the following lengthy debate is only a partial extract from comments on an article I posted on facebook protesting the banning of David Icke on social media. It recapitulates and extends many of the threads Greg and I discussed last year:
Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli I’m back and, as is my wont, more annoying than ever. Guys like Icke are a dime a dozen. I can’t fathom why you would even take notice of him. He doesn’t even rise to the level of an amusement. There are so many other people who would better merit anyone’s attention. And, as you have often said, there is so much to take in and so little time. Why waste your time on guys like Icke?
Regarding “belief,” beliefs are for suckers. Believe in nothing. Make it a law of your life. I notice you indicate above that you do not “believe” in Icke. Good. So much the better. So if I advocate belief in nothing, am I a nihilist? No. Substitute opinion for belief. I have opinions, not beliefs. And I regard opinions like I would small children. They require constant vigilance and supervision, lest they run out in front of a car and take you with them as you attempt to save them. Opinions are also like close friends and must be constantly questioned. Every morning I get up and ask myself: What holes can I punch into my most basic and lasting friendships/opinions. This is the only path of spiritual growth. Anything else smacks too much of priests and cults.
The only respectable philosophy/metaphysics is the philosophy of doubt. Doubt everything and everyone at all times. Why? Because you are a crusty old curmudgeon unhappy with yourself and everyone around you? Absolutely not. Rather, because you are in love with life. The more you love life the deeper into it you want to travel. And the best way to do that is to embrace the philosophy of doubt. Doubt and doubted opinion pushes a person forward. Belief pushes a person backwards. Anything someone like Icke says must be radically doubted, unless and until it comes back to you via many other persons, upon the waters of many other oceans of travel and inquiry, after having passed through many filters of verification, endurance, and time. If what he says is something that keeps returning via all these other highways and byways and keeps returning through your own avenues of experience, then maybe, just maybe, it might be worth a moment of consideration in your great Courtroom of Doubt.
As for the tests embedded in your own experience, be sure to adopt systems of confirmation you have not yourself created. This is the way to embrace the Other, and the Other is the truth–that which is beyond your control, on the horizon of what you cannot choose or change and yet cannot ignore. The truth will come like a ghost that haunts you and will not leave you be until you have fully confronted it and given it its due. And if there is nothing haunting you, then you are not doubting with sufficient commitment. You are not living life with enough love.
Icke? Doubt him and reject him until he haunts you like a ghost.
Astrology? Doubt it until it comes back to you year after year, time after time, and will, like an insistent ghost, refuse to leave you alone.
The occult? Doubt every item of this kind that presents itself to you. Doubt it with a passion. Doubt it with great energy. Find its failings and weaknesses. Make it prove itself again and again. Even then, treat it like rubbish. Kick it to the side. Make it your servant not your master. Which is not to imply you are the master. You are merely and always the humble origin of doubt who refuses to make anything sacred.
Adam Pogioli to Gregory Desilet. I don’t think there is much point in arguing with anything you just said about belief. It was well written and creatively expressed, but content-wise, it is all pretty basic stuff for any thinking person.
I could get into a semantic debate because there are definitely kinds of faith and belief that are consistent with true thinking and intelligent action.
I could make an argument against opinion as Deleuze does or against doubt as Peirce does, but I don’t think they are strongly negating any of the pretty basic attitudes about questioning everything that you are trying to express. Just the way one questions.
You and I have had these debates before and I remember saying similar things to you about belief that you are telling me now, with you arguing that belief was necessary and me arguing not for doubt over belief, but creative interpretation over belief and doubt, creative thinking over standard opinion, as Deleuze puts it. I do think you are missing a higher point but that point isn’t a full negation of any of the values around doubt that you beautifully expressed; it is their evolution.
In any case, these words are all slippery and can confuse the point. The point seems to be that even though you call your perspective “opinion”, you are sure enough of your opinion to advocate banning someone with different opinions from public discourse (though you don’t seem to care what they actually are, but you somehow care that he is saying them, so which is it, is he dangerous or inconsequential?). I tell you that I have similar opinions to this person (Icke) on the topic of the day (I am aware of his opinions because he is popular though I don’t really care for him or listen to him personally) so I don’t think he should be silenced, and you tell me I must be a blind believer in him or irrational.
And now this deifying of doubt and demonizing belief as if these words have some kind of unequivocal meaning and relevance to a discussion about whether somebody is worth banning… why? It seems as if you don’t understand a difference between truth and value. In our discussion last year you kept coming back to these issues. You admitted you had a difficult time discerning the difference between truth and taste and tried to convince me that there is no higher form of understanding than rhetorical persuasion (however provisional and temporary it may be in the skeptical person). Sounded like conscious resignation to precarious belief to me. And yet you call me a postmodern anti-rationalist? Why? Aren’t you the one struggling with relativism?
You seem to crave certainty and have a lot of it concerning your opinions and the absolute value of other’s opinions. How else could you justify banning a mere opinion from public discourse (which you still have not justified other than to say that the absolute value of the person uttering these opinions is worth nothing, whatever his opinions might be)? Why else create a position out of having no fixed position— a deconstructive metaphysics, (an oxymoron if there ever was one), why write books critiquing media for scapegoating while admitting you are basically doing just that, scapegoating. I have always found this fascinating.
You need to apply that same doubt to your own perspective because it is conditioning everything you are analyzing. Doubt shouldn’t be a fixed position, otherwise it is something else, normal prejudice and closed mindedness. It is then no longer critical reason but a subjective emotion, an attitude of incredulity towards others that belies a fear of loss or error, instead of a confidence in discernment and an openness to discovery, change, loss and death. This skeptical attitude isn’t deconstruction, or consistent questioning. It is a generic metaphysical position you want to persuade me of and it isn’t doing well to further any mutual understanding of the issues at hand.
I don’t consider this kind of doubt true deconstruction; it is a proselytizing of the mode of critique rather than an application of it, a fetishizing of form and an ironic projection of its character onto its objects. It makes of everything a courtroom for judgment and Deleuze thought this was a prison which bars forming new connections or novel readings which can make new forms of understanding possible. True critical thinking necessitates receptivity and creativity. This does not imply a muddled or confused passivity to any point of view. As Deleuze discusses, when we get out of the trap of reactive judgment, every thought becomes an aggression, a creation. I am open so that I may reform and redirect. Absolute negation breeds dialectical opposition and a return of the repressed. It takes courage, an act of faith to enter the unknown, to be receptive, and no real creativity happens without receptivity. Without it you get the dialectic of doubt and belief, enslavement to already formed thoughts. No person’s thought enters my mind unchanged, no one persuades me, but everyone adds to my knowledge. .
You want to make of difference an identity, to make doubt a subjective position to be defended because you identify with it; you need to detach from it in order to make it a scrutinized object itself, if you want to use it properly as a tool. Otherwise it is just another link in a predetermined chain. You need to make the jump from the relativity of truth, which breeds a defensive uncertainty that longs for and often becomes its opposite, to the truth of the relative, which breeds creative cooperation and affirmative negation.
