Monday, 8 May 2023

The Miles Mathis phenomenon evaluated

I first heard of Miles Mathis - who has two very large websites on science (mostly physics) and on other-stuff - especially cultural critique, but also the arts, literature, media etc. - because several people sent me links to his fan-fiction follow-up to The Lord of the Rings

I didn't like this fan-fic, and could only manage to read a few pages; but went on to browse his other productions, and began to notice a few references to MM here and there in my corner of the internet.

It seems that Miles Mathis is something of a 'phenomenon' in terms of his productivity, range, and stylistic extremism.  

Therefore, someone worth a second look, and deserving of some attention. 


Since then, I have read through scores of his essays and other productions. 

These are attention-grabbing by their 'outrageousness' of vehemence and claims, and broadly appealing to my socio-political sensibilities; but I was also trying to discern whether there was value in them. 

(On the basis that, as Chesterton stated; to understand a Man we need to know his philosophy; and knowing his philosophy is a key to understanding everything important about him.)

This was not easy; because I find the MM persona - i.e. his written personality - very irritating and grating. He writes as a tremendously pretentious and domineering character; a particular 'type' of self-assertive, boastful yet emotionally brittle individual - who is relatively common in university circles, but who I would avoid interacting-with 'in real life' (and in print).  


Setting that personality aversion aside, what is my evaluation? 

Perhaps surprisingly, I think Miles Mathis's best work is his science. 

I'm not saying he is right - or indeed wrong - in his particular theories and claims; because his field of concern is not mine, and I am unable to evaluate specifics. 

But - from the overall impression and from many small details - I recognize the mental workings and truth-seeking commitment of a real scientist doing real science

This is rare - especially in physics, which has been corrupted for longer than any other branch of science. And it means that Mathis has a chance of being right or on-the-right-lines; whereas the overwhelming majority of those in 'official' science have zero chance of being right, since they are merely professional research bureaucrats who are "not even trying" to seek or speak the truth. 


The rest of Mathis's output can be divided into criticism, critique, and depictions of his visual art works.

The visual art work strikes me as good quality commercial art/ illustration, and I am unsurprised that he can (apparently) make a living from doing it. But - judged as 'art' it is spiritually empty at best, and sometimes it is nasty and evil-tending. 

The sense of queasiness and repulsion induced by some of MM's art is mirrored in the effect of much of the writing; and in his self-satisfied (unopposed, pridefully-affirmed, multiply-defended) egotism. 

He deploys the kind of ranting aggressive manner associated with the later Nietzsche in his 'Antichrist' phase. I mean the Nietzsche whose chapter headings in his last (pre-totally-insane from syphilis dementia) book Ecce Homo include "Why I am so clever", "Why I am so wise", and "Why I write such excellent books".  

This is a manner which, I believe, emanates from someone who lacks a coherent metaphysics and who knows it unconsciously, and wants to keep that knowledge unconscious. One who has excluded the necessary assumptions from-which he could (in principle) discern, critique and advocate values - yet continues to engage in making multiple (quasi-objective) value affirmations and rejections. 


In other words; an aggressive assertiveness that brooks no resistance is - it seems to me - the characteristic affect and affectation of a moralist whose deepest beliefs are nihilistic. It is a proximately in-your-face confidence and fluency; overlying an implicit and unacknowledged/ denied conviction of ultimate emptiness, futility, despair.


This is my diagnosis of the many essays focused upon explaining the calculated fakery and manipulation in service to evil that is mainstream modern culture and discourse.

I, of course, agree that mainstream modern West is indeed dishonest and evil - I would say more-so than at any time or place in human history (Mathis, by contrast, regards all of history as essentially The Same, Always bad in the same way as now, and he never seems to discuss the development of human consciousness). 

But my explanations are rooted in a belief in God and that we dwell in a divine creation; and that this mortal world is inhabited by spiritual entities; which include the supernatural evil of immortal demons who oppose God's will and divine creation - and whose ultimate goal is the damnation of souls. 

