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Some researchers arrive at an important truth about “consensus science”

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“a consensus can only be trusted to the extent that individuals are free to disagree with it:

Consensus is viewed as a proxy for truth in many discussions of science. When a consensus is formed by the independent and free deliberations of many, it is indeed a strong indicator of truth. Yet not all consensuses are independent and freely formed. We investigate the role of dependence and pressure in the formation of consensus, showing that strong polarization, external pressure, and dependence among individuals can force consensus around an issue, regardless of the underlying truth of the affirmed position. Dependence breaks consensus, often rendering it meaningless; a consensus can only be trusted to the extent that individuals are free to disagree with it …

[From the Conclusion] A Castro Consensus is a near-unanimous show of agreement brought about by means other than the honest and uncoerced judgements of individuals. Using mathematical modeling, we demonstrate how dependence, polarization, and external pressure compromise the relation between truth and consensus. When individuals are fully independent, even under highly unfavorable circumstances a consensus provides strong evidence for the correctness of the affirmed position. This no longer remains the case once dependence, polarization, and external pressure are introduced. With such interventions, the probability of a false consensus increases dramatically.

Jarred Allen, Cindy Lay, and George C. Montanez, “A Castro Consensus: Understanding the Role of Dependence in Consensus Formation” at Truth and Trust Online

“Shut up, he explained” is not consensus, it’s false consensus. The trouble is, a system often ends up being plenty rotten before the false consensus collapses on the mediocrities in charge of enforcing it.

3 Replies to “Some researchers arrive at an important truth about “consensus science”

  1. 1
    jawa says:

    The Darwinian academic establishment comes to mind, doesn’t it?

  2. 2
    jawa says:

    Censorship was big in the countries behind the “iron curtain” during the “Cold War”.

    I know a person who was in Gdansk in August 1980 and when returned to his country his employer warned not to say anything about what they saw in that Polish city.

    Can anyone imaging going on a trip to anywhere, let’s say Stockholm, where you see a protest on the street, then when you come back to your work your director calls you to his office and strongly warns you to shut up and not say anything about that protest you saw on the street? Huh?

    Ironically the guy was a loyal fan of the government of his country until he received that scary warning. One day he took an opportunity to defect and never went back to his original country. The director who warned him most probably never realized the reaction he provoked in his until then unconditionally loyal subordinate.

    Freedom of opinion should be cherished as sacred.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Bear in mind that the “virus” genocide requires explicit violation of all genuinely settled science. Everything we’re doing is precisely opposite to the perfectly settled and experimentally tested facts of medicine and public health that have been keeping people alive for 300 years. Everything from inoculation to sanitation must be flipped and reversed, because the purpose of medicine is now to kill everyone, not to cure everyone.

    Lockdowns and masks are now treated as EMERGING science, and we can only listen to EMERGING science. So this paper seems to be laying a statistical foundation for the flip. By branding consensus as “authoritarian”, it justifies branding EMERGING science as “libertarian”. Which of course it is. Globalism is Libertarian, not socialist. Bezos and Soros and Gates are libertarians, not “authoritarians” or “communists”.

    The only odd thing about the paper is the specific use of Castro to brand “authoritarians”. Castro is viewed positively by many academics. The brand will soon be changed to Trump/Putin.

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