If you have time between golf sessions I would be happy to show you some truth about how all these relative truths are functioning together in the planet right now and why I think Icke is important. But if you want to keep testing your own positions instead of expanding them, I am also happy to serve as a reflection. God knows you have done that plenty for me and I am still grateful!
Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Just to clarify, I don’t want to ban anyone or their opinions from public discourse. Everyone is welcome. But when people enter a public forum of discourse, their views are fair game for criticism and counter-argument. You can talk about whoever you want and whatever views you want. The “correction” process is that of open critique and discussion. I don’t advocate censorship in public forums, just sufficient openness to admit the expression of contrary views. Then it’s a situation of each person assessing the more persuasive account and walking away with whatever may be found to be useful.
I don’t recall saying anything about the “absolute value of the person” David Icke. I only claimed his opinions are worthless because they come from a place of extraordinary pathology. Being pathological does not make a person “worthless”; it just makes them sick and toxic and in need of therapy. And please understand this is just my opinion of Icke, but I am prepared to defend it against all comers–as anyone should be if they express an opinion in a public forum. And since I count my view of Icke as an “opinion” I am open to being shown to be wrong. But in the case of Icke, that will be a genuine uphill battle for anyone who takes it on.
Regarding the question of whether I ought to be doubting my philosophy of doubt and if not doubting this philosophy then I must be inconsistent and therefore incoherent, well, that is an argument that may be justifiably applied to any system of thought. Kurt Godel offered a logical proof of the necessity for this conclusion back in the 1920s. Any system of thought, whether mathematical or otherwise, is incomplete if it is consistent and is inconsistent if it is complete. This is as much as to say that any system of thought when turned reflexively on itself produces logical conundrums. Nevertheless, this is not really a problem for the doubter because the doubter can easily hold the system of doubt in doubt and subject to constant review in case something emerges to indicate the need to abandon this doubting approach. Thus, doubting is the most consistent way to travel in the realm of thought.
You say: “No person’s thought enters my mind unchanged, no one persuades me, but everyone adds to my knowledge.” Is this not a formulaic expression of the view of appropriation whereby one will not allow facts or any form of evidence to alter one’s beliefs? Is there no danger here that “creative interpretation” will become creative appropriation to the point that every inconvenient fact will be interpreted in some manner to support one’s already existing favored views? Will this not eventually surround one with a bubble through which nothing new or Other can ever penetrate to the point of producing radical change? Disruption? Discontinuity? Disaster? Is this not little more than a way of protecting oneself from the tragedies that life constantly portends? Is it not what Nietzsche would call a philosophy of resentment? If not, can you explain why not?
- Adam Pogioli To be fair Greg, you started this thread by saying that it was confused thinking to make a free speech issue out of someone being banned from the public forum when the issue should be framed as whether that person should be allowed access to the forum if their speech is perceived as “misinformation”. So you didn’t literally say he should be banned, but it was implied that if he is deemed to be spreading “misinformation” then he should be indeed banned, or “not allowed a forum”.
- Adam Pogioli Most people getting attention now days are pathological and in need of serious therapy; that doesn’t mean they don’t have something important to say. Trump’s absurd personality is being used to silence and repress a whole culture of dissent. Anybody not buying the mainstream narrative is branded a pathological Trump supporter, a racist, an idiot, a science denier, conspiracy theorist, etc.
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Okay, I see your point. But I would respond by holding to my view. I do think there are instances when speech ought to be banned and those instances involve information or claims that can be rightly claimed to be life-threatening. In the case of Icke, this would only apply to his misinformation about the coronavirus causing Covid-19. Who gets to decide whether any given information is “life-threatening” is a separate and complicated issue. But I am of the opinion that the authority should exist to do so, but it ought to be used very carefully and with adequate publicly accessible justification.
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli C’mon! What do you mean by “mainstream narrative”? Talk about slippery!! Trump IS the f**king mainstream narrative. The “dissent,” in case you haven’t noticed, is what is being shut down (the press, for example), along with a lot of blacks and liberals who are being literally shot down. These sources are being shut down and shot down because the “mainstream narrative” cannot tolerate the least bit of viable critique. This is a dangerous and untenable situation.Delete or hide this
- Adam Pogioli Godel’s proof is about a formal system. One can be consistent and coherent to the extent that one does not take things literally, to the extent that one is not mesmerized by any point of view, or confused by the “completeness” implied by formal thought or the transcendent meaning of any abstraction. That was the general point of my essay you so kindly discussed with me. As long as one is tied to one system, as long as one assumes that “doubt” is a formal structure that can be unequivocally defined and formalized, one is tied to the dialectic that binds that structure in reciprocal opposition. The spirit of any two opposites are not radically different or opposed; they are a relation. As long as one doubts one thing, one has faith in something else. There is no way out of dogmatic thought through doubt, it just shifts the emphasis in formal structure.
Modern philosophy’s fundamental doubt was Descartes’ attempt to find a foundational faith beyond doubt. In contrast Pierce and Deleuze don’t start with doubt and proceed to judgment based on that faith in the transcendence of doubt from faith, but on the immanence of all relation, on the unavoidable fact that we cannot escape our point of view, we can only change it in more less fluid ways through the process of semiosis or differentiation. You can change your formal opinion in radical ways but not the way you look at the world through judgment, through rhetoric and persuasion. Clinging to any fundamental base, even doubt, makes it impossible to do anything but shift opinions within the same basic world-view since it cannot be doubted without collapsing the structure. The whole point of Eastern philosophy and the West’s appropriation of it through Schopenhauer to Nietzsche and Deleuze is to overcome resentment and open to/create novelty by learning to let go of the subject’s root in doubt and fear and discover the path to otherness, not as a radical negation of the self but its re-connection with the world, not as a negation of discontinuity, but an integration of it with continuity.
For instance, a good astrologer does not alter observation to fit the theory, but neither does he throw out the theory, he changes the theory. To a good astrologer, Virgo means nothing other than all the association he or she has made with that signifier. One must start with a point of view on what Virgo is, but that is always the case. We all must start somewhere. Pretending we can have a trustworthy base that transcends bias, from which we can judge in a neutral way is the illusion afflicting liberal society right now. Liberals are so sure they are right because they have a culture of science and doubt that they can’t see it when they are the dogmatists. It is so obvious right now to more and more people.
- Adam Pogioli As for mainstream narrative, by that I mean, to put it simply: whatever the mainstream media tells you the truth is. To what extent are they supportive of Trump? Well that depends. They support him to the extent that he tows the party line. Fox supports him more often since he is ostensibly Republican and works more cooperatively with the Neocon faction. The liberal media only supports him when he does something the whole establishment wants, like bomb somebody. There is a war going on between factions and it has been very revealing the past four years. I am not saying any faction is good or evil. But Trump’s faction does not have much power in the media. That should be obvious.
