Games of Unknowledging – Part I

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“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance,
it is the illusion of knowledge.”
— Stephen Hawking

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How much do we know? How much do we not know? How much or how little should we know or shouldn’t know? Why do we either know it or don’t know it? What creates ignorance, keeps it alive, hidden, distorted, or used for political-military purposes?

Agnotology, according to Wikipedia, is a recent new field of study about culturally induced ignorance or doubt. Renown cosmologist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (above) sums up our task well. In our current age of technological devices and data, the internet (particularly social media) and the speedy access to and dissemination of information, as well as the instability or unavailability of quality broader education, it has become more paramount than ever before in human history for us to recognize, grapple, dissect, and understand exactly what state, who for, and how well knowledge and ignorance coexist or are imbalanced, and if it is significant or insignificant and why.
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Ignorance is generated in many various forms. Naivety, neglect or apathy, myopia, secrecy, disinformation, extinction, censorship or suppression, faith, and forgetfulness. They are all sources and surrogates of ignorance. By it’s very definition it permeates many recognized and unrecognized domains. Writing about women’s rights and their social issues past and present, Penn State University’s Dr. Nancy Tuana says:

“…it is important that our epistemologies not limit attention simply to what is known or believed to be known. If we are to fully understand the complex practices of knowledge production and the variety of features that account for why something is known, we must also understand the practices that account for not knowing, that is, for our lack of knowledge about a phenomena or, in some cases, an account of the practices that resulted in a group unlearning what was once a realm of knowledge. In other words, those who would strive to understand how we know must also develop epistemologies of ignorance.”

Dr. Tuana has several poignant scholarly publications about the epistemology of ignorance, especially regarding women’s treatment throughout human history. I will be diving into and swimming in her research and philosophies later in Part II of this series.

Perhaps for now it is best to start with general taxonomies of ignorance (the horse) before diving into the depths of the key agents of modern ignorance I personally want to cover in later parts (the cart).

General Classifications of Ignorance

Native or Innocent State is the first class and it defines ignorance that is a deficit to overcome, or something to grow out of, as a naive child would eventually learn that getting 8-hours of sleep per day is actually beneficial in the long-term, or that lying necessarily leads to more lying.

Time and Mental Constraints is the next class. We cannot possibly study and understand all things. We must leave some alone, select what subjects deserve our needs and attention. As a result, this form of ignorance is a product of inattention and can be lost for a period of time or forever.

Moral-Exemplary Caution is the third class and it includes ignorance for the sake of survival, protections, or mental, physical, and emotional stability. For example, jurors in court for a criminal case are strongly urged to remain ignorant (unbiased) to publicized facts, rumors, opinions, or news stories about their case. The various cinema movie-ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America currently have five designations for films suited to particular age groups. Which uranium and plutonium combinations are highly classified so as not to fall into the wrong unethical hands. And certain forms of torture on prisoners have specific classifications.

Strategic Subterfuge is the last classification of ignorance and the hardest to detect in real-time. Two prime examples of strategic subterfuge would be the World War II Allied Manhattan Project from 1942-46 and Operation Fortitude/Bodyguard in 1943-44, both highly successful webs of deception that shortened the war with Germany and Japan.

There are times and conditions that do warrant ignorance — it is not always bad. And yet, these four classes of ignorance give rise to other important questions. For instance:  Are there other sorts of events/conditions that ignorance creates which we might be unaware? When and how does knowledge create ignorance? What other forms of resistance, tradition, inattention, apathy, calculation, or distraction creates more ignorance? When does ignorance generate confidence, timidity, or arrogance, even megalomania? Because of ignorance what patterns of competence or disability are thereby brought into existence?

I hope to answer some of these questions, but I will also leave it to you my readers to answer some yourselves.

Bias and Concealment

One of the most catastrophic probabilities facing humanity is climate change. In few other global crises has there been more profound, proliferated bias and concealment than on climate change.

They are the world’s most distinguished minds of geophysics, meteorology, atmospheric science, geography, and other disciplines and they comprise the IPCC. Their studies and publications encompass the work of over 800 scientists and over 1,000 peer-reviewers from 130 nations around the world. Inside the U.S. the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all ratified their findings. Abroad, the National Academies of Sciences in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and three others also verified and confirmed the IPCC’s findings. See consensus image below.

