The Deadly Rise of Scientism
One of the greatest challenges each society faces is deciding what constitutes “truth.” Whoever holds that power wields enormous influence and steers the direction of the society for better or for worse.
For centuries, “truth” was delegated to the ruling institutions of the time, and hence truth was simply the narrative which conformed to their interests. Then, during the enlightenment period a new idea emerged — that truth could be determined empirically through experimentation and data.
This in turn gave birth to the scientific revolution, and while not perfect (as vested interests would still try to make their “narrative” be truth irrespective of what the scientific data showed), scientific inquiry began shaping the direction of Western Culture, and in a rocky fashion gradually moved society forward, giving us many of the benefits we take for granted today.
Sadly however, the tendency of ruling interests to want to monopolize the truth never went away and we’ve watched a curious phenomenon emerge where science, riding on the social credit earned by the success of its revolutionary discoveries, has gradually transformed into something not that different from a state religion.
Given that science was originally meant to be a way to move beyond truth being monopolized by the dogmatic institutions which ran society, it is quite tragic that science has become one as well.
As a result, science has more and more become the practice of “trusting scientific experts” and not being allowed to question their interpretations of the data — or even see it. This is very different from what science was originally intended to be — the collective endeavor of scientists around the world to put forth ideas and have the ones that stand up to scrutiny become the generally accepted standard.
In turn, we continually see “experts” put forth ideas which are clearly wrong and hurt a great number of people but help the corporate sponsor who paid the expert off. In the past, this behavior would be called out, but since those same corporate sponsors also own the media, these “experts” are shielded from scrutiny, and science has simply become every public voice echoing the expert’s pronouncements.
This was best illustrated by Fauci’s infamous defense against a Congressional inquiry for his complicity in creating COVID-19, the disastrous policies he had inflicted upon America throughout the pandemic, and the fact he continually lied about his conduct — frequently doing so in an audacious manner that self-evident to anyone who looked at the publicly available footage of Fauci.
To defend himself, Fauci argued he was “the science,” so criticizing anything he had done was unacceptable as it equated to an attack on science itself.
“It’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. I’m not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever.”
Note: Another important thing to consider about Fauci’s interview was him using the term “antiscience” to attack and dismiss his critics (which will be further discussed below).
One of the saddest discoveries genuine intellectuals make once they enter academia (which is supposed to be their “home”) is that much of the “prestigious knowledge” their institutions produce is actually just simple or nonsensical concepts cloaked in elaborate rhetoric [language] that makes their points appear to be something much more impressive.
For example, the “postmodernist” discourse is pervasive throughout academia and frequently the standard you are expected to measure up to. Yet, in 1996, a programmer from Monash University realized that if he used an existing engine designed to generate random text from recursive grammars, he could generate postmodern essays which appeared to be authentic.
In essence, this meant that complete nonsense (as the text was random) could be passed off as authoritative and credible simply because it matched the expected appearance of this hard to understand writing.
Likewise, in 1996, a deliberately nonsensical paper (which proposed that gravity was a social construct) written in the post-modernist style was accepted for publication by a well-known academic journal — after which its authors admitted what they had done in order to illustrate that the academic process was promoting the publication of nonsensical ideas that conformed to the existing narrative.
Note: The postmodern generator’s products can be viewed here (a new one will be generated each time you click the link). Later, another generator was made that attempted to replicate the linguistic structures used throughout the new age field (e.g., to sell products) and I lost count of how many people I knew who thought the essays were authentic (and often remarked how touched they were by “my” writing).
In turn, I feel much of what we are now witnessing with ChatGPT’s automatically generated text is just a more sophisticated version of those engines, as once you look beyond the surface, there’s a surprising lack of meaning to its essays.
While these examples seem a bit absurd, they are in fact highly applicable to the current state of political discourse.
For example, in many fields, impressive sounding rhetoric is used to describe relatively simple concepts (e.g., in medicine, many diagnoses are simply the symptoms said back in Latin), which results in an aura of prestige and inaccessibility being imparted to those within the field when they are observed by the general public.
Note: This is analogous to how “experts” always claims the public is not qualified to assess the data even when what the data shows is clear and unambiguous.
Likewise, public relations discovered years ago that one of the most effective ways to control the public was by using focus groups to identify short phrases (e.g., “safe and effective”) that effectively emotionally manipulated the audience and then spamming that phrase on every single news network (which is possible due to the fact that six companies own almost all of the media in the United States).
This brief montage provides one of the clearest illustrations I have seen of this widespread practice:
Note: This is also analogous to how politicians, officials and CEOs typically evade whatever question is asked to them and instead continually repeat the scripted phrases their PR firm crafted for them.
