On epistemological imbalance, inversion as counterargument, inattendance to the harmony of the whole, the naive acceptance of origins as explanation, and the misidentification of epiphenomena
Why I will persist in scepticism towards many exotic theories of the past three years, however morally satisfying and intuitively correct they may seem.
Increasingly, any post relating to Corona or the vaccines or pandemic policy attracts some readers who are very angry with me and my deficiencies. Yesterday’s piece, for example, provoked a typical retort:
Have you not read the Pfizer documents released under a FOIA request that Naomi Wolf and her team has summarized and published? If you have then your article would not be discussing this stuff. The vaxxine is a bioweapon released by the DOD. Why are you talking about immunity when the jab is meant to kill? No vaccines have ever gone through true clinical trials - go read Turtles All the Way Down and learn that we, the human population, have always been guinea pigs and lab rats for Big Pharma. You sound terribly behind the information by known top shelf journalists and medical professionals who have already debunked and published their findings on the real purpose of the jabs.
Others are frustrated at my alleged intent “to die on the hill of being the reasonable man who doesn’t believe any ‘crazy conspiracy theories’” and now and again I hear that I am some kind of “controlled opposition.”
The specific attacks don’t matter; they’re merely one sign of a broader shift in the discourse related to the end of the pandemic. As the worst moments of the Corona crisis have passed, many ordinary people have lost interest and gone on to read about other things, leaving a very committed audience who are on balance more enthusiastic for adventurous theses. This, combined with the pressure that all writers feel to break new ground and uncover new aspects of their subject, has inspired strains of commentary that have left me on the conservative side of the discussion.
I want to emphasise that I’m not pursuing any strategy here. I didn’t open an anonymous blog on the internet to do shallow Centrisms, and I’ve said over and over that I’m happy to entertain conspiracy theories of all kinds. I’ve even posted some of my own. If I don’t subscribe to everybody’s favourite theories, that’s generally not because I haven’t heard about them, but rather because I think they’re mistaken or less than productive.
It’s my practice to say what I think and let others say what they think, so I’m not going to take specific issue with anybody, let alone embark upon a new career as internet debunker. (Perish the thought.) Instead, I want to sketch five intellectual pathologies that are worth keeping in mind when you read any commentary (including my own), because I think they bedevil not only some alt-Covid discourse, but specialised discussions in general. I’ll call these 1) epistemological imbalance, 2) inversion as counterargument, 3) inattendance to the harmony of the whole, 4) the naive acceptance of origins as explanation, and 5) the misidentification of epiphenomena. All are related in one way or another to adopting a narrow focus, which is necessary to see through a lot of the technocratic Science trickery at work in Corona propaganda, but which opens one to errors in other areas.
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