TOTW: Evidence

In the old days we used to call up citizen tribunals to determine guilt or innocence. Or perhaps that was just in movies. I guess we don't know an awful lot about how truth is determined in this world but the news, and the nightly stories about the news seem to have decided that a lot of conjecture and politicking seems to be involved. It is unclear how much that is true but it sure seems to be true and that is more than half the battle.

We do know this. Something like 95% of cases do not go to trial. This is because most defendants are put into the terrible situation of being presented the evidence the prosecution will go to trial and told to compare that to the cost of defending against it. This balance is then weighed against years of life and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. Evidence falls short to a kind of political reality. Same in mainstream (and radical) politics. Evidence is used to make an argument but not necessarily in open court. Evidence is used as a type of subterfuge against rules/power used as a different type of subterfuge. It seems exhausting.

In the old days, like some dusty cowboy movie, principles squared off on the main road through town. Today is seems a lot more like Lucy on the candy line. To what extent do you use evidence based reasoning in your anarchist politics? Do you agree that the way it has been ignored or avoided in mainstream consensus reality is a problem? How so?

There are 91 Comments

“To what extent do you use evidence based reasoning in your anarchist politics?”

Evidence is a charged word, I do use observation based reasoning, and critical thinking, but I would not consider my scant means to always come up with something as definitive as evidence or proof. I use doubt far more often. The phrase “evidence/proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt” implies reasonable doubt is what would keep one from condemnation? Not refereing to plausible deniability in that instance, but that too has its use.

“Do you agree that the way it has been ignored or avoided in mainstream consensus reality is a problem? How so?”

Well, that’s the bread and butter of ideology and propaganda, and other forms of argumentation and story telling. Some verifiable observations are not represented in the media spectacle, actively downplayed in political rhetoric or academic discourse, while others are amplified, exaggerated, etc. All forms of lies, of which there are a freat variety, are useful to everyone who can pull them off. Some have a greater capacity for it, and vast means at their disposal toward thos ends.

"The phrase “evidence/proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt” implies reasonable doubt is what would keep one from condemnation?

Wait... are you dense? No it's due to concordance of evidence which places the accused as the only *possible* culprit. The problem is not with the rational process leading to this conclusion, but how the process is contaminated by interests, and how the pigs are allowed to fuck up the evidence, and using a magic wand to transform whatever bullshit into legit evidence.

The failure of this process in the legal system is due to the real dynamics of the courts, not merely to the flaws in the notion of "evidence, or even the way it is supposed to be combine. It is absurdly assumed in the democratic system that all parties on an equal ground yet they aren't. Judges can be elected, but that's all. They're performatively held as demi-gods. Cops neither have gotta pay lawyers out of their own pockets, unlike the accused randos, and won't have to reveal their home address in court. They don't even fucking pay parking space outside of court!

But even on fair ground, evidence is rarely easy to prove and put together. Accusing someone of sexual harassment is extremely hard to prove without a third party (or "ally"), no matter how the accusation is legit. Which is why it can lead to forgery with the aims of just excluding people we don't like.

i was being playful and careless with words, as if to show i didn’t take the premise seriously and that it bored me. the fault is on my side, i should have more things going on in my life

my wild dagger has momentarily gone limp and stab-shy

I often talk with my mouth full of sour dough bread. I have nothing better to do in life except write. and write. and write some more. Why haven't the authors of this site abandoned their keyboards and take aim at It's Going Down and every red site that claims anarchism.

In the OJ Trial there was a boatload of evidence. Yet the jury's feelings about societal policing nullified the evidence. Jury nullification is a potentially powerful tool that can upend evidence

To what extent do you use evidence based reasoning in your anarchist politics?
Evidence should be considered against a larger societal context as well as personal circumstances. Could be someone became a sex worker because it was one of the few opportunities available for their sex and socio-economic level
Do you agree that the way it has been ignored or avoided in mainstream consensus reality is a problem? How so?
24 by 7 news takes away any sense of context because there is only the self-important sense of immediacy. This allows spin , alternate facts, lies, and bs to take over. Rachel Maddowm Ben Swann and others regardless of tendancy do work on presenting evidence. But their voices are far and few between. And there are no public rewards for doing so.

