The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Glossary Q – Z

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)

Qualitas Clava Error – club quality error. The presumption on the part of role-playing or celebrity-power-seeking social skeptics that their club or its power, is important in ensuring the quality of science and scientific understanding on the part of the broader population. The presumption that external club popularity and authority, lock step club allegiance and presumptive stacks of probable knowledge will serve to produce valid or quality outcomes inside scientific, rational or critical thought processes. The pretense of encouraging skepticism, while at the same time promoting conclusions. Such thought fails in light of time proven quality improvement practices.

quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur – that which can be declared without basis, can be dismissed without basis. This phrase, does not mean that the subject declaration is existentially incorrect, nor that the antithetical set therefore bears truth – rather simply that I can refuse to accede to such a declaration, without any particular reason or soundness in arguing. While this is a form of skepticism, the apothegm can be abused to mistakenly perform debunking. The clarifying action on the part of the skeptic being its usage as a refusal to accede versus a negation of an idea (inverse negation fallacy). The latter is not warranted inside this principle of philosophy.

Quotidie Mortem – the psychopathic belief that through the administering of a poison slowly over time, one is not actually killing the person or persons they seek to murder. Often defended by the quip “The dose makes the poison.”

Quoting out of Context Fallacy – a proponent’s selective excerpting of words from their original context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning, in order to impugn or support specific ideas.

Rank Assent – one employs or allows the trials and injustices faced in one’s apprenticeship inside a career or social standing, to stand as a type of barrier to entry to their field – after the trial or injustice no longer applies to them personally. I am not going to expose this immoral assault, because once I have passed and survived it, it will be a great barrier to entry for those who follow me. Very common in Hollywood and Music.

Rational Thinking – a demonstrated ability to handle plurality with integrity.

Rat’s Option – when the appearance of a choice is offered, however the only option offered is a preordained path which involves a trap.

Reach Around – an award or accolade given within clubs of particular thinking, to other members of the same club for ‘celebrating a visible and championing club member’ in order to increase the club member’s viability as an authority; in contrast to an accolades tendered for a lifelong pursuit of work on behalf of mankind, or in development of mercy, infrastructures, economies or new technologies.

Reactance – the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to force you out of a constrained adopted choice.

Reactive Devaluation – devaluing proposals, observations, data or ideas only because they purportedly originated with an adversary group or individual.

Reactive Dissonance (in business and legal domains, also called ‘malfeasance’) – the fallacious habitual mindset of a researcher or doctrine of a group conducting research, wherein when faced with a challenging observation, study or experiment outcome, to immediately set aside rational data collection, hypothesis reduction and scientific method protocols in favor of crafting a means to dismiss the observation.

Reason (The Three Forms)

Abductive Reason (Diagnostic Inference) – a form of precedent based inference which starts with an observation then seeks to find the simplest or most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand abductive reasoning as inference to the best known explanation.

Inductive Reason (Logical Inference) – is reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument may be probable, based upon the evidence given.

Deductive Reason (Reductive Inference) – is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion. This includes the instance where the elimination of alternatives (negative premises) forces one to conclude the only remaining answer.

Recency Bias – the tendency to accept more recent information as being more credible or holding more gravitas in research.

Recidivism – a tendency, despite personal perception or intention otherwise, to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior when the spotlight is removed from a person who is posing as a skeptic or virtue signalling.

Reciprocating Effect – cause and effect are reversed, then reversed again, over and over in a chicken and egg relationship. The effector hysteria around an observation is said to be the cause of it, and then vice versa, ad infinitum. It assumes no validity to the basic genesis of the argument.

Recursive Definition Fallacy – defining a phrase or word, by means of a definition or change in context which occurred after the original usage under discussion.

Red Herring – presentation of an argument that may or may not be logically valid on its own, but distracts the discussion away from a failing argument, as well as failing nonetheless to address the context of the issue in question or address its logical validity.

Redactionary Principle – the lifecycle management of chemicals, adjuvants or biological agents which do not indicate immediate classic major pathology pathways in test animals, into a final phase of testing upon the broader human population, in order to speed them to market and generate revenue during long term employment testing. Establishment of activist ‘skeptics’ to patrol and ensure any failures are squelched as constituting only pseudoscience and anecdote.

Reducibility – the ability of an argument (as as the case in mathematics) to reduce the complexity of a question and focus in on the core argument instead – eliminating all irrelevant, dependent, unresolvable, unsolvable and incoherent ideas competing for resolution.

Reduction (Philosophy of Science) – the disassembly of asymmetry between logical objects such that each maybe be examined individually and in relation to their series contribution to the whole in terms of cause, effect and risk. The process of ex ante predicting or ex poste observing the macroscopic characteristics of a logical or physical object by identifying and manipulating the characteristics and interplay of its microscopic components, ostensibly at the lowest level of inspection which can be defined. Reduction must be pursued before a process which may result in a claim to induction, deduction or assessment of risk can be successfully undertaken. Reduction reveals a bias for understanding. Reduction is the path taken by the ethical skeptic who eschews abductive and panductive inference (the habit of social skeptics). Accordingly, the purpose of reduction is four-fold:

  1. Distinguish critical factors, risks & effects from merely influencing or irrelevant ones
  2. Identify the critical path of inquiry and possible inductive or deductive syllogism
  3. Detect the presence and eliminate the contribution of agency
  4. Establish robust study design/Mitigate testing or analytical noise.

Reductionist’s Error – when one demands evidence recitation which cannot possibly be provided because the argument is over a point of philosophy or well established precedent of no particular origin. Demanding evidence for 2 + 2 = 4, or ‘charity is love.’

Referential Reification Fallacy – assuming all words refer to existing and mature elements of science, and that the meaning of words are implicitly qualified within the things they refer to; then further presupposing that this referential definition employed then is also mature enough to be employed to discredit a contended set of observations or ideas.

Refutation – a negative or neutral criticism against an attack or position.

Regressive Bias – a certain state of mind wherein perceived high likelihoods are overestimated while perceived low likelihoods are underestimated.

Reification Fallacy – assuming that sciencey sounding words refer to existing and mature elements of science, and that the meaning of words are implicitly qualified within the things they refer to.

Relative Privation (also known as “appeal to worse problems” or “not as bad as”) – an informal fallacy of dismissing an argument or complaint due to the existence of more important problems in the world, regardless of whether those problems bear relevance to the initial argument. A form of ignoratio elenchi argument.

Relegation Error – a principle wherein an authority of control or truth establishes a circumstance wherein, any advance in validity which is produced by outside entities, is immediately appropriated to become part of the truth base of the controlling authority alone. By default, the controlling authority then must be held as the truth standard. All other entities remain in a perpetual state of practice ‘wrong’ – regardless of their actual track record. For example, successes of integrative medicine being immediately co-opted into academic science and accordingly stripped of their non-academic pedigree. Those pseudosciences, thereafter continue to be disdained and ignored as quackery, hokum and non-science by academia. By fait accompli under this method, outsider research, economic theories or controversial avenues of research will always constitute anecdotal pseudoscience, by practice of idea theft alone.

Relevance – the nature of a proposition such that it is consistent with an argument or adds to its value, clarity or quality.

Religion – the compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited. The process of a power wielding group abusing the rights of individuals through the desire to make compulsory, that which cannot be held to account.

Rent-Seeking – a version of appeal to authority, coined by Nassim Taleb, in which a person derives income simply because they are touted as an authority, or hold a position inside an organization with such authority, or hold a bureaucratic or power influence over the administration of assets/money – drawing unjustly thereof. Under such a model of value chain theory, even the rental of an asset involves some risk – however the principle hinges more around the idea that, for every dollar of compensation an equal and opposite flow of value should be provided. In similar context this is the origin of the statement of ethical skepticism ‘Risk is the leaven of the bread of hard work. Beware of those who’s trade is in neither.”

Researcher’s Conundrum – if I conduct objective research inside a subject which is a pseudoscience, then I am considered a pseudo-scientist. However, if I dismiss the subject out of hand, with no research, then I am regarded as having been scientific in my approach.

Restraint Bias – the tendency to overestimate one’s ability to show restraint or demonstrate character in the face of temptation to behave badly. The overestimation of the acts of others as being beneath your level of sophisticated self control.

Retrospective Causality – the argument that because some event has occurred, its occurrence must have been caused by a conforming plausible impetus, such as hype and hysteria, and not any other influence.

Rhetoric – a critique which focuses on an arguer’s ability, technique or capability to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. An answer looking for a question, looking for a victim. Persuasion and Locution crafted in such a fashion as to be the reverse of science. A method of fooling the educated and scientifically trained, into adopting shaky positions of consensus.

Rhetorical Tautology – employment of phrase or principle in such a way as to imply that its offing as stated is of patently obvious, self justifying or intrinsic epistemological merit, while evading issues of evidence or valid reasoning supporting the stated principle or phrase.

