Posts Tagged ‘Dear Leader’

Culture Of Denial

December 14, 2019

“Philosophical skepticism is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.” (Wiki) The classic academic example is usually that of the 18thcentury Philosopher David Hume who used it to analyze cause and effect certainty. The example of two billiard balls colliding can be used. Analysis after the fact can generate a mathematical trajectory for each of the balls. But prior to their colliding? Reason relies on probability, high or low. The skeptical outlook is that prior to their striking we can never really know, with certainty, what will occur. There’s a whole lot more to it than that, but this is a simple blog posting. Over a half century ago French Philosopher Jacques Derrida introduced the analytic approach entitled Deconstruction. “Derrida’s approach consisted of conducting readings of texts looking for things that run counter to the intended meaning or structural unity of a particular text. The purpose of deconstruction is to show that the usage of language in a given text, and language as a whole, are irreducibly complex, unstable, or impossible.” (Wiki) This blog posting could be considered a text. Close scrutiny of its content can be used to show inconsistencies, particularly in meanings and usages of words, phrases, and concepts that may differ in spoken language as well as in meanings agreed to with either (spoken or written). There’s more to it than that. “In philosophy, empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.” “Empiricism in the philosophy of science emphasizes evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Empiricism, often used by natural scientists, says that “knowledge is based on experience” and that “knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification”. Empirical research, including experiments and validated measurement tools, guides the scientific method.” (Wiki) Deconstructing the just provided Wiki text on empiricism, one could easily inquire whether theories would need to be tested against observations of the unnatural world? Natural or unnatural observations? Except for Derrida’s, these philosophic insights, approaches, and methodologies are very old. Derrida’s deconstruction begs the question as to whether body cam and doorbell camera recordings are text? If not, then what are they? Likewise for audio recordings and digital records (more data!). Strange things occur when these various methodologies are mixed up in the everyday – deconstruction is used on empirical findings, skepticism is used to undermine inconvenient probabilities, etc. Video shows a young female reporter being touched on her behind by a passing charity fund run participant. He is arrested. Will his defense be that actual “cause and effect” cannot be proved from a deconstruction of the video since it doesn’t show her back side? Within hours of the abomination of the Sandy Hook massacre social media was already flooded with analysis skeptical of the veracity of the news reporting through deconstruction in the form of conspiracy theories. Journalistic accounts certainly are a kind of text. Is this a valid deconstruction? And what happens when reams of scientific research and study are treated as text and systematically deconstructed for commercial gain? We find this repeatedly with global warming, public health concerns such as addiction, gun violence, suicide, environmental conditions, etc. Now we find this fetid philosophic ratatouille en masse with the GOP’s defense of Dear Leader (no smoking gun with the Fifth Avenue doorbell cam video recording). And social/digital media, integral to the dissemination of knowledge with regards to all of these goings on, where is it? The ambiguity of being a “platform” helps it escape responsibility for any of it, virtual or real. Try deconstructing “platform.” Does something stand on it or hover? Can it be found anywhere or is it everywhere? What is the intended meaning? And what is the real meaning? What is not a “platform”? When complex, sophisticated philosophic methodologies are casually treated as internet “platforms”,  unchecked cross media intermingling mix ups occur. What are currently described as “conspiracy theories” grow and thrive in this philosophic incubator. Such a petri dish fosters and sustains the contemporary culture of denial.