Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Consensus Reality

I needed a distraction today but Adam wasn't online, and he's usually the one I'd call on in this sort of situation. Fortunately, the Universe provided me with another Adam (he of This Boy Elroy) to confound and frustrate.

Essentially, he brought up the growing slate of self help literature, especially the whole The Secret phenomenon. Being versed in the ways of science, he's particularly perturbed by what he believes is the hijacking of some scientific principles for what he describes as a "spiritual justification for greed."

Personally, I will readily admit that there's a whole lot of marketing going on with most of that, although from my experience, I believe there's some truth wrapped up in the marketing if you're willing to look for it. While I don't come close to knowing all their is to know, I have come to accept that most of what I do know is inherently bound up with the perspective that I hold. I don't know if there's any objective truth one could glean from my life other than my own conclusions about how this world operates for me. That's my daily experimentation of life in a holographic universe.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Adam, who champions objective, scientific truth. I suppose our discussion got down to one basic thing -- the idea that scientific discourse is, at it's heart, a rhetorical style. While Adam describes scientific discussion and analysis in terms of "facts and truth," I see the use of data and interpretation that are being used to reinforce a particular worldview -- that is, reality by consensus.

I'm not sure that I really have a point with this -- it just served as a pleasant distraction. Yes, sometimes I venture into odd stuff.

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