Sunday, November 23, 2014

On conspiracy theories and credibility

Dear friends,

I am noticing with some dismay that some (many?) of you are still firmly the mental clutches of the "conspiracy theories" logical fallacy.  The reactions to Koenig's articles about Ebola and HIV are typical of that kind of logical derailment.  So it is hight time that I state a few basic assumptions of this blog.

1) A "conspiracy theory" is, a priori, a good thing.  Why?  Because the world is chock full of conspiracies.  What is a conspiracy? It is a secret plan of a group of people.  Does any of you really believe that with 16+ "intelligence" agencies in the USA there are not thousands of conspiracies hatched every day by tens of thousand of professional people just here, in the USA?  Don't you know that corporations conspire too?  What do you think antitrust laws are all about?  Do you know that the criminal code is also full of conspiracy crimes?  So here is the deal: if you want to understand what happens behind the smokescreen thrown before you by the corporate media and government official you HAVE TO spend most of your time looking into conspiracy theories.  Put simply - if you reject conspiracy theories you are blind.  Period.

2) I don't give a damn about my "credibility" or the "credibility" of my blog.  I don't deal in "credibility".  "Credibility" is an "argument of authority" which assumes that something coming from "A" is credible because it comes from "A".  This is not what I want for this blog.  In the Saker community I want everybody to be critical of everybody and everything and to only judge an arguments in its own merits (or lack thereof).  If tomorrow Poroshenko or Joe Biden write a good piece I would not hesitate to publish it.  Not because I endorse it (I only endorse what I write!), but to foster an intelligent discussion.  In other words, "credibility" is something attached to an argument, not a person.

3) In order to reject a hypothesis we have to first look into it.  Unless we develop an 1984-like automatic rejection without analysis capability, there is no way for your to evaluate a thesis without being exposed to it.  A hypothesis is just that - a "maybe" or "what if".  If it passes a preliminary stage of acceptance, and if it becomes formalized, it becomes a theory.  Then, that theory can be tested, in particular in its ability to predict.  Only then can it be proven false.  In the case of Ebola and HIV all I hear is side "A" claiming that it was created by the US government while side "B" says that this is not so.  In the meantime, NOBODY is offering any kind of halfway intelligent discussion of the hypothesis.  Instead the hypothesis is dismissed prima facie as a "conspiracy theory".  Those who do that apparently fail to realize that if, as this hypothesis states, the US government had something to do with the creation of HIV or Ebola then by definition this was a conspiracy and, again, by definition only a conspiracy theory could help prove that.

What is wrong with you guys?!  Has basic logic just become extinct?!

4) Last but not least - this blog is about *freedom of thought*, something sorely needed in our single-thought and completely monolithic society.  I feel that freedom implies the freedom to make up you own mind and therefore to be exposed to something which is wrong or untrue.  All of the media and 95% of the blogosphere is busy trying to establish "credibility" like a dog peeing in the four corners of a room to establish its territory.  I say let them aspire to "credibility" if they so chose - I aspire for *freedom*.  I want this blog to be a place where people can present odd, "heretical", rejected, crimethink and otherwise persecuted ideas.  Let them come here, present them, and if you disagree with them - tear them apart with facts and logic, be ruthless, don't leave them a place to hide from your merciless analysis.  But don't rejected them without that, without this "trial by comments" in which all of us are jurors.

It just so happens that I remember some very well informed people telling me in the late 1980s early 1990s that HIV had all the signs of having been engineered.  Is there a reason to reject such a hypothesis prima facie?  Not if you know anything about the history of biowarfare research, especially by the US government.  That I know for sure. But I personally have no opinion about HIV and no opinion about Ebola.  Frankly, I don't have the time to form an opinion about them (oh yes, I don't consider having an opinion a "right" of some kind.  Having an opinion is the result of a painstaking and long process of analysis at the end of which you sometimes, not always, end up with an opinion).  To be very honest, I don't particularly care.  But I care that others care and that is why, I posted these articles by Koenig because I know for a fact that others (which shall remained unnamed) have chickened out from posting them, probably for reasons of "credibility".

I don't care much about this specific topic, but I do care, immensely, about the intellectual freedom of this blog.  And I will never, ever, let considerations of "credibility" stand in the way of this blog's intellectual freedom.  There are plenty of really, truly, totally "credible" and "respectable" blogs out there.  Somebody got to be free and non-respectable and I very deliberately chose to be part of that "fringe lunatic conspiracy theorist" with "zero credibility" which does not let the society's doxa tell me what I should, or should not, post.


The Saker