Silas Hudson on Shiny Utopian Futures

Perhaps the most effective persuasion against technocracy was its own literature, especially science fiction depicting futures of pure reason and socialist brotherhood. These bright imaginary utopias of endless scientific progress stood in embarrassing contrast to the drab and stultifying reality that emerged from every attempt to implement in the real world the means by which these new orders were to be established.

— Silas Hudson

Silas Hudson on Thinking Outside the Box

There is often merit in ‘thinking outside the box’ for new and improved ideas and options. But when doing so is framed as ‘setting aside old perceptions and conventions’, or ‘moving beyond old ideas’, or ’embracing progress’ as ends in themselves – throwing away the old because it is old, in favor of the new because it is new – that is cause for caution.

It is often observable in such cases that what is presently known, though useful and effective otherwise, is ‘bad’ precisely because it doesn’t give those seeking to dispose of it the predetermined outcome that they desire, or merely fails to flatter their desired self-image as intelligent and insightful.

It’s a cheap shortcut to a self-interested paradigm shift. Denigrating the existing reality-congruent paradigm as backward, stagnant, or regressive opens the door to replacing it with their new, ego-flattering and ideologically-congruent paradigm without having to refute the old on its merits.

— Silas Hudson

Silas Hudson on Intellectual Objectivity

The assertion of objectivity or neutrality is often an attempt to have it both ways, to split the difference between what one wants to be true versus what what one knows to be true. By taking a position in the middle, or not taking a position at all, one can at the same time avoid having to accept the latter and having to give up the former.

Silas Hudson