I’ve been quiet lately, pondering many thoughts, stories, articles, books and sources of information. Which means I’ve been pretty busy, just not busy writing here.
I’ve picked up a number of good books by Richard Carrier which has me totally engrossed in their contents. At any given time, there must be five books or so that I’m reading, picking them up between other tasks and chores, reading until I stop, and then perhaps returning to them the same day or even a month later. I find that this works pretty good for me, I still manage to get a lot done while keeping up on the material that interests me.
I note that the online world of entertainment, distraction, deception and phony news is the same, so I didn’t miss anything there. I’ve kept the television off too, our one station (ABC) not worth watching (at all) and not even watching any movies or DVD’s. Why bother?
Of worthwhile interest is my decision to write less / do more. The reasons are many, most notably that despite a whole lot of hoopla, announcements and arm-waving, I’m quite convinced we are all pretty well screwed. Specifically, none of us have as much time left as all the news, reports, analysis and pundits think we do. Television or movies ranks very, very low, almost non-existent on my bucket list of things I’d still like to do.
I am personally persuaded that there is nothing more to really be done to extend our remaining time on Planet Earth. All talk of mitigation, adaption, or even survival for what lies ahead is really a deceptive distraction to a terrible truth. If the discussion of these topics does not include extinction, it’s not a real, authentic discussion, and is most definitely not based upon (all) the facts, evidence or events now occurring.
There is now a growing body of evidence that the time left to each of us is indeed shorter than we think. Far, far shorter than what we are being told. This blog for many years has been focused on collapse. The indicators, events, reasons and cause. Why (devastating) collapse will likely happen. Eventually, this became vogue and was picked up elsewhere too. Collapse preceeds extinction. Doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the environment and range of species or a entire civilization, collapse still comes first.
Some are leap-frogging ahead to extinction. Not that this matters much, but this can tend to blur the human response that will occur. Efforts at mitigation, adaption preceding collapse or following collapse are being overlooked. Even surviving the collapse is being passed over. Ignoring these isn’t practically realistic (what we will actually “do”), as it will encompass many years and millions, even billions of lives and untold human effort at survival and suffering.
It’s worth discussing. It’s worth being aware of, because it will happen. It’s worth everything we can give it – because despite any claims to the contrary, we will struggle to survive – even if we know it is hopeless.
All life struggles to live. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ameboa or an ant or a giraffe, living is what life tries to do. We love life in reality, and unless we are handicapped by severe depression and despair, staying alive is what we will continue to do, for as long as we can.
This brings up a critically important and relevant point. The evidence shows that all creatures, large and small, love life by the evidence of the never ending struggle to survive. Even when faced with death, live struggles to stay alive. Higher animals like humans do no less. We struggle to stay alive, to stay young, to stay healthy, vibrant, existing however we can. Death is not something we aspire to. Life is.
Relevant to all of the above, is an understanding of “what is truth”. Carrier has broken down a methodology of how humans can come to understand the truth. This methodology can be applied to any information we are exposed to or investigating. I find this rather fascinating because of my own keen interest in understanding what is real, and discarding what is fake.
It may not seem important to always strive to understand truth, but it’s actually critically important. Untruths can deeply and dramatically affect your worldview. Even more important, they can affect your way of life. They can lead to disasterous mistakes and bad decisions.
Imagine a world of vast untruths embraced by billions of people, what might that be like? This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, because it is an accurate description of our world today.
Untruths can create a false sense of security and illusionary existence. On the other hand, understanding truth obliterates falsehoods where possible. Correspondingly, how you actually live your life and the experiences you have gain deeper meaning and insight.
Life “planning” is far, far more then pursuing a income level, or a career or projecting how comfortable you might be in retirement. Life planning is really about understanding. And understanding is really about knowing the truth. If you embrace a falsehood unknowingly, then you are screwing up your life planning and therefore your experiences you do or might have had.
Life planning is also about the daily experience of living. How fulfilling would life be, how meaningful and how accurate if falsehood were what governs your daily experience? This is actually a really huge deal that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. What governs what you think, say, do, accept, reject or plan for has everything to do with seperating out truth from fiction.
