponent is also wrong. A complicated way of contending ‘Nuh-uh’ through appeal to one’s own personal brilliance, without saying as much.
Exclusion Without Exception Fallacy – the circumstance where one excludes an argument or datum, without making it clear that the criterion of exclusion being used would also exclude every possible argument or datum as well. A rhetorical method of changing the defining language regarding an issue so as to make an exception of a threatening observation or circumstance so that it no longer applies under the threat principle itself, without revealing the sleight-of-hand that the exception applies to literally almost everything. Similar in nature to distinction without a difference.
Existential Fallacy (of Science) – the implication or contention that there is no science supporting an idea, or that science has rejected an idea, when in fact no scientific study at all, or of any serious import has been conducted on the topic at hand.
Existential Fallacy of Data – the implication or contention that there is an absence of observation or data supporting an idea, when in fact no observational study at all, or of any serious import has been conducted by science on the topic at hand.
Existential Occam’s Razor Fallacy (Appeal to Authority) – the false contention that the simplest or most probable explanation tends to be the scientifically correct one. Suffers from the weakness that myriad and complex underpinning assumptions, based upon scant predictive/suggestive study, provisional knowledge or Popper insufficient science, result in the condition of tendering the appearance of ‘simplicity.’
Existential Popper Demarcation Error – citing something as a pseudoscience simply because one does not like the topic, or the topic has had pretend science performed in its name in the past.
exoagnoia – conspiracy which is generated naturally through the accelerative interaction of several commonplace social factors. A critical mass of an uninformed, misinformed or disinformed population under chronic duress (the ignorance fuel), ignited by an input of repetitive authoritative propaganda (the ignition source). Such a phenomenon enacts falsehood through its own inertia/dynamic and does not necessarily require a continuous intervention on the part of an influencing group.
Exoentropy of Normatives – 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. This is also known as exoentropy, wherein a decrease in entropy of a subsystem leads further to an even greater entropic contribution to its surroundings or surrounding systems – resulting in an overall entropy or loss to the whole. An example of this can be found in the observation known as Goodhart’s Law and Goodhart’s Law of Skepticism.
ex opere operato – a form of appeal to skepticism, wherein the person who has declared them self to be a skeptic, believes that therefore they justly derive their credibility from a higher office. The fallacy wherein one regards the superiority of their position to not be derived merely from their own opinion; implying rather, that all their thoughts, rationalizations, conclusions and beliefs confer from a higher authority – that of scientists or science, the evidence, doubt, critical thinking or skepticism.
Experimenter’s Bias – the tendency for experimenters to believe, certify, and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment, and to disbelieve, discard, or downgrade the corresponding weightings for data that appear to conflict with those expectations.
Expert/Expertise – one who can, or that awareness which enables one to, negotiate randomness and spot obviousness, more reliably than the average person.
Expert Relative Privation Error – the subjective contention that an avenue of research is not transparent to accountability inside science, that scientists are restricted from or too busy to access its undisciplined body or domain of evidence, or that the sponsors are hiding/ignoring counter evidence or are not forthcoming with their analysis. When in fact, such contentions are excuses foisted to countermand a need to pursue under the scientific method, a subject which has passed an Ockham’s Razor necessity of plurality.
Expertise – immediate, significant, research based, relevant and salient experience in the subject field inside which an argument pertains. This includes the impacted stakeholders in a decision or action.
Explanatory Argument – an argument which in which its postulates attempt to explain, provide analogy or try to show why or how something is or will be. May be confused with rhetoric due to it similar structure.
Explanitude – the condition where a theory or approach has been pushed so hard as authority, or is developed upon the basis of unacknowledged domain uncertainty (such as Marxist class struggle theory or Freudian psychology of sex), that it begins to provide a basis of explanation for, or possesses an accommodation/justification for every condition which is observed or that the theory domain promotes. A theory or approach which seems to be able to explain everything, likely explains nothing.
Exploiter – an Agent of Deskeption who poses as an Anti-Institutionalist, Champion of the Credulist and representative of the Concealed Truth.
