Knowledge, information and opinion

Rossa and I were discussing facts, opinions and the like. She took the point of view that there is knowledge, as in when someone has experienced something and then there is information, which is when that experience is passed on to another party.

Seems a good definition but it’s fraught of course. For example, I’ve seen footage many times of WTC7 coming down and have seen the vid of a Dutch expert in the field watching that and saying it was most certainly imploded and that implosion has to be rigged up to happen. Add to that the “knowledge” of other experts in the field and you have a combined sum of “knowledge”.

Now, unfortunately, in the very act of transmitting that knowledge by say, a blogpost, that expertise is lost and what is left is a report on that expertise.   Detractors can turn to the report and say, “That’s just your opinion.”

And that’s how ignorance reigns.   A non-expert reports on something an expert says and it is not the expert scrutinized but the non-expert.  Therefore it’s seen as flawed and invalid and it’s the reporter who is attacked.    It’s bizarre.

Another aspect of this is people who quote American politicians back to the turn of the century and from those quotes [do you want twenty or thirty of them again?], it’s clear they have a NWO in mind.   Now that’s those politicians who have it in mind, not the investigator or pundit.   Yet when the pundit writes on these things, he’s seen as a NWO kook.

Now tell me the logic behind that.   Surely it’s those making those statements – the politicians and the real power who are the kooks.

On the question of eternal verities and relativism, I said to Rossa that there are some things which just “are”, which are not relative or negotiable, which might not be “facts” per se but are certainly good working hypotheses.

“Like what?” she asked.

Well, I’m happy enough with “the sky is blue by default” or “water is wet”.   They’re good working hypotheses.   Sure you can get all existential or otherwise philosophical and say there is no absolute proof they are blue and wet respectively but there is a “basket”, let’s say, where things which are pretty certain can be placed and until proof or strong evidence otherwise comes up to the contrary, these things can pretty well be taken as read.

The odds are that there is a God or intelligence of some kind.   The revisionism of the last four decades cuts no ice here when laid beside the far longer than 20 centuries before that where the most learned of people have shown why it is so.    In other words, events and phenomena have occurred over that time which go outside the narrow parameters of modern day “rationalists”.   The modern rationalist does not realize just how narrow is his source material these days – he’s only been exposed to one hegemony.

Like any scientific study, one doesn’t take the orthodoxy of the last few years and posit it as the sum total of the evidence. Nor do blanket denials of evidence being evidence make them not evidence.    The new Orthodoxy of Science, the current world religion, does this to people’s brains.   It narrows their focus on only one aspect of existence – the immediately observable by our faulty sensory apparatus.

There were many people in the days of Jesus of Nazareth who attested to what they saw. The unevenness of the gospels aside, those attestations stand, as do those of the non-devout, e.g. Tacitus and Josephus. A modern day rationalist can’t legitimately come in and say that those attestations are not evidence, as he wasn’t there at the time. Those who attested were there and had knowledge, whereas the modern day rationalist has only his highly coloured and narrowly sourced opinion.

He can’t turn around and say that the early attesters were misguided because he doesn’t know and he’s saying that through his own prejudice.    Conversely,  if he constructs a philosophical argument to support him, it’s still only opinion, just as my views are opinions.    The only way he can legitimately overturn the early attesters is to produce counter-attesters from the time. If he can quote even one of these, the question then becomes how much weight can be placed on either the attester or counter-attester.

If the Pharisees or the gnostics say it is not so, that is accorded low weighting because of bias.    The more fervent the attesters, the lower the weighting there as well but other factors also come into play, such as if the phenomenon takes off, if there was an early Christology which grew, rather than died away, if others down the ages also attested as to the power of personal redemption and so on – then that obviously adds weight.

The “rationalist” has a real problem here.    In not being able to tell the attester that he didn’t experience what he did, he tries to rationalize away a phenomenon not amenable to rationalizing – it is metaphysical. And if the “rationalist” says this person or that never had this experience, then he is duty bound, according to his argument, to say that millions of others over the years who claimed this same experience never had it either.

So he’s on a sticky wicket.    And it’s not far removed from physical evidence either.    If a scientist observes a phenomenon which tends to occur under certain conditions, he might not ever get this “absolute” proof he seeks but he knows this phenomenon did occur because he experienced it.

So this can be put into the basket of “probably right”, along with the sky is blue and “thou shalt not murder”. As a working rule, the latter is well qualified to be put into the “near certain” basket.

Camps

One of the really distressing things which happens in any investigation is the splitting into camps. As Rossa says, that’s just human nature.

Yes but that doesn’t mean that everything has to be relative.    There is this basket of “nearly certain” which is not relative, not negotiable – it really “is” for the vast majority and is good enough to be taken on board.    For example, politicians anywhere tend to become arrogant and corrupt, not to mention less and less competent as they go on – I’d put that forward as a candidate for the “near-certain” basket.

I’ve just finished Who Shot JFK, by Robin Ramsay, Pocket Essentials, 2007 [hardback].

