[Note – I’ll be adding some posts as “chapters” here, despite the fact that they are not actually sequential and express still-evolving lines of thought. In due time, I may draw enough threads together into a tapestry that could reasonably be called a book. Until that time, I put my thoughts here in case people find them useful as-is.
This was originally written May 24, 2018]
[Update 7/2/2018 – The original lead-in to this piece focused on a still of the Roadster similar to the one at the end of the first video here as absolute proof of fraud. For now, it seems I need to learn a thing or two more about atmospheric scattering if I’m going to lean hard on it. It may be that a lack of it in near-vacuum, plus the low exposure value and highly glossy surface of the car body, could account for the huge brightness disparities between it and the more matte objects.
But this is just one apparent problem with SpaceX. So, I invite you to review the videos below, as well as this man’s blog for more information (http://blog.banditobooks.com/ – First SpaceX post here). He ain’t kidding that examination of contemporary space travel has been almost entirely abandoned within the general Truther media – ceded to the Flat Earth movement.]
Just what do I mean by such a preposterous term as “Anarcho-Forteanism”? First, some information which should be shared anyway and serves as a good jumping off point.
[But, come to think of it again. If a vacuum, lacking atmospheric occlusion, could account for the darkness of the car body – that only specific angles will reflect enough light to appear bright to the camera – then how in the world could a dark area of space ever be overexposed like in the door opening? You can’t have it both ways, right? If anyone has an explanation, let’s hear it.]
See also the fact that SpaceX quietly re-uploaded an edited version of their own livestream – removing an error and another anomaly – while keeping the same title, URL, etc. Something which is ordinarily not possible on YouTube.
I jump to my “big message”.
We like to believe we have social institutions robust enough to protect people from at least the worst forms of deceivers and human bias, but sadly this is not the case. We have been conditioned to believe the assurances of, essentially, undeclared priesthoods over the evidence of our own eyes and ability to reason. To really move towards just societies and get off this death spiral it is essential to reclaim confidence in our own powers, as individuals, to discern and know truth, and, as collectives, to come together for greater goods despite differences of opinion or belief.
Still here? Thank you. You’re making this worthwhile for me.
I’d like to address some of the main resistances to accepting the evidence of the existence of what I’m going to call “Civilization-Level Cons” (to get more precise than “Conspiracy”). At other times I may appeal to psychology, but this is a perilous angle to come from. For as valid as I think that aspect may be, some Flat Earther could come to me and claim I have the exact same mental barriers to accepting the real truth. And my reaction too, though probably said more nicely, would be something like: “You calling me a coward? You, you gullible twit? Shoo fly! Your reasoning is what’s flawed.” Instead, I’ll try to identify more of the root error in thinking. I hope.
In introducing something like the above, one response is something like “Really that’s too extreme. There must be a perfectly reasonable explanation and you’re jumping to conclusions.” It could very well be that there’s an explanation whoever is making the case hasn’t thought of, so it’s important to consider. However, this can also entail disengagement from trying to tackle the actual question. One recognizes the gaps, but assumes that an authority can surely fill them in and holds in a state of suspension until such an explanation is provided. And, if one really isn’t sure, isn’t it only fair to look on that explanation with a similar amount of skepticism?
The other common counter-argument goes like “It’s simply not possible to pull such a thing off with so many people involved and so many people watching it closely, let alone so many highly educated professionals”. While I won’t deny that estimations of what is possible and impossible based on a social or political understanding do have their usefulness, they are still just estimations, presuppositions. They can’t be relied upon to answer questions of What happened in a specific case. In fact, it is precisely identifying a lie that informs you at what level it’s possible to (mostly) get away with it. Or, that more reliable, certain means of knowing must come before lesser ones. If conclusions drawn from the laws of physics, or the principles of common-sense, 3D existence contradict a story someone has told, then physical principles win.
Whether or not our existence is ultimately rational – and I’m someone who’s certainly not opposed to bizarre exceptions and even “magical thinking” – really, is it in the case of claims by governments and titans of industry where we should be ready to accept the ordinary rules don’t apply?
