Will pitting accurate data against faulty data ever get us out of the epistemic impasse that we agreed to enter in March 2020?
Citing data to question public health mandates and the authority behind them is playing a language game we shouldn’t be playing in the first place—accepting faulty premises and frames. It’s like playing tic tac toe on a chess board to prove to the other side that we should be playing chess.
Anyone with a functioning common sense knows, is able to discern what’s right and what’s not. If Joe Schmo tweets about it nobody cares. But when a credentialed person writes the same thing it’s a whole different ball of wax.
Why is that?
If we can only defeat (corrupt) authority with appeals to (uncorrupt) authority where does that leave us? Doesn’t that prove that facts (purveyed by the experts) still matter more than the truth?
Data has as little to do with truth as knowledge with wisdom.
Facts may help navigate but they won’t delineate the right way. Facts are to the truth as maps are to the territory.
Till information trumps intuition we haven’t got much of a chance at a leap of evolution.
Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.
The way Social Media can in effect anti-socialize us and Smart technologies dumb us down is the way that our capacity for discerning attention is under great threat in the Black Hole Glut of the Attention (=Distraction) Economy.
And it all happens when we have no distinct idea about who we actually are and what we actually stand for.
Absent clarity of intent and intuitive self-reliance we’re bound to forfeit our agency and to defer to what (ever) is being curated for us.
Free will then is not exempt from causes and conditions but is rather the flexible coordination of attention, intention and emotion in skillful action. That’s what it means to be free from a psychological and phenomenological perspective.
Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it: