TRUTH IS AN UNENDING MORAL QUEST, & AGGRESSION IS ITS PROPHET.
Abstract: Humans are truth machines. To know where the monsters are, truth is necessary. Survival means fighting off the monsters, armed with fully deployed truth. Not enough truth, not enough survival. Survival is written with truth.
Hopefully, survival, that is, the right war, never stops. Stop fighting, stop living. There are two types who love no drama. First the weak meekly hiding in the bushes, who do not want to be devoured, and prefer the obscurity of the undergrowth, and slavery, if need be.
Secondly, there is the exact opposite, those who want no drama, because they rule unjustly. They are just predators who can’t snarl, their mouths full, devouring their prey. In either case, not a pretty picture, and assuredly a defeat of the mind.
One needs drama to reveal the truth. Drama is the engine at the heart of wisdom. Contrarily to what slave religions have imprinted people to believe. Contrarily to the Obama no drama credo of surrendering to the mightiest. Contrarily to all those financial plots where the poor taxpayers rescue their richest oppressors, so that they can be oppressed some more. Indignation is often the wisest course, whether facing Hitler, or his financial and industrial sponsors (or their grand children).
Micro cameras mounted on helmets, as the French have in Afghanistan, will help change distortions of logical and emotional reality all too conductive to wars on behalf of the Dark Side. (French Socialists, should they win the presidential election, will inform their allies in May that they intend to pull the French army out of Afghanistan before the end of 2012.)
It’s a violent universe: after all, death is insured for all. Keeping death at bay, for a while, means that a lot of truth is in charge, and charging. How is violent truth ascertained? Through a ferocious analysis of history. Even in the hardest core physics. To talk about debt, wars, relativity, or CO2 poisoning, without history to brandish, and rinse with an aggressive theory of truth, is to talk about nothing.
The philosopher Popper is revered by the establishment, precisely because his notion of truth has no teeth, and barks up the wrong tree. Once truth is denied, plutocracy, a pack of self serving, self replicating lies by the class of top exploiters with the lowest values, can prosper.
In truth certainty is the definition of science, and a good way to create certainty is to falsify liars and the idiotic ideas which support them. Plutocracy being the largest source of falsehood there is, both qualitatively, and quantitatively, teaches false Versailles and false WWII, or even false decolonization, and false financial crises, to better keep on going as before, if not even better, all the way down to World War Three.
Watch Obama claiming, when begging for money double faced plutocrats in the Silicon Valley, September 2011, that “[the Europeans] are going through a financial crisis that is scaring the world “. The truth? The USA has re-entered another recession, on its own (not to say the EU is not in recession too).
To stick to facts, Greece has less of a deficit than the USA. American plutocracy inspired dissemblances is what is scaring the world: how deep down the abyss of lies does plutocracy intent to dive, and how much can it stand before imploding us all, Soviet style? Well, be afraid: it will be long, and surprising, all the way down to Pluto.
The devil is in the details, because that is where the lies are, including ultimate ferocity disguised as benevolence. That is why the knights of truth and goodness have to get down there inside, and fight the good fight, against the biggest lies, and the biggest liars who feed from them.
This is not an easy essay to read, the philosophical turbo is on, especially after the attack on Popper, and the subject deserves thousands of pages. But after all, we are in exhilarating times, revolutions breaking all over, plutocracy going insane, CO2 poisoning on a rampage, seas rising, and now Faster Than Light travel, and inconsistent arithmetic (the latest). Philosophy has to embrace it all, and go beyond.
BE AFRAID OF BEING UNABLE TO ASCERTAIN THE TRUTH:
According to a recent book, when Obama became president he had the right instincts, as far as finance was concerned. As the present author long recommended, Obama wanted some banks to be nationalized in exchange of assistance, and a financial transaction tax to be introduced. But his own cabinet, made of people with a long life at the interface of Washington and Wall Street, treated Obama as an ignorant child, and did not even inform him of the decisions that they, among the most corrupt adults in the world, had taken stealthily, to completely discard his orders.
In truth, they were the ignorant ones. And dumb too: they had not even seen that the boat on which they scurried all their lives, as well nourished rats, was sinking. The result is a second recession, after no real recovery, which is not surprising, since there has been no plan to engage finance into profitable, energy efficient job creation (as could have happened if, and only if, the biggest, most corrupt banks had been nationalized).
The latest issue of “The Economist”, in its cover story depicting a black hole as it is presumed that it would really appear in space, asserts that:
Unless politicians act more boldly, the world economy will keep heading towards a black hole
Oct 1st 2011
Obviously a very large black holes, millions of suns in mass. What are we confronted with?