Knowing all this, how can anarchists counter evidence when charged?

Jury Nullification is definitely an underutilized tactic and it would be greatly helped by having a more healthy baseline libertarian discourse(something I've gone on about for good reason). This is a more acute tactic that would go a longer way then more quantified diminishing return activism and elective struggle. Get to the inner sanctum of power, discourse and consciousness and do some sabotaging.

evidence/no evidence matters little when prosecutors want to lock people in prison and the cops are either big enough bullies or sadistic enough to work for the justice system.

The court sets the rules for the game, and coming into contact with it means you lose. I got a ticket over the past year, and i realized that even in the case of "not guilty" everyone still has to pay a $70 court processing fee.

Paying someone to harrass me and waste my fucking time!

As far as me+evidence, i experience what i experience, and i don't experience what i don't experience, i can't base my actions on anything else. There's no point in trying to "prove anything" in this world.

it's also mainly just an apparatus for taxing illicit market activity

that's what I was trying to say as well! The Courts are nothing else than a forced scam. Evidence CAN be used to defend yourself, on paper, but most often that's just on paper, as it's just a pretense to paypaypay bullshit comedians in the shit theater of the Courts.

i don't have a politics (remember, the loose precursor to this site?), and this legalistic totw makes it ever more obvious why @news is rarely if ever relevant to anarchist discourse. the continued watering down of anarchist thought that seems so prevalent in the totws is having a serious effect on who even browses this site anymore. too bad.

boo collective, yay worker!

(will this post stay up?)

that's the political end goal...there are still endless ways of fucking with the legal system, thanks to our more liberal ancestors...

never admit anything to a cop!

The framing here does rankle a bit, why so legalistic?

Still, the question seems to be, what constitutes evidence? Is what I see with my own eyes evidence? Can I trust the evidence of my senses? What about feelings? These are the types of questions we ask ourselves in relation to the outer world, otherwise how could we continue to exist. So we have to develop a relationship with the existant inside ourselves to be able to literally walk down the street.

We also have to be able to evaluate other people's accounts of their senses in order to even be able to communicate. If we are both looking at a purple cow but you insist it is a yellow rabbit we have a miscommunication at least and we have some work to do to either find consensus or determine we are at odds.

So evidence is not just a what it is a who. What is being given as evidence, who is giving this evidence?

So, yes, I use evidence based reasoning in my anarchy though what I call evidence is probably quite idiosyncratic.

I mean … as long as you're carefully auditing your own thought processes like this, you're doing way better than most people already.

the connection of the basic meaning of a word and the context it was used between how people "mean" to use it is something that doesn't appear to change very much. For example, "good" and "evil" are still pretty christian terms, and when you use them to refer to a person you're walking on a pretty slippery slope. I can't imagine using the word "evidence" in a seriously anti-state scenario. Authoritarianism depends on a huge deal of separation between conversing beings. Evidence comes into play when someone wants to launch an accusation.

Of course, there are slightly different ways to think of the word. For example, in academia and writing, the word "sources" is synonymous with evidence.

I guess another way of framing the topic could be, how can anarchists think of evidence in a different way than an alienated bureaucracy does? Does anything beyond a personal experience hold any water as evidence?

One advantage an anarchist might have over the "non-anarchist" is a complete indifference to facts and news media blips, where all evidence is

"I guess another way of framing the topic could be, how can anarchists think of evidence in a different way than an alienated bureaucracy does? Does anything beyond a personal experience hold any water as evidence?"

indeed, these are the kinds of questions that make sense to me. rather than framing the topic in legalistic jargon.

a healthy skepticism of others' motivations is very useful, imo. so the first and foremost tools for "evidence" are my own observations, experiences, senses. however, it would not serve me very well to ONLY accept (as "evidence") that which has come to me through my own senses; i would spend far too much time "reinventing the wheel", so to speak. there are others whose motivations, experiences and observations i trust to varying degrees, and so when appropriate, i will consider theirs as a surrogate for my own.

"For example, "good" and "evil" are still pretty christian terms"

That's not an example but a received notion. Christianity was never formerly about this moral dichotomy, which instead came into predominance through later puritanism and the even worse Muhrican Protestant bigotry of more recent days. Good vs Evil is an historical artifact of Zoroastrians (pre-Xian) and Manicheans (who were was a gnostic sect, not Xians). There is no evidence (no pun intended) of any polarized notion of Evil in the gospels. There's only references to relativistic "evils", as in "misdeeds" or "pains" or "illness".