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Fox News is the most watched news network. It is the mainstream media. MSNBC and CNN trail significantly behind. Until only recently, and even then only a slight falloff, Fox has broadly supported Trump and his followers. He has, since elected, had the lion’s share of positive mainstream media coverage. Since everything he says and does is lies and nonsense, he merits much more dissent than he gets. He has been given a pass by the liberal media on so many occasions it’s impossible to list them. Things the same media would have excoriated Obama for. Talk about a Teflon president! So no, it’s not obvious Trump’s faction does not have much power in the media. Apparently you have been duped by the far right mantra about how Trump has been abused by the press and the media. If he’s been abused I would not like to see what being coddled would look like!Delete or hide this
- Adam Pogioli Fox is definitely mainstream media and I don’t feel bad for Trump getting “abused”; nor do I want him coddled by any means. Fox supports him for political reasons but they and the Republican establishment don’t like him. They tolerate him because the war between his faction and the globalist faction of the intelligence community is mostly beyond their concern or comprehension. They just want to carry on with the right wing arm of neo-liberal policy and beat back Democrats for the rights to look like they are in charge. The globalists on the other hand care little about who is in charge, Republican or Democrat as long as another Deep State faction doesn’t come in and challenge the greater plan. Trump is part of just such a faction.
I am not claiming this faction is good or even marginally better than the other. There are so many factors I can’t see. But because so many people that are tired of liberalism see that there is something different in him and the movement behind him, anything that questions the liberal mainstream is automatically associated with him. The whole culture of dissent against technocracy is seen as a monolithic fascist force. Now maybe there are dangerous Fascist-like elements within Trump, his power bloc, and his supporters, but there are also some of what I think is the best hope for humanity’s future loosely correlated with this cultural movement all lumped together as “conspiracy theorists” “anti-science”, etc…
So politically I admit I don’t know enough details to vote with any confidence in the coming election, but culturally I think it is important to support conservatives right now. But that is just an acknowledgment that these are dark times and these are hard choices. There are dangerous elements in all sides. If we continue to repress and push against all questioning of the narrative to the point where people like Trump and Icke are the only ones willing to stand up or speak out against it, the Right will become more extreme and illiberal.
Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Voting conservative in this coming election would be the worst thing you could possibly do to advance the values you have said above that you want to advance. Besides there is no longer a conservative party in the U.S. It essentially disappeared around 2000. In its place we have a far right movement pushed by moneyed oligarchs that is quickly progressing toward neo-fascism. If you think there is silencing and suppression now, wait until these factions gain further control of the government. Any venue you, and even the conspiracy theorists, have on the internet now will be completely shut down. Your Facebook account will be a thing of the past. These kind of “conservatives” would not tolerate you and those like you of the “occult” persuasions for a nanosecond. What is left of the “occult” will be appropriated for the purposes of expanding power and control–as was done by factions of the SS during WWII. If you think any of these folks are your allies, you must be smoking something we don’t have in Colorado! 😜 Vote Democrat. It’s not a great choice this time around, but it’s worlds better than the Republican alternative. If you don’t see that, it would be my opinion that you have untethered yourself, drifted off into metaphysical foo-foo land, and lost all contact with the realities of our current political world. I’d hate to see you wake up in the land of the Man in the High Castle. And that possibility is all too real to count as mere fear-mongering.
Adam Pogioli I am not voting Republican and never have because the Republican party is indeed one of the worst institutions around; they are definitely not conservative in any meaningful way and haven’t been for longer than just 2000. That same political faction that took control in 2000 was behind Reagan and elder Bush, but you are right that Bush Jr.’s term was even more frightening. But I do think there are some true conservatives in the military and intelligence community that are backing Trump and trying to use the Republican party to fight certain important battles. Stopping TPP, getting the Fed under the treasury, reshoring Amercian industry, and on the whole slowing down globalization and power consolidation of the globalists, all have opened up a new space for a more multi-polar world on the local, regional and national level that would have not happened had Hilary won. I don’t claim to know what is a better path for the world, and tend to think electoral politics is of minimal importance. More important to me than the short term political landscape is the long term state of consciousness of which politics is just and expression. And right now I see liberals on the wrong side of the most important issues in cultural politics in the way they are bowing down to State and corporate science.
Trump’s faction has no control over media, they are a bunch of constitutionalists and Military men, lower level industrialists and dissenters in the intelligence community. Even if they are using the political power of the Republican party and Fox news, they can’t fundamentally challenge the mainstream narrative of a liberal culture and its institutions. They haven’t the power that comes from decades of entrenched brainwashing and infiltration of institutions that the Nazis in the CIA have been doing since the late 40’s. Even if Fox has some climate science dissenter on a show, or questions the lockdown, or vaccines in some moderate way, they cannot launch a deeper media revolution and would not. They don’t want to change the institutions; they are still mainstream, as you said.
If Trump’s faction somehow got control of the media they couldn’t do any worse than what we have right now. Anybody willing to repress and silence dissenting voices doesn’t compare to the power of brainwashing. Repression is desperation and it backfires. Which the establishment is starting to do, but it is mostly supposedly independent companies doing it with the support of the liberal majority. The brainwashing is mostly intact. People like Gary Web and Assange were repressed but the CIA gets the journalists’ own peers to crucify them first, (if any renegade journalist actually makes it far enough to be considered one), so no one cared when they finally took them out.
Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Regarding suppression of views concerning the coronavirus and similar pathogens, I think we are forced to make best practices judgments based on best knowledge rather than uninformed speculation. For example, what was known about the plague in the 1600s vs. what is known now demonstrably saves lives. The science on bacteria and viruses has grown exponentially over the last 100 years. Consequently, so has the human capacity for combating pathogenic forms of these microbes. As a result, this requires, for the sake of the community and the collective health environment, management and suppression of “freedom of speech” (which includes the marketing and sale of “medicines” known to be ineffective, harmful, or deadly). The failure to prevent this kind of errant speech and marketing has resulted in unnecessary deaths in past pathogenic outbreaks in Africa and Indonesia. Here is another small example of why suppression of these kinds of misinformation and marketing is necessary in communities. It’s one thing to be ignorant, but it’s another thing to make money off of other people’s ignorance.
Adam Pogioli to Gregory Desilet I have no problem regulating dangerous and mislabeled drugs. I am not some kind of libertarian purist. I don’t think drugs should be illegal, one reason being precisely because the black market is even more sketch as far as knowing what you are getting. I deal with dumb supplement fads like MMS all the time at my job. The irony is that its popularity comes out of a logical extension and application of precisely the reductive germ theory model the mainstream media is promoting.
I think this fad is hilarious because it just illustrates the idiocy of the mainstream media’s germ model that gets obfuscated by the fake aura of sophistication around corporate science’s own dangerous drug solutions. They cry “they are drinking bleach!”, as if that is somehow more ridiculous or dangerous than what they give people.