Rhetosophy – Rhetoric disguised as philosophy; wherein the arguer conceals his subject of contention and crafts the philosophy to appear as a stand alone ethic, independent of the point he is surreptitiously attempting to persuade.

Rhyme as Reason Effect – rhyming statements are perceived as more truthful.

Richeliean Appeal to Authority – a contention which is considered correct by means of social power or celebrity held on the part of its proponent. An appeal to consensus made by a group which influenced or measured the claimed consensus. An appeal to an authority who is notable at least in part for authoritarian or coercive measures they have employed to maintain power. Also an employment of coercive tactics which include censorship or propaganda-charging the media, establishing a large network of internal spies or sycophants, forbidding the discussion of specific matters in public or publishing of one sided science studies, patrolling of public assemblies or media forums or seeking to harm or defame who dare to disagree.

Richeliean Appeal to Skepticism – an inflation of personal gravitas, celebrity or influence by means of implicit or explicit threats of coercive tactics which can harm or seek to embarrass a victim one wishes to be silenced. Coercive tactics include threats to harm family, contact employers, ridicule, tamper with businesses, employment of celebrity status to conduct defamation activities or actions to defraud, or otherwise cause harm to persons, reputation or property. This includes the circumstance where a Richeliean skeptic encourages and enjoys a form of ‘social peer review,’ empowered via politics or a set of sycophants who are willing to enact harm to a level which the Richeliean power holder himself would not personally stoop.

Richelieu’s Law – given a sufficient quantity of statements of merit, actions or associations on the part of an individual, a case can be made that one of those things either serves to condemn that individual or runs anathema to the essence of all their other contentions (apparent hypocrisy). An exploitative coercive argument which proceeds along the lines of the Richeliean quote: “Give me six lines written by the most honest man and I will find in them something to hang him.”​

Rickrolling – a form of bait and switch or big politico advisory business wherein one sets up a fake scandal, which tantalizes the opposition, take years to prosecute and extract critical evidence – and finally where in the end, when the protected critical documents, recordings, testimony, media are exposed – it turns out to be nothing but a mocking of the whole process, exposing it as a complete and foolish waste of time. Term is derived from the internet meme of users pursuing avenues of research, being redirected as a bait and switch spoof, to videos of Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

The Riddle of Nelsonian Knowledge – it behooves the holder of Nelsonian knowledge to know more about this embargoed knowledge than would be reasonably expected inside standard ignorance. The irony with Nelsonian knowledge is that it demands of its ‘ignorant party’ a detailed awareness of schema, its depth and a flawless monitoring, which is unparalleled in official knowledge. If our desire to avoid so-called ‘baseless pseudoscience’ is as casual as we imply; casual to the extreme so as to justify our complete disinterest in it as a species, then why is our knowledge of specifically what is forbidden to study, so damned accurate and thorough? If it is all worthless fodder, then why are its opponents so well organized, trained and armed?

Risk Flippance – the tendency to judge the total risk of a series of transactional events to be equivalent to the risk identified for only one single event in the series.

Road to Damascus Fraud – a person of weak integrity, who is seduced by one philosophy and extols it through practices of vehemency, virtue or deception, who then switches to the exact opposite philosophy and thereafter uses similar tactics and/or intensity of fanaticism – is not to be trusted. They have not ‘seen the light’. Their conversion is not evidence of validity of their latter philosophy, nor evidence of the invalidity of the former.

The Roger Principle – the principle which cites that a multi-skilled, creative, congruent and leadership oriented personality will routinely rank level relative to his or her peers while performing lower organizational or administrative jobs; however will begin to increasingly thrive as they are promoted up through an organization and are exposed to more multifaceted, novel and asymmetric challenge. This will tend to anger the peers who were in contrast limited by means of a Peter Principle. Roger Principle individuals are usually targeted for disdain by tactic/talent limited persons, often out of jealousy or dissonance; and are usually flagged early on by their performance in more chaotic tasks or situations involving uncertainty. They can make for excellent CEO’s, strategists and thought leaders.

Rookem’s Razor – the method wherein the most expensive, fee generating or most oligarch profitable explanation tends to be the correct one at any given time. Medicine in which a symptom is investigated first as if it were cancer, and through the most expensive testing, before considering vastly more likely alternative diagnoses.

Rosach’s Axiom – if a person chooses an invective towards another, with multiple possible definitions or high possible equivocation potential – then they wish for all to infer the most pejorative version of definition, but will imply publicly that they meant the least pejorative definition.

Rule Implied through Its Exception – sometimes also called the “exception proves the rule”, is a type of appeal to authority syllogism which presupposes its affirmation, in that the presence of an exception applying to a specific case establishes through implication that a general rule exists. For example, a sign that says “parking prohibited on Sundays” (the exception) implies that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week (the rule).

Sacred Citizen Complex – the regard of self or of others, defined by some characteristic such as race, skin color, religion, gender or other special status, as being exempt from laws, ethics, morals or other strictures of normal society – simply because of that characteristic or some form of history or institution of injustice they base such exemption upon. The idea that certain persons can be racist/bigoted but others cannot – simply because of such a characteristic.

Salami Slicing – the practice of artificially breaking a scientific study down into sub-components and publishing each sub-component as a separate study. If the paper involves consilience from studies derived from a number of disciplines, this might be acceptable. However, when the studies are broken down simply to increase the publishing history of its authors or make a political position appear to be more scientific, through ‘a thousand studies support the idea that…’ styled articles, then this is a form of pseudoscience.

Salience – the nature of predicate, constraint or premise wherein it adds value, clarity or quality to an argument.

Salience Projection – our tendency to focus on the most outstanding or notable features regarding a concept or person as indicating likelihood inside the concept or predictability of a person.

Sargon’s Law – whenever an ideologue makes a character judgement about someone they are debating with, that character judgement is usually true about themselves.

Satisficing – a term which describes bias from the perspective of professional intelligence analysis, wherein one chooses the first hypothesis that appears good enough rather than carefully identifying all possible hypotheses and determining which is most consistent with the evidence.

SAW House/SAW Trap – a condition wherein one is left with no option but to harm another innocent person, in order to protect themself or their loved ones from demise or extensive harm – and is then blamed, punished or extorted by an outside entity for that harming of another. Named for the SAW series of movies.

Scale Obfuscation – shooting high and shooting low. Any form of a priori assumption wherein a researcher presumes that larger or elemental sample populations are congruent with more study or better science. This as contrasted with an incremental scientific method under a condition of making open context field observations first, crafting the right (rather than presumed right) question, followed by study of multiple iterations of smaller, discrete, cohort and more focused populations, built then into larger field databases and study.

Bigger Data is Better Fallacy – the invalid assumption which researchers make when attempting to measure a purported phenomena, that data extraction inside a very large source population as the first and only step of scientific study, will serve to produce results which are conclusive or more scientific. The same presumption error can apply to meta-analysis. Wherein such an analysis is conducted in a context of low/detached, rather than informed knowledge sets, and will serve to dilute critical elements of signal and intelligence which could be used to elucidate the issue further.

Big is Science Error – bigger sample sizes and study data is a way of bypassing the scientific method, yet still tender an affectation of science and gravitas. Any time a study cannot be replicated, and a call to consensus is made simply because it would be too difficult to replicate the study basis of the consensus.

Yule-Simpson Paradox – a trend appears in different groups of data can be manipulated to disappear or reverse (see Effect Inversion) when these groups are combined.

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’.

Scarecrow – a high visibility claim that an opposing group has proposed ideas which are of patently ludicrous viability; when in fact no such theories or ideas have been proposed by the disliked group, and moreover that the only broaching of such a construct, theory or idea originates solely from the claiming group itself. Extreme Straw Man.

Schadenfreude/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.

sciebam – (latin: I knew) – an alternative form of knowledge development, which mandates that science can only begin with the step of ‘ask a question’ or ‘state a hypothesis’. A non-scientific process which bypasses the first steps of the scientific method: observation, intelligence development and formulation of necessity. This form of pseudoscience/non-science presents three vulnerabilities:

  1. First it presumes that the researcher possesses substantially all the knowledge or framework they need, lacking only to fill in final minor gaps in understanding. This creates an illusion of knowledge effect on the part of the extended domain of researchers. As each bit of provisional knowledge is then codified as certain knowledge based upon prior confidence. Science can only progress thereafter through a series of shattering paradigm shifts.
  2. Second, it renders science vulnerable to the possibility that, if the hypothesis, framework or concept itself is unacceptable at the very start, then its researcher therefore is necessarily conducting pseudoscience. This no matter the results, nor how skillfully and expertly they may apply the methods of science. And since the hypothesis is now a pseudoscience, no observation, intelligence development or formulation of necessity are therefore warranted. The subject is now closed/embargoed by means of circular appeal to authority.
  3. Finally, the question asked at the beginning of a process of inquiry can often prejudice the direction and efficacy of that inquiry. A premature or poorly developed question, and especially one asked under the influence of agency (not simply bias) – and in absence of sufficient observation and intelligence – can most often result quickly in a premature or poorly induced answer.

