Facts can be confusing

This post was inspired by a cartoon sent to me by Will S.

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It was only in the last few thousand years that facts and logic began to have a toehold on our understanding of world around us. Even then rational thought would lose its footing and slide back down into the dark ages for a few hundred years at a time.

My hypothesis is that there is a reason for this. Reliance on facts and rational thought created an evolutionary advantage which allowed for the survival of a greater number of less fit people. These less fit, emotionally driven, people drag society down again.

The repeated rise and fall of reliance on rational thought is like a cleaning process. Each time the gene pool was cleaned it became a more biased toward rationality and human society became more advanced.

I had hoped that we need not go through another dark age but there are times when I fear we are nearing another downward slide. How else can you explain the continued infatuation with socialism? What other political system has experienced so many attempts and resulted in so many catastrophic failures? How else can you explain the masses of people who blame private ownership of firearms for the massacres of school children when government disarmed the adults, failed to prosecute the villain prior to his attack, and failed to come to the rescue even though they were close by? The government which failed at ever step of the way is now supposed to be tasked with the job of attacking those who held no responsibility for the creating the circumstance, or failing to stop the attack. This is not the result of a rational thought process. This is crazy talk and to me is a strong indicator that the slippery slope into another dark age is only a small misstep away.

10 thoughts on “Facts can be confusing

  1. What is logical depends on ones motivation. Do you want to a) keep your vehicle on the road, or b) crash your car? The “logical” decision is very different depending on intended result.

    We have a conflict between good and evil. The two are enemies. To the evil, the good people are a “Basket of Deplorables”. Disarm them, tax them into stagnation, restrict them, intimidate them, destroy them. Those are the “logical” goals of evil, and the “logical” tactics flow from those goals.

    This is where we come off saying that the evil are “stupid” or “insane”. We’re wrong about that, because we’re applying our own motives to people who have a completely different set of motives. In fact they’re doing what is logical, given their motivations, and they’re very good at it. They’re very “logical”. “Don’t knock it” I’ve often said, “it works”.

    This is what I mean when I say that there are, when all is distilled down to basics, two alliances in the world. Practically no one is purely good or purely evil of course, but whether we know it or not practically everyone has an allegiance with one side or the other. That allegiance will determine what one believes to be “logical”.

    Complicating things is one of the tactics of evil. For example, in this discussion of what is “logical” and what therefore is same, we have the APA which is controlled substantially by the alliance of evil.

  2. In other words, r/K theory. Low-resource, hard working, highly-trained offspring wolves competing with highly reproductive rabbits who assume that the good times (created by the k-selected folks) will last forever.
    Hard times make for tough men.
    Tough men make for good times.
    Good times make for weak men.
    Weak men make for hard times.
    Wash, rinse, repeat.

    • I was going to post r/K, then found it already in the comments. I can definitely see the underpinnings of it in so many actions and trends.

  3. Romans 1. When a society reaches a certain level of degeneracy God destroys it. He who has ears let him hear.

  4. The difference is that this time, if we have a dark ages, we might not make it out of it. All the easy to get oil/gas/coal is gone, and so if there were a real dark ages where we lost the ability to sustain the technology and supply chain required to produce energy like we have now, we’d likely never be able to reboot into an industrial society again.

    This would be a great shame. It’s why I always advocate us getting the hell off this planet and onto another (and that only the first step in getting to another solar system, because supernovas happen) in a self-sustaining capacity. I think it should be our #1 priority for the human race.

    So let’s hope we can keep things going for a while longer at least. 🙂

  5. Adding (incompletely and somewhat superficially) to Tim’s comment above, I wonder what portion of our difficulties could be attributed to the “I’ve got mine and I’ll be dead in X years, so I don’t care what happens after that” mindset.

    Which may be a subset or minor component of the generic evil to which Lyle refers, and kinda fits in a little with the time honored progression Rolf mentions.

    • Ah yes, the famous “après moi, le déluge”.

      Re easy to get at fuels, that’s partly true. Which makes it hard to reboot an industrial society on the scale we have today. But energy is readily available at lower density (wind, hydro) as is fuel (wood). Not good for 4 billion people, but certainly adequate for many millions.

      The bigger question is knowledge. If the knowledge is preserved, rebooting that is a matter of effort. If it’s lost, things get harder. One current concern is the amount of knowledge stored in tech-based storage systems that will be inaccessible at a collapse. To the extent that stuff still exists in real books, it’s available. I keep my paper copies of The Way Things Work (the original, not the cartoon book by the same name), and Strong’s Procedures in Experimental Physics, and Moore’s Foundations of Mechanical Accuracy, and a pile of old books about machine tools, plus chemistry textbooks of some decades ago. I have some more that I should probably print out… like TM31-210…

  6. It is undeniable that we are in the early stages of a collapse of the US. Anyone capable of performing simple arithmetic can see that. Once that collapse happens, the remainder of the world will follow.

  7. Why Civilizations Self-Destruct by Elmer Pendell. Same thesis, 1975. Many have seen it coming; few believe it enough to act against it. The actively evil don’t make it any easier; partly because, once again, few believe it enough to act against it.

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