First of all a failure of cognition. And it is coming from an even deeper failure, the incapacity to know how one gets to establish truth. The pseudo wise salad of smart watchdogs such as Karl Popper has something to do with it, as we will see. Propaganda of the supperrich does not just emanate from them, but also from their obsequious servants, often frantically anxious to please their masters, to get another chocolate medal.
Having erected the incapacity to gather important knowledge as worthy, is why one can see some important elected American officials running for the presidency of the USA, although they sound more ignorant about human evolution than Kanzler Adolf Hitler himself (and they want to impose their ignorance as the only truth worth having).
All over the West democracy has been hypnotized by the superrich anti-tax religion, a willful unravelling of civilization, that very unravelling which brought the end of the Roman republic and state, and its replacement by the Dark Ages, where the power of the superrich became awesome, relatively speaking. About two millennia of plutocracy in various guises, including the feudal order, ensued.
The Presiding Judge of the superior Court of San Francisco County said that her court nearly “fell off a cliff” before an emergency loan, and that she expects most of the counties in California to fall off that cliff in the coming months, anyway. All of this because Californians want to pay basically no gas tax.
The Presiding Judge, Katherine Feinstein, is the daughter of Dianne, California’s senior senator, a major support of Obama, so one cannot say that she is not politically connected. Civil adjudication could stop altogether, as it already has on one judicial circuit in Georgia. That, says Judge Feinstein, would bring about the “unravelling of society”.
The People of the “California Republic” do not realize that their rejection of fiscal austerity is condemning their society to feudalism now. Why? Because they are completely imprinted by the ideology of the superrich. They may vaguely feel that this is not right, but, just like president Obama, their own thought system is not sturdy enough to be certain about what to do.
This failure of correct certainty extends all over the West. Only the plutocrats, and their bankers, in control of Main Stream media propaganda, are certain of what needs to be done, for themselves, so that they can keep on flying in private jets from Bali to Gstaad.
A guy called Apotheker headed Hewlet Packard for 11 months. Differently from the publicity seeking commercial outfit known as Apple, HP does real research in real applied physics. It’s also a software giant, and the world’s number one computer maker. And based in the Silicon Valley, where it helped, through leases, to make Stanford University wealthy. Apotheker decided to make HP exit its profitable computer business, after starving it from research funds, creating an uproar, and the board threw him out (rightly so!). Terminating HP computers would have led to a desertion of the extremely profitable HP copier business. To keep him happy, Apotheker was given 23 million dollars.
This is what plutocracy means: a few worthless individuals, paid immense fortunes for doing everything wrong. Are they paid that much because they know where the bodies are buried? Or by exploiting CEO class solidarity? Or both?
DYING FOR PLUTOCRACY IN WWI, WWII, AND, SOON, WWIII?
Hitler was a monster. So were Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, Keitel, SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, and their millions of helpers… Obviously too many millions of monsters for them to be spontaneously generated, so they actually were programmed by a monstrous ideology. The real monster was the ideology Nietzsche had already excoriated, plus added addled ingredients such as Keynes, Henry Ford, and their devotees! That monstrous ideology was dramatically confronted, on September 1, 1939, when France and Britain served Nazi Germany with an ultimatum.
Why would it be philosophical to avoid drama? The age of no drama Obama has demonstrated, if need be, that all reforms are dramatically unmade by putting one’s supporters to sleep with soothing words while conceding the fanatical opposition whatever it wants. No drama Obama has showed us that a never ending blah blah is best to hide the fact one is walking backwards in the other direction. Appeasement of monstrosity only does the monsters good.
Latest cases of this stealth American refusal of any dramatic evolution for good: Washington’s protests against the incoming European carbon tax on aircraft pollution, and the European proposed worldwide Financial Transaction Tax (which Sarkozy is pushing as head of the G20; the UK already has one, the “Stamp Tax“).
Fighting pollution and financial piracy is fine speech as far as the Obama administration is concerned, as long as it requires no effort from those who sponsor it.
In the end, drama is often no choice. At some point, drama is forced by inertia.
The dramatic, plutocratically driven imbalances of the present world economy, mean only two outcomes: revolution, or war. That civilization will quietly degenerate for six centuries, as it did in imperial Rome, is highly unlikely: Rome had no peers. Instead what we have now is a multi body problem. Variants of the European system have been adopted worldwide. In a sense, the world is just like Europe was before 1914, and, considering what happened in Europe in 1853, 1858, 1866, 1870-71, and 1914, we know what it means.