Science – the dispassionate idempotent process of skeptical observation, necessity, questioning, constructing, testing, reducing and consensus by which society builds the body of knowledge; as well as that body of knowledge itself which results from such process.

¡science! – lying through tendering the appearance of being scientific (pseudoscience). A process made to look like science, which is 25% assumption, 25% outdated or semi-relevant study, 25% derision and bullying and 25% false claims to consensus. Partly testing a favored hypothesis and declaring it true, coupled with blocking of testing on competing ideas and declaring all of them false or pseudoscience.

Science as the Sciences Error – constrained misdefinition and equivocation of the word science to, rather than the method and body of knowledge development, a restrictive domain of the academic sciences alone. This so that skepticism is free to now errantly be applied in any fashion ‘outside of science.’

Science Bundling – citing a couple accepted norms of science and then throwing into the bundle a contention which is contested, political or questionable. This in order to intimidate a neutral audience into accepting the questionable assertion as being equal in regard with the other scientific norms. Often practiced by political bloggers and propaganda journalists. This is practiced as well in the pejorative, citing that a person’s beliefs or contentions are equivalent to Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, BigFoot and Flat Earth Theory.

Science Communicator – as distinct from a journalist or investigative reporter. In totalitarian societies a ‘communicator’ is a emergent stage of progressive takeover and indoctrination, which offers the population time to step into line. The communicators arrive before the enforcement officials, who arrive before the Maršal (Marshals), who arrive before the military police; whereupon absolute control of rule is enforced, usually under a dictator. A science communicator is not a recognized entity in a free press.

Science Delusion – coined by Rupert Sheldrake, this is the belief that science has already ascertained the principal components of the nature of reality, and that only a small portion of the unknown details remains to be filled in. Ethical skepticism supports bringing attention to this cognitive mistake, but rather than deeming it an error of science, instead identifies the problem as our social influences which corrupt the common underlying philosophy in defense of science, skepticism. What is known as social skepticism.

Science Faction Bias – the forcing of authors, dramas, screenplays, movies and storytellers of science fiction to compulsively conform to an observer’s personal version of science. An irritation with imagination if it wanders into realms which disagree with the observer’s personal ontology, sold as being indignant over violations of established science.

Science-Pseudoscience Bifurcation – the mistaken belief that a non-science is the same thing as a pseudoscience, that a pseudoscience is a topic or avenue of research, and that a pseudoscience can eventually become a science. When in fact only a non-science can become a science, because pseudoscience is simply a pretense and a false method, and not a topic in the first place.

Sciencewashing – both the existential state or the actions involved in dressing up a corporate profit or monist control motivated agenda as “the science”.

Scienter – is a legal term that refers to intent or knowledge of wrongdoing while in the act of executing it. An offending party then has knowledge of the ‘wrongness’ of their dealings, methods or data, but choose to turn a blind eye to the issue, commensurate to executing or employing such dealings, methods or data. This is typically coupled with a failure to follow up on the impacts of the action taken, a failure of science called ignoro eventum.

Scientific Resilience – ability of a society to perceive and deliberate a course of discovery and development which targets the alleviation of suffering; one which rehabilitates its scientific methodology and knowledge gracefully and robustly to misfortune, mistake or change.

Scientific Shilliteracy – a claim to scientific authority, which is belied through display of scientific ineptness.

Scooby-Doo Science/Scientist – a mindset born by fake skeptics wherein every mystery is easily resolved by current science understanding or the pretense that science has studied a subject when it has not – a ‘science’ which also features a convenient ability to highlight the bad person in the argument – usually of a consistent gender and ethnicity.

Scoop Abuse – when a social skepticism media outlet inflates methodical cynicism and twists maligns or lies about the facts of an event in order to increase their media outlet notoriety at the expense of a disliked individual, who sponsors or considers ideas which they do not want communicated.

Scoop Inflation – when a social skepticism media outlet inflates methodical cynicism and twists maligns or lies about the facts of an event in order to increase their media outlet notoriety in becoming the first cynical news outlet to condemn new ideas or events which they do not want communicated.

Screaming Shield – a method of defending one’s power by establishing a condition in which innocent people will be harmed if your power is threatened. A way of holding others hostage, at risk of harm, if the cases arises wherein one challenges your monist or supreme control. Placing munitions manufacturing inside of a baby milk factory, or propping up a socialist government by means of it critically supporting all the poor. Therefore if you topple the government, you are Q.E.D. ‘harming the poor’.

Script Delusion – a person who argues from a scripted set of talking points is under the delusion both that the recipient has never heard their information before, and that the hearer regards what they have to say as honest reflections, science or free thinking.

Sculptured Narrative – a social declaration which fits a predetermined agenda, purported to be of ‘weight of evidence’ and science in origin. However, in reality stems more from only the removal/ignoring of the majority or plurality of available or ascertainable evidence, in order to sculpt a conclusion which was sought before research ever began (see Wittgenstein sinnlos Skulptur Mechanism). Conducting science by dwelling only in the statistical and meta-analytical domains while excising all data which does not fit the social narrative of funding entities, large corporations or sskeptic organizations. Refusing to conduct direct studies, publishing studies which contain an inversion effect and filtering of countermanding studies out by attacking journals, authors and ignoring large bodies of evidence, consilience or falsification opportunity.

Sea Lioning – is a type of Internet trolling which consists of bad-faith requests for evidence, or repeated questions, the purpose of which is not clarification or elucidation, but rather an attempt to derail a discussion, appeal to authority as if representing science, or to wear down the patience of one’s opponent. May involve invalid repetitive requests for proof which fall under a proof gaming fallacy and highlight the challenger’s lack of scientific literacy.

Secundum Quid – comes about from failing to appreciate the distinction between using words absolutely and using them with qualification. Spruce trees, for example, are green with respect to their foliage (they are ‘green’ with qualification); it would be a mistake to infer that they are green absolutely because they have brown trunks and branches.

Segal’s Law – a man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

Self Confirming Process – a process which is constructed to only find the answer which was presumed before its formulation. A lexicon, set of assumptions or data, procedure or process of logical calculus which can only serve to confirm a presupposed answer it was designed to find in the first place. A process which bears no quality control, review, or does not contain a method through which it can reasonably determine its own conclusion to be in question or error.

Self-Fulfilling Inductive Prediction – prediction which is confirmed through induction by means of a separate rationale which appears to place its hypothesis at risk, whose predictive measure in fact has already been proved to be true by previous deductive inference. Pseudo-hypothesis – such as showing that people who are told they are predisposed to gain weight, by means of genetic testing – actually tend to gain more weight.  And attributing this effect to the psychology of ‘having been told they were predisposed’ as opposed to the simple fact that they have the genetics which predispose them in the first place. A common study trick in psychology.

Semantics Jousting – the twisting of the context inside which a quotation of authority or a recitation or scientific principle is applied, such that it appears to support a separate argument and inappropriately promote a desired specific outcome.

Semmelweis Reflex – the tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts one’s held paradigm.

Sen-apathy – the errant decision or method wherein people around you are suffering and your first priority chosen is in promoting corporate interests. An automatic disqualification of trustworthiness.

Seth’s Razor – all things being equal, any explanation aside from the simplest one, constitutes a conspiracy theory. Also, everything is a conspiracy theory. The principal technique of methodical cynicism, enforcing stacks of mandatory or pseudo-probable misinformation, as truth.

Shared Information Bias – known as the tendency for group members to spend more time and energy discussing information that all members are already familiar with (i.e., shared information), and less time and energy discussing information that only some members are aware of (i.e., unshared information).

Shaw’s Provision – one cannot rationally argue out what wasn’t rationally argued in — George Bernard Shaw

Shermer Error – mistaking the role of follow-on empirical observation in the confirmation of data which is simply being described. Regarding statistical analysis as needing empirical confirmation, when one is describing empirical observation distributions in the first place.

Shermerganda – the misrepresentation of science, argument or the scientific method by citing Michael Shermer as a source or similar very highly visible SSkteptic as an authority on science, despite their lack of expertise in the subject under consideration.

Shevel’s Inconsistency – a inconsistency wherein one simultaneously contends that science has shown a research subject to be invalid, yet at the same time chooses to designate any research into that subject as constituting pseudoscience. The two positions are mutually exclusive. The two positions are also not compatible when the pseudoscience in question has not been studied by science in the first place. In such a circumstance, investigators risk being accused of a being a ‘believer’, unless the researcher makes visible and extreme overtures to debunking or extreme doubt (methodical doubt, not Cartesian Doubt) on the matter, as part of their work.

Shibboleth – is any custom or tradition, particularly a speech pattern, that distinguishes one group of people (an ingroup) from disliked or targeted ‘others’ (outgroups). Shibboleths have been used throughout history in many societies as passwords, catch phrases, simple ways of self-identifying, signaling loyalty and affinity, maintaining traditional segregation or keeping out perceived interlopers.

