Jozef Imrich, name worthy of Kafka, has his finger on the pulse of any irony of interest and shares his findings to keep you in-the-know with the savviest trend setters and infomaniacs.
''I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.''
If there's one thing we modern citizens of the West like to give thanks for, it's our Enlightenment heritage.
From one generation down to the next, the outline of the story has remained essentially the same: medieval Europeans wallowed for centuries in a dank swamp of backwardness and religious superstition, then the Enlightenment took place and we discovered scientific reason, and since that time our overall history has been one of rational progress, as we continue to unlock the secrets of the material universe and push back the tide of human ignorance.
It's a feel-good narrative, and its proponents have little time for such tiresome qualifications as World War I, the Gulag, the nuclear bomb, the Holocaust — all eloquent testimony to the persistence of Western unreason — or the fact that the European Enlightenment itself was part of a project of colonial expansion that involved slavery, genocide, economic plunder and the subsequent immiseration of entire populations.
Eggs and omelettes, you might say. And, of course, historical causes and effects are always up for debate.
But for anyone who wants to valorise the long and notionally successful march of Enlightenment reason, an uncomfortable truth presents itself in, quite simply, the state of the West today.
And then there are the sophisticated tools of psychological manipulation.The human sock puppets. The trolls who control the internet. The CIA, with its department of perception management and its assets in the media. The unlimited supply of bribable witnesses who will swear to anything. And those who manufacture scandals, like the conservative activists who tried to frame presidential candidate Peter Buttigieg for sexual assault. The paid audiences, like those for hire from companies such as Crowds on Demand, who surround politicians with canned adoration. The manufacturers of false claims that genuine protesters — even children who survived mass shootings — are just paid actors.
All of this chicanery has three main effects: First, much of it does the job it was intended to do, fooling all kinds of people, from rubes to rascals… Second, knowledge that such things go on makes it easier to believe what you want…Third, and this is the most disturbing of all, those who are savvy about these fancy tools are actually ignorant in their own way — because they often don’t know the truth when they see it…”