Alt Epistemology 101: Truth in the Age of Trump

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And Alt Epistemology? Read on.

In order not to be too “outraged,” by Trump’s twittering, let’s see how Alt Epistemology was set in motion. Let’s go back in time. But of course, when do you begin? As my favorite Ludwig Wittgenstein quote goes: “It’s hard to start at the beginning, and not go further back.” Yes. Where does anything begin? Is there an ontological origin to anything? Or are all frames human-made. I’d say the latter. And for that to happen, we have first, to drive a stake into the ground. To say, this happens here.

Okay.

Let’s drive our stake into the ground by remembering the word “truthiness” Ah! Oh yes! That! At the time it was satirical, remember? No longer. Satire collapsed with the rise of Trump.

According to wikipedia,

Stephen Colbert, portraying his character Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, chose the word truthiness just moments before taping the premiere episode of The Colbert Report on October 17, 2005, after deciding that the originally scripted word – “truth” – was not absolutely ridiculous enough. “We’re not talking about truth, we’re talking about something that seems like truth – the truth we want to exist”, he explained.[11][12]

The truth we want to exist. The truth that our desire nature declares is real. It’s got to be! So it is! This reminds me of the way many millennials have been raised, not just without chores, but worse: without the usual framework from parents, the usual ethical structure of “this is allowed; this is not.” The result: no chores means that they don’t have to learn how to focus and discipline their energy, and especially, to even care about the people they live with! And no structure means whatever they can get away with, they will! There is no ground upon which to stand, no way to tell right from wrong. No wrong! Whatever I want, I get. And, without effort. It should be easy!

But of course, it’s not. As the massive debt load of recent college graduates now attests. If you don’t “ground” in one way, then “reality” grounds you in another way. In this case, matrix (faux) reality; the one we’re all embroiled in to some extent.

No wonder when young people are introduced to permaculture they rejoice. Finally, a way to really ground, to ground into the ground, what’s beneath their feet! And yet, their habits of easy everything, and nothing’s more important than anything else make it difficult for them to apply themselves over a period of time in a big way towards a far-off goal. Working in concert with Earth’s natural cycles is not “easy;” it’s labor-intensive. And extremely rewarding. Their spacy minds can settle down, at least for that hour or two when they’re not tweeting or instagraming or otherwise screening their entitled version of reality rather than immersing themselves in the ongoing demands of the loving, demanding, endlessly regenerating presence we call — for want of a better term to describe its mysterious ineffability, its “laws” which must be studied for many many years, and which will always elude us in the end — “NATURE.”

Okay back to Alt Epistemology 101. Let’s push back in linear time a bit further, from 2005 to the mid-’90s, when the word “credible” began to insinuate its way into the vernacular. Credible, as in not necessarily true, but capable of being believed. “Believable.” I.e., buttressed in some way to at least “look like” truth, be accepted as truth. Here’s wikipedia — credibility rating for wikipedia itself? I have no idea! — on “credibility:”

Credibility refers to the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message.

Traditionally, modern, credibility, reliability has two key components: trustworthiness and expertise, which both have objective and subjective components. Trustworthiness is based more on subjective factors, but can include objective measurements such as established reliability. Expertise can be similarly subjectively perceived, but also includes relatively objective characteristics of the source or message (e.g., credentials, certification or information quality).[1] Secondary components of credibility include source dynamism (charisma) and physical attractiveness.

Credibility online has become an important topic since the mid-1990s. This is because the web has increasingly become an information resource.

So, the accusation that Donald Trump just “makes things up” shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s been at least 20 years since the mass mind began to shred the unconscious assumptions that governed standard positivistic epistemology (that primary statements in language describe facts in the “real world”). And while “science” and “scientific truth” hung on awhile longer, in the past few years we have been put on notice that

Science Fraud

is rampant in the halls of academe and other research institutions.

So, it’s no wonder that Trump gets away with — whatever! What sets him apart is the unvarnished, shameless exuberance with which he says — and tweets — whatever’s rushing through his Gemini/Sagittarian mind (Sun in Sagittarius conjunct unpredictable Uranus, opposite Gemini Moon). We have to hand it to him. He’s taken the destruction of the old epistemology all the way.

Yes. The rug of “facts” has been pulled out from under us. So you might as well make stuff up out of nothing. Lying presupposes a “truth” that the lie is set against. Pretending does that as well.

No wonder the MSM news machine is now swirling down a black hole, all the while screaming to its alt news accusers: “FAKE! “FAKE!” All of which goes to show: the underlying issue? topic? subject? area of interest? is, at its core, more metaphysical than epistemological, or maybe we should say existential. Our very existence is in question here if we have no idea what’s “real,” what’s not. Then of course, there’s A.I. Oh geez, let’s not complicate Alt Epistemology even more with that topic! That’s an upper level, graduate course in transhumanism, in zombie apocalypse, in the deus ex machina — or better, machina ex deus — that does or does not run the universe.

Yes, let’s focus, again, Ann. Even your mighty left brain is fraying . . .

Ok. Just return to the original premise of this post:

Language is no longer being used to “describe” supposed “facts” in the real world. The real world itself fissions into simulations within simulations — like a fractal black hole — or white whole?

Trump doesn’t just lie or prevaricate or pretend. He exuberantly just makes stuff up! And/or, he just pulls others’ points of view out of the ethers, out of the collective consciousness, the mass mind, and cheerfully channels all of them, no matter how contradictory.

In this way, making stuff up becomes a form of doing, not saying; Trump funnels energy into form, rather than speaking about form. Something like that. You might say that he’s the apotheosis of the New Age dictum: We create our own reality. Yep! Just by declaring it! 

I’m surprised millennials are “protesting” the election. You’d think they would love Trump. He shows them how their own attitude, when writ large by a master, can create worlds.

 

 

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3 Responses to Alt Epistemology 101: Truth in the Age of Trump

  1. Laura Bruno says:

    I hope people take this just make stuff up attitude into the positive opportunity it is and just make up a better world! From scratch, from the dregs of the old … portals into the new and gloriously creative.

  2. Rusty says:

    I appreciate how you did this: your craft of putting this together. Recently I tried to get at our growing distrust of media and the so called media fact-checkers, who themselves came under suspicion – such are the days we live in. I enjoyed how you spoke to the shifting sands of modern day epistemology, and the irony of the millennial protest. Here is my attempt to speak to a similar theme: https://moreenigma.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/mistrust-and-the-media-part-2/

  3. Pingback: » Metaphysical matters in post-truth cultures The Sociological Imagination

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