I would love to see vaccines disappear off the face of the Earth, but people have to be educated as to why they are an incredibly crude and destructive technology based on a completely backwards and outdated model of biology. These things have to be settled in the court of debate.
What I continually see and what motivates me the most in this life, is the way science has been hijacked by a culture of compliance to authority, an authority not of agreement and cooperation but propaganda and power politics. One way this happens is precisely because of the philosophical underpinnings you have been promoting here. People are easily persuaded by appeals to authority in a philosophy of doubt. I don’t think doubt is some ideal to aspire to; I think it is a natural and unavoidable attitude that most people have these days, because they don’t have a coherent system of meaning.
I think a lot of intelligent people are fooled because of the nature of our society. People don’t have time to think through and research every corner of every field that affects their life. So they trust the experts and their propaganda. Some more, some less. I respect you and realize you have a healthy distrust of authority. I am sure you think some people distrust mainstream authority only to “believe” some charlatan as an authority. That certainly happens. But if you dig a little deeper with a different attitude you will see the game being played. Most people do have a philosophy of doubt, which like I said always comes with a flip side of belief. Political power plays off this psychology and makes everything about who to trust. You seem to play into this.
You ask who is this person? Should I trust him? Of course if that is the game then liberals are going to trust people that talk and act like them, Obama!, and conservatives are going to trust people that talk and act like them, or at least in a way they can relate to. Authority always make it about the person because that is always judged by the criteria they have the most control over. And of course authority knows that is what someone with a trust/doubt psychology is looking for. That is politics. Find someone people will trust and promote them as the face, and make anyone not willing to play the game out to be a failure in the system of values you made to seem natural and fundamental.
There is nothing wrong with asking who someone is; it can be important. But if you really want to understand things, you must also ask “what is this” “why this person”? One reason is that the person most likely getting attention in the repressed position is most likely the one the powerful position has chosen as the straw man.
Take the HIV debate, which i consider the background for the current phenomenon. A whole generation of scientists and journalists were demonized when they did not agree that HIV caused AIDS. There were so many in high esteem willing to speak out that it was a big problem, so you saw one of the most despicable witch hunts in scientific history. One of these “AIDS deniers” as they were branded however, was not a pesky virologist like Duesberg (who I always have seen as a kind of similar soul quality to Derrida when I watch them speak with the same confidence and love for taking arguments apart), but Kerry Mullis who got the Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR test that was used to prop up the HIV model and is now being used to prop up this covid19 narrative.
Mullis was outspoken in his condemnation of the narrative that HIV caused AIDS. He even wrote the forward to Duesberg’s book. Now they are using the same test in the same way Mullis critiqued for HIV. But you don’t hear these things. You only hear that David Icke is saying these kind of things, not how many doctors and scientists around the world are saying the same things right now. Because most people judge a book by its cover and the cover is usually packaged so that you don’t see what is inside. I understand that we must judge appearances because who has the time to look under every rock, but when we aren’t looking for reasons to confirm or deny a set perspective; that is, when curiosity and analogy is our base rather than doubt, we can see much more interesting relationships than through doubt, which only takes the world piecemeal. All truth is in the relation, not the representation. It doesn’t take any more time to think this way; one just uses time differently. One looks for illuminating contexts rather than looks to judge whether something matches a habitually valued criteria.
Deleuze’ critique of judgment is helpful here. When you are stuck in the representational paradigm, always looking for confirmation of what you think, asking is it true? am I right? does my thought correspond to reality? will I be made a fool? am I being a good boy? we are never going to get at what is in front of us because even if we are asking these kind of yes/no questions of others–are they crazy? are they being honest? or even, what is their motivation? we are only seeing a piece of the puzzle until we ask–what are they an expression of? why is this person of value to people, what is their value, their relation to me?
Even if they are crazy, if you aren’t just judging their trustworthiness, what does it matter? if they are selling me a car then okay I get it, that may be all I care about, but truth is about much more than the simple criteria we might use in a commercial transaction. But that is what it has become. Science is big business and the game is all about trust and authority. Business and power make truth just about the person, and prop up the people that fit the conflict model they know will sell the most value in their paradigm. So I always ask, not just what someone’s motivation is, (though that is important), but questions beyond what they think they are doing, because they might be convinced and usually are that they are after truth and justice. But what forces are they an expression of?, what about the relevant system of values has made this expression an event of focus?
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Hmmmm . I see large holes in your fabric of thought here. Here are some:
The philosophy of doubt I advocate is not one of doubt and its flip side. It’s doubt everything and some things more than others.
You say all truth is in the relation, not the representation. I’ve spent the last five years working on the view that all relation is between representations. All perception makes of everything a representation (because we never see objects as unique; we see them as members of a class; we fit them into our world; in this sense everything is a sign; nothing presents, everything represents). Words are signs about signs.
Am I wrong about this?
You say one looks for illuminating contexts rather than looking to judge whether something matches habitually valued criteria. But how do you decide what counts as an “illuminating” context? I see this as the problem. What are the signs of what is “illuminating” as opposed to what is illusory, obfuscating, or errant? It sounds like you are making yourself free to believe whatever you may find to be a convenient fit for what you currently fancy. You have no test apart from your own intuition. This is the primary problem with occult systems—as Freud admonished Jung. Or as Wittgenstein would say: it is as you please. That kind of “truth” doesn’t interest me.
- Adam Pogioli to Gregory Desilet those aren’t holes; they are perceived limitations. Let’s first look at your logic’s limitations. You doubt everything more or less. To the extent that you doubt things less, you believe them, more or less. As I see it, you believe them, more or less, because you have determined that they conform to your criteria enough to stand as a provisional representation of whatever value it is that you are comparing them to. If it is just determining whether someone wants to sell you what they claim to be selling you, you believe the car indeed matches the values you are looking for in a car, even if you can’t know every factor. You could, like with most simple systems, do enough investigation to find every important factor and match it to what you want.
This kind of judgment assumes you know what you are looking for. It requires a correspondence/ representational logic that assumes a set philosophical or motivational value structure. Truth is such and such, so does this thing in front of me conform? Your test is a choice of values same as any evaluation. You find what you are looking for. There is nothing inherently more objective here than what I do.
The question is, must everything be subject to matching an already established value? Or can we also test things in ways to determine their internal logic and relate it to others, rather than just compare it to what we already assume is the important criteria? I am not just talking about being open to nonscientific values. I am also talking about what happens within science. Too often there are assumptions about what it is that we are looking at or what the criteria should be within which the test should be conducted, so understanding is obscured because there was no openness to different value structures for the test.
I also question everything more or less. For most things it is more if I am interested in them and less if I am not. You seem to test everything at first and then less after time as they become the structure of stability from which to judge, as if things were stable in their meaning and value.
