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Today we continue with our Stefan Molyneux theme. In our last post, your humble blogger provided you, dear reader with information pertaining to what can be called a Scholastic revival. This revival is taking place in that part of the Visibilium Omnium that is outside the Ecclesiastical sub-set of human endeavor. Here is how we summed up this apparent Scholastic revival: (emphasis added)
What is of importance to understand in the above is that there is a YUGE demand for information and for analysis of that information. The demand appears to be for analysis that is both systematic and methodical, based on an objective process and rules of evidence.
Given the situation described above, the next logical question that needs to be asked is: what is driving this need for information and for analysis of that information?
In today’s post, your humble blogger will present a HYPOTHESIS that could be the cause driving this need for information and analysis, i.e. the Scholastic revival.
The groundwork for understanding this phenomenon was laid in several post pertaining to the general economic and social situation that is present at the end of 8 years of the Obama presidency. Among these post, two are worth mentioning. The first is Gun Ownership: Addressing Most Basic Needs Of Humanity, while the second is Hidden Electorate: The Underemployed. What is of note is that these two issues, i.e. underemployment and firearm ownership, address the two most basic human needs. These needs, according to Abraham Maslow are termed: Physiological Needs and Safety and Security Needs.
Assuming that these two basic needs drove a sizeable part of the US electorate (Rust Belt States flipping to The Donald, thereby putting him over the 270 needed electoral votes), we can assume two things. The first assumption is that these needs were present long before the US election in November. And second, these needs drove the demand for information about these needs. Or to be more precise, how to remedy any issues that exist in acquiring the basic resources to sustain life and/or that could impinge on the security of the said individual/family unit.
I think these are safe assumptions to make.
Next, the source of information historically, by which individuals would obtain this information, was what is now termed the LEGACY MEDIA. Another safe assumption that can be made is that in years gone by, the LEGACY MEDIA had a monopoly on information that flowed to the general public. This changed when Fox News came along, but for the most part, this monopoly held up until a few years ago.
Before going further, a couple of words about the function that the LEGACY MEDIA historically performed. When looking at what the LEGACY MEDIA do, this can be broken down into three categories, in theory. These three categories are: provision of news, provision of interpretation of the news and subjective opinion pieces.
Yet when one has a monopoly on THE news, then those lines tend to become blurred. Actually, they became so blurred that it was hard to recognize when the LEGACY MEDIA was providing news as opposed to when they were interpreting that news. In essence, what was happening was that the LEGACY MEDIA was in fact providing purely subjective opinion disguised as objective, dispassionate news. This “opinion” disguised as “objective news” created dissonance among the more critical thinking elements within the population, which in turn created a demand for other channels of information.
This demand for alternative channels of information became satisfied with the advent of the alternative social media. To be more exact, the mechanism by which this demand became satisfied is with the rise of TWITTER.
The reason that TWITTER was the game-changer, in the humble opinion of your even humbler blogger is through one function and one function only: the 140 character TWEET limit.
What the 140 character TWEET limit did was eliminated the possibility to include “interpretation of the news” from the actual objective facts presented in the 140 characters.
Now think about this for a second.
Given that the “interpretive function” – read “subjective opinion”, was dismembered from the news flow itself, thanks in large part to TWITTER, a demand arose for tools that would allow the recipient to interpret the news flow by him or her self.
Enter, the need for “analysis that is both systematic and methodical, based on an objective process and rules of evidence” tool!
This above process was reinforced by the rise of the alternative media itself. The key to understand the value of the alternative media is that there is so much of it out there now. The sheer QUANTITIY of news being produced does not allow for the processing of the QUANTITY. This is in essence an issue of limited time and capacity to process the news flow.
Concluding, what we are seeing is a PROCESS whereby an exponential growth in information flow, brought about by the internet and the alternative media, when combined with the limited time that individuals have to acquire and process the information flow, created a demand for a service like TWITTER.
In turn, the nature of the TWITTER functionality, i.e. 140 characters maximum, decapitated the “opinion disguised as interpretation” of news from the actual objective news (what we call DATA POINTS).
These two elements described above, i.e. exponential growth in the quantity of information produced, along with the limit of the individual’s time to read/process information (article, post, TWEET) in turn created a demand for… let’s call them “discernment tools”. These tools are in fact mechanisms by which the individual can interpret the raw data that he is in a position physically take in. And since humans, by their very nature think rationally – for the most part and if only for convenience sake, an analysis that is both systematic and methodical, based on an objective process and rules of evidence is something that satisfies this demand.
NB: In the video at the top of this page, we are a witness to what happens when a “typical product of the current educational system”, armed with his narratives and supporting talking points meets an adversary that is armed with a classical education using a Scholastic methodology. It ain’t pretty folks but it is enjoyable to watch. But I digress…
With respect to the video, it is this above described PROCESS that becomes self evident when watching this Stefan Molyneux videos. And it is this PROCESS that is generating the exponential growth for programs generated by Stefan Molyneux and his circle of acquaintances that we described in our previous post here.
In other words, what we are seeing is nothing short of a revival of Scholasticism and a growing movement of secular quasi-Scholastic thinkers.
And it is safe to say that we have in large part TWITTER to thank for this situation.