It illustrated two things – one that there really is a thing called evidence [with documents coming under that category] and two – that people split into camps some time after they’ve begun fairly and rationally.

That is, the investigator begins fairly and comprehensively, considering any evidence at all but as the evidence begins to point one way, he goes along with it, especially if it’s in line with his prejudices and then, imperceptibly, he starts to consider only evidence which backs up that direction and spends less and less time on counter-evidence or even on evidence which doesn’t fit the “narrative”.

Because there is enough evidence to plausibly construct an initial case for many candidates, the Kennedy assassination has always been a kind of mirror which reflects the researcher’s and reader’s own preoccupations and prejudices.

The author mentions subsequent knowledge altering the lie of the land. And then there are those quirky bits of evidence and what to do with them. Many times I’ve quoted Perry Mason on this:

Perry Mason, advocate, had just finished pointing out an anomaly in Sergeant Holcombe’s evidence in a murder trial and now asked, ‘Does that seem logical to you?’

Sergeant Holcombe hesitated a moment, then said, ‘Well, that’s one of those little things. That doesn’t cut so much ice. Lots of times you’ll find little things which are more or less inconsistent with the general interpretation of evidence.’

‘I see,’ Mason said. ‘And when you encounter such little things, what do you do, Sergeant?’

‘You just ignore ’em,’ said Holcombe.

‘And how many such things have you ignored, Sergeant, in reaching your [current] conclusion?’

Holmes and Poirot were on about such things, about what’s left after the impossible has been eliminated and so on. This writer, Robin Ramsay, did exactly as it said on the box – began comprehensively but then started supporting his contention that LBJ did it [not by his own hand, of course].   He even acknowledged the problems with evidence, cover-ups etc.

Yet some things still stood after the smoke had cleared, e.g.

“And it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetrated.” Nixon’s view on the Warren Report, part of transcriptions of the Nixon tapes released by Reuters, February 28th, 2002.

Or:

Kennedy’s National Security Memorandum 271 called for the development of a programme of substantial cooperation on things space exploration with the Soviet Union. Signed November 12th, 1963. That is hardly noticed today – instead the May 25th, 1961 speech is the one in the records.

Or:

All three deaths [JFK, RFK, MLK] were ascribed to patsies. Oswald was quoted as saying he was the patsy. He’s on record in the theatre as loudly proclaiming so all could hear: “I am not resisting arrest.”

Then there is the problem of him being in different places at the same time. And another factor comes into it – Mac Wallace.

A fingerprint of one Malcolm “Mac” Wallace was positively matched with that of an unidentified fingerprint on a cardboard box [p96] in the sniper’s nest … [this] was made public in May 1998 … by A. Nathan Darby, Certified Latent Print Examiner with a 14 point match, 2 greater than the legal minimum.

Again – not proof positive, not “absolute” proof, not an open and shut case but there is equally no reason to dismiss it.   It’s on the table with all the other evidence.

How about this one:

A memo on 25 November from Nicholas Katzenbach to LBJ’s chief domestic assistant, Bill Moyers, began thus: It is important that all of the facts surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination be made public in such a way which will satisfy people in the United statres and abroad athat all of the facts have been told and that a statement to that effect be made now.

1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin …..

Fact and hearsay get mixed up.    J. Evatts Haley, in 1964, said Mac Wallace worked for LBJ pre-1952. He was convicted of murder in 1952 [on the record] and received a 5 year suspended sentence.   LBJ was tied up with a scandal at the time with one Billy Sol Estes [also on the record]. When Estes came out of jail, he testified to a Grand Jury [front page of the Dallas Morning News, 23 March, 1984]:

… and clear the record concerning the cotton allotments, the death of Henry Marshall and the involvement of LBJ and others. Estes testified that Lyndon Johnson, Cliff Carter, Malcolm Wallace and himself met several times to discuss the issue of the loose cannon – Henry Marshall.

Even though it was a Grand Jury, it was still assertion from a crim who was locked in a dispute with LBJ. Put together though with the other pieces of evidence, a pattern emerges – not “absolute” proof of course.

The only way to resolve the matter is to take all evidence presented by the various camps and where it is on the record, place it on the table and don’t let it ever slide off the table in the interests of the current narrative.    Sergeant Holcombe again.

For example, why did Jack Ruby know what he did, why did the security men drop off the tail of the following car as it turned into Dealey Plaza and so on?

Cui bono?

In these situations, cui bono [or who benefits] is not immensely useful – so many benefited but two parties who did not benefit were Castro and the Russians.

Often the beneficiary is not clear to all.   For example, in whose interests is it if the financial system collapses?    Obviously those who stand to gain by that.    Who?    Financial crims, the IMF, WB, BIS, JPM, GS, the Fed, the Masons, the Rothschilds, those with debts, pensioners who have failed to save – it clears away the endgame of the debt economy and starts over again, only this time in the hands a of a central group who mete out the grain as they see fit, a la Joseph in Egypt.

