Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dr. Tim Ball on the why of climate deceit

Dr. Ball
Listen as Dr. Tim Ball and Glenn Woods discuss why climate hysteria continues to plague families in both Canada and the US, on KGAB 650 am in Cheyenne Wyoming. They also talk about why President Trump was right to take the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bullshit - A discussion on KGAB radio, 650 AM in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Maureen Bader and Glenn Woods discuss what makes a statement vacuous, meaningless, and to put it plainly, just plain bullshit, on KGAB, 650 am.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Are you a sucker for bullshit? Take the test!


You've read my article Don't bullish!t me baby and may now be wondering if you can recognize bullshit. In the list of 10 statements below, five are profound statements made by well-known scholars and five are pseudo-profound bullshit, created using the new age bullshit generator (www.sebpearce.com/bullshit). It puts random buzzwords into syntactically correct but meaningless and vague sentences. 

Take the test to find out if you are susceptible to bullshit!  (Answers below - but no peeking!)



1. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.

2. If you have never experienced this spark devoid of self, it can be difficult to live.

3. I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.

4. Consciousness consists of psionic wave oscillations of quantum energy. “Quantum” means a deepening of the spatial. By deepening, we heal.

5. It is in invocation that we are recreated. It is a sign of things to come. It is time to take synchronicity to the next level.

6. Before you embark on a journey or revenge, dig two graves.

7. Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is science.

8. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. 

9. Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.

10. We must learn how to lead cosmic lives in the face of discontinuity. The grid is approaching a tipping point. We must beckon ourselves and recreate others.



Answers:
x. Bullshit
ix. William Penn
viii. Aristotle
vii.Bullshit
vi. Confucius
v. Bullshit
iv. Bullshit
iii. Abraham Maslow
ii. Bullshit
i. Thomas Jefferson


Don’t talk bullsh!t to me baby

The other day I saw a couple of interesting phrases. One was: Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is non-locality. Now, does that mean the buy local movement is over? I’m not sure. How about this: By maturing, we live. This life is nothing short of a summoning reintegration of high-frequency intention. By maturing we live seems super obvious. I mean, if we don’t mature we stagnate and when we stagnate, we die. The second part of this is quite undecipherable but we’ll come back to it later.

So what is going on here? A statement might sound deep and meaningful but when we stop and think about it, we quickly see it lacks depth and insight. If something sounds really profound but can mean anything, does it have any actual meaning at all?

And if a profound sounding statement has no truth or meaning, what is it? Could it be bullshit?

If it is bullshit, are we likely to fall for it and even more important, how do we arm ourselves against bullshit?

A 2015 study by a group of Canadian researchers tried to answer these questions (Barr, Nathaniel; Pennycook, Gordon; Cheyne, James Allen; Koehler, Derek J.; and Fugelsang, Jonathan A., "On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-profound Bullshit" (2015). Faculty Publications and Scholarship. Paper 1 http://source.sheridancollege.ca/ ass_huma_publ/1).

Researchers first differentiated bullshit from lying. A liar is someone who knows what is true and intentionally says something else. A bullshitter, on the other hand, doesn’t care what the truth is. He just wants to sound good. They go on to clarify pseudo-profound bullshit as statements that suggest but don’t contain truth or meaning. They imply depth and insight but don’t have any.

Researchers tried to figure out what character traits make us more susceptible to bullshit. To do that, they created a bullshit receptivity measure by first making up profound sounding statements with random buzzwords put into grammatical phrases. Then they asked study respondents how profound the statements are based on a five-point scale, with 1 being not profound at all and 5 being extremely profound.

The study authors used two bullshit generating websites (www.wisdomofchopra and www.sebpearce.com/bullshit).

Let’s go back to our examples. The phrase: This life is nothing short of a summoning reintegration of high-frequency intention might suggest profundity but I made it up by putting together a series of random buzzwords in a syntactical way. So what we really have here is a vague and ambiguous statement that lacks meaning. To put it plainly, this is bullshit.

Let’s make another one: You and I are messengers of the quantum soup. We exist as chaos-driven reactions. The goal of pulses is to plant the seeds of gratitude rather than dogma. Nothing is impossible.

You get the idea. 

So who is likely to fall for bullshit statements? Two factors make people score higher for bullshit receptivity. One is the tendency to accept what they hear as true or meaningful. They take the ‘keep an open mind’ notion so seriously their brains fall out of their heads. 

