No one went to the Moon

Owen Benjamin makes the case. Feel free to criticize it, if you are a Moonie, but don’t bother with either the fainting or shaming routines. Because if there is one thing that has become eminently clear over the last 20 years, the one and only thing we can be ABSOLUTELY SURE did not happen is the Official Story.

As with all things for which there is no clear historical consensus, I remain entirely agnostic on the issue. To the extent that I lean one way or the other, I tend to assume that the landings were faked due to the means, motive, and opportunity heuristic and because I am a confirmed cynic when it comes to Official Stories narrated by the U.S. government.

Even fake science is unreproducible

The most famous experiments in psychology are no more reproducible than flipping a coin:

Over the past few years, an international team of almost 200 psychologists has been trying to repeat a set of previously published experiments from its field, to see if it can get the same results. Despite its best efforts, the project, called Many Labs 2, has only succeeded in 14 out of 28 cases. Six years ago, that might have been shocking. Now it comes as expected (if still somewhat disturbing) news.

In recent years, it has become painfully clear that psychology is facing a “reproducibility crisis,” in which even famous, long-established phenomena—the stuff of textbooks and ted Talks—might not be real. There’s social priming, where subliminal exposures can influence our behavior. And ego depletion, the idea that we have a limited supply of willpower that can be exhausted. And the facial-feedback hypothesis, which simply says that smiling makes us feel happier.

One by one, researchers have tried to repeat the classic experiments behind these well-known effects—and failed. And whenever psychologists undertake large projects, like Many Labs 2, in which they replicate past experiments en masse, they typically succeed, on average, half of the time.

Ironically enough, it seems that one of the most reliable findings in psychology is that only half of psychological studies can be successfully repeated.

Science is not, and has never been, a relevant vehicle for determining the truth. It is a philosophical category error to believe that it is. This is one of the many reasons for the failure of the New Atheists to make any substantive impression on society, as their entire worldview was based upon a false assumption.

It’s particularly amusing to recall that Richard Dawkins actually wanted to revise the legal system and establish its foundation for evidence upon science rather than eyewitness testimony, which despite its flaws has proven to be considerable more reliable than science. It is probably due to their social autism that the New Atheists did not realize that science will never be more reliable than the scientists who make a living from it, which means that science is no more intrinsically reliable than accounting, proof-reading, or used-car sales.

Warming is not the problem

It’s going to look mighty strange when all of the climate scammers abruptly change course and begin screaming about the need to warm up the planet again:

Professor Valentina Zharkova gave a presentation of her Climate and the Solar Magnetic Field hypothesis at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in October, 2018. The information she unveiled should shake/wake you up.

Zharkova was one of the few that correctly predicted solar cycle 24 would be weaker than cycle 23 — only 2 out of 150 models predicted this.

Her models have run at a 93{72cf27ffdac1ec816f49e283bd4617ffdd8df37c3501aa744a12e9a9c4d5faff} accuracy and her findings suggest a Super Grand Solar Minimum is on the cards beginning 2020 and running for 350-400 years.

The last time we had a little ice age only two magnetic fields of the sun went out of phase.

This time, all four magnetic fields are going out of phase.

Even if you believe the IPCC’s worst case scenario, Zharkova’s analysis blows any ‘warming’ out of the water.

Lee Wheelbarger sums it up: even if the IPCC’s worst case scenarios are seen, that’s only a 1.5 watts per square meter increase. Zharkova’s analysis shows a 8 watts per square meter decrease in TSI to the planet.

On the plus side, this should significantly reduce the trend of migration from the global south to the north. Perhaps it will even put some steel in the spine of Northern Europeans again.

An addendum

In writing an appendix to Jordanetics – note that today is the last day to preorder – I revised my numbers a little to account for the inexcusable omission of Indians – dot, not feather – from my earlier statistical review of his claims concerning the high-IQ subset of the U.S. population. I also took a look at his assertion from another perspective, which in addition to better illuminating the absurd nature of his claim, nicely demonstrates his admitted inaptitude for math and statistics.

Less than 4 percent of the 145+ IQ population in the USA is Jewish. Not more than 40 percent.

