The hypotheses and opinions of contemporary historians, scientists, mathematicians, politicians and “prognosticators” are too often accepted as fact without further inquiry.
“Your presence in the blind acceptance pool is required” is the message of the day.
Popular pundits make prediction after prediction, with many avowals demonstrated to be wrong without a doubt by the subsequent passage of events, and some of them clearly improbable or impossible when first broadcast. The “missed calls” are carefully erased or hidden behind the curtain out of sight and mind, while the hits are loudly trumpeted as insightfulness, wisdom and prescience — advertising to look to those seers for and act in advance on their “breaking news of the future”.
After all, even baseball stars seldom hit over 30%. However, their performance rarely has a potentially life-altering effect upon others.
Theories no longer have to be proven, or experiments repeatable, before confident-looking folks with the “proper credentials” announce “settled science” or some similar obtuse invention. The terms used, the settings chosen, the celebrities enlisted in the “doo-wop chorus”, are all intended to end all discussion and inquiry – including the suppression of reasonable requests that the proclaimers demonstrate sufficient proof including their sources, repeatable experiments and verifiable evidence.
“Show your work” is not favored by that crowd!
Such an approach radically diminishes acceptance and trust, even in very reliable, verifiable and critically important work. “Trust me, I’m an expert” has become a ridiculed statement, including in instances when it would be better to …well… trust a real expert, and in instances when the arrogant group of experts is actually correct!
To overcome such loss of faith (or proof of public stupidity), larger and larger groupings of “experts” – along with collaborators from other fields often totally unrelated to the endeavor – are assembled by “thought leaders” striving for a “critical mass” to pronounce undeniable final judgment and assert your responsibility to unwaveringly accept and conform.
This approach has worked often enough that some “expert panels”, agencies, committees and boards now pronounce themselves to be a higher, more intelligent form of human life, a priesthood above questioning or reproach, thus discrediting those who have nothing to hide. The approach is not new. How has it worked out for society in the past? Not very well at all during the 19th and 20th Centuries. Well, we’re told that the experts are “smarter now”, “better equipped now”. They even have nicer matching suits, emblems, logos and uniforms, and belong to all of the best self-created expert societies!
“History is written by the victors” (or survivors!) is pronounced to discredit records of the past as biased — unless the archives conform to your world-view, of course. If the archives are not exactly in conformance with your agenda, a “new translation” can solve the problem! Still, recalling that admonition when studying accounts of the past, and — even more critically — when reading, seeing or listening to present day pronouncements, is vital to securing facts and truth.
Always remember that today’s “experts” and “leaders” intend to be the victors/survivors who write the history of these times and their own actions!
We have all observed enough instances of revisionist “facts”, history and theory, yet basic human nature seems to often render a transient majority gullible enough to believe those who create clearly self-serving stories and events that even today can be readily foretold to become future “True Tales of the Legendary Past”.
When RenaissanceRules next takes up this subject, the address will be toward a corollary, perhaps inverse assault on truth…
Legendary Tales of the True Past !