The other is the tendency to confuse vagueness for profundity. In this case, a person doesn’t understand the statement so instead of questioning its meaning, he or she judges the statement as profound. This is the tendency for a person to think that if they don’t understand a statement, something is wrong with them, not the statement.

People with these tendencies are often more intuitive thinkers; they are less likely to be analytical in their thinking and more likely to base their responses to a statement on an initial impression. One protection against bullshit then is to take the time to think about the meaning of words to understand a statement. That would help identify a statement such as -- The goal of pulses is to plant the seeds of gratitude rather than dogma. Nothing is impossible -- as bullshit.

To defend ourselves against bullshitters and their bullshit, the first and most important step, and probably the more difficult as it involves effort, is to think analytically about the actual meaning of words in a statement, and their associations, just like we did at the beginning of this article. Another defense is to build some skepticism around the source of the statement. Just knowing we are surrounded by bullshitters is a defense against bullshit.

The serious point to all this is that bullshit is all around us so we need to understand it, recognize it and call it out for what it is.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spockophobia hits the nation


  • Bought on by long-term reasonitis 

The US Center for Disease Control issued a warning about a sudden and massive outbreak of Spockophobia as a result of insidious reasonitis perverting the country’s thinking public.

Dr. Logia Call, head of psychiatry at the Center’s Center for Logical Studies, said the unreasonable fear of logic, so common among non-thinkers, has spread into the thinking population and threatens to mass strong minds into the same emotional muddle. The condition has now reached the final frontier, Dr. Call warns. 

Spockophobia, named after the timeless Dr. Spock character in the original Star Trek series, describes an irrational fear of reasonable thought and understanding. In the typical logical process, Dr. Call explains, people connect with reality, think about the facts of reality, look for evidence to support those facts, and make conclusions based on facts that actually exist in reality and support their thought process.

“When A=A becomes just too much to bear, the weak-minded reject the facts of reality and withdraw to a place where A=B,” Dr. Call explains. “When a non-thinker retreats into a fantasy world, little is lost. However, when thinkers start to draw conclusions from a place where A=B, Houston, we have a problem.”

Reason is the power of the mind to think, understand and form judgments using logic. For many years now, confirmed Dr. Call, more and more people are ducking their responsibility to think for themselves and yielding to those who are more than happy to do it for them, ultimately to their great cost and to that of everyone else.

“Reasonitis started it all,” confirmed Dr. Call. “The fear of thinking crops up from some of our most basic insecurities and in particular, a fear of making decisions. We want to withdraw into a childlike state and have an adult make decisions for us. But it’s one thing for the weak-minded to live in a fantasy world. It’s quite another for everyone to do it. If this lifts off, we will live short and dwindle.”

Research from the Center shows that government programs designed to keep adults in a childlike state are at least mostly to blame. Eternal childhood leads to a takeover by manipulative do-gooders and frauds that reap the benefits of power.

According to Dougald Goodenough, Racket Coordinator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Citizenry, almost half the population receives a check from the government. That could be anything, including Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, government schools, National school lunch programs, National school breakfast programs, housing vouchers, Woman, Infants and Children, Foster Care, Child Care Mandatory & Matching funds—the list goes on and on.

“Those who accuse government of corrupting the public are chicken littles,” said Manfried Pillraton, Senior Dependency Officer in the Department of Advanced Paradox and People Management. “We are helping those who choose to live in a fantasy world. Without us they’d have to think for themselves, make decisions and possibly fail. We ensure their self-esteem is never challenged. This is not a con game.”

But when the rational population lifts off, Spockophobia perverts the normal thought process and people come to believe the government is the solution to all problems. Need your snowmobile trail groomed? Calling the government becomes the logical response. Over time, government’s power becomes godlike.

“Fear of thinking can be overcome but it won’t be easy,” said Dr. Call. “It means taking responsibility for our decisions, overcoming the fear of making mistakes and finding purpose in our lives, something government discourages people from doing.”