In a dramatic week at the end of July 1914, the socialists in Germany and France saw that German plutocrats had decided upon war as the best way to preserve their endangered status (an explicit plot that a document found in a German attic would confirm, 60 years later). The Franco-German socialists wished to block the incoming war with a general, common strike. However the French socialist leader, Jean Jaures, a top philosopher, was assassinated, and war hysteria took command.
To avoid the most dramatic dramas, timely drama in the pursuit of truth is the way.
The next major drama which unfolded originated in the lies of the economist Keynes and his Anglo-Saxon accomplices about the real dangers of the nature of the French imposed truce of 1919.
Keynes claimed that only on-going hegemony by German plutocrats and their friends would preserve the economy (of the people he cared about; as he was a British speculator, unsurprisingly he was all about fellow Anglo-Saxon plutocrats; Britain would follow Keynes’ line until 1938, and the USA never stopped).
France instead set the peoples of Eastern Europe free from German plutocratic subjugation. The Americans disingenuously have claimed ever since, that France caused Nazism, a theme that the Nazis were all to happy to adopt with a vengeance. The Nazis had to avenge themselves when it dawned on their idiotic selves, starting with their “Guide”, on September 3, 1939, that the Anglo-Saxons plutocrats and their German colleagues had played them. When Adolf the Guide found he had been teleguided, in other words, teleprompted, he was most enraged. But it was too late. Franco-Britannia had declared war. The holocaust had started. Within a few weeks, hundreds of thousands would be dead, and American plutocracy, at its most lethal and stealthy, would feed the war on the fascist side, enabling it to last six years, when it could have been over in months.
Real history is complicated in its details, revealing in its simplicity.
The spirit of plutocracy has been flying from victory to victory, for a full century, as far as American plutocracy and its friends are concerned. Or make that more than two centuries? WWI was turned into the great success of WWII, and then decolonization into a further success, the reverse plutocratic colonization known as “globalization“.
Even the succession of financial crises that plutocracy caused in the last few decades was turned to advantage as the American plutocracy and its friends (from Thatcher to Sarkozy) imposed to the naïve people the further punishment of giving their torturers the banksters ever more money and power.
The exact scheme which plutocracy developed with Nazism is now tried with China: plutocracy is sending enormous resources to the “People Republic of China“, both weakening the dangerously socializing historical base of plutocracy, while increasing its profits tremendously.
The resulting imbalances are unsustainable, as jobs disappear in the West.
Plutocracy would win if and only if it can steer civilization to total war, and its associated fascism, as it did in the Roman republic around 150 BCE. This time it may not work though: not only are some philosophers, such as yours truly, aware of what is going on, but the Chinese and Indian civilizations were not born yesterday. Verily, it’s American plutocracy which was born yesterday. It is now confronting, all over Eurasia, six thousand years of cultural experience, from the “scary” Europeans (dixit Obama) to the impenetrable Chinese (busy launching their own space station, while the USA is reduced to beg the Russians to give them access to space).
Plutocracy has grown with debt, as wealth is created by private banks, through debt. Don’t expect Paul Krugman to explain you this: he is not keen to lose influence and access. I am not even blaming him. I am not even blaming Obama, just what he has been told to regurgitate. OK, let’s plunge in a little piece of that jungle facts, growing all over the place, have been making.
CASES STUDIES OF DEBT RUNNING AMOK: TEMPLARS, FRENCH REVOLUTION, WEIMAR, 1944…
We hear a lot of absurdities about debt, from both extremes. It would help to know some history. Debt is a very good thing to engage in, for irresistible investments which will improve the efficiency of the economy. And debt is often a necessary thing, when really necessary military spending is concerned, as the Italian republics of the Middle Ages demonstrated. However, for a government’s current account, debt should be banned. A historical perspective helps to reveal the truth about debt, namely the serious evils it can entail.
In 1306 CE, Philippe Le Bel solved the problem of the French national debt, spectacularly: he destroyed the superrich Order of the Templar Monks the state owed much to, seized its assets, and sent its chiefs to hold congress from the center of roaring fires (Friday 13, 1307). The Templars were a militarized plutocracy extending all across the Frankish empire, from England, all the way to the “Levant”, Palestine. They did not pay taxes, pretty much like today’s world plutocracy.
OK, smarty pants will object that the king of France himself was at the head of a plutocracy. Sure. However long traditions, including the rules of Salic and Roman law, plus being at the head of an enormous state comprising church, university, police, judiciary and army, made the plutocracy the king was leading, a much more civilized and democratic force than the conspiratorial, secretive undemocratic Templars.
Philippe IV’s two closest associates were not nobles, but particularly gifted lawyers who had made particularly good studies, and had a republican conception of the state. Philippe, with his more or less vassal, the English king, he had just made war to (creating…debt to the Templars), decided to tax the entire Christian church (something the contemporary Greek republic still has to do). The pope opposed tax justice strongly, which was a mistake. Mr. Pope had forgotten who had put him where he was, and how he was, namely the Carolingian empire.
