Adam Curtis’ Short Paranoia and Moral Panics

We’ve All Become Paranoid Weirdos: How Science and Pseudo-Science Became Dogma

Dogs don’t have a firm concept of time, but seem to possess episodic memory. While this information is clearly interesting, knowing that a dog disciplined seven seconds after committing an error will be confused about the reason he is being punished, or that dogs recognize some difference between thirty minutes and two hours, but no difference between two and four hours is not something we comprehend. This knowledge does not help us understand what it would be like to view the world from a dog’s lens. Where does the time go?

This shows us that our understanding of the world is limited, by our own perception, which we assume isn’t all that different from someone else’s and in broad strokes it is nearly exactly the same with some exceptions. We are not equal physically, socially or mentally and come from different environments, so our prejudices are different. But if two men look at a beautiful woman, they both see a beautiful woman. One might be drawn to this woman, while one finds her two skinny, but it’s not because they see different things, it’s because they have different memories and genes. In most cases people cling to those who they have some natural inclination towards, usually based on genetic reasons I’m not qualified to describe, cultural commonalities, shared interests and common tastes. While two friends may fight for hours about how they can’t believe he listens to Drake so much when Kendrick Lamar is so much better, they have a shared interest in rap. While we have differences of opinion, on the surface we see the same thing in spite of the dress below.

While scientists often make statements like time doesn’t exist, time is relative, free will doesn’t exist, “The likelihood that we live in base reality is one in billions,” and that the world only exists in our perception, these ideas are contrary to our experience. Believe it or not, all these views are widely accepted and proven by scientists aside from the simulation theory that many scientists find highly probable, though not as probable as Elon Musk’s minimal certainty of 99.9999999%. When asked if science and religion can coexist Musk replied “probably not.”

These accepted views are so divorced from my experience, I’m not entirely sure that I have a any sense what these theories purport to mean. I can measure time with primitive technology and an hour feels like an hour.

Apart from my wiring that makes it feel like I’m choosing everything from the clothes I put on each morning to the words I choose writing this sentence, I’ve begun to embrace how little I actually control. I’ve questioned free will and it hasn’t killed my motivation. It’s made me feel more whole and compassionate by and large, when I’m not writing about politics on the internet.

Free will’s nonexistence often disarms other people. It opposes the merit of religion, makes morality hard to argue for and is probably a big reason why highly intelligent, highly educated atheist leftists find it hard to differentiate between good (people like evangelicals adopting 8 Ethiopian kids) and evil people (HAMAS, ISIS, I think they call it ISIL on the left, “Salam alaikum”).

Some things are even more vague and confusing. Science gives us a glimpse of a hidden reality, where we can understand the machinations of things that are not perceptible on the surface. When someone says that time doesn’t exist, does that mean that life is really like Arrival, where events are experienced non-sequentially? If this is the case, who has awareness of this?

It has to be the Randian uber-men controlling the virtual reality simulation. It’s probably just a lark for them. If they believe in “time,” they can probably simulate billions of years in what would be half a second to us backwards people who still see reality through our false conception time. Or maybe their world is so damaged by the silent killer, climate change, that they don’t experience anything outside the simulation. They prefer it to reality.

It doesn’t seem realistic that when I close my eyes the world disappears, or that nothing would exist without conscious beings, but who am I to argue? If I was someone else, I would experience things much differently. In a few years, we will probably be able to perceive a wildly different stream of perception without the aid of hallucinogens, on some virtual reality tip, but until then the deeper we explore science, the more questions we get and some of both the probable and improbable conclusions sound downright loopy.

If the world is a computer simulation, I have no means of confirming or denying it and if I hadn’t seen The Matrix, this theory wouldn’t have occurred to me, though the level of meaningful coincidences that have altered my life does make the concept of some intelligence beneath the surface of reality plausible.

It just doesn’t make sense how this all came about. Did scientists all walk out of that Keanu Reeves film, throw out their bibles and start praying to the Wachowski Brothers? Is the sex change of these sages, now the Wachowski Sisters, why so much scholarship has been devoted to validating the transgender movement scientifically?

