MA3: Week 5 — Making Day, Misinformation and Pessimistic Meta-Induction

Making Day

Thinking about truth and images and use of diagrams/scientific aesthetics to convey some form of proof, I am planning to use these images/animations in conjunction with a lecture on the same topic.

I am curious about how Pessimistic meta-induction and Anti-Realism factor into how we decifer images as evidence of something, either evidence of a truth, experience, narrative or fiction.



Since, historically, we have been inclined to find truth in the information shared to us socially, and we cannot experience/investigate every theory firsthand, we established a world of scientific realism. In this world, we believe that scientific theories are true (or approximately true) because we have established and found authenticity in scientists via our social trust, groupings and hierarchies.

Pessimistic meta-induction undermines this epistemic optimism and is perhaps the way to move forward in developing our understanding of the world and ourselves, free from hierarchical baggage. The pessimistic meta-induction argument was first fully postulated by Larry Laudan in 1981. Using meta-inductive reasoning, rather than deductive reasoning, Larry Laudan argues that if past scientific theories which were successful were found to be false, we have no reason to believe the realist’s claim that our currently successful theories are true or approximately true.

We can look to the not so recent history to see that that has not always been the case, and scientific beliefs we once found to be true are completely erroneous, ie. hand washing, the flat earth, hollow earth, Pluto as a planet, the list could go on into thousands of examples. Overtime we have found new scientific consensuses, superseding these earlier theories, but what is notable about all our current theories on these topics, is that they started out in opposition to dominant beliefs, you might even call them ‘conspiracy theories’.

I think that artists often fall into a cultural category that works against the status quo, in aims of finding new truths, sharing new ideas and progressing social issues. But working against scientists to create para-fiction is also dangerous territory in an age of misinformation and fake news.



Studio Progress

A completed 7 min video for an exhibition in Moncton, NB as a part of Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie.

uranography, 2019

The video uranography proposes an alternative theory for the development of the observable cosmos. It animates a new proposition for the ordering of stars in the night sky. Drawing upon the history of astronomy, celestial cartography and mythological representations of Urania asssociated with cosmology, this video combines newly imagined and pre-existing stars to create a new arrangement of the cosmos. Using print, found footage and drawing, the untouchable cosmos becomes handheld by an anonymous, silent narrator.

Currently Reading: The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread by Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall

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