Why Objectivity Does Not Objectively Exist

objectivity

 

In order to understand the issues with objectivity we should first look at how the concept and definition have changed over time.

What they used to mean…

Objective – The measurable qualities of an object.
Subjective – The qualities of relationship between object, observer and environment.

What they have come to mean…

Objective – Absolutely true beyond individual observation, perception and analysis.
Subjective – Just, like, your opinion, man.

As a method of empirical investigation, objectivity is the best possible attempt to create a reliable map of reality based on consensus. A map that gives us the best predictive power for future navigation of the territory. That map, however, is not the territory.

The modern thinking about objectivity is that it is an infallible method that produces absolutely True results. Those things which we say are objective have come to be endowed with an ideological faith in their eternal certainty. Even though we cannot measure anything all throughout spacetime, we have come to belief that our small snapshot of it from this perspective in place and time can be assumed to be true everywhere forever so long as it is ‘objective’.

There are many problems with this belief system, and make no mistake, it is just that.

Most obviously, in the dichotomy in which objective means absolutely and subjective means merely personally, we have a self-refuting axiom. If I am only able to recognize subjective truths through my individual powers of perception and analysis, then how could I ever verify something outside of the subjective realm? Objectivity, by the logic of objectivists, should be beyond my ability to observe, identify and verify. If there are objective truths, then what objective process outside of our own minds can we use to verify them?

The answer generally given is consensus. If many of us observe the same thing, the properties of the thing we agree upon must be true. Yet this is irrational for a number of reasons. If we start from the premise that our minds -the instrument of observation, measurement and conclusion- are unreliable due to their subjective nature, then we cannot fix the problem by overlapping unreliable constructs. This is like taking a hundred broken and randomly set clocks and attempting to determine the actual time throughout the day based on an average of their readings.

The assumption that something beyond individual experience can be determined through democratic means is rooted in our cultural bias that might makes right and that the majority view is always the truth. Nevermind that we already understand the psychology of mass hysteria, groupthink and crowd behavior. When it comes to covering up the existential dread of uncertainty we are willing to ignore our proclivity towards group ignorance. When it confirms our biases and validates our egos, we are willing to overlook all of the obvious issues with any version of Absolute Truth.

Often the reasoning given to validate objectivity is that it produces positive results. This is flawed as well. Star charts made by people who believed the earth was at the center of the universe produced positive navigation results. Long after Einsteins theory of general relativity unraveled Newtonian physics, those physics are still being used to produce positive results. The ability to produce positive results does not prove a central premise. That is reverse engineering Absolute Truth from the faulty premise of result-orientated pragmatism.

Our government and media have profited most from this mass delusion. By defining what constitutes truth they are able to control it and use it as a tool of manipulation. By assigning absolutes they narrow the field of possibilities to make their own agendas seem favorable or necessary. The myth of objectivity is the most powerful ideological tool today in preventing critical thinking, individual autonomy and competition. It is a tool of monopolizing information and knowledge.

And even more insidious is that we are conditioned to feel inordinate amounts of pride and satisfaction in thinking what we are told to think, by having those majority opinions rewarded and validated by experts, officials and authoritarians. When you continually reassure people that what they believe is true, there becomes no reason to question it, especially not when it is made to appear that everyone either believes the same thing as you or is a total nutjob.

Objectivism is just a form of consensus gathering. It is an ideological net that is used to ensnare people in the ideas and agendas of those who are able to control and manipulate them most effectively. It is far easier to get people to believe you if they have faith in your method of conclusions then it is to make them believe all of your conclusions independently based on their own merits.

You can sell lots of cereal if you tell your consumers it stays crunchy in milk, even if they all know in their hearts and mouths that it takes about eight bites for the remainder to turn to soggy mush. Objectivism is proving the claim by only considering those first eight bites as evidence.

Why Atheism Is A Belief & Its Unacknowledged Claims

atheism is a belief

Atheists in their Almighty Snark like to make absolute statements and poorly constructed arguments that their worldview does not constitute a belief. They are also keen on insisting that their statements and arguments contain no claims, and are rather just a rejection of the unsubstantiated claims of non-atheists. The problem that generally arises from this rhetoric is that these assertions are based on the inability of atheists to unpack their own ideologies and recognize the underlying premises and metaphysical assumptions they entail.

First let me say that if you clicked on this article with some idea that the author is a theist, you would be completely wrong. Even if I tried to use pre-existing labels for my beliefs, they would still need endless explanation, and if I am doing that right I would probably end up having to adjust those beliefs by the end of it. In the same manner, if your atheism applies only to a rejection of the specific doctrines of theism laid out in Judeo-Christianity based on it’s claims, this article will not be about you. This is for the hard atheist, the truly faithful adherents of the belief that only our physical senses can detect reality and who have rejected any type of creative force, divinity or cosmic intelligence besides our own.

The Hidden Claims of Atheism

The first argument out of the atheists mouth is going to be something along the lines of – “Prove God exists.”

First of all, ‘proof’ does not apply to the question at all. Proof is a term used in axiomatic knowledge to acknowledge that the parts of an axiomatic model do not contradict one another. Therefore nothing in nature -or- reality can be ‘proven’.

This is actually a very important function of the empirical system the atheist is attempting to appeal to. Empiricism ‘proves’ nothing. Its goal, in fact, is quite the opposite. It is meant to ‘disprove’ knowledge that does meet methodological criteria or contradicts its dependent models. And actually it does not even disprove, but rather, sets it aside as knowledge that is currently subservient to one or more ‘better’ models.

Even if empiricism did ‘prove’ absolute objective knowledge eternally, which is the most fantastically egoic form of afterlife imaginable, it would still not be reliable because we cannot ‘prove’ that empiricism actually produces meaningful results. While the central tenet of modern scientism, the sect of atheism most adherents belong to, is that only science (the empirical method) can provide meaningful, valid statements about existence – empiricism cannot even validate itself. You cannot use the empirical method to prove the validity of the empirical method, so such thinking is circular logic built upon faith and not reason.

This does not mean that science is useless. It just means that like every other human endeavor, it is limited, and that its value comes from subjective human experience and not some objective source. There is no external source. We are using our subjective consciousness to make supposedly objective statements about reality, which is a lot like using tinted glasses to prove that all colors within the wearers perception contain the hue used in the glasses tint.

However the biggest unacknowledged claim made by atheists, and the one they are most likely to avoid using even more denial and circular logic, is that the fundamental nature is primarily physical and all mental contents are just fantastic illusions magically emerging from the complexity of matter. But the adherents of this belief, materialism (physicalism, naturalism, dualism, etc.), are gonna need more than one free miracle.

Buried in this claim is a metaphysical premise, or rather, a whole set of metaphysical premises. In order to make the claim that physical existence is primary, you must be willing to claim that you have come to this conclusion using your consciousness. And if you believe that your consciousness is an illusory side effect of matter, than you have already marked it as unreliable as a tool for making such claims.  This would be like a cake recipe that claimed that only cakes exist, and that cake recipes are just illusory side effects that arise out of cakes. A rational person would put this cookbook down and find another. The hardcore atheist would take a picture of the recipe and snidely share it online with their friends that enjoy baking.

One simply cannot escape metaphysical premises. They underlie every single human question and answer. Rather than acknowledge their metaphysical premises, such as the nature of reality and methodological validity, atheists will just outright deny metaphysics altogether. This is the secular version of claiming that “God planted dinosaur bones to tempt the unfaithful away from His truth.”

Atheism Is A Belief

Again we are caught in the circular logic of denial. While the atheist likes to think that their account of reality is just a retelling of ‘proven’ knowledge, they fail to understand what ‘proof’ means and that objectivity is what is being attempted – not what is being produced.

The attempt at objectivity, while impossible and often misused, is indeed a noble attempt. Trying to understand what is ‘true’ outside of our individual experience has a lot of utility purpose. Yet an ability to produce results does not prove the validity of a method.

For instance – even though people believed that the earth was at the center of the universe, their model of the universe aided human navigation for centuries. The premise of geocentrism was later determined to be false, but the models it created still provided the desired results in an efficient manner.

