Trump for President!

After several weeks of trying to raise awareness of the disaster it would be to elect Donald Trump as the president of the USA, I have changed my mind.

I will now support Trump and cheer on him from abroad – hoping he will hit a Home Run next week.

trump

I will support him precisely because it will be a disaster. It will set the effort to curtail global warming back decades when he pulls the US support for the Paris Agreement. Trump is notoriously anti-science and pro-conspiracies and conveniently believes climate change to be a hoax. I believe global warming is the single most important issue facing the Earth for the next century. And we cannot fail in our efforts to not fuck up our planet.

But, it’s better to fail hard and fast than to fail in ten years when the crisis is even tougher. And I don’t believe we can afford not to fail now. We must let Trump win so that he can fail in public so that the US can learn fast – and then join in with other nations that want to pull our weight together. The alternative is worse – having 150 million disaffected Americans sulking and bitching for the next 4 years.

Shielding the US from Muslims, Mexicans, Syrian refugees (which is largely due to the US intervention in the Middle East), free trade and everything Mr. Trump doesn’t like is certainly not the way forward. But no amount of rhetoric, persuasion or facts will convince Trump supporters that we need to pull together. The egoism runs too deep. He needs to wreck havoc in order for people to understand that this right wing lunacy is a dead end.

I believe in failing. And learning. It’s core to my coaching of athletes, executives and artists. US needs to learn. Since the world has never been socially better off than now, we should afford 4 years of crazy shit to accommodate for better decades to come.

It apparently wasn’t enough for Bush to fail, he’s simply been written off later as “part of the establishment”. We need another fast and solid failure.

Vote for Trump. Make America Fail Again.

Occam’s Razor: Fail

Recap what Occam’s Razor is by reading my previous blog post on this principle.

william-of-ockham-razor-quote

The principle has habitually failed to live up to it’s promise as a guide for choosing the right scientific path. Here’s why.

“A Viking looks up at the sky. The dark gray clouds, the thunder and lightning is a sure sign of heavy rain coming. It is also the sure sign of Thor’s anger. We have angered the God of the skies. Or, it is the sure sign of complex physical processes represented with unfathomably complex weather mathematics at play.”

“The universe was created by an all-powerful being that decided to experience. Or, it was created by an incredible fine-tuning of six numbers for what what we have no explanation, allowing for life to evolve in a near impossible improbability with physical processes so complex we cannot see any end to it’s complexity.”

Occam’s Razor tells us to choose the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions. And before you think that Thor is an improbable assumption, then realize he would be but one assumption as compared to a huge amount of assumptions at play in our current physical models of the weather and the universe at large.

Applying the “scientific” principle of Occam’s Razor, we should perhaps have stayed with the Gods.

Science, Ockham’s Razor & God

I just read an article in “Philosophy Now” with this title. The article is definitely worth a read as it tackles common misapplications of Ockham’s Razor.

william-of-ockham-razor-quote

To fill you in on this principle, let’s quote WhatIs.com:

Ockham’s razor (also spelled Occam’s razor, pronounced AHK-uhmz RAY-zuhr) is the idea that, in trying to understand something, getting unnecessary information out of the way is the fastest way to the truth or to the best explanation. William of Ockham (1285-1349), English theologian and philosopher, spent his life developing a philosophy that reconciled religious belief with demonstratable, generally experienced truth, mainly by separating the two. Where earlier philosophers attempted to justify God’s existence with rational proof, Ockham declared religious belief to be incapable of such proof and a matter of faith. He rejected the notions preserved from Classical times of the independent existence of qualities such as truth, hardness, and durability and said these ideas had value only as descriptions of particular objects and were really characteristics of human cognition.

Ockham was noted for his insistence on paying close attention to language as a tool for thinking and on observation as a tool for testing reality. His thinking and writing is considered to have laid the groundwork for modern scientific inquiry.

Ockham’s insistence on the use of parsimony (we might call it minimalism) in thought resulted in some later writer’s invention of the term, Ockham’s razor. Among his statements (translated from his Latin) are: “Plurality is not to be assumed without necessity” and “What can be done with fewer [assumptions] is done in vain with more.” One consequence of this methodology is the idea that the simplest or most obvious explanation of several competing ones is the one that should be preferred until it is proven wrong.

