We are not afraid of "cognitive weapon", In his very abundance
The modern phrase “cognitive weapon”, it turns out, is not at all a novelty in the post-Soviet space. And, apparently, in the use of these weapons of mass destruction of consciousness, we are far ahead. Another thing - do we have immunity to it? And if not - where to get it?
The conference at the Academy of Military Sciences noted an increase in the share of so-called soft power in a multi-vector analysis of contemporary threats to Russian security. According to Stepan Sulakshin, Director General of the Center for Scientific Political Thought and Ideology, in the conditions of the ongoing information war, it is necessary to pay special attention to the use of “cognitive weapons” against our country, which means “introducing false scientific theories, paradigms, concepts strategies affecting its government in the direction of weakening the defense of significant national interests ". The use of such weapons, Sulakshin believes, can cause the “index of the country's success” to slide into the area of negative indicators, generating degradation processes inside it.
The principle of the “cognitive weapon”, according to the speaker, is the following: “The introduced false theory affects the national science, relevant scientific schools and generations. Derived from this expert community, the educational circuit, which prepares defective cadres, programmed to misconceptions about the most important management and development paradigms of the country, reproduce generations of undergraduate and graduate students of the corresponding grade. They saturate with dequalification the relevant reference structures of government bodies and decision makers. Accordingly, an erroneous, counterproductive and destructive state management policy arises and the result is the weakening of the country's defense potential. ”
Does this type of weapon really exist? What is the principle of action and the consequences of its application? Let's try to understand these issues from a scientific point of view.
If you follow this approach, there are some remarks on the definition of “cognitive weapons” given by Sulakshin. In particular, when it comes to the introduction of false scientific theories, it seems that the existence of some absolutely true ideas is assumed. But according to modern ideas about science, true scientific theories do not exist; all of them are potentially subject to refutation. Falsifiability is the main defining characteristic that distinguishes scientific theories from non-scientific and pseudoscientific, such as astrology, ufology, various esoteric concepts and so on.
On the criteria of scientific
Scientific theories are certain conventions, agreements for the evaluation of which it is illegal to use the concepts of truth or falsity; here we need completely different criteria: adequacy, practicality, compliance with the Occam principle, and the like.
For example, Ptolemy's geocentric ideas about the structure of the cosmos were quite adequate for their time and allowed us to make astronomical calculations with the accuracy necessary for practice. Then the heliocentric theory came to change, in which the center of the cosmos moved to the Sun. Today, the concept of the center of the universe is generally devalued, since its choice is completely arbitrary: any place in space can be considered the starting point of the universe, even the tip of its own nose. The paradox, which cannot be resolved in a three-dimensional coordinate system, is that from any point one and the same picture is observed - the Universe expanding with acceleration in all directions. It is possible that this view of its structure will also be revised over time, like all previous ones. A consistent change of paradigms is inherent not only in cosmology, but also in any other branches of knowledge.
The purpose of scientific theories is to unite a disparate set of facts into a single consistent system. It will have some new properties that allow, firstly, to expand the range of applicability to phenomena and events that were not in the sphere of interests of the previous theory, secondly, to increase the "sensitivity" and allow you to look beyond the threshold of visibility, previously unavailable. In the aggregate, the number of facts recorded by science is increasing. The set of newly discovered phenomena does not always fit into the accepted theoretical scheme, for them it is necessary to invent separate explanations. But it helps only partially. The problem is fundamentally solved in the course of scientific revolutions - the creation of a new, more advanced theory, the elimination of previous postulates and the building of cognitive structures on completely different initial messages. There is no logical consequence between the new and the old paradigm, the same facts in them are explained completely differently.
For example, the theory of relativity does not reject the classical physics of Newton, just Einstein proposed a different view of things, allowing to describe more objects and phenomena from a unified position.
That is, scientific theory is not a panacea for all occasions, but merely a working tool for obtaining new knowledge about objective reality and explaining existing facts. The application of scientific theories to the description of certain phenomena of the surrounding world should lead to the extraction of useful information for the scientist. In order to have such an opportunity, the theory must be realized not as a result of an accidental coincidence of circumstances, but due to the observance of strictly defined procedures, purposeful creation of unique conditions. Falsifiability fills scientific theories with information that makes them really useful in their work.
