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Migeru:
Confused thinking, on the other hand, leads nowhere in particular and can be indulged indefinitely without producing any impact upon the world

Unfortunately confused thinking can have a great impact on the world. To the point where the mass world view may be the product of confused thinking, and the physical world may be extensively damaged as a result.

This is why, though I hold to clear and logical thinking and its powerful extension in scientific method, though I think there are ascertainable historical facts and not just shifting versions of history, I don't see how it's possible to avoid thinking and working in terms of narratives, frames, social constructs, and relative views - simply because they are there (a dominant version of history is part of what makes history, and so on).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 04:43:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
I don't see how it's possible to avoid thinking and working in terms of narratives, frames, social constructs, and relative views
And I agree, but if we start fighting lies with lies to convince people that it's all lies, we've lost. That way lies madness...

I have called this the death of Enlightenment by its own success. The modern understanding of communication, propaganda, advertising, narratives, and the frame of cultural anthropology and cognitive linguistics is all the result of over 200 years of application of the scientific method to psychology and sociology. The triumph of the Enlightment methods leads to the discovery that 1) the Enlightenment itself is but one narrative among many with no special claim to relevance to human life; 2) it is possible to lie and distort your way to social and economic power; 3) the only way to fight the liars is to lie.

How can one not despair at this state of affairs? It makes me want to become a hermit.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 05:28:05 AM EST
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It is dishearteningly the case that the world has (after its magic) lost its freshness and immediacy, that we have left youth for age and have learned that no scheme of ideas is the next step on the road to ultimate truth. It's also true that pre-Enlightenment understanding that the exercise of power was closely linked to dissimulation (Get thee glass eyes, And like a scurvy politician, seem To see the things thou dost not) has now become a methodically studied system. Point 3 is surely an exaggeration?

In the Tappening case above, I don't see the exercise as seriously one of fighting lies with lies - more a facetious way of underlining the lies spread by advertising. My beef with it would be that it's preaching to the choir, not that it's despairingly showing that we have no other choice than to lie.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 06:13:12 AM EST
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My 3) is an exaggeration of ARGeezer's
perhaps turning the debasement of truth that has, to this point, primarily served those with power against the interests of those very powerful may give them reason to consider the nature and value of truth


The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 06:34:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please note the "perhaps".  And that the goal was to give them "reason to consider the nature and value of truth".

If, finding one's self operating in an environment of debased coinage and lacking the ability to apprehend and prosecute but not the ability to identify those who are passing the counterfeit, it may be that the best immediate response is to pass counterfeit back to those from whom it came.  Of course in the final phase of debasement it will be only the victims so doing that will be prosecuted.  In the case which afew originally cited, humor can serve both to protect the victim of the lie and to expose the liar.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 10:36:01 AM EST
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Maybe I'm too cynical, but if you use these techniques to convince people that "it's all lies, think for yourself" you may end up with a situation in which people are sceptical of everything except of conspiracy theories... And then you won't be able to convince them with facts as they will think you're either co-opted or deceived by the big conspiracy.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 11:04:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You will know when the strategy has backfired when you are being attacked for lying but those who were spreading the lies to which you were attempting to respond are not. Differential power is your enemy here. Parody and satire offer some legal protection, but the temptation to use their techniques back against them is high, if, perhaps, ultimately unwise.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 12:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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