Or let us consider gravity. The Newtonian model of gravity was the basis for the entire branch of classical physics for a few hundred years. Then some smart ass patent clerk came up with the Theory of Special Relativity which rendered the Newtonian model of gravity obsolete. Just kidding. Newtons model of gravity is still used by physicists and engineers to produce results – even though it has been usurped by a model that relegated it to recycle bin of scientific accuracy.

In order for the atheist version of reality to escape its confines as a belief, it would have to be validated by a completely infallible source. And since atheists firmly deny the existence of such an entity, even if such a source did exists, they would either be forced to deny it or dismiss the rest of their claims.

Whatever you think is true is a belief. Whatever you think is not true is a belief. Whatever you think is probably partially true or almost completely false is a belief. Pretty much the only statement that can be made which does not express a belief is – ‘I don’t know’. And even then you are expressing a belief that your intuition and guesses are false.


Modern religion can certainly be a drag. It is used by opportunists to manipulate people of all faiths. The worst offenses are those in which it claims absolute authority over all knowledge forever, which is exactly what both most modern religions and atheists do exactly alike. The only difference is that while the former makes absolute claims about what is, the latter makes similar statements about what is not. Both ideologies are equally flawed for nearly the same reasons.

Yet the atheist, in modern intellectual circles, enjoys a position of superiority. While it is pretty easy to dismiss an ideology that an all-loving omnipotent being wants you to hate people who use their genitals in ways that do not gain it new subscribers, most people are unable to navigate the claims of hard-lined atheists simply because they do not understand the flaws in their argument. Which is the result of a recursive feedback loop created not from rational skepticism, but from a denial rooted in faith in premises and assumptions that go unacknowledged in the foundation of atheists arguments.

Transsexuals, Transgendered, Transvestites and Materialist Dualism

Materialist Dualism

I have always found transsexuals, transgendered, transvestites and other human anomalies to be pretty fascinating. I have never been opposed to them emotionally, intellectually or morally in any way. Yet in the last decade some of the Social Justice Warrior rhetoric regarding these individuals had become so absurd that I began to question the phenomena in ways that I had not before. I became skeptical of the motivations, intentions and psychological health of TTT’s. I now admit that this was an irrational reaction to something that tends to cross my wires, that is, political correctness. Political correctness is a form of puritanism that does all sort of social harm by creating opposition through extreme posturing. In this case I was so wrapped up in how awful the PC people were that I let my feelings carry over into TTT’s.

Within the last year it dawned on me that all of my criticism and skepticism of TTT’s were based on an ideology that I abhor even more than political correctness – materialist dualism. So I did what you are supposed to do when you find out you are wrong, I rethought my position.

By ‘materialist dualism’ I mean the idea that mind and matter are separate things, and that mind is just a side effect of the existence of matter, and that matter came first and means more. This belief is so widespread in the modern world that most people usually think, speak and act as though it is true without even investigating why they believe it. It is the most shallow and literal-minded narrative of our existence, but somehow it goes unquestioned by almost everyone.

Materialist dualism would state that gender, sexuality and identity are all just biological functions designed by evolution for specific purposes, and that TTT’s are are unnatural. If the unnatural occurs we usually just assume that something went wrong with reality instead of questioning of our version of it. In the case of ideological backlash against TTT’s this is exactly what has happened.

Besides the mind/matter duality, there is another false dichotomy here, which is that TTT’s were either born this way or they made a choice. Not only are both of those things true to some degree, there is a third way of considering the problem, which is that some form of imprint conditioning has played a role.  What this means is that a TTT was probably born with some higher chance of manifesting their gender disassociation, then at a vulnerable point in development something flipped that switch and they later had to make a choice to what degree they would act it out personally and publicly. This is far more complex than the birth or choice dualism that most people subscribe to, and far more revealing about how we all become who we are.

The biological drive is probably the least influential factor of all. And the biological factor is what people are most focused on when they discuss the phenomena from a materialist viewpoint. This happens in a few ways. One way is that people accept TTT’s because they were ‘born that way’. The other way is that people will argue that TTT’s are an abomination because it is not what evolution and biology intended. The first is a patronizing reason for acceptance and the latter is just bigotry based on uninformed usage of biology. Yet once again we have a dualism here in which both parts are slightly true but may require a third one.

It may be that ‘nature’ or biology produces homosexuals and TTT’s for a very specific reason. Historically, I am not prepared to guess what that reason might have been, but here and now it should seem pretty obvious. There are now 7.5 billion living human beings, and that number is skyrocketing as child mortality continues to decrease, life spans get longer and parts of the world are developing in ways that accommodate rapid growth. We are multiplying at a staggering exponential rate as a species, so it would make sense for biology to rewire the reproduction drive in order not to self destruct from overpopulation.

Now I realize that what I am suggesting itself sounds materialist, but I interpret the physical world as a narrative, not a set of rules and defined interactions. And since our narrative includes biology and evolution, they must still be considered, while not being thought of as the full truth.

If you think people are getting strange now, give it another 5 billion people. By then a TTT of today will be tame compared to what happens to humans when we are no longer just genetic xerox machines. You are already seeing this as people identify as animals, anime characters, objects, etc. or have profound relationships with such things. By the end of the century there will be people who have had fourteen dicks surgically attached to them which they use only to rub up on giant silk shark puppets. And that will be pretty normal.

As far as choice goes, you have to be pretty brave still to come out as TTT. That requires the kind of decision making most people could not even begin to comprehend. Non-normality is always the least easy choice, not just to make, but to have to make at all. And I am pretty burnt out on ‘normalcy’ myself, so I can begin to understand the sort of mentality in which TTT’s start to use terms like ‘cis’ as a derogatory term for people who choose to live in obvious ways. If for no other reason that it fosters the courage to make a choice to be one of the evolutionary vanguard.

We are not just the sum of our genes or bodies or brain. Our consciousness must be larger than the reality it is required to encompass in order to do so. As such, variation in humanity is not just inevitable, it is the norm. TTT’s represent a future in which humanity learns to view itself outside of the narrow filter of materialism, which is why they make most people uncomfortable. Fear of the unknown. TTT’s are one of many signs that the near future is so relatively exotic that most people cannot even comprehend it. This is evidenced by the ironic fact both the pro and anti TTT factions are using the same metaphysical rationale to justify their opposing views.

Wherever bigotry, ignorance and hatred can be found against ‘groups’ of people, you will also find materialist metaphysics. Non dualism does not just give me a better view of reality, it deconstructs all of the petty thoughts and emotions I have labored under once I realize they are materialist in nature, and I hope it continues doing so for life. Abandoning materialism is not just about understanding our existence better, it is about making it better.

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Employs Same Reasoning As Every Bigot In History

neil degrasse tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a household name. His is one of the most well known faces in the western world. He is an icon for those who prefer to get their understanding of science through television and internet memes and pop science tropes. People hold him and his word as final truths on just about any topic he speaks on, regardless of how little he knows about or understands it himself. He is the Jerry Falwell of Telescientism. An infallible demigod for the pious and faithful.

He also happens to be almost entirely full of shit. On a number of occasions he has made disparaging remarks about the discipline of philosophy, claiming that it is meaningless and unnecessary, in no uncertain terms. This is always done with the insinuation that science and empiricism are superior methods opposed to, and competing with, philosophy. So let’s talk about the first area where NdGT has no idea whatsoever what he is talking about.

The history of science clearly illustrates that empirical methodology emerged from philosophy itself. Science is just an extension or branch of philosophy. In fact, pioneers of science such as DaVinci referred to their discipline not as science, but as natural philosophy. Going back even further, it was Greek philosophers who brought to the western world the foundation of reason and logic upon which modern science eventually was formed. So to say that philosophy is in competition with, threatens or is opposed to science is like saying that ice is opposed to the water from which it formed.

In order to make any estimation of the value of science, one has to use the forms laid out by philosophy. The reason that we know the empirical method is meaningful and useful to begin with comes from premises that emerge from philosophical thought. Even further, for NdGT to make any statements about the relation of philosophy and science is itself a philosophical activity. His assertions have no basis in the empirical method whatsoever. They are philosophical statements, albeit, really low quality ones easily dismissed with simple logic. In fact, empiricism itself is unable to demonstrate the validity of empiricism. Therefore the mindless scientism, the idea that only science can provide meaningful answers about nature and reality, spouted by NdGT is self-refuting. Perhaps his real problem with philosophy is just that he is abysmally terrible at it.

