Phony Appeals to Fallacies of Pretentious Squeals

News & SocietyPolitics

  • Author Randy Gonzalez
  • Published June 2, 2020
  • Word count 3,554

In the aftermath of a horrendous human tragedy, such as a murderous event, fascination and even puzzlement finds curiosity with regard to fearful emotional reactivity. The living find refuge in fearful and debasing emotional reactivity. Sad, horrific and destructive are such actions of human debauchery, and yet many of vicarious detachment run screaming to the protective enclaves of amatively sensitive satiation. Of pundits, politicians and celebrity proselytes, those least qualified in the reality of human experience, muster the dysfunctional retributions of foolish fallacies for hasty generalizations.

Panicked, scared and cowardly entrenched, those who were never there seek to spread their share of sanctimonious despair. While human cruelty knows no boundaries, nor does the foolhardy invocations of stupidly contrived conjecture for the immediate satiation of cognitive bias. But for the bravery of the few, the tiny number of valiant crew, the warriors who always knew, humans do evil and some defend the many in dangerous retrieval. And so, we witness the cavalier personal promotion by incessant internet postings of “selfies”, fakes stories, unscientific theories, and constant texting of personal updates.

Regressively oversimplified, cowardly reactive and emotionally dysfunctional, the simpleton of uncomplicated conjecture, exposes the shallow realms of infantile states of magical thinking. For the foolishness that hope springs eternal, the oversimplifications of a society bent on collapse relishes in the degradations of human atrocities. Carnage and mayhem go beyond the actual physical killing of a so-called “spree killer”, or alleged “mass murderer”. The juvenile antics of a self-absorbed social consensus find more subtle ways to denigrate the general populace. In time, a tragedy is forgotten.

As the 24-7 infotainment venues speculate for about a week or so, and pontificate the superficiality of opinion, the “deadliest killing in U.S. history” is replaced by some other “news” story. At the same time, most politicians do what politicians do best, pander to the emotional vulnerabilities of the moment. The phony conjecture becomes more pervasive by the myriad “con-artists” jumping on board the contrivances of faulty conclusions to promote personal agendas. Quick to capitalize on the horrors of a heartrending event, from academia to celebrity stardom, everyone suddenly expounds upon their “exceptional expertise”. Unfortunately, most of it is the squeal of phony pretentiousness.

In an age of excess, appeals to pretended authority, celebrity status, mythical dogma, and so on, regresses to the satiations of primordial realms. Not much changes as the devolution continues in a downward spiral. For the supernatural, the mystical and the magical, thinking devolves to the safe mediocrity of simplistic reassurances. Many will prefer the lowest standard of conduct, or the common practice of so-called minimum standards of performance. The mundane is called exciting while the superficial is hailed as politically correct, as symbolism of substance prevails. Hypocrisy reigns across the social networks as inexperience devolves into allegations of “expertise”. For the most part, the handful of corporate giants that own 90% of the alleged news media spend the bulk of their air time selling products and services. Regardless, everyone has an opinion.

With the allure of pompousness to “civilization”, if given the occasion, the majority would quickly degenerate to the most basic singularity of survival selfishness. Certain institutional deterrents, as in the power of the state to enforce laws, encourage a tenuous state of pompous piety that masks a sense of mutual selfishness. Pretentiousness claims the incompetence of arrogance in shortsighted protestations of unsubstantiated claims. Large swaths of society enjoy their stupidity, as they embrace “celebrity authority”.

The phony hallmarks of a failing culture includes that which relishes a lack of knowledge and smug reliance on the fake authority of others. Smoke screens of psycho-socio-babble, steeped in multifarious forms of illusion, conceitedly proclaim the two-facedness of foolhardy self-gratifications. In the glitz, glamor and gore of the entertainment world, two-dimensional characters become “scientists, diplomats and philosophers”. For a price, and the promotion of their fame, they will act for any cause, whether right or wrong, as cover and concealment loom larger than ever in narcissistic fallacies.

