How fake skills are the ground of fake news.

in #fakenews3 years ago (edited)

Blogging around the internet is funny, because you realize how some media mechanism are related to population's behavior, and how actually the poor man is trying to escape its own face in the mirror. One example I am facing now is the issue of fake skills. Imagine you were not good at school.Or lazy. Or just not brilliant by yourself. So you went really bad at school, you probably didn't care of it, until you become an adult.

When you are an adult and you have no school, the problem of missing skills is being harder everyday. Not only you can not find a valuable job: you start to find hard to participate in normal discussions with people which had a better education. And often you get told "you're too stupid, go back to work and don't try to discuss those issues". 

Of course, our poor man cannot fix the issue: an average school path is made of 20 years of studies, and there is a little chance he can do it while having an adult life. So our poor man realizes that he has no skill. Reading is being harder and harder. Understanding is being harder and harder. Keeping a good income is being harder and harder.

So what out man can do? Well.... he can pretend to have some "alternative" skill. A skill people can get in a few hours in the internet, let's say. A skill which uses lot of uncommon words , so that he looks like he knows what he is saying. And maybe those words are usually associated to the higher education, or at least, not educated people associates those words with the higher education.

So by example you had no university, and you had a poor high school, and you only know people like you, you could look very bright if you mention Aristotle. If your audience has a poor education, you can say almost whatever of Aristotle, and it will go. How many people actually studied greek , being the koine' the only good language to study Aristotle? 

So our poor man is going into mentioning stuffs other people doesn't understands. Philosophy. How many people have actually studied philosophy ? In Europe, more or less 30% of people: in Germany it is part of Gymnasium, in Italy part of Liceo, the same in France Spain. In the USA and UK, this is probably due only for very , very snob schools, like Eton. In the USA... I wonder if they have high schools where you can study Latin , Ancient Greek and Philosophy.

So , if you are in the USA and UK, and you have an audience which is not made of PhD, you can probably tell whatever you want about latin writers, late roman story, greek philosophers, and so and so. 

Then , if you have a strong, very strong problems with ground skills, of course you can try building a set of fake skills.It happened to me with a guy which is lecturing the others about "Trivium" and "Quadrivium". I will use this guy as an example. 

First, he never studied any word of latin, neither of the late roman story. If he did it, he probably knew that Aristotle was purposely misunderstood and distorted for the whole middle age, to justify a kind of school which aimed to a peculiar social order. The elite was doing nothing practical, and the working class was doing all the job. This was not the case of the early roman period, where the slaves were considered "speaking tools" (Tacitus, Plinius et al) but also a good roman was supposed to be able to understand practical engineering, farming and others, in order to aim to be a "Magister" (if the family was powerful enough to gain this). 

To propose this organization as it has a rational into philosophy, when it was built to resemble a given social order, i a pure evidence the guy has never translated any piece of that book because of school. The aim of this "Trivium+Quadrivium" was not the rational of making a real order: the aim was to structure studies in a way which matched the "new" order of the middle age.

 and by the way ,for people which actually studied latin, Martianus Mineus Felix Capella was using a shit of latin, which doesn't matches so much with the aim of being a master of "rhetoric" and "grammar". Just an example. "Inter omnes priscae auctoritatis uiros qui Pythagora duce puriore mentis ratione uiguerunt, constare manifestum est haud quemquam in philosophiae disciplinis ad cumulum perfectionis euadere, nisi cui talis prudentiae nobilitas quodam quasi quadruuio uestigatur; quod recte intuentis soUertiam non latebit." If you were struggling with Tacitus at school, well... Tacitus was not that bad, right?

Of course, until he don't faces  people which actually studied latin at school, and btw had a nice teaching of european story together with philosophy, I guess he can lecture almost anybody he knows with "trivium" and "quadrivium". And Aristotle, of course.

The second point I see is that, most of that people are only able to speak English. Which means, they are caged into the echo chamber of the anglophone culture. They can only read English. By heritage, I am native speaker of German and Italian. Then I studied at school English and French. Which means English is not my first language (guess you noticed it) but in the other side, I can read news and books in 4 languages. (plus this latin stuff which was mandatory) 

Now, to discuss about English grammar with a person which can read in 4 different languages, is pretty ridiculous: it makes sense only if you only speak one language, and you think this is the only language worth of care. Which is not the case. Having a person arguing of your English grammar on the internet is just an evidence you are talking with the classic "pub teacher": the guy which can possibly teach into a pub, but not more.

But again, to mention Aristotle and philosophy in your pub is enough to be the teacher, at least until some stranger with education get lost in the town and enters the place.  Is like to mention Mandarin Chinese: you can invent almost everything in your pub, until some Chinese guy enters the room. Then you suddenly need to leave....

