Saturday, 22 May 2010

The time is soon!

When I was at uni, I wrote an essay between the modernist and post-modernist historiographies. I called it heterohistoriography and it was inspired by Daniel Dennetts method of studying consciousness that he calls heterophenomenology.

It means in essence deriving conclusions from two different sets of data-points in order to get a more accurate overall picture. Dennett describes the problems of using subjective phenomenology to study consciousness without corresponding it with actual data: fmri, physiological testing etc. This data-driven side has only recently become available yet it doesn't merely add the possibility with corroborating subjective accounts of consciousness, oh no! It is data about us, about our brains, which means it feeds down into every conceivable discipline. Cognitive science should and will be the next inter-disciplinary revolution a la post-modernism, History included.

Having studied consciousness, I eventual deducted my theory of history as a by product of my efforts to better understand the stream-of-consciousness. I realised that our selves are illusory, merely the synthesis of our genetic potential with all the memes from our journey through our environment. Our memes and our emotions dictate how we process information and their relationship is key to the process of History. See, animals dont have memes, they have pure instinct, emotion if you will. As our brains developed into what they are today, it allowed for such key developments as mimicry, recallable memory, speech and imagining future scenarios. These kicked of a second evolution, aside from genetics: the evolution of ideas. Our minds have ALWAYS been rational (always are, unless actually insane), it is merely that have gone from a world of little knowledge to a world full of knowledge. That reason now has a far, far greater set of data points from which to derive its reality. This is what constitutes Hegel's progression toward reason, his mistake being that of Kant in that he thought they were glimpsing some pure reason when in fact they merely had broader knowledge.

As harbingers of the second evolution, we have created a form of accelerated change. This idea places communication technology as the corrolate to morality and progress. Why? Its pretty easy to conceive a basic evolutionary trait: fear the unknown, protect the known (if it's known, it clearly hasnt killed you yet). Because until now we have been beings of the same genes but separate minds, in a world dominated by 'elites' that fear is easily exploited. But if the whole world share memes, then it is not merely our family, our village, our country that gets incorporated into our moral sphere... its everyone that has influenced our development, everyone we have come to know.

I do not say that national pride is bad... im saying it is arbitary, It is based on lines drawn politically hundreds of years ago which have little meaning to me or many of the young generation. I care as much for the dispossesed West Papuans as I do other English people I have never met AND THAT IS GOING TO SCARE GOVERNMENTS SOON.

The internet is to the printing press what the atomic bomb is to a butter knife. So what will this coming social revolution be to the Enlightenment?

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