Expert Opinion

33 weeks ago the country voted, in an advisory capacity, to remove its cannula, jerk out its catheter and make a break out of the door marked “BREXIT”.

Almost 21 days have passed since the nation decided to jump of the EU bandwagon and reach away from the stars (of the European Union) and I feel no better about the decision.

As I’ve written before, I voted to remain in Europe.

Because of that I have been accused of so much rampant Liberalism that I have:

  • Rejoined the Liberal Democrats – may as well be hung as a Lion.
  • Signed numerous knee-jerk petitions.
  • Discussed valid “Leave” & “Remain” arguments post-Brexit.
  • Been accused of “Ageism”, “Socialism”, and of being too sensitive.
  • Been told to person-of-non-specific-gender-the-fuck-up and pull together to help the nation castrate itself.
  • Seen friends and families tear themselves apart over something that none of us have any control over.

I am still angry.

I am still disappointed/disenchanted.

I am still here & just as powerless as I was pre-referendum.

The nation of my birth is still in Europe and the people who campaigned for us to leave have still got no clue as to how we will survive post-Europe.

And so, as much as it makes no difference to the political process that was set in place months ago, we carry on and the people who, like me still give a fuck, scrutinise the arguments, write to our MPs and generally try to voice our “reason” to the world.

Which brings me to the point of this article… I’m no political pundit.

I’m no expert, I’m just a guy who’s spent 4 decades living in the foothills of the Pennines trying to defend himself against a thuggish world that don’t “get” people who actually understand “why” we rub the rocks together – as opposed to just rubbing the rocks together because “Durr! That’s what we do Doofus”.

So I suppose I am an expert.  Just not a political expert… anyway… SQL Server, business analysis, the works of Brian Lumley, the impact of British post-punk musicians on popular music and contemporary occult philosophy – I’m your guy.  The potential effects of British public opinion on the world’s economy – less so.

Which is just as well.

We are now balls-deep into the “Post Fact” age.

We’ve seen the two major political parties in the United Kingdom hosting leadership campaigns built on the back of popularity and gender, as opposed to actual policies.

The United States presidential election has been conducted no better and the aforementioned referendum actively discouraged the public from listening to the reasoned voices of experts.

pobgoveAt the beginning of June, almost a month before the nation went to the polls and decided to remove it’s nose, the former secretary of state of education – Pob Michael Gove stated that the British public had:

had enough of experts

Interestingly enough, he also stated that we should “count him out” of future leadership elections.  Like the other politicians involved in the Leave campaign, he backtracked on that pretty quickly once one the referendum was over.

Pushing the duplicity of politicians to one side, the thing that excites me now – and I mean genuinely piques my interest is that the world has changed… not just on a socio-political level… not just economically but inside.

It’s like the world is The Doctor and all of a sudden we’ve tuned in and The Doctor isn’t a crazy, bescalved, curly haired, grinning jelly baby freak… no the world is now some kind of sleek Cricketer with a hot American wife and a penchant for wooden spoons (and soup dragons).

A friend of mine recently said:

I think we have entered into a world of post fact politics. It is like people live in a world of magical reality.

And I think he’s really hit the Mankey on the nose with that statement.

The general public are now not only encouraged to ignore but are actively ignoring “expert” opinion… even I nearly wrote “so-called ‘expert’ opinion” just then.

Heck, I’ve even railed against experts in my “Church of Pfizer” posts.

“But why is this exciting Armaitus? The country of your birth is in turmoil, the economy is in ruins and the Sith elite have just taken power whilst the Jedi council devours itself from within.”, I hear you cry.

Well that’s an interesting question 700-plus-per-month-average-readership-people and one that I’m super happy to answer…

torqwoomada

I Torq-woo-mada

My friend is absolutely correct, we’re entering a world that – albeit unwittingly – accepts a magical reality.

The western world’s – or at least United Kingdom’s and United States’ – paradigm has shifted from a pro-science, pro-expert factual basis to one that I am led to believe is referred to, by the rest of the world, as “WOO“.

When writing about the Church of Pfizer, I was attempting to put forward the proposition that Science was treated by the general public as a Religion.

The majority of the IFLS crowd wouldn’t know Science from Scientology; sheesh, wrap a fictional-factoid up in a handsome enough meme and your median common denominator would lap it up as Science regardless of whether it had an empirical evidential basis or not.

For the latter part of the 20th century and into the early cyberpunk years of the 21st, we’ve been living a transition from a scientific paradigm into something new – an Idiocracy of sorts.

There’s not much of a leap from the I-Fucking-Love-Scientific thinking of the Church of Pfizer to the pseudo-scientific thinking of those of us who choose to live in a magical reality.

To best explain this I can think of no better piece of work than Ramsey DukesS.S.O.T.B.M.E – An essay on magic.

