I always thought the Internet would usher in a new age of enlightenment where truth would be shared and discovered and humanity could finally rise to it’s full potential. Then there was last night’s Uber ride..
Driver picks us up in LA, a young women in her 30’s.
Her: “Hey how’s it going?”
Us: “Good we’re going out to a rooftop to celebrate the full moon tonight.”
Her: “Do you guys actually think the moon is real?”
“Well nobody actually has any moon rocks. I knew someone’s Dad that had a moon rock and the government came and took it from them because they didn’t want anyone to have any evidence of it.”
“I mean maybe the moon is just hollow. We haven’t actually landed there ya know. And that space station? Where is THAT exactly? You guys know those rockets aren’t actually real…”
“What about Elon Musk?” I ask, “Is he in on it too?”
“And the Earth, it’s probably just flat. Like if you look at the UN logo, that’s what the earth actually looks like. And if you get to the north pole eventually the ice ends and there’s this huge dome and that’s the sky and that’s where the moon and sun is..”
This questioning of everything (summarized here) went on for the entire ride. Usually I’m not physically uncomfortable in weird situations, but this was too much. Then at the end of the ride she dropped a clue which might explain a lot in our post-truth world.
“I mean WHO NKOWS what is real these days? I was raised in Catholic Schools all my life and just a few years ago I learned about evolution. What ELSE are they hiding from us?!?”
Nietzsche warned with the death of God (when people no longer believed in Christianity) it would put most people at risk of despair of meaninglessness and a huge void in society would need to be filled.
It’s sad because we should absolutely be questioning the systems we’ve created and be actively seeking new ways to view and be in the world. However, when legitimate inquiry, is turned into a carnival by profit seeking dark holes on the Internet, we may bury humanity’s ability to ever get ourselves out of this collective sink hole.
All I can say is, buckle up for the future. We’re in for a ride.