But it is true that if I need to make an either/or judgment; say if I want to buy a car, or if I just need to decide if someone is worth my time, then I too look to see if anything matches my interests or responsibilities and I decide to proceed. Once I have established a match, a relation, then I explore that relation, no longer just matching representations. If it is just to determine whether to buy something or not that relation is quickly exhausted.
When a relation grows beyond a simple functional paradigm tied to an already established value and criteria, then that relation is free to illuminate me with its connections to other values and relations. That doesn’t happen if I stay within the mode of a fixed perspective, merely determining if something is worth my time or money. If they are not worth my time or money, I do not assume they have no value; I just only have so much time. If I do have the time and I am not just there to buy something from them, I will attempt to find a relation to someone in order to find some of that value and hopefully rekindle my questioning of my own assumptions and value structure.
For instance, in astrology, I don’t look to confirm or deny some hypothesized quality. If I think an astrologer is worth my time, I will try to find a illuminating relation to what they are proposing. If I can’t find one, that could be a sign of a lack of imagination on one or both of our parts, not a sign of some either/or error. It is just a relation that needs to be clarified. Perhaps one not worth my time and I will judge it so, but my judgment is consciously tied to the value that I don’t have the time or patience to make sense out of something, not that it must be crazy or wrong. I may say something is wrong, but that means to me that it is not just crazy, muddled or obfuscated, but very misleading or mislead.
What are the criteria for judging whether something is illuminating or whether it is misleading or just obfuscated? Of course they are unavoidably tied to an interpretive structure and therefore somewhat subjective. But they are also intersubjective; by trying to make sense out of something I believe I can better make sense of it to others. This process illuminates everything; it does not sort things into the more or less believable. It doesn’t try to construct the most reliable base from which to judge everything; it uses every sign to judge and relate every other sign. Not just because no fundamentals are solid, but because no sign has any unequivocal meaning. Since context is king, creating more meaningful contexts leads to more accurate knowledge than even the most well structured logical system. By more meaningful I mean makes the most sense out of the most information. This isn’t just a whim or fancy, it is a test as well, but it is a test of all tests, not blind allegiance to one kind of test that only makes sense within certain contexts.
I try to illuminate everything I can. My goal is to understand everything and everyone the best that I can. Everything that comes to me I want to know better, even if I must make choices and judgments for the sake of time and for the sake of meaning because no meaning can happen without a choice of perspective. That choice may seem arbitrary without some kind of authority, but that is not true. Closed system testing and experimentation are wonderful generators of information, but it is till up to us to test the truth and value of any claim within and against other contexts. There is no authority but the value of an interpretation.
- You might like Babett Babitch’s book on Nietzche’s philosophy of Science. I am enjoying it right now….but Babett’s book is more a curiosity to me; it is nice to see someone actually put Nietzsche in the context of philosophy of science. I am used to getting that heavily filtered through Deleuze’s take on science. However, the more relevant book to this discussion is Complexity and Postmodernism by Paul Cilliers and the related book Complexity and the Social Sciences by Byrne and Callghan. Cilliers’ book I think in particular is great empirical support for what I am saying.
I am not trying to give some distinct model of mine, but describe the way modelling works in general and works best. We certainly use something like rules and sets in thinking but that only gets us so far. AI research has born this out. As Cilliers argues, the rule-based approach gave way to a more “connectionist” approach in AI research because set/rule models were not able to handle ambiguity very well. They can only accept or reject, which is fine when you can have complete information, but in the real world you never have all the information except practically in already defined mechanical systems, like what you would need to buy a car with confidence with a thorough inspection). There is no such thing as “all the information” accept in artificial closed systems. The boundaries of any system are partially a product of the model of the system.
He doesn’t critique set theory explicitly in that book. Byrne and Callghan survey the whole field of modelling in their book and come away advocating a fuzzy-set conception of what works best. Rocco Gangle though goes deep into set theory and argues well that semiotic thought has thoroughly replaced set theory as a logic base with category theory. Set theory is just an abstraction away from thoroughly relational thought of category theory. It works well when you are just calculating a match for a known data set, but when it comes to understanding the world, no model can ever work as well as one that learns from every bit of information, not just information that matches its sets.
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli It seems that while you’ve gone down the road of complexity and category theory I’ve gone down the road of complementarity–first with Plotnitsky several years back and more recently with Arun Bala’s Complementarity Beyond Physics, Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, and Makoto Katsumori’s Niels Bohr’s Complementarity: Its Structure, History, and Intersections with Hermeneutics. I get the sense that complemenarity may align with category theory such that the latter is the investigation of complementarity between more than two processes, objects, or forces. All ways of attempting to understand the structure and play of heterogeneous parts in emergent open systems. Set theory’s usefulness in this regard died a certain death with Godel such that we are now in the post-set theory era of attempting to fit other mathematical models to the real world temporal landscape.
The difference between us may be that in my opinion there are no longer any equivalents to the “mainstream” or “authority” based agendas your refer to. Too much fragmentation has occurred in the last 20 or 30 years and its only increasing. Which is one reason why it is so hard for nations to form governments any more. Humanity is passing through a transition era that is taking a toll on the psyche’s of persons across the globe. Another reason why spirituality becomes a more urgent question in the wake of the demise of institutional religions. I wouldn’t want to be a teenager in today’s world. It is very hard any longer to find or shape and identity. My wife sees an uptick in multiple personality disorders, narcissism, bi-polar disease, and borderline personality disorder–all rooted in the loss of or confusion in identity. How this will all shake out remains a mystery. But I think in the long term there will be positive effects on the philosophical ground or anti-ground on which people find meaning in their lives. This occurring by way of a better understanding of the complementarity of time and being.
- Adam Pogioli Interesting. Well said as always, but again, I think I need to clarify what I am saying. It really isn’t opposed to what you are saying, just another layer. The difference between us is almost the opposite of what you said, but not really. I could even say, the difference between difference in general and oppositional difference is precisely what is at issue.
Fragmentation has indeed been increasing a long time–ever since the Church burned Bruno, and other philosophers and scientists hid their occult leanings, our culture decided there was no way forward with a coherent metaphysics or “spirituality” for our scientific age.
Perhaps this repression helped preserve some sense of authority and coherence in our culture. Occultism does indeed let loose meaning without bounds to authority.
The Romantic movement had potential to create a unity of science and metaphysics, something I have been studying lately, particularly as it led up to the German culture of the 1930s. After that went so terribly wrong it has become mostly “countercultural”, “it” being all the threads of romantic science, vitalism, occultism, or “occulture” as I like to say. Some of that stuff became more countercultural than others of course. Some of it was integrated.
