Free Intelligence: notes for a manifesto

Faced today with so much disinformation as we are today, how can citizens be mutually supportive in developing intelligence – intelligence being understood in all its senses, including as a capacity of individual inquirers, as a quality of publicly available understandings of the world, and as a source of insight into potentially disruptive aspects of social life?

Is there any reason not to be committed to:

the development and exercise of inquiring minds as an essential aspect of human life;

recognition of the value of social cooperation in developing intelligence;

maximal openness in the sharing of knowledge and understanding;

respect for the principles of freedom of thought and expression;

defence of those whose lawful rights of free expression are curtailed by government;

promotion of education that supports the development of intellectual autonomy and social understanding at all ages;

defence of a political order that respects constitutional principles for the governance of intelligence gathering and sharing, including provision for democratic oversight of intelligence agencies, state and corporate?

Are there other related commitments that should be regarded as similarly important?

Personally, I perceive disturbing trends in society today that tend to undermine the possibility of fulfilling those commitments. Of particular concern is the spread of disinformation in public communications arising not merely from negligence or incompetence. Agencies with resources to pursue particular agendas can engage in various strategic communications aimed at influencing the public into accepting beliefs that would, with the exercise of free intelligence, be more critically scrutinised.

A further concern is that the education system is being adversely influenced, with a particular risk being that universities, whose social role is to be custodians of the highest standards of research and instruction, are drawn into ventures that dilute and even undermine those standards. In fulfilling a commitment to raising the level of public debate about significant matters of political or scientific controversy, universities have a vital role to play, on behalf of – and answerably to – the whole of society.

What do you think? Please feel free to comment below…

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5 Responses to Free Intelligence: notes for a manifesto

  1. mato48 says:

    Thank you for continuously raising your voice!

    The issues which this test addresses are a concern for many writers, educators, and thoughtful people in general. Blogger and “rogue journalist” Caitlin Johnstone writes about the “establishment narrative” and the need to expand collective and personal consciousness. I personally leave the term “consciousness” in the neurological realm and use instead “information” and “awareness.”

    Collecting information, sorting the correct and essential from the deceptive and trivial, and being aware of our cognitive and sensory limits is a crucial survival skill. In our ever changing world we have to take notice of newly emerging threats and understand where things are heading.

    The word “curiosity” explains it clearly. I learned curiosity from my beloved cats, and it always has been a driving force in my life. We live in interesting times with sudden unexpected conversions and evolutions. Only a curious mind will be able to detect, discern, correctly interpret, and correlate the incoming sensory data.

    We need to be open minded, be aware of our own “conformation bias” and deep rooted prejudices. Even more important, we need to be skeptical and aware that mainstream media, advertising, and internet bots relentlessly push the establishment storyline (or narrative, as Caitlin Johnstone calls it). We need to be aware that everything which could question the story (or narrative) is suppressed, that cheating, deceiving, lying is the norm.

    Objectivity is a mirage, everyone has an agenda, every media report is tainted. This applies to all sides, including “alternative media” independent bloggers, and social media’s opinion makers.
    Edward Bernays “Public Relations” are the basis of todays media world. Sophisticated psychological tricks enable journalists, authors, and pundits to drive their point home.

    Why is this bad?

    The establishment storyline (or narrative) aims to keep the population quiet and accept the status quo.

    The status quo means: politics focused on corporate gain, exploitation of nature and people by the rentier and billionaire class, increasing inequality and social injustice, irresponsible destruction of nature, wars for resources and profits.

    When the next pandemic hits, when the biosphere collapses, when some nuclear warheads explode, the billionaires will retreat to their private islands, their superyachts, or their luxury doomsday bunkers in New Zealand.

    While the servants and minions of the rentier and billionaire class may either be injudicious or uncaring, the broad population naive, confused, and distracted by the relentless media bombardment.

    Pacified by media brainwashing, superficial entertainment, worthless electronic gadgets.

    This (the status quo) we have to change by counter information, by the presentation of alternative views including alternative solutions, by solid analysis and fact checking, and most important: by our personal conduct.

    Teachers, prophets, saints, and sages of the world, unite!

    You say: “I don’t want to be a saint, I want to be a sinner and carry on with my bad habits, routines, and rituals. I’m used to that and I don’t give a damn about brown people in faraway countries, about critters, about nature.”

    Are you ready to endure the pain that this attitude may entail one day?

  2. Mr Carlo Weeks says:

    For decades the 194 member states of the UN have been following “recommendations” from the UN.
    The compliance with these “recommendations” has reached a level where the UN is effectively controlling member states, directly and indirectly through it’s agency the WHO. (Largest contributor Bill Gates)…
    Member states now only have a veneer of democracy which is being peeled away under the cloak of Covid 19, a fake pandemic.
    Corruption aside, governments of member states are therefore (at the very least) in breach of their office for having franchised out the power invested in them by the people. Therefore they have no legitimacy.

    It is clear from exercises in Pandemic response that it “REQUIRES the media, public health authorities, social media companies, faith leaders” etc to get behind the official line, everything else is deemed to be fake news and will be “actively suppressed”. That’s why it’s so difficult now to challenge the governments actions despite their own Chief Medical Adviser contradicting the potency of the virus. Not only is there no freedom of the press, we are being actively manipulated by the press and social media!

    We desperately need a new political force to restore democracy, there isn’t much time left before the Totalitarian One World Government takes full control.

  3. Pingback: Links July 2020 | Mato's Blog

  4. When the Alex Jones censorship debate (not very comfortable with this word) arose, many leftists spoke up for him, under the reasoning of “then they came for me”. A very understandable argument

    On the other hand, I was thinking that issues of power imbalance should be taken into account, too, when defending freedom of expression. Jones is not exactly a pushover, neither is he and his Infowars a spontaneous phenomenon; he and others of his ilk are clearly part of some sort of network with powerful patrons. Does it make straightforward sense if you defend the freedom of expression of a POWERFUL nefarious actor when that POWERFUL nefarious actor does not care and will never care to defend yours, and MAY HAVE AS A MISSION to take up all the oxygen? Do disinformers have a “freedom of expression”? Do they have the same ‘rights’ as any other individual at all?

    The same question arises more or less with Dr. Wood. Her “theory” is relatively little-known (because of lack of awareness of all the 9/11 anomalies, not because of the extravagance of her views), but her charisma (it may be called that, I think) and the aura of mystery surrounding the ‘model’ that she proposes may draw the fascination of the unadvised if and when attention is brought to her. Dr. Hughes’ defence of her ‘rights’ may need to be fleshed out more in this regard

    There are other points I would like to raise on this issue, notably concerning certain prominent actors within the “9/11 Truth Movement”, but I must admit that it can quickly turn into ‘pestering’ (Apologies if I caused any vexation with that Twitter thing! You can understand where I come from, no doubt)

    I believe that an unavoidable step for investigators of deep events is to find a method(-ology) to think of themselves as a ‘community’ in a critical way yet without needlessly undermining themselves. As more and more examples of ‘internal’ misinformation are encountered, patterns start to show up, which may be formalized into reasonable generalizations in order to erect effective countermeasures

    In any case, thank you, professor, for continuing to raise these issues

  5. M says:

    OT
    Did Trump Bomb Syria on False Grounds?
    The American media is ignoring leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that suggest a whitewash.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/world/opcw-leaks-syria/

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