You can see the author talk about the relevant elements of this piece of work here:

The basic principle that the pseudonymous Mr. Dukes puts to us is that you can perceive the general direction that Culture is taking along one of 4 paths.  He goes on to depict this using the following cultural compass:

dukescompass

He goes on to explain:

Thought is compounded of four elements which I call intuition, observation, logic and feeling.

Any practical method of thinking demands at least two of these four elements, one to serve as an input of impressions and the other to process them.

Artistic thought uses feeling and intuition, Religious thought uses intuition and logic, Scientific thought uses logic and observation, and Magical thought uses observation and feeling.

It really is worth (in my opinion) seeking out the works of Ramsey Dukes , he explains magical thinking in terms that are easily understood, without getting bogged down in any particular dogma.

In the context of what is happening in the world today, we appear to be moving from a Science/Religious direction towards a Science/Magic direction.

If you go back as far as the industrial revolution, you could choose to see the world shifting from an Art/Religion direction towards a Religion/Science world view.

Rather than thriving on the blind dogma of the Church of Pfizer, we are now being encouraged to cast out the words of Experts and go with “gut-feeling” and “why-the-hell-not”.  We are encouraged to make emotional decisions rather than decisions based on so-called facts.

None of this stops the truly Scientific world from turning.  Sure it may well influence the scientists that turn the Scientific world but no more so than, say Newton, was influenced by his ardent belief that Christ died for our sins – or Omar Khayyám‘s scientific advancements were influenced by the Koran.

Ramsey goes on to explain why he feels that magical thinking is a likely follow on to the scientific dogma that has been prevalent through my lifetime in the video below:

But why do I find this exciting?

Simple.  We’re living the change.  A genuine paradigm shift is happening, right now!

I know we’ve been told to stop them doing it but they are, they may well be doing it right now… This could be the year that they immanentize the eschaton!

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Church of Pfizer – Science as the New Priesthood

As discussed earlier, the original discussion that led to the naming of “The Church of Pfizer” was one on that started with my perceived similarities between Science and Religion in the late 20th/early 21st century. The discussion was held in the summer of 2007 and so maybe a little outdated with regards my writing style.

The overall discussion burst, alien style, out of the chest of a discussion on the supernatural and people’s beliefs in the paranormal. The latter subject being one that I was loathe to comment on at the time; discussions on paranormal topics often start out friendly enough but usually devolve into either side shouting “Prove It”, “Don’t want to prove it” at each other whilst throwing rocks around and grunting.

I inadvertently began the flame war I was hoping to avoid by responding to a poster’s tongue-in-cheek comment on religion and backing up a comment someone else had already proposed:

‘Science’ is the new church and even less open or accountable than the old one. Scientists are the new priesthood. Neither should be accorded implicit respect or faith.

My repsonse:

I see little difference between religion and the basic understanding of paranormal lore – however I do ascribe to the propositions put forward by former Eton math tutor (by nom de plume) Ramsey Dukes, that society’s guiding forces can be divided into four cyclical aspects – Science, Religion, Art and Magic(k).

I also genuinely believe that we are moving out of a Religious/Science paradigm (Therefore scientists WERE the new priesthood – look at the way the New Inquisition (American Medical Association) disposed of Wilhelm Reich and his Orgone projects) into a Science/Magickal paradigm. (Some would argue thate we are moving out of an Art/Acience paradigm, I’d disagree) – viva Generation Hex!

Looking back, I cringe at my fanboy references to Uncle Ramsey and Saint Bob, like I can’t think for myself without falling back on the works of published authors.

Following this, a fellow poster responded on the side of the rational minded scientist:

Calling scientists “the new priesthood” is nonsense. Science actively pursues knowledge of reality and when new theories or facts emerge, the old theories are dropped or modified. In religion and superstition the seeking out of facts is actively discouraged. You are supposed to have faith i.e. you are to believe things whether there is proof of them or not and indeed even if there is a mountain of evidence against them.

Unlike the priesthood, scientists aren’t handed money by the public nor would people accept scientists dictating how they should behave in their private lives e.g. whether they should use contraception. The great majority of people disregard science and understand nothing about major issues like evolution, quantum theory and relativity, even though they are happy to enjoy the fruits of science. Most scientists are not well paid.

When a scientist makes a statement about some topic, if you disagree then you are perfectly at liberty to check his research or undertake your own and prove them wrong. In religion, if you do this you are a heretic or blasphemer. If society would allow them to do it I have no doubt that the religious establishment would love to persecute anyone who disagrees with them as they do still in many Muslim nations.

My response to this is both lengthy and studded with my feeble attempts to avoid slipping into a fundamentalism of my own; whilst other responses were shorter:

No but they do a very good job at been “holier then thou”.

Also the subject of funding and money. Most scientists will tend to come to the conclusions that match the views of their pay masters.

My own response follows, edited to remove names and to better fit into a wordpress format. I’ve tried to keep editing to a minimum, to keep the feel of the original rant.
Click here to see the whole thing