Expression Failure (Micro Should Express in the Macro) – an effect which is measured in a microcosm, and which applies to all circumstances, should necessarily express itself in measures involving a macrocosm. Failure to observe an effect on a large scale, which has been observed in a small scale, brings the small scale measure into question. If a month-long study reports that Jim saves $350 a month into his savings account, yet when examined two years later Jim only has $100 in his savings, the month-long study was wrong, no matter what precision, heuristic, p-value, or confidence interval was used to certify the microcosmic measure.
Extremist/Fanaticist/Ultraist – a person or group of similar minded persons who fail in comprehension of two valuable human truths: 1) the value of creating allies from those who only mildly disagree, and 2) the error of siding with ‘the enemy of thy enemy’ – seldom grasping that, given condition 1) the likelihood that this new allied enemy will be worse than their old one is very high. The extremist not only does not care, but furthermore does not possess the skill to discern this condition nor fathom its principle. Orange man bad. A mental state which makes one vulnerable to manipulation by this mindset.
Extremophiles in my Teapot – excessive or undue worry which is generated through exploitation of a sophomoric knowledge of science, which can be up-spun into crafting boogey men which do not realistically exist in modern life. Any argument which promotes/exploits such worry and poses as ‘science’.
Extrinsic Incentives Bias – an exception to the fundamental attribution error, when people view others as having (situational) extrinsic motivations and (dispositional) intrinsic motivations for oneself.
Extumary (Policy) – the condition wherein those in a position of authority must select for the most extreme of measures (typically inside an Overton Window) in order to allay perceptions of ineffectiveness, or deflect criticism that they did not take enough action. For example, initiating population lockdowns against a communicable illness, which bear a likelihood of being even more damaging than the illness itself – all for the mere appearance of ‘taking definitive action’ or illusions of possessing control of the situation. Inside this dynamic, the most extreme policy under consideration by science, usually ends up being the one implemented. Once implemented, any hint of its failure will thereafter be squelched.
Fabutistic – a statistic which is speciously cited from a study or set of skeptical literature, around which the recitation user misrepresents its employment context or possesses scant idea as to what it means, how it was derived, or what it is saying or is indeed not saying. Includes the instance wherein a cited statistic is employed in a fashion wherein only the numerals are correct (ie. “97%”) and the context of employment is extrapolated, hyperbole or is completely incorrect.
Facile – appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial. Easily earned, arrived at or won – derived without the requisite rigor or effort.
¡fact! – lying through facts. Data or a datum which is submitted in order to intimidate those in a discussion, is not really understood by the claimant, or rather which is made up, is not salient or relevant to the question being addressed, or is non-sequitur inside the argument being made. The relating of a fact which might be true, does not therefore mean that one is relating truth.
Fact Checker – one subset of the class of Nitzsche’s bildungsphilister – one who fails to grasp that fact bears only a specious relation to truth. They should be ranked for trust between the liar and the dilettante.
Fact /Ambiguity Dipole – conflation of fact along with a malicious and implicit ambiguous element. A fact tendered along with a less obvious parasitic and maliciously incorrect implication. This sleight-of-hand is employed to surreptitiously condemn topics and people false skeptics wish to attack, while avoiding the overt appearance of doing such unethical activity. One-liners and headlines are often the best places in which to practice this malicious art; typically employed with the personal goal of improving overall Cabal ranking. A Fact/Ambiguity Dipole dances along the boundary line of slander or libel, with its virtual center of gravity, the parasitic implication, clearly on the unethical side of that line, while at the same time the superficially contended technical facts remain accurate.
Fact Filibuster – the relating of a string of truisms and facts in a debate subject context, which are simply posed to distract focus, make the contender appear to be intelligent or well informed, or serve as an advisory caution to an opponent; however, which add no actual value to the actual point of contention at hand.
Factority – when one cites a couple ¡fact! bits around a subject they condemn or imply expertise inside of, so that they can then further make the claim that that they are only ‘speaking from the evidence’ and not making a claim to authority.