Yet the biggest issue with the wonky worldview of NdGT and his followers is that they beat their fists on their pious pulpit dismissing metaphysics wholesale. Metaphysics is the philosophical study of what precedes, or lies below, physical phenomena. According to NdGT and his followers, philosophy and religion and everything besides science is just fluffy crap for scandalous metaphysicians, whose method they feel should be discarded entirely. Again, the irony is almost too much. NdGT does not eve recognize that his own worldview and the ideas he espouses are based on a metaphysical model. To say that nothing caused or is primary to physical phenomena is itself a metaphysical statement. Just a very naive and ignorant one.

The idea that the qualities of all physical phenomena are emergent properties of matter and physical states is the metaphysical position of physicalism, materialism or naturalism. NdGT’s espoused ideologies are all dependent on the superiority of this metaphysical premise. This makes him just as ideologically dangerous as religious figures who make pseudo-scientific claims. Claiming authority over ideas that one fails to understand their own self, while using their public position to spread these misguided dogmas, is exactly everything he claims to be opposed to.

The physicalist position is that a phenomena’s physical properties are the only ones worth considering. Physicalism is the idea that the entire truth of a thing rests solely on it’s measurable physical properties. This is, in fact, the same reasoning employed by every racist, sexist, homophobic and otherwise bigoted belief system ever. The Nazi scientists went to great lengths to attempt to illustrate the superiority of the Aryan descendants based solely on the physical differences between ‘races’. The most backward hillbilly klansmen similarly justify their own superiority via claims that the physical differences between ‘races’ define them. Every backwards thinking, arrogant and dogmatic bigotry in history was predicated upon the same physicalism that underlies NdGT’s entire ideology.

The persistent cultural ideology that this Telescientismist is a beacon and champion of human progress fails to recognize that he contributes almost more than any other living being (Go away, Bill Nye, nobody is talking to you.) to the greatest hurdle to scientific/human discovery and progress in modern times.

Physicalism is the geocentrism of our times. It impedes ideological progress both culturally and scientifically. An emerging paradigm of philosophers and scientists are beginning to reject that notion. These mavericks are pioneering new theories and models that are able to hold up to scientific scrutiny far better than physicalism, while also being more consistent with other methodologies like philosophy and psychology. While the public are still enraptured by the pervasive physicalism that has endured since the dawn of industrialism, the new ideas that lead to even greater human progress are under construction. People like NdGT are dangerous charlatans pinning people to the past and impeding the evolution of human civilization. And while he does so, strutting around with the self-assurance and conceit of a celebrity, he is profiting from and rubbing elbows with people (Koch brothers, FOXtv) whom his followers generally tend to be ideologically opposed to. NdGT stands for something in the public eye that he is not. He is not an anti-establisment champion of reason and progress, he is a spokesman for that establishments ideas and agendas, and a barricade against the reason and progress that would expose them.

It is time to stop putting Neil on a pedestal. He has not earned that position, nor is he using it to lead to the human and scientific progress that the people who put him on it claim to be seeking. It is not just that he is so completely and utterly full of shit, it is that he is a dangerous megalomaniac peddling garbage that reinforces the greatest threats to humanity.

Flat Earth Debate Reveals Modern Dogmas and Hypocrisy

flatearth2

The debate over the shape of the planet that we live on has gotten back into full swing recently. It seems that people everywhere are professing a belief that the world is in fact flat. Surrounding this rejection of a spherical earth are other doubts about other theories of nature, such as gravity. Suddenly it has become popular to believe that the knowledge about nature we take for granted is wrong.

There was a point in history in which humans believed that Earth was at the center of the universe. When Copernicus and Galileo came along insisting that the world was revolving around the sun, they were scoffed at by all of the ‘rational’ people of the time. And even though the logic supporting geocentrism was not able to withstand the scientist’s new model of the universe, people persisted in believing we were smack dab in the center of the cosmos simply because everyone else seemed to believe. Geocentrism was popular knowledge, and in almost all cultures throughout history, popular knowledge always acquires more widespread acceptance than fringe ideas, even when those outlier ideas have superior reason and evidence supporting them.

Now, I am not saying that in the current debate that flat-Earthers are engaged in is supported by superior reason and evidence. But it is quite true that most of the people opposing the idea that our planet is pancake shaped are themselves only using an appeal to the majority as the basis of their argument. I have not seen many people dropping some serious science on flat-Earthers, but rather just generally deriding them and their belief from a position of ideological superiority supported only by the idea that something must be right if everyone else believes it. Especially the ‘experts’.

It is one thing to have trust in people who have devoted more time to studying a phenomena than you have. We cannot possibly all test every human idea, so it becomes necessary that we place some basic faith in others to help us understand our reality. However when that faith is transmogrified into absolutism and certainty, then it quickly goes from rational to irrational. Unless you have hurled yourself away from the gravitational pull of this planet and made several passes around it to verify the shape of the planet yourself, your own belief in a spherical Terra is merely a matter of faith. Yet what I am seeing in social media is a lot of certainty about the roundness of our planet. And in almost all of those cases that certainty is unjustified.

I myself have never hopped off this planet to make a qualified measurement of its shape for myself. While I suspect that the ball model works better than the pancake model, I am not certain. I am certainly not certain enough to begin deriding others for their equally uninformed matters of faith. For all I know the planet could be shaped like one half of a giant bunny rabbit that was hollowed out. And since for all intents and purposes I am pretty much unaffected by planetary geometry, I don’t really mind that some people have wacky opinions about it. In fact, truth be told, my opinion may seem to you to be the wackiest of all.

No matter what side you take in the planet shape debate, you are starting from the assumption that the planet is a Thing which precedes humanities conscious ideas about the planet. This is another dogma I am not too quick to buy into. What if the planet is just a manifestation of our perceived notions about what the planet is? What if our collective beliefs about the planet are able to influence how we perceive it, or even what it ‘is’? What if nature and all of reality is not a noun thing, but a fluid verb that responds to our ideologies about it? You cannot have an idea about what something IS without having an idea. It is therefore not rational to rule out that what we are observing is some feedback of ideas, and not a universe that exists independently of them. You cannot think of a thing that exists independently of thought without thinking. It is therefore far more logical to assume that whatever reality is, it has a direct relationship to our thoughts about reality, not that they are separate or independent of one another.

So who knows. Maybe at some point in the past, conforming to the beliefs about what it was in conscious beings, the earth was flat. And as those beliefs changed to one in which the world was round, well so be it. And maybe the beliefs about planet shape are shifting towards the flat and astronomers in a few hundred years will send us evidence from space showing that the planet is actually a giant frisbee, while Round-Earthers are derided in public for their silly archaic notion that the planet is shaped like a ball.

And maybe all of these people who are professing to believe in a flat earth are in fact some kind of social magicians using the flat earth idea as a way to illustrate our awkward obsession with unearned certainty and the dogma it necessitates. Or maybe it is some unfamiliar sect of Discordians collaborating in a giant mindfuck in order to derail the Illuminati’s plan to immanentize the eschaton through very obscure methods. I don’t know. And neither do you. The only thing you can be certain of is that you exist. Everything else requires an open mind and sense of humor.

And also, the Earth actually is shaped like a hollowed out half rabbit, though you aren’t ready for that knowledge yet. But your kids are gonna love it.

The Rosetta Pill- The World’s First Pharmaceutical Language Instructor

the rosetta pill

Have you struggled with attempts to learn a foreign language?

Fed up with all of that reading and all of those confusing words?

Can’t make sense out of the jibber jabber you hear in audio files?

Tired of teachers who insist on practice and patience?

Do you just not have the time to engage actively with your own intellectual growth?

A breakthrough in science has allowed us to condense all of that information into an easy to swallow pill. No longer must you suffer the arduous task of learning a language. With the Rosetta Pill you can just swallow it whole!

