The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

The Future of Ethical Markets

Ethical markets of the future will need bear additional factors necessary to deflect exploitation by cabal, cartel and mafia entities. Specific components of objective measure for risk, value and currency will need to be brought to bear. Things which serve to disempower those who draw down the majority of a value chain’s margin, yet provide the minority of its actual value.

I am currently involved in the creation of a new marketplace – the Herculean task of one of my development companies. The team which is taking on this challenge has deliberated at significant length and depth over the last few years, as to the ethical components which should be incorporated into this new marketplace’s functionality. This style of trade has not been practiced before, so we must step carefully and deliberately. The marketplace is targeting the Asian and Latin American regions, so not only do we need to be sensitive to cultural differences, but as well our product needs to reflect the particular business practices which are peculiar to those sourcing and demand environments. Accordingly, my team has met with numerous trading entities in an effort to grasp the detailed nature of their material trades; and as well, has conducted trades of their own, in order to understand the nuances, pitfalls and complexities wound up in those regions’ international trade of goods.

Yes certainly the price-to-quantity of the traded component or supply plays critically into any market transaction consideration. Price per quantity indexing and discovery (lower left of the graphic above) are all important functions in a marketplace. However, price and quantity are not the only factors which are actually traded inside a market. The critical value of effort, material or scarcity which is placed into or imbues the traded items, are essential in any pricing play. As well, the ‘skin in the game’ which both the offer and bid makers possess, must be fairly addressed inside any value chain of goods/services. These new market factors are being added into our trading platform, as shown in the graphic above and highlighted by the gold glow around those quantified and managed transaction measures. A utility token for stakeholder risk, and one for value provision – along with a supply chain which ships exactly what the customer has ordered, nothing more/nothing less – these are the critical praxis elements of the value chain of the future. The quality-history of the product in terms of its pedigree and pathway of provenance, these elements are to be traded inside the market of the future, and not simply price and quantity.

If one is placing their season, business or family at risk, then that entity should be rewarded with greater control of the distribution of profits inside their value chain. If one is committing to raw materials or supplies necessary in manufacturing a good, then they should be compensated for this value provision – and not be abused by monopsonistic or exploitative speculators/cartels, who control nothing but market access.

   Crony Driven Entities

   A cartel sells you your market access.
   A cabal sells you social or club legitimacy.
   A mafia sells you your own livelihood and/or life.

Intermediaries, who are simply conducting the equivalent of a phone call connecting two parties (supply and demand agents), or are performing nothing but a low-risk arbitrage/distributorship function in between, should be positioned as a lesser-value play inside a trade, all things being equal.  Today’s reality inside any given trading market is that intermediaries, because of the fog-of-trade on both the demand and supply side, draw down the lion’s share of profit margin available in the trading value chain.

It is the job of a flat ethical price-making market to offer the intelligence to the value provider and risk bearer so that those parties may discern this process:

   1. Know what value is
   2. Know what value is needed most
   3. Choose the highest need of the highest value
   4. Hedge the risk which achieves this.

The Crony creates a Fog of Trade, such that the value provider and the risk bearer cannot discern the above. That way they reap your value and hand you the unhedged risk. This in turn serves to creates a displaced grey market inhabited by the huckster, hustler and shyster. Consisting mostly of poseurs who wish to be real someday, but must cheat a little along the way in order to survive.

For instance, a factory which produces a product may only draw 12 cents of the margin dollar for a given product. Likewise the retailer who sells the product might draw down another 12 cents of its margin value. Intermediaries who simply connect the factory with the retailer, end up drawing down 76% of the available margin, simply because they have a vantage point which allows them to see the landscape on both the supply and demand side of the equation. A sophisticated market of the future will need to level this landscape and allow both the high-value production and high-value demand sides of the value chain to survey the entire market. It is one thing to eliminate the middle-man (in old retail lingo), but when the middle-man is both drawing down the super-majority of the available margin, and as well is obfuscating the information which its partner entities need in order to derive a healthy business on their own, then this backwards structure of market needs to be changed.

