Sunday, 17 December 2017 22:14

A Technocratic Cultural Revolution

Written by

Introduction

The advent and rapid acceleration of information technologies have opened up increased opportunities for inclusion and participation, as well as making possible more de-centralised and autonomous methodologies of administration, project leadership and resource management.

The principles envisioned by the organisation named Technocracy Incorporated were based on the regimented industrial and managerial processes dominant during the first half of the 20th century, when the most powerful information technologies were television and radio, and when the most advanced and rational form of management was the tayloristic factory floor.

While the EOS have always found Energy Accounting a fascinating model to develop on in terms of a future system of resource management, we initially found the forms of management organisation envisioned by the US-based organisation to be outdated, and to a certain degree authoritarian or with the risk for falling into authoritarianism. Instead, the EOS has, through the Design document and its articles, proposed a system of autonomous Holons consisting of highly specialised and competent volunteer members and professionals.

A large part of this is not only a matter of a difference in managerial and ideological traditions between the eras, but also in terms of emerging technologies. Within EOS, within the scope of our means, we are utilising these new technologies and managerial systems to maximise our current resource base.

What this article will discuss is not the internal structural management of our organisation, but rather how the introduction and implementation of technocratic thinking as an integral cultural aspect of collaboration within a future sustainable global civilisation. The rise of the Internet, and its continued growth towards its full potential, can aid in the creation of a diamond age of humanity, but currently – in the United States and many parts of Europe – we are experiencing the ascent of mutually hostile echo chambers, digital tribes building on their own narratives and feeding on a sense of acute threat from rival tribes. This coupled with an increased acceptance of mob justice and trial by popular opinion can, if we are not careful, tumble some of the most technologically advanced societies on Earth down into chaos. That is an unacceptable situation, not only in itself but especially in relation to the convergence of crises we are finding ourselves in today.

No matter what level of governance we are talking of, local, regional, national or global, and no matter what communication system we utilises, it stands clear that the technocratic virtues must be a part of the future discourse, if we want to have a future that is, and must balance the creative democratic tendencies.

In order to preserve and build on the framework that underpins the principles of liberal democracy, these virtues are crucially needed today when every person with a cell-phone is not only a consumer of information, but also a potential producer.This is going to be the first in a series which will elaborate on the role of technocratic principles both inside our movement and in society at large

TL;DR summary

  • The existence of the Internet and its communities has empowered the average person to become a creator of content.
  • Traditionally, information has been produced by central nodes and divulged in a linear and vertical manner.
  • Today, information is more and more produced locally, and is interactive in the sense that articles, videos and sound content can be commented on, reused and reproduced by the audience, which also can interact with the creator.
  • We view this development as mostly positive, since these platforms allow for people to create and organise.
  • Sadly, the Internet has always been abundant with disinformation, grand conspiracy thinking, medical and pseudoscientific quackery, rumour-spreading, incitement to violence and especially ethnically based conflict paradigms.
  • Since the Internet allows the user to utilise time as they want, increasingly people are drawn, both by their own volition and by search engine algorithms which adapt to the search pattern of the user to find their preferences, and thus invariably echo chambers are created.
  • These environments existed at their infancy already during the 1980’s, but with billions of users today, billions are exposed for disinformation or information with an alternative slant.
  • Censorship and pre-approval by panels would in the short term diminish the challenge, but create slower and more cumbersome, bureaucratic platforms, and are also potentially a threat against dissenting voices and whistle-blowers who might possess information of which there is a genuine public interest.
  • The risk for a breakdown of civic order and an acceleration of destructive behaviours due to abuse of the Internet should not be ruled out – previous technologies such as Radio and the Printing Press have both been utilised as platforms for instigating genocide.
  • We argue that many of the infant diseases we are seeing within the user base of the Internet is rather attributable to the dumbing down effects of Television and Marketing.
  • It stands clear that we need a culture of authoritative knowledge and fine-tuned critical thinking skills, an increased awareness of biases and preferences and – apart from an improved general knowledge of scientific topics – that the knowledge and application of the scientific method should be ingrained into the human civilisation.
  • The technocratic virtues are not only useful in this regard – they are essential.
  • Ultimately, we need a Technocratic Cultural Revolution.

Different types of information technologies

All types of technologies can be subdivided into several categories. Within engineering for example, we can see a clear difference between construction materials and engines as disciplines. Within information technology, we can see a stark difference between a film camera and a microphone, where one is focused on the visual realm and the other on the audial.