But Philippe IV had not forgotten his Frankish predecessors’ attitude, seven, six, and five centuries before. The French state, all the way back to Consul Clovis, had always viewed the Church as a tool serving an underlying republican equalitarian secularism. Charles the Hammer had even nationalized the Church, as a warm up before repulsing those peculiar Christians they called the Saracens.
So the church got taxed by France and England. (Later the church cheated again, and England and France, Henry VIII and the French republic, had to correct, all that free riding tax cheating, again.)
A contemporary quandary related to this: why should not the Greek church get taxed too? Is not Greece getting dozens of billions from the French taxpayers? Why is the French secularist republic supporting the Greek Orthodox Church? Was not that all over after the Franks conquered the Byzantine empire and its capital, Constantinople in 1204? During the French revolution, priests had to take an oath to the republic, and now rent (for free) their religious edifices from the French republic. Why is Greek superstition paid for by 16 other secular states?
In an afterthought, Philippe served the arrogant Pope in Rome, with a warrant for his arrest, the equivalent of today’s Interpol red notice (the French king being “emperor in his kingdom”, and the Papal state being a gift from Charles the Great ). The Pope died while in the tender care of French special forces. After that Popes were required to serve in Avignon, not Rome.
In 1789, the debt of the kingdom of France reached 80% of GDP (about what it is now). This came from the fact that the plutocrats, namely the nobles and the church, did not pay (enough) taxes. I guess the same causes have the same effects.
Aware of this looming disaster, the king Louis XVI, fresh from his success in creating the American republic, by sending a massive land and sea force to help the American rebels, his government had enticed, decided to modify the tax system. The king wanted to make the superrich pay, but, in the sort of hesitancy Obama loves to exhibit, he danced around reform for several years, even naming serious revolutionary economists as (to the equivalent of)Prime Minister (some teachers of Adam Smith). But, Obama like, Louis played shrinking violet when confronted to serious plutocratic opposition.
Finally, a bit like Obama named a “super commission” to do his job, Louis XVI convoked the “General Estates” to decide what should be done. The “General Estates” were a sort of giant national assembly of representatives of whoever mattered in the realm. They had not been convoked for 250 years.
The situation escaped Louis XVI’s control when the General Estates decided to transform itself in Constitutional Assembly, and rushed to come up with a constitution as if it were in a race with the USA to come up with a new political system.
The USA was in the process of writing its own constitution. To understand this fully, one has to know that kings of the Franks were elected, and the myth that so it was, persisted for centuries. One has also to know that Great Britain, the fruit of various wars, coups and revolutions, did not have a Constitution (nor does Israel). Constitutions had been written for Sparta and Athens, way back. But Rome, even republican Rome did without a constitution, a habit that it not only died from, but also passed to the Franks.
In any case, Louis XVI, after playing around with debt (he kept secret books to pay for the American independence war), found himself losing his head in a revolution.
After 1919, Germany, having destroyed vast swathes of France and Belgium, a lot of it deliberate vandalism (from the burning of the immense Middle Ages libraries full of irreplaceable books, to the dynamiting and flooding of French coal mines) was condemned to pay reparations (as Prussia had exacted from France in 1871). The German Second Reich (aka “Weimar republic”) was unwilling to pay this debt, and decided to engage in hyper inflation instead (France had paid the reparations unjustly exacted by Bismarck in 4 years in the 1870s).
In 1944, French national debt, laden by five years of total war, was 290% of GDP. France would mostly grew out of it, helped by significant inflation and planned reconstruction. Within 12 months, a devastated Germany would be partly denazified, occupied and go hungry, for years. And the third main piece of the old Imperium Francorum, England, was saddled with enormous debts to its generous American ally, and devastation of its own.
Afterwards the Europeans enjoyed the American Century, now just decried, in French, by the irate president of the European Commission, as a “paternalism“, to be crushed by “European pride“. The experienced German finance minister, another conservative, depicted the three trillion dollars American style TARP the Americans want the European to implement a “stupid idea“. Obama was reduced to professorially intone a rewriting of history.
The truth is that, as the Europeans clinch their jaws and embrace austerity, they remember centuries of history, and more. Imperial shortcuts and financial craziness, not to say indebtedness, brought disasters, and that’s the truth.
Germany, and France too, did very well with austerity, in the last few decades, and that is also the truth, thank you. All of Europe has very high energy taxes, and even some have taxes on wealth. Britain high income bracket is taxed at 50%. The French just introduced a tax on the most polluting factories. The European carbon tax on airlines, incoming January 1, 2012, drives the Washington republic bananas (oops, sorry about the implied pleonasm; how to drive a banana banana?).