Shield Effect – when an arguer in a valid matter of discourse drops any need to reference diligent research, method, or data collection in support of their contended position because of a false status given to a higher visibility arguer, or member of their club, who has enjoined the discussion on their side.

Shotgun Barn Fallacy – when one attempts to state an argument and begins to gradually reframe it into a conformingly correct but completely different argument, as it becomes more and more apparent that the original argument was flawed. Firing a shotgun at the broadside of a barn and then drawing the bulls-eye around the pellet holes.

Shrouded Furtive Fallacy – extensive recitation of historical and peripheral information tender the semblance of deep research and professionalism; yet are only posed to serve as a distraction inside an article whose crucial argument centers solely on accusations of malfeasance or lying on the part of its target opponents.

Simplicity Sell – when making a pitch through the contention that something is easy. “Look, its simple right?”

Simulans Legatus – when purposely positioning one’s self inside a group of the most extreme members of an opposing group of thought, one can simply present a statesmanlike posture and akratically troll the community, thereafter highlighting only the natural absurd, abusive and fanatical extreme responses of the opposing side. All while maintaining a calm rational composure in contrast. A passive sales technique and method of misrepresentation of both your and their groups, capitalizing on combative habituation and the fact that there is always an extreme 8% in any group.

sinnlos – a Wittgenstein proposition framing class identifying propositions which are useless. A contention which does not follow from the evidence, is correct at face value but disinformative or is otherwise useless.

Skepid – a state of being achieved by a skeptic who joins a club seeking to enforce rationality, critical thinking or reason, wherein they lose the ability to be circumspect, question their own club and further then adopt a belief in the effectiveness of club quality. A creeping stupidity and ignorance encroaches on such an individual, blinded by their assumed superiority, bandwagon and cheerleader effects and the convincing tricks of methodical cynicism and inverse negation. Essentially so skeptical that they become stupid.

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 and value in support of our knowledge development.

Skeptic Appeal to Authority – using a persona who’s only expertise on a topic is that they have declared themselves to be a skeptic, or an expert of dubious credentials and/or using only one opinion to sell a product or idea. Appealing to skepticism as a basis for enforcing an idea.

Skeptical Inversion – when applying skepticism to useless subjects which bear little or no impact on humanity, while in contrast simultaneously and completely ignoring skepticism in matters of high risk of impact on humanity which are underpinned by conflict of interest, incomplete or sketchy science.

Skeptical Psychologist’s Fallacy – an opponent presupposes the objectivity of his own Skeptical position when analyzing a behavioral event on the part of others.

Skeptic’s Dilemma – shortcuts to denial are more oppressive even than are shortcuts to the affirmative, because the former is then regarded as truth. The skeptic who does not see this, is not a skeptic.

Skeptive Dissonance – the difficult to articulate or grasp, cognitive discomfort experienced upon one’s first perception of the disconnect between fake skepticism and real or effective science.

Skereto Curve/Rule – a condition wherein 99% of the skeptics are focused on and obsessing over 1% of the problem.

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

Slack Exploitation (Ambiguity) – a form of equivocation or rhetoric wherein an arguer employs a term which at face value appears to constrain the discussion or position contended to a specific definition or domain. However, a purposely chosen word or domain has been employed which allows for several different forms/domains of interpretation of the contention on the part of the arguer. Often this allows the arguer to petition the listener to infer a more acceptable version of his contention, when in fact he is asserting what he knows to be a less acceptable form of it.

Slippery Slope – asserting that a relatively small first step in accepting data or ideas inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant impact/event that should not happen, thus the first step should not happen. While this fallacy is a popular one, it is, in its essence, an appeal to probability fallacy.

Snoping – when faced with a question which when investigated, might result accurately in an unwanted answer, preemptively ask an extreme or more ridiculous form of the question instead, or shift the query context slightly, so that the answer to the new question can be derived and published quickly, without research and be determined as ‘False’ or ‘Mostly False.’ Pursue the inverse technique when a ‘True’ or ‘Mostly True’ answer is desired in lieu of an actual falsity. Producing a False or True conclusion and publishing it within 24 hours of the question even being raised.

Social Conformance Bias – any influence which implies that if you do not agree, then you will be in some ways rejected to ostracized by your former peer group. Employment of peer/media/social pressure instead of rational case and argument to establish consensus.

Social Desirability Bias – the tendency to over-report socially desirable characteristics or behaviors in one self and under-report socially undesirable characteristics or behaviors.

Social Epistemology – when we conceive of epistemology as including knowledge and justified belief as they are positioned within a particular social and historical context, epistemology becomes social epistemology. Since many stakeholders view scientific facts as social constructions, they would deny that the goal of our intellectual and scientific activities is to find facts. Such constructivism, if weak, asserts the epistemological claim that scientific theories are laden with social, cultural, and historical presuppositions and biases; if strong, it asserts the metaphysical claim that truth and reality are themselves socially constructed. Moreover, in recognizing this, when social justice or the counter to a perceived privilege are warranted, short cuts to science in the form of hyper and hypo epistemologies are enacted through bypassing the normal frustrating process of peer review, and substituting instead political-social campaigns – waged to act in lieu of science. These campaigns of ‘settled science’ are prosecuted in an effort to target a disliked culture, non-violent belief set, ethnicity or class – for harm and removal of human rights.

Social Gadfly – an argument which is made through an appeal to practices, risk, impacts, standards or morals as underpinning the validity of the argument.

Social Peer Review – a process of acting on behalf of science, and pretense of conducting science, encouraged by celebrity skeptics – where in one presumes that by declaring themselves to be a skeptic, any critique they offer towards a disliked subject, pseudoscience or person is therefore now tantamount to application of scientific peer review. Usually backed by the Richeliean power of celebrities or social skepticism itself.

Social Priming – preparing a person to adopt a particular desired stance by encouraging or through sleight-of-hand getting them to identify with the mindset of a person who would take that stance, in advance of asking the intended question. For example, asking a person to identify what a skeptic is, before asking them if they consider mediumship as a domain worthy of research.

Social Skepticism

1. organized agency which is engineered by means of teaching weaponized fake skepticism to useful idiots. Agency which actively seeks to foment conflict between science and the lay public; which exploits such conflict to bolster its celebrity and influence.

2. a form of weaponized philosophy which masquerades as science, science enthusiasm or science communication. Social skepticism enforces specific conclusions and obfuscates competing ideas via a methodical and heavy-handed science embargo. It promotes charades of critical thought, self aggrandizement and is often chartered to defend corporate agendas; all while maintaining a high priority of falsely impugning eschewed individuals and topics. Its philosophies and conclusions are imposed through intimidation on the part of its cabal and cast of dark actors, and are enacted in lieu of and through bypassing actual scientific method. Failures with respect to science are the result of flawed or manipulated philosophy of science. When social control, change or conformance agents subject science to a state of being their lap-dog, serving specific agendas, such agents err in regard to the philosophical basis of science, skepticism. They are not bad scientists, rather bad philosophers, seeking a socialized goal. They are social skeptics.

solum fieri – the fallacy of implied only occurrence. A common unspoken assumption premise of a religious or virtue argument (usually in the form of a suggestion or accusation), wherein the instance being considered or the person being targeted is unsoundly treated in isolation – as if the only occurrence of such an event or by considering the person to be in isolation. Introducing the idea that if a person gives 9 times but not the 10th time, then they are selfish or protectionist. Or, that a person should adopt fear because they are all alone, and are the first person to ever have encountered a specific troubling situation. A trick of isolating an intended victim, similar to but even more egregious than using anecdote as a final proof.

Solution (Theory) – a theoretical relationship or algorithm which is conjectured to comprise input variables, arrival distributions, controls and measures, parameters, constraints, assumptions, dependencies and interleaved feedback networks – all resulting in a given set of observable outcome measures. A completed solution is the condition where both the forward problem and the inverse problem agree in support of the proposed theoretical relationship.

Sophistry – an argument which is contended though a side’s claim to virtuous features characterizing its formulation, approach or position.

Sophistry Fallacy – when a poorly skilled or experienced philosopher loses an argument, they will inevitably resort to an accusation of sophistry on the part of their opponent. They may not even grasp the fact that their ‘opponent’ is not an opponent at all; rather a peer simply seeking to issue a word of caution, not disagreement. Caution which they interpret to be a threat; an advisement they possess a dearth of intellect with which to grasp.

  1. One introduces the philosophical level of discussion in the first place,
  2. One banks on the assumption that no one else is around who is sufficiently skilled to discuss the issue (an appeal to self-authority),
  3. One perceives a word of open-minded skeptical caution, incorrectly as an argument in opposition,
  4. One perceives (correctly or incorrectly) that an inner hypocrisy is now potentially exposed and they are now in danger of losing the argument which they started,
  5. The discussion resides now at a level above the original claimant’s intellectual or experiential capacity, and
  6. Its last recourse argument is foisted, after exhausting all other memorized arguing scripts (save for the sophistry claim itself).