“The Gold Standard in pharmaceutical based language absorption.”
-CNN

“I learned me the spanish speaking so now I can tell them damn mexicans to go back home and I didn’t even have to think.”
-Jebediah McKray

“I can’t even spell kantuneez but now I can speak it!”
-G.W. Bush
The Rosetta Pill is the only pharmaceutical on the market that can offer this miracle in chemical linguistics. The active ingredients go right to the language centers of the brain and imprint the neural synapses which contain a whole new language!

The Rosetta Pill is available in Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Arabic, Legalese and many more!

For just five easy payments of $39.99 you can consume one of our many languages in an easy to swallow gel capsule.

And now, for children, a great tasting grape syrup that will have them speaking languages they have no cultural context for in just a few hours.

But don’t wait. Act now and you will receive a free gift, even if you decide to regurgitate the Rosetta Pill. Rosetta Topical Cream is a stunning new, easy to apply cream which will familiarize the user with recent events and other current news topics. That is right. Not only will you be speaking a new language, but you will have all of the most popular recent talking points to practice it with!

But don’t wait. Initial supplies are going fast, so put down that German 101 book and pick up the phone!

Warning: Rosetta Pill may cause serious side effects including diarrhea, nausea, anal leakage, learning disabilities and decreased intellectual appetite. Please speak to your pharmucational professional if you experience any of these side effects.

Within weeks of writing this satirical piece in late spring 2014, articles began circulating claiming that a pharmaceutical that teaches language might actually happen in the near future.

The Meme Analysis Project

Recently I invited my friends on Facebook to submit a meme, which I would then provide a critical analysis of, getting to the underlying context of these memes that often goes overlooked. Humanity has an awkward obsession with being content focused to the point of excluding the context of the things we consider. Our literal interpretations of the objects and subjects in the external world often gives us only a shallow understanding, and leaves us blind to the unspoken messages that lie within all things. And it is often these unspoken messages that have the most profound effect, even when we are not aware of them doing so. In fact, especially when we overlook them.

In the past I have criticized memes from a general perspective.  That exercise failed to engage many people, I suspect, because they were unable to draw from the general a message about the specific. So this time I have chosen to use specifics to make a general statement about the underlying context of memes. That is, they generally say much more than they actually say.

meme1

As with any political cartoon that bashes one of the two accepted mainstream positions, the problem is accidental validation. While you may hate all political sides equally, or just find the humor funny, the people who view it are going to filter it through their own beliefs. If they dislike the politician being made fun of, it may help to strengthen their ideology regarding the supremacy of the ‘opposite’ candidate. Which then goes on to validate that person’s belief that the state is necessary, justifiable and welcome based not on a judgement of the state itself, but the assumed belief that it is necessary to support MY statist figurehead in order to protect myself from THEIR statist figurehead. So it further polarizes both ends of the mainstream political spectrum while also validating the necessity of the state out of the fear created through false dichotomies.

meme2

While specifically suggesting that the reptilian conspiracy theories are outlandish and ridiculous, those people who think all conspiracy theories are ridiculous will have that belief validated. It further paints conspiracy theories as absurd and moronic. Yet conspiracy is natural part of all power structures throughout time. So to disbelieve them off hand because they do not fit the mainstream narrative conditions people to shallow literalism, which then allows them to be even bigger targets for the conspirators within the power structures.

Further, it relies on a format that has been repeated often enough that it has an instinctual association with ‘funny.’ Like a laugh track, it forces its humor through simple psychological shortcuts. Attempting to appeal to people’s instincts in order to gain their consent for mainstream consensus paradigms is pretty much always unfunny to me, though.

meme3

There are all sorts of problems with this one, but the most obvious is that it is blatant scientism. It appeals to people’s fascination with science, as well as their naive ideas about what science is and does. It uses the chemical symbols to reassure you that it is really super scientific stuff. But what is actually happening is very unscientific. The idea that our subjective experiences are only side effects of brain chemistry belongs not to science, but to the metaphysical assumptions of physicalism/materialism. Neither of those ontologies can be empirically verified, so it is not only not science, but by making ‘scientific’ claims about something unverifiable by science, it is actually anti-science. When scientism puts its metaphysical assumptions ahead of the actual science, it does so with complete ignorance and disregard for the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific method. And science is a method, not a worldview.
Further, it reduces our experiences to some strange combination of determinism and meaningless cosmic accident, which is degrading to human consciousness.
But when you add anything even faux sciencey to internet cultural tools like memes, the recipe is always one which results in a further ignorance of science and philosophy.

meme4

The problem with this meme is that it pretends to teach you something. But every idea is so obvious that only the most intellectually bereft would not have already determined these ideas themselves. Knowing these things is too obvious. It is putting them into practice that is difficult, which the meme gives no helpful advice on doing.
Since all it tells us is what we already know, the only purpose of this meme is to gather validation or consensus. And nothing waters down the truth like the necessity of repeating it compulsively where it is unsolicited and unrequired.
These sort of memes get around because they easily get likes. “I agree (duh) so LIKE.” And getting likes feels like validation and approval. And there is nothing wrong with validation or approval, but when you are disguising it as informative, it takes all of the meaning out of information. When this happens enough we trade our logic for emotion in an unbalanced way that is harmful to intelligence.

meme5

There are some memes that have a very concise message displayed graphically whose message is more or less direct.

But these are still problematic in that they reinforce the meme pattern in general. After being inundated daily with numerous memes that we know may not be completely on the up and up or are complete bullshit or pandering for validation and attention, the meme defender will point to one like this and infer that because this meme displays less of the awful characteristics that most memes carry then memes must be okay. They are the ‘good cop’ of memes.
But the system of meme has become ridden with intrinsic issues which make the good deeds of a few memes pointless as a guide to understanding memes.
There are no good memes. There are just memes that don’t intentionally dumb us down, but the system of meme does.

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This is an attempt to discredit an ideology by reducing it to a mere absurdity, devoid of its complexity. And even if that ideology is in fact absurd and fails to recognize its own complexity, simply dismissing it by making fun of it is intellectually dishonest. The use of a childhood icon also insinuates that the believers in that ideology are themselves childish. By reducing the ideas and the person, it only serves to antagonize, and not to teach. The choir might all be giddy with this kind of preaching, but it alienates the congregation and puts them at odds with the far better ideas you are trying to replace theirs with. Therefore it is mostly just mean-spirited masturbatory posturing that hurts the cause of those who would perpetuate the sharing of this meme.

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This is really the same as the other one. It is an attempt to win an argument by belittling the opponent. So the contextual problem is the same.

Content-wise, it suggests that Lions are those who allow themselves to be caught up in the largest association of organized violence ever. If the point is that lions are brave, then this fails because it is not brave to be a joiner. Especially when you are joining the winning monopoly on violence. Therefore, in this case, those standing against the ‘lions’ would actually be the brave and courageous, as it takes far more of those qualities to stand against this den than with it.

Secondly, lions aren’t what protect lambs. Lambs would be hunted and slaughtered and eaten raw by lions. So the idea that those claiming to protect us are lions while we are sheep really illustrates the true nature of these lions and not the delusion that they live under. They are not our protectors. They are our predators.

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I have no idea what is even going on in this meme. The words in the back appear to be comprised of buzzwords and stock phrases. I do not recognize the picture, but perhaps it is recognizable from other memes and their context is being carried into this one by repetition of the image?

There are a lot of memes like this. There is a group on Facebook called The Absurdistan Association that has all sorts of stuff like this. I imagine that it is part in-joke used to identify the sharer as ‘in the know’. It may also just be an attempt to be absurd through nonsensical image propagation.

If it is an in joke sort of thing then it is really just another form of consensus gathering and self-validation and groupthink identity building.

If it is an attempt at absurdity it fails on two levels. The first being that absurdity is not just randomly random. It is highly constructed randomness for specific effect. Absurdity is not a way of saying nothing; it is a way of saying something through clever juxtaposition. But you cannot be making an absurdist statement if the audience is limited to those in the know of the parts beings juxtaposed. The second reason is that the activity and medium of meme has become such a cultural norm itself that they cannot be considered far enough outside social norms to be absurd.

Mostly, this just seems to be what would result when the activity of meme-ing became a meaningless compulsion.