IPCC Abstract

Despite the fact that worldwide theory, evidence, and consensus support the claim that anthropogenic global warming is underway, there is a remarkably high number of doubters, particularly in the U.S., that believe these reports are inaccurate, acts of worldwide(?) political-economic conspiracy, or completely fabricated. How is this possible? Six reasons, says Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes.

The Six Main Cold War Contenders

It could be convincingly argued that there are only two or three main contenders against climate change science, but Conway and Oreskes reveal all major contenders and their interconnected allies during the Cold War, an era of mega-business and even bigger deep-pocketed business moguls. Would you consider these six listed below having direct and indirect mutual interests?

The George C. Marshall Institute — was founded by Robert Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, and William Nierenberg. The institute’s influence and popularity on post-war policy, Congress, and public opinion cannot be overstated. It was originally formed to streamline national security and defense policies in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Its public mission statement at the time was “to encourage the use of sound science in making public policy about important issues for which science and technology are major considerations.” However, after the end of the Cold War the institute turned its attention to environmental issues receiving major funding from oil and gas corporations like Exxon-Mobil, at least $715,000 between 1998 and 2008. In 2001 after only 5-months as executive director, Matthew B. Crawford resigned explaining “[the Institute] is fonder of some facts than others.

SDI_TimeMagazine

April 1983 issue

Robert Jastrow — a planetary physicist and lead scientist with NASA, Jastrow, along with Seitz, Nierenberg, and Siegfried Fred Singer, together headed all major skepticism to climate change and other health and environmental crises between 1982 to the 2000’s. How these four scientists are closely connected will be covered below.

Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) — SDI was a proposed missle-defense “shield” with orbiting space-lasers presented in March 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. When 6,500 academic scientists unionized to not accept or solicit any government funds for the program, Robert Jastrow was so furious that he rallied several well-known scientists of specific fields within the Defense Department and the military-scientific community to combat SDI opposition via the George C. Marshall Institute. He would also accuse the Union of Concerned Scientists, a big challenger to SDI, of being agents for Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviets.

Big Tobacco — Fortune 100 tobacco corporations like R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (aka Nabisco Group Holdings) spent $45-million between 1979 and 1989 toward finding and publishing evidence or arguments casting doubts about cancer, heart disease, and other smoking-related adverse effects, cases and deaths with their supporting research and publications. The principle advisor for these doubt-publications:  the aforementioned Frederick Seitz.

Acid Rain — is contaminated rainfall from sulfate emissions from power-plants and nitrous emissions from auto exhausts. In 1970, 1977, and 1990 emission standards legislation addressed and updated this growing atmospheric contaminants begun by the Clean Air Act of 1963. Just these measures, from the already established scientific studies and results, took as they say, acts of Congress, over a 50-year period to be adopted! Oh, and the aforementioned S. Fred Singer and Reagan’s White House stalled reports from OSTP, the Office of Science and Technology Acid Rain Panel in which Singer served.

Chlorinated Fluorocarbons (CFCs) — sulfate emissions and nitrous emissions soon lead to higher public awareness of refrigerators, AC units, hair spray, and other various stratospheric contaminants which deplete the ozone layer, known as CFC’s. In 1995 Sherwood Rowland, Mario Molina, and Paul Crutzen won Nobel Prizes for their contributions in Chemistry identifying the damaging effects of CFC’s to the ozone layer. The twice aforementioned S. Fred Singer argued against these men and afterwards even to Congress opposing their findings!

The Impact of These Tactics

During the 1992 mid-term elections, Republican pollster and media advisor Frank Luntz sent out a memo instructing federal Republican candidates to implement the political counter-strategy of scientific uncertainty:

“The scientific debate remains open.

…you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”
“The Luntz Research Companies – Straight Talk”, p. 137, http://www2.bc.edu/~plater/Newpublicsite06/suppmats/02.6.pdf – See also Mooney, The Republican War

A 2007 Gallup poll showed that 60% of Americans believed global warming was happening, which meant too that 40% felt there was still “a lot of disagreement among scientists.” Yet, in fact by 1979 — 28-years earlier! — scientists around the globe were increasingly unanimous that what Charles David Keeling had proven about rising CO² in the 1960’s was increasing more in the ’70s. Surveys of the scientific literature worldwide from 1965 to 1979 found only 7 articles predicting cooling and 44 predicting warming. What is also strangely peculiar is that the bulk of the scientific work was done in the U.S. As of March 2016 little has changed in the public eye at only 64% believing it is happening. Why the snail’s pace? No surprise, it isn’t a quick easy answer, but there are two major contributing factors:  1) the IPCC with the Kyoto Treaty (and Doha Treaty) and 2) the Republican-held U.S. Senate ten out of the twelve relevant years concerning the 1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98).