Various sacred and esoteric teachings tend to the opposite effect - infallibility through maximum versatility. Pseudo-scientific claims cannot be refuted. But nonfalsifiable cannot in any way be a guarantor of truth, if only because the truth acquires meaning only in conjunction with a lie — there is no lie, there is no truth either. Irrefutability leads to uncertainty and makes pseudoscientific theories completely useless in practice, making it impossible to serve as a source of information.
Что есть истина?
The emergence of science was preceded by philosophy, which, in turn, split off from religion as a knowledge of the surrounding reality through rational reasoning. Religion is based on faith. For philosophy and science, obligatory attributes have become evidence and argumentation. Although both religion and philosophy operate with the notion of truth, the meaning that they put into it is different. For religion, this is the correspondence to the Holy Scriptures. In philosophy, truth has a logical meaning.
In science it is correct to speak not about truth, but about the reliability of results. Reliability assumes not only the consistency of the original theoretical schemes, but also experimental verification. Verifiability - a prerequisite for scientific.
Science explores objects and phenomena of objective reality, only that which exists in space and in time, therefore, is measurable. Thus, verifiability always implies metricity - the possibility of a quantitative presentation of the results of scientific research. Mathematics, the science of spatial forms and quantitative relations, is an invariable companion of scientific calculations.
Falsifiability (which means informational content, negentropy, utility, verifiability, metric, etc.) makes it extremely inconvenient to use scientific theories as a Trojan horse. But all sorts of pseudo-scientific concepts that do not have reliable evidence of their adequacy are quite suitable for the role of “cognitive weapons”. Pseudoscientific theories, mimicking the scientific by using specialized terms, create only the illusion of rationality. Their validity, as a rule, is purely personal in nature. The dissemination of such teachings occurs among amateurs who are inclined to obey authority without question. For adepts it is not required and even a critical understanding of the substantive part is contraindicated. Usually, such teachings are initially declared to be undoubtedly true, and those who do not wish to believe a word are censured, considered intellectually flawed.
The stated reasonings allow to correct the definition of “cognitive weapon”. First, the name of this weapon must be quoted, since it is inherently anti-cognitive. Secondly, instead of the phrase “false scientific” it is more legitimate to write “pseudoscientific”.
These amendments provide an opportunity to identify ways of introducing "cognitive weapons" into the body of the victim. It can be assumed that the action of such weapons will be the most destructive in a social environment where the managerial link makes a decision, guided not by prudence and practical expediency, but by emotions and personal ambitions, that is, where voluntarism, narcissism, passion of all kinds of fashionable trends prevail over sanity. . “Cognitive weapons” are comparable to infectious infections, but acting not in the physical, but in the intellectual environment. As well as viruses, “cognitive infection” is distributed only in favorable conditions.
The penetration of malicious agents occurs in violation of the protective mechanisms of the body. In the state, one of the main bodies that prevent "cognitive infection", according to the same Sulakshin, is science. And in this he is undoubtedly right. Science today is not only the productive force of the state, but also one of the main interpreters of events and phenomena occurring in the world.
Existing societies can be divided into two categories: traditional and industrial. In traditional society, the worldview is formed on the basis of myths, legends and everyday experience. Modern Western culture was formed thanks to science in the sense of science - mining knowledge through experimentation. In a technogenic society, science has a powerful impact on all spheres of life. It is on this influence that pseudoscience is trying to parasitize.
The Polish science fiction writer and philosopher Stanislav Lem has a story “On the Benefit of the Dragon”. In it the alien civilization of the Abrazians in the basis of the economy put the dragon. No one has ever seen a dragon, but huge funds are allocated for its maintenance. Scientists of Abrazia recognized it as an objective reality and are studying in the departments of general and applied draconistics. The dragon became a national idea, and those who are plotting to end it are immediately punished.
Unbiased look at history Our state, unfortunately, is convincing: the story of Lem is not at all fiction, the replacement of the dragon with Marxism fills the plot with very specific personalities.
