Have you ever heard the term “fractal wrongness”? From RationalWiki:
The term “fractal wrongness” may also be used to refer to someone who is consistently wrong on nearly everything they predict or claim. Repeatedly failing predictions is one of the best ways of revealing fractal wrongness, because while an idiotic worldview may work in someone’s head, it can be seen failing when actually put to the test. Hilariously, people who are consistently wrong tend to be quite confident in their position while championing it.
We all know someone who is fractally wrong – the conspiracy theorist uncle, the friend who’s into New Age woo. We’ve probably all been fractally wrong at some point in our lives. Fractally wrong people are usually coming from a good place, and it’s usually pretty harmless.
But when you’re talking about politicians making mega-million dollar decisions that impact taxpayers for years to come, the stakes are a lot higher. That means the standards need to be a lot higher. Those politicians have a special obligation to keep their facts straight.
What makes the Keys wastewater situation even worse is that the county overall is NOT coming from a good place. Not only do they have their facts wrong, they have created and perpetuated a negligently unfair wastewater funding situation. How does this serve the public? It doesn’t. It’s actively harmful to the public.
I’ve documented some of that harm here, here, here and here. One can only guess at their motivations. Frankly, I think there are elements within the county who do it just because they can. It’s an ego thing. They want to show the lowly taxpayers of Key Largo what they can get away with. It’s horrible. It’s why I blog. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
It’s very difficult to argue with a fractally wrong entity. Here’s a nice description of what it’s like from RationalWiki:
Debating a person who is fractally wrong leads to infinite regress, as every refutation you make of that person’s opinions will lead to a rejoinder, full of half-truths, leaps of poor logic, and outright lies, which requires just as much refutation to debunk as the first one—kind of like a recursive Gish Gallop, where each point both surrounds and is surrounded by an equally wrong argument. It is worth noting that being fractally wrong can be handy for the losing side in a public debate, since you are likely to leave your opponent looking baffled and unable to deal with each level of wrongness.
It’s like you’re drowning in bullsh__. This is exactly why it’s taken so long to get this information out to the public. Every question or concern is met with a misleading half-truth or an outright lie. Then comes the task of fact-checking and debunking. When you’re dealing with people who are determined to be deceptive, it’s a continuous process.
The other difficulty is trying to figure out who is doing the deceiving and who is being deceived. That’s why I did the BOCC on the Record series. Paying attention to the county commissioner’s public statements and actions really gives an idea of where each commissioner might really be coming from. I truly believe some of them have good intentions, but have been acting on bad information. Some might even be slowly emerging from the fog. Others seem perfectly happy with the damage they’ve done and wouldn’t change a thing. Even it means more lying.
Again, that’s why I blog. That way all the debunking and fact checking is done and stored in one place. People don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Besides, when county falsehoods are publicly called out, they tend to stop making them. An example involving the sales tax was discussed here.
False information definitely serves the county in its apparent mission to mindlessly squander taxpayer money in a grossly unfair manner – imposing unnecessary financial hardship along the way. But that can be a double-edged sword.
I talked a little bit about the “gravity-as-Cadillac” nonsense here. That certainly came back to bite them. It would almost be funny except for the huge financial burden imposed on the taxpayers. I’ve talked a lot about the false information used to justify the funding disparity. It’s almost non-stop. Here’s a list. I’m sure I sure I left a few out.