Replace Egypt with the Scandinavian food banks and the parallel is complete. If currency ceases to exist, then whither those with deposits in Swiss banks?    Who runs the Swiss banks?    On whose behalf?

Where does that leave the common man? Enslaved of course. Either enslaved on paper or enslaved by being part of an elite he’d not wish to fall off, into the abyss.    That’s how they control their people over their excesses.

Why are politicians today so despised and so incredibly incompetent, with the emphasis on the word “incredibly”?    To clear the way for other leaders who’ll clear up the mess.    Which leaders?    Haven’t emerged yet.

Ostriches

We are given the power of thought, we’re sentient and can think things through. If we lay all we know on a subject on the table, we can see certain patterns emerging. Our prejudices get in the way though, so we need to clear the mind, not under duress but freely and start over, to include all those awkward bits of data or even testimony we might not like or care to consider.

Trolls also waste our time loading disinformation in to confuse the issue.

With the Kennedy case, the only way is for all camps to lay their evidence down in one place and talk to one another, not as adversaries but in an attempt to get at the truth.   Ditto with WTC7, ditto with so many issues.    This way leads to knowledge, the other leads to partial knowledge and prejudice.

4 comments for “Knowledge, information and opinion

  1. Greg Tingey
    September 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    “The odds are that there is a God or intelligence of some kind.”
    NO
    NOT EVEN WRONG
    Assuming you mean “non-human superior & maybe controlling intelligence” .. that is pure wishful BSF emoting, it’s not even thought.
    PRODUCE SOME EVIDENCE THAT SAID BSF IS EVEN DETECTABLE, or shut up.
    200 years+ of wishful thinking by blackmailing liars isn’t evidence.
    What IS evidence is what will stand up in a court of Law or a Laboratory.
    OK?

    A real Certainty.
    Gravity exists and obeys certain equations.
    E-M “radiation” exists across a huge spectrum of “wavelengths” & energies, obeying fixed immutable, mathematical laws.
    The PEriodic Table of Elemants exists – as a manifestation of Quantum Theory.
    Ditto much other scientific knowledge, particularly that with a mathematical basis – even though we know Mathematics to be a construct.

    May I suggest you take a look at the ongoing discussion Here:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/antipope-storm-refuge/NA-SgGb2tfA

    Regarding mind-uploading (an SF trope) and it’s non-possibility, BUT the reasons why it isn’t possible also destroy some of your cherished religious delusions.

  2. Voice of Reason
    September 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

    There’s so much wrong here:
    1. ‘Evidence of 20 centuries’ – which just happened to vanish when scrutinized.
    2. Both the Old and New Testament contain many statements which don’t match the available written and physical evidence.
    i) For a small example, if I recall correctly, Herod was not King of Israel when Augustus was Roman Emperor.
    ii) For another, there is no record of any such census. Even if they had, it just wouldn’t make sense to return to one’s ‘home town’. That part appears to be added to satisfy the prophesies of the Old Testament.
    iii) As for the Old Testament, virtually nothing in it matches any evidence at all.

    • Watchman
      September 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      VoR,

      I couldn’t care less whether God existed, but Herod (I) was king up to about 4BC, so easily within Augustus’ reign (is there an appropriate form of that word for emperors?). The census records may not exist, but to be honest there are Roman emperors we only know from their appearances in lists and on coins, so the lack of records is not proof of lack of census, merely proof that such a census is not recorded (and so can’t be used to aduce evidence that Jesus existed as stated…).

      The Old Testament has plenty of history in it – for example Kings and Maccabees (you may have to look outside the King James version for some of it though…). In fact, it is one of the better historical documents from its period – wierdly enough, religious texts get rewritten less than non-religious history (although to be honest the form of the Old Testament and the related Talmud were probably contemporary with the New Testament or thereabouts…).

      Mind you, I tend to agree that the evidence of twenty centuries (an odd idea in itself – the evidence of the three major middle-eastern religions is, at best, 1200 years old… Everything since the agreement of the holy texts is actually not evidence, merely debate) doesn’t prove God – and indeed, many of the proofs of God that have been adduced have been destroyed (by such notables as Bede, Thomas Aquinas and Gallileo – not necessarily in our own day). But God needs no evidence – trying to prove your belief is real is pointless – and is regularly reinvented to suit the concerns of the day.

      • Greg Tingey
        September 14, 2012 at 8:01 am

        “God needs no evidence”

        Why?
        Because BSF doesn’t exist you mean?
        What DO you mean by that empty statement?
        If something exists, there will be evidence for its’ existence, if only in second-order effects.

        Curiously, as our means of detecting things has improved over the years, the detectability and evidence of any BSF diminishes in inverse proportion. Funny, that.

        Also, you have to remember that:
        “All religions have been made by men”.

        A point made by an intelligent apostate muslim, incidentally, here:
        http://bigthink.com/against-the-new-taboo/on-salman-rushdie-and-my-apostasy?page=all

        Try again, preferably with your brain switched to ON.

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