Sunday 17th of January 2021

misleading with the truth...

1913   Imagine the meetings of great minds… In “Einstein in Bohemia”, Michael D Gordin surveys the physicist’s time in Prague, where he possibly met Kafka in several encounters.


Conversations could have been slightly weird about the relativity of cockroaches. The tense relationship between the Czech and the Germans at the time did not stop Einstein from attending various congress about physics there. Some Czech philosophers, such as Oskar Krauss were strong critics of Einstein's Relativity Theory. 


The meeting of giant minds is thus a fascinating imagining, even if brief, or even centuries apart. In “The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook”, physicist Michael Brooks' imagination interacts with the polymath Jerome Cardano who invented “statistics" and the universal joint. We have already mentioned Niels Bohr and Einstein discussing “god” on this site. We could also easily imagine that someone like Spinoza, by accident of studious research, discovered the world of Confucius (or some Greek philosopher) and kept this secret when he expressed his views about god OR Nature, to the Jewry.


Spinoza was born in Amsterdam and as a young man, not even 22, he already had expressed publicly some controversial ideas for the time — humanistic ideas that had already been the lot of some Greek philosophers and of Confucius. Spinoza managed the controversy by hanging on by a thread to “a god”, while dismissing the importance of such elevated creature for humans on this planet. His compromise, accepting the existence of god OR Nature, did not stop him for being chastised with a "cherem" against him for not following the Torah. This would have been akin to being excommunicated by the Christians, or simply killed by the Muslims after having received a fatwa. Religious organisations don’t like smart-arses who contradict the dogma. 


A century before Spinoza, the Catholics had had to deal with the Luther and Calvin Protestants. The ashes from vicious religious wars were still in ambers. As the protestants became more austere, the Catholics indulged in flamboyant rococo.

Spinoza's God lacks all the attributes of the God of the Torah, having no will or emotions, no psychological traits or moral character. His God makes no plans or judgments, issues no commandments, and possesses no wisdom or goodness. 

Spinoza's God is neither transcendent nor supernatural, being more or less reducible to Nature. Indeed, Spinoza's preferred term for this entity is "God or Nature”.

It's all a far cry from the God of Abraham and Moses, who led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt — and hardly surprising that Spinoza's ideas landed him in such hot water with the religious authorities of his day.

Spinoza may have been the first person to "articulate a conception of God that would have been highly offensive to observant Jews, but as we explain here he was not the first to have views that were taking god away from the human equation and the human purpose. The Enlightenment went much further: no god.

As a “scholar", unlike some contemporaries who may have been thinking along similar/parallel lines, Spinoza had the courage and fortitude to express his views publicly, during a time of religious turmoil. His views were close to what some ancient Greek philosophers guessed: god(s) is a "fraudian" (fraudulent trick of the mind) invention. They had their own relative godly inventions and the budding Greek theatre was soon used to ridicule such gods. The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius also knew the value of human existence based on experiences (evidence) that provided the best happiness and a sense of true self, not an imposition from a superior mythical creature. 

Confucianism became the official ideology of the Chinese state, never as an established religion with a church and priesthood. Chinese scholars honoured Confucius as a great teacher and sage but did not worship him as a god nor a prophet. It seems Confucius himself never claimed any relationship with divinity.

In Europe, after many years of strict control by the tandem of kings and Catholic church that forbade any deviation from the “belief” inherited from the Torah/Testaments, since the Christianity rationalisation under Constantine, the stylistic developments of the Renaissance had placed a small wooden stake above the heart of the god delusion. These distracted religious times needed a brave person(s) to hammer it in. Many people "believed in god”, but few fully adhered to "his" commandments, especially the “do not kill", nor were really fearful of "his" judgement. New schisms had flourished to explain or to counter the abuses of the official church — the Catholic Church.

The exteriorised behaviour of many people involved treachery, “sins”, opulence, envy, greed and adultery. The religious disputes of the Renaissance had been an early awakening for the Europeans that humans could be their own masters of destiny rather than god's monkeys: my castle is bigger than yours and my coffers are fuller. May god help me get more cash while I hit you on the head and steal your land. Or let my son marry your daughter so our Duchies can unite against Lord Mongkton… Meanwhile in the countrysides, the church bells rallied the fodder, many of whom reluctantly, to go to war for a divinely appointed king, against the continent or against England. 

Ancient druidic practices, alchemistry, wizards and witches never laid dormant, but ran a subset of beliefs in which magic came either from the devil, even from god but not the churches, or from mysterious natural occurrence  Doctors were mostly useless. The much more trusted local healer had to hide his incantations and special herbs that worked better than bleeding a patient to death at every turn of a plague. In this environment, the name of god was used in vain, often like a swear word. The eyes of newts and mistletoe crops were more important than a dead guy on a cross.

