The Uselessness of Discussion to Find Truth

“‘Every philosopher runs away when he or she hears say ‘Let’s discuss this.’ Discussion, they claimed ‘are fine for roundabout talks, but philosophy throws its dice on another table. The best one can say about discussions is that they take things no farther, since the participants never talk about the same thing.’”

—Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari quoted in Richard Marshall, “HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, London 2018,” 3:AM Magazine. October 14, 2018.

Discussion is about building relationships and expressing our feelings. A discussion creates the bonds that bind a social set or tribe. It’s expressing an agreed upon shared truth and signals belonging, or not.

Even if we are expressing a personal truth, it is a small part of it. The personal truth worth hearing is often the secret we keep to ourselves. Speaking it to another would wound our self-conception and social standing. Typically, we only share the part that enhances those things.

We are rarely interested in hearing another’s truth, much less be changed by it because the truth shared by “discussion” is rarely worth hearing.

Too Broke to Be Woke

“Though it might grant social and professional benefits to members of the elite liberal class, engaging in scholarship and activism that demonizes men, white people, or heterosexuals doesn’t make the world more just, nor does providing students with empirically-unsupported implicit-bias training and “toxic masculinity” workshops. These practices bake the seeds of prejudice and discrimination into educational experiences that are supposedly focused on fighting prejudice and discrimination. In fact, the use of divisive and hateful language in the name of social justice is a red flag: Those on the front lines know there is too much at stake to burn bridges and attack others. They want allies, not enemies.”

—Clay Routledge. “Social Justice in the Shadows.” Quillette. September 14, 2018.

Social justice is a fine idea frequently undermined by its strongest proponents. It’s a rare good idea that doesn’t have this problem.

Too Much Fruit Kills The Root

“A king went riding in the forest and encountered a mango tree laden with fruit. He said to his servants, ‘Go back in the evening and collect the mangoes,’ because he wanted them for the royal dining table. The servants went back to the forest but returned to the palace empty-handed. ‘Sorry, your Majesty,’ they told the king, ‘the mangoes were all gone, there was not a single mango left on the tree.’ The king thought the servants had been too lazy to go back to the forest, so he rode out to see for himself. What he saw instead of a beautiful mango tree laden with fruit was a pitiful, bedraggled tree. Someone had broken all the branches to take the fruit. As the king rode a little further, he came across another mango tree, beautiful in all its green splendor, but without a single fruit. Nobody had wanted to go near it. It bore no fruit, so it was left in peace. The king went back to his palace, gave his royal crown and scepter to his ministers, and said, ‘You may now have the kingdom, I am going to live in a hut in the forest.'”

—Traditional Buddhist story retold in Ayya Khema. Be An Island: The Buddhist Practice of Inner Peace. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1999. Pg. 63.

Quakers have a traditional saying, “There’s no fruit without the root.” This story suggests a corollary, “Too much fruit kills the root.”

Hellofriend: Say Hello to Unforgettable Experiences!

“EARN MONEY BY HOSTING EXPERIENCES

List house parties, dinners, movie nights, or any other experiences on Hellofriend and earn Connect tokens (CTT) from attendees. Use CTT, which can easily be converted into other currencies like US Dollars, to cover hosting expenses.”

http://www.joinhellofriend.com/

Billed as a way to connect people offline, this strikes me as a social media variant looking for another way to commodify our relationships for profit.

Other 9/11s

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean government was overthrown by a CIA-backed military coup d’état that killed or disappeared a few thousand people. Over the years, the government of General Pinochet arrested, imprisoned and tortured more than 28,000 people and over 200,000 people (2% of the population) were forced into exile because of this coup.

There are other 9/11s. We would do well to remember these others, where the United States were the perpetrators and not the victims. I try to do this by playing a song by Victor Jara, who was tortured and found dead in the streets of Chile on September 16, 1973.

It might also be worthwhile to think about today. Their is a 9/11 being created in Yemen by Saudi Arabia using weapons made in the United States and with the support of the United States government.

The New Age of Bullshit

A definition and a theory of bullshit, which Frankfurt broadened into a book length treatment, is a very helpful place to go to make sense of our modern social environment.

