Beyond Ideology: Finding Objectivity

The apocalypse if always at the door, and the kids are never alright. These are the two fundamentals of modern humanity. As soon as we had a documented civilization, we've got documentation of people imagining its downfall. Books, comics, movies, music, and video games were all blamed for juvenile delinquency.

There are plenty of large scale problems in the world that require some serious attention–Global Warming, rampant government corruption through the world, charities that are little more than graft machines, and there's even more that I probably forgot. I'm not saying that we should just ignore these and humanity will sail forth unimpeded.

I am fairly unsure if there is a drastic fall forthcoming from any or all of the above threats. Humanity seems to be on the verge of leveling up. Nanotechnology promises an end to material scarcity. Fusion promises an end to energy scarcity. Medical Advancements might end biological scarcity as well.

Why is it that the burgeoning progress joins with the feeling that we're holding the door against the barbarian hordes?

It is probably a superstition ingrained in humanity. The Tower of Babel story in the Old Testament, Icarus in Greek Mythology, and other myths tell us that trying to reach too high and we will be humbled by powers we don't understand.

If we've internalized this superstition, do we subconsciously push ourselves toward it? It certainly seems that way when you consider that we spent a half a century sitting atop enough firepower to immolate the world several times over. Now it seems the leaders of the world are keen to rearm ourselves for the species' permanent extinction.

There are quite a few people who would tell you that this is a right wing problem. That the nationalist movements that have cropped up all over the world are phenomena of the right wing pushing back to destroy social progress. That's half of the Al Jaffe fold-in. The left has been just as keen to try and trash science—implicating vaccines, GMOs, and anything that isn't Global Warming as part of a corporate conspiracy. There is a fragment of the left that is convinced that society would be a utopia if only we surrendered to a preindustrial society. The truly destructive and fringe elements of society all seem to have the same drive, pushing us all back to some imagined greater time.

Again, saying the world is going to hell is as old as civilization itself. There's no guarantee that there's any narrative cohesion to History until after the fact, and even then things are massaged into place. That said, humanity some serious challenges to overcome in this century to continue our growth. It was the embrace of reason that lead humanity from the Enlightenment through the Industrial Age. The Information Age seems to have enabled us all to believe we're experts, and beyond the reproach of facts. Allowing our ill-informed opinions to stand in for knowledge.

The postmodern idea that there is no objective truth has infected every area of society, even Conservatives keen to use it as a pejorative against academics. They're busy living inside a bubble of relative truth, one that omits facts that don't fit the accepted narrative. The left and right are living inside bubbles based on concluding before reading anything and pointing to the Other as the real problem.

To imagine that ideology is a guidepost to anything is foolhardy. It's more a burden than anything else, giving you an extra hurdle to jump over when trying to get to the truth. It can inform your approach to the world, but it shouldn't inform your reality (if that makes any sense). You have to ensure you're working to get the best objective view of the world to ensure you're not being taken advantage of, or worse yet that you're misleading yourself.

Mike M

Mike M

I have written various kind of reviews for years. I currently write for Make Use Of. I used to write for Digital Entertainment News, Macgasm, and the Examiner. My day job is as an IT monkey. Follow me on Twitter.