As a general rule, I don’t trust anyone called Rene, but I make an exception for Descartes because his theory on reality as independent of perception is so lucid: he simply says, while reality is actually objectively real, our experience of reality is only subjectively real. This explains why my views on The Kardashian Menace are not in sync with the ‘readers’ of Who Weekly, or why when I say ‘booty’ I’m thinking pirates, but you hear ‘boo-tay’ and begin conjuring Beyonce in hotpants; why I think ‘fat’ when you see ‘phat’, et cetera. We are both always wrong. Neither of us can ever be right, because no human being can perceive actual objective reality. Everything distorted by subjectivity.
Disagree with me? Don’t bother. Noam Chomsky is a thinking sort of dude, and he made the point that rational discussion is only useful when there is a significant base of shared assumptions. Unquote. So irrespective of how loudly, lengthily or loquaciously you argue your point, you are still never going to be actually correct. But people (being people) will always yearn for the upper-hand, so the argument would then devolve to jostling for the title of “least-wrong” — but who could judge that? Clearly not another human being, so …
I have watched all of the Terminator movies, so I am no great advocate for devolving ultimate decision-making to artificially intelligent killer robots/cyborgs bent on human destruction. While I enjoy my steak medium-rare, I’d still choose the blue pill even if the steak turns our to be raw. I suspect that a mechanical, non-human, in other words objective experience of reality is brutally unpleasant: luckily, it is also out of reach. There is no Neo to ‘save’ us. We have already taken the red pill by virtue of the experiential teflon we coat our individual selves with.
Where does that leave us? Intractable arguments about Jon Snow’s effeminate brand of metrosexual masculinity? Endless debates as to whether we can forgive Pharrell Williams for lap dancing in 2001 because he made us so happy in 2014? Does anybody actually listen to Katy Perry, or are we just in it for the bewbs? Once you start, it never ends, except in some kind of listless, fugue state where you shamble like a zombie through your life knowing nothing you say or do really matters. Meat memories, and nothing more.
Yet humanity prospers like cheese in a fat man’s underpants. We prosper because we keep reaching for the blue pill. We are not satisfied, convinced, persuaded or fooled. When politicians say “tax cuts!” they’re buying our vote. When a car-salesman says “low miles!” we kick the tyres. When a woman growls “hey handsome!” you check for an Adam’s apple. Keep arguing, not to be a pain in the ass, but to be the least-wrong person you can be. And never, ever give in to the nihilists; remember, they’re cowards.