Fair Dinkum – a question which essentially asks ‘Have you put in the hard work and direct experience, ability or integrity which substantiates the quality of your offering?’ ‘Dinkum’ is a slang term that appears to have grown up from a variety of stories and dialects in Australia – and bearing two meanings, proof in the pudding by means of ‘work’ ‘value’ and/or ‘fair play’.
Faith – the personal choice to cherish an unproven construct as inspiring hope. Faith is the portrait one paints inside the frame of reason, a canvass upon which we are free to aspire, and hopefully also therein have the portrait come into consistency with one’s life (integrity). Faith has little to do with belief, mythology, or religion – as such things act as distractions/obstacles to the incumbent work to begin with.
Fake Hoax Ethics Error – when one errantly regards a hoax which is purposely constructed, then revealed to ‘show how easy it is to fake this stuff,’ as standing exemplary of ethical skeptical conduct.
Fake Hoax Exploitation – an Agent of Deskeption who is anonymous, or who poses to be representative of the Concealed Truth, then posits a transparently ludicrous idea or obviously faked hoax piece of ‘evidence’ which is posed in order to discredit and poorly characterize those of opposite opinions from the SSkeptic.
Fallacy of Centrality – If something significant was happening, I’d know about it; since I don’t know about it, it isn’t happening. A fallacy framed by researcher Ron Westrum while observing the diagnostic practices of pediatricians in the 1940s and 1950s. An expert or self-proclaimed one assumes that they are in a central position inside a topic or discipline. Moreover they assume that if something of serious import were happening, they would know about it. Since they don’t know about it, therefore it isn’t happening.
Fallacy of Composition – assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole.
Fallacy of Composition by Null Result – the contention that the result of a null set on an experimental observation in an unconstrained domain means that the evidence supporting the idea in question does not exist. The comparison is invalid when the null result is measured in an unconstrained field of measure, assuming it to be comparable to a null result in a constrained domain of measure, as is the instance of testing to effect a medical diagnosis.
Fallacy of Excluded Exceptions – 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.
Fallacy of Exclusion (Fallacy of Suppressed or Isolated Evidence) – One of the basic principles of argumentation is that a sound argument is one which presents all the relevant, and especially critical-path, evidence. A debunker will seek to isolate one single facet of an observation and then pretend that it is weak, when stripped of its corroborating observations, context, and facets of credibility. This is the warning flag that a pseudo-scientific method is at play.
Fallacy of Exclusive Premises – there are believers and disbelievers, and some believers are gullible. Therefore no disbelievers are gullible.
Fallacy of Existential Privation – a claim that counters a person’s concern about a scientific issue with ‘Why haven’t you solved the problem then?’ – when raising an objection in science or society does not have to be qualified by having also solved the problem in another way.
Fallacy of Extrapolated Inversion – a form of straw man argument where data describing a phenomenon peculiar to one population under a specific set of circumstances, is extrapolated and applied to a completely different phenomenon or population under a completely different set of circumstances, to underpin a straw man assertion about the latter. For example, “Despite a supposed (note the prejudicial language) surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. The xenophobic leaders aren’t succeeding in changing people’s interest in others.”
Fallacy of Group Composition – the contention or implication that an opponent’s belonging to a specific group of people, inside of which are held extreme positions or actions, is indicative of their adherence to those same positions and action sets; and further then that the membership in this group invalidates their ideas, observations or data.
Fallacy of Interest Conflict – a condition wherein a stakeholder bearing an opinion inside a legitimately plural scientific or public-impact disagreement, is falsely accused of bearing a conflict of interest for any form of desire to protect from harm or ruin their family, business, home, or those they hold dear. Ironically, the accusation of ‘conflict of interest’ in such circumstance, often itself constitutes a suppression of human rights (an action which can itself bear a conflict of interest).
Fallacy of Ludic Dismissal – the contention that the change in statistics with regard to upswing in the belief in a disdained topic can unequivocally be shown to be an effect of media, hype hysteria and promotional campaigns by pseudo scientists.
Fallacy of Personal Privation – when one claims to be an expert or a professional working in a given field; but when pressed, cannot seem to be able to produce studies, data or ideas which are not already very commonly shared in public circles or via web searches.
