Managing mass mind: heads I win tails you lose?
I say it is 5 feet and you say it is 5 feet 1 inch; do we argue or do we bring in a standard of measurement?
I say it is a matter of self-interest and you say it is a matter of fairness; do we argue or do we bring in a standard of measurement?
Objectivity is our shared subjectivity. The determination of the degree of objectivity and subjectivity rests on the matter of standards.
Standard is defined by Webster as “substantially uniform and well established by usage”.
Therein lay the crux of the distinction. How is established usage determined?
We have available standards of measurement and weight but few standards for matters that do not fit those parameters. We have no ready standards for the human sciences; probably this is so because there is no quick money-in-it. We have never learned to think critically about tomorrow.
How do business and ideology manage the will of citizens who lack Critical Thinking skills, i.e. how do business and ideology manage standards? I suspect that the truly successful institutions do so by manipulation. The Matador with cape skills is more successful than one with rational skills. I suspect that often a mere patina of reason is sufficient to keep the citizen’s eye focused upon the cape.
A popular adage goes something like this “I cannot argue down a conviction that has not been argued up.” It is impossible for me to use reason to convince someone who is without confidence in reason that they should have confidence in reason.
An adult without confidence in reason must start the effort to study reason before they can gain a confidence in reason. Perhaps that is impossible also. Perhaps it is the case that an adult without a confidence in reason will never have confidence in reason.
I would argue that intellectual sophistication developed by means of self-actualizing self-learning can help us broaden the quantity and quality of standards available to us.