By Apuleius Charlton
Special guest blogger
I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays or lack thereof and is doing well as we approach a new year. This will be the last Prometheus Rising post of 2021.
Regarding the chapter, Wilson takes us deeper into the concept of brainwashing and primarily focuses on how we have been “brainwashed” into our own reality tunnels. Part of the chapter didn’t speak that much to me, I was unsuccessfully conditioned into agreeing with most of my parents’ beliefs; by all means, I should be a relatively conservative Methodist. I am not and haven’t been for most of my life. I believe, when examining my beliefs, that I was shaped mostly through the books I read and my own imagination. (I was a child in a rural area and wasn’t particularly close to my brother, so I had a plethora of imaginary friends, some of whom still occasionally pop into my life until this day.) The advent of the internet would have greatly impacted my worldview, especially after Wikipedia was created and I spent afternoons/evenings jumping from one page to another. Until this day, as any reader of my posts could attest, many of my beliefs are shaped around reaction to whatever is online at the time.
I must admit that I smiled rereading this paragraph (I had not reread this chapter until the past weekend, Scout’s honor.): “The problems of the modern world arise from the fact that these reality-tunnels are no longer isolated from each other. Throughout most of human history and up to 100 years ago- up to 20 years ago, in some parts of the world- a man or woman could lead their entire life snugly within the cocoon of the local tunnel-reality. Today, we all constantly collide with persons living in wildy different tunnel-realities. This creates a great deal of hostility in the more ignorant, vast amounts of metaphysical and ethical confusion in the more sophisticated, and growing disorientation for all- a situation known a our ‘crisis of values.’” Thus, as an addendum to my recents posts: Q.E.D..
We are certainly inside some sort of information collider and I posit that the faster information collides, the greater chance of black holes of confusion and conflict. Humans are adaptable, but we also need time to adapt capably -- I am firmly unsure if we are going to be allowed that time in the face of greater and rapidly increasing change. I would also posit that the fact that this chapter was originally written before the advent of the Network is a matter of some distress. If we were insufficiently parsing information before the Internet, what the fuck are we doing right now?
I somewhat disagree with Wilson’s idea that all reality-tunnels are equally bizarre from the outside. I have a lot of issues with Christians and their hegemony, but I can at least apprehend some of the beliefs of an “average” Episcopelian more so than a fundamentalist Evangelical. But perhaps, due to my early exposure to “middle-class” Christianity that didn’t go much further than the doors of the church, I only view the Episcopalian as “more sane” than the fundamentalist because of my own prejudices.
I guess I’ll close out this year with a shrug and eyes open to the future. We’re getting to the good stuff this year. Soon we’ll all be exploring the fifth circuit, my personal favorite. Thank you to everyone on RAWIllumination for making 2021 more interesting and for the fellowship. You all mean an awful lot to me for mostly faceless beings.
Here's a song by Nick Lutsko which helped me find some pathos concerning our waning year: https://youtu.be/xa9KgMyCBy4