Today’s commodity futures markets in the West, as well as many food and bulk trades in Asia and the Americas fall victim to this type of intermediary ruled trade practice. The result is higher prices paid by trading principals, and higher costs borne by their citizens for simply basic products. The future of market trading platforms involves rectifying this imbalance in the value chain.

The Principal Ethic of a Value Chain

Margin performance must follow a provision of value and/or an assumption of risk, or inflation ensues.

Inflation is every bit as much a dilution of economic value, as it is an increase in prices.

When risk and value are ignored, three types of default trading member emerge, whether we want them to or not. The objective of an ethical market is to make value and risk manifest and quantifiable, so that these cabal/cartel/mafia entities cannot pull of their normal exploitation.

Huckster – sells value first and then price. A huckster differentiates or inflates a product value in order to obscure price performance.

Example:  A consumer goods toy manufacturer who only gives a discount if unreasonable amounts of units are purchased by their demand customer, who must then dump that excess inventory to the aftermarket, and subsequently damage their own brand through oversupply. Product dumping inflation ensues. eBay is flush with supplies of that toy as a result.

Hustler– deceives two parties as to value and price, as the go-between in a pseudo-transaction. Misadvertises to both parties that they have a value or price commitment from the other party.

Example: An intermediary tells a chocolate products manufacturer that they have a committed supply of cocoa bean from a producer in West Africa – and tells the cocoa bean producer that they have a proof of funds MT-799 and ICPO from a buyer. Neither is in fact true, and when the parties meet, trust plummets, and subsequently there is a low probability of transaction success. The most likely outcome of a hustle being that each party thinks that the other party, as well as the hustler, are fraudulent players.

Hustle Chain – a chain of agents and/or hustlers who in sequence make representations upline and downline to each other between a putative buyer and a seller (or value provider and risk undertaker). The longer the chain of such entities the more exaggerated or ‘certain’ the representations. A chain of eagerness or greed in which favorable information is spawned and unfavorable information is filtered out, in both directions. Value, capability and availability of the product are exaggerated as the ‘pseudo-offer’ is passed upline, while willingness, demand or ability to pay on the part of the bidder are up-spun as a ‘pseudo-bid’ coming downline. This type of unqualified principal or procedure-less pseudo-trade collapses 99 out of 100 times.

Shyster – sells price first and then value. A shyster blends, shorts, conflates or confuses product in order to obscure value performance.

Example:  A food distributor who delivers CIF shipments which contain a mixed blend of production lots which might or might not fail quality inspection individually, yet overall averages to an acceptable product quality. Human health suffers as a result.

We have all run into these types of entities in our past of course. But in a complex market, their presence and role may be obscured by the intricacies of the trades themselves. Their presence causes market inefficiency, friction and inflation. Their presence causes suffering. These players are the cabals, cartels and mafias who rule our information, news, currency, consumer goods trade, agricultural trade, food trade, electronics trade, material resource, equity markets, etc.

An Example of Exposed Corruption

In one particular former socialist country, now attempting to free itself from the heavy hand of its Bolivar masters, producers were fully unaware that the freight costs they were paying to ship their goods were a full 80% higher than their counterparts in neighboring free trade countries. This placed an extra $8 per unit (or 30%) premium upon their product globally. It made them non-competitive for decades. They were told that the ‘arrogant West just did not like them’ and refused to buy their products. They were unable to see this cost imbalance until they were afforded access (pro bono) to our market package.

This excess cost was strangling them collectively as an industry. Its burden carried by this nation’s producers because the logistics providers were the ‘only game in town’, as authorized by their nepotistic Ministry of Trade – and the fact that one of the ministers wanted to be very rich, at the expense of his nation’s entire group of producers.

There were some rather angry producers as a result of this learning experience. History isn’t kind to men who play god.

