Criminality 101 – Adventures in the Pseudosciences

Fortunately, the First Amendment protects a range of free speech, not absolute free speech, but a variety of such notions that may annoy or otherwise disturb those who disagree. In addition, to that end, it is okay to disagree, to argue and debate a diversity of human issues, hopefully without fear of degradation or retaliation. Ideally, the interactivity ought to be imaginative, productive and conducive to problem solving. Of this, individually the intent ought to inspire creativity in become a better version of the original self. Collectively the motivation should encourage species ascendency.

However, the truth is more dangerous than the illusion. As personal liberation falters and human beings regress to primal states of emotional reactivity, the process of logical deduction defaults to emotional reactivity. There is the lingering perception that such is not always the case in post-modern American society. Frequently, feelings stifle discussion and blame overrides the facts for the selfishness of erroneous fallacies of inference. Modern discussions regress to counterproductive states of regression.

Yet, in this modernistic cult of “celebrity worship”, social media gossip interactions, and abject “political correctness”, little progress in social discourse is achieved. Many become troubled when their belief systems are challenged. Emotional drama pervades the feeble attempts to promote serious debate on timely critical issue. Hurt feelings allow for oversimplification and rationalization of intentional maladaptive inflictions. Likewise, so called “peer review” is filled with intentional safe mediocrity of safeguarding the status quo, in lieu of serious evidentiary provability specious conjecture.

In an age of news pundits highly opinionated “reporting”, as contemporary “journalism” has changed, feelings are translated into shallow assertions from fallacies of inference that foster hasty generalizations. Of which, stupidly communal interactions become “drive by” quotes that reflect the immature nature of superficial verbiage. Facts are replaced with fictions, or unsubstantiated theories, while reality takes a pause and bogus philosophies masquerade as science. In the “multi-verse” of complex criminal justice systems, public policy stumbles toward inefficiency in the pursuit of one size fits all, and therefore, much is reduced to trouble free simplicity.

Often, evidence based on scientific validation is conveniently overlooked for the immediate satiation of subjective validation. Bias colludes to condescend the very essence of critical analysis by which “feel good” speculations give credence to specious conclusions. As such and with reference to the fields of study as criminology, psychology, and sociology, one group of the hallowed speculative “trinity of academia”, logical analysis would reduce their treatment to that of pseudoscience.

Within this scheme, as some pretentious theoreticians scoff at claims of the paranormal, or the supernatural, their alleged schools of thought are not far removed from that “ghostly” realm. That is to say, as opposed to real sciences as in astronomy, not astrology, astrophysics, not metaphysics, physics and not psychics, serious evidentiary authenticity is vital. Other sciences include biology, not “biofeedback”, and chemistry as opposed to ghost hunting. Here, “pseudo” means non-unifying centralized universally accepted scientific provability that receives widespread approval as real science.

Meanwhile, in academia or in the “psychic” industrial realms that mass-produce “chemical cures” and magical “diagnoses”, the inquisitions of power plot retaliation. To the ramparts of dissent and disagreement, intolerance for tolerance schemes the counteroffensive. How dare some question the sacred doctrines of the well-entrenched status quo? Nonetheless, the provocation continues. In so doing, the accusation of pseudoscience refers to quasi, tentative, simulated, wannabe, ephemeral, questionable, and so forth. As such, it ought to be okay for others to argue against another’s theory, opinion or school of thought and challenge those viewpoints critically.

In the criminal justice systems, scientific validity is crucial. At a fundamental level, a basic question is what the evidence shows to be true or not true. Specious conjecture might be promoted to pass as “science”, but such things get challenged in court. With an adversarial system, both sides get to argue against each other. Likewise, this should hold true in academia, where alleged experts postulate various theoretical constructs. Yet, such is not always the case. Eventually, promoted by mainstream media through the vast reaches of “infotainment”, most of the public comes to believe the theories as real science. Even though speculation cannot be substantiated by serious scientific proof, like blood tests, or an x-rays, or even DNA analysis, belief spreads everywhere. In American society, the mere pretext of “expertise” passes of validation.