IF YOU GO TO WAR, FIRST VISIT THE HOUSE OF TRUTH:
The Libyan war was necessary for the European Imperium to engage in. Gaddafi had caused too much human rights violations, all too close. Too bad that vassal Merkel squeaked from the sidelines, after betraying Paris and London at the UN, a behavior that Berlin should remember has no future, except for a very bad past.
Afghanistan is the opposite story. In this case, the Europeans, naively, have flown to the rescue of the trouble maker. It’s the USA which has officially caused trouble in Afghanistan since July 3, 1979. To help the trouble maker is no way out of trouble. And, by the way, Pakistan, as it is, is also the USA’s baby.
French soldiers in Afghanistan mount micro video cameras on their helmets, and film combat. Two came back to France, and found that nobody was interested by that lamentable war. So they left the army, left France, for good measure, and published their internet generation movie making on the web.
It is very interesting: war as videogame. Huge explosions, rockets, unending strands of bullets, all armored monsters running around with giant weapons. The humor is extraordinary, fully appropriate, and highly disturbing. The soldiers laugh, even when shaken by explosions inside a tank.
Deadly combat is best for gallows humor: “Wow! We are surrounded on all sides, we are going to die here!” [Genuine amusement, laughter!] “Shut up, I don’t want to die here!” [More laughter! One of the funniest thing ever heard, the way the laughter sounds! If even their imminent death is a cause of genuine hilarity, how do you get to soldiers like that?]” “OK, guys, shoot on anything which move, except children, I am calling the planes!” [Bombardments, napalm] “Wow! That’s hot!” [Watching napalm: laughter!] “There were children there! We are such bastards!” [Laughter, a bit more nervous, with a sense of wonder at being such bastards… Like they did not know they had that in them.]
People do some things because they believe some related things are true. Man is a theoretical animal, going from theory to theory, like a gibbon goes from branch to branch. If one of these theories proves false, man crashes. So it is, when a gibbon grabs a rotten branch.
In Afghanistan, the gibbons in chief have miscomputed: many, all too many, of their theories are rotten branches of empty rhetoric, as wrong as wrong can be. They empowered fanatical war-like Islam in Afghanistan, and set-up an Islamist corrupt “republic” there, and now fight bad Islamists in the name of good Islam, or so they say (but their lies fool no one there).
Those gibbons in chief just owe an ever increasing debt to society for the pain and suffering they cause, for no good reason whatsoever, but the inertia of empire.
TO FIND TRUTH, START WITH SCIENCE, BUT AVOID POP POPPERIZATION:
The philosopher Karl Popper defended the notion of falsification to distinguish between what was science, from what was not science. At some point, Popper even said that a theory is scientific, if and only if it is falsifiable, which is obviously silly (that would make the theory that Tuesday is on Wednesday since it is falsifiable…)
Einstein’s Special Relativity could not be falsified, or proven wrong. According to Popper does that mean that it was not science? And now that it may have been proven wrong, is it therefore, in retrospect, science?
Is science science, as soon as it is not science anymore? Is that what Popper is saying?
Some will say that I am confusing “falsifiable” and “falsified“. Well so? Popper makes me both irritable and irritated. Is not that a distinction without much of a difference? If Popper were asked to define “peace”, it seems he would do what he did for science, go to its natural opposite: he would say that a peace can be distinguished from a conflict, if is irritable… which irritates me, for sure.
Popper was aware of some of the problems with his definition of science, so he apparently switched to “criticizability“. Later Popper discovered the logician Tarski, a deeper thinker, proponent of unadorned truth, and regretted to not have heard of him before… Thus Popper’s statements are all over the map.
All this philosophical self contradictory meandering meant to be clever, had a disastrous effect on teaching in the USA, as U.S. law says that only real “science” can be taught in the school of the USA, under that name. If science cannot be defined, it cannot be taught. Thus the obscure reign of Popper’s naïve considerations became the reign of obscurantism, and now many republican candidates to the presidency seem to have grown up with the dinosaurs.
But of course, disastrous teaching of reason has been excellent for plutocracy; as intelligence, knowledge and common sense sank, plutocracy soared. More and more insane laws were passed, such as anti tax laws in periods of rising deficits, and calling that “stimulating”. Verily, idiots are stimulated by the triumph of stupidity.
PROPERLY DEFINING SCIENCE:
So let’s reject Popper’s pauperization of the mind. One should call science what is known with certainty.