Special Pleading – an attempt to cite a logical object, system or example as an exception to a generally accepted rule, situation, principle, etc. without justifying the exception. The lack of criticism may be as simple as an oversight (e.g., the reasons are thought to be obvious) on the claimant’s part, or further, an application of a double standard.

Special Pleading ad hoc Accusation – when one resorts to accusing an opponent of special pleading based upon its ad hoc rescue potential in an argument. Wherein one regards any reasoning about logical object, system or example to constitute ‘special pleading’ simply because it isn’t about, or doesn’t apply to everything.

Specious – an argument which is only superficially plausible, but actually bears a significant probability that it is wrong. One misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive or plausible.

Sperging – is a slang term which describes certain behavior online which is stereotypically associated with people who have Asperger’s syndrome. The most common meaning refers to excessive discussion or analysis of what would normally be regarded as a very specific, irrelevant or pointless topic.

Sponsor Practice Hyperbole – the fallacy of regarding the process of observation by a sponsor of an idea, to constitute a presentation of ‘science’ the sponsors’ part. This in an effort to subjugate such activity falsely into the realm of pseudoscience for the simple act of being of curious in nature around a disfavored subject. In fact research is simply that, a set of observations, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘pseudoscience’ is a practice of deception and itself, pseudoscience.

Sponsorship Fallacy – the rejection of an entire methodological basis of a scientific argument and all its underpinning data and experimental history simply because one can point to a bad personality involved in the subject, hoaxes, old misconceptions about the subject or an errant conclusion which was drawn from the discipline, irrespective of the actual validity of its core scientific data and argument.

Soundness – a deductive argument is sound if it is valid and its premises and predicates are true. If either of those conditions does not hold, then the argument is unsound. Truth is determined by looking at whether the argument’s premises, predicates and conclusions are in accordance with facts and logic in the real world.

SSkeptic (Social Skeptic) – a member of an elite Cabal which practices and teaches Deskeption, who’s members also falsely identify themselves as ‘skeptics.’ SSkeptics are self or institutionally appointed activists, posing as rational and logical subject matter experts on a broad variety of topics in which they have performed shill research; with the objective of vitiating all targeted unwelcome thought sets. Far from actually practicing skepticism or science, SSkeptics seek to intimidate others through social enforcement practices promoting a specific cabalistic religion. A religion featuring key mandatory doctrines lacking scientific basis, imperiously passed to the public as unassailable truth.

SSkepticism Projection Fallacy – when one fails to apply skepticism, and default considers the way the Social Skepticism movement sees the world as the way the world really is.

Stakeholder Ethics – a principle or condition wherein those who bear the negative impact of a decision are allowed to hold those who make that decision, accountable. Further then are allowed to dissent, and reverse that decision or remove the decision maker, even if they claim to be an ‘expert’. A claim to science is not a free pass to tyranny.

Status Quo Bias – the tendency to like things to stay relatively the same, even in the face of necessity and new observations.

Steel Man – a method of arguing in which an arguer will first outline as accurate a depiction of their opponent’s position as they can muster – and thereafter cite where indeed they find that stance to possess merit or strength. This will usually be followed by, rather than simply a critique of weaknesses, a form of ‘but regarding this weakness, I have an idea which I think might work better instead…’ The opposite of straw man arguing.

Stein’s Law – if something cannot go on forever, it will stop. If misinformation cannot go on forever, there is no need for action or a program to make it stop, much less to make it stop immediately; it will stop of its own accord.

Stereotyping – expecting a member of a group to possess certain characteristics reasonably or unreasonably assigned to that group, without having actual information about that individual.

Stickiness – The principle wherein proponents of a theory philosophy often cling to it despite the mounting evidence against it. The theory is abandoned only after its last proponents die. Such obstinacy allows theories to be given a proper run for their money, rather than being prematurely abandoned in the face of scant or specious contrary data that could be overcome with further research and accrued verity. Otherwise, we risk prematurely abandoning theories which could add value in one aspect or are indeed valid themselves.

Stooge Posing – attacks on piece of data or an easily disprovable topic of credulity used as an effort to bolster an opponent’s record of debunking success and club ranking. This reputation to then further allow for irrelevant and unmerited gravitas in addressing other arguments where data and observation do not support the goals of the opponent.

Straw Man Fallacy – misrepresentation of either an ally or opponent’s position, argument or fabrication of such in absence of any stated opinion. Exists in several forms:

Straw Man Argument – crating of or logical calculus under, an argument which either does not exist, is irrelevant or is manipulated and twisted into a different form by a proponent.

Straw Man Conformance – the idea that since a person or group believes or considers subject A to be a potentiality, then an opponent insists that they therefore have endorsed extreme misrepresentations of subject A as well.

Straw Man Profiling – profiling of an individual based on an extreme or misrepresented version of their position. Any man can be made to appear irrational and vile, if his opponents only are allowed to speak on his behalf.

Scare Crow Fabrication – crafting of a position or stance on an issue which an opponent has never tendered, implied or stated. An argument fabricated from complete fiction and used to dissuade persons from viewing that opponent in a positive light.

“If I Only Had a Brain” Straw Man – an argument which would have constituted a straw man argument had the claimant understood it to begin with, however appears only to stem from the arguer’s inability to grasp the issue or logical calculus under discussion or contention.

Straw Man Egoism – a self-focused belief that every argument raised by an opponent is a straw man issued at them personally. Especially when the argument is common inside the domain being discussed.

Streetlight Effect – is a type of observational bias that occurs when people only search for something where it is easiest to look.

Streisand Effect – the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

Strength – an inductive argument is strong if in the case that its premises are true, then it is highly probable that its conclusion is also true or testable. Otherwise, if it is improbable or unknown/unknowable that its conclusion is true, then it is said to be weak. Inductive arguments are not truth-preserving; it is never the case that a true conclusion must follow from true premises.

Structure – the logical formulation and relational structure of elements employed to array premises or predicates into a contention or extrapolation which is contended to be valid or sound.

Studium a Studia – when a study is falsely touted as new breaking science, when all the study has accomplished is to study a group of older studies and brought out the same conclusion as suggested by the previous studies it studied. This study is then touted in the future by proponents of the same idea, as a scientific empirical basis for argument.

Style over Substance Fallacy – the undermining of an opponent and their argument or data by citing that it looks too pushed, packaged or promoted (for money) in order to be deemed acceptable or believable.

Subadditivity Effect – the tendency to judge probability of a broader argument to be less than the probabilities of the components of that same argument.

Subception – a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness. The method of deceiving one’s self and others in the process of cynicism, jealousy or denial. A process of expressing unrealized subconscious vitriol, in which one habitually creates artificial ‘violations’ (usually forms of administrative or social protocol which their target ‘does wrong’) which their target of jealously or hate keeps committing – in order for the subception holder to internally justify their ill feelings toward their target.

Subject Ambiguity – the construction or delivery of a message in such words or fashion as to allow for several reasonable interpretations of person, place or thing to which the message applies.

Subjective Validation – occurs when two unrelated or even random events are perceived to be related because a belief, expectation, or hypothesis demands a relationship.

Sunk Cost Skepticism – the phenomenon where SSkeptics justify increased investment or fanaticism in a construct or belief, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong. Fanaticism is directly related to the level of nagging and cumulative inner doubt. Also known as the sunk cost fallacy.

Superior Grasp of the Obvious – the bias on the part of one concealing a rational ego which has been inflated to enormous levels. Levels of ego betrayed by implication and oxymoron that one’s self is the only person who could possibly grasp that which is readily obvious inside complex questions. In fact, a prowess of such potential that the mastery of the obvious can be done from a university cubicle or parents’ basement, and in 4 minutes of research.

Survivorship Bias – concentrating on the people or data that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that didn’t because of their lack of observability.

Syllogism – A syllogism is a structured form of deductive reasoning, through constraint of an argument by means of two sequitur, major and minor contentions, bounding an argument towards a single conclusion – by deductive elimination of all other potentialities. 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 sound basis for inference.

System Justification – the tendency to defend and bolster the status quo. Existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives disparaged sometimes even at the expense of individual, intellectual and collective self-interest.

T-factoring – altering probabalistic or risk chain projections through understanding that the risk of tail strength inside an arrival function is more important than the function shape itself.

Tail to Body Transference – a statistical fallacy of relevant range in which one statistic is assumed to be fully descriptive across all conditions of its arrival range. An error wherein a descriptive suitable to frame a tail condition, is also applied to the main body of a distribution and assumed to be also descriptive therein. IQ measures which allow us to discriminate special needs persons, are not also useful in determining who should lead nations or corporations at the other end. Cholesterol figures which allow us to highlight who is at risk of arterial plaque do not apply to persons who have a familial history of higher cholesterol stats, etc. Mistakenly applying tail condition gradients to also be salient in the main body of the same descriptive data.