There are other types of categories as well, more subtle than the obvious ones. There is a difference between an old cell phone and a new one in terms of functionalities. There are also varying brands of cell phones.

The type of categorisation system we will be focused on for this segment within the realm of information tech would be distributed contra centralised information systems.

  • A centralised information system is characterised by one or several central nodes that is transmitting information through sub-nodes vertically and linearly, which the end-users receive as consumers of information, with a limited to non-existent capacity to interact with in any substantial manners apart of that as receiver. Examples could be bureaucracies, churches, traditional corporations, early radio, Television.
  • A distributed information system, on the other hand, is characterised by an environment where all receivers have the capability to be nodes in their own right to a certain extent. Examples: writing, postal systems, amateur radio, the telephone network and the Internet.

Of course, most distributed systems are not truly distributed in the technical sense. Postal systems, telephone networks and the Internet are all dependent on nodes which may be fully regimented or centralised, or simply limited in regards to their number in relation to the number of users. To take the Internet as an example, there are a limited number of ISP’s – eliminate them and the Internet is taken down. But Internet is truly de-centralised in its characteristic that every consumer potentially is a producer.

This presents opportunities which are well-known, and challenges which are less investigated.

One analogy would be a previous information revolution, namely the invention and application of the printing press during the 15th century in Western Europe. Prior, books had been rare and pamphlets a de-facto monopoly for the Catholic Church and the worldly rulers – because only they could afford the scribes, and every manuscript had to be copied for hand, which meant that it was comparatively easy to control the production and distribution of texts, while it subsequently was quite difficult to administrate a region due to the time consumption and inefficiency in reproducing the same document.

While the advent of the early printing presses did not de-centralise the production of information that much, they did much to de-centralise the reception. Previously, priests and heralds had divulged the information to the public, but with mass production of books and pamphlets the market grew and the power could eventually become less centralised, especially in regard to spiritual matters. The Catholic Church had for centuries been the wealthiest institution in Western Christendom, and apart from utilising legal and physical means of silencing dissent against the Trinitarian doctrine or against Church policies, the Church had a huge benefit in comparison to lone dissenters or heretics who before the application of the printing press had to painstakingly copy all of their texts physically, often with a clear danger to their lives.

With press houses, dissenters like Martin Luther and Jean Calvin could mass produce their texts faster than Rome could react, and thus avoid prison or the stake. The Printing Press amplified the voices of those with a message, and equalised their impact in relationship to the resources of the Papacy. This can be compared to today, in regards to whistle-blowers like Wikileaks, and their effect upon the policies of superpowers.

By removing or at least downplaying the role of priests in acting as interpreters of spiritually themed messages, Martin Luther set the stage for the German Peasants’ War and one and a half century of instability culminating in the Thirty Years’ War, the until then bloodiest conflict Europe had ever seen. Regarding the Peasants’ War, it could partially be said to have been a result of the Bible becoming accessible to laymen preachers who reinterpreted the scripture to justify a rebellion against the feudal order and for the destruction of the prevailing class hierarchy in early 16th-century Europe.

With fewer Bibles and no printing presses, it is doubtful whether these rebellions would have had such a destructive impact (it should however be stated that the foundations for these rebellions were not new technologies but rather injustices and famine years taken together, and peasant rebellions had happened throughout the Middle Ages when printing technology had not even been in its infancy, such as Wat Tyler’s famous rebellion during the early reign of Richard II).

Stating that, the printing press made it easier for dissidents or malcontents to organise, and for seditious writing to spread, as well as distributing rather than concentrating power. Therefore it also contributed to the chaos in the then Holy Roman Empire for more than a century.

The rise of the trolls

One of my acquaintances once said, that if our civilization would be wiped out tomorrow, and aliens would receive transmissions from the early 21st century worldwide web, they would find that most of the content consisted of pornography and cats, so they would think that we as a culture probably were very interested in the act of procreation and that we worshipped feline deities.

The Internet, due to its distributed nature, provides every user with an abundance of platforms from which the user can spread information and interact with others. This has created many useful academic tools and platforms, such as search engines, torrent sites, platforms such as Wikipedia, Khan Academy and video hosting communities such as Youtube, Vimeo and Dailymotion.

