Saturday, October 17, 2015

Marching to the beat of a different drummer is still marching

Over the course of my life I have known a few people who I believe went off the deep end. A couple of people I really loved became conspiracy hypothesists. Some were just paranoid- believing that someone was out to get them when it was obvious to me that they were victims of their own actions. In one case the guy was just the victim of his brain chemistry.

Because of this I am careful to watch (and test) my own beliefs.

It doesn't mean I am immune to seeing a conspiracy where none exists. I might even miss seeing one that is real. I am not likely to believe things just because everyone says they are so, or because I am called names for not agreeing with someone who claims to have special insight. But conspiracy hypotheses which fail science, observation, and reason don't have a chance with me. I probably won't argue about them- I could be missing something- but most conspiracy hypotheses have gigantic holes that get ignored or poorly patched.

There seems to be a growing tendency to embrace pseudoscience as a way to "buck the system". The problem is, the ideas being rejected probably didn't come from "the system". While "establishment scientists" may use certain ideas, they probably are not the ones to have come up with them. Just as one example, people had figured out that the Earth was roughly spherical thousands of years ago- without NASA's help.

2+2=4 is true, even though it is taught in government schools and used by IRS employees when they calculate how much to steal from you. Don't reject reality just because some bad guys also use it.

Embracing pseudoscience is not a sign you have risen above indoctrination- just that you are being indoctrinated by someone different. "Ancient knowledge" isn't preferable just because it is ancient. Discoveries are made all the time, and those discoveries, when understood, change the way smart people think about things.

It doesn't mean you are "enlightened" to believe this garbage- it means you are gullible AND not able to reason and observe (or even do simple experiments) for yourself.