So i was reading an essay by one Hagbard Celine. I've read it before, but this time it was on my kindle. I recently purchased one in an attempt to downsize my book collection(yeah, i know, good luck with that one!). As i read on again some thoughts popped into my head. Follow me below the fleur de Kos for my thinking on the internet, stupidity, and progress forward......
Here's how The Abolition of Stupidity started....
Two eminently intelligent men, R. Buckminster Fuller and Werner Erhard, have proposed that we can and should abolish starvation by the end of this century.That made me chuckle a bit. I always find this writing humorous. I continued on rereading until i came to this section, which stopped me in my tracks.
This goal is rational, practical and desirable; so it is naturally denounced as Utopian, fantastic, and absurd.
I wish to propose a similar goal, which is also rational, practical, and desirable, and which will also be denounced as Utopian, fantastic, and absurd.
I suggest a worldwide War against Stupidity.
More generally, as Thomas Kuhn has shown in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, an exact measurement of the extent of stupidity among the learned is provided by the fact that every scientific revolution seems to take a generation. As Kuhn documents extensively, this one-generation time-lag seems to be caused by the fact that elderly scientists hardly ever accept a new model, however good it is, and the revolution is only fully accomplished when a second generation, with less prejudice, examines both the new and old models objectively and determines that the new model is more useful.It occurred to me that the newest generation of voters, the millennials, is using this model on LGBT issues. Specifically on same-sex marriage. From NPR:
Some of that shift in national polling is due to the increasing impact 18 to 32 year olds, known as the millennial generation, have on American politics. Among that age group, support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high of 70 percent, according to the latest Pew Research poll.To paraphrase...... The millennial generation seems to be examining both the new(same-sex marriage+traditional marriage) and old(traditional marriage only) models objectively and determines that the new is more useful. Enough said. Done deal. Let's move on people!
The next paragraph in the essay then started to tie in my thoughts about "Stupidity", politics, and the internet,
But if science, the paradigm of rationality, is infested with enough stupidity to cause this generalized one-generation lag, what can we say of politics, economics, and religion? Time-lags of thousands of years seem to be normal in those areas.Yes, time-lags would seem normal when this essay was originally written. But i do believe the internet is shortening those time lags. With twitter, facebook, and youtube you can get near instantaneous feedback on anything. In politics i think President Obama's first and second election to the presidency shows a perfect example of how the internet was used as a tool to help win those elections. In economics look at what just happened recently with the refutation of Reinhart and Rogoff austerity paper. In religion i would look at all the new religions that have popped up to replace the old ones that people have a hard time keeping faith with. Noodly appendages always seem to work for me. Now, if we could only get the Senate to speed up their time-lag(yeah, i know.....good luck!)!
P.S. You can find the essay i mentioned earlier in this book by Robert Anton Wilson.