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March 8, 2022
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As an aside to the story about the Washington Post saying in 2020 that “experts” found Trump’s claim that oil prices would spike under Biden “dubious,” and that prices would more likely be lower, this is a good opportunity to point out one of the many glaring flaws in the methodology of what currently passes for “fact-checking.” And that is the reliance on so-called "expert" opinion as a substitute for objective facts.

There’s a term for that: the “appeal to authority.” It means claiming that something must be true if one “credible” source believes it. It’s one of the most common logical fallacies.

https://www.logicalfallacies.org/appeal-to-authority.html

(I apologize for citing logic, since we now know that’s just a form of white supremacy.)

Many modern “fact-checkers” rely on this, and media and social media outlets use them to censor any questioning of their pronouncements as if they are unassailable fact, handed down from Mt. Sinai on stone tablets. Later, when we discover they were wrong, we’re told, “The science has changed.” But science doesn’t change, we just learn that our original understanding of it was WRONG. And the only way to figure that out is to question authority. Which we’re not allowed to do because that’s known as the “scientific method,” and that’s also now been branded as “white supremacy.”

I’d like to recommend a book that should be required reading for all people who want to declare themselves “fact-checkers.” It’s by Christopher Cerf, and it’s called “The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation.” It’s a history of the many false things that experts once assured us were true, such as that man could never fly, that it would be fatal for a human to travel faster than 30 mph, that there’s no reason any person would ever need a home computer, and many more. And my favorite genius, the Decca Records executive who turned down the Beatles, telling them that guitar groups were on the way out.

Yes, these are the “experts,” the people we now rely on to tell us truths that are so irrefutable that some people want to make trying to refute them illegal. That's why when a "fact-checker" begins with "experts say," I say you should prepare for a snow job. By the way, "experts" assured us years ago that due to global warming, snow would be a thing of the past by now.

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