Centre-left journalist Tim Pool reports on the pretty obvious – that those with power, money or influence advocate for that which they themselves do not practice. Hypocrisy 101.
I feel sick.
Misdirection is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.
There are two basic ways to “misdirect” your audience; one is time-sensitive, the other isn’t.
The time-sensitive approach encourages the audience to look away for a fleeting moment, so that the sleight or move may be accomplished undetected.
The other approach has much to do with re-framing the audience’s perception, and perhaps very little to do with the senses. The minds of the audience members are distracted into thinking that an extraneous factor has much to do with the accomplishment of the feat, whereas it really doesn’t have any bearing on the effect at all. “The true skill of the magician is in the skill he exhibits in influencing the spectators mind.” (Dariel Fitzkee, Magic by Misdirection, pg. 33, copyright 1975).
Richard Dawkins with an interesting tweet
Personally I don’t blame Millennials (Generation Y). The rot, if you will, started far earlier. The influence of Marxist/Feminist thought has a long tradition from the pulpit of academia that off the top of my head I can date to circa Ginsberg – at least in popular culture but I know there are far earlier examples swirling around somewhere in the recesses of my mind. It was long established by the time my Generation X arse graced the walls and was seen as something of a rite of passage on the way to middle-aged conservatism (with a small c) rather than a full time vocation. More than one lecturer and student signposted a different pathway to explore, that whilst interesting at the time, is not one I subsequently myself wanting to retread or linger on. It was also too easy for me to make up the narrative to suit their agenda and my feminist lecturer gleefully gobbled the horseshit I made up about the patriarchy in advertising.
So whilst Millenials are in vogue the oppressive push from privileged totalitarian ‘left’ thought far predates them. Millennials just have a platform on social media with social media echo chambers such as YouTube, Twitter and Tumbler (and before that email flak) which unfortunately has afforded them far more influence than they are due. The angriest customer is usually the one with nothing to complain about, they just know if they keep it up they will get what they want. Anyone with genuine original thought and curiosity is more likely to be investigating, observing and communicating their discoveries than dictating or complaining. Screaming children need a time out not a platform. The last thing you should do is reward bad behaviour.
So I don’t have a problem with an analysis of the history, culture and influence of science. But as much as I may enjoy an analysis of a movie or play, I’d rather watch and listen myself to make my own impressions rather than having an opinion rammed down my throat. The skirmishes we may have are sideshows not the matinee.
… the continuation of the science wars has made analysts of science more inclined to defend each other in public. This is because attacks by science warriors often take on the characteristics of a `witch hunt’ instead of an academic debate. For example, `relativism’ – a subtle philosophical idea with a number of meanings – is sometimes treated as synonymous with `anti-science.’ An accusation of relativism is taken as sufficient in itself to render further argument unnecessary. And the arguments and political tactics adopted by the science warriors seem less designed to convince their academic opponents of their errors than to convince an outside audience; the science warriors can rely on the outside audience not reading the original sources and materially misleading descriptions of the original studies…The spokespersons for science often behave and argue as though the only salvation is for science to set itself up as such a pre-eminent form of knowledge as to leave no room for doubt; as a result they also find themselves attacking all other ways of having knowledge or describing science.
Scientists, despite the illusion they are rock stars are human with all the benefits and deficits that entails. But don’t take my word for it 😉
P.S. As for the quote, it’s just that…a quote.
A strong case for why Greg Laden is a sociopath. Rather sadly I have seen some senior Met Office scientists well on the route to aping this deplorable behaviour.
Filed under Green Politics you shouldn’t need to ask why.
Dellers picks up on the recent Spiked Farage interview. The parallels with the climate change debate are uncanny.
‘All through the civilisation of human beings, people form establishments’, he says: ‘An interwoven network that actually has a very big generational context, in that it hands on down. And we are challenging the establishment — we are challenging their very thought; we are challenging the very basis upon which they exist and operate. And there is nobody in history who has taken on the establishment and has not received the kind of treatment I am getting.’
All of this makes perfect sense to me, not only because of what I have personally seen of the way Farage in particular and UKIPers generally are traduced in the media, but also because it gels so perfectly with what is going on right now in the parallel world of the climate change debate. Farage is the political equivalent of those outlying scientists described by Thomas Kuhn in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions: the ones whose reward for challenging the cosy consensus is to be vilified and excluded by an Establishment which dare not admit that it is wrong because that would be to lose its power, its money and its grip on the prevailing culture.
Farage makes this connection explicit when he talks about environmentalism:
The politics of environmentalism is utterly hostile to progress, he says. ‘If Natalie Bennett won the election, we’d all be living in caves’, he says with a chortle. ‘[This politics] is very regressive. There is nothing progressive in terms of the evolution of society or living standards in what these people stand for. And the whole thing is based on a fallacy: that our fossil fuels are going to run out and therefore we have to adapt the way we live. Actually, the shale-gas [revolution] has shown over the past decade that we are finding more and more of this stuff.’ As for the idea that we should stop digging for coal or shale or uranium and instead turn to renewable energy — ‘I think wind energy is the biggest collective economic insanity I’ve seen in my entire life. I’ve never seen anything more stupid, more illogical, or more irrational.’
Here, Farage is kicking against one of the key planks of 21st-century consensus politics: the idea of planetary vulnerability and human hubris. And he gets massive flak for it. ‘[Climate change] is like a religion’, he says. ‘And you’re demonised if you question it. Ostracised completely. Johnny Ball. Think Of A Number. Brilliant man. He compares the amount of CO2 we produce in the whole atmosphere to a ping-pong ball in the Albert Hall, and he is completely ostracised for years. We’re almost back to Galileo. Whether it’s Galileo or Darwin, you challenge consensus, whether it’s in science, whether it’s in politics, and you are demonised for doing it.’ He remembers, in 2006, being on a Sunday morning TV show and being branded a ‘DENIER! DENIER!’ (his emphasis) after he raised issues with climate-change orthodoxy. ‘I thought I was attending the Salem witch trials. Quite extraordinary.’
This is a less well known Monty Python Spanish Inquisition sketch.
There is of course a much more famous sketch which has previously been linked to climate change
Whilst the actions of the alarmists in the media and political worlds draw obvious comical comparisons, the express bullying and intimidation used to silence anyone questioning the political climate dogma are quite sinister and foreboding.
The following is a random googled quote on the inquisition but adequately frames the rest of this post
The underlying assumption of the Inquisition was that, like lost sheep, heretics had simply strayed. If, however, an inquisitor determined that a particular sheep had purposely departed out of hostility to the flock, there was nothing more that could be done. Unrepentant or obstinate heretics were excommunicated and given over to the secular authorities.