According to some researchers, in this case those from the pseudoscience of psychology, several offered the disturbing portrait of more and more people displaying psychopathic tendencies. For those frightened or otherwise disturbed by the use of the term “pseudoscience”, the application is to that which is not a hard science, as in physics, astronomy or chemistry. In other words, the inference is toward the various schools of philosophy, in which the purveyors, mainly from academia, cannot claim absolute certainty of scientific validation for their particular point of view. This would include realms of theoretical inference from criminology, sociology and psychology.

Societal conjecture, as in mainstream media, many part of academia and political processes, vacate the truth of a proposition in favor a phony appeals to fallacies of pretentious inference. It has become routine, commonplace and standardized in a detachment from reality that circumvents the burden of evidence. Absurd possibilities for witless attempts to substantiate nonsense go many times without question, critical analysis or demands for sufficiency of evidentiary artifacts to prove or disprove an issue.

In the emotional aftermath of a nationally televised critical incident, logic often fails as overly sensitive reactivity instantly replaces the necessity of critical thinking. The burdensome nature of logical deduction and rational objectivity falls upon duly authorized investigative personnel. Law enforcement typically are the key participants in the official process to ensure and safeguard critical thinking and ultimate case solution.

Because of oversimplification and faulty rationalizations in the simplicity of quick answers to complex behaviors, stupidity finds expression in diverse ways. For the comfort and ease of safe mediocrity, simplistic “answers” are self-assuring. This allows frightening potentialities to unfold particularly where national public policy is concerned. Worse yet, is the appeal to “authority status”. In a celebrity worship culture, as in the U.S., seemingly but superficial, “intelligent” claims as to a significant social or political matter gain instant attention from pundits and politicians. The clamor for attention is hideous.

If the claimant of an issue, say gun control for instance, happens to be a Hollywood actor, then certain sectors of the public may conclude the viewpoints are valid. With the need by many people to satiate their own dysfunctional needs for attention, glamour and glitz of some magnitude, the vicarious means to achieve some connectivity is to revere another dysfunctional person. Everyone experiences maturation issues, as most people seem to never get beyond their manifestations of infantile narcissism.

In a recent article, from an international online newspaper, the reporter claims that America is obsessed with the “celebrity concept”. Supposedly, this suggests a means to venerate the status of celebrity to a stature of “authority” on a range of social and political issues. Such notions go beyond simply having an opinion. Instead, the inference is that a person of presumed fame and fortune is qualified as an expert in areas outside their primary domain of talent. Skilled in one area does not infer competence in another. Again, a flash back occurs to the various fields of pseudoscience, often accepted without question.

In a “celebrity worship” culture, and the inference slants to those with little or no real world experiences, such a notion can suggest a number of aspects relative to the gainful acceptance of those biased in a particular direction. Being famous, desiring notice and seeking validation for the amative inclination of “being seen”, involves a variety of venues. Not only that, with varying levels of self-evolution, or not, people are invariably gullible and naive. From academia to entertainment, to mass marketing consumption, politics and preaching an ideology, salesmanship of personal dysfunction finds many outlets.

Bias generally instigates conclusions drawn for the satiation of subjective validation. Everyone brings that with them. Personal feelings, ideological beliefs, and mythic inclinations are just the beginning of the slippery slide into “magical thinking”. Poof, it’s “true” because someone said so. In addition, the fallacy of preconception further colludes intimately with observational self-interests. Alleged “experts”, particularly those who spent decades in safe and secure environments, like academia or movie studios, find all kinds of ways to make commentary about things for which knowledge is limited.

In response to those who think they found the answers to ultimately explain human behavior, relative to thinking processes that lead to actions, extreme caution is warranted. Likewise, a healthy sense of skepticism is necessary, along with seasoned cynicism. In some cases, particularly on lecture circuits or “talking head” shows, a guest speaker or panel discussion, should be treated with suspicion. The arrogance of subjectivity surfaces in attitudes that devolve to the flaunting and taunting of simplistic generalizations.