"Evidence comes into play when someone wants to launch an accusation."

Yes, and that also includes in contexts beyond the direct involvement of the State, like through the call-out culture. Hence, it is not a Statist notion, only one that has been used and more importantly misused and abused by statist despots.

"One advantage an anarchist might have over the "non-anarchist" is a complete indifference to facts and news media blips, where all evidence is"

Wtf am I reading. "Welcome to Anews, a compendium of trash over-conflations and other noxious semantic de-reconstructions based on pure circumstantial stereotypes!"

ikr?! By this logic, guess we'd better quit eating and breathing because those things are way too associated with stalin or the state or whatever. Well, good talk all, only have like 2 minutes of consciousness left so, guess I won't be seeing ya!

that last part was an accident, it was a tangent i started in relation to the TOTW but didn't complete cuz i finished the other tangents and posted it. Can't edit comments when the username isn't registered.

you are a trash over conflation...OHHHHHH!!! Just deal with the fact that all the other humans deserve to breath the air less than you do.

Okay so to recap, perhaps if I accept the notion of evidence as being entirely a kinda tool of the State or at least being an authoritarian concept, then I can as well, through the same trick of semantic imputability, declare how using the Dasein concept makes anyone a Nazi...

Or I dare anyone explaining me -and that is related to this TOTW- HOW it the value of evidence an authoritarian notion at all. What makes it an exclusively statist tool, as opposed to just a key value within rational processes used to solve real-world problems. Even in autonomous collective trials it is being summoned, but deserves to be so even more due to its relative abandonment through the horrible call-out culture.

I'll reiterate that it can be used both for authoritarian and anti-(or counter-)authoritarian purposes, so it doesn't give it any specific political character. It is just a goddamn fucking process of logical validation, which follows empirical principles (there's your experience of alsome And yes that can be summoned to defend yourself against the State.... as it's being done very often in Courts! What part have I missed here?

Go to bed, you're drunk. You're not making sense and are embarrassing yourself.

my bed ; )

jes PM me invitation card to your bed, plz

tfw they call you on your sincere bluff, but there are no consequences because you’re both anons without registered accounts and therefore can’t PM each other, not to mention they might live in different hemispheres

weird load a head

I've got facepalm whiplash from the comments that seem to think the concept of evidence based reasoning = the legal system. That's a bit like saying gravity has something to do with the legal system because all courtrooms have gravity.

something something fasifiability Popper and truth pretention in science something Feyerabend GRAVITY!! DON’T MEAN TOO MUCH TO ME!!! I’M WHO I’VE GOT TO BE!!! THESE PIGS ARE AFTER ME, AFTER YOU!!!

i.e. just cuz ur right it don’t mean u can tell me wat 2 do

and I'll tell ya something else too! THINK MORE HARDERER

does calling your vague and imprecise notions which constitute the concept of gravity a “law” help you feel better about yourself? without cosmolical laws there’s be chaos, anarchy in this universe!

hey, look at me! i’m some sort of determinist and mutilating myself and the world through systemstic thought is more important to me than any single breath i take!!

ps. i could agree with u, smarty pants nerd, but where’s the fun in that?

Oh so you typed all that just to agree? Getting paid by the keystroke or something?

i wish. i’m a sad fuck, i’m not ashamed to admit i troll to get sweet proxy for human interaction and amusement

"evidence based reasoning = the legal system"

interesting, i didn't see anyone say that.

anyways, wouldn't "evidence based reasoning" be equivalent to... logic? rationality? that is how i see it. and much like logic/rationality, i don't see that as the be-all, end-all of critical thinking. logic is just another tool in my toolbox. along with sensory inputs, intuition, desires, etc.

Then read the thread again and this time, factor in that I'm mocking these people, not quoting them.

So am I! The mediocrity levels of forceful semantic conflations have reached a new low in here. It's down there with mind-rape and cultist bullshit.

Evidence, like love, makes the world go around, and don't forget it!

I don't mean in the lover-dovey sense, I mean as serious currency.