Another facet of the Internet since its release has been that it easily could provide anonymity, and the opportunity for users to create fake identities. While this has had some positive effects in individual lives, for example for abuse victims, it has also led to a thriving environment for disinformation and the dissemination of false rumours intended to be used for self-serving or purely malevolent ends.

Yet another type of disinformation all too readily received by millions of people have taken fertile ground on the Internet, namely the spreading of different types of woo and the various snake oils spread by self-declared medical experts who at the same time – for purely selfish ends – are trying to discredit mainstream remedies (who by themselves might not be perfect or underdeveloped or overpriced, but which are produced within processes which at least aim to control their effects on the human body and the environment).

Add to it the conspiracy and alternative reality communities, which increasingly are forming their own self-referencing loops, with connections to climate change denial and largely (for this particular moment in time) right-wing politics on the fringe, and their quite impressive growth rate.

Now, these three tendencies of disinformation are increasingly being merged together into a toxic brew. For example, conspiracy communities like Infowars are increasingly peddling snake oil supplements, while those who traditionally mostly have sold woo increasingly have begun peddling conspiracies, and while the trolls of the 90’s and the 00’s were mostly engaged in their activities out of boredom, trolling today have become increasingly professionalised in order to stir up emotions for economic and political gain, and are starting to have both short-term and long-term effects on politics.

Even the most ludicrous ideas are being spread like wildfire – for example the Flat Earth community has seen an enormous resurgence. Today there are actually people who are gaining considerable earnings on selling Flat Earth beliefs to willing acolytes.

Having said that, just like the Anabaptists of the 16th century and the advent of the printing presses, the concerns which are feeding support for the more polarising segments of the political spectrum are real, even if the proposed solutions may be both reactionary and ludicrous. For a reference, see the article Globalism contra Nationalism previously published here.

Given that, imagine an alternate world where the Internet never was released to the public, and the effects of populism and polarisation would probably take a slower hold (at least in Europe, in the United States right-wing talk radio expanded rapidly already during the 1990’s). It would be a world where information would travel slower, but also one where the conspiracy theories have not gained the enormous traction of today.

One must see this as a trend, and the bucket does evidently still roll down the slope. The ferocity of the polarisation and the creation of echo chambers, both on the left and the right, driven – ironically – by hyperdemocratic impulses of self-replication and the organic spreading of memes, is today leading to a rapid fracturing of communities throughout the developed world.

Unimpeded, this process could end with situation reminiscent of the civil wars suffered by Colombia, beginning with La Violencia during mostly the 1950’s. When political opponents start to view one another as enemies who cannot be understood, the room for civic discourse shrinks and an increased readiness to take to force establishes. It can seem far-fetched today, but there is a possibility that we could see large-scale democides take place inside western nations within ten years, if society continues to fracture between political, ethnic and sectarian groupings.

The Response

The powers that be are obviously in a state of growing fear of losing control of the narrative, possibly both for genuinely altruistic reasons (preventing a collapse of order and future genocides), and also for pragmatic reasons. After all, there are agendas which obviously will impact parts of the population negatively in the short run (neoliberal reforms, free trade agreements which reduce the capability of states to conduct economic policies, trying to avoid characterising certain forms of crime in shapes which may stir up tensions between groups) but which the establishment largely is convinced will create a better future for everyone in the long run. These sentiments are understandable. Ultimately, any kind of establishment must primarily ensure to keep a certain type of equilibrium, and any loss of stability does not only threaten the establishment but also the entire population, often most those dissatisfied groups who most loudly call for reform.

A number of policies have been enacted, both by states and by private entities, in trying to curb the growth of this polarisation. Other policies have been proposed, but not enacted. Here are a few examples:

  • Many online newspapers have removed their comment fields, after the comments became dominated by a minority or majority of voices filled with vitriol and negativity, often related to subjects such as foreign policy, immigration, trade, security and integration.
  • Facebook has been pressured by European governments to remove certain pages which may violate anti-extremism laws in European countries.
  • Youtube are increasingly demonetizing popular videos with politically controversial content or which are selling conspiracy beliefs.
  • There has been detailed proposals such as CleanIT which aims to control the Internet.
  • Cryptocurrencies are increasingly seen as a threat.

While these initiatives could be seen as laudable in combating certain tendencies, they often fall short of curbing the excesses. In Sweden, most newspaper comment fields were closed already during the last decade, yet that reaction has not changed the trend – instead the frontline has moved towards communities like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

With the ascent of Darknet and of Cryptocurrencies, and when non-western regimes are increasingly supporting fringe political movements and the conspiracy world in the west, it stands clear that polarisation will intensify. It has done so during the much illusory recovery of the 2010’s, and it will probably increase even more after the next Great Recession. There is an ever increasing risk that civil strife can move from the web communities and out on the streets due to this polarisation.