On the other hand, if you don’t do this, you can certainly go on to live your life. The experiences, expectations, results and relationships however, will be dramatically affected.
Your mileage “may vary” as they say, but the level of awareness, depth of understanding, and how you go about making decisions (which has a big impact on your quality of life) will be dramatically affected, and not for the better. You may even dramatically shorten your life because of your unawareness or ignorance. You can also have lessened your life quality, and if so, can reasonably expect additional problems, difficulties, setbacks and issues to come up, which can even include losing your life.
It’s up to you how you want to spend your life. Having analysed my own life, I chose to learn as much as I can, as both time and interest and opportunity permit. As a result, I had to change many of my worldviews over the years as my understanding, knowledge and awareness grew. What I didn’t really know and understand in the past is how some the mechanics of this worked. As it turns out, it’s fairly well understood. I’ve used the term “self-education” many times, but that’s actually a pretty broad brush to “getting smarter” and “more aware” so that you can live your life accordingly to what you’ve learned. There’s much more to it than this, but that first step of educating yourself is definitely necessary.
Knowledge about the world is learned. Awareness comes from learning. Knowledge, facts, “truths” are also learned. Experience teaches wisdom (if you’re learning, or simply bullhead stupid stubborness if you’re not).
The morons that I’ve oft denigrated here are found in all walks of life and are not limited to the “uneducated” at all. Even educated, “learned” morons exist (in large numbers), refusing to apply essential criteria to what is actually true, and what is not. Various studies have been conducted demonstrating just how many fictions people accept as truth, and how many truths they actually reject. The results are startling to say the least. Intelligence is declining (in America) while education has has actually increased (required and optional years of schooling). Obviously, something is wrong as this should indicate just the opposite (ie., “fewer morons”). Something else is happening.
The Meaning of Words
Words are how we convey information, but we do have to understand the meaning of words, which is by shared experience or a similar experience. This is the very basis of how we communicate and pass on knowledge and information.
Words are the names of things we can experience or imagine. To be meaningful however, they must convey shared experience, or we must have a similar experience. Experiences are many different kinds; thoughts, sight, sounds, feelings and many others. All experiences however, are of one or another basic type: those that are irreducible, or those that can be reduced to other components.
The meaning of words can be understood from our experience. Getting at the real meaning of words can be analyzed for their root meaning, original usage and so forth, but this may not have any real relevance today because the meaning of words can sometimes change. How a word is actually used is. To identify what a word properly means, it is necessary to observe the word being used.
Words are most useful when expressed in statements, which convey propositions. You can think of this as “something declared to be true”. Statements can be examined whether or not they are true by using the methods described below.
There are stipulations and references, descriptions and opinions, moral imperatives, wishes and commands, facts and hypotheses found in statements. They can all be examined for what is true, and what is not. Contradictions, convolutions and other narratives are also words or statements that can be examined for whether they are true or untrue.
Which brings us to how they should (versus “can”) be examined in order to arrive at truth.
Only an accurate method that can demonstrate success should be adopted. The method is simply a tool, it is not the truth we are seeking to establish. An accurate method will demonstrate predictive consistent success. An inaccurate method will often fail. The failure will also mean that our assumptions we are testing are also false.
Here are the methods shown by Carrier, in order of high to low ranking (accuracy, evidence and plausibility):
1) The method of reason (logic / mathematics).
2) The method of science.
3) The method of experience.
4) The method of history.
5) The method of expert testimony.
6) The method of plausible inference.
A full explanation of methods can be found on pages 49-61, “Sense and Goodness without God”, by Richard Carrier. It would be important to read all the proceeding pages for a complete understanding of words, meaning, descriptions, and the proposition of words (experience) and how we can actually understand words themselves.
I’ll do my best to summarize these here:
The method of reason (logic and mathematics) produces the broadest, most complete and most consistent success, and excels over all other methods due to rigourous rules.
The method of science uses empirical evidence, all of which can be tested, repeated and documented. The scientific method has shown itself to be far superior to our own casual observations.