Which brings me to Anarcho-Forteanism. I’ve put that term out there without really explaining what it’s about. I confess its initial conception was, true to its inspiration, half joking. I needed a blog name… Sure, why not come up with another identitarian label to fit my own very particular interests and stances? Fortean, or the study of extraordinary phenomena in the philosophical vein of the writer Charles Fort. Then tack on Anarcho- to give it a cultural, political focus and a sly reference to the deceiving Archons of Gnostic cosmology. Tee-hee-hee.
But now I take it up more seriously. It is, as an inquiry, interested in the “damned data” of human culture, that which is irreconcilable with prevailing notions of both political and fundamental reality. It does not deny the existence of truth nor Truth, but is inherently skeptical of the power of any one expression or mechanism to explain the whole. It is, as a political philosophy, simply Anarchism in the literal sense of “Without Rulers” – that no person or hierarchy has the moral authority to act as Master over others – but with emphasis on the importance of knowledge and belief as mechanisms of power. That to place one’s trust in an authority as to what is right and proper to believe is to sacrifice a portion of one’s own power to know. That centralization of trust in who is an authority on Truth, or even truths, is best limited because it eventually leads to tyranny, to the suppression of individual rights and sovereignty, just as surely as centralization of political authority. Actually, it’s probably more proper to say the two authorities are inextricably linked, despite efforts to separate them.
It is the attempt in seeking truth to balance, on the one hand, the utmost seriousness and conviction (for what is true and what is believed matters for how we act and the society we help create), and on the other, the greatest openness and humor (for not every truth is actually as important as we feel. For life is an adventure, and reality will consume even the most cherished of illusions. And, if you still live after that, what then?).
Funnily enough, my expression here has almost the opposite emphasis as what Fort himself was on about. I’m advocating the potential for firmness, whereas he persistently pointed to the intractable “slipperiness” of our existence that defies clean, logical constructions. He was especially ribbing the scientific establishment of his day in the early 20th century for presumptions of having achieved total victory over the old Theological worldviews and “having it all figured out”. “You really think so? Well… here’s a few hundred data points of phenomena ya’ll used to diligently record but now conveniently ignore because they don’t fit in your paradigm. Rains of living frogs and fishes, and meteoric hunks of limestone and slag. Gigantic wheels of light in the ocean. Whatever happened to scientific interest in those?” He penned such ticklish savageries as:
“Every Science is a mutilated octopus. If its tentacles were not clipped to stumps, it would feel its way into disturbing contacts.”
Nonetheless, his opposition was never to Science itself, but Dogmatic Science. He declared himself an “Intermediatist”, in between the extremes of Absolutism and, uh, “absolute” Relativism. In his time, when the ascendancy of Materialist worldviews, and of scientists to hero status, in public consciousness was still fresh, reveling in fluidity, digging up all the muck and the fuzzy edges excluded by excessive rigidity was the proper correction towards an Intermediate. Today? On a whole, I think the opposite excess is the greater hindrance to balance. That belief in the ability of people to draw absolute conclusions, to really know anything for themselves, withers under forces like information overload and dedicated propaganda campaigns. Or is even vehemently denied in service to the enthronement of subjectivity.
To be sure, and living in the USA especially, it’s hard to miss the still-prominent cultural threads of e.g. Evangelical Christianity, holding to absolutes against all opposition. The polarization of our times involves precisely the clash of opposing, vehement beliefs as to truth. However, I contend that the general culture is actually mired in self-doubt. That cranking up the volume of insistence can be more for people to convince themselves and in-group than anyone else. Acknowledging there are a slew of intermediates or mixed types, I stereotype two broad categories: “Spiritualists” and “Rationalists”. “Spiritualists”, at their worst, are prone to believing something because it sounds appealing, or reinforces prior beliefs, or that there is no such thing as objective truth. So, the thing to do is seek guidance from spiritual gurus (or maybe just certain academics if you’re not into that sort of thing) who seem to possess greater clarity of vision. “Rationalists”, at their worst, view human beings as practically mindless automata, and are allergic to anything that smacks of consciousness or subjectivity infringing on the certain world of dead, blind matter. So, the thing to do is seek guidance from collectivized bodies of knowledge and thought, who seem to be the true vanguards of discovery and rationality. And yet, I perceive one underlying “sin” to it all: That the human mind is so puny next to the overwhelming complexity of the Universe and modern society, it’s hopeless to come to any but the tiniest fragments of truth without an external authority handing it to you.
