Thursday 12 January 2017

Reverse engineering reality - how to behave well even when you do not know what is really going-on

If you know the intentions and motivations of some person or institution - and what they want you to do and not-to-do - then you should be able to infer enough of what is really going-on behind the scenes (behind the smokescreen of misleading, hype, spin and outright lies - cunningly selected and mixed with a few truths and facts)... that you can make the right decisions, despite considerable ignorance.

The problem is that we almost-never know the 'whole story' of what is really going-on. Mostly this is just impossible because so many things are secret, complex, remote, inter-related - and of course because in a world of dishonesty nobody knows what is really going-on (including because people, and intuitions, are lying to themselves - all the time).

But not knowing the whole, true story is no excuse for not doing the right thing - especially in a society so polarised as this one! We should not delay nor wait for 'more evidence' or 'future research' before knowing the right course. We should not 'give the benefit of the doubt' to those we know to be (overall) wickedly-motivated.

In an evil context, delay = collaboration with evil; agnositicism = cooperation with evil.

Typically, we already know enough to act well. 

Because when we know that some person or group has malign intentions towards us - or simply malign intentions in general - then we can be sure-enough that what they really want us to do is what we should not do; and vice versa

For example, when the Chinese communist dictatorship encouraged intellectuals to 'let a thousand flowers bloom' by speaking freely and openly about their most radical ideas; this was in order to identify and eliminate dissidents. As a malign ideology, what they wanted was bad for Good people.

And when Western progressives suddenly expressed an intense interest in 'preventing bullying' in schools by setting-up all sorts of new surveillance and monitoring systems, what they really wanted was to enforce political correctness and the sexual revolution.

Of course, if they know we are assuming the above, they may try to bluff us by asking us to do what they do not want us to do, and forbidding exactly what they most want us to do. But this is usually not possible - and can be a strategic disaster. 

And, at the point of contact between the individual and the malign oppressor, it is usually clear (perhaps on reflection) what they really want us to do (although they will typically attempt to disguise this by re-framing and misdirection).

When (as often and increasingly happens) we are asked to sign-up for some new project or campaign to raise awareness of this or encourage that; to protect this or suppress that; to raise-funds-for or subsidise this - alternatively to defund or to tax that - then it should be clear enough what is really going-on that we know what we ought to do.

And the same applies to slippery slopes. Minor 'reforms', presented as merely a regularisation of the existing state or voluntary or too trivial to become bothered-about; should be assume to be 'stalking horses' strategically directed as major, mandatory and harmful changes; when they emanate from sources we know to be malign.

It really isn't all that difficult - if we allow ourselves to notice and respond to our innate discernment.

And our first duty is not personally to support - with our own efforts, money and cooperation - that which we believe to be evil-in-intent.

Enough people behaving this way would make positive changes happen - very rapidly; without any need for planning or organisation. It is something everybody could, and ought-to, do.