Decades ago, a professor at an Ivy League University (at a time when those appointments were held to a higher standard) shared an anecdote I’ve never forgotten:
“If you actually understand a subject, you should be able to explain it to a truck driver. Most academics don’t fully understand their subject, so they cloak it in fancy rhetoric no one without their training can understand.”
In turn, I’ve tried to replicate that wisdom in the writing here, and I know from the feedback I receive that for the most part (excluding the particularly complex medical topics) I’ve succeeded in concisely conveying the concepts covered here in a manner that makes them possible to be understood by those without specialized medical training.
This I would argue is both a testament to the “non-experts” ability to understand the core scientific issues of our era once they are presented clearly, and how harmful it is to the public discourse that so many topics are cloaked behind an impenetrable rhetorical shield which creates the illusion only the experts are fit to discuss them.
When I was much younger, I participated in a variety of debate activities. From that, I gained an appreciation for the fact it is relatively easy to argue almost any viewpoint (especially once you invoke the nonsensical postmodernist constructs) and that if you had a relatively clear presence of mind, you could normally cut through whatever rhetoric [language] the other party was using to obfuscate their point and illustrate the actual absurdity of it.
However, at the same time, I was struck by the fact most debaters did not do that and would instead try to “win” by invoking their own set of nonsensical academic constructs and that in many cases within the weird world of academia, it seemed to be an unspoken rule that you did not directly call out the hogwash for what it was.
In turn, when I watched “debates” happen in the public sphere, as the years have gone by, the “experts” who debate each other became less and less willing to cut to the heart of the matter and instead danced around the point by using a myriad of sculpted language which sounded good but didn’t expose anything of importance.
Conversely however, “non-experts” whose social status was not dependent upon conforming to these unspoken rules held no such hesitation, and thus would rapidly expose the absurdity of whatever point was being expressed.
To illustrate, I recently completed a series about previous vaccine disasters and the media’s willingness to openly discuss them (whereas now in contrast, even though the COVID-19 vaccine has been significantly more devastating than any of those previous disastrous vaccines, there has been complete censorship of the topic on almost every single network).
In that series, I presented a variety of news clips from that era where journalists directly questioned the vaccine promoters, and in each instance, it became very clear to everyone watching it that something was amiss and the “experts” were lying (e.g., consider watching the NBC and 60 Minutes news segments shared in this article).
Likewise, at that time, parties who were skeptical of vaccination were allowed to engage experts who would come on in support of vaccines. Consider for example the debate on one of the most popular talk shows in America between these two doctors (one in support of vaccination and one critical of it) in front of a live audience, and how clearly the audience sided with the doctor who effectively critiqued the vaccination pusher:
Note: While I do not have the entire video of this debate, I do have the transcript of it (which can be read here). From reading it, it becomes remarkably clear that the doctor advocating for vaccination had an indefensible position, that the pro-vaccine camp lied with impunity, and everyone in the audience could see through it once the other side was allowed to point out his lies.
One of the things I find the most noteworthy about each of these clips was that the news anchors and talk show hosts were not hostile towards vaccines — rather they tried to present things in a fair manner and allow both sides to be heard.
However, since the facts so clearly argued against the existing vaccination program, it became very clear to the audiences that something was amiss, and each of these programs significantly decreased the public’s willingness to vaccinate even though the “experts” told them to.
Given that each televised debate caused the public to lose confidence in the vaccines, there were essentially three options for the pro-vaccine camp:
- Pivot to a more reasonable position (e.g., spacing vaccines out, not mandating them, supporting those with vaccine injuries or taking the most unjustified vaccines off the market).
- Have individuals who were good at debating defend the vaccine (as most of the “experts” weren’t).
- Refuse to ever debate again.
As you might suspect, they chose the third option (e.g., I’ve read numerous scientific publications specifically saying it is not appropriate to debate vaccine skeptics publicly), but simultaneously as much as possible tried to pretend they were still publicly defending that position.
This was accomplished through having a complicit media which created safe spaces for the “experts” where they could repeat their nonsensical script without being challenged (e.g., no one should question what I am saying because “I represent science”).
Note: I suspect due to more and more corporate advertising dollars flowing in, particularly after Clinton legalized direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising in 1997 (a predatory practice that is illegal in most of the world), which allowed the pharmaceutical industry to become the largest television advertiser and hence financially blackmail the networks into giving them favorable coverage.
Over the last decade, Peter Hotez has worked to position himself as the public face of the pro-vaccine movement, something I believe was ultimately done so he could secure over 100 million dollars in funding to develop dubious vaccines that (except for a recent COVID one) never went anywhere.
Note: Hotez’s grift is something frequently seen throughout academia, although it exceedingly rare for the grifters to be anywhere near as successful as Hotez.