US_Senate_floorSince 1990 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) along with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and their scientists from 191 member nations and territories, found irrefutable cumulative evidence of global warming. In 1997 a protocol for fighting global warming and reducing greenhouse gas concentrations, the Kyoto Protocol, was adopted in Kyoto, Japan based on the consensus of these scientists around the world and how to reduce and reverse the effects of human-sourced causes. Sadly, the U.S. Senate voted on July 25, 1997 (95 to 0) rejecting this protocol if it did not impose firm emissions limits on the developing nations like India or the People’s Republic of China, both major sources of carbon dioxide emissions along with the United States. This S. Resolution 98 effectively shut-down the Kyoto Treaty before President Clinton could have an opportunity to push for ratification. As of today, the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation refusing participation in the Kyoto and Doha agreements.

After many articles in Business Investor’s Weekly, Forbes Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal S. Fred Singer continually challenged the work of these scientists around the world including those winning the Nobel Prize, others did so as well, mimicking Singer such as political scientist Bjørn Lomborg. Four renown scientists countered Singer and Lomborg with their publication “Misleading Math About the Earth” in January 2002. John Bongaarts, John Holdren, Thomas Lovejoy, and Stephen Schneider demonstrated that the majority of Lomborg’s citations were not from reputable scientific sources, but media-entertainment articles and non-scientific publications. But the damage and impact of the media onslaught had been done. Time Magazine named Lomborg one of the most influential thinkers of 2004.

The Cold War “old guard,” the market fundamentalists, the paranoid contrarians like Singer, Jastrow, Seitz, and Nierenberg saw any challenge or questioning of America’s proud free-market system as anti-capitalist, pro-communist, pro-socialist, and pro-regulatory on suffocating scales! Thus, without the broader information of evidence, data, and pure science from all points, favorable and oppositional, too many doubts were biasedly cast about the science and scientists. Capitalism triumphed over Soviet communism, but now it has to rectify its own excessive waste and impact on the ecosystems. Leave it to the mega-corporations of the world and it goes unchanged and buried. Though unfettered sourcing of our planet’s fossil-fuels was our “free lunch,” our Industrial Revolution, and our two World Wars, followed by the prosperity of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, global warming is now the rising bankrupting unreckoned invoice. The accumulated interest, charges, and principle-balance could have and should have been confronted and corrected during the last 50+ years. Instead, warehouses of well-funded doubt and unknowledging were produced in its place.

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In Part II of Games of Unknowledging, I will delve into the widely used, but less known exercises of Manufactured Uncertainty, Women’s Rights and Equality, and the lost worlds and knowledge of Abortifacients. I do hope you’ll return for it.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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46 thoughts on “Games of Unknowledging – Part I

    • Have to agree John. The other week Swarn posted an article about our current Texas State Board of Education — which is (hyper?) Conservative, to put mildly — having passed, approved, or adopted the exclusion of several pivotal verbs in science textbooks. For example, removing the word evaluate. HAH! Can you imagine John, Texas public and charter school students not being asked or challenged to evaluate something? It would not surprise me at all if the next verbs, or concept, or method of comparing and/or contrasting were next on the chopping-block! 😮 😡

      Does anybody around here remember what is meant when an educator abides in and teaches… “Do not teach them what to think, but HOW to think.“???? ❓ 💡

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Um..well…ya hello Professor. Ah.. I was going to comment but my eyes are still spinning and glassed over, and my nose prints on the screen need to be cleaned off first. My voice is strained from yelling “what the hell does that mean…” and my fingers are cramped from being used as place holders on the screen while I looked stuff up.