Note that even if we were to generously allow Peterson his original assertion as well as a causal relationship between IQ and societal success, his math is incorrect. At the high end of his suggested range, Jews would account for 123,690 of the 713,113 high-IQ population of the United States, or 17.3 percent. At the lower end he asserts, a mean IQ of 110, the Jewish percentage would decline to less than one-twelfth of the 145+ IQ set.

And just to demonstrate how ridiculous Peterson’s original statement was, accounting for the 40.8 percent of the U.S. 145+ IQ population claimed by the statistically-challenged professor would require a mean Jewish IQ of 123.4, with 7.5 percent of all U.S. Jews possessing an IQ over 145.

I’m a little bit dubious of some of the numbers that go into this equation, particularly the estimated mean IQ reported for the immigrant Indian population by Forbes, but they are a damned sight more realistic than what serves as the foundation for Peterson’s attempt to dismiss observable reality as conspiracy theory.

Truly an inexplicably poor performance by Humanity’s Greatest Thinker.

The cooling climate

I give it another six years before the incessant warnings about “global warming” become warnings about “the next Ice Age”. Again.

The trend for fall snow across the northern hemisphere has been increasing, defying the forecasts over the last two decades for snows becoming an increasingly rare event. The 10-year running mean of the Boston area snowfall has skyrocketed to the highest level since snow records were kept and that goes back about 145 years! Fluctuations in the temperature regime and annual snowfalls are a function of about 25 global factors including changing oceanic oscillations mainly sea-surface temperature anomaly locations which impact atmospheric conditions creating certain jet stream configurations plus others such as solar activity and irradiance, geomagnetic activity, volcanism, etc.

Interestingly, some scientists have stated that increasing snow is consistent with climate change because warmer air holds more moisture, more water vapor and this can result in more storms with heavy precipitation. The trick, of course, is having sufficient cold air to produce that snow. But note that 93{9fe07fc990c3789707497e3d2c7a52a79af10be4715f25651e7c90f910695225} of the years with more than 60″ of snow in Boston were colder than average years. The reality is cooling, not warming, increases snowfall. Note the graph depicting declining January through March temperatures for 20 years at a rate of 1.5 degrees F. per decade in the Northeast!

The lesson, as always, is pay no attention to politically-motivated science that is used as an excuse to further centralize the economy and society.

Fake IQ tests

25/25. You are a GENIUS!
Way to go! Only people with an IQ score of 153-161 aced this general knowledge test. 

I can personally attest that you don’t need an IQ of 153, much less 161, to score 25/25 on this general knowledge test. Especially since it took me less than 30 seconds to take it. Frankly, I’d be astonished if anyone reading this blog got less than 22 of the answers right.

As a general rule, Internet IQ tests are, like this one, completely fake and meant to flatter the test-taker. Knowledge can serve as a partial proxy for IQ, but it can never provide any sort of quantitative measure because storage is not processing power. Also, genius is not measured in capability or IQ, but in unique historical achievement.

But there is one intriguing thing about this clickbaitery, which is the notion that only people with IQs under 161 can get a perfect score. Are they suggesting that 4SD minds tend to overcomplicate straightforward questions? Or, as is much more likely the case, are they just playing the scientistic game of selling credibility through false claims of precision?

If so, they’re hardly alone. For as Daniel Dennett has assured us, you can trust biologists because physicists get amazingly accurate results.

The gold standard for truth

Is now flipping a coin. If recent studies in reproducibility are to be believed, modern science is now less than 50 percent reproducible.

The same could be said about big projects in which psychologists work together to replicate past studies. Six such projects, including the SSRP, have now been completed. Between them, they’ve successfully replicated just 87 out of 190 studies, for an overall rate of 46 percent. “This is not acceptable,” says Simine Vazire from UC Davis.

The 62-percent success rate from the SSRP, though higher, is still galling to Vazire, since the project specifically looked at the two most prestigious journals in the world. “We should not treat publication in Science or Nature to be a mark of a particularly robust finding or a particularly skilled researcher,” she says. These journals “are not especially good at picking out really robust findings or excellent research practices. And the prediction market adds to my frustration because it shows that there are clues to the strength of the evidence in the papers themselves.”

It’s really rather appalling to contemplate that the foolish likes of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris were dumb enough to seriously believe that what has – at best – a reliability rate of less than two-thirds should be our primary metric of reality.

