Detail of Monster Maiden #3, by Eric Wayne

These days everything is controversial and there’s little certainty about anything. Take for example the endless battles over what constitutes a healthy diet [consider Jordan Peterson and his daughter only consume beef, salt, and water]. A big part of this is, I suspect, because somewhere along the line people stopped believing that it is essential to defer to the greater argument. It can be frustrating to see the same crackpot “theories” and fallacious arguments circulated endlessly even after they’ve already been logically demolished. A major cause of the demise of deference given to the best argument is a misguided war on reason that has been waged in academia and social movements in the last half century. The way forward requires screwing our heads back on straight and adhering — in general and when appropriate — to coming to shared understanding and conclusions through the universal application of objective reasoning.

Today, everything is subjective, and people can find a community online to bolster whatever conclusion they favor, no matter how ridiculous. Thus, in 2020, Galileo Galilei would be shocked to learn that we are still fighting not only over whether the Earth revolves around the sun or not, but if it’s a sphere or not.

Galileo instructing the Doge of Venice on how to operate the telescope, in a fresco by Giuseppe Bertini.

For all my adult life, as far back as I can remember, I’ve believed that as a guiding principle one is beholden to accept the stronger argument whether one likes it or not. Reality is something we must grapple with, and we ultimately need to abandon our protective bubbles of reassuring fantasy in order to come to grips with reality and see the bigger picture. This is how science works. You wouldn’t be reading this on a monitor and over the internet if scientists couldn’t agree on things like gravity, or whether radiation, though invisible, really exists. Science is built on a cumulative knowledge base that is accepted as the best working model. As such, it is leagues ahead of other disciplines, which so often get tangled in the starting gate, disagreeing on the most fundamental principles. As people often remarked after the dual bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (or the use of napalm, if you prefer) our core humanity lags behind our scientific advancement.

In the arts we are ever so fond of going back to square one, and in the 20th century the most important art was declared to be that which asked the big question, “What is art?” Michelangelo would, I think, be disappointed to learn that over 500 years after he sculpted his interpretation of the biblical David, we can’t figure out what art is. Are we still going to be asking that question in another 500 years? Contemporary artists favor radical revolutions that disavow all that went before and strike out in a new dawn with themselves leading the way, even if it’s just going out on the limb of a futile branch.

Are any of the people who currently despise Western civilization, and particularly the blight on Earth that is American history, willing to go a day, a week, or a month without electricity? I didn’t think so. Internet? No. Netflix?

And so we can learn from the success of science the value of working with cumulative, shared knowledge, and trading in some of our flakier beliefs for the more solid grounding of much better argued and determined conclusions.

But that’s now what we do. Today, our conclusions are not based on the best arguments and evidence, but on allegiance. In America, If you know one or two things someone believes in, you can pretty much guess the rest. Ideas are now weapons in a struggle for power, in which case we keep shooting the weapons we have, even if they are inferior, because they are the weapons of our side. Ideological and cultural warfare doesn’t hold the best argument as sacrosanct, but only its own arguments, its story, its narrative, its ideology.

The news gave up on being objective, and everything is an editorial hammering home the given agenda. News stories are cherry-picked, and the goal is always to corral people into an ideological camp.

Even science is co-opted into producing experiments that will yield a desired result in order to mislead the public. A classic example is the myriad studies that alleged to prove that tobacco was not linked to cancer. Here, we can add business interests to political interests as prime motivators for deceiving the public with seemingly convincing misinformation. When such stories or studies are rebutted, they are allowed to continue anyway, and whichever story is most repeated is generally accepted as true.

Advertisers and marketers know that reality is determined by popular opinion, and popular opinion can be molded through the media. What we believe en masse turns out to be whatever is in the best interests of the select few who cultivate our beliefs. In short, we are being brainwashed by business and politics, and we’ve lost the framework and ability to protect ourselves by being able to find, understand, or even value a much more solid foundation of knowledge.

The Attack on Reason

Reason is a tool by which certain empowered groups retain their hegemony, oppressing other groups; the emotions and experiences of such groups are to be valued over rational argument.