It is true that for a time, there was a more coherent “mainstream” narrative, especially in this country. And eventually in the 60s, a rather oppositional counterculture. I think of the news of that time and how it has changed. Certainly now there are more extreme opinions and rival factions in our media as the power blocs and media outlets have gotten increasingly less tied to geographic boundaries. And culturally, just in the last few years a vast shift in political battle lines is being drawn–much confusion abounds as conspiracy culture grows more popular and trust in authority wanes (which is why FOX is so popular– they try to corral this element into Republican politics).
But there are other layers. As I said earlier, even though FOX and the liberal media might be at odds, they still stay within certain bounds. FOX may be allowing Tucker Carlson or Glen Beck to get a little conspiratorial, but if they go too far they get the ax like Beck did and Carlson keeps almost getting from what I have heard.
But television and print journalism is dying out. I mark Gary Web’s fall as the fall of investigative journalism and the rise of the armchair conspiracy theorist to divisive prominence. The internet is where the future is being fought over and the censorship there has proved this the last few years. While there may be many narratives and factions, there are some pretty major lines of segmentation that separate power blocs on different levels and at different times. (Trump loved Assange while he was getting the benefits of wikileaks but had no qualms about squashing him once he no longer needed him).
So yes lots of “alternative facts” flying around, but also some pretty major blocs of coherence. Conspiracy culture is quite diverse but it has a lot of coherence; same with mainstream “conservative” and “liberal” culture that have now moved closer together in a more explicit neo-liberal washington consensus. Both this year and 4 years ago you can see it happen with Trump’s rise and Bernie’s fall; the question becomes how “mainstream”, or how “conspiratorial” are you?
Of course both those labels are dumb; they are what each side calls each other. But politics tends to bring out people’s herd mentality and forces coherence where there is none. Not just in the sides of a conflict themselves but in the conceptions they have of each other. The media plays a big role in this. Admittedly the alternative media has the same problem, and sometimes (or often) deserves the conspiracy label, imagining a mainstream “agenda” or conscious explicit agency when it is purely structural and institutional pressure, nothing planned (at least not by humans or “the government” whatever that means).
This relates to the problem of complementarity and Deleuze’s critique of opposition. Bohr’s thought embraces duality and opposition only because it depends on a deeper identity. Einstein was too caught up in the search for a monolithic unity so I think Bohr was an advance over him. But Einstein’s intuition was correct, however improperly conceived. There is a deeper level of activity and it took Bohm to imagine some of the principles even if he also stuck too close to Einstein (see Timothy S. Murphy’s essay on Quantum Ontology for a great synthesis of Bohm and Deleuze).
In any case, the point is that there are always layers of identity and coherence beneath every difference. So much science goes wrong because of a narrow specialization that can do little else but develop the underlying errors of a paradigm or at best oppose, or in the case of Bohr, reify that opposition as foundational. My impression of your thought is very consistent with an oppositional structure, not in the Hegelian sense that assumes a determined result of that opposition, but one that is open to novelty through the indeterminancy of that opposition.
My critique would be, as Deleuze’s is of opposition, that it has the wrong kind of indeterminancy to be fully creative (pure relation is at the same time completely undetermined
and fully determinable). Relation only becomes opposition or identity as a consequence of determinate contexts, when creative restructuring of new relations becomes solidified into reified representations.
In conclusion, to use a practical example at the heart of so many issues right now, the idea of a “virus” was imagined before anything like one was seen. It was an extension of germ theory to another level that eventually found exactly what it was looking for and completely missed the actual role of exosomes in biology. The more evidence that was accumulated the more we “believed” in the model, never questioning the premises of germ theory, all the while imagining we were being very empirical and open to new evidence. BUt of course all evidence is judged on the ground of assumptions that are no longer questioned.
Because for a while there still was a background debate between germ and terrain theory and between mechanistic and vitalistic science, any evidence that supported germ theory supposedly debunked terrain theory, but because of politics, any evidence against germ theory was ignored or only modified germ theory in minor ways. Had they created a complementarity between the two paradigms it might have been way better, better probably than a reductive synthesis, better than what we got for sure. But without more information without knowledge from other disciplines and contexts, those two theories are inadequate. With a deeper metaphysics and with contemporary biophysics we can get a much more complete picture.
Duality is not enough one needs to seek out difference not just to test the identity, but to expose the relational base of identity itself and illuminate the best arrangements of relations that don’t take any one or even two identities and their relation as foundational.
If anything, I just want people to know that beneath every generic opposition is a wealth of actualized difference and even more virtual difference, more possibilities than we could imagine. People assume that there is”scientific consensus” when there is none, when there is only a false opposition forced on us by politics to fight over reductive metaphors that appeal to different emotional constitutions. People need to be taught to look at what contexts make every representation make sense and to find new contexts that free us from the arbitrary constructs of the past.
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli Let me try drawing some distinctions to see if we can get greater clarity on our differences.
You say: “People assume that there is”scientific consensus” when there is none, when there is only a false opposition forced on us by politics to fight over reductive metaphors that appeal to different emotional constitutions.”
Scientific consensus exists in many areas and is extremely important for human survival, not least of which is the understanding of the role of bacteria and viruses in diseases. Am I saying that human understanding of bacteria and viruses is complete or entirely accurate? No. But this understanding has sufficient real world traction to have prevented much needless suffering and death. The containment of small pox is a good example.
I think we need to be careful in understanding what science is and what it isn’t. For my money, science has a simple definition. In order for a theory or claim to be a scientific theory or claim it must take the form of an hypothesis. An hypothesis is defined as an explanation for which it is possible to produce a test the results of which can potentially yield disconfirmation of the hypothesis. And an hypothesis can never be confirmed; it can only be disconfirmed by results. Even then the disconfirmation must undergo repeated instances of replication by other people at other times in order to achieve a broad consensus.
Occult theories and claims have a very different definition in the set of distinctions I am attempting to draw. Occult theories are precisely those explanations for which no test can be imagined that could produce a result that would disconfirm the explanation. In these instances any event or phenomenon that occurs that appears to contradict the conclusion indicated by an occult theory may be accounted for by imagining an additional explanation that will explain the anomaly in a way consistent with the occult explanation.
This may not be a definition of occult that you are comfortable with. And that is fine with me. I just want to make clear how I am inclined to use the term “occult.” I think (i.e., I am of the opinion that) this distinction between scientific theory and occult theory is useful in sorting opinion (hypothesis based understanding) from belief (faith based understanding). It works for me, but everyone may not be happy with it.
One of the tests or testimonials of the real world traction of science is the change it has produced in the human environment over the last 200 years, where humans have gone from horses and buggies to landing on the moon. The efficacity of science is hard to argue with. But this does not mean that the current “scientific consensus” regarding any particular theory is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Far from it. It just means that these scientific theories have given rise to practices (technologies) that enable humans to do things they were not previously capable of successfully doing or even imagining.
