To reverse the trends that belittle us, we need to ascribe more value to our own observations.
Across the spectrum of today's cognitive order, it is difficult to escape a sense of pandering: of people talking by us, rather than to us, no matter whether we are consumers or CEOs.
While the slightest, fussiest tick in our moods is attended to promptly, even anxiously, rational matters of substance are scarcely brought up to us anymore. What matters most is simply that we accept something that is being pushed at usbe that a brand of beer, a business tactic, or an ideology. If it is more efficient to ply us with compelling imagery than to actually convince us of anything, then our faculties of reason will be cut unceremoniously out of the loop.
At the same time, we have become so awed and cowed by our media that we have adopted the habit of verifying reality against a screen, rather than vice versa.
Driven by these developments, our world is becoming a place where real knowledge of any kind appears increasingly remote and unattainable. This has started us on a subtle but significant slide back into the world of integrated cognitive systemsa primeval landscape of images and symbols, populated by demigods and heroes, where the distinction between science and magic is blurred.
If we want to break this trend, the most direct way would be to accord more dignity to our own direct observations and experiences.
This can be a daunting prospect, though, when we live constantly and inescapably in the shadow of a "bigger" media realm in which we don't participate. Compared to this larger world, how can our own paltry experiences and discoveries be of interest to anybody?
The proposition can be doubly intimidating when we're in awe of the sheer amount of knowledge modern society has about everything. How, we wonder, could we possibly think of anything that the proverbial "they" dont already know?
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.