~ Jean-Francois Lyotard

The quote above by Jean-Francois Lyotard is a very popular view in academia today. Reason is the tool of the oppressor, and the anecdotal experience and feelings of “other groups” who are not “empowered” should be valued above rational argument. This is the genesis of stances such as, “I think we all need to listen to what an indigenous person has to say”. Similarly, a poster recently put out by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture claims that “objective, rational, linear thinking” is an “aspect and assumption of whiteness”.

Lyotard’s argument could as easily apply to technology, or even literacy, since powerful groups have used all these things to maintain their hold on power. This doesn’t mean we should abandon reason, or that less powerful groups can’t use it themselves as a tool to oppose oppression. If guns are a tool of the oppressor, than should the oppressed only fight armed militias with hurled sauce pans? Rather than squelch reason in favor of the feelings of oppressed, marginalized, or minority groups, it might be a lot better to give them the tools of reason to help advance their own causes, and allow them to compete better on the world stage. This doesn’t mean you can’t also, eminently reasonably, give voice to their emotions and experiences.

And if the National Museum of African American History & African Culture believes that objective thought is an “aspect and assumption of whiteness” than that’s hardly a criticism of whiteness. Their list also includes hard work, the nuclear family, delayed gratification, being polite, and decision-making among the presumed deleterious characteristics of “whiteness”. This is a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Top portion of poster. CLICK to see the whole image.

If we shit-can objective thinking, what takes it’s place? What if everyone adopts Lyotard’s emphasis on emotions and experience for themselves and their groups? We all then rely predominantly on our feelings and anecdotal evidence to formulate narratives and conclusions which favor our own group. Nobody is able to communicate using a shared system of assessing arguments and evidence, and everyone splinters into their own tribal communities, repeating stock phrases in confirmation-bias echo chambers.

Examples of the abandonment of reason

As much as I’d like to give very specific examples, it’s now become too dangerous. Some factions don’t take prisoners, and anything you say can and will be used against you in a social media maelstrom. Whatever I say is going to make me enemies on whichever side of the fence I choose my example from, though one side is considerably more likely to go for the kill. I’ll give hypothetical examples instead, to play it a bit safer

Any resemblance between the following fictional examples and real politics is purely coincidental.

Example 1

Three cats from three separate households disappear within a day in the same community.

The local news reports that the university biology department has been known to use animals as part of experiments, and there’s heavy suspicion that the cats were abducted by people who sell them to the labs. “You’d be a fool to not interrogate the biology department, ” the anchor insists. It turns out that one of the cats returned home, another was run over by a car, and the third ran away from home and prefers to hang out in the local park. The university hasn’t experimented on animals in over 25 years. The news channel never does a follow up, and thus the impression of their initial report that the university is to blame is popularly believed to be the truth. Here we have the double whammy of cherry-picked news, and that while hyping a sensationalist story is newsworthy, dispelling it isn’t.

Example 2

It is a fact that 85% of lightning strike victims are men, and 89% are white [note, these are real facts according to the CDC!].

A collection of men’s advocates and white identarians form a group called GAPT (Golfers Are People Too) after coming to the inevitable conclusion that bad clouds are attacking white men “out of the blue” for sport. A few harrowing instances of golfers getting struck convinces them that the assault clouds are particularly determined to hurt golfers! It is pointed out that most people harmed by lightning are playing outdoor sports such as fishing and golf, or performing outside jobs such as construction. Additionally, it happens most in the southeastern states. These conditions explain the correlation between white men and being struck by lighting, and that it is their behavior that puts them at greater risk, not the animus of the clouds. GAPT considers those findings as fabricated and sure evidence of a collusion between the general public and the clouds. They continue to repeat their simple statistics, holding their golf clubs high in the air, rain or shine. Here we have people insisting something is true regardless of context which proves otherwise.

Logical Fallacies

A symptom of the widespread loss of respect for the better argument is the prevalence of logical fallacies. The most popular is the ad-hominem fallacy, which is to attack your opponent rather than his argument. The hope is to win the debate by portraying your adversary as a bad or unqualified person, in which case you impugn that his arguments must necessarily also be bad. You can see this everywhere today when someone tries to tell someone else their opinion is not valid because of their anatomy, race, gender, or what have you.

