Daniel Greenfield observes that for the current administration, technology appears to be nothing more than magic:
Our technocracy is detached from competence. It’s not the technocracy of engineers, but of “thinkers” who read Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman and watch TED talks and savor the flavor of competence, without ever imbibing its substance.
These are the people who love Freakonomics, who enjoy all sorts of mental puzzles, who like to see an idea turned on its head, but who couldn’t fix a toaster.
The ObamaCare website is the natural spawn of that technocracy who love the idea of using modernity to make things faster and easier, but have no idea what anything costs or how it works.
It’s hard to have a functioning technocracy without engineers. A technocracy made in Silicon Valley with its complete disregard for anything outside its own ego zone would be bad enough. But this is a Bloombergian technocracy of billionaires and activists, of people who think that “progress” makes things work, rather than things working leading to progress….
This brand of magical thinking was once commonplace. It still is. And it’s why things so rarely work out in some of the more messed up parts of the world. But the sort of attitude that would once have made anthropologists shake their heads is now commonplace here. Savages in suits, barbarians with iPads are certain that things will work because they have appeased the gods of modernity with their fonts, they have made a website that looks like a functioning website. And like the cargo culters who built fake control towers expecting planes to land, they thought that their website would work….
The difference between savages and civilized men isn’t that savages are dumb and civilized people are smart. Savages can individually be quite clever within their parameters and civilized folk can be quite stupid. It’s the ability to extend that intelligence in groups that makes for a civilization.
Savages cannot work together. They can fantasize, but they can’t build anything bigger than a small group can manage. Savages are warriors, but not soldiers, they are tinkerers, not engineers, they are inventors, not scientists, they cannot work together on a large scale and thereby push past their own limitations as a culture and grow. They may have individual geniuses, but they cannot pass on what they learn.
This is almost exactly what I pointed out that so upset the inept futurists in the SFWA. This is exactly what I meant when I observed that a society of NK Jemisins have never been known to successfully establish or maintain an advanced civilization. And no amount of banning the badthoughts or badthinkers – talk about magical thinking – is going to prevent Western civilization from declining and falling now that post-civilized have seized control and the savages and half-savages are permanently ensconced inside the gates.
It doesn’t matter if you call me raciss, Detroit is still bankrupt and decaying. It doesn’t matter if you call me sexiss, the US birth rate is still plummeting and the population demographics are still dysgenic, in terms of intellectual, educational, and time-preferential genetics.
I don’t create or control any of this. It’s not a figment of my imagination. I do nothing more than observe the historical facts and draw connections between them and what is readily apparent today. What disturbs people is less the nature of my observations and more the fear that my observations are correct. It’s not as if my contentions are unfalsifiable, or that people are not going to notice when the course of events eventually goes more or less the way I have predicted.
I’m entirely accustomed to people thinking I’m crazy and being offended by my perspective. Remember, I left the USA 15 years ago. I was pointing out NSA spying back in 2001, and observing the precarious state of the global financial system in 2002. And even if you are absolutely certain that I am an unmitigated white supremacist, what are your substantive grounds for thinking that I am incorrect now?
Relying on a known logical fallacy, the Genetic Fallacy, and hoping for the best is little more than the very magical thinking that is part of the problem here.