It should be noted that the legislators often are one to several steps behind the technology. The CleanIT proposal for example states that forum moderators should play a vital role in reporting and combating extremism on Internet, but during the 2010’s the importance of discussion forums have continuously diminished. Equally, the plans drawn up today to diminish and marginalise these tendencies will undoubtedly be of limited success simply because the Internet of 2018 can become an entirely different concept than the Internet of 2017.

One underreported process is the move towards mesh technology, which would make the Internet more independent from both broadband providers and ISP’s, eventually leading to it being virtually impossible to strangle or regulate, unless you would want to strangle electricity itself.

Besides, repressing a dissenting voice, no matter if it calls for humanity to run underground to protect themselves from Nibiru, would inadvertently lend credence to said voice. Note for example how Holocaust deniers are using the fact that Holocaust denial is illegal in France, Germany and Austria as “proof” that they are oppressed truth-tellers.

Moreover, while the temptation to regulate what people would be exposed to on the Internet is providing a certain allure, it is at this point in time probably one of the most destructive and authoritarian tendencies. If the system is granted the legitimacy to legally or socially block and destroy dissenting voices belonging to one or two disliked political opposition groups (yes, even insane malcontents are a form of political opposition), then it is granted the power to repress movements which aim to help the world moving towards the necessary Transition.

We must not forget that parts of the current supranational establishment, consisting of financial institutions, multinational corporations, think tanks and governments, are vehemently opposed to the recalibration of human civilization towards a sustainable future, because they can only think forward for the next six months of continued exponential economic expansion, not being able to comprehend the long-term damage of the current system on our planet.

It is very possible to imagine if voices which call for the transition towards a more sane and sustainable world order would gain traction, that these will be exposed for the most blatant, criminal, violent and immoral suppression from the forces invested in the prolongation of the current, unsustainable, status quo.

That is why it is essential to defend the Internet.

Given that, while defending the Internet as a platform for the transparent dissemination of useful information, knowledge and expertise, we must be ready to wage a two-front war against disinformation too. We would claim that the frontline should not be secluded to the Internet itself, but rather span through the entire community.

In short, in order to safeguard the mechanisms of Democracy, we will need to employ the traits and ideals of a Technocracy when finding ways of discussing the solution of real problems.

Combating Idiocracy

Most of the problems associated with fake news, conspiracy theories and echo chambers have actually predated the Internet, and been an intrinsic characteristic of western culture which has blossomed since the 1920’s, especially within the world of advertisement and mass media – I am of course referring to the type of advertisement, pioneered by Eduard Bernays, which strives to manipulate people’s subconscious by subtly making them associate eating fried potato with family life, or owning a Porsche with possessing a woman in a red bikini.

In fact, the blame for the uncritical attitude many netizens display towards whatever video they happen to click up on Youtube can be partially blamed to the Internet’s predecessor – Television – which has created and encouraged a culture of passivity and reception, where the brain’s inherent reaction is to shut down and just allow information to seep in. Television also greatly amplified a culture of “irresponsible market democracy”, where channels struggle to find the lowest common denominators amongst the targeted market groups. This created a loop where culture was inadvertently moulded, by legitimising and even lionising stupidity, idealising simplified reasoning and a short attention span. While schools have generally struggled to produce engaged and responsible citizens, Television has – unintentionally – worked to create an army of drooling zombies, readily and passively manipulated by programmes which rather than encouraging critical thinking are encouraging a weirdly alluring mixture of enticement and cynicism. One has only to look how History Channel and Discovery moved from interesting but possibly somewhat dry and professionalised topics to shows about Nostradamus, Aliens and Mermaids.

Open the Pandora’s box of the Internet for generations that have been intellectually passivized by the telly, and the result would have been the one we are seeing today.

In order to successfully fight the hydra of confirmation biases, fake news feedback loops and increasingly enclosed and aggressive online environments characterised by conspiracy thinking, we need to challenge the existing western culture where entertainment – no matter of what objective quality – is sanctified in relationship to its popularity rather than its content.

