academic freedom agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Defending our Civilization Epistemology (the study of knowledge and its conditions) Geo-strategic issues Logic and First Principles of right reason

L&FP, 61: Learning about Agit Prop from the H G Wells, War of the Worlds broadcast (and from the modified JoHari Window)

Spread the love

Notoriously, on the evening of October 30, 1938, many people missed the opening remarks for Orson Welles’ radio dramatisation of H G Wells’ War of the Worlds. As History dot com recounts:

Millions of Americans, as they were every night, huddled around their radios, but relatively few of them were listening to CBS when it was announced that Welles and his fellow cast members were presenting an original dramatization of the 1898 H.G. Wells science-fiction novel “The War of the Worlds.” Instead, most of the country was tuned in to NBC’s popular “Chase and Sanborn Hour,” which featured ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy . . . . disoriented listeners who stumbled onto the “Mercury Theatre on the Air” without having heard the disclaimer at the top of the radio play were [therefore] thrust into the middle of an hour-long drama that left some believing that the country was under attack . . . .

Although the program included a reminder at intermission that it was a dramatization, thousands of anxious and confused listeners believed it to be real. They besieged police departments, newspapers and CBS with phone calls. In New Jersey, ground zero for the fictitious invasion, national guardsmen wanted to know where they should report for duty, and the Trenton police department fielded 2,000 calls in under two hours. In Providence, Rhode Island, hysterical callers begged the electric company to cut power to the city to keep it safe from the extraterrestrial invaders.

A panic ensued.

Now, Peggy Ryan gives a key insight:

Why would people believe that aliens had invaded?  They believed because it was news.  Orson Welles’s adaptation of the War of the Worlds novel used familiar, trusted devices to report the fictional attack — news bulletins, updates from live reporters on the ground.  He used actual government positions like New Jersey governor and secretary of interior and physical locations like Trenton, Mercer, and Princeton.  These positions and locations were all too familiar to those listening to the “news” updates — confirmation that the reports were real. 

Still, does hearing it on the news make it any less impossible?  Apparently, because thousands were convinced right up until they switched channels or heard the retraction.

She then observed:

But what would have happened if War of the Worlds had been on every channel, reported by all news outlets?  What if there’d never been a retraction?  Wouldn’t millions have believed the impossible? These lessons were not lost on power brokers around the world.

This brings us face to face with the challenges of a dominant worldview and institutionalised narrative, thus how it can set a ruinous business as usual agenda:

No wonder the myth of marching Lemmings has become proverbial:

Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

At the crux of such a fiasco lie false polarising dilemmas, with marginalisation of the despised other:

The ever sliding Overton Window knocks at the door, as we must ponder whether the dominant narrative and agenda are taking us over the cliff of lawless ideological oligarchy (often, parading under colour and ceremony of law), thence severe loss of liberty with good community order:

All of this brings us back to the JoHari Window, in modified form, as we ponder the difference between dominant narratives and sound knowledge . . . including what we believe we know, ourselves:

Of course, this feeds into the Fake News, censorship, marginalisation of the despised other debate that is unfortunately increasingly central to too many current issues. It is, of course, directly relevant to Richard Lewontin’s notorious cat out of the bag moment. Which, yes, we still need to remember:

[Lewontin:] . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

[==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

[ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

[–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

[–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

Of course, Lewontin spoke as a member of the evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow traveller elite, not as some crazy on a soapbox in Hyde Park. As, can be documented in far more details. But, it would be more profitable to focus the late Philip Johnson’s reply later in the same year:

For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original — the context is Lewontin in NYRB] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

[–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it: “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.” [NB: I am aware that Rational Wiki has backed away, un-announced, from the cat-out-of-the-bag direct phrasing that was in place a few years ago. That historic phrasing is still valid as a summary of what is going on.] Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.] chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.] That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” . . . .