That means science is what we can predict what will happen, meaning that it works with better than 50% probability. Yes, that means that making fire with stones was, and is, a science, one of the oldest.
In some cases the probability that it will happen is infinitesimally close to 100%. Otherwise only the suicidal would travel by car, train, or air. Even the most superstitious, nowadays, use science all day long. So, when they deny science and the faith they have in it, it they are hypocrites at best, and completely delusional, otherwise.
Part of a scientific theory can be more or less scientific. Einstein’s critique of his own “general” theory gave me the idea, if nothing else would. Einstein thought that the right hand side of his own Einstein gravitational field equation, that right hand side being the mass-energy tensor, was suspect, and it sure is! (Be it only because it depends upon the left hand side, I would say: curvature of spacetime has energy!)
Most of what is called Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity (ESR) is science because it has been demonstrated experimentally thoroughly, and its logic is simple.
However, some parts of Einstein’s theory are more dubious. It seems to me that Einstein, carried away by a craving for over simplification, not to say divination, got philosophically confused between different notions which he should have kept distinct and separate (such as local time and global light). It is as if he wanted to produce a theory which begged for falsification.
(OK, Einstein had a more subtle reason: his will to oversimplify physics, and do it all with just one interaction, electro-magnetism, as gravitation was geometrized out; modern high energy physics has thrown that out of the window, as many interactions were revealed, starting with the weak force… that of neutrino.)
So part of Relativity is certainly true, and some part unproven poetry (flights of fancy within Einstein’s work are well known, among specialists, for example in his theory of E= mcc, where he thought he could prove more than he could chew).
A more concrete example of science being hard here, soft there: the theory of plate tectonic. It is certain that there are plates, and they move, and how they have moved. That part of the theory is hard core science, because it is certain. However, why the plates move is much less certain, and even volcanism inside the plates (say volcanoes in Arizona), or the exact nature of the Tibetan Plateau (is it lifted or compressed? Or both?), are very hypothetical.
Just as certainty vary, science varies. After careful observations, Pumas, aka Mountain Lions, aka Cougars, a species with 40 names in English, and many more in Spanish, were classified as Felis Concolor, and viewed as the largest member of the 100 species one could call “cats” (Felis), in a distinction from Pantherinae (lions, jaguars, etc.)
However, it is thought, since 1993, that the ferocious creature should be known as Puma Concolor: it’s not a felis after all, as it seems closer to cheetahs (which should have been obvious to start with, considering that they look very similar).
FALSIFY LIARS, CERTIFY SCIENCE:
So OK, science is what has proven, and it is more or less scientific according to how more or less certain it is. Simple, back to basics. Having neutrinos going faster than light would not falsify all of Special Relativity, just some imbalanced ideas Einstein pushed, by trying to tell us what his god had decided in all the details, and which Special Relativity can do without, contrarily to what he pretended.
Is nothing to be saved from Popper’s obsession with falsification? Yes, much. The best way to establish certainty is by repeated experiments, until faith is established. But there is another way, which I pretty much (re)discovered by studying top mathematicians. It was a way well known to the ancients. it is implicitly all over science and mathematics: is true what reputable sources believe.
Indeed what of pure math, unconnected from any experience which could indirectly check it? How is certainty established there? Well, most mathematics, operationally, is established by repeated conventions among respectable (wo)men. This is the paradox of mathematics: although most logical, it’s mostly about duplicating authority, in the hope authority is correct.
Some will scream. How can I dare say this? Mathematics as part convention? I have had Fields Medals (a top medal mathematicians of influence give to their pupils), who were friends, turn savagely against me, as I uttered that truth. And they became enemies in seconds.
So no wonder that there has been a lot of screaming, shortly after the neutrinos beat up light, 16,000 times, when a top senior, famous mathematician, Edward Nelson, from Princeton, came up with a purported proof that basic arithmetic is “inconsistent“. Yes, the most basic arithmetic would make no sense.
I don’t know if that proof is correct or not, but I have a meta argument for inconsistency, coming from my neurological interpretation of mathematics.
From experiment to convention there is the plenitude of the truth of (wo)man. Truth, I believe, is essentially neurological, when not experimental. Another type of experience, sure: the inner, ultimate experience.
Thus truth depends upon a faithful representation of both outside and inner experience.
This is why and where the obsession with falsification comes in handy. To find out where the liars are and the lying lies that lay about. That is why top research mathematicians, or scientists in general, are obsessed by the reputation of people, as it conveys the truth of authority. (And the importance of medals and prizes.)
TRUTH IS MORAL:
Thus the theory of truth passes by the moral discovery that many human beings are up to no good, and who, among them bear the darkness of deception.
