Friday, November 7, 2014
Systematic and Analytical Thinking is Not the Best Way to Travel
There are two major problems that underlie the "intellectual" abilities of so many out there in Americaland. First, fetishisation. Far too many confuse how they feel and think with how others feel and think. Just because you feel that the Democrats that the Democrats aren't "leftist" enough doesn't mean that this is how voters in North Carolina or Louisiana felt when they went to the polls on the fourth of November 2014. Just because you get all soap opera emotional doesn't mean that everyone else gets soap opera emotional.
Another major problem with contemporary intellectuals is the tendency for many to go all postmodern on human behaviour. Yes, the social and cultural construction of reality is a factor in how many humans see the world and human behavior in it. That doesn't mean, however, that there is no reality out there, that global warming, for instance is an ideological fiction. It isn't. What it does mean is that even "thinking" humans are rarely able to think critically about the ideologies they reproduce in intellectual discourse.
A third problem is the inability of may to cite specific empirical evidence for their claims. If you are going to argue or suggest that all science is the product of economic factors such as monetary political support you need to show how Albert Einstein's theory of relativity or that Nate Silver's model of electoral analysis is the product where they get their money from. Vast and vague generalisations simply won't cut mustard.
While it is true that many "intellectuals" cannot escape the fetishisistic and reality is a fiction cages their minds of trapped in, there is a way that we humans can achieve a more "objective" grasp of the universe and human action within that universe: analytical and systematic reasoning that is dispassionate (more analytical and systematic than emotion laden). It is a pity that most humans, even some of those who do use their minds in more systematic and analytical way, can't achieve this empirical path to intellectual understanding. C'est la vie.