Just a sidebar so you know where I stand on this: It’s a free country. People should do whatever they want and who gives a fuck if being a woman born with a penis is scientifically valid? It seems to have turned the antagonist Bruce Jenner into a lovely woman. What’s the problem? Still, I find hormone therapy for children morally repugnant and it is important that we honestly address the 40% attempted suicide rate. There are probably links between transgenderism and psychological disorders. Environment is just part of the problem here. There has never been a strong link between discrimination and suicide and unhappy men don’t magically become happy women.

So back to this computer simulation. Are we all being operated, or are most of us just cannon fodder for the hero? And if so, who is the hero? Wouldn’t it be immoral for such a sophisticated society to build a world of so much suffering? Does the fact that we’re just data in a computer program minimize the feeling of responsibility, like that episode of Black Mirror where the woman made a simulacrum of herself to be her slave? Elon Musk was not lying. This is a never-ending rabbit hole.

Thank you for your patience, but I do have one, maybe two more pressing question on my version of the planet earth. If Elon Musk really believes our lives are just virtual reality simulations, why does he work so hard making electric supercars and figuring out how to colonize Mars? Wouldn’t it seem rather pointless if he’s just being operated by some spoiled kid of a future race of high-IQ humans or another species? I guess the answer is self-evident. He is being controlled by a really good player.

Only one of the nine theories of parallel universes that famed pop-science author Brian Greene waxes poetical on, Neil DeGrasse Tyson thinks there’s a fifty percent probability that our world is a computer simulation, but also finds some of these other disqualifying theories interesting, in my view discounting his 50/50 belief in it. Not exactly the best science. Like me he finds the prospect of living in a simulacrum rather bleak, noting in Scientific American, “We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence. If that’s the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment.” This irrational speculation of an advanced deity-like species toying with us on their computer, doesn’t compromise Tyson’s desire to “Terminate” Religion.

Bill Nye, whose scientific credentials is an engineering degree, is a self-identifying scientist, but now also a self-identifying philosopher in the Big Think videos. He thinks the simulation thing is probable and views religion as the oppressor of scientific inquiry and discovery.

I say self-identifying as he has used faulty science to propagate the ideal that sex isn’t determined by chromosomes, but as something fluid.

Though the only “scientific” evidence for this comes in the form of Judith Butler’s critical theory, it should probably win over a lot of working class Democrats who voted for Trump. Science, like philosophy, drama, religion, art and music once suggested man’s capacity to be more noble, above his surface nature to conceive of a different reality. Politics was once also idealistic, looking for a path to build a better world. Like the film industry it is now purposely vapid to appeal to the lowest common denominator, which usually what stupid promise you need to make to please some highly specific demographic to win 10,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio.

Politics is about winning, which is why science’s entrée into leftist politics is so worrisome. This is what the Soviet Union did in an attempt to build a sustainable future, with a religious belief in science. Science shouldn’t please the proletariat or voting blocks. It should seek objective, verifiable truth. As business interests corrupted politics, politics will corrupt science.

Politics is a streetfight. If both sides could get beyond that and debate ideas, I’d see an opening for solutions through political processes, but I don’t see it happening for a long time, or until something really bad happens. But seriously, whichever Soros strategist decided that Nye and Tyson should be the face of leftist positions in the guise of science and the 97% of climate scientists agree on human pollution being the cause of climate change thing should be paid handsomely. (Was going to delete that last sentence, as I thought people wouldn’t understand I was joking, I googled it as a lark and it happened to be true.) They basically won the battle before it was fought, even though Bill Nye clearly knows nothing about the climate.

Obviously, the 97% was a manipulation of data that people take wholesale, like one in five college students being raped and 78 cents on the dollar, or the one I caught the right making the other day that 51% of American Muslims believe in sharia, when it’s probably about half that number.

If I were still a Democratic, I wouldn’t subscribe to the strategy of shaming that lost the presidency. Though in all seriousness the propaganda has worked. This is not because their strategy is better. It’s because the left realized that they had the facts in their favor. They embellished instead of faking facts or turning the subjective into objective.