These producers bore all the value, as well as all the skin in the game. Meanwhile this Minster and his service-monopsony bore zero risk – zero value. This type of Crony activity is just sick, and boils my blood. I spend much of my life helping to topple unethical entities just like this (think skepticism as well).

This is the future – the ethical exchange of value, the ethical compensation for risk, an understanding of who the stakeholders are in the trade and commerce equation – and which parties constitute the undue and low value influences. Yes, we ‘cut out the middle man’ in some markets over the last 50 years – but we still have a long way to go, in order to make these principles the ethic inside of our broader world.

This revolution will apply to claims to ‘represent science’, medicine and governance in our future as well. A smart and informed stakeholder population is rising fast, and will demand no less. Nor should they.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Future of Ethical Markets”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 3 Dec 2019; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/2019/12/03/the-future-of-ethical-markets/

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethical Skepticism: Value

The Two Goals of Ethical Skepticism: Value and Clarity

Value

A primary goal of Ethical Skepticism: “Value – as measured by achieving beneficial outcomes in their research”

Value is the watchword of humanity.  It is the measure by which we are all appraised.  It applies from fields as diverse as medical research, metallurgy, information systems and on certainly into issues of economics and national wealth.  Our current economic woes stem indeed from a shift of value-laden activities offshore and into the hands of horizontal monopolies or those countries who have enslaved their populations.  As well the current malady is festering where there exists a divestiture of value oriented professions on the part of socialized countries in the Middle East and Europe.  Indeed the principle of Inflation itself, inside of value based economics, is simply a dilution in value, and is not necessarily constituted and characterized by a rise in pricing, nor by the increase in M1 to M3 conversion leverage rates. Value is the measure of how we as persons and institutions are doing at earning our keep.  It can be born by innovation, creativity, the ability to entertain, inspire, repair, engineer, support, be productive, efficiently turn money or invest hard work.  Any or all of these very human virtues each produces value in a socioeconomic context.  Where value goes, so goes the wealth of a nation.

Where Value Goes, So Goes Wealth

If I take a dollar as compensation for my job or service, and do not provide a commensurate value in return, I have increased the amount of burden placed on everyone. I have increased Inflation, and Inflation is an equal opportunity employer. A society can produce Inflation through theft, bureaucracy, inefficiency, skimming, excessive taxation, monopoly and oligopoly, squelching of ideas, prohibiting disdained thinking, intimidation and the instilling of fear, destroying dreams, allowing infrastructure decay, excessive militarization, protocol formalizing, institutionalizing, regulating, creating elite aristocracies, class polarization, programming, institutional entitlement, excessive religious control, and encouraging the overall detachment of dreams from work on the part of the average individual.

Skepticism applied as a goal in and of itself, and not as a contingent sub-feature of a broader set of scientific inquiry, does not produce value

Deskeption is one such activity which dilutes value.  Just because one enjoys a personal reward as a SSkeptic by decrying potential errors inside a “topic of pseudoscience,” simply because they may catch a Schopenhauer logical fallacy every now and then, does not mean that one is increasing the overall value of their contribution to society.  The potential net loss in squelching even ONE significant idea of merit, is vastly more destructive than the scant benefit derived through trivial repetition of one liners.  Further, when the SSkeptic exercises enjoyment of the Ten Pillars of control he is contributing to the overall “squelching ideas, prohibiting disdained thinking, intimidation, institutional entitlement, elite aristocracies and the instilling of fear” process.  And make no mistake, this set of circumstances exists in science right now.  It might be a rewarding psychological return for the SSkeptic, to be in control of those things which science is allowed to examine, but that role is not healthy for science or our society.  It might be heady compensation to not have your thoughts held to account, and to manifest the appearance of always being right by the simple act of ridiculing those whom you deem to be lesser people, as if bully on an elementary school playground.   It might be personally rewarding to the SSkeptic, but it does not improve life, does not improve information, does not improve knowledge, does not improve science.