Fallacy of Relative Privation – claiming that science is only the property or propriety of scientists. Dismissing an avenue of research due its waste of scientists’ time and to the existence of more important, but unrelated, problems in the world which require priority research.
Fallacy of Scientific Composition – The fallacy of contending explicitly or implicitly that legitimate science consists only as a set of approved or published studies. The failure to realize that professionals making trained observations in their field and operating environment, are more 1. timely, 2. accurate, and 3. scientific than studies which try and replicate the same through skeptic, academic, or cubicle work, even when followed by peer review.
Fallacy of The Control – a condition wherein invalid objection is raised to a valid observation, citing that the observation was not conducted against a differential cohort or control. Situations were the extreme nature of the observation is exceptional inside any normal context, to the point of not requiring a control, in order to be valid for inference or inclusion. A fake skeptic’s method of dismissing observations which threaten their religion, by means of sophistry and pretend science.
Fallacy of Univariate Linear Inductive Inquiry into Complex Asymmetric Systems (Univariate Fallacy) – the informal fallacy of attempting to draw inference regarding complex dynamic systems, such as biological, economic or human systems, through employment of singular, linear or shallow inductive analytical methods. A deep understanding of complex systems first demands a conceptual and analytical strategy that respects, defines and adequately reduces for analysis, that complexity. Only then can multiple component analyses be brought to bear as a consilience in understanding the whole.
Falling Between the Cracks – data which should have been brought into an argument, but which was neglected because each of the responsible members in a research or petitioning group assumed that such data was the responsibility of the other parties.
False Ally – citing that even the most extreme members of an opponent’s assumed group of inclusion agree with the position of the proponent’s argument.
False Analogy – an argument by analogy in which the analogy is poorly suited, used to disprove a challenging or disdained construct.
False Appeal to Authority – the contention that the opinions of an authority contradict, appear to countermand, or reject the data, topic or ideas of an opponent when in fact either the recitation or the ideas of the opponent or both are taken out of context, misquoted or are false in their portrayal.
False Attribution – an proponent appeals to an irrelevant, unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in support of an argument.
False Consensus – consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists composing a particular field of study. It is not a popularity poll among scientists in general nor even necessarily inside the field of study in question. Consensus can only be claimed when multiple opposing explanatory alternatives have been researched in objective detail, and a reasonable body of those scientists who developed the field of opposition alternatives, have been convinced of the complimentary alternative’s superiority. Just because a null hypothesis exists, and only that hypothesis has been researched, does not provide a basis for a claim to consensus, no matter how many scientists, or those pretending to speak for science in the media, favor the null hypothesis.
False Consensus Bias – The false belief that, or willingness to acceptance the claim that, scientists are all in agreement any given subject. In psychology mostly, but also with regard to scientific consensus and the public, the idea that everyone regards issues in the same manner as we ourselves do.
False Consensus Effect – the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.
False Dilemma – committed when one implies that sufficient data exists such that a choice must now be made between a constrained subset of options, when no such threshold of data actually exists and often when the subset of options is also falsely constrained.
False Domain Equivalence – a form of ambiguity slack exploitation wherein one equates the probability metrics which can be derived from a qualified, constrained or specific domain or circumstance, to be comparable to the use of ‘probability’ inside a broad domain or one lacking Wittgenstein parameters, constraints or descriptives.
False Equipoise – abrogation or early broaching of the principle of equipoise. Equipoise is a term describing the ethical basis for research, in that there should exist genuine uncertainty in the expert (often medical) community conducting research on an idea, approach, treatment or theory. An ethical dilemma arises in a clinical trial or hypothesis reduction when the investigator(s) begin to observe evidence that one treatment or theory is performing to a superior level. As research progresses, the findings may provide sufficient evidence to convince both A. the direct investigation sub-community and B. the research community at large. Once a certain threshold of evidence is surpassed, in theory there is no longer genuine equipoise. False equipoise is driven by agenda, profits and bias. It consists of 1. initiating research in a condition where there is not a fair or unbiased degree of uncertainty on the part of the research group or community, 2. declaring a theory or treatment to be valid and ceasing study at too early a point in the overall research, 3. declaring a treatment or theory valid at too low a threshold of critical path evidence, or 4. declaring a treatment or theory to be consensus without adequate basis or review of uncertainty.