“Bullshit is speech intended to persuade without regard for truth. The liar cares about the truth and attempts to hide it; the bullshitter doesn’t care if what they say is true or false, but rather only cares whether or not their listener is persuaded.”

What is advertising, if not bullshit? Truth is irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is whether an ad gets the audience to buy the product. “Good” advertising is about creating stories, packaging them into a “brand”, and getting people to identify with that brand.

Advertising is at the center of most of the technology platforms of the feudal internet. Increase your followers, your likes, your comments, and you too could make a living creating “content” that attracts followers, likes and comments. The feudal internet uses your “content” to sell products and to the small degree you aid this endeavor, you can get a kickback on the profits. The variations are infinite: Instagram accounts with product placements, blogs with sponsors, and so forth and so on. But, in the end, it is all the same.

Advertising is an insidious influence. Not only is it bullshit. It pulls people into thinking and living lives that are bullshit. Even reactions to the consumerist vision of our society are steeped in bullshit.

Consider “New Age” religious and spiritual beliefs. They are new beliefs that are sold like a product. I recently came across the website, Ascension Glossary, which has a Where Can I Start? page, that advocates educating yourself about Mind Control:

Mind Control is used to form socially acceptable belief systems and shape value systems to which are used to control the masses to enslave themselves on planet earth. God, Religious Violence, gender issues, financial and debt enslavement, Consumptive Modeling, Misogyny and sexuality are the most mind controlled and manipulated belief systems promoted by the NAA and their human Power Elite to continue their enslavement and vampirism of humanity and planetary resources.”

They are talking about bullshit. So, they’ve at least identified the problem.

But, it’s not just the dominate narrative that is riddled with mind control and false beliefs. We must also “Discern False New Age Channeling or Modalities or Presumed Authority that want to take your Power or Manipulate through Lower Emotional States. Avoid New Age Material Hijacked with Vampirism or Cult mentality.”

In other words, don’t replace mainstream bullshit with other bullshit. Pretty sound advice. Of course, the problem here is that it is hard not to review the material of Ascension Glossary and not come to the conclusion that the ideas and techniques recommended are also a form of bullshit. Truth, lies and cockamamy ideas about extra-terrestrial global minds and guardians are not an obvious improvement over the mainstream narrative.

May I suggest, if you feel the need to believe in New Age bullshit, that you randomly generate some beliefs using a computer algorithm using New Age tropes and choose a few ideas that appeal to you.

New Age Bullshit Generator

http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/

Example output:

  • The goal of ultra-sentient particles is to plant the seeds of purpose rather than discontinuity.
  • This life is nothing short of an unfolding paradigm shift of high-frequency fulfillment. By awakening, we heal.
  • The biosphere is approaching a tipping point.
  • Who are we? Where on the great story will we be re-energized? We are at a crossroads of potentiality and bondage. Humankind has nothing to lose.
  • We must develop ourselves and heal others. We must learn how to lead infinite lives in the face of selfishness. It is in invocation that we are re-energized.
  • Curiosity requires exploration. Consciousness consists of sonar energy of quantum energy. “Quantum” means a refining of the karmic. We exist as electromagnetic resonance.
  • You and I are travellers of the dreamscape.
  • Have you found your journey? If you have never experienced this paradigm shift inherent in nature, it can be difficult to exist. Indigo Child, look within and strengthen yourself.
  • Throughout history, humans have been interacting with the quantum matrix via electromagnetic resonance. Reality has always been beaming with adventurers whose auras are opened by intuition. Our conversations with other lifeforms have led to an evolving of ultra-cosmic consciousness.

My Affair With the Intellectual Dark Web – Great Escape – Medium

“If the idea is that I piss people off by being disloyal to my likely tribes, well, I don’t think that makes me unusual. I think it just makes me a good intellectual.”

—Alice Dreger quoted in Meghan Daum. “My Affair With the Intellectual Dark Web.” Medium. August 24, 2018.

Easy test to see if you (or others) are thinking for yourself is whether your ideas easily conform to a political orthodoxy.

The Daum article is interesting throughout.