Another popular one is the false dichotomy fallacy, also known as the false dilemma or black and white fallacy. Here the attempt is to give only two choices so that people are forced to choose the desired position. This one is timelessly popular, so I’ll give a couple convenient examples on each side of the political spectrum (and hope doing so cools the wrath of either).

The classic — which George W. Bush spewed in the run-up to the war on Iraq (which was the most protested war in history) — is, “You are either with us or you are against us.” This eliminates the possibility of people having much more nuanced stances, including supporting sanctions but not military intervention, or waiting longer to fully determine if there really were weapons of mass destruction.

“We support our troops” is a related false dichotomy, because it implies that if you don’t support the war, you don’t support the troops. One could easily counter that one supports the troops and thus not sending them off to be injured or die in an ill-fated conflagration.

On the other end of the political spectrum you may have heard recently that “silence = violence” or more specifically “white silence = violence”. Here the underlying notion is that if whites are not vocally protesting against state-sponsored racial persecution and murder of innocent black people, than they support it. This eliminates a myriad of possible middle positions, such as that someone is absolutely against police brutality and racism, but doesn’t believe the whole country is inherently and irredeemably racist, and doesn’t want to pour gasoline on a self-fulfilling prophecy of racial discord.

The very fashionable notion of “white privilege” is also a false dichotomy fallacy because it insists you are either privileged or not, when the vast majority of people are neither. Almost every example of “white privilege” is an example of black underprivilege, but because it’s politically incorrect to call someone underprivileged (because it’s diminutive) the simple solution was to rename the same examples as “white privilege”. However, this is as accurate as labeling all people who are not poor as billionaires. The vast majority of white people are anything but privileged relative to the actually rich and powerful: they are just not historically underprivileged as regards conditions applying to race.

Let me give one more example from the art world. Many argue that all art is political, and that if it isn’t than it supports the status quo. It’s both a false dichotomy fallacy and an ad-hominem fallacy. This is classic art world jargon intended to prop up one kind of art above another without respect to how it looks. Whatever the non-political artwork is, it is inferior because presumably reprehensible. In reality, art can be anywhere on the spectrum from focusing on politics to focusing on pure color, and its quality is largely independent of political beliefs and allegiance.

There are many more logical fallacies, such as the straw-man argument, cherry-picking, anecdotal evidence, the slipper slope, mistaking correlation for causation, and the appeal to authority… I’m sure I slip into my own grab-bag of logical fallacies which I’m as blind to as my own typos; but I think I do a bit better in at least being on-guard for them. When we do zero in on a logical fallacy, we can look for how it might be intended to function, which is usually going to be to try to persuade us of something that is skewed from the truth, intentionally or not, in order to favor the position or standing of the person articulating it.

When it comes to deferring to the greater argument, I’m pretty decent about that because — as I like to say — you are only wrong until you admit your are wrong, and then you are no longer wrong. Often the case is going to be that we were misled, in which case we might be grateful for the opportunity to adjust our sites a little better. But this assumes that we still value facing reality, or engaging in reasonable discourse. To the contrary, everything is now about fighting the oppressive forces, institutions, and people — reality is defined as a perpetual struggle against the oppressor — and hence ideas gain or lose rank in accordance with how well they give ammunition to the cause, and not whether or not they hold water objectively speaking. I’m using a bit of hyperbole here, but you get the idea.

Another fallacy is called the fallacy fallacy, and it’s the assumption a conclusion is wrong because the argument behind it includes fallacies. You could say that the Earth is round because it’s a giant fish egg, and fish eggs are round: the conclusion is correct but the argument is atrocious. So, we wouldn’t conclude the Earth is not round (technically an “oblate spheroid” according to my college geography class] because it is not a giant fish egg. It’s still round, but not because it’s a fish egg. We can only say that the evidence doesn’t support the claim. You could also make a complex argument that included a logical fallacy or two or three, but was overall compelling, just as you could win a chess game while making several lamentably poor moves.