Occult views and explanations have no real world traction except insofar as those who hold such views find these views affect their behavior and actions in the world. Thus, occult views establish relationships between mental constructs and persons behaviors but do not demonstrate any replicable relationships between constructs and the world. This is what I mean when I say occult views, unlike scientific views, have no real world traction. In this sense the occult falls into the category of aesthetics rather than philosophy or science. The occult falls into the realm of pure metaphysics (i.e., aesthetics), a form of speculation untethered to the world, where every belief becomes a matter of taste rather than judgment, since every means of disconfirmation has been rendered impotent.
I suspect you may find these distinctions I am drawing as distasteful and see them as nothing more than a repetition of the “status quo” and the “mainstream.” But I find the complexity, category, and complementarity orientations to fit more the scientific approach than the occult approach as I have described these above. They contain key aspects capable of disconfirmation.
Do any of these distinctions I’ve drawn square with how you view things?
- Adam Pogioli Thanks for proving my point so well, haha. You are doing exactly what I was describing: claiming your position is scientific, rational and responsible for all the success of knowledge culture, and everything else as aesthetic, occult, or, I am sure, pseudoscientific at best.
You are taking a rich history of different perspectives on and methods of human achievement and claiming it all supports your position and politics. You are even claiming philosophy and all the theory I am into as your tradition, and putting me with the “occult” which you define precisely by its failures to achieve reasonable coherence, acceptance or demonstration.
That is precisely the the tactic that creates a “mainstream narrative” in the first place. If one faction of thought gets enough power to dominate the culture or media, it can claim it is the authentic tradition and any other ideas are pseudo-science, conspiracy theory, mere speculation or now in your case “occult”, which was the old Christian tactic of demonization which it used against the early “scientists” or natural philosophers.
I am not claiming there is a coherent “mainstream culture” or identifying you with it except insofar as it is the tactic you are using. You are not discussing any of the ideas that David Icke or I are promoting, just trying to relegate us to the irrational by making this about whether we are allowed to be a part of the authentic tradition of knowledge as you see it.
You are yourself making this construct of “mainstream” a logical necessity to this discussion, because you are using the false coherence it implies to prop up your position. The only coherence of this construct is success in marketing–basically popular opinion, not methodological coherence or consensus.
I am afraid you are just parroting popular opinion– that is, you are giving a naive an outdated idealization of science that only has currency because it is always used by the loudest voice with the most power to claim all successful science as part of its own tradition of ideas. It’s akin to the cringy declaration “Science says”. It is actually just popular opinion parroting successful propaganda by SPECIFIC scientists, usually backed by moneyed interests, and has nothing to do with any philosophical or methodological coherence.
As Feyerabend points out, this idea of “science” was created by one group of philosophers of science that wanted to piggyback off of the success of all science to advance the perceived superiority of their theories. Though most scientists now do buy into a generic empiricism if they think about what they are doing at all, scientists have become increasingly narrowly educated and understand their own principles more from popular media accounts than any real broad learning or any correspondence with practice. As Steve Jones put it : “Science is a broad church full of narrow minds, trained to know ever more about even less.”
To the extent that there is any methodological or philosophical uniformity in science, is the extent that science makes no progress in knowledge. It merely develops deductive consequences of previous ideas rather than seeing things in a new way and generating new ideas that can be tested. As Feyerabend points out, you get nowhere with just the scientific method. Pierce always emphasized hypothesis generation, “abduction”, as the real engine of knowledge, which is precisely what I have been trying to describe to you and you seem to call occult.
None of my philosophical heroes, not Deleuze or Feyerabend, not Pierce, not even Steiner claim that the generation of ideas is the final word. They were all heavily influenced by empiricism and scientific culture. I am not a big fan of idealism proper. But I guess you claim all of philosophy for your position, so why does it matter.
The “mainstream” as a word is obviously used by those that feel outside of it, but it has meaning because dominant factions in the political landscape across several fields, especially media and State-funded science construct a narrative that uses propaganda to claim consensus and rationality, neutrality, and all those good liberal and democratic values for their own position within scientific discourse and research. It is a media construct– I hope you can get this point. Because you seem to think just because I do study even the extreme fringes of occulture that anything I am advocating must be “occult” or fringe.
Admittedly, I like fringe ideas, but I can justify any of them rationally. I never accept anything out of fancy, in fact I don’t merely accept anything at all. I always take ideas as experiments, always to test how it works and what it can do and advocate one thing or another in heavily qualified ways, and always for good reason. But what makes something fringe? Some of the most thoughtful scientists are getting pushed to marginal positions in many fields because of the increasing dominance and infiltration of power and money into research. But that has nothing to do with being “occult”.
There is becoming more coherent knowledge movements that run counter to the dominant narratives of the most well funded and corrupt science. But the coherence of “counterculture” in general is much more of a product of the mainstream position and its pejorative labels for alternative culture, though again, the opposition and repression itself creates new political alliances.
For instance most people would consider the counterculture a “Left” leaning movement. But as I was saying, I think this is changing as science becomes the central issue. I think it makes more sense to say that the counterculture is defined now more by occulture than by politics, but the politics might be following suit with what is happening now.
The radical-Left is barely worth talking about as it has so little traction in culture these days. Even a heavily compromised old leftist like Sanders can’t get any power. I think this was a failure of the old Left to understand culture. Even when the Frankfurt school turned to culture, any of the spiritual leanings of people like Walter Benjamin get left behind as the Left merged with mainstream liberalism. The radical Left had no metaphysics, so only theorists with their own philosophy are still around, with the secular-left mass-movement becoming a part of the liberal mainstream, as cultural politics became dominant and forced allegiance along metaphysical lines.
It is now what is commonly but not quite accurately framed as secular authority vs. skeptics of “science” that is most important. Most of what used to be secular-Left-liberal in counterculture is now mainstream. Now it is the alternative knowledge culture that is significantly counter-cultural and this cuts right through old political lines. It makes up a portion of conservatives and Trump supporters as well as people like me that come from a more radical Left orientation.
- Adam Pogioli Now maybe we should get to some of the actual and relevant scientific ideas that are being questioned by many scientists and doctors, as well as crazy irrational conspiracy theorists like David Icke and myself. So far you are just arguing basically that: while a narrative might not be final, correct or best, if it gains sufficient popularity to be considered by you to be the consensus then anything I might be arguing for, whatever it might be, must be unscientific, since otherwise you would know about it already and don’t need to actually look at the idea or check to see if it is part of legitimate scientific debate.
I am glad you brought up germ theory as a bastion of consensus science and example of rigorous Popperian falsification theory. As Feyerabend loved pointing out about his friend Popper’s theory: no theory exists long without being partially falsified. Most theories become part of the context of knowledge and never again questioned until absolutely necessary, not because they were never falsified until the crises point. But because they worked for a certain purpose, even if they were blatantly wrong in related contexts.
