The Risk Averse Society
The algorithmic spine of the social media feed becomes the geometry of the cognitive process itself. The image of the online self becomes the self image. And so it becomes harder to focus without a screen, harder to be alone, harder to be a self, to be oneself. Accelerants are retardants.
And yet, no moral qualification is necessary to bring us back to ourselves; no expertise is required to be human. Strip away machines, algorithms, institutional allegiances and spontaneity returns. It’s always there—the basic springs of desire and spirit.
An indifference towards life expresses itself in us as a kind of lame preference for the artificial, the externally imposed, the safe, and more and more—the governmental, the commanded. The mandate.
Stupidity leads to itself. The stupidity of December 2021 is a variation on the stupidity of March 2020.
The obsession with the vaccine status, test status, various forms of compliance reveals an obsession that is essentially ecumenical: a concern with the institutions of expertism—the church of Science—rather than evolving body of scientific data.
Collective psychological resilience was lost because it was not valued.
The semiotics of the pandemic have toxified the imagination.
There will always been enough data to supply a crisis.
Fiat governance—lawmaking through regulation making—is more widely accepted hecause apps have conditioned us to believe that everything must happen automatically and without friction. Fiat governance is only the latest app.
Covid is so real it is almost real, so dangerous it is almost dangerous—but not so dangerous that it is really all that disruptive. It’s perfect, really.
Social media networks allow The Crisis to spread at lightning rates. They are the Roman roads to the soul.
The pandemic was an elite counter-revolt against 2010 era populism: an attempt to put the genii of decentralized, self-organizing independence movements back in the bottle.
The cult of risk reduction doesn’t just fragilize the body, it fragilizes the soul.
As soulless conformism takes hold, the ecstatic, the heterogeneous, and weird begins to die off.
The Omnicron variant is interesting because it does not even have to be dangerous to be scary. It is the moment when Pavlov tinkles the bell without presenting any food.