Sometimes, just for the record, the greater argument can be against the primacy of reason and logic, such as when discussing matters of taste, a spiritual type experience, or knowledge derived from decades of committed meditation practice. Some things really are subjective. And it is also the case that an approach to life — including religious belief — can give a structure and meaning that allows one to flourish where they might not if they didn’t practice their faith. Consider all the MMA fighters who thank Jesus after winning their matches. That said, there can be a rational case made for practicing meditation in order to set aside the rational mind; or being positive and optimistic as a force to help you succeed even if reason dictates hope is futile. Advocating those reason-eschewing instances could be the greater argument. And so I would suggest that we abandon our weak arguments and gravitate to the better ones, both for our personal and everyone else’s lives. Then, maybe, we could catch up with science, and not let it have the sole advantage of building on the past and working together, even internationally, to come up with the best shared understanding, wisdom, and practices.

Contrary to the claims of some, reason is not a tool of oppression nor does it belong to any biological or cultural category of people. It is a highly successful way of objective thinking which was conceived by the human imagination within a shapeless and colorless mind. It is used globally in the sciences and has raised the standard of living significantly around the planet. All people, regardless of gender, race, culture, and sexual preference or identification can use it, and it is the only kind of thought we can all share. This doesn’t mean you need to abandon other types of thinking and imagining, but just that where reason is most applicable, we give credence to the best arguments.

~ Ends

17 replies on “We can’t agree about anything because…

  1. A great essay, Eric! I wish you’d stop calling them rants, though. It’s like you’re looking down on your own opinion. Tsk tsk.

    Could it be that it all boils down to trust? Conspiracy theorists and ideological zealots are terrifyingly informed and can go on and on cherry picking their data and maneuvering their arguments to refute any criticism. I’m sure they consider themselves 100% rational, as they cite studies, sources, data.

    It is exhausting to live in an irrational society, constantly questioning your sense of reality. I don’t know what to believe anymore. Climate change remains my biggest concern, and at least there’s consensus among scientists there. If only we all believed them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I got rid of the “rant” part after another person commented.

      The informed zealots and ideologues have memorized talking points from their respective confirmation bias echo-chambers, but can’t field counter arguments. They are all offense and no defense. They haven’t read the studies themselves, and are just parroting someone else. Since they’ve never bothered to find out directly what the other side on the issue thinks and argues, they are completely unprepared to defend their borrowed position.
      If a debate takes place in person this can be difficult, because a Flat Earther, for example, will ask you questions such as why if the Earth is spinning at over 1,000 miles per hour, why aren’t we flung off our feet. If you say that the atmosphere and everything along with it moves with the planet due to gravity, they will ask you to explain how gravity does that. If you say all masses attract other masses and the larger the mass the greater the gravity, they will ask why you can’t then levitate a paper clip. In the end you need to know your science on your own two feet in order to counter their quackery. On their end, they can just say they don’t know the answer, and they put the burden of proof on you to show the Earth is round. You can get stumped, and they think they win. But if you are doing it online, they are utterly doomed because you can do just the teeniest bit of research to find out the answer. And when people are trying to pass off something that’s bunk, the answers are there.

      That doesn’t mean they’ll accept them. I’ve had incidents when debating a topic where I’ve countered a half dozen points or more, but still they don’t concede. That’s the point of this article. People assume even if you have the greater explanation that you are still wrong because the people and paradigm they align themselves with says otherwise.

      The consensus on climate change among actual scientists, including the most qualified ones – climatologists – is absolutely overwhelming. The pot shots from the periphery which are given so much attention issue from mostly people who aren’t qualified (ex., Lord Monckton, who has a degree in journalism), and articles which were not published in peer-reviewed journals. Nevertheless, if you can convince a conservative that CO2 emissions from human activity cause climate change, you deserve a metal.

      On the other side of the spectrum the far left insists that biological sex isn’t real – but somehow you really can be the opposite sex from your biology — which drives biologists nutty.

      I don’t think people are trained in higher education to think rationally anymore, because it is considered so much more important to make students “woke”. This is about implanting a worldview, not equipping the student to determine her or his own. Those who don’t go to college are going to have a hard time learning to think and argue rationally if the greater culture doesn’t value it, and if they aren’t forced (as college students are) to write reams of coherently essays making rational arguments.