: (

Cop : Where were you last night at 8 pm?
Le Way : I was with my friend 12:37 at the cinema watching Tito and The Birds. Look, I have the 2 ticket stubs, its EVIDENCE!

"I don't mean in the lover-dovey sense, I mean as serious currency."

holy shit! love as currency.... are you an ancap?

Its the first and oldest human occupation, even before food stalls. Its a natural organic and exchangable commodity, sex MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND!
Remove your X-tian moral straightjacket and be real, this isn't a feminist Utopia or masculine empire, its just being yourself.

my bad, i didn't realize they meant sex. i personally don't use the words love and sex interchangeably. z

Moral patriarchal icons fall because sex was used as evidence.
Sex is a moral cleansing agent which topples patriarchy and authority. They try to hide it and use it for just their own exploitive means. They despise wild uninhibited creative energy, they bottle it up unside themselves and it grows to a cancer which they spread.
Reich discusses the function of sex in overthrowing authoritarianism. Use sex as evidence to expose the evil lords of authority!

Careful.. as you got quite a few continental philosophers whose heads will roll in this Sex Inquisition. Starting with Sartre and Heidegger.

And that's the thing I like with the later po-mo marxist philosophers. That they totally understood Reich and had a culture of opening and communizing sexuality, instead of keeping it concealed to use it as a tool of power. This tradition has been lost on Western anarchos.

anarchists love to be the cop and the judge and the jury and the "Justice System" all while pretending they are for "abolishing" them all

most social, red and especially "american" anarchists want "anarchy" so they can tell people how to live because their anarchy has "Rules"

what a joke

Yep, and the rule now is that once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent, and you'll be half-ostracized even after being exonerated.

Doxxing, mobbing, deplatforming, "muh lived experience" that doesn't need to be justified and can't be countermanded - a good portion of self-described anarchists these days are halfway on their way to Stalinism.

no, the exact amount of badges in my possession is zero

"Anarchists love to be the cop, the judge, the jury etc."

Yes ... You're describing how autonomy works, good job! If we disagree too strongly, out comes the armed desires! Welcome to anarchy. How bout those implications amirite?!

Hummms... Looks like you haven't been doing a lot of self-crit this week, Comrade Tiredoldtroll. Gotta keep up, or else you're next on our call-out list.

You know what's even sadder than whiny SJWs? Their victims, also whining about how a bunch of whiners apparently got the best of them in almost exclusively verbal conflict!

Oh noes! I've been unfairly ostracized!

this appeals to me but it’s too long, which is part of the appeal, but i can’t commit

i have watching the whole thing on my to-do list. It would be an interesting TOTW to talk about the binary of entertainment and work, a lot of the challenging things that anarchists read feels like watching that video. I tried reading anti-oedipus once and the authors (is it one or two people?) just include way too many new terms and taxes my imagination.

how do you separate (or not) your "evidence-based anarchist reasoning" from the very not-anarchist Dawkins/Harris/etc "new athiest" shit show?

perhaps not attaching one's self to a term with so much shitty baggage is a good idea.

that use the "new atheist" model for legal disputes in a way that's similar to what the westboro baptist church does, one is found here

is this approach any bit superior to the westboro baptist church? is it any better than the anarchists' DIY justice systems and accountability processes.

so many tr00f warriors!

What can I say? No-one will think for you except you. You should belligerently threaten anyone who offers to think for you because they're THE ENEMY. I came to this realization using basic reasoning. Highly recommended!

it goes like this:

according to [our measure] most [bad things] are conducted by [bad people] therefore eliminate [bad people] and [bad things] will stop! because evidence!

Maybe the shitty baggage is partly due to your own shit-jacketing? "Evidence" has always been a rather unpolitical notion... it's as much ideologically-charged as mathematics or maybe contraception, which means little next to zero. But now you're making it a conduct of White supremacy, or whatever other antagonistic political attribute?

But let's to back to basics... do you really understand what that means to be chastizing the reliance upon evidence in your life? You get rid of this value, then what comes next... judgements and rationales based on pure thin air, on one-sided beliefs and "ressentiment" suddenly become relatable, because the underlying pragmatic process of reasoning and validation has been abolished. So anything goes, right? From mundane call-outs all the way to the Spanish Inquisition... with totalitarianism in-between...

