Well it’s certainly nourishing! Trouble is, the world supply is running out. If it were a food we are all facing starvation! Where would you find pure unvarnished truth these days?
Once upon a time, of course, it was books. You read books; you learned; you shared with friends. Remember books? Those funny paper things that you had to actually READ. You couldn’t just click PLAY, you had to participate!
Of course even books were not 100% reliable. But they did tend to agree with each other. You could always check dates and who said what… Generally, the last thing said was probably more true than anything earlier. Knowledge gradually moved forwards into the light. Older books were exciting; you could read about beginnings and earlier theories.
That made books potentially subversive. There were always other editions; it was difficult to erase (delete) books. Book burning was a very solemn affair. The only people to do it in the 20th century were the Nazis and… the Americans! The books and writings of scientific researcher Wilhelm Reich were ordered withdrawn from publication and burned by the FDA.
Reich was later jailed for refusing to acknowledge the FDA or the courts’ authority to interfere with and criticize scientific research. He died in jail, after just 8 months, aged 60. One can only hope he was not beaten and abused but I doubt that is true.
Poor old Reich. He fled the Nazis and found… The Americans!
In 1633 no less a genius than Galileo Galilei was attacked and oppressed by the Grand Inquisitors, for daring to suggest that the Earth was not the center of the universe but actually orbited the Sun. They ordered that Galileo be placed under effective house arrest until further order of the pope and that all his published works be burned and never again printed.
Before that, there was the execution of Socrates for his championing of political free-thinking. When you look at the history of those who fought for the truth, you realize that today’s censorship is just a (small) part of the great war against knowledge.
One would have hoped from examples such as these, that the societies of the West might have learned an axiom of civilized life: the right of the individual to advance and teach ideas, without fear of official repression.
But it didn’t happen. Those who believe themselves empowered to rule arrogate to themselves the right to tell people what they may say or think!
Nowadays, of course, whoever screams loudest on the internet wins and is therefore “true”. The more Facebook likes you get, the more you are believed as “true”. It can all be on the same afternoon. There is no gradual progression of knowledge here.
Then there is the phenomenon of so-called “influencers” on FB and Instagram. You don’t need to be an expert; dear me, no. You just have to understand key words and even WHEN (what time of day) to post your remarks. Blogging and vlogging (video blogging) now have far more reach than books ever did.
The biggest ever collection of paper books was the Yongle Encyclopedia, completed in China in 1407. It consists of 11,095 books, 370 million Chinese characters. That’s twelve times the size of the 20 million word French Encyclopédie, the next nearest rival.
Currently (ie. when I last looked), the combined online Wikipedias have a total of more than 8 billion words in 19 million articles in approximately 270 languages. The English Wikipedia alone has over 2 billion words, over 50 times as many as the next largest English-language encyclopedia, Encyclopædia Britannica, and more than the enormous 119-volume Spanish-language Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana.
This means a great deal of human knowledge on record. People worry about information overload today but, really, it’s been beyond anyone’s grasping for many centuries.
You can be famous in a matter of hours from posting. Andy Warhol’s famous 1960s saying—that anyone can have 15 minutes of fame—was sensational in it day. But it’s dated. Anyone with a computer and the willingness to spew their thoughts far and wide can command a following almost instantly and retain it for years.
And, of course, with cancel culture you can vanish in an afternoon too. You don’t have to be big or intelligent to have a following. Moreover, you don’t have to be an unpleasant idiot to disappear. Take J K Rowling. She famously stood out in defense of women, suggesting that transgender makeovers (individuals born as men and made over as women) were not 100% women and should not compete as females in the Olympics—something any sensible person would admit is unfair.
Joanne Rowling. A (real) woman. What you see is what you get!
Well, the world’s most famous authoress, the richest writer EVER, inventor of the world’s most famous fictional kid (Harry Potter) was brought down in flames for having such an obnoxious thought and DARING TO SAY IT PUBLICLY.
What shocked me (I learned this from Vivien) is that several of the child stars of the Harry Potter movies, sided against Ms. Rowling. Harry himself (actor Daniel Radcliffe) went into print to insist that transgender women are women.
Harry is not strong on biology. Presumably Radcliffe thinks that menstruation, childbearing, lactation and the clitoris and vagina thing are irrelevant to defining what a woman is: winning in athletics is all that matters?
Where Are You Going With This Dr Keith?
I admit I did not start out in this direction. But then I never know where my little rants are going to end up!
This week I did have a very clear aim in mind: I want us to come together in pursuit of truth, trueness, factuality, honesty and decency. ENOUGH POSTURING AND REDEFINING WORDS TO MEAN WHATEVER YOU WANT. Woman is a word that has been with us since time immemorial and it has a definite meaning; a man with his balls and bits cut off and taking hormones does not come close to that meaning; HE (and I use the personal pronoun advisedly) is just a man with his bits cut off.
Now I can say I will allow any person to do whatever they are comfortable with, PROVIDING it does not negatively impinge on others. But men competing against women in sport DOES impinge on others: the girls are at a major physiological disadvantage. Transgender men pissing in the same loo might impinge on the comfort and sensitivity of a born-woman.
But it’s not just about gender and LGBT. I’m troubled by the attempts to redefine what healthy means, what is “natural”, what is “safe” and what is “effective”. Increasingly the world is becoming Orwellian, after George Orwell’s scary novel Nineteen Eighty Four (sometimes written 1984), in which words are heavily redefined by Big Brother and the Thought Police to mean whatever they want them to mean: WAR is PEACE; FREEDOM means SLAVERY; IGNORANCE is STRENGTH are examples from the book.
I want us to take a stand against this anti-humanist crock. We are (on the whole) an older, more mature and wiser demographic. I think we have something to offer the world that is real, meaningful and very necessary right now.
Somebody needs to get a grip on reality, for that’s what’s at risk. So I have moved ahead and bought a domain. It’s being set up as I write. Next week we’ll see the launch and then we can meet and act together. I’ll explain my thoughts and the domain name next time.
Meantime… Guard your words. They are precious and under threat!
To your good health,
Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby
The Official Alternative Doctor