Chapter One: There Ain’t No Such Thing As An Objectivity Quotient
By Gregory Arnott
Special guest blogger
I’m nearing the end of RAW’s theory for this chapter. I imagine I can revisit these last two pages a couple of times over the next couple weeks. But I’ll always be saying the same thing: no one is objective.
Firstly, can I just say how monstrously dumb I found RAW’s aside that “[i]f you think you have a higher 'objectivity quotient' than either of them [Edison/Tesla], why haven’t you been nominated for the Nobel prize?” Not that I have any skin in this race but winning the Nobel seems like a paltry and overblown honor. A prize funded by a demolitions manufacturer to ease his conscience? Each year seems like a meaningless indulgence (in the Papal sense). This is the same committee of Swedes who denied to nominate Joyce and Borges for the prize...their judgment is beyond suspect. Anyways, fuck the Nobels. As Alan Moore said, on the off-chance he was ever nominated he would take great pleasure in turning them down.
While I have a suspicion that most human history has appeared as such during its making, it would seem now is a great time to observe the complete breakdown in subjectivity-awareness. I am easily as guilty as anyone else. I can list off ways that would illustrate the breakdown in communication that we seem to be suffering as nations and planet, and while I would try to use examples from a variety of viewpoints my selection would be flawed. One because I’ll be picking out examples that have simply come into my field of vision or that I have decided are worth my attention. These factors are further biased by what news sources I rely upon which in turn relies upon my personality, mores and understanding of the world which is a mess. And even if I were to present ideas, there are those that I am certain are more egregious than others and that judgment is wholly based on my personal ideology.
It seemed to me that leading up to and after the Inauguration there was a flurry of articles about “whataboutism” or “bothsidesism.” Most of the articles were talking about its pernicious, ill begotten presence in the discourse: in fact, all of the articles were about that. It was simply that some of the authors believed in “whataboutism” and that it is a bad-faith argument to equate two, or more, philosophies based around radically different interpretations of history. (Not to mention the validity of those sides’ motivations.) Others claimed the term was a nonexistent bugaboo meant to dissuade people from differing viewpoints of holding civil conversation and disrupting the vital exchange of ideas. I don’t have high hopes for bridging this gap or correcting the fractious spirit of our times. I don’t know. Reality tunnels galore and the metro stations are indefinitely closed for repairs.
I got into two arguments on the same day the past week -- and not on the Internet, so it was an accomplishment. One was about how fucking stupid, disingenous and laughable a man who talks about how the Ten Commandments are the perfect law system and made a documentary about how’s he a reasonable man who just wants to talk really appears. The second was about how disgustingly entitled, validation hungry and honestly pathetic I find some of the current trends on Twitter. I definitely have a political bias, but I am not comfortable with the world that either side wants to see realized. What troubles me is that it doesn’t feel as if we are reaching compromises as much as waging brushfire culture wars and our ideas don’t check and balance each other so much as grind to a stalemate.
As someone who desperately wants to see a world with weakened nation-states and crippled corporations, a world where there isn’t a structure for petty tyrants to climb or for a nefarious majority, I feel a lot of despair over the state of the world. But I don’t feel despair overwhelmingly; while I find my anxieties more relevant to the question at hand, I try my best to SMI2LE. I don’t expect too much in the course of my lifetime, but I have a lot of hope for glimmers of a shining future. While I might not get to live for hundreds of years, live in an age where demagogues simply don’t come to power or live in a space colony, I hope and believe that somebody will.
I’ll be back next time to kick around at Jehovah...I’m getting real tired of that guy.