"…."Many people don’t have training in science, and so they may very well misunderstand the science. But because they don’t have the knowledge to evaluate it, they don’t realize how off their evaluations might be."
"There is no obvious remedy for the one-two punch of widespread misinformation and a lack of mental tools for evaluating it…"
Um, yes, yes there is: education. It’s yet another argument for more education for more people, most especially science education. The US has been doing a terrible job of getting enough people into science, technology, engineering, & math careers; we could do much, much better . ..
It’s the end of the world as we know it … . . ;)
I keep hearing that refrain, year after year, decade after decade . .. . But since I love change & can’t wait for the future to get here now now now, I think I come at this stuff from a different angle than the assorted apocalyptomaniacs . …
Apocalypticism & Suicidal Ideation
There are doom-seekers in plenitude. This post is intended to help the reader notice the connection between doom-mongering & depression.
I have struggled with massive depression & suicidal feelings for over 30 years. It was only in the last couple of decades that I noticed the suicidal ideation buried in the apocalyptic fantasies of supposedly non-suicidal & ostensibly ‘happy’ people around me.
The next time someone starts predicting the crumbling of modern society, the destruction of everything around us, the end of it all, I want to encourage you to hear the excitement that can be found in the doomcriers voice, to hear the hope for catastrophic extinction that fuels these dreams of endtimes. This is the suppressed voice of depression seeking the catharsis of suicide so enormous, they’d take all the world along. Thru projective displacement the repressed depressed seek to throw out their bad feelings, their fears & anxieties & stresses, onto the world around them. Blameless for their suicidal feelings, guilt free, without the taint of mental illness, the doomcrier projects out their own desire to kill themselves onto the evil world. Ritual emotional purification of the wrong of intense self-harm.
Let me sketch out my thinking on this a little more.
I’ve observed that there are emotions which are considered (by society &/or individuals) to be ‘bad emotions’, negative, undesirable. Some people are comfortable with owning & appropriately wallowing about in all of their feelings, & some are not. Some are structurally prohibited from admitting to feeling this or that emotion.
For example, I frequently make use of the notion of ‘properly masculine men’ having a fairly limited set of ‘acceptable’ emotions. It’s usually mostly okay if ‘masculine men’ evidence stoicism, some form of pleasure (happiness or some such), & anger (preferably righteous anger). & they are most especially supposed to squash any of the fear spectra of feelings. Jocularity in the face of death, tough upper lips, thick skins, & all that … . .
But I also know that most humans most of the time should experience the full range of emotions being generated in their brains. Feelings are chemical reactions in the brain to perceptions of stimuli, basically.
This presents a structural quandary. Many men, I would expect, will experience emotions that they’re ‘not supposed to’. What happens to those squirts of chemicals across synapses when they’re denied / suppressed / avoided, especially in a systemic way? All kinds of things, of course. Projective displacement is a big one, in my view.
Another example of ‘disowned emotion’ is that, across genders, ‘depression’, angst, & suicidal feelings are perceived as evidence of ‘wrongness’, ‘brokenness’, ‘mental illness’ & so on & so forth. Socially it is problematic to share those feelings, even if individually it might be the healthier choice. Again, what happens to all that bleakness if its not allowed to see the light of day?
& what I think happens some of the time for some people is that their assorted repressed fears & despairs & agonies get projected out in a disowned manner, detached away from the individual feeler & out onto the broader world. The world is depressing, not I am depressed. The world is gonna die, not I will die someday or that I might feel like dying today … . . That kinda thing . … .
As per so much that I have to say, not the most popular opinion. & yet, there it is . .… .