As regards several critical matters, there is no such thing as a state of innocent misinformation. Those matters pertain to the exploit stakes to be captured in terms of money, power, and the control of what is known. The notion that misinformation is defined as a state of being ‘mistaken, absent of intent’, ironically itself constitutes intentional misinforming. All information carries intent. The disposition of the messenger is therefore irrelevant.
In a previous article, we cited that the erroneous pop-notion that misinformation involves the informing party’s being ‘mistaken, absent of intent to deceive’ (Reader’s Digest: Misinformation vs. Disinformation: How to Tell the Difference: “Misinformation contains content that is false, misleading, or taken out of context but without any intent to deceive.”)1 suffers from philosophical (Wittgenstein) Descriptive Error. Especially as it pertains to a party seeking gain through power, profit, or conformance, such misdefinition itself ironically constitutes intentional misinformation.
We recently learned a hard lesson about such poor philosophy through the malicious activities of the White House and FBI, enacting unconstitutional ‘joint action’ with media entities YouTube, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter.2 Such entities have lost critical human rights court decisions concerning their malicious activities during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.3
This philosophical weakness centers around the following principle, a variant of a principle called the exoentropy of normatives (The effort to enforce order inside a controlled subsystem, inevitably and ironically serves to increase the level of disorder or entropy surrounding it.).
Exoentropy of Medium (Intent Laundering)
All a gain-seeking entity need do in order to officially deceive, is to pass errant information, stripped of any basis of soundness, to an objective (‘intent free’) third party (the official media), staffed by clueless redistributors or recent journalism school graduates, who could not possibly be any the wiser. This methodology allows for such information to be laundered of its intent, and therefore at worst, if detected as false, be regarded as merely ‘mistaken’.
The gain-seeking party therefore can never disinform (lie with facts), because they bear no intent. Q.E.D. their facts are true and comprehensive.
The most entropy-introducing ‘informing’ which the gain-seeking party enacts, is their mandate to have their innocent media parties remain silent or ignorant regarding a specific critical issue. When a dissenting party is silent, that this their prerogative under skepticism. When a gain-seeking party mandates silence, this is not an act of skepticism.
All dissenting opinion or information therefore, regardless of its validity, probative potential, or soundness, inherits the resulting exoentropy. By default, such dissent can only originate from an ‘intent to oppose objectivity’, and therefore can never constitute misinformation (because it carries intent), but rather can only exist as disinformation (hearsay, anti-virtue, or conspiracy theory), whether correct or not.
As a default disposition, this Wittgenstein Descriptive Error renders the official media as an entity which is perpetually innocent and perpetually at worst, misinforming. This ‘Oh, I was simply mistaken’ ad hoc apologetic is a ruse and exit strategy for their appeal to authority. Ethics in reality, does not allow for authority to escape accountability by means of such casuistry.
By means of such philosophical sleight-of-hand, the media can never be therefore held to account for its agency or biases. You however, are always a conspiracy theorist for the audacity to consider even the slightest dissenting notion.
Therefore, when a celebrated or media entity appeals to the authority of science or official narrative, especially inside the context of human rights, dishonesty and incompetence are indistinguishable.
One can easily spot the narrative numpties and ninnies who fall for this. They reside in a chronic state of ‘knowledge-laden ignorance’ – full of facts, filled with lies. In order to demonstrate why comprehension of this Jedi Mind Trick is important, let’s conduct a thought experiment.
A gain or power-seeking stakeholder should never be afforded the a priori permissive argument nor posteriori ad hoc rescue of ‘Oh, I was simply mistaken’. If a gain-seeker suggests inference or fact which has not been fully validated as true, they are still lying – regardless of their messenger’s ‘intent’.
You own a successful small business. I am your newly hired Controller. As new accountant for your business, I just obtained signature-access to its operating cash account yesterday. Today I transferred all $700,000 in operating cash funds into my own personal account in the Cayman Islands. There is now a $0 cash position in the business account, as of close of bank hours today.