The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

Yes, those of us who advocate ID have long felt the lash of ideological imposition under colours and ceremonies of science, education, public discussion and policy. That gives us a canaries- in- the- mine base of experience to see similar patterns spreading across key institutions, communities and our civilisation at large. For example, what of the racing narratives on climate, pandemic, election irregularities, “equity” and “equality,” wars and rumours of war [try, Ukraine and the Baltic (Nord Stream), Taiwan, Iran and onward issues in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc.].

We could go on and on, but that would most likely bog us down in toxic, polarised, fruitless debate. Especially when we confront dominant narratives and hostile, accusatory attitudes.

Instead, we need to focus the issues that cloud the JoHari Window. For, that is how we will be able to make sound progress:

  • Warrant tempered by due humility on our ignorance and error proneness is the key to a sound body of knowledge
  • Agenda-driven domineering ideological narratives and resulting errors of warrant tend to show through attitudes that are selectively hyperskeptical and sometimes hostile to the despised other
  • Accordingly, as we look at points of disagreement between us and the other, we need to sort out inconsistencies in demanded degree of warrant or confidence.
  • The problem with demanding “extraordinary” evidence for claims we think are “extraordinary,” is that it is easy to slip into denying adequate, feasible warrant for what we do not wish to acknowledge, while letting gaps in warrant slide for things that fit our preferences.
  • This can slip into closed minded ideological question begging, as Lewontin inadvertently showed.
  • How many times, should we be drawing, instead, the negative knowledge conclusion?
  • That is, what we really know on a topic, is what we don’t know. (As in, whodunit, Nord Stream vs it is fairly obvious that the Ukrainians successfully targetted the bridge into Crimea, a legitimate logistical target.)
  • At the same time, we must guard against denying what we should acknowledge, because it is ever so inconvenient. (For instance, what is the only known source of complex text, code, language, editing, algorithms? So, how should we view what we find in DNA and mRNA?)
  • Then, there are the gaps in what we “all” think we know in common: unknown — or even unacknowledged — unknowns, lurking like torpedo-laden submarines under the seemingly smooth and safe surface of what we think is established knowledge.
  • What, then, is the true value of sound analysis and research?
  • Do we really want to hear this today, or are we more inclined to shoot at the messenger?
  • And ever so much more.

So, how, then, should we proceed in a deeply polarised age? END

24 Replies to “L&FP, 61: Learning about Agit Prop from the H G Wells, War of the Worlds broadcast (and from the modified JoHari Window)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP, 61: Learning about Agit Prop from the H G Wells, War of the Worlds broadcast (and from the modified JoHari Window)

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Daily Mail, with its trademark bullet point header:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/breaking_news/article-11293851/Massive-explosion-destroys-key-bridge-linking-Crimea-Putins-Russia.html

    Russia blames Ukrainian truck bomb for destroying its only bridge to Crimea: Putin’s forces could be starved of resources after ‘saboteurs’ obliterated structure killing three – despite Kremlin’s boasts of impenetrable defence including DOLPHINS

    A huge explosion has hit the only bridge between Crimea and Russia, a crucial supply line for Putin’s forces
    Footage shows the blast following the rail bridge engulfed in flames and the road bridge next to it collapsed
    Footage appears to show a truck exploding on the road section of the bridge as sabotage is suspected
    Russian officials have claimed a truck was searched on the bridge and then triggered the explosion
    Panic queues have formed at petrol stations in Crimea as officials said there was only enough fuel for 40 days

    By Alastair Lockhart and Will Stewart For Mail Online

    Published: 07:15 BST, 8 October 2022 | Updated: 14:26 BST, 8 October 2022

    KF

  3. 3
    Sir Giles says:

    Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

    Just a small correction. Lemmings do not jump over cliffs. The famous video was faked by the Disney film crew purposely throwing them off the cliff. Another example of fake news being accepted as authority.

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Another example of fake news being accepted as authority.

    William Briggs has a book on this.