(note- an explanation from the person who shared this meme with me: “It’s really just an obscure kinda joke. It references the “Serbia Strong” meme which… I don’t even know where to begin. I guess it kind of mocks a strange, esoteric nationalism / adversarial positioning that was so popular in early 90s Eastern Europe that it inspired folk music and other strange behaviors”.)

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Remember when you were a kid and you would spend ridiculous amounts of time ‘playing’ an arcade game without having put any quarters into it? This seems like the meme version of that.

Besides that it is an identity thing. The people who made, liked and shared this image want you to know that they do not like Obama. And since they feel no need to provide specifics with that message, the reason they do not like Obama is probably because they identify with the other side of the partisan false dichotomy. Either that or their reasoning is even more suspicious, like racism, and they are just smart enough to know that indicating that specifically is a social faux pas. But not smart enough to make a meme that actually attempts to illustrate some idea specifically.

Whenever something that began as clever becomes too popular, eventually the biggest idiots get a hold of it and completely ruin any semblance of purpose in it. Or illustrate the underlying insidiousness of it through accident and irony.

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I would consider this an infographic. And while infographics may contain some of the residual contextual issues of memes through similarity of mediums and use, there is a bit of a difference. My critique here is not very strong. The worst thing I have to say for it is that it is a visual version of the ‘This Topic for Dummies’ books. If the infographic inspires you to further investigate the topic, great. But if it inspires you to be a barely informed expert in conversations on the subject, then it is intellectually irresponsible.

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This is an attempt to appeal to people’s morality through their desire and identity. To be opposed to this meme is to appear either anti-woman, repressed or homosexual. Morality should be arrived at through logic and reason, not appealed to through instinct or identity-seeking or fear. To draw the connection between the differences in vaginas as a reason to support diversity actually undermines diversity by suggesting it is a value whose laurels rest only on shallow interpretations of what creates genuine differences in individuals and cultural groups.

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‘That face you make when…’ memes.

First of all, these memes never say anything at all. There is no message. There is no lesson. And they are not even funny. The only function they have is recognition. And since they are usually faces from entertainment media, the recognition is that of mainstream media consumers. The statement is ‘I also watched that/I consume the same media commodities as you/I recognize what facial expressions mean’. Nowhere in that does any thinking take place. It just begs for validation and interaction without earning it. It is attention whoring with no other purpose.

i fear a day when this behavior reduces our language to the most simple of bullshit.

Woman comes home from work. Man flashes photo from TV sitcom of famous ‘How was your day, dear?’ moment.

Woman responds by flashing famous movie photo of someone with exasperated face.

Man flashed ‘uh oh’ face photo from Home Alone.

Child walks in, plays a short sound clip- ‘Wakkity smackity Doo!’

Cue laugh track.

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Ah, the sunday school atheist memes.

First, this meme is not for generating any kind of theological or philosophical conversation. It is just making fun of people by reducing their beliefs into an absurdity. And since atheists tend to have more influence in internet culture it also says that ‘we make better memes, so we are smarter than you and your beliefs are dumb.’

In particular this seems to be addressing the problem of evil. Yet is does so with such reductionist hyperbole that it misses all of the nuances contained in that theological doctrine. It is thus the anti-theist version of sunday school parables. It becomes the sort of watered down and literal interpretation that is practiced by the people it is meant to mock.

Further, it does not differentiate between the many concepts that fall under the banner ‘God.’ It addresses only the modern evangelical theistic entity from Abrahamic traditions. Yet it is meaningless when examined in the light of pantheism, panentheism, pandeism, etc. Many other philosophies that include some form of primal being have addressed the problem of evil quite well.

This meme goes after the low-hanging fruit. And people who go after only low hanging fruit do so only because they are on a similar level of intellectual inconsistency.


I hope that I have illustrated just how much meaning lies hidden inside memes. Though you may like the surface message of its content, a meme might actually say things you disagree with or wouldn’t want to say yourself. The widespread compulsion of meme sharing has created a communication culture full of far more unspoken messages than spoken ones.  Memes, like medication, all have side effects. So before you swallow those pills, be sure that the consequences are not worse than the benefits. And in the case of memes, the medium is itself the message, an idea I plan to explore in my next discussion on the topic.

Thank you everyone who helped by sharing the memes I used in this experiment. You know who you are!

Science, Technology and Art – The Imbalance and Threat of Scientism

arttechsciWhen you examine the social phenomena of scientism, the dogmatic belief that science is the only meaningful way to understand or convey ideas about our existence, it begins to become clear that the reason it has become so cultural invasive is the tenuous ideological relationship between science and technology. There can be little doubt that technology has improved our lives in untold ways, even while sometimes harming us and the environment in the process. The gratitude for technological advancements are then often given to the scientists who developed them, and in the process science itself becomes elevated to a God-like status of creation. Considering how a quasi-religious belief in the infallibility of the empirical method has grown from this paradigm, it might be fair to ask- Is science really solely responsible for technological advancement?

Lets explore this through the medium of technology itself.

Ralph wants to make his girlfriend a piece of jewelry for the holidays. His 3-D printer is capable of creating any design out of precious metals, so long as he can program its parameters properly. Even though Ralph is quite capable of programming any design, the analytical prowess that allows him to do so does not really help when it comes to aesthetic creativity. So using Google Image Search, he looks for a design that he can program into a 3D model. The resulting jewelry is beautiful and his girlfriend is duly grateful and impressed.

Now the question is, did Ralph create the jewelry? Sure, he programmed and operated the machine, which in turn manufactured the jewelry. Yet it is possible that the machine could be programmed to do a web search and transfer 2D art in to 3D jewelry without Ralph. But what the machine could not do is to create the original 2D artwork itself. And even if it could, it would only be predicated on algorithms obtained by  studying the artwork of humans that came before the machine. At least for now, machines have no aesthetic prowess. While at the same time, machines are already beginning to illustrate the ability to reprogram themselves and adapt human artifacts into computational models. Ralph is the weakest link in the chain.

Now let us explore this another way.

Janess grows up reading science fiction novels, her favorite of which is a series featuring a machine that allows people to share sensory perceptions. So intrigued is she by this fictional technology that during the course of her education she takes a path that will lead her into a career which allows her to explore the possibility of creating such a device.  And lo and behold, she eventually does create such a device, which radically changes the face of the world for the better in uncountable ways.

Should Janess receive all of the credit for the creation of this device? Would she have grown up to do such a thing had she never read those books as a child? Would any scientist have ever imagined the invention for themselves had not it been used in a purely speculative matter by the author first?

It is quite possible that, yes, they may have. Creativity and analytic thinking are not necessarily exclusive of one another. Yet when we look around us at the world of modern technological marvels, most of them do have a genesis in some purely abstract idea that preceded them in paintings, sculpture, literature, film, etc.

Science fiction, since its inception in the latter half of the 19th Century, has been the sketchbook for many of the technological artifacts we use today. Long before we began building rockets to travel into space, the idea was dreamed up by writers like Jules Verne, who then inspired early rocket developers like Jack Parsons. Before you were ever reading articles like this on a handheld electronic device, writers like Isaac Asimov were writing about them, while cinematic artists then adapted visual forms of them in science fiction outlets like Star Trek, which then influenced the scientists and designers who created them.

What I am trying to relate is not that science is unimportant. I am not even trying to rank importance here, but to illustrate the interdependence between the seemingly divergent methodologies of art and science. Yet scientism has done just that. It has given undue credit to a single methodology and ranked human methods and disciplines according to it’s own singular criteria. And such a cultural force could be potentially disastrous.

The emphasis on math and science in our culture, through educational institutions and media, comes at the expense of arts and humanities. Our dogmatic insistence in the superiority of the empirical method in creating more human and environmental wealth and harmony than other methods may have a destructive cost. What would happen in a world full of scientists? Who would create the symbols and ideas that inspired their developments? Who would explore their social influence and ethical consequences? Science without art is like a lab technician without a theoretician. Science without art is like an instrument without a melody. Science without art is like conductivity without electricity.

Our ideologically embarrassing pitfall into the clutches of scientism has become a potentially destructive strain on the relationship between the interdisciplinary feedback that allows different kinds of human intelligence to work together for the greater good. It becomes critical then not just to question scientism in culture and science itself, but to restore the prestige deserved by the arts and humanities so that they might thrive. Not just because they are a part of our humanity, but because their neglect will eventually have destructive consequences for science, technology and the health of our species and it’s environment.