Germ theory rests largely on the logic of Koch’s postulates and even with their revision by Rivers, not one so-called communicable disease holds up to the postulates and not one postulate can be satisfied for viral diseases. Science tends to progress nowadays through mutation and multiplication of fields rather than any deep revision of fundamentals, so these problems are largely ignored by those creating all the cutting edge research, in part because the politics of science favors the money behind old theories so much that it doesn’t pay to play the game of attacking the official story, because well, they mostly exist to protect officials, as Liam Scheff used to say. Instead they create their own niche, both inside and outside traditional institutions. Thus the proliferation of scientific fields and sub-fields, as well as popular movements that follow them in organic ways.
If you want a great example of one of theses fields related to germ theory, please watch the video post of Dr. Bush I tagged you in.
- Gregory Desilet to Adam Pogioli I watched the video you recommended in your last post. I don’t know why you wanted me to watch it. Dr. Bush is clearly a scientist writ large. His entire life in medicine has been rooted in what I imagine you would call “mainstream” science. I admired his talk from beginning to end, with a couple of minor exceptions not worth mentioning. Nowhere does he forsake the science with which he identifies; he simply discusses what he finds to be the best current science regarding microbiological life and environment. There was nothing marginal or fringe about what he and many other scientists understand in this regard about the ecological entanglements of the biome.
It appears to me that what you identify as “mainstream” science is instead the politics and bureaucracy of the administration of the technology made possible by science. Your beef is not with science but instead with leadership in institutions that administer science—which leadership fails to understand and act on the current scientifically indicated best practices. This is the case in the field of medicine as well as in the field of climatology. Do these thinkers I call scientists disagree on particular points of theory and practice? Certainly. As in your example of Koch’s postulates. That has been the case in hard-core particle physics and cosmology for decades and similarly in every other branch of science. The primary consensus lies in assent to the principle of finding ways to test an idea or theory.
I wasn’t trying to label you but instead trying to understand where you are coming from when you target science. In stating my distinctions between what I call “science” and what I call “occult,” I never genuinely thought of you as falling into the category of what I call the occult. I don’t see you as someone who believes whatever catches your fancy. I’m not sure what you believe and so my point was: tell me what sense you are giving the word “occult.” Again, I’m not trying to demonize you or your views; I’m trying to understand them. Every indication you give me in what you say does, as far as I can see, align with science rather than any alternative approach to inquiry. I see only evidence that you are angry with the bureaucracy of science, not its methods or results. And that’s a legitimate beef, in my opinion. Your recommendation of the Bush interview only confirms that opinion. Am I misreading you here?
- Adam Pogioli Thanks for watching the video and for trying to understand me. This definitely gets us back to the issue at hand.
Dr. Bush isn’t saying anything much different than what Icke was saying about the Corona virus. Icke has been getting his theory from Dr. Andrew Kaufman. Consequently, both Icke and Kaufman were on London Real the same week after London Real was completely banned for doing two previous Icke interviews. London Real had to create their own block chain server for their show and the last Icke interview on their now independent platform was the largest internet live stream ever to date. What is mainstream then exactly? The host of London Real thought he was mainstream news until this happened.
So Kaufman has worked his whole life in medicine as well, though he does take a more oppositional stance towards the fundamentals of germ theory, whereas Bush tries to just qualify it heavily, which, as I said, tends to be the only way you can go on in science these days if you don’t want to get ostracized. Sometimes that is possible. Bush can say viruses merely “unmask toxicity” but both he and Kaufman, and Dr. Thomas Cowan, and hundreds of other researchers and scientists since the discovery of “viruses”, have been pointing out that the viruses aren’t causing any actual harm, they merely communicate and trigger unique inflammatory processes that are trying to resolve the toxicity and disfunction at the root of the problem. Those processes get all the attention as the “disease” and this has led medicine down its own path of repression and war against symptoms, which fits nicely with other wars on people and ideas and other repressions, which I believe is what we started talking about.
I can go into detail if you want, but the point is that though Icke has been talking about crazy conspiracy theories forever, when he actually threatened the success of an ongoing propaganda campaign by quoting some important ideas, he got repressed. He wasn’t telling anyone to drink bleach, he was saying what Bush was saying, that the best science is at odds with this lockdown approach, but he was saying it to millions of people, and of course speculating on the real reasons it is happening.
So you say you aren’t trying to demonize my views, but this started because you thought someone with similar views as me should be banned from media, and after all this debate, you still have not shown any reason why. You deflected into the selling dangerous products issue, which Icke was not doing. But mostly you have indeed made this an issue about me and my thinking.
It started with you making this about doubt, continuously implying that I wasn’t being skeptical enough, or outright crazy. I felt I needed to clarify that in my thinking, I don’t take or reject things as they are given, but try to find ways of understanding them, and that this is a better path to understanding because most knowledge comes in that in-between space of relation, not in the already formed representations that “present” themselves to us for immediate judgment.
Mostly this was a plea for exactly the kind of patient teasing out of mutual understanding that I know you are capable of when you are not trying to judge something by habitual criteria. I love your work because I do think your criteria of judgment are important, but they are not everything. When I watch a film I definitely see things through the lens of the criteria you like to write about, but of course the new insights come from the connections and contrasts between perspectives. For that, new ideas, even poorly formed ones from crazy people are so important. The truly new and important always tends to first show up in the fringe in rough form.
Without the, (one could say), “occult” dimension, without the “dream world” that Feyerabend says we need in order to discover the properties of the “real world we think we inhabit”, we can only analyze. And analysis cannot discover without “contrast”. To discover we need contrast, multiplicity, not just complementarity between binaries. Binary oppositions are an artifact of abstraction. We need external relation, we need contrast to reveal the multiplicity from which the abstraction proceeds.
We only got onto this “occult” term again because you brought it up in response to my descriptions of how I think, how I evaluate, which you had made the issue. (Don’t get me wrong; I am not offended and I enjoy justifying my views when someone is indeed trying to understand them, which, despite, I believe, some contentious moments, you usually do end up showing as your intentions).
I do consider my way of thinking reasonable and scientific, and I referenced Feyerabend because it is exactly what he argues as how science works. That not only is there is no consensus on method, no matter how much scientists may believe that myth, but also the most important scientific discoveries fly in the face of not only established theories but often established “facts”.
Alternative ideas can always be argued as being dangerous. Feyerabend even defends the church’s repression of Galileo, not because he agrees with repression, but to flesh out how complicated the issue is separating facts from interpretations, which as a fan of Nietzsche, I know you are more than aware. Feyerabend points out how much the new “facts” coming through the telescope were very dubious at the time, given what everyone knew about the unreliability of telescopes at the time and the completely crazy ideas it suggested.
The word “occult”, can have many meanings, but in the most general sense, it is just that which is hidden. Science by nature is trying to discover that which is hidden and so is opposed to the occult to the extent it is only doing analysis, only deducing the consequences of its already formed perspectives and techniques. To discover it needs abduction, even “false” ideas, “counter- induction” as Feyerabend puts it; it needs imagination.