Taleb’s Contraposition – For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice, it doesn’t work. For social skeptics and many academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory, it doesn’t exist.

Taleb’s Law of Tolerance – a toleration of intolerance will always escalate to extremism and proscription as the standard.

Tangenda – in critical path theory inside the scientific method, a competing critical path of questions which are misleading, poorly or bias-crafted which serve to reduce or stagnate the probative nature of science, and steer the results of the scientific method into a specific conclusive domain. A critical path is a series of questions asked under the scientific method which are probative, illuminating, incremental, contextual, logical in sequence, parsimonious, risk averse, low in feature stacking, maximum in impact, and sequitur in terms of optimal knowledge development. While this is a tall order, it can be attained. Tangendas perform as a kind of pseudo-critical path which leads inexorably to a favored or desired conclusion or conformity – corrupted by the fashion in which scientific questions are crafted or the biased way in which they are sequenced.

Taxonomy Fallacy – the illegitimate assignment or characterization of a proponent of a set of ideas, into a disfavored, extreme or fanatical group; in an effort to discredit the set of ideas without undertaking or possessing the research, evidence or qualifications necessary to justify such assignment.

Technopologist – a science communication journalist who purposely (or even worse cannot grasp) confuses issues of risk inside the public trust as simply constituting a matter of science or technology. In this manner any objections to violations of public trust or the introduction of excessive risk in order to obtain a quick profit or market domination, can be spun as a movement of an anti-science, anti-enlightenment or anti-technology nature.

Terms of Service Error – when citing a contention which is included as an element of a corporation’s Terms of Service as therefore constituting something which is correct, or as an example of a restriction which is moral or scientific based on the grounds that a corporation has enforced it on their contracted clients or customers. Abrogating the US Constitution or other aspect of goodwill and freedom, based on the fact that to not do so would ‘violate your agreement to our Terms of Service.’

The First Duty of Ethical Skepticism

The First Duty of Ethical Skepticism is to oppose agency. In the same way that science is a method, even so ignorance is also a method. But the scope of cultivated ignorance extends further than that of science itself, in that it is also a method of conditioning and contagion. It propagates through exploiting all manner of cunning and deceit. As an ethical skeptic, your first duty of philosophical acumen is not to execute the scientific method per se, which is straightforward in comparison. You are not here to promulgate conclusions, as that is the habit of your foe. Your ethical acumen is necessary rather, in spotting the clever masquerade of science and knowledge. Ethical Skepticism’s first duty therefore resides not solely in the examination of ‘extraordinary claims’, but also in examining those claims which serve to harm through the clever masquerade, hidden in plain sight, as if constituting ordinary ‘settled science’.

The Nine Features of Great Philosophy

1. Distinct – Serves in an incremental or open critical-path role

2. Cogent – Is focused, concise and meaningful

3. Novel – Has not been fairly addressed before

4. Non-obvious – Not really obvious to the average philosopher

5. Adeptly Addresses Prior Art – Leverages or fairly modifies prior philosophical work

6. Not Sophistry – Not developed to feature nor protect an agenda

7. Clarifying – decreases the entropy of knowledge and understanding

8. Useful – bears incremental utility inside a specific context domain

9. Teachable – Can be effectively communicated and sustained

The Principle of Benevolence – benevolence should necessarily be elegant. Sufficient elegance spoils its beneficiary. Therefore benevolence mandates struggle.

The Riddle of Skepticism

Through claiming skepticism, one has struck the tar baby and can no longer plead denial of their action in contending philosophy. With the exception of man’s inalienable natural rights, the discipline of philosophy, even an examination as to how we go about developing knowledge, cannot be employed as a means to bypass science and pretend to act in its place, as this is not the purpose of philosophy. Skepticism, the philosophy in defense of the knowledge development process (science), is likewise bound by this construct.

The question one must ask them self, before venturing into this hall of mirrors called skepticism is not, whether or not I can establish a likelihood of being right or wrong on a matter. The question in the mind of the ethical skeptic should be ‘If I were wrong, would I even know it?” and “If I were wrong, would I be contributing to harm?” This is the focus of the philosophy of skepticism and not this indolent business of leveraging one’s current limited knowledge into a pretense of ‘evaluating claims’ demanded upon a silver platter. Such self deception constitutes merely cynicism and a pretense of representing science. Therefore, defending the integrity of the knowledge development process is betrayed once one starts tendering conclusions in lieu of it.

Science is the process of knowledge development and the body of accepted knowledge such process serves to precipitate. Pseudo science is a process of corrupted science method employed inside a pretense of representing science – but inside that same constraint can never be ‘a body of unacceptable knowledge’ as this violates objective logic, domain theory as well as skepticism itself. Pseudo skepticism therefore, is a process of corrupted philosophy employed inside a deciding in lieu of or pretense of representing science.

Doubt, belief, ignorance of risk, along with social pressure to accede to stacked provisional knowledge; therefore, stand as the raw materials which are spun into the fabric of the lie. This is why the ethical skeptic relies upon the suspension of these things – embodied in the philosophy of epoché. Rather than decide for himself what is true and untrue, instead he robs the lie spinner (even if himself) of the raw material he desperately needs. He is not denying knowledge, rather denying the tradecraft of the lie.

Once plurality is established inside an argument, if something indeed be false, it should eventually betray its falsification through accrued intelligence. And in being found wrong, become highly informative in the process. If we choose instead to maintain an a priori intolerance of a subject as being wrong, and then further choose to block its research through the authority of clever apothegm, then no probative critical path development (intelligence) can ever be undertaken consequently. Wrong and seeing, is a world better state than is correct and blind.

This untrod horizon of pure skepticism therefore lies fallow and misunderstood through the sleight-of-hand wherein Pyrrhonistic epoché is straw man defined as a ‘denial of knowledge’. This is philosophical domain ineptness – and creates the false dilemma that methodical cynicism is therefore the only bifurcated alternative offered to the seeker of truth. Much of our ignorance and suffering today stems from a misunderstanding of these key principles.

Thinking with the Little Head – also know as being a ‘dickhead’. The habit of some shallow or sociopath men in that every action they take is crafted inside the context of getting laid, or gaining the attention of women (or their perception of how that is attained).

The Three Forms of Inference

Abductive Reason – a form of precedent based inference which starts with an observation then seeks to find the simplest or most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand abductive reasoning as inference to the best known explanation.

Two Forms of Abductive Reason

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.

a priori – relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge that proceeds from methods and motivations other than science, which preexist any form of observation or experience.

Inductive Reason – is reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument may be probable, based upon the evidence given combined with its ability to predict outcomes.

Deductive Reason – is the process of reasoning by reduction in complexity, from one or more statements (premises) to reach a final, logically certain conclusion. This includes the instance where the elimination of alternatives (negative premises) forces one to conclude the only remaining answer.

Thunder Chamberan appeal to authority version of echo chamber, much more imperious in its insistence and intimidating in its effect. A club of science communicators – catalyseurs seeking conflict between laypersons and scientists, to enable furtherment of their power as a furtive liaison therein.

TLDR – “I don’t have the attention span or even mental capacity to grasp Dr. Seuss, much less this. Please tender me a one-liner or idiom, because, if you want me to understand, you must pose your point in buckets of something with which I am already familiar.”

Torfuscation – pseudoscience or obfuscation enacted through a Nelsonian knowledge masquerade of scientific protocol and study design. Inappropriate, manipulated or shallow study design crafted so as to obscure or avoid a targeted/disliked inference. A process, contended to be science, wherein one develops a conclusion through cataloging study artifice or observation noise as valid data. Invalid observations which can be parlayed into becoming evidence of absence or evidence of existence as one desires – by accepting only the appropriate hit or miss grouping one desires as basis to support an a priori preference, and as well avoid any further needed ex ante proof.  A refined form of praedicate evidentia or utile abstentia employed through using less rigorous or probative methods of study than are requisite under otherwise ethical science.  Exploitation of study noise generated through first level ‘big data’ or agency-influenced ‘meta-synthesis’, as the ‘evidence’ that no further or deeper study is therefore warranted – and moreover that research of the subject entailed is now socially embargoed.

Trait Ascription Bias – the tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior, and mood while viewing others as much more predictable.

Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy (Appeal to Ignorance) – the false contention that a challenging construct, observation or paradigm must immediately be ‘explained.’ Sidestepping of the data aggregation, question development, intelligence and testing/replication steps of the scientific method and forcing a skip right to its artificially conclusive end (final peer review by ‘Occam’s Razor’).

Transactional Popper Demarcation Error – incorrectly citing a topic as being a pseudo science, when in fact its sponsors are seeking falsification based protocols to counter the antithetical premise to their case, or its sponsors are employing predictive studies being employed simply to establish plurality for sponsorship inside the scientific method.

