Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Limits of Gullibility

The derogatory term “conspiracy theory” automatically gets thrown at anyone with the temerity to question the veracity of stories broadcast by American mainstream media sources: refuse to believe what they are feeding you, and you are automatically branded a “conspiracy theorist.” But what if you refuse to theorize, to impugn, to ascribe, to insinuate or to offer alternative versions, and simply point out that what is being alleged to be true simply isn’t the least bit likely? Of course, anything is possible; for example, it is possible that every single person who reads this article will instantly get hiccoughs. But it just isn’t the least bit likely. If someone were to tell you that everyone who read this article did in fact come down with a case of hiccoughs, I believe that you would be perfectly justified to say “that’s just too unlikely to be true” and leave it at that, without being scorned as a “conspiracy theorist” and without being goaded into providing some sort of alternative account because you are under no obligation to make sense out of anyone else’s nonsense.

The recent massacre in Las Vegas provides a good testing ground for this approach.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Magic Bullshit Decoder

Unbeknownst to most, their brains are a battleground. Those lower down on the intellectual food chain are programmed more or less directly, through a method close to operant conditioning, to engage in status signaling in order to demonstrate their fitness to their peers, mostly by purchasing certain consumer products, while those higher up are manipulated mostly through underhanded uses of language, using a variety of methods, into buying into a fictional narrative and proving their fitness to their peers through virtue signaling. The lower-brow methods of public manipulation, based on television and advertising, have have already been discussed ad nauseam. Not so with the numerous misdirections and fake-outs involving the misuse language: nobody seems to be involved in keeping track of all the major and minor transgressions against our ability to think clearly. Language is what we reason and communicate with, and when the very words we use are twisted and deformed our ability to think suffers also.

Let me walk you through how that’s done.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

World's Largest Playground

Lake Baikal
Quite a number of people in the world have taken up a nomadic lifestyle by living aboard boats. Instead of cooperatively running in the rat race, they have escaped and now work some vague and sketchy internet-based job while sailing around the islands of the Caribbean or around the Mediterranean, with the Greek islands a particular favorite. Other favorite cruising grounds, for those who don’t much care for the open ocean, include the canals of England or Canal du Midi in France. The Inside Passage which runs up the coast of British Columbia from Washington state to Alaska is another favored playground. The Intracoastal Waterway that runs along the Eastern Seaboard (and is lovingly called “the ditch”) is said to start in Boston, Massachusetts, but can really only be said to exist between Norfolk, Virginia and Brownsville, Texas, on the Mexican border. The more adventurous go through Panama Canal and go island-hopping among Pacific atolls. There are many others. But there is one truly gigantic cruising ground that is charted, dredged, has plenty to see and plenty to do, but remains almost entirely unexplored.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

...By Their Fruits

If you exist within the by now almost hermetically sealed-off mindscape of Western mainstream media, and if you also happen to like knowing the truth, then life must seem increasingly unfair to you—because you can’t win. For decades now the modus operandi has been as follows. Regardless of which party has the majority in Congress or controls the presidency, the same unchanging national (and increasingly transnational) elite ensconced in Washington sets the agenda and pushes it through using any means necessary, whether legal, illegal or blatantly criminal (increasingly the latter as national bankruptcy looms and desperation sets in). Their operatives make sure that there is no real investigation of what happened. All Western media reports that contradict the official mendacious narrative are quashed. Any independent efforts to investigate and to find out the truth are denigrated as “conspiracy theories”—a derogatory term coined by the CIA for exactly this purpose. Any non-Western media sources that dare to contradict the official mendacious narrative are ignored, subjected to ad hominem attacks and all manner of false allegations and, if all else fails, banned outright (as is currently happening with the satellite TV channel Russia Today).

If that happens to be the prevailing method of communicating with the public (as I am convinced, and as you should convince yourself by doing some research if you are not), then what chance do any of us stand of finding out the truth to our satisfaction? Typically, we expect to be presented with a few, possibly somewhat contradictory, versions of events and, after some probing and deliberation, render a verdict and socialize it among ourselves to reach a consensus which then becomes another brick within the edifice of our consensual reality. These are high-priority tasks, because maintaining a sense of consensual reality is important: it allows us to distinguish the sane from the insane, and it makes it possible for us to tell our young people, whose minds are too immature to let them reach their own conclusions without being driven toward unfounded or extremist views, what is safe for them to think. If we are deprived of our ability to maintain a sense of consensual reality, then we lose face before our peers (and our children) and our self-respect suffers because we no longer feel socially adequate.

But what choices are there?