The end point of decadence

Why The Cult of Free Inquiry needs to be established. 
 A Commentary has been written on the principles listed above. 
The Bulk of the Wealth of Humanity is intangible, informational, and cultural.
The value of  Art.
The Cult of Free Inquiry declares war on social relativism
The Cult of Free Inquiry is fanatically tolerant
The end point of  decadence.
"In your opinion" is not a refutation.
The Cult of Free Inquiry endorses strong, unescrowed, encryption
How you can  help the Cult of Free Inquiry.
You may already be an adherent of the Cult of Free Inquiry.
Fundamental Principles of the Cult of Free Inquiry are as follows: 
  1. Representations of truth and beauty have value.
  2. The creation and spread of such representations does take place in social context. Common decency is needed to provide a favorable social context. However, unsound social justifications of false assertions should not be accepted as truth.

  3. Peaceful discussion and debate between different, even contradictory points of view has often resulted in an advance in knowledge. Suppression of unwanted assertions has often hampered the advance of knowledge. Declarative questions must not be solved by an appeal to force.
Truth matters 
The purpose of this page is not to cause pain to those involved in the tragedy, but rather is to draw out the lesson, so that the same mistakes will not be repeated in other contexts.

The last part of Richard P. Feynman's book  What Do You Care What Other People Think?  concerns itself mainly with the question "why did the space shuttle blow  up?" Professor Feynman served on the Rodgers commission to find the last days of his life when he was dying of cancer. More Specifically, the question was, why did technical objections to the launch not transmitted up the chain of command to the managers who could stop the launch? 

In order to provide a context for Feynman's answer, I am going to move out of the book and what Feynman said to a digression of my own. Let us ask why was Christa McAuliffe a school teacher sent into space? I do not want to disparage Ms McAuliffe or her accomplishments, but the fact is she was a social studies teacher. What do people learn about when they study social studies? People and societies. There are not many people or societies in space. On the other hand, there are a large number of physics demonstrations that can be facilitated by the lack of gravity. OK, if you want to be pedantic, by the apparent lack of gravity, due to an accelerated frame of reference. 

So if the idea is to educate the nation's young people: 
Put the social studies on the ground where she can demonstrate how to study people and societies, and send the physicist into space were he will have an ideal environment to teach physics. 

It is too logical. 

Except for the problem of what makes the space shuttle go up. Everyone who 
has seen the movie the Right Stuff  knows that funding makes 
the rocket go up. "No bucks, no buck Rogers." 

NASA's budget comes from the same part of the budget that HUD and other social services spending. It goes through the same committees. Every dollar that goes to NASA is a dollar lost to HUD and other social services. This was at a time when the Democrats controlled the Congress and Reagan had the Presidency. What sort of congressman would be attracted to these committees? Answer: those with an urban constituency and interested in social issues. 

So sending a social studies teacher into space was a way for NASA to suck up to the socially conscienced community and attempt to mollify it for all the bucks that NASA was taking from social services. 

It is ironic. If the nation's students could have studied this process they really could have learned something about political science and Real Politick. 

In this context, let us return to Feynman's theories about why the space shuttle blew up. Why did the high up managers not know about the technical objections to launching? 

There are two theories found on pages 212-215, 236 of Feynman's book: 

Theory B: They did know, they just said they did not know. 

Theory A is more complex.  High up managers have to testify before congress.  Every time a high up manager hears about a problem the estimate of the cost to build and run the space shuttle goes up. If the estimate goes too high the project could be canceled. High up managers can be more "honest" with congress if they do not  know about certain problems. The message transmitted implicitly through the atmosphere is "Don't tell me about problems." Over time a culture of willful ignorance, self deception, and even tolerance for lies gets created. 

The process goes on until reality crushes the space shuttle in a instant. 

Feynman's personal report ends: 

For a successfully technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature can not be fooled. 
I want to ask, cannot Feynman's principle be generalized a little? How about this? 
When in the course of human events, a social organization's culture, it's foundation if you will, becomes so contaminated with willful ignorance, the toleration of lies, and self deception, then the organization's behavior will become so out of line with fact, that reality can crush the organization in a instant. 

This condition is called decadence.

This among other things, is what the tarot card "the Tower" is trying to tell us.

Great is Truth, and none who are sincere need fear Her.

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