Ideas emerge above the level of description, in the realm of raw imaginal stuff, and the act of attaching symbols or words to them; a ballast of semantic and semiotic material, drags them down, inevitably mis-shapen and only partially described. This effort is however required to make conceptualisations available to others, for pleasure, and for the critical purposes of dialectical exchange.

Ideally in the course of time, such attempts at definition refine and hopefully become more congruent with the original, grasped notion.
These writings should be recognised as such tentative articulations, gleaned in part from intuition and observation, but also drawn from the ideas of all of the others who have attempted this same process, ideas that have happened, for whatever reason to pass through this local, noospheric sensorium.

Therefore, also included, are thoughts and intentions which have been unintentionaly corrupted or similarly misunderstood, en-route. As such, these scribblings are not to be considered as propositions of truth, simply the queriously curioidal and playfully humble, speculations of one that is many.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Blundering Blindly

It has always been tempting for thinkers and historical observationalists to overlay a narrative onto to what they have known of the world; humans have a long and colourful history in the denial of contingency, in the art of myth, and of fevered teleological dreams. There is nothing in essence wrong with such a play so long as a humble agnosticism is maintained, and the myth building doesn’t spill into hubris. More promising has been the increasing acknowledgement and embracement of the value of uncertainty and the denial of universal absolutism.

Having struggled through the false-oppositional maze of recent human mental history, with all of its ontological gates and stiles, blacks and whites, and thrashed in the relativity of the post-modern void, we seem to be approaching a kind of tipping point, a seeming critical-mass of a particular awareness that is less anxious of the Vast. This awareness is one that is enabled to taste the universe anew, with a palate cleansed of outmoded notions, disabling dogmas, and the disastrous social ideologies that have been substantiated by the modern myth of progress.

The attempt to overlay new social systems onto ‘civilisation’ has always typically either been sinister or ridiculous; however, I certainly don't think we have seen the last of such attempts or of their avatars. Unfortunately narcissism, psychopathology and hypocrisy are the inevitable inhabiters of all such projects of forced social evolution. Social ideals and ideas are forged in a dangerous flame and their theoreticians are often flippant, enveloped as they are in their own personal fantasies, little imagining that their Utopia's might actually come to pass or come to literally smoulder in the recklessness of their derivative simplicity.

Personally it seems to me that in these troubled and troubling times, huge opportunities exist for fringe and novel thinkers, there exists a potential to embolden valuable and neglected memes, of ancient cultural practices and of futurist technologies; we cannot afford to limit ourselves. Not only can we feedback onto our environment, but we have the opportunity to do so consciously and with intent and a now relatively sophisticated historical cognisance.

Nevertheless I believe a time of great hardship and psychological dislocation is upon us, one that will test and terrify us all. In this time we will have to be very vigilant of ideologues and messiahs; there are many dysempaths roaming the hinterlands of our ‘civilisation’, some shunned and chained, others sadly we have elevated (or neglectfully allowed to rise) to the highest echelons of our societies, where they wreck and ruin. If we value our self-respect and our inchoate intellectual privileges, we cannot afford to keep blundering blindly into the future, whilst neglecting the lessons of the past.

1 comment:

  1. '…all the world’s masters, all the founders of religions or empires, the apostles of all beliefs, eminent statesmen, and, in a more modest sphere, the mere chiefs of small groups of men have always been unconscious psychologists, possessed of an instinctive and often very sure knowledge of the character of crowds, and it is their accurate knowledge of this character that has enabled them to so easily establish their mastery.

    A knowledge of the psychology of crowds is today the last resource of the statesman who wishes not to govern them – that is becoming a very difficult matter — but at any rate not to be too much governed by them.'

    from The Crowd by Gustav LeBon


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