- Education and Science»
The Manufacture of Doubt
How Misinformation is Developed to Confuse and Divide
Since virtually the beginning of civilization, there has been a polemic underway between facts and the methods used to obfuscate, confuse and block the facts and truth. As a result, we have seen from then to now, the mushrooming development of half truths, lies, outright denials and denigrations, usually for some form of gain. As business, politics and economics are tied up in it all, every endeavour has been polluted, causing much illusion and delusion. There is no one, no endeavour and no far seeing visionary plan that has not been under almost constant threat. In the cult of capital, where profit is god, then a program of manufacturing doubt can wind up being highly profitable. When, for instance, it was found the smoking was harmful to ones health, a program of nay saying emerged to combat this finding, to cause confusion and to keep consumers on the path of “healthy smoking”. It was supported by a media ad campaign showing doctors who smoked while seeing patients. This campaign, and all others like it, rely on ignorance in order to cast doubt into the minds of consumers. Often, people with credentials, real or false, would advocate the benefits of a relaxing smoke. It was found later, by digging for the truth, that many of these people worked for the tobacco industry and were essentially paid to conduct public relations advertising and lying. Big tobacco firms knew the truth about their product, but were in denial both internally and to the public at large. Regardless, people kept on smoking whether or not they knew all the facts. Each one, no doubt, could make a case for why they did and do. Many cases are built on ignorance with rationalizations and pseudo-intellectual truths and “science”. Unfortunately, everything becomes the target of such campaigns including legitimate and truthful causes. One such target today is the “climate warming as caused by human activity” camp of thinking. This played out politically in Canada, with the firing and cutting off of funds for almost all scientific enquiry, especially anything having to do with environment and climate. The interests of big business was behind this foursquare as they are pushing for the development of the Alberta Tar Sands and the supporting pipeline infrastructure. It seems, as we are told, that the scientists were lying, fudging facts and figures and that the climate is not warming and the environment is safe and healthy. Business could go on as usual in its expansion infinitely in a finite world. Bad science, good science, all science, is now under threat. It seems that instead of constantly learning and improving, we have emerged into a stagnant paradigm. The freedom of the flow of information is cut off. The camp of misinformation is busy spinning its story in a bid to sow mass manufacture of doubt, to keep everyone ignorant, off balance, virtually sending all of us back to the medieval feudalism school of fantasy, doubt, confusion and superstition. The goal is to mystify and create a cloud of confusion in the minds of everyone that also serves to divide. Science thus emerges as more of a faith proposition than a hard core fact based analysis of our world and experience therein.
The development of the manufacturing of doubt has expanded to include bona-fide science, scientists and physicists, all in its sights. Those who are directly involved question such giants of thinking as Einstein, Planck, Bohr, Feynman, Tesla, Freud, Darwin, Penrose, Hawking, Velikovsky, Hapgood and many others, There is a parallel attack in the fields of archaeology and evolution. There are at least four well placed figures who have come to the fore in the realm of physics, cosmology and archaeology to denigrate the greats a fakers and liars, who don't even know what they are talking about. They cherry pick statements of the greats, out of context and use them as a paint brush to be broadly applied against entire theories and ideas, some of which have proofs of their validity. Many of the ideas of physics have found useful application in technology that we use right now that were painstakingly developed over decades. Every time, we take a commercial jet flight, we rely on the principles discovered and applied to technology. Had the research and development not been done, we would still be ground based in our travels. The fact of the matter is that a lot is being suppressed and we could be as far in advance of where we are now as we are of the 19th century. Those who denigrate will attack anyone who looks as if they believe in, or purport in dialogue or writing, support for these ideas, theories and facts. If argument does not work, then perhaps demonizing the individual in the eyes of others will. These are the tactics of the politician who uses the psychological effects of the well known Delphi Method. All of these tactics work for almost everyone, except for a handful of individuals who refuse to swallow anything point blank; who will take up the challenge and find out for themselves. Like the proverbial industrialist, they will not willingly give up all their hard worked efforts without a struggle, unless the evidence is so overwhelming, they have to. But those who denigrate spend their efforts to manufacture doubt among the lessor knowledgeable of humanity instead of providing substantial counter proofs with all the supporting requirements of the objective scientific method. This means that whatever they find, has to be independently verifiable by anyone else doing the same rigorous procedures.
A Big Question Hangs Over All Out Heads Like a Sword of Domiciles.
Where is the Truth?
Modern Science Has Been in a Stall for a Long Time
It is true that school for the masses is a program of indoctrination and propaganda for the most part and the goal thereat is to create compliant, non-questioning consumers. But even here, if science and the scientific method are taught accurately and rigorously applied, the student will be able to work things out for themselves, especially with the use of the real scientific method in an objective approach. Over the last three decades at least, a battle has played out, somewhat built on misinformation and more often, neglect, between creationism and evolution. Each side has their facts to back them up. Both do not tell the student one piece of crucial information that would close at least one chapter of the argument and inspire enquiring minds to look for the real truth that stands apart from propaganda and gaps in information from both sides. The truth can emerge from a third position outside of the two main opposing camps and it often takes a person who is outside of a particular discipline to make a new discovery that will surpass the limits of the opposing two.