Transcendental Substitution Bias – when one holds a compulsion to not to participate in traditional social institutions which promote brotherhood, tribal union or spiritual values; and instead substitute non-traditional institutions one finds as more acceptable. Passing such a proclivity off as justifying a delusional superiority.

Trashionality – the false claim by SSkeptics that they represent the position of science or critical thinking on a topic. A pretense made by a SSkeptic through application of intimidation, intimations as to personal brilliance and simple logical if-thens based on highly convoluted presumptive and furtive underpinnings, employed in lieu of actual scientific method, to preclude legitimate research or discourse around all Skeptic Cabal disfavored subjects.

Trivia Fallacy – the rejection of a entire set of data by the pointing out of one questionable or disliked element inside the data.

Truckle Fallacy – when a skeptic makes visible and biased overtures to politically correct movements, whether sincere or not, in order to placate any critics which might arise from that advocacy group, or to enlist the aid of those movements in attacking persons the fake skeptic regards as foes.

Truzzi Fallacy (of Argument) – the presumption that a position of skepticism or plausible conformance on a specific issue affords the skeptical apologist tacit exemption from having to provide authoritative outsider recitation or evidence to support a contended claim or counter-claim.

Tu Quoque (“you too”) – an argument stating that since the opponent has conducted a fallacy, logical broach or hypocrisy then the proponent should not be held to account for violations, or stands correct in their position due to the opponent having made errors, the same or similar errors.

Türsteher Mechanism – the effect or presence of ‘bouncer mentality’ inside journal peer review. An acceptance for peer review which bears the following self-confirming bias flaws in process:

  1. Selection of a peer review body is inherently biassed towards professionals who the steering committee finds impressive,
  2. Selection of papers for review fits the same model as was employed to select the reviewing body,
  3. Selection of papers from non core areas is very limited and is not informed by practitioners specializing in that area, and
  4. Bears an inability as to how to handle evidence that is not gathered in the format that it understands (large scale, hard to replicate, double blind randomized clinical trials or meta-studies).

Therein such a process, the selection of initial papers is biased. Under this flawed process, the need for consensus results in not simply attrition of anything that cannot be agreed upon – but rather, a sticky bias against anything which has not successfully passed this unfair test in the past. An artificial and unfair creation of a pseudoscience results.

Turtles all the Way Down Error – originally the regress problem in cosmology posed by the “unmoved mover” paradox, now more commonly used in jocular fashion to elicit that an explanatory idea has in epistemological terms, simply shifted its paradox to a different or less visible plane of accountability, and not resolved it.

Twitter’s Razor – all things being equal a compliant one-liner tends to be victory for the approved elite. The mistaken belief that a one-liner both expresses something the recipient has never heard before, and serves to increase the amount of knowledge or value inside the world at large.

Twittertation Error – when one demands inappropriate or impossible comprehensive recitation in a chat venue which is not designed for comprehensive recitation.

Two Sided Coin Objection – when a person is prepared with a dismissive quip no matter which version of objective data arises. If it is too precise, that is the problem, too broad, that is the problem, too blurry vs. too clear, too recent vs. too old, meta-analysis vs. cohort studies, etc. An indication of existential commitment to such an extent that really no objective data will ever suffice in the person’s state of mind.

Tyflocracy – from Greek: τυφλός (tyflós: blind eye). A power wielding and expansive form of governance or administration which is willfully or maliciously blind to a suffering subject group or citizenry – often displaced in favor of groups who are not under its charge, employed as a means to increase its power. A group who strategically apportions risk, dismissing or refusing to examine its impart to a disfavored group over which they rule or have administering authority and impact – wherein a condition of negligence is indistinguishable from malevolence.

Ultracrepidarian – an expression for someone who insists upon tendering an opinion on things, or even or a single topic they know little or nothing about. A group or media entity who saturates available information with worthless, misinforming, disinforming, mis-sense, nonsense, incoherent or other ignoratio elenchi opinion, passed as in-club recitation authority, in order to obfuscate or squelch the argument surrounding an issue.​

Unit Bias – the tendency to want to finish a given unit of a task or an item to completion before beginning work on, or considering another avenue of research. The effort to avoid unwanted data by remaining fixated on legacy avenues of research, as a pretense.

Unity of Knowledge Error (Religion) – to conflate and promote consilience as consensus. Consilience is by its essence inductive and therefore cannot alone underpin a ‘unity of knowledge’ as Edward O. Wilson contends. Only diligent investigation of all compelling alternatives, deductive science, can serve to finalize and unify knowledge (under consensus). To promote consilience as a unity of knowledge or substitute for consensus, in absence of having diligently investigated competing alternative hypotheses, is also know in ethics as ‘religion.’

Universal Attribution Error – in this error a person is likely to make an internal attribution to an entire group instead of the individuals or disparate factions within the group.

unsinnig – a Wittgenstein proposition framing class identifying propositions which are nonsense. A question or claim of compromised coherency. Feynman ‘not even wrong.’

Untouchable Generalization – a condemning or dismissing generalization that comes with qualifications that eliminate so many cases which could falsify the derogatory claim, that what remains of it is much less impressive than the initial statement might have led one to assume. Yet the defamation stands as fiat knowledge and recitation nonetheless.

Unvestigation – the process of asking loaded questions and sculpting data so that your fake research will produce your desired conclusion.

Usurpation Error – when attempting to employ a recitation from an unrecognized, fringe or false authority as to policy or definition when the topic in question already has a recognized governing body which regulates policy, definition and standards.

uti dolo (trick question) – a question which is formed for the primary purpose of misleading a person into selecting (through their inference and/or questioner’s implication) the incorrect answer or answer not preferred inside a slack exploited play of ambiguity, interpretation, sequence, context or meaning. The strong version being where the wrong context is inferred by means of deceptive question delivery; the weak version being where the question is posed inside a slack domain where it can be interpreted legitimately in each of two different ways – each producing a differing answer.

utile absentia – a study which observes false absences of data or creates artificial absence noise through improper study design, and further then assumes such error to represent verified negative observations. A study containing field or set data in which there exists a risk that absences in measurement data, will be caused by external factors which artificially serve to make the evidence absent, through risk of failure of detection/collection/retention of that data. The absences of data, rather than being filtered out of analysis, are fallaciously presumed to constitute bonafide observations of negatives. This is improper study design which will often serve to produce an inversion effect (curative effect) in such a study’s final results. Similar to torfuscation.

Utility Blindness – when simplicity or parsimony are incorrectly applied as excuse to resist the development of a new scientific explanatory model, data or challenging observation set, when indeed the participant refuses to consider or examine the explanatory utility of any similar new model under consideration.

Vacuous Truth – is a statement that contends an absence or presence of a principle in an empty set domain, to imply the accuracy of a consequent argument. A contention that science holds no evidence in support of a topic which has not undergone scientific efforts at collecting evidence in the first place. Such a statement which is technically true, but is not correct in relationship as a logically qualified antecedent in support of the consequent.

Validity – an inductive argument is valid if its conclusion logically follows from its premises, and in parallel a deductive argument is valid if its predicates support its conclusions. Otherwise, an argument is said to be invalid. The descriptors valid and invalid apply only to arguments and not to propositions; which can be false, true or undetermined.

Value (Argument Outcome) – a consequentialist objective of ethical skepticism. The quality and relevancy of an argument such that it provides for improvement in clarity, understanding, agreement, focuses or constrains an experiment, reduces a hypothesis set, counters misinformation, or alleviates suffering or ignorance.

Relevancy –The quality of an argument such that it contains social value.

Reduction – a method of science wherein the process of induction or deduction is employed to falsify, or through consilience, render a hypothesis as false or more highly unlikely and therefore no longer salient or relevant.

Critical Path – the sequence of most highly effective argument tests which serve to falsify, eliminate, reduce or provide best consilience inside a set of plausible arguments.

Veneering – making a public show of doing good things to help distract from the bad things you are also doing.

Verdrängung Mechanism – aka The Lindy-Ignorance Vortex – the level of control and idea displacement achieved through skillful employment of the duality between pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. The longer a control-minded group can sustain an Omega Hypothesis perception by means of the tactics and power protocols of proactive pluralistic ignorance, the greater future acceptability and lifespan that idea will possess. As well, the harder it will to be dethrone as an accepted norm or perception as a ‘proved’ null hypothesis.

Verisimilitude – an argument establishing a screen of partially correct information employed to create an illusion of scientifically accurate conclusion. The acceptance of specific assumptions and principles, crafted in such a fashion as to lead to a therefore simple resulting explanatory conclusion.