New Study Proves That Everyone Is Actually A Vegan

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The University of Ohiowa, working on a research grant from the Pepsi Marketing Science Division, has made a startling discovery regarding the true nature of human appetites. After completing their studies they have concluded that all humans are actually vegan, whether they express or repress their true dietary nature or not.

The study was being conducted to help marketers measure the effect of certain visual stimuli in order to maximize advertising reach and potential. They tested visual response phenomena in a number of diverse categories with over two thousand participants. The participants were chosen from a variety of demographic sectors locally available, including different ages, races, socio-economic status and other factors. The tests included numerous exercises in which different physical responses to a wide variety of images were recorded.

One interesting outcome was a statistical anomaly indicating the universality of vegan dietary preferences. In salivation response tests, subjects responded favorably in almost all cases when shown pictures of flowers, vegetation and other plants. However, it was equally true that images of dead animals failed to provoke a significant salivatory response in nearly all participants.

“Despite the stated preferences and history of an omnivorous diet in individuals tested, the results of these studies undoubtedly prove that each and every human is evolutionary and psychologically more suited for a vegan diet and lifestyle,” says Saul Craigan, senior research leader at U of Ohiowa.

“Not quite what we expected, but we are pleased with the results,” said Pepsi Marketing Science Division spokesman Hal Bix. “We will use this knowledge to tailor our advertisements to our audiences most primal nature. Expect to see more bananas and succotash in our commercials in the next several months.”

The Ohiowa Beef Council was not so excited about the news, calling the research “blatant pseudoscience with erratic conclusions drawn from jumbled nonsensical data.”

Moonkiss Yewell, a second year undergrad and secretary of the U of Ohiowa chapter of Meat Is Terrorism, was ecstatic about the results. “This proves what I have already known for a very long time. Nobody wants to eat meat. It is a maligned behavior conditioned in the population by the capitalist patriarchy. Veganism is beautiful and so it is no surprise to me that as animals, we would embrace the beauty of other animals by not eating them.”

Meanwhile we have been unable to reach Jimmy Buffet to ascertain if he will change the iconic lyrics of his song to ‘Black Bean Burger In Paradise’.

Scientism or Misogyny?: Study Claims ALL Women Gay/Bi, Never Straight

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Details of a study claiming that true female heterosexuality is scientifically disprovable hit the internet today, causing an explosion of ‘I knew it!‘s to blanket social media in a matter of hours. And while everyone was busy validating their own sexual fantasies, I was once again left feeling alone and alienated in a culture so quick to swallow whatever scientistic snake oil it was being sold by sketchy researchers doing dubious studies.

The first hint that the study results and their eager media approval were total cockamamie bullshit were the words ‘all’ and ‘never’. These kind of absolutes just do not exist when discussing individuals, who are all fundamentally unique. Since my readers from CopBlock.org will recognize that I have often claimed that all cops are bad, I will explain the difference. When we speak of all cops as being bad, we are referring to the institution of policing as whole. In a rigidly defined system, such as policing, it becomes possible to make a generalization about all of its parts. But sexuality is not a rigidly defined institution or system, so we can not generalize about the individuals identity within these parameters. Further it defines women as a single group, rather than as one classification among many in a wide spectrum of individuals.

“Groups are grammatical fictions; only individuals exist, and each individual is different.”-Robert Anton Wilson

Let us first examine the science and its assumptions.

First of all, the test group is insufficient to make statements that apply to all women. I very much doubt there were aboriginal women tested at all. In fact, I am sure many other categorical parameters used to define women were not present for the study. Yet the conclusion includes statements about even their sexuality. Next, the size of the study is a pretty small sample group. There are several known medical conditions that exist that would not be found in a sample group of that size. So even if the study was an accurate marker of those who participated, it cannot account for all women.

My next issue is that the conclusions are based on physical response, but deny the individual experience and identity of women, making it both misogyny and scientism in one fell swoop. Earlier studies looking at sexual fluidity found that women were more likely to have physical response to just about anything remotely related to sexuality than men, including animals copulating. However, if one were to conclude that women were all into beastiality, there would be some serious concerns about the people making those statements. A biological response to a phenomena does not always lead to causation. And certainly when it comes to something as personal as our sexual preferences, these automated physical responses mean far less than how one experiences desire. It is our desire for specific kinds of sexual behavior that defines our sexuality, and not a statistical analysis of machine-acquired information. Denying our desire as the key component for sexual preference identity is the scientism of physicalist philosophy. While denying women’s own individual accounts and experiences of their sexuality in favor of strict binary absolutes beyond their own conscious desires absolutely reeks of the projection of male fantasy onto all of womanhood, and thus has at least a flavor of misogyny mixed in.

The fact is, the study itself only qualifies as science in name. The empirical method is not the proper tool by which to measure our subjective experience of things. Empiricism is an attempt to objectively understand natural objects and phenomena. Yet the culture of scientism allows all sorts of unscientific trash to parade itself in the media as valid science. The Cult of Scientism allows for even the subjective experience of death to be explained in quasi-scientific terms that have no business in addressing those questions. And while the unraveling of the scientific method occurs amidst an atmosphere of religious-like dogma for anything advertised as scientific, even greater problems threaten that discipline. Because we have come to unquestioningly accept anything labeled science as actually being scientifically valid, the number of published studies later found not to be credible science continues to skyrocket. Even scarier is the fact, like our media, almost all of this research is coming from a very small group of about six corporations. Scientism bends a rational, logical method into a worldview that makes it easier to control the masses. If corporations are the true nature of the state, then scientism is that states religion.

And as feminists have been saying for a very long time, “Keep your religions off of our bodies.”

Remembering In Reverse: Premonitions, Predictions, Deja Vu & Synchronicity

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A common ‘conspiracy theory’ found often on social media is the claim that a movie, television show, book, etc. from before a major event predicted the event in question happening. The most popular of these involve 9/11, and these supposed ‘predictions’ can allegedly be found in The Simpsons, Back to the Future and a number of other cultural icons. While it is completely irrational to believe that 9/11 happened in the manner claimed by government and mainstream media, it is also irrational to believe that the events were predicted beforehand. In fact, the insinuation is generally not that the events were ‘predicted’ but were hinted at by the monolithic agency that both makes and influences media as well as government. But why would ‘The Illuminati’ (or whatever you wanna call it) go through all of the trouble of planting clues years ahead of time about an event that they planned to maintain secrecy over?

If you ask me, that seems both unlikely and irrational. I have a better idea.

Let us imagine that reality is two dimensional surface extending outward from any phenomena through space and time (the two dimensions). Since reality is a product of consciousness, an argument which I have made several times in recent articles and will not repeat here, let us call this two dimensional surface consciousness. Now let us regard every phenomena or event as a point somewhere along that surface. The occurrence of events and phenomena will cause a ripple to spread out from this axis point of space/time. The more potent the event/phenomena, the greater the ripple. A kid dropping their ice cream cone in the sandbox would effect, concern or be known by very few people, so its ripple would quickly dissipate.

However, an event like 9/11 that is known by and affects a large number of conscious beings would create a much larger ripple. This ripple would carry the symbols the event conjures in consciousness outward in space and time. Therefore our consciousness would contain symbols or ideas about the event even before it happen, which would then be manifested in the works of conscious beings. In this way we might imagine that the symbols of those towers falling would be embedded in consciousness to the degree that they would appear before the events that ‘inspire’ them ever occur.

If this ripple effect were real, how else might we notice it in reality?

Our last look at ‘predictions’ were all hindsight. However it is true that predictive powers do seem to be indicated by things like ESP and in the strange world of quantum theory. Psi-research has presented many instances in which predictive powers are far above statistical probability, suggesting that at some level, humans can and do consciously and/or unconsciously ‘predict’ events before they happen. The subatomic world is full of non-local interactions between particles, something Einstein was not very keen on and called “spooky action from a distance.” Despite his misgivings, years of research do seem to indicate that particles react to the activity and measurements of particles over great distances. But just as Einstein imagined gravity causing ripples in the space/time matrix, so might events. Especially if those events have more ‘gravity’ on conscious beings. Could the effects of ESP and quantum activity both be related to the same ripples in time/space that cause 9/11 to occur in cultural symbols long before the actual event?