...Whereas Mathis explains the characteristic evils of this mortal world in terms of 'secular materialism' - in terms of a selfish and self-gratifying tribalism that holds-together, increases and extends throughout millennia of human history. Thus he (like the late Nietzsche) is focused on genealogy; on the lineages of heredity and ideology of the Evil-Establishment.  

This (to my mind) self-contradictorily entails that MM posits an extreme degree of multi-generational purpose, planning and organization; and a sustained and developing global networking... yet such massive cooperation and coordination is posited as happening among people who are (by the same theories) most deeply motivated by their own selfish lusts. 

In other words; MM's theories posit ultra-selfishness and self-indulgence, with simultaneously the greatest imaginable degree of long-termist systematic teamwork. This I regard as an impossible combination for mortal and temporary human beings - although exactly what would be expected from immortal demons. 


When I looked at the detail of Mathis's specific essays on specific cultural and artistic or literary topics - even when I agreed with his general conclusions, which was quite often - it was evident that most were only very superficially researched and understood; and that the argument method and mode was stereotyped, mechanical, and vastly over-generalized - such that anything at all could be 'proved' or refuted using them.  

I was kept reading when my agreement or relative ignorance led my mood to be dominated by my negative-pleasure at reading unrestrained and deft rubbishing of things I felt needed to be rubbished. 

But when it came to serious matters; and especially to matters of core values and the proper motivations to a Good man in this world of evil lies - well, there was nothing there

Furthermore, when I knew the subject matter; the arguments were - in many cases - full of errors and arbitrary false-assumptions, including mistakes in exactly those aspects upon-which the argument depends. 


Overall, therefore, I find Miles Mathis to be someone who has good surface instincts; but - because of his God-rejecting, creation-rejecting, anti-spiritual heart - has ended-up indirectly working for the wrong side in the spiritual war of this world. 

Once the excitement of his prose and persona have worn-off; what is left, is merely the same fear, resentment, despair and nihilism that characterize The West in these days.

Reading Miles Mathis in quantity or with attention; therefore tends to induce exactly the same mind-set that the demonic spirits most desire to induce in the people of this world; and which they propagate by their human agents of fake-liberation, globalist totalitarianism, and spiteful destructiveness of all that is Good. 


As for Mathis himself - somewhat as with Nietzsche, his position is so extreme in its surface-depths incoherence, that its inherent contradictions make it unstable. It is this incipient instability which is being self-concealed by the self-distractions of externally-directed ranting aggressiveness. 

But I feel that Mathis may - sooner or later, and perhaps post-mortally - eventually choose to cure these inner contradictions, by adopting metaphysical assumptions that make sense of his superficial opposition to the lies and exploitations of this modern world. 

That is, MM is a pretty strong candidate for choosing theism, and Christianity - as soon as he applies his intelligence to fundamental matters of life, death and eternity - with the same diligence he applies it to the phenomena of this world. 


On the other hand; Miles Mathis could choose to flip the other way. 

If he holds-onto his nihilism, it will infect and permeate his superficial opinions; and he will gravitate to the swelling ranks of pseudo-radicalism, of controlled-opposition - of those who deeply endorse the core assumptions of this evil world, while publicly fussing over the morality of meaninglessly-specific details.  


12 comments:

ÆtherCzar said...

I found MM's physics claims slippery and hard to follow. So, I took a deep dive into a specific claim, that somehow pi = 4 for circular motion. I chose that one because there was a clear experiment that appeared to show that result. When I analyzed that experiment, however, it turned out that conventional physics explained the result very well. At least the experiment lacked the precision to differentiate between conventional wisdom and the "pi = 4" theory.

My take away is that while MM is very clever and can string together plausible seeming mathematics and physical principles in support of outlandish claims, he does not do so in a rigorous and scrupulous manner, and he doesn't really understand the conventional theory he is trying to replace. Take what he has to say with a sizeable grain of salt.

Video analysis here.

Bruce Charlton said...

@AEC - Real science is done by people with a personal commitment to the truth of the matter in hand - that is what I perceive in reading MM.

