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by Robyn Chuter


Practices for ending the dark age


This is a difficult post for me to write. I’ve thought long and hard about how to write it, and whether I should write it at all. Some people are going to be offended by it, because I’m critiquing people they admire and challenging ideas they believe in; others will no doubt accuse me of sowing division within the ranks of the ‘COVID dissidents’.

So be it.

Given that I’ve spent the last few weeks delving into Steve Patterson’s dark age thesis, discussing the factors that lead societies into dark ages, and conversely the attitudes and practices that mitigate against the proliferation of “shockingly bad ideas [that] become orthodoxy“, I feel morally obliged to put my money where my mouth is. In last week’s post, I shared some of Richard Feynman’s thoughts on the mindset of the true scientist: namely, that he or she relentlessly attacks every hypothesis from every conceivable angle, to find its weaknesses and either modify it to strengthen its predictive value, or discard it if it is not fit for purpose.

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Never trust, always verify… even your allies (