The Parables of The Sower
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NARS: The Real Epidemic
Published 09/14/21 by Whisper [1 Comments]

You may have noticed that a lot of people are dropping dead lately.

Lots of folks are eager to tell you that this is due to China's latest innovation in super-colds ("SARS"), and that you need to inject yourself with medical experiments for the rest of your life.

Others are asking the question "how many of those people who died of the super-cold were obese to begin with?" to which the answer is not forthcoming.

Which might lead you to wonder how many people are dying of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, and why insulin now costs one firstborn child.

So what is the plague of our time? Covid? Metabolic syndrome? Sugar? Corn subsidies?

Not really. All of these things are bad news, but most people who apparently died of them, and countless more besides, actually died from ... NARS.

They listened to someone who was Not A Real Scientist.

The world abounds today in "experts", who have PhDs, and professorships, and tenure, and research grants, and lots of awards written on impressive CVs, who appear on your television accompanied by some state bureaucrat, or media talking head, who tells you that you must do everything they say, or the world will end next Tuesday.

But none of these things make someone a scientist. A scientist is someone who follows the scientific method to get a result.

  1. Ask a question about something.
  2. Observe that thing.
  3. Based on your observations, make a guess as to the answer to your question.
  4. Make a prediction of what you will see if your guess is true.
  5. Do an experiment, observe the results, and see if your prediction comes true.
  6. Tell others what you saw, regardless of what it was.
  7. Repeat this a lot.

Question, observe, guess, predict, experiment, tell, repeat.

If you do this enough, you end up with a bunch of guesses (we call it a hypothesis) that have been tested really often and never proven false. That's as close to "truth" as we can ever get.

That's it. That's all it is. None of those steps is "have a PhD", or "work for a prestigious institution", "get a research grant", or "appear on TV as an expert".

Anyone who represents himself as a scientist, but doesn't do each and every one of those steps for every result he represents as "scientific", is NARS: not a real scientist.

So this is how you scrutinize these so-called "experts".

  • Did they give people a questionnaire to fill out, instead of running an experiment and observing directly? NARS.
  • Did they run a whole bunch of internet comments through computer analysis and get some numbers about how those words co-occurred? NARS.
  • Is their actual study hidden behind a paywall? NARS.
  • Does their paper not contain all the details needed for a knowledgeable person in their field to repeat the experiment? NARS.
  • Are they telling you their "expert opinion", and expecting faith in it as if it were an experimental result? NARS.
  • Do "99 out of 100 scientists in field X agree that Y"? NARS.
  • Did they do statistical analysis of a bunch of archived data, and then form a conclusion, instead of guessing at something they hadn't seen yet? NARS.
  • Did they wave their PhD or professional title at you on twitter, then tell you something and expect you to believe it? NARS.

As you can probably tell by now, NARS outnumber real scientists, by a lot, even among the so-called scientific community. Some fields are entirely NARS, others are so dominated by NARS that they have shouted the real scientists into silence, or gotten them kicked out of the guild.

Are all NARS wrong 100% of the time? No, of course not. Sometimes, experienced guesswork does tell you something.Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But without a scientific result, you can't ever tell if a NARS is right this time... so why would you ever trust one?

Is every non-scientist intellectual a NARS? No... some of them aren't representing their opinions as scientific results at all. Maybe they are just giving you a hypothesis that you can test.

But when you hear "trust me, I'm an expert", without further explanation, then recognize the battle cry of the NARS, and do not be intimidated. Because a scientist knows truth, which will be true whether you believe it or not, while a NARS is utterly dependent upon your unquestioning faith to preserve his appearance of expertise.

A scientist, when questioned or doubted, will simply make a prediction and be proven right, because that's what truth allows you to do.

A NARS, when questioned, will rage and point to his credentials, his prestige, his trappings of expertise... because he cannot vindicate himself with a true prediction.

Even a bunch of Bronze Age goat herders understood this:

Deuteronomy 18:22 - Whenever a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the oracle does not come about or the word is not fulfilled, then the Lord has not spoken it. The prophet will have spoken presumptuously, so you need not fear him.

NARS are the false prophets of our time.

NARS told us that fat caused heart disease, and we should eat carbs instead. NARS told us that the polar icecaps would be gone by 1998, No, 2008. No, 2013. No, 2015. No, 2026. What is it this week? NARS told us the oil would be gone by now. NARS told us in 1970 that it was already too late to avoid mass starvation due to overpopulation. NARS told us the Soviet agricultural programs would make famine a thing of the past, if only those dumb Kulaks would stop growing grain the way their ancestors had for generations, and start listening to the "experts". NARS told us we could defeat communism by fighting a war in Vietnam. NARS told us to stop eating meat and dairy, and stuff ourselves with pasta and bread. NARS told us ANA would be able to hold off the Taliban by itself.

Since before you born, NARS have been predicting things that didn't happen, then predicting again, as all trace of their previous failure vanished real quick from the public discourse.

How many economists can tell you what the market will do tomorrow, or what policies will create prosperity? How many psychologists can look at a marriage and tell you if it will end in divorce, or tell you how to seduce a woman? How many physicians can diagnose you correctly and cure you, if you have something more subtle than shingles or a broken arm?

NARS kills people. Don't let it kill you.

When a self-styled "expert" tries to tell you something, demand he show his experiments. Demand he demonstrate his power.

Until he does so, assume he is a liar. Skepticism is the only vaccine that can save you from dying of NARS.

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Comment by LateralThinker13 on 09/15/21 08:43pm

For a great example of NARS, look no further than Paul Krugman, or Robert Ehrlich, or god help us, the Sainted Gretta Thunberg...