In the USSR, the pseudo-scientific myth about the possibility of building communism was perceived for a long time as a realistic goal. Dialectical materialism — essentially an irrational, ideological utopia — was presented as a science. Although it is not difficult to make sure that any significant events were realized contrary to the predictions of the father of Capital. Take, for example, the October Revolution, which marked the supposedly irrevocable transition from capitalism to the construction of a just communist society by the proletariat. According to Karl Marx, the change of socio-economic formations is a natural historical process of the global level, therefore the transition to a classless society is impossible in one country. In reality, the revolution was carried out by an armed coup by a group of conspirators in a single Russia, far from the most developed in the capitalist world. Professional terrorists came to power, not stained biography labor exploits.
Examples of inconsistencies of historical facts with the theoretical views of the German "oracle" can be endless. The destructive processes that have befallen our country at the end of the 20th century, once again showed the inconsistency of diamat. But Marxism penetrated our consciousness very deeply. Historians and economists still continue to use the ideas of the evolution of society on the basis of the correspondence of the productive forces to production relations, to divide history into classless and class (slave, feudal, capitalist, etc.) periods. Alas, in our scientific community, the tradition to evaluate theories by their adequacy to the actually observed processes is still not fully instilled, and draconistics continues to find fertile ground for existence.
Under the circumstances, it is not difficult to get infected with another saving idea. And you should not blame the cunning West for everything, we have plenty of our own sources of infection. What is worth, for example, the idea of creating a disguise system in the Armed Forces that has been actively promoted recently, essentially means reducing the art of deceiving an adversary to performing the prescribed standard procedures. Astonishes the concern of some military scientists regarding the possibility of an alien invasion. Many authorities proudly declare that no one has yet been able to refute their “laws of war”. Fascinated by the dialectical methodology, they are completely unaware that irrefutability does not mean proof at all. The koans of Nostradamus and the revelations of Blavatsky have never been able to disprove as much as the horoscopes from Globa - random coincidences are always possible.
Above, attention was already focused on the fact that the lack of a principled possibility of refutation is a clear sign of unscientific nature. The non-falsifiability of the “laws of war” deprives them of information content and makes them completely useless for practical purposes. Of course, you can flaunt the knowledge of “infallible truths” by demonstrating your scholarship, but it is not possible to use them to get a tangible result, unless you accept mountains of written paper or defend another thesis for those. Many authoritative theorists seriously believe that the main purpose of military science is to put forward futuristic hypotheses. According to their understanding, there is military practice, and there is science, which composes recommendations for the troops, which subsequently form the basis of the governing documents. As a result of such a dialectic interaction between futuristic theory and real practice, the commander, when performing his task, finds himself in a situation where he has to think one thing, say another, and do the third.
The passion to generate eternal laws is peculiar not only to military science. An even greater degree of lawmaking is inherent in various kinds of theories on personnel management or, as is now fashionable to be expressed, on management. If, for example, in physics, the formulation of a law is a significant event in the life of science, therefore, as a rule, everyone bears the name of his creator, then in management theory, laws are composed by whole blocks, are given out to the top in lists, and in the sense of authorship they are all orphans ". Why are there laws, so minute distraction. “Scientists-managers” in no way make one “discovery” after another, not paying attention at all to the fact that their statements, to put it mildly, do not correspond to the fundamentals of modern natural science.
It seems that some domestic management schools exist in a parallel world and compete with science fiction in originality. So, in one of the textbooks on public administration recommended for universities, an amazing anatomical discovery is made. It turns out that management is something located between the consciousness of a person and his activity. In another textbook, apparently written by a great connoisseur of physics, management is defined as a social phenomenon, distinguished by independence from space and time. And in the monograph “Fundamentals of Management”, the author overtakes philosophical insight - the mechanism of management is described as a link between theory and practice.