The article in “Philosophy Now” tackles the logical boundaries of this principle. When it can be used and when it can not be used. I won’t reiterate the article here, only expand upon it – and in a way that doesn’t require reading the article to get my point. Here goes:

One common atheist line of reasoning is that since science is successfully explaining more and more of existence, the need for God becomes less and less. And by applying Ockham’s Razor, we might as well erase the need for a God altogether. This is a theme common among New Atheist authors such authors as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

This logic is wrong. And it is easily proven through simple mathematics:

If you have one value decreasing as a result of another increasing, you cannot simply assume that if the increasing value gets arbitrarily high, the other will eventually become zero. Even if the increasing value becomes infinite, there is no reason to think that the decreasing value becomes zero.

Consider this simple equation:

f(x) = \frac{1}{x}

As “x” approaches infinity, the result, “f(x)” approaches zero. But it will never become zero. Because if you were to equate 1/∞ with zero, you would get the obvious absurdity that ∞/∞ is also zero:

\frac{\infty}{\infty} = \infty * \frac{1}{\infty} = \infty * 0 = 0

..which obviously is absurd. Informally, such uses of Ockham’s Razor comes under the heading of the “hasty generalization” fallacy.

One thing that works remarkably well in Scientology…

… the suspension of shit.

Most people are able to curtail their issues if they are motivated to do so.

You can suppress your compulsions, suspend your anger, curtail your depression and put your mental anguish on hold… if you know there is a solution up the road. Just keep walking a bit further and it will get handled. Just a mile up the road. Across that Bridge. Over on the other side. A bit further. Almost there. Just hold on for a tad longer. Etc.

I have met scores of Scientologists who have had this going, and remarkably well – for years. They have this big issue in life that they want to have handled. And they believe Scientology can handle it. They start out on the Communication course, and while they get good gains on the exercises, that pressing issue is not gone. They do the Grades. Excellent gains, but the problem remains. They become Clear. Issue still there. They embark upon the OT levels. Cool gains, but that mental burden, while thoroughly covered by hope of some future resolution, is still there. Nagging.

the-long-winding-road-207526

This suspension of shit is a real gain in the person’s life. While it is indeed temporary, it is nevertheless real. The person’s life quality can be substantially increased for years. And that is one great thing that Scientology can do for people.

But for this to work, the person must believe that the issue can be solved by Scientology. And for the person to believe, the solution must be at least as complex as the problem he is facing. Brushing the problem off with “just don’t create it” or “learn to not give a flying fuck about it” just won’t cut it – if the person cherish his problem too much. He will need a complex, substantial and “real” solution. Something scientific looking, something complex like Scientology. With steps and levels and processes, procedures, frameworks, methodology and terminology and organizations and graphs and charts, expensive and exclusive, and with lots of neat looking marketing. Yeah, that should cut it.

It’s only when the person completes or quits Scientology – and still have that issue – that the bear wakes up from hibernation and charges ferociously back into his life. This is why some people experience a great loss when they quit Scientology or when they complete the Bridge (to “Total Freedom”).

The flip side of this coin is really that suspending the mental issue with hope of resolution is an abandonment of responsibility. Instead of taking full responsibility for the problem, he assigns the resolution over to “future Scientology”. And then he’s stuck with the issue even though it is suspended.

The denial of facts

Anyone holding a strong belief be can be subject to confirmation bias – the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.

It can be seen in many discussions on Scientology here on my blog. Scientolgists faced with facts or iron-clad arguments against Scientology will defend their belief even to the point of the ridiculous.

But it takes on a more serious shade when the consequences affects every man, woman and child on this planet. Or more precisely all life on Earth. Climate change deniers continue to hold their beliefs strong in the face of avalanches of facts telling us we must do something Now in order to not wreck our world. When even the possible future President of the most powerful nation on Earth remain among the deniers of science, we could be heading for serious trouble.

climate

An article in The Guardian titled, “How climate science deniers can accept so many ‘impossible things’ all at once” highlights confirmation bias and its siblings, “conspiracist ideation” and “identity-protective cognition”. It’s worth a read. Also to help understand discussions regarding religion or belief.