Over the past 250 years, as the industrial revolution progressed and was then superseded by the modern technological age, an epistemological crisis began to fester and grow quietly in the shadows. Our ability to obtain, disseminate, and – most importantly – apply knowledge, has been severely hindered by our industrial and technological success and our response to that success. We have achieved great feats with little or no perceived negative ramifications, thus establishing a false sense of stability in ourselves, our place in the natural order, and the way in which we process and use knowledge. Our ability to shoot for the moon – literally – meant that we presumed we could do no wrong. A precarious place to be to be sure.
And, as the decades rolled on, each continual success served to confirm our superiority over all – even the truth was manipulated. Responsibility fell to the way side. And, if a negative ramification presented itself, we quickly waved it away with the simple justification that the world and everything within it was ours to do with as we wish, and profiting from it was a natural act. Our birthright. It never occurred to us that building an economy based primarily upon a single finite resource – oil – would some day place our entire civilization at great risk of collapse.
Adolfo Doring‘s excellent documentary Blind Spot, contains an interview with Jason Bradford, who explains this epistemological issue very succinctly and eloquently as it relates to our inability to see reality and deal with the responsibility of our massively consumptive society.
We have lost the ability to deal with the concept of responsibility in a proper manner both as individuals and as a society. It’s quite important because lack of responsibility, and its consequence of not confronting reality, leads to the inability to solve complex problems and establish consistent ethical boundaries. Both are the cornerstones of a successful society. A society that is unable to deal with important issues responsibly, and use that knowledge to its advantage in a way that is beneficial to a majority of its citizens is a society that will die. We see the results today in the current culture war. Everyone senses that something is wrong, we simply can’t agree on the truth. It’s as if we’re entrenched in a form of madness.
Which brings us to Charlie Sheen.
As the mass media exploits and the public gorges itself on the ever-unfolding tragic life of actor Charlie Sheen, it has become apparent that Sheen is a practitioner of this epistemological disconnect. So is the mass media. They are by no means alone in this endeavor. It’s widespread. We are all in some way or another, practitioners of the epistemological disconnect from responsibility.
We now face the challenge of rebuilding how we think, how we acquire knowledge and information, and how we apply that knowledge. It is, as Douglas Rushkoff has said, a new renaissance.
… While we stand aside and look?Read More
Great acoustic version of Won’t Get Fooled Again by Pete Townsend.Read More
This is for Schmulik.Read More
Syncronicity is the oddest thing… this morning a friend sends me a link to a clip from a classic Simpson’s episode. The one where Homer eats fugu, poisonous blowfish at a sushi restaurant. Just an hour ago, I went and got my haircut and the young Japanese stylist and I were talking and (without any prompting) she told me that her father was a chef in Tokyo and his specialty was fugu. If it were anything but fugu, I’d toss it off as coincidence… funny. Order amongst the chaos…
Anyway, here’s the clip. Enjoy:
Spent the weekend really digesting a lot of MLK information… which I’ll be posting throughout the week.
Here’s a nice version of U2’s song Pride (In the name of love) by John Legend.
I’d seen this posted all over, so here it is here. The Story of Stuff… Here’s the trailer, and go watch the whole thing… it’s an eye opener.
Speech by Martin Luther King Jr. on the war in Vietnam, but applicable to all war. Timely and timeless.
Note his comments on those who would equate dissent with disloyalty… “a dark day…”.
Brother Daniel posted this and it is worth posting again…
Do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new…
The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.
Finally got part 4 up and running on Google Video… Enjoy.
After working out some tech issues, Part 1 and Part 2 of a 4 Part dialogue I shot between Douglas Rushkoff and Daniel Pinchbeck is finally up on Google Video. The final two parts will be uploaded shortly. Stay tuned!
Douglas Rushkoff alerts us that Robert Anton Wilson, the man who literally inspired the name of this blog and what it means, and the mind behind some pretty seminal works of writing, needs our help because his “infirmity and depleted finances have put him in the precarious position of not being able to meet next month’s rent.”
Any donations can be made to Bob directly to the Paypal account
You can also send a check payable to Robert Anton Wilson to:
Dennis Berry c/o Futique Trust
P.O. Box 3561
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
Do what you can. Nuff said.
It’s what I call the “snafu principle.” Communication only occurs between equals–real communication, that is–because when you are dealing with people above you in a hierarchy, you learn not to tell them anything they don’t want to hear. If you tell them anything they don’t want to hear, the response is, “One more word Bumstead and I’ll fire you!” Or in the military, “One more word and you’re court-martialed.” It’s throughout the whole system.
So the higher up in the hierarchy you go, the more lies are being told to flatter those above them. So those at the top have no idea what is going on at all. Those at the bottom have to adjust to the rules made by those at the top who don’t know what’s going on. Those at the top can write rules about this, that and the other, while those at the bottom have got to adjust reality to fit the rules as much as they can.