infering an opinion


think tanks

Impartial experts not so impartial

{Researchers find that many “impartial” expert witnesses lose sight of objectivity
and tend to come to conclusions that align with those who pay for their services.}

Neural Responses Reveal Our Optimistic Bent

80 percent of humans are delusionally optimistic

"Opinion itself, through modifications and elaboration, can transform into propaganda what in the beginning was information." - Jacques Ellul

"The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"A wise man calmly considers what is right and what is wrong,
and faces different opinions with truth, non-violence and peace." - Dhammapada


ignorance of nature interweaved with prejudice

"The source of man's unhappiness is his ignorance of Nature.

The pertinacity with which he clings to blind opinions imbibed in his infancy, which interweave themselves with his existence, the consequent prejudice that warps his mind, that prevents its expansion, that renders him the slave of fiction, appears to doom him to continual error. He resembles a child destitute of experience, full of ideal notions - a dangerous leaven mixes itself with all his knowledge - it is of necessity obscure, it is vacillating and false:

He takes the tone of his ideas on the authority of others, who are themselves in error, or else have an interest in deceiving him.

Man seeks to range out of his sphere: notwithstanding the reiterated checks his ambitious folly experiences, he still attempts the impossible; strives to carry his researches beyond the visible world; and hunts out misery in imaginary regions. He would be a metaphysician before he has become a practical philosopher. He quits the contemplation of realities to meditate on chimeras. He neglects experience to feed on conjecture, to indulge in hypothesis. He dares not cultivate his reason, because from his earliest days he has been taught to consider it criminal.

The most important of our duties, then, is to seek means by which we may destroy delusions that can never do more than mislead us. The remedies for these evils must be sought for in Nature herself; it is only in the abundance of her resources, that we can rationally expect to find antidotes to the mischiefs brought upon us by an ill directed, overpowering blind enthusiasm."

- Paul Heinrich Dietrich, Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach

"To attain complete truth is not given to mortals, but to advance toward it by successive steps is not impossible. On any matter of general interest, there is usually, in any given community at any given time, a received opinion, which is accepted as a matter of course by all who give no special thought to the matter. Any questioning of the received opinion rouses hostility, for a number of reasons. The most important of these is the instinct of conventionality, which exists in all gregarious animals and often leads them to put to death any markedly peculiar member of the herd." - Bertrand Russell

observation speculation

opinion is defined as:

a belief expressed

an individual's prevailing view

a sentiment formed in the mind about something

a judgment or estimation of the merit of something

a message expressing a belief about something

a personal belief that is not founded on proof or certainty

a conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by detailed knowledge

an educated judgment based on knowledge of a subject given by an expert

Opinion is applicable to a judgment based on grounds insufficient to rule out the possibility of dispute.

The formal decision, or expression of views, of a judge, an umpire, a counselor,
or other party officially called upon to consider and decide upon a matter or point submitted.

opinionated is defined as:

obstinacy in holding on to one's sentiment or impression

"In the American media system, editorializing is theoretically positioned on the editorial pages, thus giving the reader the false sense of security that opinions and persuasion are not part of the regular news. Since the onslaught of twenty-four-hour cable news programs and increased competition for the public's attention both in print and broadcast, the American media system is embedding facts with opinions and placing editorial comments and news analyses on the front page." - Nancy Snow

hi im dr mel im a genius and youre not. do you hate it when people callenge preconceived notions with facts? thats why i invented the opinion guard! sheild your entrenced logic and reason! opinion-guard will twist and distort arguments from others into easily dismissible ramblings.

"Always entertain opinions with some measure of doubt and do not fear to be eccentric
in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric." - Bertrand Russell

think tanks

Lewis Powell Memo Launching Corporate Propaganda Infrastructure

"Fueled by tax-deductible donations and an explosion in philanthropic assets, think tanks have dramatically grown in size and influence during the past 100 years. American think tanks increased in number from eight in 1910 to 98 in 1960 and 1,106 in 2006. Despite think tanks' billions of dollars of tax subsidies and considerable power, they have received minimal public scrutiny and are often poorly understood." - J.H. Snider, think tank fellow

"I landed a job as executive director of a policy organization in Washington. This felt like a coup. But certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise." - Matthew B. Crawford

"The lobbyists I met at Cassidy & Associates and APCO were more than eager to help out. In exchange for fees of up to $1.5 million a year they offered to send congressional delegations to Turkmenistan and write and plant opinion pieces in newspapers under the names of academics and think tank experts they would recruit." - Ken Silverstein

"The term intellectual is used generally to refer to people with privilege and access to resources who engage in commentary on human affairs. It does not necessarily correlate with insight or understanding. In general, privilege confers responsibility: in particular, responsibility to seek the truth and to meet ethical standards.