So could we imagine Spinoza in conversation with Confucius? 

Confucius (551-479 BC) had developed a major system of thoughts, concerned with the principles of good conduct, practical wisdom, and proper social relationships. Confucianism influenced the Chinese attitude toward life, set the patterns of living and standards and social values. It provided the ground for Chinese political theories and institutions. Still does somewhat — while in our West, the smouldering remnants of Christianity are still influencing us with hypocrisy, in which we mix uprightness with ruthless aggression. The conversation could start like this:

Confucius: It is not up to me to criticise Western civilisation. Yet I can see major conflict of interests in which your god teaches you humility, while pride and selfishness is at the core of your actions…

Spinoza: Yes, this is what bothers me. Our society is based on the divine right to rule, while kings are ruthless devious thieves. We, Jews, are caught in giving creed to god for our behaviour, good or bad. Nature seems to work better without such imposition...

Confucius would smile...

Cancelling the cherem could destroy what Spinoza stood for, diluting his controversial views — like a drop of pure water falling into a bucket of muck: the bucket is still full of muck. 

This is where we move towards the art of misleading the public… The Triumph of Doubt is a book by David Michaels. And we have to be careful. Doubt is the driver of scientific endeavours. For example if we say that 40 per cent of smokers will get lung cancer, the statement may be true — but for the 60 per cent who won’t get cancer, smoking is worth the risk. All we can do is alert people to the danger, by making packs of cigarettes as repugnant as possible, make them illegal for minors and jack up the price, hoping less smokers will end up clogging hospitals. It’s a proportions game, in which the lobbyists and their lawyers are specialists of making us accept the risks.

For centuries, religions had been able to create a godly permanence of fake truth via tricks of propaganda, forceful inquisition and bedding the powers of the time, be it Emperors or Kings — Empresses or Queens. Who would or could dare question the dogma? Yet there were quiet doubters who with an inquisitive mind could see that the biblical story did not add up. The public was misled, but few could rock the boat without loosing their life — hung, quartered, shot, or burnt to the stake like Joan of Arc, a religious woman declared a heretic.

Spinoza saw this. Though sciences were in infancy, he could assess that porkies had been told by both the Jewry and the Christians, while the Muslims were not far behind telling fibs. All religions used coercion of punishment to various degrees to make sure no one leaves the flock, like a black sheep. Repentance is big business and fills coffers. This is the basis of the “original sin” deceit.

The Triumph of Doubt is about the deceits of industries and entertainment businesses designed to undermine evidence(scientific)-based policies. Religions are not evidence based, but sciences are, thus the analysis of The Triumph of Doubt is about exposing the twisting of sciences to promote differing points of views, such as on smoking, silicosis and climate change. Lobbyists for industries are very efficient and know how to twist facts to suit their arguments. As mentioned before many times on this site, lies are far more powerful than the truth.

The Triumph of Doubt

Dark Money and the Science of Deception

By David Michaels, 
President Obama's Occupational Safety and Health administrator and chief safety officer of the nuclear weapons complex under President Clinton.

• An insider's look at the machinations of manufactured doubt in science -- bogus studies, congressional testimonies, think-tank policy documents -- and how they have risen to prominence in American life and government.

• Details how corporations manipulate science not just to defend dangerous products and activities, but also to market them as safe.

• New details around high-profile cases of manufactured, misleading uncertainty, including in car manufacturing, professional sports, our food and drink, and the air we breathe.

• Argues that the anti-science policies of the Trump Administration are not new, but are instead the outcome of decades-long campaigns by the tobacco and fossil fuel industries to stop regulation of deadly products.

• Exposes how corporations "work the referees" in the regulatory process to ensure their products are not labeled as cancer-causing -- even when they are... 

The techniques to create doubts about sciences are well-targeted, as sciences are often statistically based to mitigate proportions of doubt, but never eliminate doubt altogether. Thus the priests and princes of deceit, similarly to those that have for years promoted the notion of god, can spin the value of any snake oil. 

While doctors, surgeons and modern medicine have made great strides in increasing our chance to live beyond our used-by-date, they still use empirical methods of voodoo practitioners in hoping that this substance or that drug will work say against a coronavirus like Covid-19, by ample testing versus a neutral sample. This can take a while. There is a lot of guesswork in sciences, especially biology. This leaves sciences open to misinterpretations on all sides and influence public policies. Mistakes will be made and doubt being estimated one way or another can be costly in insurance payouts and in public policies.

