Proof of the Pudding

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating” so they say.

From a culinary point of view this is about how the ‘pudding’ was prepared and although it might ‘look good’ it may not necessarily be so good when it comes to eating it.

‘Proving’ in this case has a somewhat different meaning to ‘proving’ or ‘proof’ in the legal, scientific, or academic world but there does seem to be, throughout society, an obsession with this idea of ‘proof’.

‘Proof’ of something is seen as an indicator of ‘truth’ – if something is ‘proven’ then it must be ‘true’

Then again ‘truth’ is not necessarily ‘true’ – Ruth Hubbard in 1988 coined the phrase “Truth is in the eye of the beholder” and the same thing is true of proof.

The ‘truth’ of something and the ‘proof’ of it are very strongly influenced by what you or I believe. We ‘choose’ what we believe to be true and the ‘proof’ of that truth has a great deal to do with it.

The thing is, that anything, anything at all, can be ‘proved’.

To prove something, you gather evidence in favour of a certain hypothesis.

That may be evidence of guilt in a court case, it may be evidence supporting a certain economic or scientific theory, it may be evidence of how certain artificial or natural processes ‘work’.

Proof relies on ‘evidence’, but you will have noticed that I said ‘evidence in favour’.

I was originally trained as a scientist, taught to set up a hypothesis and then to conduct experiments to gather evidence in its favour. The idea is that if you can’t get enough favourable evidence or you get too much evidence against the idea then the hypothesis falls.

This is, or should be, the basis of all scientific, academic, business and political research and discovery of ‘the truth’ about any particular proposition.

The trouble is that we, as a society and culture, have corrupted this process and now use it to prove anything we wish to be ‘proved’ and to be ‘true’.

Josef Goebbels said that if you repeat a statement that has no foundation (a lie) enough times it transforms into a truth. This of course can be backed up or accelerated by the provision of manufactured or false evidence – propaganda – that appears real.

As you and I know this leads to fear (false evidence appearing real) and is the basis of fake news, misinformation, disinformation and (a new term) malinformation.

The more this stuff is repeated the sooner it becomes ‘true’ and feeds both away and towards motivation.

Fear of something happening (away) and fear of missing out (towards).

Because it works both ways, fear is an extremely powerful motivator that is used extensively by states and organisations for two purposes.

One is to force people to take a particular line and adopt a way of thinking, as Nazi Germany succeeded in doing in the 1930s, and the second is to go on to control people, quite often in a way they didn’t expect, as with the Communist Regimes of the 20th century.

Although I’ve given historical examples, manipulation of populations through fear, to force them on to a certain path or attitude and then control them, is still happening in the 21st century and even more so because now it’s much easier, in the ‘information age’, to ‘get’ to the people.

The idea of ‘proof’ is at the centre of it.

If you can ‘prove’ something to the ‘masses’ then they will believe it and hold it to be ‘true’. Anything that has not been ‘scientifically proven’ either doesn’t exist, doesn’t work, or will ‘never happen’.

But its so easy to manipulate the ‘proof’ – all you do is simply ignore any evidence, however much there is, that is against your proposition or hypothesis and if there is no evidence (or you can’t find any) to support your policy you simply make it up – together with some sort of ‘proof’.

In most mathematical, scientific and especially economic arguments this is a little phrase that covers any disconnect in the logic or evidence.

“Given that . . .” always means that an assumption is being made for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

You’ll find it somewhere in most ‘papers’ written about a subject and you may even remember it from some mathematical ‘proofs’ at school.

Which brings me to the first level of control that’s exercised throughout most of the world – school and so-called ‘education’.

Children are fed from an early age with ideas that have been ‘proven’ and taught to learn this ‘knowledge’. They are then tested on their memory of it rather than being encouraged or even allowed to probe these ‘facts’.

Those who question this approach like A.S. Neill who founded Summerhill School in 1921 and more recently Bob Proctor and Vishen Lakhiani (Mind Valley) are generally side-lined although there are now some interesting developments in South America spearheaded by Natalie Ledwell (Mind Movies) where the school curriculum is being radically changed.

But in most cases children are taught what the state wants them to be taught – pay attention, get good qualifications and get a job. “We prepare children for the world of work” was a statement made by a National Union of Teachers spokesperson just a few years ago.

Of course, once you have control of peoples’ minds than they will do whatever you feel is necessary to support the state. It has happened so many times in so many countries – and no-one notices.

They don’t notice because as Bob Proctor points out they don’t understand, really understand what they’ve been taught. They simply take on board two fundamentals.

To be true something must be proven and for proof there must be evidence – and evidence, as Goebbels said is simply a mater of repetition, it doesn’t need to be ‘true’.

The second level of control comes throughout life, through the media, advertising and from the state machine, and it’s all about money.

Money makes the world go around – but more on that next time.

Meanwhile, think about what you believe to be true.

Is it? – Is it really?

Or is it what you’ve been ‘taught’ is true? – Taste the pudding and see . . .