History reveals that, by and large, intellectuals have been servants of power, radically violating these responsibilities. There are always independent minds that confront the crimes of the powerful and seek to support the victims. They are usually punished in one or another way, depending on the nature of the society. That pattern goes back to the earliest historical records, and persists with rare exceptions, as is easily shown." - Noam Chomsky

A think tank is an organization that claims to serve as a center for research and/or analysis of important public issues.

In reality, most think tanks are little more than public relations fronts, usually headquartered in state or national seats of government and generating self-serving scholarship that serves the advocacy goals of their industry sponsors.

Think tanks are funded primarily by major corporations and foundations.

Think tanks devise and promote policies that shape the lives of every American.

Think tanks always have a decided political leaning.

Journalists, op-ed columnists and public speakers that belong to think tanks are paid to espouse the opinions of their sponsors who shower them with 'research grants.'

There are twice as many right wing think tanks as left wing ones, and the right wing ones generally have more money.

Every think tank has a sponsor. And every sponsor had an agenda. Therefore it is unreasonable to simply accept ANY pronouncement from ANY think tank as every statement WILL be biased toward the sponsor who is feeding the fish in the think tank.

In 2007, the Utah Families Foundation received $40,000 from PhRMA, $30,000 from Barr Pharmaceuticals, $27,500 from Sepracor, $25,000 from Eli Lilly, $25,000 from Becton Dickerson, and another $25,000 from AstraZeneca. Senator Orrin G. Hatch helped found Utah Families Foundation. Pharmaceutical and health-product corporations have donated $1.25 million directly to Senator Orrin G. Hatch's campaigns since 1998, and paid for seven trips he took in 2006 alone.

"Corporations wanting help in advancing their agendas often turn to think tanks. In addition to providing the appearance of independent support for corporate policies, think tanks combine a scholarly image with expertise at how to play the media and policymakers alike.

To give just one example, the Chicago-based Heartland Institute is holding a conference in New York this week, featuring a persistent if increasingly-isolated group of global warming skeptics. Heartland has a long history of being well-funded by the tobacco industry and fossil fuel companies. Not that Heartland discloses which corporations and foundations fund its operations; it, like many think tanks, prefers secrecy." - Bob Burton March 6, 2009

"Many of the estimated 37,000 French journalists see themselves more as intellectuals than as reporters. Instead of merely reporting events, they often try to analyze developments and influence readers with their own biases. At the same time, many political or economic journalists are educated at the same elite schools as the politicians they cover.... As a consequence, many reporters do not necessarily regard their primary role as being that of a watchdog or a counterweight to the political and economic powers in place." - Open Source Center of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 16 July 2008

"German policy research institutes influence decision making of the federal and state governments, and their work is becoming more visible in the German media. Many receive government funding, and most maintain close ties with universities. German think tanks include major foreign policy institutes, peace research organizations, economic research institutes, party foundations, and non-traditional think tanks." - Open Source Center of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 05 March 2008

According to the Open Source Center of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence the French and the Germans are biased. Any individual that does the rudimentary critical thinking on this issue will realize that there is absolutely no difference between the French, the Germans, the English and the Americans or for that matter any other social culture or group when it comes to bias.

"Is it not a little unseemly for Washington to be suddenly shocked at the fact that those with interests in what governement does seek out like-minded advocates?

Bent on becoming an opinion journalist, I landed a syndicated column. But I could never live on what it paid alone. I affiliated with the Cato Institute, which always encouraged my work. I ghostwrote Op-Ed articles, drafted political speeches, prepared internal corporate briefings and strategized business media campaigns.

All the while, I also wrote commentary and opinion pieces. Virtually everyone I worked with, or wrote for, had an ax to grind. Think tanks and opinion journals have explicit ideological perspectives, which they support through fund raising. Politicians, PR firms, companies and associations have explicit agendas.

What is an aspiring ideologue to do if he believes something in principle and the person or group willing to offer support to write about it has an economic interest in the outcome? Many supposedly "objective" thinkers and "independent" scholar/experts these days have blogs or consulting gigs, or they are starting nonprofit Centers for the Study of (...). Who funds their books, speeches or other endeavors? Often it's those with an interest in the outcome of a related debate. The number of folks underwriting the pursuit of pure knowledge can be counted on one hand, if not one finger. "

-Doug Bandow, former Op-Ed columnist and Cato Institute affiliate

Think Tanks do the dirty work!!!!
exit stage left

unique library index

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This website defines a new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has created a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the Way of Life - a rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of Life are spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a “hate crime."

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