I’ve learned some fascinating things reading news headlines over the last year or so. This is mostly thanks(?!) to an app on my phone, which makes it easier to consume news content. Otherwise I would normally give news media a wide berth.
Anyhow: what I keep seeing is two value systems – the very antitheses of each other – embroiled in a mud-wrestle of elephantine proportions.
I’ve been watching, and reading, and I may have just learned something. For one thing, I have a new-found respect for illogic, in all its forms. I won’t be brushing it aside quite so quickly in the future. I won’t presume it completely impotent…
A reasonably good alternative to reason
Illogic is a nimble thing… a memetic structure with serious skull-surfing abilities. It’s roaming grounds spill far beyond the borders of any one nation… it is in fact a global phenomenon, arising wherever humans can be found. Its realm is vaster than the narrow places in which its manifestations can be philosophically or mathematically deconstructed to reveal flaws… for ANYTHING, as it turns out, can be made absurd. Therefore the entire world, ALL of conceptual reality in fact, can be made absurd.
The process even has entropy on it’s side. The number of ways you can completely mis-interpret fact, the number of ways in which you can completely misconstrue and misunderstand; the number of ways in which saliency can be made to avoid the deserving points, ARE LEGION. For several such paths there will be what… one, or two careful plodding trajectories from observed reality within sufficiently large sample sets, toward inferences that hope to balance humane-ness with peaceful progress.
When you’ve cultivated a respect for the illogical and the absurd, as my consumption of world events has finally taught me to do, you can go on to find several instances of sub-culture, culture, society and government based upon some variant of the absurd. You might also go on to notice that the resulting systems aren’t necessarily un-stable. Absurdity can work. It can be used to establish all kinds of organizational structures that have no problem persisting at all. Systems in which people can be counted on to be born, to grow into adults (at least in the purely biological sense), and to rinse and repeat, whatever else their inclinations might be (it is no accident that some Absurcracies reach for control of female reproductive systems, almost as a matter of course).
Entropy. Stability. If only that were all: I’ll remind you that even TIME itself, massive accumulations of it, are in absurdity’s camp. Long before emotionally-intelligent rationales became fashionable as instruments of law and order, there were (and continue to be) simpler, more straightforward solutions to life’s problems. Solutions un-encumbered with too much empathy-fuelled sympathising with too many groups of distinguishable “others”… or God help us, such things as individuals, with their pesky rights.
In short, what I learned is that a cutesy combo of naivete, idealism, and moderation, when they reside in the same person, can give rise to its own absurd notions: like, “With the march of time, SURELY, won’t people with absurd machinations simply and steadily dis-inherit themselves of the earth? All by themselves?“. Ahaha-haha. Yeah, right. We wish.
For all we know, stable “absurcracies” litter the configuration space of humanity’s myriad ways of self-organising. The planetary body of moderates… the corpus of quiet and reasonable people everywhere, have been reminded of that, if nothing else. We should be thankful. For the reminder.