All too often, pretentious credentials, or celebrity status, are easily accepted without serious analysis, serious skepticism and investigative sufficiency. Forget the mere mention of actual real world experience, as anyone seemingly is passed off as an “authority”. While everyone might have an opinion, not all viewpoints are necessarily valid, as egregious fallacies become fact. Similarly, in a somewhat open society of a seemingly “democratic” (republic) configuration, much goes through the unfiltered abundance of “socio-psycho-babble” of social media. By collusive interaction, most news outlets, by regurgitation of so-called reporters, perpetuate the superficiality.

Worse yet, comes the pseudo-intellectuals. Allegedly famous personalities, gurus, celebrity “experts”, talking “head” reality shows, wealthy elitists, and a cast of many characters, who claim special insight to secret knowledge. Notorious, are Hollywood actors, most of whom never made it out of high school. You have to ask, how hard can it be to read a script someone else wrote for you? Meanwhile, as you are acting, you are taking direction from a team of filmmakers. Seriously, that is expertise?

That aside, many who have never conducted a serious investigation in the real world are quick to offer their “opinions”. As such, what do these viewpoints mean? The relevance signifies very little, it is merely one view among many. Yet, their celebrity status, wealth, and popularity play to shallow reaches of triteness. Viewpoints spatter the networks with the spin of grave fallacies of inference, whereby hurried generalizations foster dangerous public policy as to the nature of criminality.

When non-practitioners and wannabe pundits attempt intellectual claims outside their primary domain of knowledge, the desire for immediate gratification in easy answers stifles critical thinking processes. Investigative inquiry wanes toward the devolving realms stupidity. While opinions vary, scientific validation is vital to forensic analysis in the eventual efficacy of substantial proof. Views are many and public policy is affected by foolhardy efforts that stem from nebulous rhetoric that foment condescending regression. From politicians and commentators, to preachers of metaphysical dogma, what is the truth and who does one trust? In reality, no one and nothing, as serious introspection, analysis and investigation must challenge everything. Reasonable, logical and authentic critical thinking is a serious art form, and healthy skepticism is its tool. Exceptional evidentiary artifacts must support special claims.

By way of presumptuous pretexts in patternicity, to the suspicious strains of anomalous agenticity, hope springs eternal in conspiratorial conjectures. Unsubstantiated by scientific sufficiency, self-serving necessity for immediate satiation grasps simplistic solutions or superficial answers to complex behavioral issues. Quick, easy and repetitively cliché, a generic axis of theoretical constructs becomes the anecdotal acceptance of tenuous explanations. Subjective validation for cognitive bias lays claim to unscientific reductionist thinking for beliefs in pseudoscience.

Regardless, the debate goes on, from classicist accountability to positivist exceptionality. From reverberations in the pseudosciences, a number of alibis are claimed as defenses to illicit complicities. Often, from the classical perspective, an echo of skepticism asks for example, is addiction a “disease”? Since so many criminals are quick to suggest it was not their fault, they were afflicted by a “mental illness”. If so, in what sense and what is the anatomical test for a “mental disorder”? Will it show up in a blood test, a sonogram, a CAT scan, or what about an x-ray? Do alleged “mental illnesses” become readily an evident molecularity from DNA analysis?

Surely, pseudoscience has considered these probabilities of actual proof that can be show in the organic nature of materiality, right? As in real sciences, chemistry, physics and biology, the evidence can be shown to a reasonable and rational certainty of actuality. A correlation does not necessarily equate with causation. Additionally, a connection must be rendered provable by way of factuality in causation and consequence, whereby evidentiary articles are well proved beyond reasonable doubt. Outside that, everything else is speculation based on a hypothesis of guesswork that arrives at a theory.

An individual does not get the sniffles, sneeze and spread criminality, and neither does he or she catch it like a cold. Where the “mind” is a metaphor for chemical actions in the brain, it is difficult to delve deeply into that which does and does not exist. At a basic level of inquiry, a person makes his or her own choices relative to the complex realm of his or her thinking by willful premeditated intentions. From a criminal behavior standpoint, the criminal, whether on Wall Street, or Main Street, know exactly what they are doing when they harm someone else. It depends on the skill set and where the criminal operates. Some theorist suggest the idea that a certain category of criminal lacks a “conscience”, or feelings of remorse, yet criminals behave to the contrary.