Verschlimmbesserung – (German) to make something worse while trying to make it better. The fallacy of judging disasters by the measure that, those who bore the ‘good intentions’ should bear no fault, or place themselves as disconnected from the disaster.

via negativa (vs. via positiva) – a way of describing something by saying what it is not. For example, employing a finite concept of attribute or object which can be employed as a non-descriptive for God or ultimate reality or a human condition, etc. This bears less confidence in inference than does a via positiva attribute or description.

virgo sui – the principle of the virgin self; a psychology which exists as a counterpart to pathological mindsets inside immoral activity. A childish mind cannot accept nor recognize their own dark nature or nefarious actions. A criminal never thinks that they actually committed a/the crime, or may excuse it as justified in some way by means of society, the victim, being street smart or simply that this is the way of their world. A person who commits a wrong and immediately denies inside their own mind that they did it or are culpable. The opposite of repentance.

Virtue Signalling – the ironic principle entailed in the social observation that, prima facia ethics or normative ethics, virtue, religious precepts, morality, victimhood, identity warfare, personal conduct codes, etc. can, and often do serve as a cover for unethical agency masquerading under such pretenses. An action performed in accordance with socially correct pressure, or inside a visible boundary of political correctness, which is performed by a person wishing to show that they are on the good side in a political argument. Symbolic virtuous acts or positions adopted solely to build political power or exempt one from being accused of racism, bigotry, misogyny, greed or any of the canned talking attack points currently being fad utilized by the political left.

Virtue Telescope – employment of a theoretical virtue benefit projected inside a domain which is distant, slow moving, far into the future, diffuse or otherwise difficult to measure in terms of both potential and resulting impact, as exculpatory immunity for commission of an immoral act which is close by, obvious, defined and not as difficult to measure. Similar to but converse of an anachronistic fallacy, or judging distant events based on current norms.

Von Restorff Effect – the bias inducing principle that an item that sticks out is more likely to be remembered than other items.

War Footing – a human conditioning wherein oligarch powers outline the purpose of life and the purpose of science as being critical in some theoretical final conflict. A conflict which demands supreme time and sacrifice on the part of its victims (the participants), sustained under the guise of WWII soldier or Cool Hand Luke style silent suffering. A social delusion of extremity, which benefits big governments and large socialist corporations, while at the same time stealing lives, in order to establish control and make money.

Weapon Word – words of mass defamation. A fashion term inside SSkeptic discourse, being forced onto the public, and targeting a goal of defaming targeted individuals, observations and in the deceptive obviation of access to science by unwelcome topics. Words plied to place SSkeptic compliant peer pressure on budding scientists or persons of influence in grade school, high school and beyond.

Whack-a-Mole Science – when an arguer presents objection after objection to an observation, data or construct, only to shift to another objection in an inventory of habitual objections as each successive objection is satisfied or made irrelevant. Typically employed when one has no desire to allow discourse on the subject at hand, and through ignoring each successive failure of objection they raise.

What’s Done is Done Bias – the artificial refusal to accept new data because an argument has ‘already been settled.’

Where’s my Check Fallacy – the false pretense on the part of an individual who is a Social or Celebrity Skeptic, or otherwise uses skepticism to promote themselves in their institution or career, that they do not receive any compensation for their visible positions on public matters, nor take payment from those who regularly seek to promote specific business, social and political goals and doctrines via well established channels of Social Skepticism.

Whipping Horse – a martyr issue, study, chart, graphic or event which is cited as exemplary in condemning a targeted group or thought set – which is over-employed or used in a domain of ample equivocation, equivocal slack, straw man or other ambiguity that it simply becomes a symbol and ironically maintains no real salience to the argument at hand.

Wicker Man Argument – when an arguer has assembled an array of straw man or misrepresentation arguments so canned, pervasive or presumptuous that it appears that the arguer is arguing with a completely different person than the person with whom they are engaged in discussion. A penultimate, habitual or standing straw man misrepresentation of opposing thought and persons.

Wicker Man Defense – a position, as in the case of religion’s often being called ‘the ultimate strawman,’ where so many special exemptions are able to be pleaded or apologists habitually spin the idea that any critique offered towards their side constitutes strawman, ignorance or tu quoque errors – that the defended philosophy or position actually has no effective defining essence which can be pinned down in the first place.

Wiio’s Law – a failure in communication is never by accident. Communication usually fails, except by accident.

Wikipediad – lying through facts. When one attempts to portray themselves as an expert on a subject and squelch a specific idea by relating the entire repertoire of science in and around that idea through showering the discussion with history and ¡facts!, none of which actually pertain to the context or question at hand.

Wishful Accusing – accusing a person of making a decision with regard to data or observations according to what the opponent believes might be pleasing to imagine on their part, rather than according to evidence or reason. The minor implication embedded being that the opponent exhibits no such fault.

Wittgenstein Attribute by Exception – a condition wherein the definition of a concept, term, quality or attribute can only be objectively described by comparison to what it is not. A logical object which is exclusively tenable through outlining cases wherein it or its qualities are absent. Often framed by ‘I don’t know how to define it, but I know when I am in it’, for example; usually involving merely a personal standard of measure. Attempts to define as logical objects, concepts such as love, happiness, genuineness, good, enlightenment, etc. Two errors result from a positive logical object approach in defining this type of Wittgenstein attribute:

a. epistemological study or social deliberation of such qualities ends up being more equivocal, ineffective or subject to personal experience than is presumed beneficial, and​

b. the pseudo-objective standards of such a definition, can be worn as a masquerade by entities which truly do not actually bear such concepts as qualities.​

Wittgenstein Error (Contextual) – employment of words in such as fashion as to craft rhetoric, in the form of persuasive or semantic abuse, by means of shift in word or concept definition by emphasis, modifier, employment or context.

Wittgenstein Error (Descriptive) – the contention or assumption that science has no evidence for or ability to measure a proposition or contention, when in fact it is only a flawed crafting of language and definition, limitation of language itself or lack of a cogent question or (willful) ignorance on the part of the participants which has limited science and not in reality science’s domain of observability.

Describable: I cannot observe it because I refuse to describe it.

Corruptible: Science cannot observe it because I have crafted language and definition so as to preclude its description.

Existential Embargo:  By embargoing a topical context (language) I favor my preferred ones through means of inverse negation.

Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological) – the contention that a proposition must be supported by empirical data or else it is meaningless, nonsense or useless, or that a contention which is supported by empirical data is therefore sensible, when in fact the proposition can be framed into meaninglessness, nonsense or uselessness based upon its underlying state or lacking of definition, structure, logical calculus or usefulness in addressing a logical critical path.

bedeutungslos – meaningless or incoherent. A proposition or question which resides upon a lack of definition, or which contains no meaning in and of its self.
unsinnig – nonsense or non-science. A proposition of compromised formal structure or not framed in a scientifically valid form of reduction. Feynman ‘not even wrong.’
sinnlos – mis-sense, logical untruth or lying. A contention which does not follow from the evidence, is correct at face value but disinformative or is otherwise useless.

Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological Bias) – the contention that a proposition must be supported by empirical data or else it is nonsense or meaningless, or that a contention which is supported by empirical data is therefore sensible, when in fact the proposition is at least in part critically dependent upon a tenet of philosophy which is more than simply elemental in nature.

Wolfinger’s Inductive Paradox – an ‘anecdote’ to the modus praesens (observation or case which supports an objective presence of a state or object) constitutes data, while an anecdote to the modus absens (observation supporting an appeal to ignorance claim that a state or object does not exist) is merely an anecdote. One’s refusal to collect or document the former, does not constitute skepticism. Relates to Hempel’s Paradox.

Wolfinger’s Misquote – you may have heard the phrase ‘the plural of anecdote is not data’. It turns out that this is a misquote. The original aphorism, by the political scientist Ray Wolfinger, was just the opposite: ‘The plural of anecdote is data’. The only thing worse than the surrendered value (as opposed to collected value, in science) of an anecdote is the incurred bias of ignoring anecdotes altogether. This is a method of pseudoscience.

You Can’t Wake Someone Who is Pretending to be Asleep – a principle which cites that a faking individual will never follow through with the traits of the disposition they are faking. A fake skeptic will draw conclusions on scant data and hearsay, as long as it conforms with what they believe. Or conversely in logic, mainstream media cannot be shocked to awareness by emergent news or observation inside something they are choosing to ignore in the first place.

Yule-Simpson Paradox – a trend appears in different groups of data can be manipulated to disappear or reverse (see Effect Inversion) when these groups are combined.

Zeigarnik Effect – states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. This imparts a bias to refute arguments or ideas which are unfinished.

Zero Risk Bias – making a decision or creating economic, insurance or financing arrangements so that a zero-risk scenario is developed – ignorant of the ramifications involved in cost or where risk is shifted or the de-optimization entailed in the decision made.

Zombie Theory – pseudo-theory or an old paradigm of understanding which is still being enforced by a portion of the scientific community as consensus, when indeed it is not – and/or the topic is undergoing a Kuhn-Planck paradigm shift. A walking dead placeholder theory which is abused and contorted to both explain everything unknown, and as well uses wicker man rationalizations in order to excuse its shortfalls long after it has ceased to serve any valuable explanatory potential.


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