      I disagreed with someone in a comment on someone else’s blog, and his retort was that “hate eats your soul”. That is what passes for an argument in today’s world. There’s no way to respond to it without lowering oneself to the same level, where I’d have to defend myself as not being the hater, and then slyly show that he was. Not worth the effort.


  2. I love how your posts make me really think! I wish I was a better writer, I agree on so many points, and I would love to delve deeper on some others, I just have a hard time expressing myself in (typed) words! Just know that you have planted the seeds for many discussions, thoughts, and ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do agree with you that reason is not something we should throw out. However, I also think it’s a tad simplistic to say “defer to the greater argument” or “the better argument should win.” Of course, everyone who engages in reason wants to do that … but sometimes we start from different premises. For example, Scott Adams is a strict materialist who believes that “the end justifies the means.” In his world, the vast majority of people are “illogical” because they don’t buy into his premises or the arguments that flow from them.

    If we want to show that an argument is wrong, we not only have to get into the nitty-gritty of the facts, but also we often have to address the framework of first principles behind the argument. And that can be difficult because they are often invisible to the person making the argument. So you get cases where, when people don’t agree with our first principles, we call them “illogical” or call their entire argument a “conspiracy theory,” which doesn’t address their argument at all and is basically just a way to tar them as a kook.

    I don’t eat an all-meat diet, but when someone has struggled with a stubborn autoimmune disorder their entire life, and they find a diet tweak that works for their body, I’m loathe to call that a conspiracy theory. It is based on years of personal trial and error. It does not follow that everyone should eat only meat. Why should we ask someone to sacrifice their hard-won balance of personal health on the altar of conventional wisdom about what’s good for most people?


    1. Hi Jennifer:

      Just because Scott Adam’s utters the accusation that people who don’t agree with materialism are “illogical” doesn’t mean he possesses the better logical argument. Just labeling people is no argument, it’s the fallacy of the ad-hominem attack. And there are lots and lots of people who trot out the word “logical” in relation to a couple ideas they’ve strung together, but can’t hold their own if you add a third idea that counters theirs. Scott Adam’s annoys me, incidentally.

      You wrote, “you get cases where, when people don’t agree with our first principles, we call them “illogical” or call their entire argument a “conspiracy theory,” which doesn’t address their argument at all and is basically just a way to tar them as a kook.” If someone isn’t addressing an argument at all, then they obviously don’t have the better argument, because they’re not even making one.

      In both your examples people are merely hashing out labels. That doesn’t make the idea of deferring to the greater argument “simplistic”, it merely makes someone posing as “logical” simple minded.

      I didn’t call Jordan Peterson and his daughter’s diet a “conspiracy theory”. I used their diet as an example of a field where we can’t agree on anything.

      “Why should we ask someone to sacrifice their hard-won balance of personal health on the altar of conventional wisdom about what’s good for most people?”

      Did I say we should? This is tantamount to saying that if someone is allergic to peanuts they should eat them anyway because they have protein and healthy fats. For the record I don’t argue that all people should eat the same diet regardless of allergies or autoimmune disorders. What I do maintain is that in general, it’s very difficult to get any consensus on diet, because people are arguing for opposite extremes. Jordan Peterson is here just an example of an intelligent, highly educated person who adhered to an extreme diet that is obviously at odds with what we are generally told (ex., no fiber and no vitamin C should have a bad result).

      Note that in your comment you are trying to make the greater argument by panning back and including more examples and seeming contradictions. If you were right, I’d have to defer to your argument. As is, I agree with what you are saying about Adams and the Petersons (as long as they don’t recommend their diet to the general population), but that doesn’t mean it’s “simplistic” to give credence to the greater argument. It means that in the examples your provided we can dismiss bad arguments, and self-inflated bad arguments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you are right, you didn’t actually refer to Michaela Peterson’s all-beef diet as a conspiracy theory. It was a little hard to tell just how skeptical you were being about it. The Atlantic article that you linked was rather snarky, and in the past you’ve referenced Jordan Peterson eating only beef as if you thought it was because he was trying to appear manly, rather than because of an autoimmune disorder (which argument perhaps didn’t come from you originally, but borders on ad hominem). It looks like you’ve dug into it more since then.