The method of experience is what we have actually observed and is more reliable then any of the methods that follow, but falls short of both science and reason, precisely because it is far less rigorous.
The method of history lacks the ability of direct observation, but still offers critical historical analysis of what is more believable than what is not.
The method of expert testimony ranks fifth. It is reasonable to trust experts more than non-experts who we have good evidential reasons to believe have applied one of the more accurate methods to a problem and reached well-founded conclusions from them if these experts meet certain test of reliability (pertinent qualifications, corroboration by many other experts, and demonstrative proof of non-bias).
The method of plausible inference is the least reliable method, using inductive logic without direct evidence, yet offering compelling arguments.
The “method of pure faith” is not usable or reliable for a determination of truth, relying on tradition, hearsay, desire or mere speculation and is not included as a method at all because it simply isn’t. Anything could be true (or false) with this “method” (and often claimed to be) and therefore, this can’t be a method at all, since it relies on virtually nothing as evidence.
Simple belief is not evidence of anything, and cannot be subjected to any of the higher methods of accuracy, evidence or plausibility. We ought not to simply ‘guess’ at what is true or want to be true, without requiring any proof, because we know as a matter of experience that ungrounded assertations are usually false. Moreover, they are caused by processes that are not truth-finding (acceptance of any kind of claim without evidence as being true).
Any real method can be utilized, provided it’s applicable, but the best methods should always be employed wherever possible.
The importance of method cannot be understated when attempting to arrive at the truth.
I’ve applied all of the above methods to the whole meme of “collapse” and human / planetary extinction and many other topics. The results are both startling to the unintiated, and sobering to the informed. The growing body of evidence that more than suggests we are in collapse – leading to human extinction – is “truth” and can be verified by methods 1 through 6. All of these have been utilized by scientist and experts in their respective fields and reported here.
Rather than claiming “you believe in global warming” (or anything else), the methods above can demonstrate that belief is neither relevant nor descriptive of what is actually true and what is not.
Much of the evidence (blog writings with links, quotations, video and pictures) presented here on this blog describes either one or more of the methods above. This is the “proof” as it were, that higher level methods versus “belief” were utilized, demonstrating the accuracy, evidence and plausibility of collapse.
Over the many years of this blog, I’ve gone back and forth over “how” to get this information out, using humor, ridicule, direct quotes, assessments and many compilations of scientific results from experts, direct observations and plausible inference. What I “believe” is utterly irrelevant, as is what you “believe”. We either accept the actual evidence or we go on pretending that it is either not real, or doesn’t matter.
My strongly worded suggestion is to use these tools whenever possible to help identify what is true and what is not. Much of the information in media today (on and offline) is pure propaganda, fabricated “evidence” and outright hearsay and has absolutely nothing at all to do with the truth. I categorically reject such nonsense as a root deception that governs and infects our society. The alternate media is becoming a sick, sad joke on the rest of us (in many, but not all cases), using conjecture, hearsay, straw arguments and outright nonsense as “evidence” of the claims made.
Bad decisions are made from bad information which come from a lack of understanding, comprehension, acceptance and growth. Learning is essential and what we are being “taught” by many others is often pure garbage, intentionally keeping people from being fully informed, aware and capable of making meaningful decisions in their lives. I won’t take the time to go into the reasons why this is being done as I’ve already covered this before.
What We Do Now
What each of us actually does with our remaining time is perhaps, the most important, the most relevant and the most urgent topic of all, something that I am personally giving a lot of thought to. Spending our time wisely, doing the things we love, not on frivolity or banal distractions, but on what is meaningful to us with the time we do have.
I anticipate that I will write less and do more (if I can, I’m in a great deal of pain). I actually have to stop working now for health reasons. In many ways, I’ve done what I can to “educate the Meeple” but it’s more or less an abject failure. “Curing stupidity” isn’t easy, and demonstrably hasn’t worked very well. We’re still very much on the same path we always were, headed straight over the cliff. Disaster awaits.
It’s time to enjoy life while I / you still can. I’ll return here with “something” in time, I’m sure, life is too interesting (and too valuable) to not want to “share”, even if it is just another useless rant.