The incresed air temperature has had the beneficial effect of stimulating my cognitive activities. The detrimental side is that much of that activity has been frustrating and painful.
One of my colleagues, Current Density Linear Angular Momentum, send me a [Link] entitled “Is President Trump a Stealth Postmodernist or Just a Liar?” The subject of the article aside – for now – the contents of the article are a lengthy quote fest of what postmodernism is.
I have to admit that I managed to go to college for twelve years without being exposed to the idea of postmodernism. IMHO, that was a mitzvah. Because so far as I can tell from repeatedly revisiting the matter as a degreed adult and a practicing Science NERD, it is an overly elaborate theory that lacks any meaningful foundation. Even the name is off-putting.
I have to admit that my own approach to the matter is rather Platonian. I am primarily concerned with views of reality since that is the sine qua non of Science NERDs. Simply put, there is no one reality. Even actual reality, that of the physical universe, has several aspects. The reality of the physicist is different from the reality of the biologist or the geologist. That doesn’t mean any of them are completely accurate but the differentiation does lend itself to Us-Them.
What seems relevant here is reality at a somewhat more aggregate level. Specifically, the difference between physical and social reality. Physical reality is the reality of Science NERDs and maybe some mathematicians. Social reality is the reality of society. Part of the latter is civilization and agriculture and capitalism.
When we first cast out the British tyranny and established an Amerikan tyranny, we were an agrarian nation. The majority of the population were directly connected with agriculture, an agriculture whose instrumentality was familial and instrumentation was sensual and muscle powered. As a result, physical reality – especially weather – was intimately a part of the population’s reality.
Today, the majority of the citizenry live in cities. They are largely divorced from Nature and as a result, for most people, social reality is more important than physical reality.
This brings us to Truth. This is a horribly misused term. It effectively has no meaning outside the religious. In terms of physical reality, what is important is accuracy and effectiveness; in therms of social reality, what is important is memery and kulturny. So anytime one hears (or sees) the word “truth”, one knows it is a misused – and hence contra-meaningful – word.
Politicians have always toga-wrapped themselves with words like “truth”. Largely because what they say is inherently self-serving. In the old days, they rationalized this with “the Plebians will not understand, so misrepresentation is crucial to peace and stability.” Nowadays, they don;t care about anyone but themselves so the rationale is simply “misrepresentation is crucial to peace and stability” and continuance in office.
One of the realities of “truth” is that everything is inaccurate, especially if it is expressed in language. We could say that everything is a “lie” but that is as meaningless as truth because of its universality. What is useful is to talk about accuracy and that implies maths and hence will not be understood by the Bogs (Plebs.)
So what is important is not whether someone “lies”, but how they “lie.”
In the context of physical versus social reality, this is crucial. In physical reality, knowing the degree of inaccuracy is fundamental; in social reality, the congruence with current social memes and practices determines the accuracy.
Now I’m going to do something constructive, namely, breaking my fast.