Television has taught us that Geordie Shore, Bachelorette and Big Brother are equally valid choices as Nova, Planet Earth and Cosmos, because they are equally if not more available, and also that consumers have a right to be entertained and not challenged. If a programme is boring, a consumer may just zap towards another channel which is entertaining.

It is not surprising then, that consumers who go on the Internet find that Alex Jones is more entertaining than CNN, that Naturalnews.com is more entertaining than Phys.org, and that when provided with a “market of self-declared truths”, people will choose the truth which they feel most positive towards and which challenges them the least.

Of course, people have been manipulated before by unscrupulous political agents, but it is hard to deny that four to five generations have had their critical faculties and even their logical thinking skills systematically eroded by being exposed to Television.

If it only was for Television…

Those unlucky enough to dwell in cities would always when they travel down to the city centre or to the supermalls be exposed to billboards, neon signs and advertisements designed to hack into their subconscious, transform their values and  make them more pliable to impulsive behaviour in terms of their consumption. Consumerism as a way of life is dependent on tearing down people’s critical faculties.

For a person who is conditioned to be swayed by depictions of beautiful people, of bombastic music and a false sense of meaning and narrative provided both by blockbusters and by mundane Coca Cola advertisements, a film like this could have an impact.

If there is a connection between consumerism and the rise of the “alternative facts”-community, then we must confront the fact that the culture that have emerged for much of the latter half of the 20th century is melting down because of its own inner inconsistencies, and that we would need a cultural revolution to move away from consumerism and the deification of ignorance.

Humanity today possesses a power tremendous and terrible. We have the power to destroy the biosphere, to alter the climate, even to instigate nuclear winters. Yet, for the last generations, we have almost consciously created a culture striving to tear down inhibitions and self-control, to make people more impulsive, more promiscuous, more easily swayed by emotional messaging and – most crucially – without filters to critically access information.

Currently, parts of the establishment seem to strive towards a “middle ground” position, where people should be able to critical analyse RT, Press-TV or NaturalNews.com, but be more or less open and uncritical towards CNN, Coca Cola or McDonalds, in short – install selective locks to prevent people from accessing information from market operatives with agendas seen as destructive. That position can be construed as hypocritical, for why should it be seen as more immoral to advertise for Infowars-approved “Caveman” pills than for Coca Cola? At least the detrimental health effects of Coca Cola are well known by everyone. Advertisement is simply “fake news” that are somehow acceptable and seen as a cornerstone for society, even if the stated purpose is to make people buy things which often are destructive for their health and minds.

Apart from the blatant hypocrisy, any attempts to infuse “selective rejection” in a population conditioned to react primarily by emotions may slow down the breakdown of the concept of objective reality, but will fail short of achieving the goal. Despite the best efforts of public education, the concerted efforts of dumbing down the population has evidently been succeeded beyond the wildest dreams – if anyone would have wild dreams about an Idiocracy.

A Technocratic Cultural Revolution

Technocracy can be construed as “rule by the skilled” or “rule by skill”. I would state that most systems to a certain degree have carried the first characteristic, including our own. After all, most states in the world today have a civil service which politicians are obliged to listen to, and most power plants, hospitals, railways and airports for example are (quite luckily!) administered by professionals. In some countries, notably Germany and Austria, the department ministers are expected to be experts within their notable fields, for example a minister of infrastructure should be an engineer of some form.

The second aspect, however – Rule by Skill – is notably absent from the discourse and is seldom employed. There is a difference between skilled and skill after all, namely that while the first is describing an individual with certain characteristics who is given formal position because of these characteristics, the second is describing that these set of characteristics should define the entire system of management and the entire culture.

This is a central and essential distinction.

Because even if a person has the right education and has achieved the professional level acquired for managing certain sectors of a community, what if said individual decides to make a decision based on flawed, simplified or non-complete information. Also, too much emphasis on the qualifications of a decision maker can be used to shut down relevant critique against said professional.

What I would argue is that there are a few Technocratic Virtues which would need to be embedded in the culture, and the more democratic a system is, the more horizontal and de-centralised it is, the more it would need these virtues.

These virtues are:

  • Authentication (as defined by the EOS Board Member Lilium Carlson)
  • Self-reflection and awareness of one’s own biases, as well as one’s own emotions and reactions when confronted by material that challenges one’s instincts
  • Evidence-based policies
  • Scientific transparency
  • Public knowledge of the Scientific Method
  • That the public is armed with the knowledge to identify and disarm attempts at manipulating public opinion.