    Everything You Believe Is Wrong

    If you are an Expert, professional, bureaucrat, teacher, professor, Democrat or Republican, liberal, progressive or conservative, consider yourself in any way in the educated classes, the odds are high that everything you believe is wrong.

    Not everything. Not simple things. Only the most important things. If you are in the majority, then a great deal of what you hold true about the world and of life is false.

    I just posted a link to a video on Evolution in which the author is convincing but actually makes several mistakes. It’s part of the world we live in.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-evolution-news-michael-behe-in-world-magazine-game-over-for-darwinism/#comment-766904

    The real question is, how long can a world based on misinformation last? Ad infinitum or shortly?

    Aside: should the lemmings be replaced by humans?

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, why do you think I spoke to the MYTH? Lemmings don’t, but people, that’s a whole ‘nother story. KF

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    A world based on lies does not exist. There are two kinds of people: Those who can recognize truth and those who cannot. Good – meaning factual – information is out there. It takes work to find it. It’s not a good idea to accept whatever you read, see in the media or hear as being 100% true. It takes discernment and research.

    The job of every person is to speak the truth daily to combat the lies being spread among the people.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    What is truth and how do you determine what is and isn’t truth?

    Is the only accessible truth the degree to which our claims about the nature of objective reality correspond to what we observe?

    Or Is truth just the nature of objective reality. something of which we know relatively little?

    Or is it just what some unimpeachable authority says it is?

  8. 8
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 7,

    Why be vague? I think you know what truth is. Once these truths are examined then behaviors follow. These behaviors need to be good. Good for ourselves and good for others. Otherwise, when choosing to accept wrong things then behaviors become wrong for ourselves and others, and, in some cases, illegal.

  9. 9
    Sir Giles says:

    Relatd: There are two kinds of people: Those who can recognize truth and those who cannot.

    And I wonder what kind you think you are.

  10. 10
    Blastus says:

    Severely asks: “What is truth … ?”

    The Roman governor asked the same question:

    Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

    Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. …

    John 18:37-38

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev,

    you are asking about truth and knowledge.

    Truth is accurate description of what is the case, in Aristotle’s terms, Met 1011b (paraphrased): truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not.

    Knowledge is about credible access to objective truth (and therefore, the legitimate authority it confers; something that many today resent). I have accepted that, generally, we take knowledge in a sense that speaks to reliability but with room for gaps and error. That is, I view knowledge i/l/o the common usage, and that it is a common state, not something utterly rare. Knowledge belongs to the people as a key expression of common, prudent good sense; it is not an utterly elusive item in the rarefied heights of philosophical speculation and its struggle with skepticism.

    Accordingly, knowledge is warranted, credibly true (so, reliable) belief.

    Knowledge claims, my target in the adapted JoHari window, are weaker than this, what is claimed to be knowledge and may be institutionalised as such, but may in fact lack adequate warrant. Similarly, what is responsibly warranted may be improperly rejected because of fallacious thinking. Often, because of crooked yardstick claims that warp our ability to think straight. I am especially concerned about selective hyperskepticism and narratives sung off the same ideologically controlled hymn sheet that in effect create the misperceptions that happened with the War of the Worlds radio drama in 1938. In particular, we face a radical, Jacobin narrative of oppression that has become increasingly cynical, irresponsible and abusive, driven by Frankfurt School derived so called critical theories.

    So, right reason is central, and therefore the moral government of our reasoning i/l/o self-evident first duties, which are also first, built in, naturally evident law:

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc.

    We need reformation, and this will require creation of an independent knowledge base that will responsibly address the institutional capture of commanding heights and gradually work to restore a sound knowledge commons. When that has happened, there will have been a thoroughgoing reformation.

    I fear, we will have to go over the cliff first, with huge, needless loss and pain.