I plan on secretly flying out of the country tonight. You, as business owner, are aware of my access to the business account, but not the transfer of funds. Not being web savvy yourself, that evening you inquire of me as to the business’ cash position.
My deceptive response options (all of which involve ‘intent’):
Misinformation – Lying with Falsehoods (deception by means of straw man or false information)
“The cash position is sound and fluid, at 45 days reserve.”
“You have $700,000 in the cash account.”
Disinformation – Lying with Facts (ingens vanitatum/ignoratio elenchi/red herring – deception by means of true, partly true, or irrelevantly true information)
“Your average closing daily cash balance over the last week was $600,000.”
“Overhead costs have risen 18% and we took a heavy overhead hit this month. But our cash position was $700,000 today.”
Nelsonian Information – Scientific Lying (deception through appeal to ignorance)
“I have found no evidence that your cash position is unsound.”
“The account balances have yet to be audited (peer-reviewed).”
“Accountants, until the bank completes their current system upgrade, please remain silent on account balance issues. As well, please fact-check all account balance contentions with this morning’s accurate balance only.”
Malinformation – Malicious Lying (deception through appeal to malice)
“You had a $2,100 charge at ‘Tiffany’s’ last month, is that a strip joint, or do you have a special friend?”
“Your spouse was logging into and out of the bank account today.”
All Four Combined – Exoentropy of Medium (deception through laundered appeal to authority/neutrality)
I inform the accounting department to remain quiet (silence) on the cash account issue, until the “bank can complete its systems upgrade”. At the same time, I forward the day’s opening statement of funds to the business owner’s trusted personal assistant who has regularly monitored his accounts in the past, suggesting ‘FYI, just in case this is needed’ – and calculating that the ambitious personal assistant will not relate the provenance of their up-to-date information (which is ‘better’ than the information that accounting holds). The admin assistant thus has become my innocent narrative numpty/ninny, representing me as the gain-seeking entity. In this elaborate deception, I will have gained enough time for the SWIFT transfer of funds to clear, before anyone is the wiser.
Note that in this final example set of actions, through introducing innocent third parties into the value chain of information, I have enacted the most clever of misinformation schemes. I have exploited all four modes of errant information (misinformation, disinformation, Nelsonian, and malinformation). I have created a ‘knowledge-laden ignorance’. I have exploited the exoentropy of medium. I have stripped the information of my intent to deceive – and passed it to a ‘neutral’ third party which bears no intent.
For a critical period of time (all lies bear a necessary shelf life), anyone who dissents with any form of reason, will appear as a babbling and irrational conspiracy theorist. By the time they collectively figure it all out, the matter will be moot. I will be on a beach, earning twenty percent.
Intent, or lack thereof, is a deliberation regarding the person, not the information they are passing. Information always carries intent.
This is why exonerating a gain or power-seeker’s information which is passed through an objective third party as ‘absent of intent’ – is a grave philosophical mistake. At best, it is Pollyanna. At worst, itself a deception.
The critical absence of a capture in exploit stakes, is why I do not charge for, nor seek personal celebrity or gain through this website. Sure, I get an ego boost every now and then, and appreciate kind words just as would anyone. But my intent is transparent – oppose oppression from those who fake representation as science and skepticism, by arming their victims with critical (and unfortunately, often novel) philosophy.
I desire neither to launder my intent nor allow my intent to be biased by exploit stakes. Skeptics or media entities who imply that they are basically operating from neutrality, and possess no intent, should not be trusted. The only way they can possess no intent, is to remain utterly disinterested in the topic – which is rarely the case. This is why the deceptive arguer often feigns disinterest in critical subjects they wish to misrepresent.
We’ve all heard the familiar expressions ‘bad money is always bad’ and ‘there are no mistakes when it comes to money’. Even so, all information carries intent, whether it has been laundered of that intent or not.
The Ethical Skeptic, “Information Always Carries Intent (Whether Intended or Not)”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 13 Feb 2023; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=71072