The System of Public Education

It is absolutely crucial that children, probably from the age of ten, are challenged with epistemology, learn to identify fallacies of reasoning (such as strawmen), and learn to understand and utilise the Scientific Method, including Occam’s Razor. It is also essential that teachers themselves are acquainted with these methodologies and taught to properly being able to distribute tools necessary to acquire critical thinking skills.

Two examples: In fifth grade, we were exposed to a teaching methodology in “democracy and critical thinking”, where the entire class was to form a circle of chairs. The teacher then would ask the students what they thought about controversial subjects, such as bullying, steroids, drugs, racism, dictatorships and war and reason about it. Needless to say, the level of analysis was usually on the level that “war is bad because it hurts people”. While true, such a class I would claim fail to achieve the stated goals since it doesn’t provide any tools for the student to employ their critical thinking skills.

Later, in high school, a ruckus developed on school because some students were reading far right websites on the school library. The responsible teacher for our class decided – contrary to the recommendations of the school – that the students in the class should focus on two news and how four different newspapers created a narrative around these news, and also to speculate why the newspaper presented the news with that narrative. The newspapers in question were Aftonbladet (Social Democratic), VK (local newspaper, ind. Liberal), Proletären (the newspaper of the Communist Party) and Info-14 (ind. National Socialist). That teacher repeatedly taught us to critically examine all sources and ponder about the agenda of those responsible for publishing the news.

Of course, we were high school students, not ten year olds, but I still find it heartening that our teacher dared to ask us examine controversial material and discuss it from an analytic rather than moral perspective.

Overall, the education system must also more emphasise for students how advertisement often is a form of mind warfare employed in the service of hacking the brains of those exposed for the material. The students should of course as well be enlightened about the important role played by Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann in forming the current western civilization, which in reality is not much older than the second half of the 20th century.

Media

If we should have a chance to re-establish a discourse of sanity in the public space, media must become a tool primarily for information and less for entertainment. There must exist public service, but the role of public service should primarily be to act as a facilitator of useful knowledge and of the current political, social and ecological situation of the Earth.

Regarding independent media outlets and actors, each agent wishing to market their ideas and opinions must state what their agenda is, what outcome they wish to see for the future, and what beliefs they hold regarding why their narrative is superior – rather than to try to sneak in a preferred narrative without the users being notified what they are exposed to.

Moreover, platforms such as Wikipedia and Reddit must be strengthened, and connected with video hosting websites and traditional media platforms in order to provide a foundational global reference system which should work as a baseline and a foundation for the dispersion of News, especially in regards to eyewitness accounts.

Academia

Ideally, as many lectures as possible should be published on video hosting platforms and be made freely and transparently available in MP3 and MP4 format, and ideally even subtitled in the most widely understood languages.

An online index of academic papers could be established, to provide an improved peer review system where not only those who subscribe to narrow academic journals or are students or researchers may get hold of crucial new information.

Bottlenecks which constrict access to information may – for the moment – be perceived as monetarily necessary, but actually both serves to move against the effective execution of the scientific method and the rapidness with which new technologies and discoveries could be accessed.

Advertisement

It would probably be an advisable policy to ban commercial advertisement in public spaces as a first step. There is a profound difference between advertisement on billboards in a city centre and TV- or Internet advertisement. Generally, people are not compelled out of necessity to watch TV or surf the Internet (even if the latter is discussable people can still choose to avoid websites with advertisement). Most people who live inside or in the vicinity of cities must however – often on a daily basis – travel to places where they are bombarded with commercial advertising without their active or passive consent.

Moreover, all products should be compelled by legislation not only to honestly display their impact upon the environment, but on the human body as well.

The Internet

Possibly, rather than asserting a website’s notability from its popularity, search engines should rather focus on a form of peer assessment, from established institutions. For example, if a website – take for example NaturalNews.com – is interested in marketing alternative medicine, then medical websites and universities should be available to recommend that website or write statements which decides its notability. Also, notable websites which frequently spreads false or misleading information should be able to be given warning labels judged by the reactions of the other communities. This would create self-regulating algorithms.

Notice that this model of affirmation and authentication is what the EOS advocates should be used as a self-regulatory mechanism within the Technate as a whole as it is being established.

While still in its infancy, the Pro-Truth pledge which this website has ascribed to could be a beginning of this process.