    KF

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, I find Dallas Willard compelling:

    To have knowledge in the dispositional sense—where you know things you are not necessarily thinking about at the time—is to be able to represent something as it is on an adequate basis of thought or experience, not to exclude communications from qualified sources (“authority”). This is the “knowledge” of ordinary life, and it is what you expect of your electrician, auto mechanic, math teacher, and physician. Knowledge is not rare, and it is not esoteric . . . no satisfactory general description of “an adequate basis of thought or experience” has ever been achieved. We are nevertheless able to determine in many specific types of cases that such a basis is or is not present [p.19] . . . .

    Knowledge, but not mere belief or feeling, generally confers the right to act and to direct action, or even to form and supervise policy. [p. 20]

    In any area of human activity, knowledge brings certain advantages. Special considerations aside, knowledge authorizes one to act, to direct action, to develop and supervise policy, and to teach. It does so because, as everyone assumes, it enables us to deal more successfully with reality: with what we can count on, have to deal with, or are apt to have bruising encounters with. Knowledge involves assured [–> warranted, credible] truth, and truth in our representations and beliefs is very like accuracy in the sighting mechanism on a gun. If the mechanism is accurately aligned—is “true,” it enables those who use it with care to hit an intended target. [p. 4, Dallas Willard & Literary Heirs, The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, Routledge|Taylor& Francis Group, 2018. ]

    PPS, in that light, ponder this algebra:

    The truth claim, “there are no [generally knowable] objective truths regarding any matter (so, on any particular matter),” roughly equivalent to, “knowledge is inescapably only subjective or relative,” is an error.

    Which, happily, can be recognised and corrected.

    Often, such error is presented and made to seem plausible through the diversity of opinions assertion, with implication that none have or are in a position to have a generally warranted, objective conclusion. This, in extreme form, is a key thesis of the nihilism that haunts our civilisation, which we must detect, expose to the light of day, correct and dispel, in defence of civilisation and human dignity.

    (NB: Sometimes the blind men and the elephant fable is used to make it seem plausible, overlooking the narrator’s implicit claim to objectivity. Oops!)

    Now, to set things aright, let’s symbolise: ~[O*G] with * as AND.

    This claims, it is false that there is an objective knowable truth, on the set of general definable topics, G.

    Ironically, it intends to describe not mere opinion but warranted, credible truth about knowledge in general. So, ~[O*G] is self referential as it is clearly about subject matter G, and is intended to be a well warranted objectively true claim. But it is itself therefore a truth claim about knowledge in general intended to be taken as objectively true, which is what it tries to deny as a possibility. So, it is self contradictory and necessarily false.

    In steps:

    PHASE I: Let a proposition be represented by x
    G = x is a proposition asserting that some state of affairs regarding some identifiable matter in general including e.g. history, science, the secrets of our hearts, morality etc, is the case
    O = x is objective and knowable, being adequately warranted as credibly true}

    PHASE II: It is claimed, S= ~[O*G] = 1, 1 meaning true
    However, the subject of S is G,
    it therefore claims to be objectively true, O and is about G
    where it forbids O-status to any claim of type G
    so, ~[O*G] cannot be true per self referential incoherence
    =============

    PHASE III: The Algebra, translating from S:

    ~[O*G] = 0 [as self referential and incoherent cf above]
    ~[~[O*G]] = 1 [the negation is therefore true]
    __________
    O*G = 1 [condensing not of not]
    where, G [general truth claim including moral ones of course]
    So too, O [if an AND is true, each sub proposition is separately true]
    ================

    CONCLUSION: That is, there are objective general, particular and — as a key case — moral truths; and a first, self evident one is that ~[O*G] is false, ~[O*G] = 0.

    Therefore, the set of knowable objective truths in general — and embracing those that happen to be about states of affairs in regard to right conduct etc — is non empty, it is not vacuous and we cannot play empty set square of opposition games with it.

    That’s important.

    Also, there are many particular objective general and moral truths that are adequately warranted to be regarded as reliable. Try, Napoleon was once a European monarch and would be conqueror. Try, Jesus of Nazareth is a figure of history. Try, it is wrong to torture babies for fun, and more.