Thus, what you say makes no difference one way or the other, since I know nothing about you, not even your name! - nor whether you are somebody I would regard as a real scientist in this domain.

My assumptions are that (here and now) Very few (less than 1%) of self-identified scientists are real scientists, and even fewer of these work as professionals.

Bardsey said...

Your comment about physics as the longest corrupted science intrigued me. Right now I'm reading Herbert Butterfield's "The Origins of Modern Science" while having spent increasing amounts of time going through Steiner's writings. It's a useful book and has me believing that most modern's are confessing a faith when they worship science. Real understanding is frighteningly rare.

I found your website a decade ago via your writings on the Inklings and eventually read some of your writings on medical science. Fascinating. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts about the history and corruption of modern science. My appallingly amateurish take is science's deepest corruption has come through its fixation on atomism, and chemistry has been the best facilitator of this current rebellion. But my ignorance is vast and deep. If you write more on this topic it would be most welcome!

Bruce Charlton said...

@B - This is covered, and some further references given, in:

https://corruption-of-science.blogspot.com/

Akulkis said...

I'm an engineer (educated at Purdue University).

That experiment doesn't show what you claim. The error you probably made is in accounting for rotational momentum in the ball going around the circle but neglecting to do the same for the ball following the straight course.

If you want to know the truth of a matter, ALWAYS consult an engineer, because engineers alone are held accountable for not properly evaluating the data at hand, experimental results, or whether they need more experimental results. Engineers stand behind their claims because stuff has to work right, or else valuable resources are wasted and/or people get maimed and killed. No other branch of science carries such responsibilities.

The fact that Mathis's investigation into π=4 FOR MOTION came about because both the US and Soviet/Russian space programs found that the classic Newtonian physics equations for orbital travel requires a correction factor to get mathematical results which agree with observed reality.

That correction factor just happens to be 4/π.
Take an equation with π in it, and multiply the π term by 4/π and you get 4 in place of pi.

This is well established for almost 70 years now. I don't understand why you would call it "slippery" when both NASA and РосКосмос have known this to be true for decades. Mathis is the first one to do a derivation to show a theoretically rigorous understanding of what has been an anomaly oberved consistently since the 1950's. And for that, midwits like you complain.

Akulkis said...

By the way, I have never scored less than 98% on any physics test in my life. I have read much of Mathis's treatment on physics and I can't find anything underhanded nor outlandish. What IS outlandish are $multi-billion boondoggles such as CERN, where grown men pretend to do scientific work, while supposedly trying to understand the inner workings of fine Swiss watches by throwing them at brick walls and even each other. While what they are doing is interesting, it's not verifiable until there's another similar facility set up where independent teams can verify the results on an entirely different set of equipment. Until then, NONE of the results from CERN are verifiable, because they can't be independently replicated.

Mainstream science is utterly corrupt these days. Nature recently withdrew several HUNDRED published papers for dozens of reasons all of which fall under "academic fraud"... which includes not only cheating on an exam or copying someone's homework, but also misrepresenting experiments, misrepresenting results, fabricating data, and other shenanigans related to publishing experiments, up to and in some cases including not even performing the described experiments.

This is what happens when you have so-called scientists who have zero interest in truth, only getting money and/or prestige.

Akulkis said...

That link is spot on, Bruce.

Bruce Charlton said...

@A - Thanks.

Trent Appleman said...

Hi, can you extend briefly on or contextualize what you said about lineage in late Nietzsche? While I found Thus Spake Zarathustra volcanically beautiful, and have loved various of its sayings for years, one has been reluctant to get 'too close' to Nietzsche due to essentially believing he went insane by insulting Sanity in person. So your passing comment intrigues me, and I would appreciate more about someone whom I respect but have carefully avoided plowing much through.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TA - When you see a modern secular right writers tracing leftism back to supposed origins in Christianity, or Christians tracing modern evils back to 'gnosticism, or people tracing modern problems back to Medieval 'nominalism' - they are following a way of argument associated with, made influential by, Nietzsche. i.e. Looking at the lineages of ideas - under the assumption that some idea - typically the original bad idea - is the origin of the problem. It is exemplified in The Genealogy of Morals.