Saint Augustine had claimed that most humans were up to no good, in the old Roman tradition, and thus inflected the pessimistic and torturous attitude of the Christian church ever since. More cogently, Sade observed that deception and the rest of the Dark Side was all too natural (a point reiterated by Nietzsche, in a more Hinduist, classical mathematical way, as the return of the same). To make matters worse, I pointed out the reason why nature is so cruel: as an organizing principle, stimulating the speed of life. It’s all too ecological.
One can proceed towards truth by cutting off what is deception, and what is false.
And an aid in doing that is to find out individuals who are deliberately deceiving (most of them, according to saint Augustine). Thus an approach to truth: expose those who deliberately lie, and the lying subjects they promote.
OK, both methods are aggressive. But aggression is not antagonistic to truth. Quite the opposite. Verily, success is often the ultimate proof. The proof of the truth is in the eating. As wolves will certify, best nourishment is to be had from the marrow of the erroneous. The proof is not just in the pudding, it’s in the kill.
Wolves know that, individually, a puma can kill them. But they also know that, as a pack, they can steal kills from a puma, and even kill the cat. That’s basic wolf science, in the Americas. Wolf science? Why not? Animal knowledge is born from experience, but mostly, from culture (as the insertion in the wild of human raised wildlife has amply demonstrated).
Let’s give an example of the hard pursuit of truth.
HOT TRUTH: 450.
In the USA, the world’s most wasteful country, global warming is not hot. The plutocrats are cool to the notion. That global warming is actually cool, admitting it happens at all, is promoted by fossil fuel loving living fossils of the plutocratic type, who pay, in diverse fashions, many outlays to tell lies about the situation, and the responsibilities which are involved.
The question is: how do we destroy the respectability of those who believe that there is no problem with poisoning seas and air with CO2 equivalent gases? What is the argument they cannot counter, which will make their criminality blatant?
In climate science, the number “450” cannot be contested. It’s raw data (as “390” cannot be contested for CO2).
The most important categorization of knowledge comes from the importance one endows to the notions one considers, within the theory one addresses.
For example many modern academic philosophers consider “hermeneutics”, the theory of interpreting gossip, as the most valuable, making them worse than useless. As they corrupt the youth away from the critique of real power.
In turn, the value, or rather the lack thereof, of the notions deceivers put forward, allows to expose those one may suspect of deceiving. Deceivers will typically focus on secondary details, and forget the big pictures.
For the CO2 equivalent gas poisoning, just one notion is enough: 450 ppm. Contesting that number is impossible, it is a fact. Denying its importance, lie or deception. When confronted to a climate denier, just ask her/him what part of “450” s/he does not understand. And why.
If they say: “450? What are you talking about?” They are just either so dumb that they are like people who would pretend to read, but don’t know how to read a single letter, or they are deliberately lying. In both cases, they are fanatics. Namely they come out of the fanum, the temple.
Conclusion: Ideas, situations, feelings, methods, entire cultures and superstitions can turn out to be propitious to evil. They are the ones which are, truly, evil. This is admitted by modern law, which recognizes that “fighting words“, and “hate speech” are crimes.
We need to extent the notion that it is with some configurations of the human mind, or even of cognition, or moral attitude, that the crimes truly originate, they are the true culprits.
In other words, Hitler, far from being pathological, was the all too healthy product of a sick and demented culture. He could have been replaced by many a similarly programmed person (and there were plenty, as Nietzsche shrieked, 50 years earlier, well before Hitler’s birth). This is important: a lot of German hermeneutics, so admired to his day, by preventing thinking, was just to Nazism what a smokescreen used to be to a battleship. It’s playing that exact same role to this day, this time protecting Nazism’s sponsor, plutocracy itself. Thus many philosophical departments are neutralized by the study of gossip made into the only science worth studying.
It goes without saying that however flawed Stalin was (he got started by bringing money to the Party, by stealing banks; one the robberies brought millions and perhaps 40 dead), the real monster was Marxism-Leninism, a hateful ideology no doubt partly prompted by Lenin’s brother’s execution, and similar violence from the Tsarist state.
In today’s USA, those who sincerely believe that their ancestors were running around with dinosaurs in the garden of Eden have deep flaws either in their character, or in the way they establish truth, or in what the raw data they learned at school. Flaws so deep that they are similar to those Hitler had. And the same for all those, who, like Hitler believed they were god, or in the inner circle of god. The edict of Philippe IV Le Bel against the lenders to the French state started with:”Dieu n’est pas content…”. God was not content, no doubt…
INCREASINGLY, GUILTY MINDS ARE BAD ENOUGH:
When robots act, one cannot claim that the minds who programmed them, rest. To be culprit, in Roman Law one needed to have a culprit mind (“mens rea”). Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea: “the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty“. Nowadays, having so much physical power at our disposal, we need to have more perfect minds, that is, the thought itself can be a guilty act. This is especially true for the leadership, and not just political leadership.
