Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Monday, October 01, 2018

Welcome to the Age of Unenlightenment

Centuries ago, with such notables as Sir Francis Bacon, Isasc Newton, Voltaire, Liebniz, and many others, ushered in the vaunted Age of  Enlightenment.  The scientific method was invented and refined.  Mathematics, astronomy, early medical discoveries, philosophies, and political economy were all grist to the mill for these people.  Some of them got into serious trouble (cf. Galileo vs. the Vatican), others were burned at the stake, and so on.  But the ideas, once released and published, prevailed. 

Our democratic institutions emerged from this often bloody and chaotic age.  We have been riding on the coattails of the Enlightenment -- until now? 

Welcome to the Age of Unenlightenment.  Now we have the anti-scientists, the rise of the religious right, the anti-vaxxers, etc. ad nauseam.  Centuries of civility appear to be out the window.  Opinions are rigidly held despite all the proof to the contrary. 

We now have a strong push to isolationism instead of globalisation.  Mind you, one can certainly sympathise with some of the opinions of the anti-globalists, but we'll discuss this at a later date.  What seems to be happening is the baby is being flung out with the bathwater in regards to trade, and migration.  In some of our  countries colonised and settled by white Europeans, it would appear that the catchcry is: "Go back to where you came from", despite all the evidence that shows that migration has made these same countries what they are today: rich, powerful, free, and forward looking. 

We are shrinking into little isolated boxes.  Bigotry and fear of the Other are raising their ugly heads once again, and are pushing policy makers, some of whom are right up there with the KKK, anti-anything that isn't us brigade. 

It's sad, really.  Because what we will be morphing into will be our smaller selves, those of us that will survive the coming hateful war, that is, if climate change doesn't get us first. 

Good luck, kids, you are heirs of  your forebears' cupidity, ignorance and hate.  May you do better than us. 


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