[N]ow, let us say in scenario (a) you observe a traffic accident. In scenario (b) you are standing outside of a building and hear noises inside. In scenario (c) you report on a stress test you performed. In scenario (d) you propose a theory of the behavior of a set of gasses under pressure. In scenario (e) you propose a solution the explanation of a particular trade cycle.
Giving witness in these cases, and in all cases, requires giving a sequential record of OBSERVATIONS, containing the information observed, without the addition of imaginary and hypothetical content.
Now, why is it that we rely upon all sorts of physical **instrumentation**, to extend our perception, improve our memory, reduce that which we cannot perceive to an analogy to experience which is open to perception and **comparison**? Why is it that we rely upon all sorts of conceptual **instrumentation** to test our own thoughts and perceptions: experience, reason, math, and logic? Because our memories are reconstructed from fragments every time, and because it is extremely difficult for us to compartmentalize memories – our minds evolved to do just the opposite, which is why we can construct generalizations of similar phenomenon much better than we can (like chimps) remember past events.
So truthful testimony is recitation of observation of differences which we call measures in terms which if repeated wold lead to the same conclusion.
In other words, the operationalists in all fields failed, (Poincaré being first, Brouwer, Bridgman, Mises being the first in each specialty) for the same reason that I am having a bit of difficulty making this very important point: that we do not know if you speak the truth, and you do not know if you speak the truth, if you cannot convey your argument as an extant (real and possible) construction of physical and mental operations, producing changes (or not) in state according to independent scales (measures), which if repeated would produce the same result.
Meaning: that operationalism is a MORAL AND ETHICAL constraint. And the assumption of moral and ethical conduct in fields of inquiry rapidly expanding beyond human scale, was an artifact of the past. Poincare, Brouwer, Bridgman and Mises were all trying to express in necessary terms that which was ethical and moral. Like ‘free speech’ at human scale (where the cost of speaking and publishing are high) the threat only emerged when the population involved and the problems involved expanded such that ‘honor’ (threat of outcast) was not sufficient a moral boundary. The same is true for political speech in mass market period after 1870, and accelerated with radio, television, and the internet: honor has no operational meaning because there is no peer group to ostracize anyone using norms. Instead, at scale, just as we require laws at scale, and the market at scale, or we require relativity at scale when the speed of light matters to the calculation versus the instantaneous perceptions we make use of at Newtonian scale, our political institutions, and moral and ethical institutions, lagged behind our technological means of publishing falsehoods.
[W]e educated folk with our high mindedness (smart people bias) argue that the market corrects the truth over time. But this isn’t demonstrably true – and we have a lot of data to prove it. That is because negative information and lies spread faster than positive information and truths. The reason is that negative information that we can cheat with spreads faster than positive information that prevents us from cheating. It is much more expensive and lower incentive to produce truths and falsehoods because they are cheaper to construct and distribute faster. So just as in the market for goods and services, we see market failure, in the market for truth and fallacy we see market failure. People in both the market for goods and services and the market for truth and fallacy, commit fraud for personal gain.
The small scale response, the human scale response (solution), is to rely upon an authority to set rules. The catallatic response (solution) is to define the conceptual commons as a community property, to which all of us are owners, and allow all individuals to bring suit against what we believe to be fraud.
This does not require people who bear witness to speak the truth, which as we know from both popper and our examples above, is impossible, because causal density in all observations is a long exhausting chain. But it requires that we bear good witness. We cannot be held accountable for err if we bear true witness.
If I have a sport camera and record an accident, that does not mean it is ‘true’ in the sense that all the causal information is present. It means that I can bear witness with it.
And, that is speaking truthfully.
(ALSO: I think it might be obvious now how theorizing can be intentionally performed as a means of distorting the truth, and furthermore for the purpose of outright lying. We cannot assume that the scientist much less the ordinary man, and certainly less, those who seek power to alter the state of affairs by other than market means, are honest. This is a fallacy that is embedded in the act of argument: we assume the other person is honest. Because in history, the only reason not to stick a pointy metal object into someone, is when, like family members, they are honest with you. )
Now, I try to refrain from throwing out my theory until I can support it pretty thoroughly. But at this point, it should be pretty clear from the above paragraphs that I have pretty much put the problem of the 20th century to bed.
I didn’t realize the severity of impact that the cosmopolitans had on western civilization precisely because we did not understand the uniqueness of our truth-telling culture, or that we assume aristocratic truth from others, and that those who sought status in our culture also had to demonstrate aristocratic truth.
But one can blame one’s aggressors (germans, french, jews) or one can blame one’s self (anglos) for failing to look into the mirror and solve the problem.
I solved the problem. Too late maybe. But I solved it.