False Humility – to feign humility or act is certain ways so as to appear to not hold an enormous ego – while at the same time actually seeking status, argument leverage and/or praise from a targeted group.
False Parsimony – when one desires to restrict the set of potential explanations or favors a simpler explanation, yet does not possess the objectivity or integrity to know when such conservatism is no longer warranted.
False Privilege – privilege is the condition wherein a person perceives that someone else should be denied something in order for them to possess that same something, to which they feel they are entitled. False privilege is the condemning of someone who has something – as if they are privileged in having that something – or especially when privilege is assigned based upon that person’s skin color alone. Also known as racism.
False Stickiness – enforcing as proved science, a theory which should have died off with its proponents years ago.
False Syllogism – A syllogism is a structured attempt at deductive reasoning, through argument constraint by two sequitur, major and minor contentions, bounding an argument towards a single conclusion. In the instance where either major or minor argument are not truly deductive or have not eliminated every variant of condition, the syllogism is not a valid basis for inference. In other words a syllogism purports to be deductive. However in the instance of a false syllogism, the logic has not falsified all alternatives – so the syllogism has failed in its deductive soundness.
Falsifiability – an attribute of a proposition or argument that allows it to be refuted, or disproved, through observation or experiment. For example, the proposition, All crows are black, may be refuted by pointing to a crow that is not black. Falsifiability is a sign of an argument’s strength, rather than of its weakness.
Familiar Controversy Bias – the tendency of individuals or researchers to frame explanations of observed phenomena in terms of mainstream current or popular controversies. The Fermi Paradox exists because aliens all eventually blow themselves up with nuclear weapons right after they discover radio. Venus is a case of run-away global warming from greenhouse gasses. Every hurricane since 1995 has been because of Republicans. Every disaster is God’s punishment for some recent thing a nation conducted. Mars is a case of ozone depletion at its worst, etc. Every paradox or novel observation is readily explainable in terms of a current popular or manufactured controversy. Similar to the anachronistic fallacy of judging past events in light of today’s mores or ethics.
Fanaticist’s Error – mistaking one’s fanaticism or being ‘hardcore’ as positively indicative of the level of understanding and commitment one possesses inside a philosophy or adopted belief set. The reality is that being fanatical or hardcore indicates more one’s dissonance over not fully believing, nor fully understanding the nature of the belief tenets to which they have lent fealty. A fanaticist is different from a fanatic. A fanatic simply loves a particular subject or brand. A fanaticist on the other hand employs their outward extremism as a cover to hide an unacknowledged and suppressed inner cognitive dissonance.
Fascism – when one spins or exaggerates science or falsely represents that science has proved an argument to be unsubstantiated in order to, legislatively or in media/public opinion, protect large corporations from the damage they cause through their products and services; especially when such services are mandated for every citizen by the presiding government.
Fat Tony – an observer-stakeholder who is tail or fat tail focused in instinct. Fat Tony is dismissive of the probabilistic heuristic involved in a decision process and instead either spots and exploits the role of agency inside a purportedly probabilistic process, or spots and exploits the black swan events in the portfolio of those who’s decision heuristics depend solely upon probabilistic outcomes. In either case Fat Tony uses the unlikely or paradigm breaking aspect of a set distribution, in order to make a derived advantage.
Faustian Skeptic – one who attributes his accomplishment to skill or knowledge of science, when in fact such success has mostly stemmed from a track record of complicity and sycophancy. A shill who has sold their soul in service to a corporate agenda.
Fauxpology – a statement which is posed in the context of or dressed up as an apology; which in reality dodges, shifts or bounces back the blame onto the injured party – usually delivered in condescending tone. Often a hint as to the immaturity of the fauxpologist’s character, mixed with an adult-level intent and skill in deceiving and harming others. A fauxpology is never an innocent action – and its issuer should never be trusted.
