Let’s talk consensus and misapplication.
Consensus is when something is generally agreed upon by a large group or a majority. There’s nothing particularly wrong with consensus per se. It just means that a lot of people agree to something for some purpose. The thing and the purpose are where things can go wrong, and another, more pernicious area that it can go wrong is in the area of consensus being conflated with verified facts.
This is a huge error, actually. Dangerous, too, and it usually happens within the sphere of social sciences and politics, because what better way to give yourself some point and purpose than agreeing with a bunch of stick waving neanderthals in a group? There are shit tonnes of better ways, but that’s a different story for another day, and a reason to look into the many other articles I’ve written..anyway.
Consensus becomes distorted into a perceived “truth” by a lot of people, because the refusal to think and delegate thought to a group is much easier than actually thinking. X and their group of x’s said Y is true, therefore it must be true. Move on with life, etcetera.
Wrong. Catastrophically so. You have to always remember that just because a huge amount of people agree on something, it does not make it true. Reality makes it true. Fact makes it true, but groups do not.
Let that sink in, and hard. Groups cannot ever create truth. Truth is in reality, you only need but see it, infer, test and conclude. The facts of reality are discovered, they are never created. This isn’t the Waaagh in Warhammer. Red does not go faster than blue – except in Warhammer, which is actually true (no joke, Orkz literally yell things into existence and it’s why they are fucking awesome in WH40k).
Gravity was not invented, it was discovered. It was always there, it was just that brilliant minds discovered how it works, what it does and why it does things. We still don’t know everything about it, but it’s waiting to be discovered, understood and utilized for human living by another brilliant mind – they only need but see.
This is where peer reviewing is useful, too. Peer reviewing is very different to consensus – the latter is just a general agreement which can come after a peer review – the peer review is supposedly people testing the observation and verifying it as true. It’s basically taking someone’s conclusions and testing what they found to ensure that there wasn’t an error. It’s double confirmation.
Consensus means nothing without proper observation, inference and testing. If it’s just an agreed upon thing and stated as fact ie. “Potatoes are humans, too”, then it corrupts the hierarchy of knowledge and completely disregards the reality that potatoes are not, and can never be, human. It corrupts definitions, observations, inferences, everything. It also pisses me off to a tremendous degree, because I’m a teacher, and I see lots of teachers doing this kind of stuff. Shitty teachers.
That’s why it’s dangerous to follow what others say sometimes, and why it’s so vitally important that you ask why and how when being told a particular thing is true. This can be both absurdly easy to verify (2 + 2 = 4), or extremely difficult/time consuming due to how many variables have to be taken into account (to be selfish is good) – but both of them follow that same principle; you must think, and you must ask how and why. The how is important, and good teachers show you how to think, not what to think – a topic for another day (hint: look at reality).
Don’t follow what others say, even if you trust them. Question, wonder and verify yourself. It leads to clarity, understanding, and recognizing that you have the ability to survive and thrive.
Just remember, reality is where your answer lies. Not in Doug the hollering YouTuber, not in SickMindFulQuotes Twitter, but in reality. And you’ve got the brain to figure it out.
Cheers. Red is faster than blue. DAS DA TROOF.