If you’re a white man who denies climate change in New York or LA, you might as well be Pat Robertson. Across the country, you’re old and stupid (I’m not sure how, but the left would probably claim his stance means he wants Honduran children to drown to death). Climate change denial is a shade worse than my pro patriotism and Judeo-Christian values stance that is called White Supremacist even before I suggest that taking in Syrian refugees is not a great idea without a plan to reform Muslim extremism that is proven to work in the Middle East. Heavy vetting means nothing, especially when leftists indoctrinate moderate Muslims into hating the West with their multicultural ideology (one more clarification: You can be pro-diversity and be against multicultural ideology. I’m for multiculturalism’s exact opposite known as melting pot theory. Of course, we would need to build a culture that upholds values. These values were once the Constitution. I’m up for something else as long as we don’t throw out the Constitution’s authority in government.)

As someone who takes on controversial stances, because I believe in them and not because I follow extreme Conservative doctrine, I don’t deny climate change. This is not for fear of being branded an outcast. The theory makes sense. Who am I to argue? I hope I’m wrong, but I won’t lie.

There seemed to be a clear correlation between carbon emissions and the rate of warming. Nevertheless, given how volatile our planet’s climate is and how much we don’t know about nature, including some pretty basic and fundamental questions about ecology, I am skeptical that anyone has any clear data or workable plan to solve this and I don’t think abandoning cheap fossil fuels wholesale is possible or worth it. This is the only way many people in impoverished parts of the world make it to work or through the winter.

I also am extremely skeptical of climate scientists who have a lot to gain from climate change hysteria, made countless bad predictions in the past, like the earth is going to cool in the 70s. In 1989, The UN predicted countries would be wiped off the map. In 2005, the UN, predicted 50 million displaced people by 2010. The polar ice caps would melt by the Summer of 2013. Basically, the entire film, An Inconvenient Truth was wrong or hasn’t happened yet.

The suppression of dissent is typical leftist tactics. It’s just amazing that no one has branded them on the hysteria (probably for fear of appearing foolish) they have evoked about this so many times before and it’s always under the auspices that things are different now.

While it’s unlikely that a small minority of opinions is correct, especially when they largely agree with the establishment position, science is about the investigation all scenarios. Nothing would make me happier than seeing the MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen proving his skepticism to the UN. According to Dennis Prager, this video was banned from public libraries. See his argument below. If he’s right, this is like the Church and Galileo.

There is so much conflicting information in the world, making it doubly alarming that Trump’s briefings come mostly in the form of Fox News with some occasional, “we call it Deface the Nation.” God knows if that dog information was credible. It was in The New York Times, but what does that mean anymore? They were one of many institutions that barely reported on Assange’s RT interview (that Hillary claims is part of why she lost) until after the election.

In our post-truth partisan world, people generally pick a side and accept the beliefs of those around them. Results of public policy matter to almost no one when judging a politician’s decisions. When the electorate determine the policies we’re in trouble because… (the sentence ends with the video clip below: Lyndon Johnson should be replaced by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or any other major modern political figure)

Trump’s campaign planned to keep America first, not agree to UN policies that may cost us a lot of money. Expanding the military budget, massive infrastructure (which I support) and the conflicts in Syria and North Korea are budgetary nightmares. Environmental policies are not massively expensive.

This is different. While it’s sacrilege for me to acknowledge that Obama did anything right, there were a few things, including instilling confidence in the world and being trustworthy to the populace, even as he lied through his teeth. Not being able to directly benefit from say partnerships for loaning to alternative energy companies was stupid, as it was done without any financial incentive when we were in gargantuan debt and hobbling slowly out of a recession that nearly reached Depression status. Even though the federal government got fleeced, investing in companies like Tesla was good for the economy and the world. Clean energy is thriving and will be one of the major industries of the future. Even if climate cooling occurs, people will probably not learn it from the mainstream media and will still buy those cars.

While the left is silencing dissenting views, they’ve abandoned unnecessary alarmist predictions. As much as it kills me, the left is taking the right approach on climate science. Even if the right-wingers are right and nothing happens in their lifetime, it’s their job to shut up and do what can be done to evade potential disaster, even if it makes business more difficult, or goes against national self-interest. This is why it’s idiotic to bring back coal mines to win a few votes in Pennsylvania and morally reprehensible. The successful indoctrination of believing in climate change or you’re an idiot is actually a net positive, because the future is so uncertain. Nothing major could happen, but it’s unpredictable. There is rather convincing evidence that something horrible could happen at almost any time. It will probably be something we’ve never seen before and have not properly prepared for.

In the age of neoliberalism, the main job of politicians is to manage peoples’ perceptions. Obama was a master of that with the people with real influence. He was loved by those who didn’t pay attention and those who did knew George Bush was just as bad without doing generally sane things like pushing gay marriage through seven years after having to lie about not believing in it. The positive tone of the mainstream press, applauding Neville Chamberlain impressions in Syria and Iran, was enough to convince the Upper Middle Class college educated non-intellectual nor ultra-leftist contingent of people who were genuinely proud of how they handled the first black president, to love Obama. They did this while agreeing with Clinton’s characterization of working class poor Trump voters as deplorable racists.

The media and the elites view Trump as classless and crude. His hair and his inferiority complex are on the surface deplorable, as is the extent of the collusion we know about (without getting into the BS conspiracies that drove MSNBC for months) and plans to use the presidency to give a boon to the wealth that everyone sort of knows he greatly exaggerates.

Trump could employ every person in America at double the salary, broker peace in the Middle East and the elites would still be hounding him about Putin and “lies” which are almost always merely exaggerations of someone who wants the press to slaughter him for stupidity, so he can slam the press. This is because his supporters and all Republicans, even self-made 70 year old millionaire Republicans already know that the media lies and when it doesn’t lie its left bias is the most extreme it has been in their lifetime, even after Nixon. Though they are correct that the media lies, most of them find right wing media that also lies and reinforces their beliefs. Politics don’t function properly.

We are critically divided. It can’t get much worse. The people need to work together to build a better world. Politicians do everything badly. Everyone is being lied to and everyone is angry, even if it’s hidden under the surface. This requires a change in perception as the world has been in decay for some time as technological revolutions that offered so much promise of a better world has mostly made everything worse.

The climate expresses exactly what is broken. We are on a path to destroy ourselves with our greed. We only have the ability to realize ourselves as individuals by doing the opposite of what we think is right. Being “true to ourselves” only divides us, because it balloons the ego making life unbearable. Very wealthy people have awakened a visceral rage inside them at the thought of Trump and it’s ongoing. Whatever is bothering them is clearly not Trump. One who sees a flaw to the point of outrage is seeing a flaw in themselves. Clearly, it’s easier to confront a buffoon on a television set who knows next to nothing about history and political process than to confront your own selfishness, especially when you purport to be a selfless liberal. We resent Trump (coastal elites like me and the very rich person described before), because we see ourselves in him, the power hungry egomaniac that drives our worst actions. We only take care of ourselves and taking care of ourselves before we think of others is a slow death march. We feel it. That’s why we use politics to feel morally superior in the first place.

There are no rational theories that will push us to a better hope. Our hope lies in an effort to connect to each other. A decision to love each other above our differences and let the force of love push us in the right direction. As long as we only look out for own interests, whether we’re artists, philosophers, journalists, or multibillion dollar corporations, we will only draw further apart. As it stands now we live in a divided nation with no viable solutions. Some can handle the delusion, but it suffocates others, calling you from above to be human and feel the heart of a person you have no natural desire to know or understand. It will open up thoughts and dreams like nothing you’ve ever experienced on a VR headset.

Dr Michael Laitman, the world’s preeminent Kabbalist, on how to love one another above all the differences that threaten to divide humanity…

Jesse Bogner is a twenty nine year old author, screenwriter and journalist. His memoir and social critique, The Egotist, has been translated into four languages. In 2013, he moved from New York City, where he was born and raised, abandoning a decadent lifestyle chockfull of substance abuse, to study Kabbalah in Israel. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel. He has been featured in misleading articles from media outlets including CNN, Wired Magazine and others. He is currently writing a novel.