WHO (the world Health Organisation) declared a pandemic and the panic button got pressed in most countries — even in the USA, despite what some anti-Donald people might say. At this stage we need to know at what level of doubt or certainty the pandemic is: 90 per cent, 60 per cent or 99 per cent deadly and to whom. We know certain stats, such as the death ratios versus recovered and age brackets, though who knows how much they’re accurate at the speed of collecting. 

The next proposal is to set the containment parameters needed to mitigate the pandemic. Have we got to be draconian and follow the rehearsal of November last year in regard to pandemics — that is to shut down the world economies until drugs are found to fight the disease and vaccination has been practiced on nearly everyone?... Is this the best we can do? Is this a new path set by big Pharma to make profits? Is there machinations of manufactured doubt in science — bogus studies, congressional testimonies, think-tank policy documents— and a reluctantly conflicting President, while the media is “unaware" of the conspiracy to “arrest the world economic system, with debts and other fiddles we have not seen yet?"

On the present global warming, the issues now are less about the warming itself or about its origin but how much damage this is going to do. More on this. What would Spinoza and Confucius say about the issue?...

Misleading the public and himself, with truth.

a global warming democrat hypocrisy...


Welcome back to the Climate Crisis News Roundup. We are now fully in the throes of election season!

If you have a story you think deserves a spot in the roundup, or story pitches in general, get in touch with me at or on Twitter at @SteveAHorn. You can read the previous edition here.

House Dems Pro-Oil Drilling Climate Bill 

House Democrats passed legislation to boost the fortunes of the oil industry as one of their last acts before going to recess until after Election Day. The bill passed as funeral ceremonies were held in Washington for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Only 18 Democrats opposed HR 4447, called the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, in the Sept. 24 220-185 vote, including “The Squad”—Reps. Alexandria Ocacsio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. The bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate in its current form and the White House has pledged to veto it.

Buried within the House climate bill is a provision that was once a standalone bill called the Fossil Energy Research and Development Act (HR 3607), which extends $1.64 billion in subsidies to the Energy Department to “maintain robust investments in carbon capture technologies for coal and natural gas applications” and oversee the creation of three natural gas or coal power plant pilot facilities for carbon capture. The bill further extends $722 million to the Energy Department to “carry out large-scale carbon sequestration demonstrations for geologic containment of carbon dioxide” in utilizing the captured CO2 for a drilling process called enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR). That’s over $2.3 billion in industry subsidies. 

Read more:


The collection of evidence for global warming is 99.9 per cent accurate.

These evidences include: 
Melting of glaciers
Rising sea level
Rising temperature of the atmosphere
Melting of the ice caps

Other indicator of global warming:
Bush fires, wild fires becoming more frequent and more devastating
Storms becoming more devastating
Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons being more severe
Bleaching of coral reefs
Sea temperatures rising
Melting of permafrosts
Temperature hitting 49+ in Penrith
Animal species under stress: adapt or perish

Origin of global warming is 97.9 per cent accurate:

Anthropogenic extra CO2 added to the atmosphere
Anthropogenic extra methane and nitrous oxides
As some areas warm up, extra methane and NOx are naturally added
Some complex feedback mechanisms retard the effects of global warming
minimal natural occurrences

The future of global warming predictions of damage:

(This is the most contentious area of global warming).
Increase temperature of the surface of the planet: +3 to 6 degrees Celsius by 2100
Occasional scorching temperatures in many places
Changing climatic patterns
Damage to property
Loss of polar sea ice
Rising sea level: +45 cm to 120 cm by 2100  (+200 cm to 400 cm by 2150)

Preventing global warming beyond human comfort zone : 
Reduce emissions of CO2
Reduce emissions of methane and NOx
Remove the extra CO2 added in the last 50 years

Where is doubt about global warming coming from?:
Disinformation from lobbyists and from a few scientists working for corporations.
Manufacturing doubt in science with bogus studies, erroneous testimonies, certain think-tank policy documents and some influential media.
Defending products and activities that release CO2, methane and NOx, and market them as safe with government and media protection.

high-profile case skilled lawyers using misleading uncertainty in challenging the data and its application.

anti-science policies being the outcome of decades-long campaigns by the tobacco and fossil fuel industries to stop regulation of production of .

corporations "work the referees" in regulatory process to ensure their products are not labeled as global warming agents -- even when they are... 

How to eliminate doubt about global warming and its origin:

Keep on fighting misinformation
Promote the reality of global warming
Explain how it mechanically works
Do not overstate nor underestimate the possible damage
Get insurance actuaries to assess and explain risk factors

Image at top: (muzzled) — illustration by Norman Lindsay, 1913... (before the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918).