Archive for November 9th, 2021

Truth: From Evolutionary Psychology. Significance Is A Dimension of Truth.

November 9, 2021

A modern tendency is to proclaim truth as a new practice. Science, we are constantly told, was just invented, most scientists are living today, etc. This smacks of the usual self-glorification of any age, and any place, by the vainglorious critters partaking in it. 

In truth, there is nothing new about the truth being at the core of society and humanity. Humanity was evolved by truth. Human beings are truth machines. 

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/fundamental-reason-for-democracy-better-thinking/

In the savannah in the past, for millions of years, being wrong meant being eaten. Being wrong, big time, meant you didn’t get another chance, your genes would not contribute to future evolution. Nowadays being wrong does not have immediate dreadful consequences: you can keep on contributing to the gene pool. Being wrong just means you voted for an idiot, you don’t get immediately eaten… Long term, the consequences of being wrong can be horrible, but it takes so long, people barely see the connection. Instead, being wrong, or even being a lunatic brings the comfort of being part of a stampeding herd, and getting the instant impression of being right. 

So being wrong, also known as fake news, systemic bias, racism, sexism, nationalism, can propagate and multiply, as it does not have adverse consequences: an example is Nazi Germany (thanks, Nazi cretins, for providing us with a drastic example!)

***

Germans helped Adolf Hitler’s genocidal cretinism for more than 12 years with no consequences adverse enough for them to see the error of their ways, and stop. In the end a five million man army invaded Germany from the west, while a couple million Red Army soldiers attacked from the east, over a land ravaged by, and dysfunctional from, Anglo-American heavy bombing.

Thus, this modern life has decreased the main impetus for fostering truth. During the evolution of humanity, false evaluations of reality turned us into Meals Ready to Eat. The main impetus for figuring out the truth was the will to immediate survival. Truth was a way of life. New science was a slow consequence, it accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years (how to make tools, weapons, clothes, fire, cook vegetables, etc.)

Nevertheless, paradoxically, as it is now, we have never needed, as a species, truth, and especially new and better truths. The survival of humanity has never depended as much on producing new truths industrially… New knowledge, in particular new science has become the key to survival of the species. Because we have a non-sustainable civilization… It can only become sustainable if we master some science-fiction technologies we do not yet have.

Establishing an independent Department of Truth is thus not a joke, and not just a civilizing mission, it is key to survival of intelligence from Earth. 

The Truth Department would not exert censorship. Its primary mission, instead, would be to evaluate any prominent proposition in the various dimensions of truth… Not just veracity, but the potential significance of a proposition, its potential consequences on other propositions, its potential impact if true, its potential impact, if false, logically and emotionally, etc.

By the way, the methodology I suggest would help science itself. A recent long article in PNAS (Proceedings National Academy of Science) shows that big scientific fields are ossified and why. The main culprit is the MENTAL and COGNITIVE FASCISM that a morass of overproduction of low creative quality papers end up causing as a way to foster careers. So it is not a question of fake news in the sense of FALSE news, but a question of too many news trying to present themselves as news when actually they are just repackaging and reinforcing an increasingly narrower global consensus view, because the foundational papers, thus the foundational ideas get quoted ever more, and thus accepted as eternal truths. 

(I could give examples in physics of mental fascism caused by a failure to classify ideas according to their significance and importance. Einstein’s opinion that photons are localized in space while translating is thoroughly NOT proven experimentally… Yet, few physicists question it, nobody tries to confront it experimentally, that potential grave error informs all of modern physics… With a dreadful influence, in my humble opinion, as it implies the multiverse, and the mismanaging of wave function collapse in Quantum Mechanics, among other disasters)

How would the formal introduction of significance as a dimension of truth help truth and science? When a new paper appears, as it is, peer review mostly checks for veracity… Or plausibility if the authors are famous. Significance, if and when it is given some importance, has no formal place. However, I propose to make potential significance a major dimension of truth.

So it was in the jungle: a tiny sound, or motion, or lack thereof, would have been evaluated carefully by prehistoric men in its potential consequences. So not just truth, but potentialities consequential from putative truths, were major neurological and cognitive activities. 

None of the preceding, the many dimensions of truth, and their potentialities, should in any way interfere with parrhesia and isegoria… two pillars of democracy, as the Greeks saw it. Far from it: parrhesia, the ability to speak frankly (in total contradiction with the fascist “cancel culture”), and isegoria, the right to address the assemblies equally (which is completely violated by the so-called “representative democracy” regimes) are indispensable, and the core of real democracy and its ability to generate truth from debates…

But finding the new and better truths is so important that we need all the help we can get. Making truth assist a part of governance would be more of what has long been done, ever since engineers advised leaders, and that happened well before Archimedes’ role during the siege of Syracuse…

Patrice Ayme 

 

Well, that’s only one interest of art… One of the dimensions of the interest we bear towards it. Another is an interest we already have in DREAMING… Namely imagining, in our minds eyes, new possibilities, new potentialities, exactly as what happens with the hidden dimension of truth I promote, namely its significance, or POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE…

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