Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


This seems almost there, in terms of what you were suggesting?

A very familiar situation, thanks for describing it so eloquently. 

In my case the pain resulted from finally emotionally acceding an issue that I had intellectually perceived long before, but somehow managed to push the full implications aside. Once the dam broke, so to speak, the flood of horror and pain was enough to make me question my sense of sanity at the worst moments.  

In my case, it took about three years, a lot of emotional work, thinking and writing to learn to cope with it all, and to figure out a productive way forward with the new understanding of a horrible reality.

The truth remains oppressing and painful, but at the end of the day, one can‘t choose the circumstances one happens to live through. Therefore the task, as always, is to make the best of what is there, and just enjoy life to the best of your ability. What is hopeful at the end, the future remains an open, uncharted territory - and the scope of challenges yields a solution space only restrained by imagination and creativity. 

But yeah, the phenomenon absolutely deserves a word for it. Catastrophic revelation? Reality nuke? Well those are both two words. 

It seems to me the technocratic rule is but another manifestation the idea already expressed by Plato in his Republic, a polis governed by philosophers and where rationality rules. The common thread being the perception of intellectual superiority by a certain group, seen to justify their governing position, coupled with the idea that the operations of a society can be rationally understood and managed.

A wonderful initiative, best of luck with your book, I’m already looking forward to it!

I believe there are two-fold hindrances for wider acceptance and adoption of such progress-positive ideas, which of course come back to things already mentioned in your posts, and in comments to them. 

First of all, the 18th-19th century progress movement came on the back of tangible progress on multiple fronts of society, from population growth, technological development, increasing military/political strength vis-a-vis the rest of the world, and broad-based improvements in income and quality of life across the population. All of these things in their own way supported an ideology of optimism, growth and progress; since everything was actually improving, it was quite natural to believe in further and greater progress too. 

Yet, most of the same trends today are either stagnant, absent or even on negative, rather than positive, trajectories. In that sense, a generally positive or optimistic outlook is that much harder to come by, even in a more narrow technological or scientific sense, where progress remains clear. In another way, this perhaps means that an optimistic philosophy of progress could also be more valuable than ever, if it should supply reasons to invest and work for the future despite a bleaker outlook. 

Secondly, much less importantly, progress or progressivism as words may have certain political connotations among many people, which may in some cases deter interest or adoption due to confusion or association with politics (and in other cases be a positive factor). 

Personally I am currently very interested in the way ideas and values can guide broader success and failure of societies - as such this seems like an extremely interesting project! The way I see it one of the key problems in the west presently is a broad lack of positive vision and future expectations, on the back of the troubling trends mentioned. From your post, it obvious you’re aware of the same issues and looking to solve them. A philosophy of progress could be a key part in of amending the situation, thus immensely valuable. 

Thanks for the review, the book and its topics seem interesting and highly relevant in context of the fragmented and fractious societies we live in today, in the west at least. 

Pleasure also to comment for the first time here,