Economists who thought that some banks are too big to fail and should be given as much public money as their managements and shareholders ask, are, arguably more culprit than the elected representatives that they advised.
All what many a mental attitude or tradition deserves, is extermination. No use tolerating the systems of thought promoting human sacrifice (so it was good to get rid of that part of Aztec, Maya, Inca, Celtic and Punic civilizations).
All too many times, the monster is not as much the already monstrous person, as the situation their ilk arise from, and further foster. One should avoid a confusion between individuals and the cultural situations they arise from. It seems that, in his quasi pathological coolness, Obama may have been carried away into connivance, by calling plutocrats such as Mr. Jamie Dimon, head of the giant JP Morgan Chase, or Buffet, his “friends“, all too much.
Mr. Dimon and Mr. Buffet, and their fellow plutocrats are no doubt nice, but that does not mean that so are their ideas, and various dissemblances they hide behind.
I know Buffet has decried the fact he was taxed at a much lower rate than his secretary or receptionist. But that was denounced, for many years by this author, and Buffet, all the while, was careful not to notice the outrage. Now that everybody has noticed, Obama, in a Freudian slip, celebrates the “Buffet rule”. Thus the chameleon changes colors to better catch flies and escape predators. Condemning the tax brackets Obama put in place when he controlled everything, now that everybody has noticed, can be used as a smokescreen. Indeed, Obama and Buffet keep on viewing carbon taxes and transaction taxes as devils view holy water.
Dimon recently revealed his true colors by attacking new world wide banking regulations”cockamamie nonsense…anti-American…anti-European“. Dimon is one of the big guys of central bank of the USA, another monstrosity, as this device, the Fed, far from being independent, is an emanation of the private banks.
Conclusion: THE ECOLOGY OF TRUTH NEEDS THE DARK SIDE, JUST NOT TOO MUCH:
Many paths lead to truth. They entangle into theories. Erroneous strands and stands can be deconstructed without the theories really collapsing: that would be true for Relativity or Arithmetic. Believing that secularism ought to be the master religion does not mean that superstition ought to be outlawed (that would be a bad omen).
An approach to truth is to seriate problems, and logical components to solving them, according to their logical probability, certainty, value, or importance.
The 450 ppm level in CO2 equivalent gas poisoning has extreme importance, because it is an overwhelmingly monstrous evidence, a carrier of unmitigated doom: this is the highest percentage of greenhouse gases in dozens of millions of years. Only enormous science will get us out of that hole (half of the added CO2 is in the acidifying oceans).
Would there be as many truths, if there were much fewer monsters? Of course not. The logic of the house of truth needs monsters, just as biological ecology needs carnivorous monsters who are indispensable to prevent a self destroying ecology. Just to create the dram which gets our neurons going. Whether we like it or not, we wake up best when we flee, or fight. That is why Einstein made exaggerated, unbalanced claims. A safer way to higher thinking than the tobacco which killed him.
Monsters and truths dancing: it is all a matter of balance, as it is a matter of balance, to keep a plane aloft.
However, right now we have an imbalance of truth, and not just in Syria. We are going down into the black hole of the Dark Side, plutocracy imploding, as happened with the Roman empire. Or the Mayan civilization, whose plutocracy called onto suicidal war, instead of the ecological measures necessary to answer a drought. Or pharaonic Egypt immediately after its Ramses peak, financially imploding, reduced to steal its own treasures to balance the budget, before being taken over by Libyans, and soon, the Assyrians.
Even the Mongols, austere and ferocious, having taken over China as the Yuan, degenerated soon down the plutocratic hole. When a succession of ecological disasters reminiscent of those incoming today, struck, the government’s response was ineffective, and then military. So the Yuan were thrown out by the Red Turban and Ming rebellion.
But maybe the Easter Island civilization is a more appropriate analogy. The late Easter Island civilization, only building giant statues, as if calling for help across the empty sea. Ultimately “help” came from across the sea, too late, and too genocidal.
Our empty statues we keep on vainly carving with all our resources, are the banks too big to flay. But they should be flayed, and left to rot. The present way in which money is created through leveraged debt, by secretive, unelected, insanely self interested individuals, the conniving bankers, just does not correspond to the highly open, highly democratic, highly scientific society we need, just to survive.
At this point, we are all turning into Easter Islanders. But our sea is even emptier, it is space itself, and we can only hope that no help is coming across that final frontier.