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Oh Heather, what a wonderful essay; so articulate. While I sit here and rage, you calmly pick apart the obvious and expose it for what it is. From minute 11:15 to 12:10 may be the most profound statements made thus far. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us are thinking. "So you know that when you shut down dissent...what you are doing is following orders..."

That's a comfort to me; you've refreshed my courage. They will have to face the "facts" one day, and their defense will be, "I was just following orders", and that won't end so well.

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Thank you for the kind words. They are meaningful to me.

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Aug 24, 2021Liked by Heather Heying

I just want to tell you, I would love to become a paying subscriber, but unfortunately I live in South Africa and due to the weak Rand it is impossible.

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I appreciate your support, and am making my writing available to all so that money is no barrier.

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Aug 24, 2021Liked by Heather Heying

İ am with you on this journey you describe, Heather Heying!

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Aug 23, 2021Liked by Heather Heying

I love you two. You guys do a great job in many ways.

On

Fact checkers....

I am amused that the infotainment industry once had Walter Cronkite, "the most trusted man in Amercia" and now that industry has spent all its credibility capital.

Rather than just doing the job we all know they should be doing, and telling the truth, even if at times biased audience segments don't want to hear the truth, they hire more of the same unreliable bodies to "sell" - in a way that would make a carny barker blush - the lies that support the unsupportable regime.

The same lies, just with more lying lyres to shout the false validity does little to convince some of us.

Related, You guys talk about forms of "capture" regularly enough, but I've never heard you use the term "verification science". Is there a reason? The book "The Case Against Sugar" show's how its done.

Thank you for what you do

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Thank you for this. I know *of* the book "The Case Against Sugar," but don't know the actual book--haven't (yet) read it. Similarly, while Bret and I talk a lot about the critical role of falsification in science, and why verificationist approaches to knowledge inevitably fail, I've never heard the phrase "verification science" per se. It does sound exactly in keeping with the critiques we make of modern analysis. Thanks for the recommendation.

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You may have not had the easiest time getting research money to study a subterranean jungle fungus. Not sexy. It doesn't stir the imagination of many donors. And that's a lot of academic research.

Then there are, for instance, the cigarette people in the 60s, with all the money in the world, and a need to fend off coming lawsuits. People of science, following the easy money, go to work on the corrupted dime looking to provide what the cigarette people need. Solid scientific research that obscures the relationships between smoking and disease and gives the Tabaco lobby lawyers weapons in court.

Or the sugar lobby. Or the global warming lobby.

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“ Science does not progress by fiat, so know that when you shut down discussion because the ideas are considered transgressive, what you are doing is following orders. The world is now well aware that “I was just following orders” is a poor defense. And even if those orders are well-intentioned, you are definitely getting in the way of science. ”

So good. Thank you Heather.

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So dense and in- as exformative! thanks a lot :D

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Fact-checkers decide which statements among many they need to fact check based on their gut, or their elephant, in Jonathan Haidt’s elephant and the rider analogy. It seems like social media is training our elephants to react emotionally in certain ways that correlate with other people in similar algorithmic bubbles to ourselves. I’m wondering if people here think that the elephants of the fact-checkers happened to have the same algorithmic bubbles as the people in power, or if there are more “intentional” forces driving the choices they make while fact-checking. I tend to believe that a lot of the manipulation leading to censorship is not necessarily designed by people at the top, but is shaped by forces that have a tendency to point toward people in positions of power, nonetheless.

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Hi, Heather.

Thank you for all you do. I’ve been in and around the sciences all of my life, including a decade as a Research Fellow, and I think that I have rarely seen the idea of science so mis-portrayed or its name so besmirched as in this past year or so.

The title of this essay points to a wider question I’d love to hear your thoughts on. Most of us, educated or experienced as we may be, are suckers for a name. By that, I mean that when someone says that a Government agency looks after Public Health we take that as read; when a website is called ‘facts.info’ or similar we are inclined to look there for facts; and when we are told that something is a cure we are inclined to think that it will fix us.

All this echoes the old joke about the business called ‘24 Hour Dry Cleaners’ who will take a week to clean your suit because, “It’s just a name, Sir”.

From an evolutionary standpoint, there’s clear evidence that deception is a useful tool. Can the same be said of credulity?

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