Science has been in a stall for a century for good reason; the profit motive and established interests. This is where economics enters the picture and can have a profound influence much to the detriment of most of us.Whoever pays the wage dictates what the employee does to obtain that income. When a new hypothesis, process, or an innovative idea emerges, it is either bought out and sequestered, or the inventor is threatened to make them shut up, or the inventor and the ideas are suppressed and censored even to the point of murdering the inventor. The case cited above where environmental scientists were fired and laid off en-masse serves as a case in point as scientists were perceived as standing in the way of a profitable developer's agenda. As industrial interests linked with finance gained more and more power, less and less innovation was allowed as new ideas threatened old established industrial orders that now run the planet as a company town is run. Also, as cited above, the threats were dealt with by manufacturing doubt over new concepts and techniques and the old ways promoted as the only way things can be done. President Barack Obama recently stated that even though other forms of energy creation are being investigated, we will still be relying almost totally on oil and gas for at least the next three decades. There is the struggle to get a viable electric car on the road to cut down on green-house gas emissions, but the electric car has been fought and defeated three times and now round four appears under the same threat.
Any new scientific idea will be ridiculed at first, with the exponent of that idea cited as insane or a fool. Such a case is Immanuel Velikovsky who proposed the idea of periodic earth scale cataclysms that reset everything. He was ridiculed, demonized and isolated. Over the next few decades, it became increasingly apparent that the earth did go through aperiodic cataclysms. The idea was cinched in July of 1994 when the 22 main fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 impacted Jupiter. Since then, catastrophic changes are increasingly accepted as the truth. Too bad that Velikovsky was not retroactively praised. Others got the credit for his initial work. Velikovsky combed world myths of Biblical scale disaster to come up with his hypothesis and now he is proven correct. Just one fragment from that comet that hit Jupiter is calculated to have been sufficient to completely change the earth as we know it, wiping out civilization and driving many species to extinction including possibly humanity. A whole new study emerged as a result and we have advanced in this area significantly enough to consider how to proactively deal with a huge impact on earth. There are of course, other threats that we have no way of dealing with. One threat that does exist and is made by our own hands can be changed if we act now. Thus, there are two things we can deal with.
Manufacturing Doubt is Being Used Everywhere
Not Everything That is Known is Revealed
Not everything that is known, is passed on to the masses and only a select few get to peer into the most secret founts of knowledge. Hints of higher knowledge do leak out, but for the most part, we live in a political climate of competition, hostility and class division. That which does leak is passed off as false, or some other excuse such as alien, off-planet science and technology. Part of that climate includes the control of knowledge and this is either by censure and/or misinformation masked as high science, when in fact it is more comparable to faith, such as seen toward religious myth. We have been told repeatedly, that we have reached the end of physics and science, that we now know it all. Every single time, these nay-sayers were proven wrong and usually in short order.
Consider for a moment what science has achieved, mainly in the technological and medical sectors. Though there may not be anything new or profound in the understanding of physics, what understanding has been achieved has been put to effective use. Nor is this understanding anything new as revealed from the hidden side of archaeology. These do not negate what has been found. We may indeed not understand fully the ultimate nature of matter and energy, but that does not prevent us from developing atomic weapons, lasers, computers, robots and space vehicles of sophisticated design.
We may not ultimately understand the nature of gravity, electricity and magnetism, but that does nothing from stopping us from using the effects of something we do not have a full understanding of. Every-time, you flick an electric switch to close a circuit separating an unbalance that drives electrical power, you can still light up a room, turn on a fan, a TV, computer and a lot else. You may be stone ignorant on the how and why of electricity, but you can still use its effects. This is the nature of the permanent revolution as detailed by Leon Trotsky; that is, a person does not have to understand the principles behind some technological advance in order to use it. The tools and the requisite training are all that is needed to equalize the playing field between someone who grasps the principles and the handling of tools and someone who only knows how to use the tools.
Scientists, like any other profession, mostly are made up of people working for some boss who has his/her own agenda. They ultimately call the shots as to what the scientists will work on, on pain of dismissal, censure and sequestration. This very scenario played out in Canada when the scientists were no longer seen as useful for the corporate development agenda and they were all given their pink slips. A curious protest emerged where scientists in lab coats protested on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, but this did not change the minds of the developers, the backing financiers and the political power brokers. Media has done their part by pointing out corruption in scientific research, but largely ignores the corporate kind and pays attention unduly to a couple of corrupt politicians as a means of distraction. It has come to the point when one hears any story, they have to ask, what is being hidden. In the milieu of the age of misinformation, manufacturing doubt is one of the more effective tools of the hired toady of the corrupt regime. Anyone who does care for the truth, must stand steadfast and if they are not clear on any issue, must research and vindicate this themselves. It is not enough to rely on someone else who claims to know, but does not provide supporting evidence for their case and is ready to ridicule and condemn those who are now dead and cannot provide a defence. Where knowledge is certain, we need to make a stand against any kind of manufactured doubt.