Lately, we all appear to be driving ourselves and the others around us crazy. It seems like collective chaos to me, this whole year, and I’m growing more and more weary of how we use social media.
I don’t want to recycle everything that’s in the news, so here are a few thoughts that I wanted to share:
The essence of discrimination is blind belief. Education, thus, is dangerous as it shakes its foundations of discrimination. As a result, a key part of an oppressing playbook is to control the education citizens receive. If you can fake education, i.e. pretend to educate while not really teaching the scientific method, people will never find out.
Racism is clearly still a very big problem in the world. And it’s the biggest reason why I have centered a big part of my work around challenging racial norms in beauty and fashion. Our industry (photography, advertising, media) has only recently started largely making meaningful moves towards inclusivity. That shift is something we should celebrate, without forgetting there’s a long way to go.
At the same time, the facts on violence and discrimination tell us one thing for certain – as bad as things seem, they have only been getting better and are better today than ever before. However, the moment we give up our willingness to debate, we indicate that we are open to flexing our discrimination muscles. It is a recipe for bigotry – an intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from us. If we are intolerant toward different opinions, can you begin to imagine what the future holds for people who look different from us?
What’s the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has led to anything other than bigotry?
Anti-intellectualism is destroying us. Who should we be afraid of?
As the ever-brilliant Sam Harris recently put it:
“It’s the other who will not listen to reason, who has no interest in facts, who can’t join a conversation that converges on the truth, because he knows in advance what the truth must be. We should fear the other who thinks that dogmatism and cognitive bias aren’t something to be corrected for, because they’re the very foundations of his epistemology. We should fear the other who can’t distinguish activism from journalism or politics from science. Or worse, can make these distinctions, but refuses to. And we’re all capable of becoming this person. If only for minutes or hours at a time. And this is a bug in our operating system, not a feature. We have to continually correct for it.
We have to pull back from the brink here. And all we have with which to do that is conversation. And the only thing that makes conversation possible is an openness to evidence and arguments—a willingness to update one’s view of the world when better reasons are given. And that is an ongoing process, not a place we ever finally arrive.”
George Kroustallis // Minorstep