How about even more intangible and arcane phenomena? Premonition, somewhat distinct from prediction in that it is often less specific and can occur in altered states of consciousness like dreaming, could also possibly be another area in which we can see this ripple effect.

Deja Vu, the feeling that you have experienced something present in the past, might also be a product of this ripple effect. The particular feeling that you have experienced an event/phenomena already may be due to the fact that you actually have, yet you were unable to understand the information you received prior to your arrival at the epicenter of time/space consciousness from which it flows outward from.

Synchronicity is much the same. The seeming connection between unconnected events/phenomena may be a conscious experience produced when ripples overlap and influence one another. The intersection of these ripples, experienced as symbolic abstractions, may just be an effect of remembering in reverse on more than one level at a time.

Regardless of whether or not this theory of the ripple effect is true, the number of non-local phenomena we experience as conscious beings is undeniable. Each on their own is easily dismissed as anomaly. Yet when we consider the recurrence of several forms of non-locality in the experience of human beings, we might be wise to view the phenomena as related. And if they are related, what is the singular cause? If the cause is just that we are faulty agents of consciousness who mix things too casually or project too easily, then the combined argument for anomaly becomes weaker in theory than in observation. While if we consider that reality is a bit stranger than we tend to imagine, but still depends on some logical forms, the idea of the ripple effect, remembering in reverse, becomes a plausible answer to a great number of phenomena regularly experienced by conscious entities throughout space and time.

Whether or not we believe in this phenomena will largely depend on our ability to break free from linear thinking, direct causation or any other dogma that rules our belief system from outside of ourselves. Which is to say, disbelief is itself just another ripple effect of ideological artifacts outside of our current space/time location.

While mainstream materialist science (scientism) attempts to build a working unified theory of reality, its agenda of producing profitable and pragmatic results often interferes with a cogent connectivity and consistency of data leaves it blind and ignorant to conclusions that actually support the evidence.

Literalism is a hell of a drug.

Some Far Better Reasons To Boycott Star Wars

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A recent social media campaign calling for a boycott of the latest edition to the Star Wars film series claims the movie promotes hatred of and violence against white people. While these incendiary charges are full of interpretations that are at best hyperbolistic, there are far better reasons to boycott the entire franchise.

Franchise would be the proper term here, as the Star Wars series has always been much more than some movies, but part of a large scale marketing campaign to sell an endless trove of collectible junk. While it was not the first cinematic offering to extend itself into a cross marketing campaign of goods based on its characters and themes, it was perhaps the first to be so successful at doing so. Even as a child I observed that liking the movies was not enough. You had to prove how much you liked it by having more Star Wars swag than the other kids in your neighborhood or school, and getting it first. These products became status symbols for an entire generation of young men who learned through this marketing campaign that your worthiness to others and yourself could be measured by what you owned. Star Wars became an accelerated course in rampant mindless consumerism aimed at children.

More symbolic buffoonery was also hidden within the Star Wars phenomena. Star Wars came to represent intelligence. Because society had observed that geeks and nerds flocked to science fiction, aligning yourself with that genre was a way of identifying as a geek or a nerd, which obviously made you smart. And since it had rolled up a hundred years of that genre into a slick package easily digestible by the general public, it was the proverbial honey you take with a bitter pill. Which is exactly what good science fiction, with its complex speculative themes and explorations into humanity, ethics and morality, is. Yet rather than swallow that pill, the public just sucked the honey off and patted themselves on the back for being one of those intelligent nerds/geeks who ‘got it’.

With its faux science fiction veneer, it also became a champion for ideologies about technology and science. By equating these status symbols with intelligence wrapped in science, it made a powerful cultural statement about scientistic ideologies and beliefs. Nevermind that it never actually promotes any actual science or the rational underpinnings of the empirical method. Merely aligning oneself with anything appearing even remotely sciencey soon became a cool thing to do, which has led us away from an understanding of what science is and does and why, and into the vast dogmatic worldview of scientism. Just as Star Wars helped to sell science fiction to mainstream audiences using an inferior replica of the actual thing, it also contributed to the cultural tendency to acquiesce to the knowledge of all things even labeled science, regardless of whether it is or not.

The symbolic suggestions contained in Star Wars don’t stop there. An ideology of dark/light, good/evil, etc. promoted the dangerous tendency of humans to think in false dichotomies. The binary logic which traps the thinking of so many people is evident all throughout Star Wars. To oversimplify any subject into a question with only two possible answers has been the folly of almost every wacky belief system humans have ever devised. From the Heaven or Hell of Abrahamic religion to racism to two party politics, the THIS or THAT and nothing else way of thinking has been one of our species greatest obstacles. Yet that entire fallacious dichotomizing is a central tenet of the Star Wars universe and the films help to validate these toxic ways of thinking by making them appear grandiose and heroic; and by implanting them in the head of the films target audiences- children.

In so many ways, even if the George Lucas or anyone else ever intended them to be, these films serve as little more propaganda for some of the least enlightened parts of the contemporary world. And even worse, they are designed for consumption by children, who then reinforce these ideas through rampant materialism at a lovely profit to those who shove this trash out there.

However, none of these reasons or all of them combined is as valid as this single reason for boycotting Star Wars films. They fucking suck. The entire series, from the very beginning, cannibalizes older science fiction themes and devices in a way that dumbs them down and strips them of meaning. It is full of terrible one-liners, childish gimmicks and coated in a sparkly cover of special effects that appeal to the sort of boyish minds that like to see things burn and explode. The characters are all shallow and two dimensional. The plot devices are paper thin and see through. And the entire package comes together not so much as an homage to truly great science fiction, but rather as an affront to the possibilities that genre has always offered in the way of making you think. Star Wars doesn’t ask you to think. It asks you to buy and be a loyal repeat customer.

The people who make Star Wars think you are dumb and want to capitalize on that. The only thing more sad than that is how many times film-goers and collectors prove them right. Prove them wrong, #boycottstarwars

Marijuana As Medicine: When Thinking Objectively Fails

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I once had to attend a drunk driving course that took place over the weekend at a community college. The instructor filled our naughty little minds with all sorts of information, in hopes that it might transform us from criminals into upright citizens or scholars. Knowing that an abstinence only education would likely do more harm than good, the sobriety sensai told us about the medical studies which showed that small amounts of alcohol daily had numerous health benefits. She explained that it was not known exactly why this was, whether there was a biological cause or if there was some other less tangible reason. Her opinion was that it was the latter, as she stated, ‘A few drinks make you happy, and happiness has many benefits, health and otherwise.’ This, she claimed, was also the opinion of many ‘experts’. While I was impressed with her logic and pleased with her honesty, I wondered why we didn’t apply the same logic to other drugs.

When we discuss medical marijuana, it is almost always approached from the angle of bio-chemistry. The empirical method, it is believed, will reveal whether or not we can justify or validate the benefits of this plant. It is reasoned that if science can show a beneficial interaction between marijuana’s chemistry and our own, then that will ‘prove’ that the plant is medicinal. In essence, we have sought to demonstrate the efficacy of marijuana use by insisting that the only meaningful medicine is that which directly and literally affects the symptoms or illness.

Now lets ask ourselves why health issues are ‘bad’ in the first place. I can come up with two of them.

1. They can kill you.

2. They can lower the quality of life.

Some researchers now believe that marijuana can literally save your life. Its efficacy in fighting seizures and cancer may one day lead to marijuana-based drugs that cure some of the most serious and debilitating ailments humans suffer. However, I am more interested in exploring the plants relationship to that second answer.

Why is pain bad? Why is nausea bad? Are they intrinsically bad, or do they just create conditions in which negative reactions arise? We tend to think of things like pain as objective phenomena. Yet we are not objective creatures. Our relation to pain is that it is a subjective phenomena. Pain cripples us and prevents us from doing those things which bring quality to our life. It is not just the pain itself which affects us, but the cascade of effects we experience due to it. When we are in pain the main problem becomes that our lives are not very enjoyable.