A key part of Hotez’s grift has been to brand himself as the public face of science (he even wrote a 2020 paper about becoming a national vaccine spokesman) so that he’ll constantly be brought on television to defend the narrative (e.g., by attacking anyone who questions it) and secure funding for his grifts “research”.
What’s fascinating about Hotez is the profound lack of self awareness he demonstrates in his public presentations (i.e. to put it generously, he’s always a mess) and the degree to which he says clearly false statements or continually contradicts his past statements (e.g., from existing footage its possible to make videos of Hotez debating himself).
Yet despite this, Hotez always gets called to speak in front of the media as an “expert” where he is showered with adoration by each news host and never asked a single critical question which might expose how full of it he was.
Note: I hold no guilt in attacking Hotez because every person I know who directly knows him has nothing positive to say about his character.
Conversely, Hotez is notorious for hiding from his critics, never placing himself in a public venue where he can be questioned and only responding to criticisms once he is in a safe space where he can say whatever he wants to say without being challenged.
Note: Hotez also notorious for immediately blocking anyone who criticizes him (even if they don’t even comment on his Tweets), which in turn requires you to use an external service like Nitter to be able to view Hotez’s deluge of self-congratulatory postings.
Recently, a Texas citizen was able to break Hotez’s embargo by (non-confrontationally) sneaking in a question to him immediately after Hotez received a glowing introduction by the Rabbi:
“I’m sorry but I have to interrupt. Dr. Hotez, I know about the children who have died from the Pfizer vaccine and it’s your job to not deny that. It’s not a hate crime to question science, you understand that. I will leave now.”
She was immediately ejected from the synagogue and shortly after banned for life from both her synagogue but also the neighboring cemetery (where her family members were buried) with the explicit threat of law enforcement being called if she violated the ban.
Remarkably, while Hotez refuses to so much as speak to his critics, he loves to throw very nasty allegations at people who challenge the narrative. Typically, he does this with impunity, but this summer, something remarkable happened after he attacked Rogan:
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Shortly after, Bill Ackman jumped in, offering to contribute an additional $150,000.00 to get Hotez to debate RFK Jr. Realizing this was a golden opportunity to red-pill a lot of people (which it ultimately was), we made some calls, and in less than two days, the pot was over 2.62 million dollars. The story quickly made national headlines as it illustrated:
- Hotez was so afraid of exposing himself to criticism, no amount of money could change that.
- Even though Hotez constantly talks in the media about his moral superiority because of his devotion to charitable endeavors (e.g., his vaccines which went nowhere), when he had an actual opportunity to do something that could help people in need, he wasn’t willing to.
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In turn, rather than respond to the debate challenge, the next day, Hotez had a friendly MSNBC host introduce him by regurgitating pharmaceutical talking points, who then gave Hotez almost two minutes to share his talking points, after which the host praised Hotez and doubled down on everything Hotez had said.
Note: I think this three minute segment is an excellent example of the nauseating propaganda you see throughout the pharmaceutical owned networks now. I learned of it after Hotez shared the segment on his Twitter.
Since that time, Hotez has made a number of remarkable statements about those events. For instance, really think through what’s being said by Hotez this recent interview:
“Clayton: You famously declined to debate Robert F Kennedy Jr. on Joe Rogan’s show. Was that an easy decision for you?
Hotez: Yeah, that was never in the cards. I’ve known Bobby Kennedy for a number of years and I’ve had a number of conversations with him over the years. They didn’t get anywhere. He’s just too dug in, doesn’t want to listen to the science. So I knew it wouldn’t be productive, but I also thought it could harm the field because it would give people the wrong message about how science works.
I mean, science is not something that’s achieved through public debate. Science is achieved through writing scientific papers by serious scientists that submit articles for peer review, and then they get modified or rejected and grants that get modified, rejected, or you present in front of scientific conferences in front of your peers for critical feedback.
And it’s a very successful approach. You don’t debate science like you’d debate enlightenment, philosophy or politics.”
Note: The largest problem with this argument is that our scientific system is suffering a systemic failure of erroneous (e.g., fraudulent) research flooding the scientific literature, a sustained inability to develop paradigm shifting ideas that improve society, and a complete inability to reject erroneous scientific dogmas (e.g., consider what happened throughout COVID-19).
All of this is a direct consequence of debate not being allowed into science, and as a result, we spend more and more to simply re-validate the existing scientific narratives.
Years ago, I heard a theory be proposed which argued that the general populace has a great deal of difficulty comprehending concepts which required putting multiple premises together (in other words the complex and nuanced topics) and instead required ideas to be presented to them as “simplistic truths” (e.g., emotionally charged..