    So while I am wishing you the very best, the most in loves and hugs, I think I will pass on this one. 🙂 Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha…no worries Scottie and apologies that I used a few too many uncommon terms, descriptions, and less-known policies. I feel you already understand much of this simply in spirit — you are a wonderful person with good instincts. If you change your mind and want to finish this series, but have some bumps on words or any other ideas, PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask! I’ll shoot you my personal email addy so you can ask anything privately and I’ll reply privately. 😉 ❤

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      • Thanks. I will give it another read in a bit. Sometimes I understand better if I step back for a while then try again. Plus it never hurts to read something several times. I get that it is about climate change and the problem some things cause. I do want our planet to survive and be healthy, it is the only planet that supports my way of life in our solar system. I have not found an RV to go out of the system yet, to look for another planet to live on. So let’s keep this one well, our habitat healthy, produce enough food, watch our population growth. I know some people think it is wrong but sex can be done and fun without making a quiverful of babies that no one can afford to educate or feed. OK, I have received the email you sent. Hugs

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        • LOL… an RV to go outside our solar system! 😛 I totally concur Scotty about keeping our pale blue dot healthy. This part of the series is indeed about climate change and its origins, as well as WHY still today only 64% of Americans believe it is happening. So it is equally important to understand why this ignorance persists. One factor, at least for my home state, is what John Zande and I touched on above. But in the next part/post I will get more into how ignorance is manufactured, and cleverly manufactured at that. Therefore, I feel the study and understanding of Not-Knowing is just as critical as “knowing” — or to put it more precisely, understanding the many degrees of knowing.

          In my personal opinion Absolute Certainty is a false human construct which has no place in reality, yet on the other hand, there are most definitely degrees of probability, high probability, and compelling or highly compelling degrees of plausibility. As John alluded to above, truth or certainty are fluid, they can fluctuate in degrees with time, cumulative evolution, and collective intelligence… hopefully for the wiser. I do strongly feel that progressive collective intelligence CANNOT be attained within or under closed Monistic systems of belief.

          Hugs to you too Scottie. Hit me up via that personal email if you’d like. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • OK Professor. I think that nostalgia and inertia have a lot to do with people not wanting to let themselves agree that the climate is changing. But that is not the part of the series for that subject yet? Hugs

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        • Good point about nostalgia and inertia. To your question concerning this part of the series, I went light on climate change because out of the many forms of ignorance, climate change is a little more known — thanks to scientists around the world — by the world population despite the polls showing no change (essentially) in the U.S. The unbiased scientific evidence and facts are easily available for the unlazy to find, read, study, evaluate, compare, contrast, etc, and make an informed EDUCATED decision. If not, then Mother Nature will just slap tha shit out of them in the face or ass at some point. 😉 LOL

          I will concentrate more on the mechanisms of ignorance, than climate change and those horrible politics surrounding it. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • “In my personal opinion Absolute Certainty is a false human construct which has no place in reality” — I agree with you on this Professor, certainly . . . er . . . well, almost certainly. No, seriously, I’m a relativist, unfashionable though it is these days, but it’s the only approach that makes sense to me when one looks (as best one can) at the Big Picture. This is a tremendous article, by the way, for which I here pay you your just dues. Not exactly haiku though, is it? 😉

          Liked by 3 people

        • Hahaha…no, it CERTAINLY is not haiku! And in my study of this enlightening subject, one I am enjoying immensely, it has become quite clear to me that to be fair to self and others, we really should understand the degrees and half-degrees of knowing and not knowing in all its forms, yes? A relativist Hariod is a good, wise, and approachable posture. Bravo Sir!

          Please do return for the remaining parts of the series. I most CERTAINLY want to know/read your feedback! Deal? 🙂

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        • Hariod a question please, by relativist do you mean that you take what is most likely by evidence to be the reality or true thing? Why is it unfashionable ? Thanks. Hugs

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        • OH , yes I would love to listen to a seminar to go into detail on causes and results of those groups. Also if there was unintended consequences they did not want but now can’t stop? Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        • That is “almost-to-most certainly” another eye-opener to delve into Hariod. Thanks for mentioning! I could probably and easily write full blog-posts on them alone! Ugh. Right now I’m condensing a manifesto in a marketing pamphlet from a law firm in New York, NY who profits from and bills to businesses & corporations fighting lawsuits against “Private Self-Appointed Surgeon Generals“. They are “most definitely” on the side of selling uncertainty and sustained ignorance. 😡

          Both of you stay tuned! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Scottie! I spotted your YouTube channel the other day, my friend — lovely to see you and hear you talk. 🙂 By ‘Relativism’ I mean adapting a capacity to see things (e.g. evaluate situations) from differing perspectives, and all at once, as it were, rather than taking a fixed view as being the sole one possible, or the only one you can entertain