For many people, being high on marijuana is incredibly enjoyable. Pot intoxication is quite often a very pleasant experience that enhances our quality of life. And when you are enjoying life, pain has less power over you. Pain can be lived with, so long as it does not prevent us from happiness. There are many people suffering ailments that come with a lifetime of pain. Back injuries can be a life sentence to discomfort and hurt. Where there is no cure for pain, we must stop focusing on it and instead consider those experiencing it. Should we not take seriously their quality of life since it has no objective factors we can study? Is their happiness not important, if only because it cannot be deductively examined through empirical methods?

Every medical condition lowers the quality of life. Every physical ailment and psychological trauma does the most damage by robbing us of the ability to enjoy living. So why do we only measure the objective links between pot and pain, and not the subjective ones?Our culture has become unhealthily obsessed with objectivity. It is one of the pitfalls of the rampant scientism which has become the religion of our industrial culture. Objectivity has become the myth of our times. We are subjective beings. We cannot experience an objective reality or truth, because even if it existed, it would have to make its way through our own subjective perceptions and interpretations. The entire reason that the need to create empirical methods such as science came about was to overcome our hopeless subjectivity by using disciplines which sought to explore questions about nature in objective terms. Yet falsification, a primary tenet of empirical science, illustrates that when that objectivity we use to question nature shows up in the answers, we are no longer doing science. Final answers are not the domain of empiricism. Objectivity is the path, not the destination.Now consider how this has effected our ideas about medicine. Think further into how it has colored our ideas about ‘recreational’ drugs. We have come to see the concepts of ‘medicine’ and ‘recreation’ as being unrelated. This, I believe, is an enormous error in thinking on our behalf. It is time to decompartmentalize our lives. We have needlessly separated feeling good and having a good time. The barriers we have erected in our lives have become obstacles to our own happiness and well being. It is time to think of our lives as an organic whole, in which our subjective experiences are just as (or perhaps more) meaningful than those mythological objective truths we have come to use like a weapon against our own happiness.

“When once they stalked deer, or crouched shivering in the mud for the flight of ducks to alight, or risked their lives in the crags after goats, or closed in with shouts upon a wild boar at bay- that was not work, though often the breath came hard and the limbs were heavy. When the women bore and nursed children, or wandered in the woods for berries and mushrooms, or tended fire at the entrance of the rock shelter- That was not work either.
So also, when they sang and danced and made love, that was not play. By the singing and the dancing the spirits of forest and water might be placated- a serious matter, though still one might enjoy the song and the dance. And as for the making of love, by that- and by the favor of the gods- the tribe was maintained.
So in the first years work and play mingled always, and there were not even words for one against the other.
But centuries flowed by and then more of them, and many things changed. Man invented civilization and was inordinately proud of it. But in no way did civilization change life than to sharpen the line between work and play, and at last that division had came to be more important than the old one between sleeping and waking. Sleep came to be thought a kind of relaxation, and “sleeping on the job” a heinous sin. The turning out of the light and the ringing of the alarm were not so much the symbols of man’s dual life as were the punching of the time clock and the blowing of the whistle. Men marched on picket lines and threw bricks and exploded dynamite to shift an hour from one classification to the other, and other men fought equally hard to prevent them. And always work became more laborious and odious, and play grew more artificial and febrile.”

Excerpt of ‘Earth Abides’ by George R. Stewart (1949)

Questioning Tragedies & Everything Else: Too Much ‘How’ & Not Enough ‘Why’

why how

Answer the following question: Why does a car drive?

Now ask other people around you. Did your answer and theirs attempt to explain the mechanics of internal combustion engines? If so, you were not paying close enough attention to that question. Yet you would not be alone. As a culture we have begun to obfuscate the meanings of why and how by using them interchangeably. Many people will answer the ‘why’ question with a ‘how’ answer. This simple bit of semantic confusion has become more widespread, leading us away from a more complete understanding of the world we live in.

Just in case you do not understand the difference, let me explain.

How does a car drive? That question asks us to understand the car as an object or mechanism. It requires that we explain the functions which allow the object (car) to complete an action (drive). To answer this question we can give an explanation of internal combustion engines, transmissions, wheels and any other number of practical insights into the physical attribute which allow a car to drive.

Why does a car drive? That question asks us to understand the car as conscious entity exercising its own will and volition. Without going into panpsychic philosophies, we will just assume the car contains no consciousness, volition or will. Therefore we cannot answer this question because it is a nonsensical question with no possible answer.

Yet we do not like unanswerable questions in our culture. And we most often deal with them by either avoiding those questions or reframing them so that there is an answer. This is often the case with ‘why’. Since ‘why’ is not subject to methods that use attempted objectivity, we either diminish the importance of the answer if not the question itself. And where we do not do that we often just replace the ‘why’ with ‘how’ so we can come to a gratifying answer.

It is rather a shame that we have allowed ‘why’s stock to plunge. While we cannot answer it with the empirical methods that our culture gives preference and precedence to, it can still provide us with answers even more meaningful and useful than ‘how’. Answering ‘how’ gives us simple practical solutions, but when it comes to the motivations and intentions of conscious beings will their own will and volition, there are no easy answers. When answering ‘why’ reveals a problem, the solutions it presents can seem insurmountable.

For instance, ‘Why did that man in Oregon commit a mass shooting at a community college?’ is not only hard to answer with any reassuring accuracy, it is also capable of providing an answer that we cannot easily work with. Yesterday I spoke about a possible explanation for why the shooting, and others like it, occur.  However the reasoning I gave was that violence escalates as a result of a power imbalance between individuals and their society and its institutions. Given that my theory was correct, solving that problem may seem impossible to many, since it requires a total rethinking of political, economic and social structures and calls into question the existence of the state.

Meanwhile our president and media pundits immediately used the tragedy to prepare us for more laws and assaults on our liberties, the very problem that I believe creates these kind of mass killers. This was done quite slickly by reinterpreting the school shooting as an issue of ‘how’ and not ‘why’ it happened. Since it involved guns, it is falsely reasoned that if we remove guns (how) then there will be less or no more of these tragedies.

Yet guns were not the reason that this happened. They did not provide the motivation or intent to kill. They did not exercise their own volition or will. The killing happened for subjective reasons that only the shooter fully knows, yet may not be completely aware of himself. Even if we removed every gun from the planet, if the reason he committed these atrocious acts still existed then there is still a likelihood that the individual would have committed awful violence in some other way, since guns do not have a monopoly on killing.

Yet since we can address the how more easily then the why, it is supposed that this is the most logical way to proceed. However, it is far less logical, even if it is more practical. In much the same way that it is often easier to treat the symptoms of a disease than the disease itself, we use our existing structures to treat social symptoms without daring to look at the disease. And that is because the disease may be the very same existing structures we ask to solve the problem. And unfortunately, too many of us still lack the imagination to understand how human societies could function without structures modeled and reliant on the force and violence they are created to alleviate.

As we continue to answer shove every social problem through a how-shaped hole, we continue to produce only the sort of quick gratifying solutions that eventually become problems themselves. Using ‘how’ as the hammer that see’s every problem as a nail has kept us from asking and attempting to answer ‘why’ these things occur. And so our problems only get held off. The future of humanity is quickly becoming a closet stuffed full of the junk we didn’t have time to find a proper place for. Someday it will buckle and its hinges and latch will no longer contain the big problems we only had time to give little answers to.  So it is becoming ever more important that we end our intentional ignorance of all the ‘why’ questions we have avoided by throwing a quick ‘how’ over it.

The why/how problem is an issue we have created through many social influences, from statism to scientism. Many people are now unable to distinguish the difference between those questions as that difference becomes more and more important. It is a sort of secular nihilism that we use as a smokescreen to deny the questions that have no easy answers. Why portends that our questions are not small problems to be easily be fixed, but large ones with cosmic significance. When we dig into why we are often unable to rest easily on our assumptions and dogmas. And often we never find completely satisfactory answers, but in attempting to search for them anyhow, we often ask ourselves new questions that help us to expand our overall thinking.

And this may be the reason that we ignore ‘why’ and replace it with ‘how’. Thinking is like doing the research that cures a disease, when most people would rather just take a pill that helps them forget it exists.