Regardless, others looking in generally overlook the purposeful intentions of criminality. For the sake of alibis, excuses and illicit mitigations, many will quickly run to an assortment of conforming consensus. Erroneously constructed around a theoretical ideology outside the dynamics of scientific validation, some externality of illegitimate defense will be fomented on behalf of the perpetrator. Such socio-psychobabble has become so frequently a part of the superficial narrative in social commentary that the underlying dishonesty goes without question. Fallacies are seldom questioned, facts are ignored in favor of feelings, and bogus conjecture passes as “proof”.

As one criminological researcher lamented, in a post-modern context of collectivist collusion, thinking is skewed in the direction of the most biased perspective. For the classical criminologist, as regards human behavior, not much has changed over the last 33,000 years. In a not so untypical criminology class recently, the majority of the end of course “research projects” boasted questionable conjecture primarily based on the subjective validation of the “investigator”. Attempts to validate or otherwise cross-examine the substantive authenticity of assertions found little evidentiary substantiation. Sweeping generalizations based on the simplicity of opinion with superficial conjecture could not reach a higher standard of scientific sufficiency.

Nonetheless, depending on the behavioral perspective, competing ideologies may never merge into a unified field of definitive explanation. Caution is warranted every time a cause-effect interpretation is attempted. As bias taints and otherwise influence any conclusions to be drawn, the observer or investigator will affect his or her observation. Likewise, any attempt to claim a theoretical justification tends to fall within the scheme of insufficient oversimplification. From the classical point of view, to the positivistic assessment, all commentary, conjecture and conclusion comes down to opinion.

Unfortunately, in post-modern, pre-dystopic society, young pundits, celebrities, politicians, pseudoscientists, and so forth, often make matters trivial that are highly complex. Immediate gratification in the satiation of simplistic subjective validation hastily constructs a deterministic causality regarding maladaptive behaviors. Bold claims of “new breakthroughs” in “mind science”, or “ground breaking neuroscience discoveries”, do not easily reduce to clear-cut unassailable measures of criminality. Human motivations are personal, individualized and willful.

Facetious conjecture, based solely on the arrogance of personal opinion, no matter how learned the advocated, proves little or nothing in the harsh reality of human being. The most violent and dangerous species on Earth is the most invasive and destructive to the social and ecological evolution of the planet. Rumors, celebrity testimony, gossip and myriad appeals to polls and opinion neither support nor defend the rational authenticity of truth beyond doubt. As a hypothesis descends into the abject proclivities of human bias, as well as observational contamination, the efficacy of the theoretical substantiation falters regressively. As such, an abundance of “psychobabble” has become “truth”.

Over the last century, speculative assessment of criminality from deterministic perspectives tends to slant toward a number of excuses, or alibis, relative to mitigation in answering the “why” question. That is, “why” did he or she commit the dastardly deed? Rather than analyzing the “what” he or she did, the media, including social media, typically leap to hastily drawn conclusions, which result is irrelevant speculations. Anyone at any given time, alluding to a diversity of situations, can blame this or that and whatever for their maladaptive behaviors. Meanwhile, those who don’t know, or worse yet, those who ought know, frequently promote oversimplification of the complexity.

From “affluenza” to poverty, the evasion of accountability for the responsibility of one’s actions is conveniently blamed on deterministic externalities. The reversion to unsubstantiated conjecture gets worse when radical religious ideological, and the terrorism of its criminality, is blamed on social media. According to many, wearing a suicide vest and blowing up an entertainment venue is the result of “radicalization” that was “caused” by an online website. As such, the nonsense remains continuous. In the U.S., an entire society, the majority of which, proclaim a robotic detachment from the wholeness of the human experience. Complexity is reduced to a singularity.

Nevertheless, at the basic level of ideation, in a classical framework, there is the assumption of individuation for selectivity, in order to meet the needs of satiation for primal motivation. Such is the balancing act between “pain and pleasure”, “good and evil”, or “right versus wrong”. Being “hard wired”, having a “defect in DNA”, or possessing a “broken brain”, does not satisfy the necessary sufficiency of scientific validation. Again, real science pertains to things like biology, chemistry and physics. Pseudoscience concerns philosophies such as criminology, psychology and sociology.