The pernicious nature of free speech

In addition to its intrinsically anti-Christian purpose that is documented in J.B. Bury’s A History of Freedom of Thought, in The Suicide of the West, James Burnham identifies another, equally serious problem with the progressive principle of the right of free speech: the logical and philosophical connection between free speech and the devolution of science from the rigors of scientody to the ever-mutating positions of democratic scientistry.

 If we know the truth, we might reasonably ask, why waste society’s time, space and money giving an equal forum, under the free speech rule, to error? The only consistent answer is: we cannot be certain that we know the truth—if, indeed, there is any such thing as objective truth. Liberalism is logically committed to the doctrine that philosophers know under the forbidding title of “epistemological relativism.” This comes out clearly both in theoretical discussion by philosophers of liberalism and in liberal practice.

We confront here a principle that would seem strangely paradoxical if it had not become so familiar in the thought and writings of our time. Liberalism is committed to the truth and to the belief that truth is what is discovered by reason and the sciences; and committed against the falsehoods and errors that are handed down by superstition, prejudice, custom and authority. But every man, according to liberalism, is entitled to his own opinion, and has the right to express it (and to advocate its acceptance). In motivating the theory and practice of free speech, liberalism must either abandon its belief in the superior social utility of truth, or maintain that we cannot be sure we know the truth. The first alternative—which would imply that error is sometimes more useful for society than the truth—is by no means self-evidently false, but is ruled out, or rather not even considered seriously, by liberalism. Therefore liberalism must accept the second alternative.

We thus face the following situation. Truth is our goal; but objective truth, if it exists at all, is unattainable; we cannot be sure even whether we are getting closer to it, because that estimate could not be made without an objective standard against which to measure the gap. Thus the goal we have postulated becomes meaningless, evaporates. Our original commitment to truth undergoes a subtle transformation, and becomes a commitment to the rational and scientific process itself: to—in John Dewey’s terminology—the “method of inquiry.”

But this process or method of inquiry is nothing other than the universal dialogue made possible by universal education and universal suffrage under the rules of freedom of opinion, speech, press and assembly. Throughout his long life, the commitment to the method of inquiry that is at once “the scientific method” and “the democratic method” was perhaps the major theme of Dewey’s teaching. Let us add that truth thus becomes in practice relative to the method of inquiry. For all practical purposes, truth in any specific scientific field is simply the present consensus of scientific opinion within that same field; and political and social truth is what is voted by a democratic majority.

It is not clear in advance how wide the field of political and social truth should be understood to be; presumably that question too can be answered only by the democratic method, so that the field is as wide as the democratic majority chooses to make it. The plainest summary of the net conclusion of the liberal doctrine of truth is that given in Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ aphorism. He conjoins the two key propositions, though I place them here in a sequence the reverse of the original: 1) “truth is the only ground upon which [men’s] wishes safely can be carried out”; 2) “the best test of truth is the power of thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”

Another of the prominent American philosophers of liberalism, Professor T.V. Smith of the University of Chicago—whose influence has been spread much beyond the academies by virtue of his mellifluous prose style and his popularity as an after-dinner speaker—has made the idea of relativity the core of his essay on “Philosophy and Democracy.” “This inability finally to distinguish [truth from falsity, good from evil, beauty from ugliness] is the propaedeutic for promotion from animal impetuosity to civilized forbearance. It marks the firmest foundation”—again the paradox is near the surface—“for the tolerance which is characteristic of democracy alone.”

Professor Smith very rightly cites Justice Holmes as a major source of the influence of this doctrine of relativism among us. “As Holmes put it, we lack a knowledge of the ‘truth’ of ‘truth.’ ” Professor Smith attacks all of the classical theories of objective truth, and declares: “No one of these theories can adequately test itself, much less anything else.” The idea of objective truth is only the rationalization of private, subjective “feelings of certitude . . . ; and certitude is not enough. It more easily marks the beginning of coercion than the end of demonstration. . . . The only insurance the modern world has against the recurrence of the age-old debacle of persecution for opinion is the presence in it of a sufficient number of men of such character as will mollify assertions of truth with the restraints of tolerance.”

Since final truth cannot be known, we must keep the dialogue eternally going, and, where action is required, be “content”—Mr. Hutchins echoes Justice Holmes—“to abide by the decision of the majority.”