    Ours is a needlessly confused age, heading for trouble.

    PPPS, in significant cases, the pivotal knowledge is negative, knowing what we do not know. Notice, a probability is a metric of degree of ignorance, save when it is reliably 1 or 0. This connects to information and degree of surprise, to be informed is to be surprised allowing one’s state of knowledge, at least of messages as sent, to be increased. From this, we may move to the negative log probability metric, giving informational additivity, with base 2 yielding bits. Knowledge then structures information through warrant, and a body of knowledge and best practice then is the framework of a particular wisdom . . . a target for analysis and research. Accordingly, knowledge fraud is serious malpractice.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, you may find it advisable to become a more responsive, less snide, more carefully observant participant in discussion. KF

  14. 14
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: SG, you may find it advisable to become a more responsive, less snide, more carefully observant participant in discussion. KF

    My response to Relatd was a pertinent one. He made the claim that “There are two kinds of people: Those who can recognize truth and those who cannot.” I simply asked which category he believes he falls into. Based on his past comments, it is quite obvious that believes that he falls in the former. As do you.

    And that is where the problem arises. If a person believes that he/she is exceptionally adept at recognizing truth, they run the risk of denying all evidence that opposes their version of truth. And, in the extreme cases, resorting to labeling and assigning motives and agendas to those they disagree with in lame efforts to discredit their arguments. Or discredit them personally.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    And that is where the problem arises

    Everyone believes their opinions are true.

    The question is can the person justify their beliefs. Few can for a lot of what they believe. But I can tell you that they do not like being told what they believe is not true. A couple times I have been verbally attacked when I showed another’s beliefs were obviously not true.

    Unattributed quote:

    It’s Easier to Fool People Than to Convince Them That They Have Been Fooled’

    Aside: the previous quote has been erroneously attributed to Mark Twain.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, that;s the crooked yardstick effect. When you judge what is straight by failure to conform to crookedness, it becomes very hard to be corrected. KF

  17. 17
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: Jerry, that;s the crooked yardstick effect. When you judge what is straight by failure to conform to crookedness, it becomes very hard to be corrected. KF

    I completely agree.

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    Blastus/10

    Severely asks: “What is truth … ?”

    The Roman governor asked the same question:

    Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

    Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. …

    John 18:37-38

    I think Pilate gets a bad rap. In this case at least his response was perfectly reasonable.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, he was on the way to committing judicial murder. KF

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, and so by admitting to not being blind, your responsibility to act aright goes up. KF

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I highlight from OP:

    . . . we need to focus the issues that cloud the JoHari Window. For, that is how we will be able to make sound progress:

    Warrant tempered by due humility on our ignorance and error proneness is the key to a sound body of knowledge
    Agenda-driven domineering ideological narratives and resulting errors of warrant tend to show through attitudes that are selectively hyperskeptical and sometimes hostile to the despised other
    Accordingly, as we look at points of disagreement between us and the other, we need to sort out inconsistencies in demanded degree of warrant or confidence
    .
    The problem with demanding “extraordinary” evidence for claims we think are “extraordinary,” is that it is easy to slip into denying adequate, feasible warrant for what we do not wish to acknowledge, while letting gaps in warrant slide for things that fit our preferences.
    This can slip into closed minded ideological question begging, as Lewontin inadvertently showed.
    How many times, should we be drawing, instead, the negative knowledge conclusion?
    That is, what we really know on a topic, is what we don’t know. (As in, whodunit, Nord Stream vs it is fairly obvious that the Ukrainians successfully targetted the bridge into Crimea, a legitimate logistical target.)
    At the same time, we must guard against denying what we should acknowledge, because it is ever so inconvenient. (For instance, what is the only known source of complex text, code, language, editing, algorithms? So, how should we view what we find in DNA and mRNA?)
    Then, there are the gaps in what we “all” think we know in common: unknown — or even unacknowledged — unknowns, lurking like torpedo-laden submarines under the seemingly smooth and safe surface of what we think is established knowledge.
    What, then, is the true value of sound analysis and research?
    Do we really want to hear this today, or are we more inclined to shoot at the messenger?
    And ever so much more.