Human behavior is complicated and the regurgitation of unsubstantiated conjecture without scientific evidence fails to answer many question. In the aftermath, where anecdote, rumor and gossip masquerade as confirmation, phony appeals to pretended rationality lead to perpetration of misinformation and potential disaster. From other sources, one might encounter the “born again” proselyte whose bias on a particular topic is influenced by a “supernatural mindset” reinforced by dogmatic doctrine. Subjective validation assumes one’s position on an issue is credible given the claim they believe in the mysticism of this or that. In addition, the claimant wants confirmation they are correct in the questionable assumptions, which support the fallacy of inference. Soon or later, in trying to convince a listener, the assertion in cognitive bias stumbles into the nebulous regions of hasty generalizations where correlation is confused with causation.

In one major study of devolving processes of reliance on factually substantiated data driven dialogue, the researchers assert the prevailing social atmosphere as one characterized by declining intellectual capacity. Some real scientists, those in the realm of the “hard sciences”, suggest data that shows a degrading or declining rate of I.Q. levels. Additionally, some claim there is a sense of socially deteriorating respect for the value in seeking the truth via the facts in evidence. This in turn translates into the perception that critical thinking erodes with each subsequent generation.

As a result, what might be considered as “human devolution” in a devolving culture offers the prospects of a dismal future for humankind. For this writing, it is presupposed that American culture is in regression, with the human species slanted toward an eventual extinction. Part of the criticality of such consequences, is the oppressive nature of status quo conformity that encourages the less imaginative to cope at a primal level. A simple all-encompassing explanation for complex social issues is easier and less demanding.

Embracing the non-reality of safe mediocrity by emotional reactivity, further devalues the necessity of intellectual achievement. Critical analysis and rigorous inquiry are frequently avoid in favor of simplistic thinking. To allow fuzziness in the boundaries between opinion and truth worsens the efficacy of valid conclusions. Investigators from diverse backgrounds in collaboration in the previously mentioned research, offered concern about the debasing nature of public discourse.

Through commercial, educational and political processes that rely less and less on facts dangerous consequences lurk in the shadows. For the sake of hedonistic perpetration of egoistic motivations, by willful intentions, many forsake transformative efforts for the advancement of enlightened inquiry. Rather than think for themselves, to satiate their whims, wishes and wants, they chase the mystical notions of clever gurus.

For immediate gratification, regardless of systematic and logical validation, any notion of “pop psychology” will suffice to most people. A focus on the facts for many is tedious, time consuming and requires a sense of unabashed authenticity. That which sounds good, feels comfortable and seems tolerant of everything, yet intolerant of anything that disagrees with whatever went before it, is the superficial ideology of the moment. Easily accepted unsubstantiated and cowardly rhetoric passes of shallow intellectual stimulation. Most will swiftly rally around a simpleton’s limited world view of safe mediocrity.

An abomination to those who attempting to be creative, innovative and enlightened, the herded bellow of the mainstream is to flock around anyone who appears, sounds and acts as though they have “special knowledge” or discovered “hidden secrets”. In a celebrity worship culture, that could be anyone who is media friendly, know the art of the sound bite, and looks good on camera. Young and old alike, millennial or boomer, the art of the con is not restricted to any particular age group. A selfie moment is essential.

For those constricted by their self-conceit, their moment of glory, and the fame of the instant blog, time spent in the spotlight is worth the deceit of the conceit projected. The con artist in promotion of an array of “pyramid schemes” is adept at clever deceptions. Postmodern advertising, 24/7 “news media” and consumer marketing capitalize on consumptive gullibility of the naïve and the uninitiated. Actors, sports figures, politicians, are practiced in the art of trickery. So are teenagers enamored by their puberty.