It would benefit me much to be a King, but I am not sure everyone else would fare so well.

The simple fact is, that in an unbridled and research driven culture, added information tends to falsify errant constructs and data through a simple disciplined process.  Such a culture does not require SSkeptics. In an environment, such as the labs I run, outlier ideas are not things to eschew as long as we have ways to evaluate them.  We do not need police who filter ideas in advance, pretending to be on our side, as that stifled thinking destroys our lab’s business.  We do not need Kings who have appointed themselves to that Lordship role by their own volition.  The Science is King.

Ethical Skepticism seeks to Add Value – Not Intimidate and Squelch Ideas

How  does the Ethical Skeptic Add Value? First we must address two prerequisites to Ethical Skepticism:

A.  That one actually does research

B.  That one is under the burden of changing the state of mankind for the better (note: teaching everyone ‘the truth’ does not qualify as bettering mankind)

Outside of these two requirements, one is a person with an opinion (which is fine), but is not an Ethical Skeptic.  From there, the Ethical Skeptic adds value by some basic tenets:

  1. By conducting actual ground up research.  Nothing kills SSkepticism quicker than by one actually being out there and doing the field work
  2. By skipping Promotification, and looking at what ALL the data really says
  3. By not Filtering Data, or Dismissing Data because one has presumed the superiority of one’s own or Cabal’s knowledge
  4. By getting out of the classroom, media and academia – or other self focus activity
  5. Allowing constructs to falsify themselves through rich added data, not Deniability
  6. By tolerating the falsification of my pet ideas and beliefs
  7. By working to eliminate the personal character flaw of disdain
  8. By being placed under a delivery burden which required new thought
  9. By having a human need ride on their research, not just intellectual banter
  10. By deriving an actual benefit, from their work, in terms of one of the counter-inflationary activity sets
  11. By reducing the need for power gratification, and increasing the understanding and appreciation of those around you.

Personally addressing the Ten Pillars in all of us, is our task in life.  No squelching, no intimidation and excuses to ridicule people (“outlandish claims are indistinguishable from a parody of same”, etc.), no intimidation of colleagues into a house of silence and fear, no prejudiced data filter, no disdain, no leveraging our elite entitlement power.  Rather, provide Value.

Ethical Skepticism, exhibiting the best of Human Character.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethical Skepticism: Clarity

The Two Goals of Ethical Skepticism: Value and Clarity

Clarity

A primary goal of Ethical Skepticism: “Clarity – as measured by the ability to obtain common ground or understanding with opponents when possible”

Clarity is the triumph of the human mind.  Regardless of the veracity of our beliefs, our claims and our understanding of the natural realm which envelopes our daily lives, it is clarity which should excite our souls, the ability to see which should become our benchmark, and the capability to then share clear ideas with each other which becomes the fulfillment of our life legacy.  An idea which proves me wrong, which tenders me clear and further advanced thinking on a subject should be embraced fully by the Ethical Skeptic.  Clarity can be muddied by fervor and can be betrayed by agendas of disdain and control.  Clarity is the gift which blesses the pure of heart but eludes those who seek baser goals.   The onus is upon each of us to not be deceived by the illusion of residing in clarity; rather to discern when our ‘clarity’ is simply a convenient packaging of propaganda, and not the disciplined daily mental breakthrough which is the signature trait of the truly ethical intellect.

