The gathering storm seems to instill a foreboding in all things living. The dark skies, the billowing clouds, and the quiet of the birds and the first raindrop spell danger. Something this way comes, something, which strikes dissonance into the harmony of human existence.
The storm comes, lashes its collective wrath and moves on and those that survive gather their collective wit and start to live again. It is the existential human drama. Life recouples, survives and redoubles her efforts to keep living.
But there is a new kind of storm that pricks the edges of our understanding. This one carries a darker more sinister purpose. This one is blacker than black. It is not a storm of nature’s doing. It is man-made, conjured up in that 3-pound universe that drives humanity. This storm is called ASSUMPTION.
Assumptions exist in most all things scientific. Theoreticians who conjure up new probabilities and create models that describe the human condition and its existence; live on the ragged cliffs of thought. Let us take the existence of Black Holes, which was the mathematic model created by Stephen Hawking. It was the creation of a fecund mind subsequently visualized in reality.
We see assumptions drive every aspect of society nowadays. Once what was considered the purview of theoreticians is now the domain of the “journalists” and self-proclaimed “experts.”
A short course in today’s expertise is evident in the controversies that surround the scientific world. A review of the scientific literature reveals that 50% of the studies cannot be duplicated. Leave alone the concept of verification and validation of any experiment as the hallmark of rigor, here the initial premise is so false that duplication is well-nigh impossible. The falsity is based on the notion of the many biases that form the prejudice behind the “study.” Biases run the underworld of the false prophets of profit. Biases induce assumptions to satisfy the end result that one is predisposed to at the outset.
Let me explain: If you want to prove that Product X leads to Effect Y then all one has to do is manipulate the question of how to evaluate Effect Y. Or select individuals that are more likely to answer in the affirmative. Or build on the expectation of the Product X using the “Placebo-effect” as the surrogate to arrive at the conclusion. Then use the “intent” to remove those individuals that do not conform to the paradigm of the cause and effect to distill down the argument to obtain the relevant p-value. And voila you have a study that becomes “EVIDENCE” for the rest of. There they go harping the benefits of “Evidence Based…!”
Two recent cases come to mind: The mammogram Canadian study and its fall out in medicine. The “experts” continue to “wing” their way into one or the other camp. Both sides are passionate in their thought but both are prejudiced under the weight of their bias. The other subject of recent hifalutin assumptions is the disappearance of Malaysian Flight #370. The missing aircraft, crew and passengers continue to fuel assumptions. Everyone stokes the flame a bit. “Experts” abound but not one has any idea of what happened. Might it not be prudent to just keep one’s opinion to oneself until facts reveal the truth? But, that does not keep the 24-hour BS cycle of non-news News and the wealthy journalists employed with their million dollar salaries happy. The News must be created. The minds must be cajoled to a certain viewpoint. The paradigm must be polished every day. When one considers that 1 out 4 Americans surveyed do not know that the earth revolves around the sun, what hope is there for that 25% to realize the difference between truth and fiction and for that matter have any scintilla of self-emboldening critical thinking?
I shudder to think.
“I must be cruel only to be kind; Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.” - Shakespeare