And all of this was due to your personal disdain of figures like Dawkins, Peterson and Harris, who themselves aren't anywhere near the best examples of rationalists and pragmatists, but rather obvious ideologues and opportunists of a New Right.

Examine your own stance, mu. I see some issues in here.

Peterson as a "rationalist", ha! Good one. I mean, why? Because he describes himself that way? thx for the lol

"(...Peterson...) aren't anywhere near the best examples of rationalists"

I'm pretty sure I wrote this... and no that doesn't mean I consider them to be rationalists.

"But now you're making it a conduct of White supremacy, or whatever other antagonistic political attribute?"

the hilarious thing here is that i never mentioned "White supremacy" in my "shit-jacketing" yet your immediately jump to this because, in fact, there is indeed shitty baggage associated with the term "evidence based." you have proven my point.

everything else you said is irrelevant to the question posed and is instead just your rushing to the defense of these "new athiests" that you see as being "shit-jacketed," even though you've acknowledged by this defense that your jacket is indeed made of shit.

what does this say about your shitty baggage? i wonder.

Nobody here is a "new atheist", ya weirdo. You've got youtube trauma, that's fine but quit projecting.

I was only suggesting that independent, critical thought and evidence have been known to have healthy relationships and are generally better than most other options available for decision making. This probably shouldn't be controversial unless one is addicted to internet debate.

I mean, even saying "anarchist reasoning" is fucking weird. I'm an anarchist and I frequently reason but never once did it occur to me to try and craft an identity from this. You might need to detox from cyberspace or something haha

again, you have failed. i do not watch youtube. i don't know what "youtube trauma" is but i'm certain i do not have it. neither am i "projecting" by pointing out EVIDENCE that the term "evidence based" is a loaded term that you yourself have demonstrated. additionally, nowhere was i writing against critical thinking. instead of thinking what i might need to detox from (it's interactions with idiots, not "cyberspace") you may want to work on your reading comprehension, tiredoldtroll.

really!? You encountered Peterson and Harris in print form? Hope you didn't pay for the books. My reading comprehension is fine, your sense of humour seems a bit lacking though. "evidence based" isn't loaded enough to warrant all this hand wringing, agree to disagree. You're painting far too broadly for my taste.

isn't internal debate what the internet is all about? I gave up trying to internet detox a while ago, even though it's generally a good idea, a mass society internet detox is pretty much equivalent to anti-civ terrorism which is why its going to take a while to happen, and probably won't be done by humans.

I guess I lean towards it being military coms tech that got repurposed for masturbation, intellectual or otherwise. Occasionally, I still learns things or else I wouldn't keep coming back to @news. You're right of course. Plus it occurs to me that I'm being unfair to mu since Dawkins was commodifying controversy long before youtube existed.

I guess before anyone could use social media to sell controversy, it was a side business for folks in academia.

they can be clearly distinguished by the amount of sex appeal, dispropportionately in favor of the anarchists

just look at them, it’s e v i d e n t

Me! Some evidence would be nice. Anarchists go to extremes for social justice, there is plenty of evidence for that. There have been some noteworthy experiments in communal living. This website is evidence of communication and cooperation. The ocean is just an idea until you have seen it, walked in the sand, swam in its waters.

and became something of a legal eagle. I know the rules of evidence are introduced by the state. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty, you have a right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Don't talk to police and a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. The day in and day out hubbub about Trump is boring, I've been waiting for a bombshell but now an insider is spilling his guts and its almost worth watching.

This seems like a good place to say that the dumbass troll who has never been to DC but appeared here talking shit about a 28,000-word Crimethinc analysis of the J20 demonstration is a good example of how evidence or even minimum rational thinking has nothing to do with a lot of the garbage that gets spewed here.

and we're like the sweathogs which I can appreciate because I'm a high school dropout. I can understand being miffed about a lame criticism of a project that people put their heart and soul into and I'm glad you chimed in because you made a good point. I was born on this day in 1969 and I pity the fool who talks trash on this website.

y i k e s

WTF is this GOD guy's comments get removed? The GOD OF EVIDENCE thing was pretty funny for a few seconds...

Add new comment