The impact of such theories on consciousness is fully consistent with the definition of "cognitive weapons." It is difficult to guess what the leaders who have mastered this kind of managerial knowledge will be capable of. Although one can be sure: the proposals formulated on the principle “a clear algorithm of actions and standardized means are a concrete result” are unlikely to be of interest. Much more attractive dragon. The behavior of the dragon is unpredictable, appetites are not limited by anything. Naturally, only the elect have the sacred knowledge of how to appease the dragon. For these purposes, you can request funds, the amount of which is limited only by the client’s willingness to part with a certain amount of money in order to avoid the potential threat suggested to him. Can not be intimidated - you can play for greed. Possessing a certain oratorical skill, it is not difficult to convince the average man in the reality of a bright, colorful, attractive mythical creature. The psychology of the average person is a willingness to believe in the miracle of instant enrichment rather than the need for daily hard work with a fixed result. Financial pyramids such as MMM, lotteries, loans to repay loans are a good example.
We wanted the best
Dialectics is convenient for the universal opportunity to explain anything in a science-like language. This was successfully used by Hegel, proving that the number of planets in the solar system should be exactly seven, according to the number known at that time. That the Prussian monarchy is the most perfect polity to be imagined. And for Marx, the dialectic allowed to exist comfortably, industrially by writing (as a rule, in collaboration with the financially secure friend Engels) prose of political and economic content. Bolsheviks - to justify the legality of the seizure and retention of power.
In the second half of the last century, naive romantics, who sincerely believed in the truth of Marxist-Leninist scriptures, came to the leadership of the USSR. After that, as a result of making ineffective management decisions, the collapse of the state became inevitable, turned out to be a matter of time. "Well-wishers" could only play up the whims of self-confident amateurs. The activities of our leaders of that time are aptly characterized by the phrase: “We wanted the best, but it turned out as always.” The habit of the authorities to act at the behest of the heart without a clear understanding of what real consequences this can lead to has survived even after the abandonment of the communist ideology, right up to the beginning of the 21st century.
Perhaps, in a traditional society, sincerity, good nature, compassion may be considered optimal traits of the ruler’s character, but in the post-industrial world they are clearly not enough. In addition to human qualities, there must be other, strictly pragmatic requirements for a modern leader: rationality, prudence, a sense of proportion. In the decision-making process, relying only on intuition, chance and trust has become an unaffordable luxury. Too high a price has to be paid for mistakes made even from the best of intentions.
Vaccine for civilization
The technogenic world offers its inhabitants a variety of amenities. But everything has a downside. Man with the help of science was able to command the forces of nature. At the same time, by building around him an artificial world, he deprives himself of the natural principle and limitations in force in his natural habitat. Civilization requires a certain fee for the ability to plan the results of its activities, to anticipate the occurrence of events, to control the processes underway. The crisis around the events in Ukraine once again convinces: the country has no friends; at best, interstate relations can count on partnerships. The behavior of players in the international arena is primarily motivated by selfish interests and their own benefit. In conditions when the sales markets are distributed and the resources consumed are limited, there is no reason to rely on sincerity and immediacy in the relationship between their own kind. Good or bad, a rhetorical question. This is a reality that a statesman must learn in the decision-making process.
Is it possible to abandon the fruits of civilization? If there is no desire to share the fate of the Indians of North America or the aborigines of Australia, then anti-scientism is not an option. Can science solve all the pressing problems of modern civilization? The answer is also negative. Science is only a part of human culture, and it is unable to replace philosophy, art, religion, politics ...
Special attention is paid to the intellectual quirk inherited from Soviet times: the transcendental relationship between science and philosophy - understanding of the latter as the science of all sciences, super-science. For many educated on the belief that the Marxist-Leninist teaching is “omnipotent because it is true”, it still remains a revelation that science (in the sense of science) and philosophy are two different spheres of human activity, although they have some common features. Both science and philosophy suffer from a lack of understanding of this circumstance. Science lacking scientific criteria is quickly replaced by various pseudoscientific theories. Attempts to give philosophy pragmatic features degenerate it into empty sophistry. As a result, the civilization code of society becomes very susceptible to the effects of “cognitive infection”, easily gives in to the personal charm of the next guru and begins to perceive the illusory ideas as really achievable.
Understanding the causes of the disease allows us to propose specific measures to develop a prescription for a vaccine against “cognitive weapons.” The formula of the drug is quite simple - the development of science, education and the formation of a world view based on the latest achievements, the ability to identify and expose pseudoscientific ideas.
Kill the dragon
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