Always playing to the audience, pretentious conjecture often overwhelms attempts to disprove mere speculation by weight of evidence to the contrary. Sleight of hand, if done well, or seems simplistically convincing, will get top billing because others think they might be smart. Many times, off camera, there is someone pulling the strings with a hidden agenda or a myriad array of self-interests. Meanwhile, serious social problems remain unaddressed, ignored or glazed over by phony appeals to egregious fallacies.

For a few seconds of sound bites, an ability to read a teleprompter, or memorize a few lines of commentary, instant “experts” blather an array of opinions. In a culture that created a deified pantheon of wannabe “authorities” on just about everything, an eventual dystopia looms closer that one might think. With primal subservience, or primitively ancient submissiveness, a majority dwell in realms of anti-intellectualism and unscientific medieval thinking. The unevolved status of many cling to adolescent states of poorly constructed ideological processes. Subjective validation overrides reality.

Social strata transference of individual responsibility, and accountability for actions, is freely abrogated to other presumed authorities, institutions or communal entities. Historic warnings to beware of false prophets have long gone unheeded. In the meantime, just about everything has become profitable in a gluttonously consumptive society. Usually, that reflects the wishful thinking that everything will be okay, so long as one remains happy with the status quo, eats more, buys more and gets more.

Habitual primeval functionality ensures easy expectation for the laziness of critical thought devoid of logical analysis. Such “devolutional” antics further hasten symbiotic relationships that foster social deterioration and the degradation of cultural interactions. Where pseudoscience overshadows real science, superstition surpasses evidentiary authenticity, and ignorance is more popular than knowledge, extinction looms closer. Once upon a time, serious educational endeavors were part of a pioneering spirit of a developing nation. With that, there was a powerful sense of public service commitment.

In addition, a drive of devotion and dedication to the “greater good” meant an obligation not only to personal development, but that of others as well. Yet, the present atmosphere of selfishness is not only debasing to the culture, it is also counterproductive and mean spirited. Demeaning conjecture in social media, news reporting and political engagements punctuate an era of divisiveness that characterizes a devolving society. As such, phony appeals to fallacies of pretentious squeals the devolving aspect of human stupidity.

To the debasing scale of alleged social progress, such inclinations toward “cultic” or “occultic” beliefs is more important to the vast majority than a maturing sense of wisdom. Whereby the maturation to an altered, or more profound, in depth analysis, is stifled by a particular dogmatic doctrine unsubstantiated by scientific validation. As a result, the suggestion here is that belief systems, ideological perceptions, or mysticism, etc., become foundational biases that influence thinking processes. From ideation, or the imagery that precedes thought activity, to formulation of thinking processes and subsequently communicated to others, is cognitively prejudicial in favor of the individual.

Viewed further along these fragmented lines of social dysfunction, fake “experts” and phony “advocates” of one trendy thing after another, seldom promote more than themselves. Likewise, “celebrity worship”, or constant appeals to “authority”, seldom produce well-founded evidentiary substance that reveal the totality of human nature. From psychics to religious zealots, to pandering politicians and celebrities, the interrelationship of “dominance and submission” to spurious conjecture, works the contrivances of myriad human misunderstandings about cause-effect reality. According to a recent national poll, at least 75% of the public believe in some aspect of the supernatural, the occult or some version of the paranormal, and often in connection with a religious ideology. That number, according to other surveys, may range from 80% to 90%.

Phony appeals to pretended loftier articulations frequently result in specious conjecture that end up saying nothing and doing little. Greedy and self-indulgent, observation of contemporary “infotainment culture”, also called the “pop culture”, sees a symbiosis of intentional malevolence for selfish reasons. With devolving consequences, arrogant and condescending behaviors span a diverse spectrum. In a flashback to the 18th century, an American poet and philosopher admonished each to awaken.