Fear as Doubt Fallacy – when doubt or skepticism serves a psychological defense mechanism to protect one from a subject which frightens the one feigning doubt or skepticism.
Ficta Rationalitas – a disposition assessment, contended to be an outcome of rationality or scientific skepticism, when in fact it originates from flawed method and/or personal bias.
Fictional Miss-Identification – when one reacts to fictional representations as though they are real. Complaining about how a popular fictional TV programs portrays the paranormal, irate reactions to a book which invokes a ghost or spirit, or has a character convert to a spiritual outlook.
Fictus Scientia – when one uses skepticism instead of science to develop knowledge and make conclusions. The substitution of skepticism, or a logically or socially twisted form thereof, into the inappropriate role of acting or speaking on behalf of science or scientists.
Fictus Scientia Fallacy – a contention, purported to be of scientific origin, when in fact, it is not.
Fictus Skeptica – fake skeptic. Thinking that skepticism is an approach to evaluating claims in lieu of science’s role to perform such activities. Thinking that since one’s personal version of ‘rational thinking’ emphasizes evidence and applies tools of science, therefore it can bypass having to employ actual science.
Filbert’s Law – to find a result use a small sample population, to hide a result use a large one. More accurately expressed as the law of diminishing information return. Increasing the amount of data brought into an analysis does not necessarily serve to improve salience, precision nor accuracy of the analysis, yet comes at the cost of stacking risk in signal. The further away one gets from direct observation, and the more one gets into ‘the data’ only, the higher is the compounded stack of risk in inference; while simultaneously the chance of contribution from bias is also greater.
Fine Ignorance – the result obtained when one errantly attempts to craft a simpler version of a complex principle or contain its premise inside an apothegm. In an effort to appear brilliant or package philosophical or scientific precepts into consumable bites of understanding for the common person, amateurs or the disingenuous may in the process alter the actual philosophical or scientific message at hand, rendering an incorrect or ineffective version thereof. Changing of Ockham’s Razor ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity’, into the errant simpler and mass-consumable form ‘All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one’.
Five Percent Fake – when a methodical cynic cites the existence of the “5% of unexplained cases” myth in an effort to appear objective. This in an effort to avoid the perception of not possessing a series of outlier data points (the 5%), the absence of which would tender the appearance of cynical bias.
Flattery Apology – a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made condemning a group of people in which the opponent is included, while citing that the opponent is the acceptable and rational version of the member of that group (i.e. present company excepted, etc.).
Flaw of Doctrine – doctrine is a truth which lacks Wittgenstein basis. A set of syllogism, which is only circularly coherent – and which bears no entropy of knowledge in its eventual loss (no one is worse for its loss). Doctrine is not conserved.
Flaw of Identity – mis-employment of the first classical law of Greek thought, regarding essence. Falsely contending that two things sharing a unique set of characteristic qualities or features, are indeed the same thing; or conversely that two things that have different essences are different things.
Flummery – meaningless ceremonial or sycophant journalism – often characterized by worn out catch phrases, article structures, quotes, recitations, common bad guys, phrase cloning, celebrity deference and social peer flattery, often inexpertly applied and misunderstood by the writer. It is usually passed by journalists seeking to gain favor inside social skepticism or in certain political or religious circles. It features common overused pejoratives against the same group of disliked persons, and features terms such as ‘anti-___’ or ‘___-ism’ or ‘denialist’, etc. It is a form of ass kissing enacted by persons who are not particularly intelligent but nonetheless seek the social/career acceptance of appearing to be ‘rational’.
Flying Monkey – a sycophant who acts under the direction of a narcissist or an agenda promoter. The role of such an entity is to conduct the bidding of a celebrity or power holder; bidding in which the celebrity or power holder cannot afford to be caught being involved. Flying Monkies are also cut loose as scapegoats once the malevolence of their bidding has been identified.
Focal Stroking – an artificial elevation of a figure of authority through group habituation. Habituation wherein group members recite or tender praise to specific notable or celebrity SSkeptics because of their known tendency to reward in kind back to those who do so.