          Actually, if we think just about ordinary communication, then for it to flow freely we need to embrace the other’s perspective and meld it into our own. If we don’t, we entrench, the communication becomes polarised in a fixation of clung-to opinions, wouldn’t you say? You very much strike me as a great communicator, someone who listens considerately, but who also states their case and position as seen fit by themselves. That’s Relativism at play, one might say, because you’re holding different perspectives in mind and, although having a felt preference for one in particular, perhaps, your mind is willingly shifting relative to any possible final position in establishing (what is likely a moveable) Scottie’s paradigm — the field of thought within which Scottie’s mind moves. It isn’t to be without opinions in a sort of post-modernist free-for-all of there being no authority to be had in views of any sort, but rather it’s seeing everything contextualised and interrelated, not as discrete ‘objects’ that are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

          Relativism is unfashionable — particularly Moral Relativism — because we live in a world in which we’re all supposed to hold definitive positions, and our leaders, our media personalities too, are all expected to immediately hold definitive positions on pretty much everything. When did you last hear a politician say, “I’ll need to think that through,” or “There are two sides to this argument.“? Hardly ever, right? No, it’s all black and white stances, polarisation, and look at the mess we’re in with World Politics because of it. The media encourages this Absolutism all the time, and will crucify those who won’t take sides, who won’t play the polarising wars of words.

          Apologies for having gabbled on too much already! All best wishes, Hariod.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Thank you Hariod. I appreciate both the compliment and the explanation. I agree with you. I guess I am a relativist also. I was told by a teacher I admired that he learns more by listening than he does by talking. I agree with that, so I do try to listen to what people write or say. I think to have set positions that are unchangeable lacks reason. New information should color your views, understandings, and opinions. As to looking honestly at others views, how would I be able to form a rational opinion on it if I did not listen to what they were saying and try to see it clearly. I can’t respond to others if I don’t comprehend what they are saying. I may think they are saying one thing, and respond wrong because they are saying another. I think it can be summed up by the double circles idea. I have an understanding of reality in one circle. You have another view of reality in your circle. where the circles overlap is where we share a view of reality.

          Lastly, I have been spending time understanding the new idea of identity politics. I still don’t understand it fully. However I do dislike ideas that refuse to see the overall need of a cause by focusing too deeply on the purity of the subject. For example, the fight against discrimination gets messed up when people start trying to determine the degrees one group is discriminated against versus other groups. Rather than saying no one should be discriminated against, I was recently informed that as a gay man I was oppressing women. I kid you not, as a group of college people had a ranking system of discrimination. I thought that effort would have been better spent trying to end discrimination of anyone.

          Thanks again Hariod, I hope this explains a bit how I try to look at things. I like the idea: I don’t know everything and that I can be wrong. I like to learn. Life would be horribly boring if I thought I already knew all there was to know and was always correct. 🙂 Be well. Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

        • See Scottie, you just proved once again that you understand enough of this knowing and not-knowing hubbub in spirit first — your humility — and then by your genuine efforts will know more, and as a result not-know too, 😉 and you will be rewarded (and challenged) for yourself and by others! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the epistemology of ignorance, especially regarding women’s treatment throughout human history” – I look forward to part two, I suspect it will be even more interesting.

    You have the largest horse and cart I have ever seen sir. Hahahahahaha.

    or that lying necessarily leads to more lying.” – I don’t believe you.

    There are times and conditions that do warrant ignorance — it is not always bad.” – Some would say bliss. This can be quite true so long as one never finds out that say their partner lives a double life and spends three months of the year not at a business course in the seashells, but in Las Vegas as Penny Spender the best striptease artist in the US.

    Climate change deniers are sat in the same dingy as flat earthers.

    Most enjoyable Professor, I shall return again for the next segment, and leave you with a song that popped to mind along the above theme.

    – Esmeralda the Empress of Strategic Subterfuge upon the Cloud

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bwhahahaha! Oh my wonderful Dear Lady Esme… you have warmed my heart and tickled my funny-bone! I tell ya and tell tha world, I simply adore you! 😛 ❤

      So my big studly horse and grand cart are quite impressive, eh!? Coming from such a writer, intellect, Steampunk-tress, and delightful sense of humour as yourself Ma'am, I will humbly and graciously accept your kind words! Thank you. (grins ear to ear & does a jumping heel-click)

      Penny Spender-Spindle stripteasing near the Seashells? Ahhh, the wonderful life and worlds of “other” lives and worlds. Hahahaha “A medium vodka dry martini — with a slice of lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred please.” 😛

      Flat Earthers! Hahaha, LOVE IT! I often suggest to Flat Earthers: “Don’t get out much do ya?”

