Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A sophomoric era

We live in an era where people have new access to information, and less ability than ever before to make sense of it. People for the most part cannot tell the difference between a logical argument and total gibberish so long as the surface qualities are the same. If you put nonsense next to sanity, and neither has misspellings, the herd cannot tell the difference.

Witness the exchange above. Each person is being industriously individualistic in expressing an opinion that he thinks is unique to him, will reflect well on him, and will have "won" the argument through the eyes of others. They proudly, almost compulsively offer these, because each opportunity is a chance for them to become popular.

And yet, what they have typed in are non sequiturs. Either tangential, a deflection, a partial answer, a distraction or a linguistic but not logical rebuttal, each of these replies stands out and on first glance, seems appealing. Analysis reveals none of them have anything to offer, but each will -- like advertisements on signs, stores in strip malls, or hotels on lonely freeway -- snag a certain percentage of those reading, who will think these "look right."

In addition to the great American competence gap, we have a sanity gap and a wisdom gap. People cannot recognize wisdom because they do not know how to parse language and form arguments. They lack analytical skills, not linguistic or political ones. As a result, the kind of gibberish you see above is the norm, even among the upper echelons. Collapse is not far away.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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