Focal Panic Effect – the human tendency to panic when viewing for the first time, a new set of measures or observations concerning a pervasive or risky phenomenon. For example, grasping how high a jet is flying, or how fast two cars are moving relative to each other while pass on the highway, or how many people are ‘infected’ by a new virus, all for the very first time – such novel observations can cause one to panic, since the numbers involved are well outside our normal frame of relevance/reference. In actuality, the measure or observation is in its normal range, it is just we are not used to looking at it in the newly introduced fashion.
Focusing Effect – the tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event.
Folta ¡Expert! – declaring one’s self to be an expert on an array of topics so broad that a seasoned career professional is able to discern that such a state of expertise is an impossibility.
Forer Effect – when an individual tenders estimations of high accuracy to descriptions of their personality or life circumstance that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range or a common subset of people.
Forer Error – ascribing accurate forecasting to be merely the outcome of Forer Effect, in absence of adequate knowledge, personal research or statistical rigor regarding the particular circumstance, which could substantiate such such a claim. The principle being that an accurate forecast establishes plurality and both parties now hold a burden of proof if a claim is tendered.
Formal Fallacy – a violation of any rule of formal inference —called also paralogism. Any common flaw in the sequitur nature of premise to conclusion, logical or predicate structure which could be cited as the fatal basis of a refutation regarding a given proposition or argument. The proposition that is formally fallacious is always considered wrong. However, the question in view is not whether its conclusion is true or false, but whether the form of the proposition supporting its conclusion is valid or invalid, and if its premises provide for logical connection into the argument (i.e. sequitur context, and not the validity per se of the premises themselves, which pertains to salience and soundness). The argument may agree in its conclusion with an eventual truth only by accident. What gives unity to different fallacies inside this view is not their characteristic dialogue structure, rather the nature of integrity inside the concepts of deduction and (non-inductive) proof upon which the proposition is critically founded.
Forrest Gump Bias/Class Bias – the regard of a person’s ideas, contentions, data or observations as being unacceptable, simply because the person is genetically, economically, physically, mentally, or socially different or perceived to be of a lower class level by an observer.
Forward Problem Blindness (Unfinished Science) – the “inverse problem” consists in using the results of actual observations to infer the values of the input parameters characterizing a system under investigation. Science which presupposes a forward problem solution, or employs big data/large S population measures only inside, a model and the physical theory linking input parameters forward to that model’s predicted outcome – without conducting direct outcome observation confirmation or field measure follow-up to such proposed values and linkages – stands as unfinished science, and cannot ethically justify a claim to consensus or finished science. The four types of Forward Problem Blindness Errors:
Type I – Cohort Ignorance – wherein special populations or peripheral groups consisting of different inherent profiles are not studied because the survey undertaken was inclusive but too large, or the peripheral groups themselves, while readily observable, were ignored or screened out altogether.
Type II – Parameter Ignorance – wherein a model or study disregards an important parameter – which is tendered an assumption basis which is not acknowledged by the study developer nor peer review, and is then lost as to its potential contribution to increased understanding, or even potential model or study error.
Type III – Lack of Field Confirmation or Follow-Up – wherein a theoretical forward problem model is established and presumed accurate, yet despite the ready availability of a field confirming basis of observation – no effort was ever placed into such observation, confirmation of measures and relationships, or observations were not undertaken to determine long term/unanticipated outcomes.
Type IV – Field of Significant Unknown – wherein established ideas of science are applied to develop a theoretical forward problem model – and because of the familiarity on the part of science with some of the elements of the solution proposed – the solution is imputed tacit verity despite being applied inside a new field for the first time, or inside a field which bears a significant unknown.
Fox News Façade – seeking admittance to exclusive groups by visually bashing Fox News or subjects reported on Fox News (or other appropriate news outlet disdained by highly political minded people), in an effort to appear socially acceptable and in-the-club. Any pretense worn as an adornment in order to impress peers and higher-ups.
Fox News Flush – citing something as wrong because it was also reported on Fox News (or other appropriate news outlet disdained by highly political minded people).
