What differentiates a good dot connector from the average NPC?
Every once in a while I read or hear something so profound that I stop to note it. I was listening to the 62nd Dark Horse podcast by Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying yesterday, and had one of those moments. For those who don’t know, Bret Weinstein is what I would call a (mostly) red-pilled classic Liberal – he became red pilled as a result of his experiencing totalitarian Leftist cancel culture on the campus of Evergreen College in Oregon. While I don’t agree with everything Weinstein or Heying say, they are very powerful voices in the fight to maintain a grasp on reality.. scientifically verifiable reality. For instance, in the same podcast they discuss the FACT that Ivermectin works and whether or not the suppression of this knowledge is a crime against humanity.. in other words, our kind of folks. Both Weinstein and Heying are PhD-level evolutionary biologists.
I have struggled over the years to identify in a simple way what it is that differentiates my own way of thinking from those who seem trapped in a particular narrative. I am not saying that I never fall into this trap (my friend Meme will know of what I speak here) but I can usually see myself out. I took great interest many years ago when a survey determined that an unusually large swath of the tribe here tested out as the relatively rare INTJ personality type. What is going on here? I think Bret gives us a strong clue.
Here is what Bret says starting at about 55:15 in the video podcast;
“We are all born verificationists.. that’s the natural thing to be. You have to learn the sophistication of being a falsificationist, which greatly upgrades your ability to sort pattern from noise. People who are not aware of that, and just simply are looking around trying to make sense of the world, naturally default to verificationism, which makes them easy prey for those who are selling overly neat stories”.
There it is.. in three sentences. Here is the podcast link;
What is Falsifiability?
Falsifiability is the assertion that for any hypothesis to have credence, it must be inherently disprovable before it can become accepted as a scientific hypothesis or theory.
For example, someone might claim “the earth is younger than many scientists state, and in fact was created to appear as though it was older through deceptive fossils etc.” This is a claim that is unfalsifiable because it is a theory that can never be shown to be false. If you were to present such a person with fossils, geological data or arguments about the nature of compounds in the ozone, they could refute the argument by saying that your evidence was fabricated to appeared that way, and isn’t valid.
Importantly, falsifiability doesn’t mean that there are currently arguments against a theory, only that it is possible to imagine some kind of argument which would invalidate it. Falsifiability says nothing about an argument’s inherent validity or correctness. It is only the minimum trait required of a claim that allows it to be engaged with in a scientific manner – a dividing line between what is considered science and what isn’t. Another important point is that falsifiability is not any claim that has yet to be proven true. After all, a conjecture that hasn’t been proven yet is just a hypothesis.
The idea is that no theory is completely correct, but if it can be shown both to be falsifiable and supported with evidence that shows it’s true, it can be accepted as truth.
I forget who at PP would always go on about Karl Popper but that’s where I first heard about falsification.
The Falsification Principle, proposed by Karl Popper, is a way of demarcating science from non-science. It suggests that for a theory to be considered scientific it must be able to be tested and conceivably proven false.
For example, the hypothesis that “all swans are white,” can be falsified by observing a black swan.
For Popper, science should attempt to disprove a theory, rather than attempt to continually support theoretical hypotheses.
Nice, that verificationism/falsificationism (verificationist/falsificationist) polarity is a great addition to our vocabulary!
We’re constantly falsifying and exposing their bullshit lies presented as “verified by fact-checkers”. The NPCs are “verificationists” because they allow other people to do the thinking for them. We are falsificationists because we deconstruct their lies and narratives by simply doing our own research thus adding other facts/reports/ideas the fake “fact-checkers” leave out.
However, note that what may be construed as falsifiability can be and is highly manipulable as well.
It is typically assumed that objective beliefs (or the appearance of such) are obtained by the scientific method — i.e. observation and measurement — but notice that measurement is just one activity that we do. Scientists spend 99% of their time doing something other than measurement / the scientific method, and all these experiences are subjective. The one type of experience they have that appears to yield objective truth — repeatable, i.e. falsifiable by experiment, time-invariant truths — is the one they have put all their faith in. More right-brained individuals intuitively know that this is a constricted view.
When we delve into more complex/advanced fields, let’s say remote viewing, the notions of repeatability and by extension falsifiability, quickly falls apart. In a physicalist paradigm, for example, remote viewing is physically impossible, so any evidence can only be seen as a misinterpretation, experimenter’s bias, fraud, etc. Thus attribution to chance is the only option. Also, because “restoration of initial conditions” (a requirement for experiment) is trickier (or even inapplicable) with remote viewing, its falsifiability status is nebulous. For a hardened career scientist, and in terms of government programs/grants, ideas with a mushy falsifiability status are typically avoided like the plague, in favor of analysis of more concrete phenomena, i.e. those more compatible with the scientific method.
Has anyone read Against Method by Paul Feyerabend? I’ve yet to but I was surprised to find a Westerner had this figured out before I was even born.