« Flatland Nihilism | Main | Inauguration Day »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mike H

Dave I have been considering these posts and the concept of nihilism as applied to homo sapiens (I think human lends dignity to an overrated primate). After picking up on one of those casual remarks from a very skilled scientist I formed the view that this was the key to why homo sapiens are so hard wired. The scientist was the Australian Peter Doherty who has spent his life studying the human life form at the cellular level, like all gems of truthful insight by this group of homo sapiens, in an unguarded moment, he dropped the bomb - homo sapiens are unique, they are unique because unlike every other life form on the planet, genetically they are aware of being alive (bare with me here) but that awareness of existence comes with a switch, that flips into two states - delusion or denial, why?, because we are the only species who are aware of being alive and of death. It is the defence mechanism that drives this nihilism and hence the flatland psychic or existentialist state. Now there are a few (statistically I would suggest not morally) who have somehow also have the capacity to think beyond this primal genetic state (I guess we are an adaptation) and therefore have what you have thoughtfully described as genuine hope. The capacity to learn and the capacity to therefore change in a meaningful way not simply a loop back to denial or delusion. Doherty's view and this is correct from my perspective is that this is so fundamental that it will never change. Hence nihilism, hence the flatland world.

The other fundamental problem or conditional limitation of both the flatland existence and processes is that we have not despite the search found any other link that produces a genetic change in this condition in other words, biologically we have changed or adapted to take into account this learning or experiences, we don't biologically but we do learn and we do remember but we rely on communicating and recording this learnt or cumulative knowledge. So knowledge retained but not communicated becomes lost over a lifetime or two, not to mention the problem of imperfect recollection or transmission for that which is retained. So we need very long and arduous training regimes (education) to be able to even absorb this knowledge but for most there is no additional capacity to take it another step and use it either for understanding or improving our life circumstances condition for most no matter how sophisticated they may appear at the biological level, they are left with flatland thinking, nihilistic outlooks and indifferent responses which are so basic as to be frightening. Reptilian minds and rudimentary primate behaviour is what is left.

At least by articulating and recording your discoveries an original breakthrough has been made.

I guess we are now in a really bad place as far as knowledge transmission is concerned because we have fundamentally shifted across to a very sophisticate machine based logging and storage processes that is now driven by primal flatland nihilism, in comes and goes along with the electrons that carried it and will be retained no longer than that time period, thus we end up with the loss of journalism, the loss of scholarship, the loss of proper rigorous education and thus we will lose as communal or tribal standards the ability to question, the ability to learn and the ability to genuinely change. How else could you arrive at a situation where we are in the processing of so changing the very biosphere of which we are part that we neither recognise it or seek to prevent it but await the finality of the process, dumb and stupid but satiated.

The comments to this entry are closed.