Even worst, the fact that those people is not asking "sorry, which kinda school you did?". By example, I have titles to teach logic. So if you mention logic with me, you should be able to tell me which KIND of logic you use, which universe, which theory, and so and so. You mean Horn Clauses? You mean Hoare? First order? Second order? Which "logic" you want to talk about? 

I wonder if that guy was able to resist a single exam of logic having me as a teacher, or at least to resist one minute of questions, still "logic" is a pretty fascinating word. Until you do not meet someone which ACTUALLY studied it, you can just pretend what you think is "pure logic", because you know, and since nobody else studied it, then you are the lecturer.

And this will work until you met a person which has actually studied it for years, and it is entitled to teach it.I strongly suspect what this guy means with "logic" is some lousy subset of some natural language , pretending to be a consistent logic, somehow, containing  LNC as an axiom. Maybe. Which is a pretty little subcategory of what we call "logic" today. Maybe it worked 2.500 years ago. Somehow.

And here is the point: those people are always experts of issues where the chance to find a real expert is very low. If I claim to be an expert of Java programming here, and I am not , I will probably get hard times, since there are lot of programmers around. If I say I am an expert of "rethoric" , by example, how many people here has read The Art of Being Right , a book by Arthur Schopenhauer? Almost 2/3% of people, I guess. So our fake expert of "rethoric" can fool almost everybody. 

Maybe you should notice that: the fake experts are always experts in issues where the amount of experts is very little. Geopolitics. Applied genomics. Computational Neuroscience. European middle age story. Egyptians. Quantum Physics. Fractals. Neural Networks. Chaos Theory. 

And now, Trivium and Quadrivium. How many of you knows who was Irnerius Theutonicus? ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irnerius) . Youy would have surprised to understand how the educational system was changing to reflect the urge of the new social organization in the middle age, and the work of Irnerius (on laws ) is a good example of this change , too.(even if the importance of Irnerius is mostly disputed, the change in this age's laws is visible, whoever wrote "Summa Codicis"!).

So our poor man tries to build his fake skills, to save his self esteem, and tries to debate with his friends. Which are the same social layer of him, so he will look bright and educated, at least while discussing with 99% of population. 

The problem of the internet is that , all this 99% of uncultivated people is looking to some fake skill, in order to save their poor self-esteem. So those fake skills are being popular and popular: if you just look for "Quantum Physics" on google, you easily spot that people writing books on Quantum Physics is ~10 times the actual amount of experts in Quantum Physics we have in the planet. And if you look for "olistic universe" you can find that people writing about it is ~100 times  the actual amount of people which can even approach this issue. 

So basically we have the 1% of people which is actually an expert of something like Quantum Physics, or even less, and 99% which wants to lecture about it, because it sounds cool in their pub. This 99% will never approach the real Quantum Physics: it is very hard science. You need lot of studies, hard studies. Not just reading couple of books in the weekend. So, when 99% of people wants to lecture about Quantum Physics, what they can do?  The only way of doing it is to build a fake skill in Quantum Physics,  which nobody will notice as a fake, until you don't find a real expert.

Now, what happens when 99% of people is full of a fake competence in Geopolitics. Applied genomics. Computational Neuroscience. European middle age story. Egyptians. Quantum Physics. Fractals. Neural Networks. Chaos Theory.  Philosophy. Aristotle. Nietzsche. and more?

It happens that the fake news about Queen Elizabeth being a reptile is easy to sell. At the end, you know, it  is possible: Quantum Physics says that. And if you want to proof pizzagate is true, just mention Eyptians, Aristotle, Neuroscience and Swahili. Who the hell knows Swahili ( except for some hundred millions people in Africa, I mean)? How high is the chance to face someone which has lost some year at the Gymnasium with Aristotle and peripatetic school? Very little.

This journey on blogging is making me think that "fake news" is a full stack of ignorance: from a ground of fake skills, you can build a lot. Ex falso sequitur quod libet (also known as the principle of explosion in logic) , right?

Ex falso sequitur quod libet is exactly the point: it is not like from wrong assumptions you end in an error. The point is, from a fake assumption you can proof ... everything! There is no conspiracy theory, no fake news you cannot proof, when people is laying on top of a mountain of fake skills. 

Then I would say, fake news are just a new layer of bullshit, built on top of a ground of fake skills. Fake skills are mostly the way people with poor education pretends to have some valuable skills, to escape the social stigma about ignorance.

And the proof what I'm saying is true  is... Iwahori–Hecke algebra. 


 

Plain and clear. You see? I'm right. Unless I meet an expert, of course.