2020-07-13

When logic doesn't apply

The interviewer asks what she is supposed to do about the climate crisis, and Roger holds that it’s obvious. As it isn’t to the interviewer he gives a simple analogy. Go to 15:25 and watch for two minutes only, to see what happens when we don’t allow ourselves to question our lifestyles and assumptions.



Roger misinterprets Ms Ahituv’s not getting the analogy as playing games. I believe she actually *is* incapable of following him. She really cannot spell out the obvious, even though a three-year old could have done the mechanical repetition of what has been said in the analogous example. Because that would have meant to overthrow everything she lives by, for, and from. Confronted with preferences, logic does not apply.

And this inability to simply go through an hypothetical exercise has nothing to do with the correctness of the assumptions around anthropogenic CO2 emissions as the main driver of global temperature increase. (I no longer believe in those, either.) We find the same deficiency in everyday life whenever it’s about inquiring root causes and putting into practice what we find out, be it about environmental destruction, the wealth gap, the Corona regime, patriarchy, corruption, or genocide. We know what to do about them: So far as we are concerned, to simply to stop doing them, participating in them, staying quiet about them, endorsing them. What’s complicated about changing our own behaviour (rather than waiting for society to change) are our thoughts on how this would rock our boat and make us uncomfortable at first. We don’t know what to do without our comforts, and we wouldn’t dare to think how life could be arranged in different ways. Our unwillingness to question our preferences, assumptions and the stuff we deem “obviously real” kills not only our culture of reasonable discussion, it kills life on this planet in wholesale.

The reason why I hold that civilized culture and a good measure of its members are completely insane is this pathological inability to shed the distorted, delusional, dysfunctional sense of self which guides our thoughts and actions.

2 comments:

  1. Actually minute approx 25 just before the end is actually the important one--or maybe the 2 minutes at minute 15---you get the yin and the yang. in minute 15 -17 he says 'we know what to do' and in minute 25 he says 'its a complex question'--i.e. we basically dont know what to do.

    he reminds me of some of these 70 + year old black radicals (some members of black panther party in USA in 1960's-70's) some of whom are still in jail serving life sentences who say 'we know what to do' (a few who are out of jail are on the radio basically saying the 'black lives matter movement' needs their leadership since they 'know what to do'. Like Roger hallam--started XR---and there is one here---they say 'you got to go to jail'---though most of them also say first thing you have to do is devote your time and life to getting these 70 year old 'freedom fighters' out of jail.

    it looks like roger 'knew what to do'---got his PhD, maybe tried to live off the land, and ended up doing 'direct action' and in jail---and now he says everyone should go to jail---its moral., though now he gives interviews with an israeli reporter. (some people aroundf here in BDS movement says 'what we should do is support the palestinian cause which can range from signing a petition, doing radio and social media shows, to joining some militant action.)

    the main takeaway is most --but not all people--say to anyone who says they 'know what to do' often though not always will ignore them---in this area we have people saying 'we know what to do' which is 'vote trump', vote biden', go vegan, vote green, dont vote, get out in the streets, accept jesus as savior, save the unborn from abortion, recycle.....

    ask a bengal tiger what to do , or a muslim in mumbai.

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    Replies
    1. Dear media, thanks for your comment. Sure looks a bit schizophrenic, and so is the whole situation we are in. As I see it, we ought to know that least bit: The Golden Rule applies also to environmental issues.

      That means, first of all, do no harm. Because it doesn't make sense to scrub CO2 out of the atmosphere, for example, while we continue to put it up there in large quantities. Similarly we could spare ourselves most of the 'save-the-whales/ rainforests/ mangroves/ aquifers/...' if we simply stopped destroying them.

      What each of us does is up to the individual, not at all a matter of coercion. Only fictional persons like corporations will need to be forced to obey. If we don't unite over this, if we fuck it up, so be it.

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