        Medical and diet related stuff is a particularly tricky example of this phenom, because it’s in the realm of hard science so you’d think there would be well-established principles that apply the same way to everyone, but yet that doesn’t seem to be the case. Sometimes, even opposite things seem to work for different people. It seems that people’s physiology varies much more than traditionally thought, almost to the extent that it’s not possible even for an expert in the field to know what’s right for – or wrong with – a given patient who might be an outlier.

        I don’t have time to respond to the other, meta stuff that you said, but I am with you.


        1. Hi Jennifer:

          You got me. I do wonder if Jordan likes to think of himself as a bit of a carnivore. I am very familiar with him, and my opinion is mostly very positive. I listened to a lot of his lectures — I think I made it through one of his series in its entirety about psychology — and I even did his program for self mastery, or some such thing. He’s a bit of a hero for standing up to the far left ideology that’s overtaken academia, and now spreading throughout society. They tried to destroy him, and they failed to do it in the way intended. But I haven’t heard anything from him in a long time, so I worry he may have suffered in other ways from all the conflict.

          Knowing who he is and how he sees himself, yeah, I can see him liking being a lion, or something like that. Now, that’s just a silly hunch, and may have very little to do with his diet. He could be the extremely rare person who can’t eat any fruit, vegetables, or anything which would have been the primary diet of our ancestors.

          You say diet is based on hard science. Well, to the degree that’s possible. But a lot of that science is funded by industries who are paying for a certain outcomes. In that way “science” works like a lawyer making a case for a client. It’s science for hire to create a desired outcome, and so the experiments are skewed on the outset — especially using cherry-picking, and simply excluding contrary evidence, even if it’s overwhelming — so that the client’s business interests win. Everyone eats, and food is big business. What we believe about diet is largely constructed by the food industry so that we buy their products. They have the power to fund research, produce ads, lobby politicians, and so on.

          But, in my own experience, I personally can’t 100% trust any source on diet. There’s too much vested interest involved, and even subconscious desires to believe this or that. So, my point isn’t just that people can’t choose the right diet because they lack sufficient power of reasoning, but that, in that case, it’s extremely confusing because of high-credentialed authorities on all sides of the spectrum promoting even opposite diets.

          Where we can, we can go to the greater argument if there’s a public debate, and a clear last word is established. Even then we only have, as science does a “working best model”.

          Joe Rogan had the producer of “Game Changers” [a vegan documentary], James Wilkes, on his show to debate Chris Kresser, after a podcast in which Chris spent 3 hours “debunking” Game Changers. Well, when James got on the show he won almost every single point. It was an overwhelming defeat. Nevertheless, within months Joe went on a carnivore diet.

          Joe, much as I like him, is a pretty good example of what I’m talking about in this article. He’s very intelligent, but he doesn’t stay anchored. His views flutter about, and even if something has been proven on his own show, he’ll do the exact opposite if the mood strikes.

          Recently, he had Ben Shapiro on. During it he actually argued that Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem was “more respectful” of America and the flag than just putting his hand over his heart. On either side of the political spectrum that is cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

          He’s like flip-flops on a rotisserie.

          In short, diet is an example where the public doesn’t have clear answers because we not only don’t value the greater argument, but also we can’t even access it. It becomes for most people a question of belief rather than science. Though I’m quite sure there’s a lot about lifestyle as well. There’s a reason a pseudo-scientific article about how “Butter is Back” ended up on the front cover of Time magazine.

          Meanwhile, quite honestly, I prefer to believe the studies that say coffee is good for you in moderation. I don’t like the ones that say you have to take caffeine out of your diet.

          As usual, it’s wonderful getting your feedback, and keeping me on my toes. You did catch me out and reel me back in on my probably spurious notion that Jordan fancies himself a lion. I really like Jordan — have for years — but like all of us, he’s got his strengths and his weaknesses.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ha! Great reply.

            Yes, Joe Rogan is an interesting thinker, but definitely not methodical. It’s as if he tries different positions out in a combative way to see how they feel, almost like a person picking up different tools or weapons and swinging them around. At least, that’s my impression from the small amounts of him that I’ve listened to.