In a more general sense that’s undeniably true. There are innumerable problems and processes that defy common-sense expectations, that are too complex to really understand without a high degree of practice or specialized knowledge, or that are necessarily the work of whole teams or multiple generations (Do I even need to list examples?). Then, one can’t help but place trust in experts if you want to do or “know” anything outside your personal purview. Where this goes too far, where it actually becomes part of a con, is when people place trust in an authority over their own judgement at a level they actually are capable of understanding.
For instance, a cannonball lobbed through the air vs. a vacuum. The same force, assuming no wind, yadda yadda. One need only understand what air resistance is to be certain the one shot through a vacuum is going to go further. How much further, exactly? Well, then you need to understand the right math to come up with an answer. And yet, anyone with a basic understanding can absolutely, categorically say the cannonball shot through a vacuum will not travel shorter. If a professional physicist comes along and tries to tell you it will, well… any anger in response to you telling him he should probably find another line of work is his problem.
I’m telling you. When it comes to the history of space travel (and false-flag terrorism, and so many things the alarm bells for which people have been ringing can no longer be simply ignored) sometimes the contradictions between the stories we are told, the documentary evidence, and basic physical principles are at this kind of level. Which is not to say the “Truth Movement” in general can itself be relied upon to always tell the difference between solid and ambiguous points. But, this is still minor compared to the Scientific Establishment, which has done worse than drop the ball. It has actively enabled and defended the lies of those who would deceive all humanity.
Now, I don’t aim to sneer at scientists as a whole. I’ve known quite a few of them personally who are genuinely curious investigators and beyond decent as people! I’ve also known some who are jaw-droppingly arrogant, narrow-minded jerks, and some mixtures in between. Therefore, I do mean to besmirch such labels and titles to dispel the hypnotizing reverence they can inspire. Because scientists really are just people too, and because science is really a process, not a body of facts. The greatest dangers come from the individuals and bodies we hold as spokespeople of Science. It’s perfectly necessary for the scientific process to be collectivized to some extent, both for the sake of checking bias and the sheer power of pooling information. At the same time, the general point I would make is this very collectivization also presents openings for the likes of politics, cults of personality, and group-think, to hold more sway than a hard-nosed reckoning with facts. Particularly when governments and vast sums of money come into the picture.
I jump way ahead to my reading of “The Grand Chessboard” as it now stands. Disparate confusions in desperate search of some sort of stability. Who in our world can be trusted to provide any honest, principled guidance and leadership? Politicians? Well, when have politicians in general ever been trusted? Still, there was a long way down to reach this particular low. The Press? While it’s not equal across the spectrum, in part on account of the (Fake news! Lying media!)-crying President, in general faith in their trustworthiness and objectivity has tanked. Mainstream news, corporate news, these are now widely treated like an Emperor called out in his nakedness. And the growing Alternative Media mostly falls into one ideological bubble or another. Religion? Perhaps some new leader or synthesis could give rise to a new fusion among the faithful, but on a large scale way too divisive at this juncture. So who’s left that “everyone” can and should get behind? How about people who stand under the umbrella of Science? That lofty endeavor motivated only by the quest for truth, which reveals to us the true wonders of the Universe, and proves its worth time and again by putting marvelous new technologies – something like real magic – in the palm of our hands.
How about them?
…Even as I was writing this(!) I just saw that Elon Musk is taking media accountability into his own hands by starting a public platform for people to rate the quality of news articles and journalists. Terrific! That’s actually a great idea in principle. Yet, given the source, I’d say a fox could just as well crowd-source the guarding of the henhouse, and thus ensure plenty of good-hearted dogs show up to mask who really holds the keys.
I would be remiss to not at least mention their choice of pop culture references, though I have yet to pin down an explanation – calling the dummy “Starman”, blasting “Life on Mars” on repeat. Sure, perfectly sensible in context. And yet, there’s also just something extra weird about David Bowie.