Harris, Peterson, Zizek, & Haidt – Through the looking glass of ideological fiefdoms and metadata walls
Our species has a long history of living in tribes and fiefdoms, and we still do. Only now our fiefdoms are often created and maintained by hashtag, linguistic signaling, and online cookies. We've also spent a good amount of time building walls to create safe spaces. The irony of today's chant in the United States is that the wall is already here, only it is made of metadata, preference settings, and block lists. The now well-known graphic that shows the lack of dialogue or connection between the left and right on twitter is shocking to say the least. But more than connections in name between opposing camps, we need the spirit of dialogue. Which means a group of people who are willing to exercise a bit of intellectual doubt and show honest curiosity to how other people might form an opinion about political, social, and cultural phenomena. We all know the adage, that to know someone requires us to walk a mile in their shoes. We also know that things are easier said than done. Now I believe that philosophy is positioned to be a type of glue between competing ideas, like science, religion, history, and politics, and most certainly so during times of complexity and uncertainty. This is such a time. Because at the end of the day, philosophy is neither science, religion, history, or politics, but if it is not consulting these subjects, and more, it can never hope to be more than what Nietzsche described in Beyond Good and Evil - a species of unconscious autobiography.