Not Even Wrong
Please read these quotes from the website timecube.com. I apologize if you become dumber in the process.
Belly-Button Is the Signature
Of Your Personal Creator -
I Believe Her Name Mama.
Pastor Told His Flock That
God Created All Of Them -
Truth Was That They All had
Mama Made Belly Buttons,
Church Was Full Of Liars.
Earth Has 4 Days In Same 24 Hrs., 1 Day God Was Wrong.
Einstein Was ONEist Brain.
Try My Belly-Button Logic.
No God Knows About 4 Days, It Is Evil To Ignore 4 Days,
Does Your Teacher Know ?
The masculinity Sun and
The Time Cube website has been viewed by millions of people since 1997. I remember it among the earliest internet “phenomena” where people would tell their friends to visit the site because of all the bizarre and inflammatory declarations. The author apparently believes that the world exists as four simultaneous realities based on an arbitrary division of the planet where it is midday, midnight, and the two places in between. The author believes that everyone else’s lives lack depth and meaning because they are unable or unwilling to understand his beliefs and he is highly critical of the academic and religious authorities that refuse to teach them. (Here is the link again.) The material is obviously made-up nonsense and basically contains no statements that are true. However, it almost seems too generous to describe it as false. These rants contain nothing that is logical, relevant, provable, or disprovable. To borrow a phrase from physicist Wolfgang Pauli, “Not only is it not right, it's not even wrong!” It is so bad that it is not even worthy of being called false!
I liked that phrase from the moment I heard it. Previously when people made nonsensical statements, I would only say that I disagree. Now I can condemn them much further! There is no narrow definition for what makes something “not even wrong”. Certainly gibberish and sentences that don’t form coherent thoughts qualify. I think that even if a statement is coherent, it is not even wrong if evidence for or against it could not be observed. For example “Sodium plus Chlorine equals salt” is right, “Sodium plus Chlorine equals gold” is wrong, and “Sodium plus Chlorine equals magic invisible fairies that live in the spirit world” is not even wrong. Still, that doesn’t seem to be a perfect definition of “not even wrong”. You just know it when you see it by how completely a person does not know what he or she is talking about and has no criteria for being proven wrong. Consider the Time Cube author. His site claims a dozen times that he has proof, but it never mentions any useful criteria. Can he do something four times as fast as other people? Do members of “a binary of harmonic opposites” interact with each other in a way that regular things don’t? I don’t get it.
A few years ago, I received an email from a reader that also has a website on his personal philosophy (link). He had found my site one day, thought that we agreed on some things, and he invited me to visit his page. Well, I hope he doesn’t see this and get offended, but he is not even wrong! Read this quote from his FAQ page describing his basic ideas:
Essentialism is uniquely predicated on the concept of a sensible Essence that encompasses all as a "not-other" to itself. The metaphysics replaces Cartesian dualism with an undifferentiated Primary Source whose negation of nothingness divides being (essent) from awareness (negate) to actualize the dichotomy being-aware. The negate may be regarded as a "microcosm" of Absolute Sensibility in that it is value-awareness. As the autonomous agent of value, the negate assumes organic identity and creates the appearance of finitude by affirming the value of its complementary essent to become aware.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Does that even describe anything that exists? Are there any tests we can do on the “not-other”? Is it useful at all? I don’t know what to say.
Here is a thought that bothers me sometimes: to the rest of the world, I am just another guy with a webpage. How do I know that I am writing something that makes sense? How do I know that I am not just spitting out random thoughts and assumptions? How do I know that I am not “not even wrong”? Well, my writings are falsifiable in that they are based on the idea that values develop from sensory input, as I wrote about in-depth in Article 5, Value without Feeling. Has an infant ever desired anything that he only knows to be painful? Has an infant ever hated anything that he only knows to be pleasurable? Has anything without senses ever figured out the difference between good and bad? If so, I will gladly renounce everything I have ever written on this website and accept the existence of objective morality. If not, then I will continue to believe the only thing that I can observe: that right and wrong are relative to individuals and developed through sensory input. And I will continue to deride people that make stuff up and are not even wrong.