Friday, August 22, 2008

The Bush Debacle: Inevitability and Consequence

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

There is a mathematical inevitability to Bush's many and consistent failures which are as numerous as his many lies and directly related to his certitude of all things though he is never correct about any of them! The 14th-century philosopher William of Occam said:
Multiplicity ought not to be posited without necessity.
In other words, the best hypothesis is the one with the fewest number of unproven assumptions. Occam did not say that the 'simplest' explanation is the best, nor did he say that the simplest explanation is always true. In many cases an hypothesis that is simplest on its face is just 'flat' wrong. There is a simple case in point. 'The world is flat' is simple but untrue but believing the world to be flat was true enough until you ventured past the 'Pillars of Hercules'. Likewise, Newtonian physics is true enough to get you to the moon and back, whether or not we really went there. When the time comes to navigate interstellar space, however, even Einstein may prove insufficient to get us there and back.

In advance of his time, Occam introduced a measure of probability into the very concept of truth and, by doing so, presaged Heisenberg's uncertainty principle by some 500 years or so. Heisenberg posited that either the position or the velocity of a sub-atomic particle may be known with certainty —but not both at the same instant.
The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.
--Heisenberg, uncertainty paper, 1927
If one value is known, the other is but a probability. If the velocity is known precisely, location may only be expressed as a probability inversely proportional to the degree to which the location is known. This is knowledge as probability.

If Occam's razor is problematic for the conservative mentality accustomed to thinking in terms of absolute truths —a world of black or white, a world of you are either for us or against us, a world of if you are liberal you are a traitor, then Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is a nightmare.
Heisenberg realized that the uncertainty relations had profound implications. First, if we accept Heisenberg's argument that every concept has a meaning only in terms of the experiments used to measure it, we must agree that things that cannot be measured really have no meaning in physics. Thus, for instance, the path of a particle has no meaning beyond the precision with which it is observed. But a basic assumption of physics since Newton has been that a "real world" exists independently of us, regardless of whether or not we observe it. (This assumption did not go unchallenged, however, by some philosophers.) Heisenberg now argued that such concepts as orbits of electrons do not exist in nature unless and until we observe them.
--Quantum Mechanics, Implications of Uncertainty
This mentality will discount a 'proposition' if it conflicts with a prejudice, a pre-conceived notion for which there is neither proof nor evidence. The GOP inclined, for example, will discount empirical evidence if it conflicts with cherished ideology. In other centuries, this 'top down' mentality burned witches, disemboweled heretics, and, more recently, in Kansas, it forbade the teaching of biological science and mandated the teaching of superstition and discredited dogma.
In the early 20th Century, neither Bertrand Russell nor Alfred North Whitehead would have supposed that ancient Egyptian, Greek or Alexandrian mathematicians first thought out a logical formal system from which they, then, derived mathematics as we know it.

Mathematics probably preceded the formalization of a logic upon which mathematics may be derived. The 'Principia Mathematica ' attempted a 'formal system' from which mathematics might be deduced. Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem dealt the project a fatal blow. Gödel's 'Incompleteness Theorem' proved logically that no formal logic system is capable of yielding every true theorem. It struck at the very heart of Russell and Whitehead's grounding of mathematics in pure logic. [See: Principia Mathmatica] .

Both developments harken back to Occam. Truth may be fuzzy but is always the enemy of bigotry, moral certitude, propaganda and state-sponsored lies. [See: Medieval Theories of Consequence] Liars and moral absolutists have much in common: God and/or truth is always on their side.

There is, then, much comfort to be had in the embrace of uncertainty, the affirmation of doubt, the celebration of 'fuzzy math' and sub-atomic particles that are neither here nor there or, more accurately, neither 'here' and 'now' but here at some time or the other!

More recently, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem strikes at the very heart of Russell and Whitehead's grounding of mathematics in pure logic. Gödel proved that in any formal system —consisting of a finite set of axioms and the meta-language in which the rules for inference are set —there will always be at least one true theorem that is not derivable by inference.

It was David Hume, as I recall, who spoke of the moral imperative to be intelligent. On the other hand, if God and truth are always on one's side, one need not be intelligent; one need not 'do nuance'. One need not think! One need not learn anything new! Is it mere coincidence that Bush, who professes to be both certain and correct about all things, is, in fact, wrong and incorrect in every instance in which he has put his policies to the test.

Put another way, Bush is demonstrably wrong to the degree to which he is 'certain' and he is always certain to the degree that he is unintelligent. Having 'God' on his side, as he has claimed, just hasn't worked out for him.

I would like to be as certain of one thing as Bush is of all things. Interestingly, the chances of my being right more often are infinitely greater than are chances that Bush will ever be right at any time about anything!

Both Occam and Heisenberg are threats to orthodoxy. From the grave Occam still poses the greatest threat to orthodoxy, conservatism of any sort, and ideology itself. Some 500 years on, Occam's Razor is still the fatal blow that has, in fact, already demolished Bush's official conspiracy of 911 whether Bush understands that or not. Even Einstein was threatened by Heisenberg's embrace of 'uncertainty'. 'God does not play dice with the universe', he protested!

How is it possible that Bush and the GOP are so absolutely correct about all things at all times? How is it possible that every one who opposes them is always wrong? The odds that Bush or the GOP are ever right at any time are inversely proportional to Bush/GOP certitude. GOP certitude is infinite; therefore, GOP chances of being right approach zero.

What is known they lie about. 'Global warming' is an example. Bushies must surely know the truth about 911 but lie about it in order to protect a robber baron constituency of corporatist and militarist sponsors for whom the dollar today is worth the villainous sacrifice of millions of innocent people.
The falsehoods of the Bush administration may be classified as follows:
  • Deliberate, planned campaigns of lies, falsehoods and propaganda!
  • Incompetent mistakes!
The war in Iraq is both. Colin Powell's infamous presentation to the United Nations was clearly a well-planned and orchestrated gestalt of deliberate lies based upon plagiarized student papers, exaggerations in which the Bush administration ignored evidence to the contrary and 20 year old black and white satellite photos. The consequences have not yet dawned upon the American public and, indeed, our elected officials.

Let's try to make clear the significance of this series of lies. If Bush deliberately misled the American people and the world in order to justify his attack and invasion of Iraq, then the war, itself, is and continues to be, a crime against the peace. Its continuation is but a series of individual crimes against humanity. As such, it violates the Nuremberg Principles that the United States had insisted upon at the end of World War II. Violations of Nuremberg are criminal offenses in the United States, prohibited specifically by US Codes, Section 2441.
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
US Codes; Section 2441
Bush's order to attack —whatever Congressional authorization he may claim —violates both Nuremberg and US Codes. Moreover, if Bush lied to the American people and to the world, he lied also to Congress. Whatever was passed by Congress is, therefore, null and void by virtue of Bush's deliberate fraud, itself a deliberate subversion of the Constitution. As such, it is high treason.

The war against the people of Iraq is just one fraud among many that Bush continues to perpetrate upon the world and the American people. A short list includes Global warming —about which the GOP and the oil industry waged a 15 year campaign of lies and misinformation. Other lies, frauds, and hoaxes include the tax cut; faith-based initiatives; the unilateral and illegal abrogation of Kyoto; "no child left behind"; the attack on Social Security; the illegal, unconstitutional and widespread domestic wiretapping program; the Bush crack down on American civil liberties; his every signing statement or rule by decree, his revocation of habeas corpurs, his assertion that 'officials' in his administration may not be prosecuted for their crimes, his having arrogated unto himself the powers of judge, jury, and legislature.

The Bush government was illegitimate! Viva la revolucion!

Published Articles
Post a Comment