    So, how, then, should we proceed in a deeply polarised age?

    Of course, it is also ever so easy to project to the despised other.

    KF

  22. 22
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: When you judge what is straight by failure to conform to crookedness, it becomes very hard to be corrected.

    My response.

    I completely agree.

    Followed by KF.

    SG, and so by admitting to not being blind, your responsibility to act aright goes up. KF

    If something fails to conform to crookedness it is, by definition, straight.

    But KF misses the entire point. Something only has a valid warrant if the premises it is based on are valid.

  23. 23
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 18,

    I hope you change your mind before you stand before the person you’re so concerned about.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, the above is about the context of a broken intellectual culture. Notice, main no in a series is 61. Issues of warrant and knowledge were long since addressed, that is why the definition of knowledge is given as above. Mere dismissive disagreement does not suffice to undermine what is in the OP, which has actually been explored in detail previously. The pillars of influence are essentially those commonly pointed to by sociologists. The Overton Window is a useful model and its extension to a more historically anchored political spectrum is also readily warranted from history and current events. There is excellent reason to hold that the natural state of government is lawless domineering unaccountable oligarchy, and that the revolutions of 1688 and 1776 opened up new political space for lawful, stabilised constitutional democracy. The adaptation of the JoHari Window is similar to that of intelligence agencies, further informed by epistemological issues. As for crooked yardstick, warped thinking and its distorting, polarising effect, that metaphor summarises many key issues and indicts the agit prop of the past 100 years and currently. Jerry is fundamentally right:

    Everyone believes their opinions are true. The question is can the person justify their beliefs. Few can for a lot of what they believe. But I can tell you that they do not like being told what they believe is not true. A couple times I have been verbally attacked when I showed another’s beliefs were obviously not true.

    Obviously, we depend much on established bodies of knowledge and the sort of legitimate authority highlighted by Dallas Willard:

    To have knowledge in the dispositional sense—where you know things you are not necessarily thinking about at the time—is to be able to represent something as it is on an adequate basis of thought or experience, not to exclude communications from qualified sources (“authority”). This is the “knowledge” of ordinary life, and it is what you expect of your electrician, auto mechanic, math teacher, and physician. Knowledge is not rare, and it is not esoteric . . . no satisfactory general description of “an adequate basis of thought or experience” has ever been achieved. We are nevertheless able to determine in many specific types of cases that such a basis is or is not present [p.19] . . . .

    Knowledge, but not mere belief or feeling, generally confers the right to act and to direct action, or even to form and supervise policy. [p. 20]

    In any area of human activity, knowledge brings certain advantages. Special considerations aside, knowledge authorizes one to act, to direct action, to develop and supervise policy, and to teach. It does so because, as everyone assumes, it enables us to deal more successfully with reality: with what we can count on, have to deal with, or are apt to have bruising encounters with. Knowledge involves assured [–> warranted, credible] truth, and truth in our representations and beliefs is very like accuracy in the sighting mechanism on a gun. If the mechanism is accurately aligned—is “true,” it enables those who use it with care to hit an intended target. [p. 4, Dallas Willard & Literary Heirs, The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, Routledge|Taylor& Francis Group, 2018. ]

    Notice, a point where I adjust Willard and heirs, and that I use warrant given the issue of Gettier counter examples to the classic presentation on knowledge. Warrant confers objectivity and it is objectivity we need in a world where our leading academics have betrayed their duty and needlessly shattered the knowledge commons; setting out to impose ideologised, self referentially incoherent agendas that predictably will carry our civilisation over the cliff. (That’s happened before and it cost a lot to recover and rebuild.)

    KF

Leave a Reply