Frank’s Law – under fundamentalist oppression, precaution will always be spun as anti-ism.
Fredkin’s Paradox – as two possibilities become equal, computational time increases. As deliberation time increases between two alternatives, so does the likelihood that two alternatives bear plurality under Ockham’s Razor.
Free Thinking – a legitimate philosophical approach or movement inside of Humanities and Arts. The idea wherein one is free to apply critical thinking, creativity and method to address matters of ontology and society; no longer bound by enforced religions or historical dogma. The Free Thinking Movement was hijacked by Academic Social Skepticism in order to usher the academic philosophical movement into the fold of Social Skepticism, under the attractive guise of atheism. The final lessons of the Social Skeptic Free Thinking movement dictate acceptance of Nihilism as the only approved religion, eschewing of all subjects not authorized for study, and encouragement of activist methods of idea/speech restriction employed by converted former Free Thinkers.
Frenemy – an activist so energized by a symbol of virtue or reason, that they lose focus on the reasonable bounds of such an idea and begin to use it to promote their personal hatreds, religion and economic views. Activism to such an extreme or straw man that it imparts harm to the original virtue or set of reason to which the activist attached themself. Crazy allied activists who end up doing more harm to the topic than do its enemies. Climate change proponents who use climate change as a battering ram to insist on socialist, fascist or communist takeover or the removal of human rights.
Friable – the tendency of an apparently solid object to break into factions or crumble when placed under duress or dynamics which exploit its internal friction. The readiness by which a group can be exploited and caused to divide into factions of disagreement or hate.
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree – an invalid principle of fake skepticism drawn from legal precedent, which stipulates that evidence which is obtained from illegal sources or methods is inadmissible in a court of law. Skeptics appropriate this principle to allow them to dismiss valid evidence simply because it came from a source, method or person whom they dislike – regardless of how valid the evidence is, stand alone. It is a skulptur mechanism, a method of evidence filtering.
Fundamental Attribution Bias – when one considers the traits of another to stem from the disposition of that individual such that it may affect that person’s behavior as opposed to situational factors; yet views their own behavior as stemming from chiefly situational factors.
Fundamental Attribution of Doubt Bias – when one views skepticism inside one’s own disposition as constituting justifiable doubt, yet views skepticism in another as constituting conspiracy theory. When one’s position is held solely because it is backed by an institution or person which cannot be questioned outside the context of conspiracy – this amounts to an appeal to authority.
Funderstanding – one of the characteristics of sound understanding is that it helps us in developing further knowledge and understanding. An understanding, accepted model or set of knowledge, which has served no help in furthering human understanding, should come back into question as ‘accepted knowledge.’
Fupgrade – a touted ‘upgrade’ in a software application, offering or packages of services in which critical feature functionality from which the user used to benefit is actually removed and shifted to a higher costing program or package. This is usually obfuscated by a flurry of overblown improvements in basic functionality and appearance (the misdirection). Typically the user is not informed that critical functionality has been removed from their newly paid-for upgrade, and they find out later that they are forced to now also purchase the higher-cost or ‘pro’ version of their product.
Furtive Confidence Fallacy – the refusal to estimate, grasp or apply principles of statistical confidence to collected data and observed arrival distributions, as a means of falsely bolstering the perceived validity of or avoid the signalling of validity in an observation set or body of data. The act of prematurely declaring or doggedly denying a multiplicity of anecdote to be equal to data.
Furtive Fallacy – undesired data and observations are asserted to have been caused by the malfeasance of researchers or laymen.
Furtive Fecklessness – a person who has no life, except that they feign skepticism in order to be deemed acceptable by the social skepticism group of cronies, or considered with the respect of a scientist in terms of knowledge on a subject, while bearing none of the credentials.
Furtivis Miraculo Fallacy – give us one free miracle, and we’ll explain all the rest. The scientific pretense of condensing all the magic involved in one’s epistemology into one single comprehensively explanatory miracle. Based on the philosophical premise that one comprising ridiculous assumption is more believable than a myriad of such assumptions.