The role of the Individual

We must foster a spirit of self-reflection, introspection and awareness within individuals, regarding – without self-judgement or self-hatred – biases, preferences and what thinking might be rationalising rather than rational, in short to what regard we are limited by wishful thinking and how we can move above ourselves to try to see our own preferences and our own agenda, and how the world lines up from that point of view. This is something which must be ingrained in the entire community.

The Scientific Method and its role in culture

One of the foundational principles of our Ideology is that the Scientific Method is the least worst methodology if one wants to assess facts about the real world. We should strive towards a popular culture which emphasises that empiricism, rationalism, peer review and authentication are crucial tools for solving problems. Often, popular culture relies on narratives which glorify brawn, emotions and violence as problem-solving tools, which could have a detrimental effect upon public understanding of reality.

Religion

While religion is an essential factor in the mental well-being of billions of people, provides them with a sense of meaning and fulfilment, and also often inspires people to take care and make a positive impact in the lives of their fellow human beings, it becomes a problem when religious leaders choose to interpret scripture to assert that it may provide facts about the material world. It must be more emphasised that religious scripture primarily should be seen as allegorical, which was how people during the pre-modern day generally viewed those writings. Fundamentalism must be combated, because it is dangerous for individual, public and global ecological health.

Limitations

Science and the scientific method cannot define morality or ideological values, they can merely point towards a method of attaining evidence and employing it in the service of the individual and the community. A technocratic cultural revolution must not strive towards fetishisation of science – i.e scientism, which merely replaces one dogma with another. Moreover, within the rational and atheist communities of the two latest decades, there has been a tendency to denigrate and mock opponents, instead of understanding that they merely are victims of a dumbed down culture.

Positive Radicalism

We cannot ignore the inherent unsustainability of the current system, both in terms of culture and in terms of its resource management in relation to the Earth’s biosphere. Why we should fight against woo, alternative facts, climate denial, grand conspiracy thinking, Flat Earth and Young Earth creationism is not because they are a threat towards the current status quo.

On the contrary, these beliefs are in fact supporting our current status quo, some of them quite literally so (climate denial), while others are merely doing it by virtue of their distractive abilities – because they provide the public with readily made false consciousness’s which serve to passivize and divide the public.

We must neither forget that even those who speak facts, sometimes speak of carefully selected facts in order to mislead and provide people with a false sense of security. One example are the cornucopians, proponents of divulging the facts that absolute poverty is diminishing, that literacy is going up, that population growth is decreasing and that some environmental problems are diminishing. While these are all facts, they are presented in a manner which seems to be intended to make the public have faith in the current system, in the current form of globalisation and in that current global agendas, like the Paris Agreement and the UN goals  – if implemented – would serve to adequately bring sustainability to our planet, and that exponential growth and sustainability are possible to combine.

Thus, the cornucopians are to a great degree far more dangerous for the well-being for the planet than climate denialists or proponents of the Lizardmen theory. For while the latter are generally gaining traction amongst those disenfranchised and without education or influence, the cornucopians are mostly attracting members of the managerial classes.

The goal: Establishing a consensus

We must establish a consensus that the scientific method should be the guiding principle in attaining solutions, that everyone should be capable of utilizing the scientific method, that all policies should be evidence-based, and that the major fact of our age and era is that a Sixth Mass Extinction Event is coming unless we move towards a sustainable future, which we only can achieve if we fulfill at least the first of the Three Criteria.

Conclusion: Transparency instead of Censorship

If we are going to summarise this article, we should state that the growth of the alternative facts community is attributable to the culture of entertainment created by Individualistic Consumerism. If people define their identity after their consumption patterns, it was only a matter of time before they would start to choose their sources of news and education to fit their own personal beliefs – thus nullifying the very purpose of education itself.

Instead of trying to delegitimise and de-platform the purveyors of nonsense and disinformation, we must rather delegitimise the notion within ourselves that we can choose our own reality.

We must systematically uproot and destroy that idea, by ruthlessly bringing it to light and attacking it. This is not because we hate the individual’s freedom to choose, but because everyone is needed – and everyone are needed to be sane in our day and age, with the Mass Extinction approaching. Disinformation and distractions serve to weaken humanity’s resolve in the face of this existential crisis.

Instead of viewing information primarily as entertainment, we must view it as an integral part of a system existing to safeguard the survival of Humanity and of Human Civilization. Therefore, it is of essential importance that each citizen should be empowered with the tools to critically access information and understand the scientific method.

Read 988 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 December 2017 13:52