There’s a radical idea that’s been floating around scientific circles for a few centuries. It’s called the scientific method, and consists of politically funded and ideologically motivated university professors and employees manipulating data to conform to their preferred hypotheses. The “results” of their work are then pushed through political channels and supported through further taxation to be implemented in policies that perpetuate the work of said scientists and a bunch of other special interests, and bring a lot of money to said interests.
If you aren’t familiar with that tried and true method of discovery, you might not have been paying attention to contemporary “climate” science as it has been promoted by many politicians, their friendly university pals, and government bureaucrats. You also might not be familiar with a hot new way the educational elite are planning on “inoculating” people to accept the truth, to make sure you ignorant troglodytes take their prefabricated and massaged “reports” as well-tested fact.
A few months ago, the University of Cambridge, in England, came up with what seems to be the new “in” thing to promote the politically-influenced theory of catastrophic “anthropogenic climate change,” also known as “climate change” and “unproven propaganda” for short.
It’s called the “psychological vaccine,” and it goes like this:
Take a scientific “fact”, as described by those who control the “climate” narrative through political means, and mix it with “lies,” also determined by the Ministry of Truth.
And you're vaccinated! The truth, they claim, is more readily accepted by the masses when included with a few lies.
Now, before you begin thinking this is a spin on an episode of "The X-Files," where the character “Deep Throat” told Fox Mulder, “A lie, Mr. Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths,” we must remember that what they mean here is really just their shocking revelation that disputation about facts is best done by presenting arguments from the other side, and then (crazy stuff!) offering counter arguments.
The entire group of researchers consists of the vaunted Director of the “Social Decision-Making Lab” at Cambridge (a title that ought to set off alarm bells for anyone who believes in individual decision-making, rather than group-think), researchers at Yale, and researchers at George Mason University. And together, their elemental brainpower has able to figure out that one's side of an argument stands its best chance when one offers arguments of the other side, and proceeds to dissect them and prove them incorrect.
Said, Mr. Director, Dr. Sander van der Linden:
We wanted to see if we could find a ‘vaccine’ by pre-emptively exposing people to a small amount of the type of misinformation they might experience. A warning that helps preserve the facts… The idea is to provide a cognitive repertoire that helps build up resistance to misinformation, so the next time people come across it they are less susceptible.
Which inspires most of us who work in the field of disputation, be it political, economic, or scientific, to pretty much say, “This is new?”
As Dante noted in his “Quaestio de Aqua et Terra,” Aristotle kind of beat them to this a few years ago. His oft noted dictum about education was that its point was to dispel error and seek truth, or as Dante said, first to combat the adversaries of truth, and then, having conquered them, demonstrate truth.
But it has to be a fair fight. One has to be fair in presenting the arguments of the other side or sides, and one has to be fair in presenting one’s own arguments. If on isn’t, he is merely making a mockery of himself. This is one of the reasons so many students despise Plato’s “Socratic Dialogues,” because the arguments pitted against Socrates are flimsy, mere straw men to allow him to wax on and on about his preferred totalitarian state. It’s one of the reasons why people have a few problems with the promoters of the “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change” rhetoric: the promoters aren’t being honest with the arguments of others, or with their own so-called data.
When any person with an internet connection can look up the leaked communications between Michael Mann and “climate researchers” at the University of East Anglia to discover that they were telling each other about how they fudged data to produce their preordained and politically motivated results, it would be nice if the pushers of the theory were ready to be open with people and have a real debate.
But, even in this stunning new “discovery” about “psychological vaccination,” the Cambridge crowd isn’t willing to do that. In their study, they pitted their “fact” that “97% of scientists agree about man-made global climate change” against a website that claimed over 34,000 scientists have disputed the “fact.”
Then they began to show their test subjects some of the signatures included in the 34,000 -- signatures from people like Charles Darwin and the Spice Girls -- and to claim that many of the scientists who signed the petition at the skeptics’ site weren’t “climate scientists”.
Shockingly, people presented with this information began to look more skeptically at it.
The only problem was that the “presentation of the truth” wasn’t exactly fair or truthful. The promoters of the “97%” “fact” never exposed the readers to any skeptical or critical information about thier so-called “fact,” or went deeper into who some of the scientists on the list of 34,000 skeptics were, or what the basis of their skepticism might be.
In fact, what the great “Vaccinators” are doing is not providing “doses of truth,” but misleading people with selective criticism and a lack of scrutiny of their own scientific claims. This isn’t “truthful” in the least, and it is dishonorable and self-defeating in the field of disputation.
It is just another way to claim “intellectual truth” or “superiority” by proclaiming the power to define the terms and structure of a debate and then say that one is the “truth-teller” when one really has just propagandized more of the statist agenda.
To put it bluntly, this is not far from the tactics of Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda for Nazi Germany, who once said:
The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it.
Though wrapped in a new title, this idea of “psychological vaccination” is nothing new. It is merely another way to control the narrative, claim “honesty”, and avoid honest debate. It’s easy enough to actually debate and present evidence for one’s side while trying to be fair to the other.
The new crop of propagandists aren’t interested in that as they embark on their new era of “intellectual inoculation”. As their record has shown, they are more interested in spreading their idea than exploring the truth.
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