As those of us who have hiked in the backcountry of the Rockies can attest, there are possible negative, even disastrous consequences to not having a map. Homo sapiens wandered off some 200 years ago into the wilderness of the Industrial Revolution without realizing that with each scientific achievement would come the long-term consequence of chaos and self-destruction. We had no map and lacked the patience for far-sighted contemplation.
Using a term found in Andrew Marantz’s book Antisocial, we find the people of our most “scientifically advanced” first-world nations reading the map of the “techno-utopians.” It is the geeks of Silicon Valley who have stepped forward promising to lead a disoriented human community out of the wilderness. “When pressed, their vision tended toward a hazy utopianism: they expected to connect people, to bring us all closer together, to make the world a better one.” (1)
It turns out that the tech wizards have been exposed like the Wizard of Oz to be frauds or at least uninformed and naïve. “As I have written in Opinion columns for this newspaper, I have seen first-hand how social media sites amplify villainous voices and weaponize them too—and it’s not clear they can be controlled. The optimism of social media’s creators has been overshadowed by the cynicism of the vicious propaganda spewed on their platforms.” (1)
What the scientists and those of us who can’t tell a quark from quince need to learn as quickly as possible is how to shift from a community in chaos to one at peace. To become an informed member of our community click on the link below.
Insight # 173:
How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?
- Science to the Rescue—Not! in this blog and also in the print version, Science and Philosophy (2015) by Roy Charles Henry, pages 44-45.
- Swisher, Kara. “Who Let the Trolls In?” The New York Times Sunday Review. November 10, 2019, page 9.