      Esmeralda the Empress of Strategic Subterfuge upon the Cloud” Bwahahaha! We’d make a lethal team you and I! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • We would, but I’d bury you under the patio within a week for all the winking business.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

        I jest, mostly, *laughs*, thank you for all those words sir, I appreciate them, and am glad to find you appreciate mine too.

        – Esme bowing and curtsying still laughing upon the Cloud

        Liked by 2 people

        • (gasps and puffs!)

          Are you suggesting my business is winkering? Or that other near-identically sounding word of self-business!!!!? HAHAHAHAHAHA 😛
          I guess there are worse places than the patio. So I’ve never told you about my condition of blepharospasms?

          Liked by 1 person

        • BWAHAHAHAHA!!! How on this flat Earth did you know that I would find such profound pleasure in that song!? It did me good like it bloody well should! Woman… are you psychic!? 😛 😉

          Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…Linda! Lovelace! ❤
          (hands & wrists begin shaking, including all 10 daughters!)

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve just noticed that two of the suggested videos at the side of that one are ‘Dancing with Tears in your Eyes’ and ‘Is She Really Going out with Him’.

          Hahahahahaha.

          – Esme chortling away upon the Cloud

          Liked by 2 people

  3. A very informative and thought-provoking essay, and I love the Hawking quote. Here’s a few of my observations, for what it’s worth:

    1) The demise of middle class prosperity in the western world, combined with a systematic shift in educational focus from broad-based curricula towards highly specialized occupational training, have denigrated the quality of education systems and reduced the prevalence of critical thinking in the general population – which are both imperative for democratic governance.

    2) The natural, evolutionary state of human cognition is predominantly subjective. We are designed to use intuition, pattern-recognition, and other intellectual shortcuts in order to make decisions quickly. The time-consuming process of unbiased objective thinking is very difficult for us, and the problems detailed above in my first point are making it even more difficult. Yet, I believe the continued survival of our civilization is dependent upon objectivity.

    3) Subjective thinking is a perfect breading ground for emotionalism, reactionary behavior, narcissism, sociopathy, confirmation bias, and a whole host of other psychological conditions which are antithetical to the healthy social organization of large, diverse populations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you kindly Robert, and I think your three points are WELL WORTH repeated readings, contemplation, and digestion! They’re excellent!

      To #1 —
      Yes, the products of capitalism, especially lightly regulated or unregulated capitalism. But not just that, as you point out, the decline of curricula or earnest popularity of the Humanities, Fine Arts, Classic literature and music, etc, everything typically non-technical non-occupational. And for the U.S., one of the most work-addicted, laborous-hours-addicted populace on the planet! 😦

      To #2 —
      Funny you touched on that Robert. I was just having a discussion with another blogger — Iwannabealady — about how our human brains MUST be super-efficient (on about 12.6 watts metabolic-energy) and she had questions. She’s now reading my 6-part series Untapped Worlds. The Part I intro gets into exactly what you said: find shortcuts and quick decisions! However, now that as a species we no longer live in the predatory wild of 40, 60, or 100,000 years ago, we have all evolved and advanced through a time of much more reflection, study, restudy, higher cognitive functions (e.g. abstract complex equations & algorithms), social infrastructure and collaboration (to degrees 😉 ), have landed on the Moon and now pushing on to Mars! But as I think we are both pointing out, hyper-specialization — which is perhaps another word for tunnel-vision? — in particular pockets, groups and/or nations of the world, if ignored or left alone will dilapidate our strides over the millenia for increased objectivity and empathetic tolerance and understanding.

      To #3 —
      You could NOT be more correct Sir! I could tell you some crazy, frightening stories about my years working in the inpatient Psych/A&D field (all ages) and public/charter Special Ed years (4th – 12th grades) with wards-of-the-state kids removed from dysfunctional and highly dysfunctional homes. Everything you’ve stated is so and not improving. Why? If interested in-depth, read The Land of Opportunity? If not, then suffice to say here that by NOT investing short-, mid-, and long-term in your state’s or nation’s youth and their critical quality BROAD common core curricula — like Texas hasn’t been doing the last 25-30 years — one day the volatile social problems become overtaxed diressed, skeletal programs which turn into social unrest/rebellion, which gets much worse after that… for ALL socioeconomic classes!!!

      Great stuff Robert. Thank you for this and your continued feedback & thoughts in the future, I hope! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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