            About JP, I know he famously has a lot of self-discipline but I don’t think anyone could have enough self-discipline to live only on beef just to act out some kind of identity. I saw him asked about his all-beef diet a year or two ago, and he confessed that it’s boring and restrictive. Like the person in the article you link to, it means you can’t walk into a cafe and have a snack, for instance. In fact, that is one point made in Good Calories, Bad Calories: people just can’t put away as much meat in one sitting as they can as plant-based food. You get full more quickly. So I don’t think anyone would stick to a strict carnivore diet unless, as with Michaela Peterson, they are literally forced to by severe health problems … or unless they were raised on meat and their body expects it, as with the traditional Inuit diet.

            About where JP has been, this year has been hell for their family. His wife got cancer and almost died a number of times. Then JP had a bad food reaction, then a bad (rare) reaction to a medication he was on. It was basically a yearlong ordeal of trying to find a medical professional who could figure out what was going on and help him. He did an interview with his daughter on her YouTube channel where they explain it all. It sounds nightmarish. In that interview, you can hear that he is still speaking more slowly than normal and you can see that he still has a slight tremor.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I immediiately thought the same thing as Gabriela; you havt to stop calling them ‘rants.’ Your modesty is doing you a great injustice and may put off some new followers of your blog from reading your brilliantly lucid essays.
    Saying that, I will have to read this ‘rant’ several times to fully assimilate all that you have discussed here. That’s my problem. However, I remain a little more positive and optimistic than you appear to be. Indeed, my FEDI (Flat Earth Disbeliever Incinerator) is going to sort everything out. Trust me.


  5. ‘whichever story is most repeated is generally accepted as true.’
    Just about sums up the current state of the world for me😏
    Oh and I lived most of my life in South Africa, lightning kills a hell of a lot of people there.. And only some of them are on the golf courses 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here’s a short 5-minute clip from a much longer video that has been quickly deleted from just about every social media site. It features “Dr.” Stella Immanuel insisting that she has personally cured hundreds of patients with Covid-19 through the use of hydroxychloroquine.

    This same Stella Immanuel has also made questionable claims in the past such as “Endometriosis is caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches,” and that “alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are creating a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.” She also claims that the government is run by “reptilians.”

    I’m not sure how you could change anyone’s mind about this if that’s what they believe. Meanwhile, right-wing groups spread this stuff like quickfire on the ‘net in the past couple of days. I don’t know how you could even start a sane argument about this.


    1. Thanks for sharing, Alli:

      I hadn’t seen the video and rather enjoyed her accent and passionate delivery. I’m perhaps even more interested in meeting my “spirit wife” for amorous dream encounters.

      I’m getting that her inclination to believe some of these things may stem from her own background and culture, and her religion.

      Yeah, you’re right, I think. In her case, with that level of passion and conviction, there’s no convincing her other than that aliens are involved at the highest levels, and we can be seduced in our sleep by demons and witches…

      That said, she could still be onto something with hydroxychloroquine, and zinc…, or at least NOT using ventilators. I’ve seen some info from more conventional sources supporting similar treatments. But I haven’t been following the medical end of COVID for some weeks now and have no idea what the most recent findings are. And COVID is the perfect example of the layman not being able to discover the truth because there’s all sorts of information and misinformation to wade through, and some of it is patently ridiculous.

      At least she didn’t say that COVID was caused by demon sperm. So, tentatively speaking, I’m tending to be emotionally persuaded that she actually did cure those more than 300 patients, or at least that they didn’t die. Without evidence it’s up in the air, but for argument’s sake I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. That’s still anecdotal evidence unless it’s corroborated by other doctors. I know Trump was taking hydroxychloroquine weeks ago as a preventative, so I’m sure this makes him feel validated. I gather he didn’t figure out a way to beam UV inside the body, or, uh, how to inject himself with disinfectant…

      I’m guessing the right is running with the story because they are all about not wearing masks in the name of freedom. Well, where I live everyone wears masks and there are lots of precautions. We also have among the lowest number of cases in the world, despite being the first country infected outside of China, and at one time the most likely candidate for an outbreak of the coronavirus. I can’t be sure why our numbers are so low, but wearing masks is a likely candidate.

      And now, after looking at all that stuff, I feel I’ve moved a few feet over into cuckoo land.

      Thanks again for sharing.


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