The Ethical Skeptic should eagerly seek to be proven wrong every single day

Clarity is however an illusive state.  The prerequisites of clarity are an objective heart and a disciplined set of habits with regard to the handling of new information and principles.  The undisciplined traits of SSkeptics outlined later herein, represent the lazy tolerance of muddied conflict as satisfactory in one’s life or necessary in gaining an advantage on opponents, and stand as the essence of deception, Deskeption and politics.  Four key measures which help the Ethical Skeptic monitor their walk along the line of Clarity, and which are helpful to me include:

a.  The demonstrated and consistent ability on my part to accurately articulate an opponent’s contention (have your opponent relax and say “Yes, that is what I am contending.”), coupled with

b.  The ability on my part to skillfully disarm and bring an opponent to accurately articulate my position or data set (have your opponent say in non-defensive fashion “So what you are saying is…”),

followed by

c.  The ability to find common grounds of understanding with opponents when possible, and

d.  The daily habit and ethic of re-examining tired old understood constructs in totally new ways.

These are the measures which the Ethical Skeptic should seek in pluralistic discourse in an effort to groom and maintain their clarity.  A good laugh over the nature of the disagreement is often a key hallmark of having achieved Clarity when it comes to a pluralistic discussion.

Deskeption: When Clarity is NOT the Goal

But when clarity is not the primary goal, when there is actually no semblance of a two party discourse in the mind of the agenda promoting SSkeptic, a habitual set of practices emerges from the doctrine and methodology of the practitioner of Deskeption.  The key methods of opaquing issues and eluding Clarity, are tendered under the psychological need to maintain the appearance of always being right.  They include:

  • Associative Condemnation – The attempt to link controversial subject A with personally disliked subject B, in an effort to impute falsehood to subject B though the association of some idea or keyword common to both topics.  Guilt through association and lumping all subjects into one subjective category.  This typically will involve a context shift or definition expansion in a key word as part of the justification.
  • Antiquing – The citing of very old and ludicrous sounding histories of a modern phenomenon to associate the phenomena with backward or pedestrian old thinking and culture, in an attempt to avoid modern evidence data and impart a tarnish to the idea as originating from an era of non-enlightenment and myth.
  • Construct Laundering – A proposal of Plausible Deniability is tendered on the part of one prominent SSkeptic regarding a Cabal target pluralistic topic. This Plausible Deniability is subsequently then is cited as a peer reference by others inside the SSkeptic Cabal as evidence of falsification. After time, this referential discourse is further promoted as peer reviewed proof that a topic or construct has been ‘debunked already’ by experts in their community at large.  In reality no such falsification has indeed been attempted nor attained.  Only an outlandish  but conforming counter-explanation has been enforced through the SSkeptic community as de rigueur doctrine.
  • Context Dancing –The habit and common practice of SSkeptics whereby a discussion which is less favorable will be shifted slightly in context and into a new realm in which a more favorable new counter point can be introduced that appears to refute the idea being considered or supports SSkeptic’s viewpoints which were unsupportable in the former context.
  • Credulity Accusing – Accusing a person of practicing pseudoscience and credulity simply because they are regarding an outlier idea.  A credulist may be wrong, but as long as they are not pretending to represent Science or claim to be using the Scientific Method, they are not practicing pseudoscience; rather, are merely guilty of being receptive to an untested conclusion.
  • Denial/Dissent Blurring – Denial by a SSkeptic being falsely passed off as informed dissent on their part. Conversely, spinning dissenters or those with opposing data as persons who are “Deniers.”  Denial is the personal or organizational refusal to observe, collect or acknowledge data, or allow such data into a body of research; whereas dissent is an educated disagreement.
  • Fake Hoax Exploitation – An Agent of Deskeption who is anonymous, or who poses to be representative of the Concealed Truth, then posits a transparently ludicrous idea or obviously faked hoax piece of ‘evidence’ which is posed in order to discredit and poorly characterize those of opposite opinions from the SSkeptic.
  • Fact /Ambiguity Dipoles – A fact tendered along with a less obvious parasitic and maliciously incorrect implication.  This sleight-of-hand is employed to surreptitiously condemn topics and people false skeptics wish to attack, while avoiding the overt appearance of doing such unethical activity.  One-liners and headlines are often the best places in which to practice this malicious art; typically employed with the personal goal of improving overall Cabal ranking.  A Fact/Ambiguity Dipole dances along the boundary line of slander or libel, with its virtual center of gravity, the parasitic implication, clearly on the unethical side of that line, while at the same time the superficially contended technical facts remain accurate.
  • Faith Enforcement – The habit of forcing those around you to adhere to your personal choice to cherish an unproven construct as true.
  • Kuhn Denialism – The pseudoscience of social and media bullying with the ultimate goal of controlling exposure to and blocking Science’s consideration of a condition of plurality or new paradigm or its supporting data on a given disliked subject.
  • Plausible Deniability – A technique of obfuscation employed by SSkeptics to enforce a classic or predetermined Deskeption conforming conclusion inside a pluralistic set of observations/data.  The explanation is oft touted to be in compliance with science and an erroneous interpretation of “Occam’s Razor (sic)” wherein the ‘simplest explanation tends to be the correct one.”  In reality, the proposed deniability scenario, while seeming simple in concept, is highly complicated in its viability or application, and often constitutes an impossible explanation of the data set which has been observed.  Plausible Deniability therefore is a method of thought control and data filtering and in no way represents science falsification hierarchy logic nor the scientific method.
  • Pork-Barreling – The practice of shifting the context of an accepted tenet of science or broadening the definitions involved in the principle, in order to appear to imply that science includes proof of additional ideas personally or religiously favored by the SSkeptic.  Blurring – to the converse, using the same tactics with opposing viewpoints to imply that science has condemned or disproved them; when in fact no such event has occurred.
  • Promotification – The pseudoscience (antithesis of Falsification) of forcing the proponent of an idea to, as a priority first, fully develop evidence in support of and tests which can only serve to confirm competing or classic explanations.  It suffers from the logical fallacy that it provides for no disciplined falsification under Developmental Science Methodology, and refuses to acknowledge differing research protocols under Discovery Science Methodology.
  • Proof Gaming – The pseudoscience of forcing the proponent of a construct or set of data, to immediately and definitively prove their contention, circumventing the scientific method and aid of science, before the contention would ostensibly be allowed to be researched by science.
  • Proof by Non-falsifiability (Defaulting) – By selecting and promoting a pet theory or religious tenet which resides inside the set of falsification-prohibited constructs, SSkeptics establish popular veracity of  favored beliefs, by default.  Since their favored theory cannot be approached for falsification, it would be pseudoscience to compete it with other falsifiable constructs and claim it to be an outcome of the Scientific Method. Therefore the scientific method is disposed of, the non-falsifiable theory is assigned a presumption of truth, and furthermore can never be disproved.  A flavor of un-seatable ‘King of the Hill’ status is established for pet SSkeptic beliefs.
  • Religion Enforcement– Forcing compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited.
  • Semantics Jousting – The common practice of SSkeptics to introduce terms with broad and multiple definition footprints in order to shift the discussion from one word meaning in which they are at a disadvantage, and onto another meaning of that same word which then allows a new context to be introduced, and the topic to be steered back to their enforced point of view.
  • Stooge Posing – Attack on piece of data or an easily disprovable topic of credulity used as an effort to bolster a SSkeptic’s record of debunking success and club ranking.  Easy kills, selected because they require little actual effort in research and are useful as visibility-increasing pseudoscience bashing victories, offer merit badge points which increase the Cabal Member’s status and perceived gravitas.  In the end the SSkeptic neither cares about the subject itself, nor science at all; rather, uses the merit points to then increase their credibility in and around other tougher subjects which they then seek to discredit.  It is about crafting personal power by any means available.

By spotting these unethical habits in our own actions, and developing the mental discipline to filter them out of our discourse; by regarding new ideas and persons with enough respect to understand them accurately first, and by pondering anew the mysteries of our world each day, as a habit – the Ethical Skeptic grows, and so does the Clarity of his world.

Ethical Skepticism, exhibiting the best of Human Character.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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