To wake up and know the manipulations of premediated, purposeful, and deliberate deceptions, is to recognize malevolent predation through society. In addition, at the time, it is a necessity to understand there are no excuses for uncivil and illegal actions people commit toward others. Torturous and murderous behaviors are serious examples of a species approaching the end of its existence. Corporate and governmental corruption, along with celebrity and pundit stupidity, further exemplify behavioral regression.

In what some call a civilized world, and this one is definitely not one of those, such behaviors descend in opposition to any semblance of a cultured and enlightened populace. In spite of a couple hundred thousand years to get it right, humanity proves in many ways it doesn’t want to change. Yes, of course, to those who would argue the “basic goodness” of a “civilization” that is changing for the better, others would counter with skepticism. Although on an individual basis, there are exceptions. Yet, too few and too late.

For the most part, in a society that relishes in gossip, sitcoms and celebrity adulation, social discourse is kept light, fluffy, feel good simplistic and smugly self-righteous. In spite of the devolving process of regressive societal disintegration, a few, probably no more than 25% of any given population group, work to improve themselves. For this effort, among this diverse grouping, self-evolution is critical. This means an extraordinary capacity for personal development in relation to self-education, independence, ideological freedom and liberated actions to become a better version than the original personality.

Such is a quest to insist upon a disciplined non-materialistically focused life, and a mature process of rejuvenated mental-physical health. Differentiation of the wholeness within, invites the strength of healthy skepticism, tinctured by a modicum of cynical insightfulness to advance one’s sense of creativity. That’s of the utmost necessity. Hesitation to free oneself from all the gluttonous proclivities of crowd consensus, from assumption to consumption, breeds the bleeding discontent of defeat.

Contemporary so called “trendy pop culture”, filled with the greedy hedonistic mindlessness of self-promotion and “selfie absorption”, so much for many observers of behavioral issues, the selfish indigenous nature endangers the future species to extinction. In a closer look at the current reality, many gifted scientists have speculated that human civilization faces a major collapse in the next 100 years. Some analysts shorten that time span to roughly about 25 to 30 years. Meanwhile, as debates continue, the social spectrum, from alleged news reporters, the infotainment industry, and social media pundits, continue to dabble in plenty of mundane and mostly irrelevant societal tripe.

History, for those who pay attention, is rife with lessons to be learned. Yet, generally those are learning processes most fail to heed. For all human history’s warnings, the species ignores and forgets the essentiality of the prologues to subsequent generations. For the few who are of a rebellious nature, self-evolution is a solitary act of differentiation, and at the same time, an act of defiance against mainstream stupidity. That is, a lack of self-evolution, a grown-up mature outlook, and ongoing commitment to personal creativity. To be alone, to be a rebel, but an advanced and wiser one, requires action in certain ways that adversely goes against the toleration of the oppressive consensus that “sheep herds” the many.

As such, no American institution is safe from the ravages of self-interests that hinder the forward momentum of an evolved human species. Currently, there is more a preoccupation with pseudoscience and pretentious claims of knowledge, as opposed to real science and hardcore evidentiary substantiation. For that, the brave few who look to the real expert veteran, the seasoned practitioner of real life experiences, the learned mentor of hard earned expertise, one is cautious as to the admonitions of conventional consensus and mainstream media. Instead logical deduction is replaced by feelings.

The darkness of human nature, that which foments evil intentions and horrific inflictions, will speak differently from public to private self-interests. Diverse forms of illicit motivations willfully contrive all manner of deception. When wants and desires are not satiated, anything imaginable is possible. Yet, the fear of recognizing one’s own dysfunction often finds clever but phony appeals to fallacious assertions and shallow self-serving interests. For serious minded, and the few who ascend to higher levels, the quest is to go beyond the mere satisfaction of limited inquiry. Facts, data, evidence, etc., where bias and subjective validation are controlled, seek higher planes of understanding.

Randy Gonzalez, 40 years experience in the field of criminal justice, from law enforcement officer, to college professor.

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