Critical thinking - medicines, illnesses, education, and disasters

Post-Modernism

The idea of post-modernism, to me, seems ridiculous. The idea that people can deny gravity (deny not defy), claim the earth is flat, or bring so much to do with feelings into everything ahead of logic. Jordan Peterson has been big on attacking post-modernism and Marxist ideologies. Yet, I learned today, he has been suffering severe physical and mental distress since the middle of 2019 following his wife's cancer diagnosis. This is terrible news for anybody to go through. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTwEFa5NW2k 

There will be naysayers who claim - ahhh, you see. It transpires, it was the medication prescribed to Jordan Peterson which wreaked such terrible havoc on him. Again - post-modernists will claim this means medicine doesn't always work and that science has failed.

The Coronavirus

I tried to find the name of a book I read over 24 years ago. It was to do with extinction events mankind could face. A key way to think of extinction events is - no single extinction event has wiped all of humanity out. Every latest and greatest threat will always fail in the one thing it is designed to do - wipe humanity out. Epidemiologists look at many factors to understand how disease spreads and from data I have read it has a number of good attributes meaning it has a higher chance of propagating than many former flu viruses.

We have to look at the facts - how many people are cured by flu-vaccinations, versus how many may suffer side-effects?

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/effectiveness-studies.htm 

Once we look at vaccinations, I think we would state; They are effective for a significant majority, there could be side-effects for a certain percentage, they may not be effective for some people at all. We don't see that as being the narrative.

Education

This is another mystery to me. We know humans to be poor in many facets of understanding and cognition, they have poor memory and worse - creates false memories. Please read Daniel Kahneman's work to understand this phenomenon. Here are many of the claims I am hearing many parents make;

Claim  Evidence 
My child goes to the best school?  Where is the proof that school leads to successful careers? Headteachers and staff change throughout the lifetime of the school. 
Going to a good school gives you better connections in life.  Unless you go to Eaton, and want to get into politics this isn't happening. Indeed, there are many laws to do with recruitment designed to stop these kinds of situations occurring. Do we really think a successful company is going to let an employee employ all his schoolmates?
Going to a good school, and getting a degree gives you a successful career? Does it? How many graduates fail to earn more than the national average wage?
The UK is a better educator because children go to school earlier than other countries? I don't see any notable difference in the intellect of other nationalities to UK citizens. 
Many other countries have longer degrees (4-5 years rather than 3 years in the UK), this makes those countries more educated? Is this reflected in the economic prosperity of the country?
Education is vital for the success of the child

Why do we have criminals? Why are careers not meritocratic? Why are most highly successful people uneducated or without a degree?

One of the main tenets of education, is it should be evidentially based. Aside from arts based and non-technical disciplines, telling children they are learning science when it is a leap of faith isn't correct.

Education to me is a killer of creativity. I met the son of friends of mine yesterday. He, at 7 years old, is clearly very talented at drawing. I used to be pretty good at drawing, but once put through the formality of education I decided I wasn't any good at drawing any longer. I said to my friend, you may want to not push him artistically academically and encourage it outside of school and this is what she is doing.

Financial markets

This is a big one for me. Having undertaken trading to a lesser extent and being involved in the cryptocurrency market, the main takeaway point is - almost everything you hear in the mainstream news on the markets is wrong. Defining wrong;

  • Whilst the facts may have been accurate, time has caused them to become false.
  • The proxies or reasons for why an event happens cannot be proven. Even, if the recent threat of World War 3 from Iran and the US' recent spat saw oil prices drop - it doesn't prove oil prices fell because of this. Indeed, oil prices barely moved.
  • Mainstream media puts certain asset classes as champions, demonises others, and often fails to report on secret winners. Is this deliberate - I don't know, but I find clear examples on where Gold's recent success has been ignored.

Really bringing this home. Take pensions. We are all encouraged to put money in pensions. Last year the S&P 500 did a 30% return. Look at your pension return and for many people - it is doubtful it beat inflation (which we know inflation to be measured inaccurately).

Accounting for inconsistencies

It is strange, we find ourselves being told falsehoods consistently and repeating them as facts. Why we allow ourselves to be told complete nonsense and be controlled by it. Why is it I have managed to take profit on cryptocurrency in the last week on an asset classed as gambling by HMRC (Who I agree with) and so vilified by the press? Why have I bought a few choice silver and gold mining stocks when everything else says to just keep banking on the S&P500?

Most of this has to do with the mainstream media. There seems to be a push against alternative media sources, alternative ideas and that somehow - articles in common newspapers are more accurate.

It is the same with global warming. What I have tended to do, is when confronted with what sounds like nonsense on something like the BBC, is to do some reading into it. Honestly, doing this doesn't take that much time and quite quickly proves or disproves what is being said.

One of my bigger concerns, is whether pensions will exist for most people by the time they retire. When I mention this to people suggesting they should maybe get a secure vault and have a bit of Gold in addition to pensions, I am ridiculed. Yet, we look at unfunded liabilities, at a national, regional, and city based level and this doesn't seem so ridiculous. We see in the UK, that we now have over 10 million pensioners. Only an imbecile would believe the money they paid into their pension and National Insurance Contributions was locked away for safe keeping.

It is a similar thing with properties - we are lead to believe house prices continue to rise and there will be no shortage of buyers wanting to hand over millions of pounds to us once we want to downsize.

Is your article post-modernist?

No, what I have done is to present numerous examples of factoids which once embellished within the mainstream media and educational narrative - become facts to many. I don't believe it can get much worse, where things which are so correct and true - are rejected by so many.

 

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