Is a cure possible? Dr. Call said the condition could cure itself if there is no one to complain to or if people are just left to be self-reliant. In a world where everyone is a child, no one is a child. However, should a strong individual or group decide to become the father-like figure, we will go where we have oft gone before, with perilous results.
 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Private vs government charity - a discussion on KGAB

Maureen Bader and Glenn Woods discuss the difference between private charity and coerced charity through the government apparatus on KGAB radio. If you've ever wondered why government programs to help the poor often create a dependent class, be sure to listen.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Government-Funded Do-Gooding – the curse of the modern age

Have you ever wondered how do-gooders without money, without power, do good to others? They get government to fund their do-gooding by expropriating funds from other people. What does everyone else get? We get a myriad of government programs with negative consequences. These sanctimonious pseudo-helpers create a death spiral for both taxpayers and those they profess to bless.

How do do-gooders get away with this? Do-gooders swathe themselves in a shroud of good intentions. For example, what happens when do-gooders lobby for the creation of government programs to help the poor. Taxes go up but even more destructive, people end up in poverty for the long term.

According to a Cato Institute study, The Work vs Welfare Tradeoff (2013), welfare beneficiaries in Wyoming earned $33,119 annually. With a state median salary of $36,130, these generous benefits create a “welfare cliff” encouraging low-income individuals to stay out of the workforce. But as the study confirms, a job is the best way out of poverty. 

The shroud clouds misleading methods so it should come as no surprise that these illusory good intentions lead to bad results.

But does this mean helping people a bad idea or are the means used by modern do-gooders the problem?

Let’s look at how this works. When a person wants to help someone he can do it in one of two ways. The old-fashioned way is to help someone directly using one’s own funds. In this situation, doing good is secondary to living a productive life. The giver gives his own money voluntarily. The idea is to help a person through a short-term time of difficulty. The idea is for the recipient to become more self-reliant. The idea is a hand up, not a hand out.

The modern way is fundamentally different. In this situation, the giver lacks his own funds and must get the funds somehow as he considers doing good his primary justification for existence. How is this do-gooder able to get the money he doesn’t have? He uses the power of government. Politicians are more than happy to help do-gooderize the victims.

That politicians give other people’s money away is not exactly news. How does this work together with the do-gooder’s primary justification for existence? Politicians are more than happy raid people’s wallets to help the poor because this help gives politicians unlimited taxing power. Medicaid alone cost Wyoming taxpayers about $260 million in 2015, for example.

What else happens when do-gooders use the power of government to do good to others?
After all, do-gooders need people to do good to. Do-gooders pervert their victim’s self-reliance, initiative and independence to create the dependent class necessary for the do-gooder to justify his existence. Do-gooders work to perpetuate dependency – they draw people into a dependent lifestyle. Politicians are happy to help because this creates a dependent voting heavily motivated to vote for glad handing politicians.

The results confront us every day. Anti-poverty activists, bureaucrats and philanthropists have increased welfare state programs to both capture funds from the productive and to draw the needy into a web of dependency. Do-gooders take both people’s money and people’s self-reliance.

Let’s take this to its logical conclusion.

The 20th Century has given us quite a few examples of how using one group to benefit another leads to a government policy oppression and how this has resulted in the starvation and murder of millions. One very evil man, such as a Hitler or Stalin, can’t do it all by himself. They need the help of do-gooders and their shroud of do-gooding to kick of their programs of oppression. 

But the ‘ends justifies the means’ mentality is not exactly new. And when the ‘ends’ are the greater good, justified by whatever means, we can get bad results. For example after the slaughter in 1649 of about 30,000 people, including women and children, Oliver Cromwell said to the English Parliament: “I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are satisfactory ground for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret.” [Emphasis added by the author.]

Once a person decides that an individual is nothing more than a means to an end of a higher purpose, the tools of a totalitarian society can be unleashed. The complete disregard of the happiness of the individual, spying, and eliminating noisy nonconformists are necessary outcomes. Nothing is prohibited as long as the person means well.  It allows for the violation of the individual for the greater good, however defined.

Love of money might be the root of all evil, but lack of it is the seed. The ends justifies the means ideology has bad consequences because bad means corrupt the ends. Do-gooders and politicians get together because they have the same motives, they seek the same ends, to exists for, through and by others. But each individual is an end in himself, not the means to an end for someone else. In the face of all the atrocities of the 20th Century, why do do-gooders still support the measures of murders? Because they have been told that the death of millions might ultimately benefit a greater number. The ends justify the means, even if that means murder.