Trent Appleman said...

Thank you.

Your settling on the scientific work as his most substantial, as well as your remarks about his potential for theism, makes one think of the fascinating paper about charge field in relation to evolutionary theory. Since the unfolding of life apparently proceeds from an underlying sequence, it reminds one of an irrational number each of whose places are the determining factors which result in particular chapters of the biosphere. The charge field as he details it can be one of those determining factors, and what he says should certainly not be dismissed but used at minimum as a foil to what we know and speculate about in the life sciences. I read this work of his years ago, and on rereading parts of it one reacted the same: this is not flimflam, this is worth the serious attention of the scientific community.

But quite aside from the merits of the piece, one's eye as a writer detects a very detect and superior Matthis in the composition of such scientific work. There is less of oppositional-defiant antics and more of engrossed thinking. One may will note as to this the presence of the same in the scientific work, as in his preoccupation with the sun flare work being ignored and sidelined. But one still senses a tempering here.

It seems no accident that he cannot help but admit the possibility of theistic design in the very sort of paper that appears to show him at his best. So your suspicion that he might here or in the next life accept theism has something to it if I am any judge.

You note his egotism. I can't help but note that he, a brilliant man, completely missed the broader nature of narcissism when replying to the criticism that he exhibited it: he defined narcissism narrowly in terms of sexual love of oneself so as to exclude all broader manifestations of it and thus absolve himself. This is what we call ideation supportive of the propium, error which underpins self-love. I don't mean to pick on Mr. Matthis here, since I respect his work and contrariness -- like that of some others I might mention -- but rather find the identification of such features of interest.

I hope you don't mind one's dragging you back to Matthis, but I was wondering if you might extend on your comment that his visual art suggested, at least some of it, inherent evil to you...
While I acknowledge his technical ability, one is unfortunately not very attracted to any particular painting one has looked at, as though something is missing. Besides which, I happen to admire some paintings from movements (soft cubism, futurism, vorticism) which he dismisses utterly as merely a project to deliberately destroy art. I do not believe that those movements can nearly be dismissed as such and even resent the very notion that I might, in enjoying them, merely be brainwashed and hoodwinked into hating my civilization and undermining its artistic traditions. That is one polite reproach one would make of him.

Your appraisal of him rings true. If he is incorrect about aspects of his scientific work, the scientific world is nonetheless foolish to give him other than respectful careful consideration. Other aspects of his work have been of interest, but I've probably said enough. It's just that seeing one contrarian carefully grokking another was very welcome, and I certainly wasn't seeing much in that line because most people are frankly going to be in trouble giving remotely a fair appraisal of a multifaceted oeuvre and personality.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TA - I think the core problem when considering MM's scientific work is that there is no such thing as a 'scientific world' any more - it was gone before the millennium, and earlier in the most dominant fields (such as physics and biomedical research).

This is just a plain fact - in that professional research and academia has explicitly given up on truth seeking and truthfulness as their ruling priority. I tried to explain this in Not Even Trying (2012) - https://corruption-of-science.blogspot.com/.

So there is no group of honest and competent high status scientists in existence that might 'take MM's work seriously'- the *most* he can hope for is a handful of honest and competent individuals who provide him with confirmation and feedback.

This is how 'science' has been in most places through history. The problem now is that vast structure of professional pseudo-science, still trading on the honesty and achievements of 50-plus years ago (just as the 'elite' universities are doing the same, across the board) - but nowadays with a vast apparatus of PR and hype to inflate their tiniest discoveries or notions into vast claimed significance - including much that is retrograde and inferior to what already exists.

As for MM's art. The fact is that there are many thousands of technically adept illustrators and copyists - of whom MM is one. What there isn't, so far as I know, is any major artists capable of original work at a very high level. Same in poetry, same in classical music etc. - the West's age of genius is now over, and by several generations: https://geniusfamine.blogspot.com/.