I found myself thinking last night about the original Star Trek. I’m not sure I can reproduce it here. It’s probably stale now. But was thinking about this laterally from the notion that we are now in a ‘post truth’ era or consensus. I haven’t watched the original since I was in elementary school But I did love the show and was entirely persuaded by the moral compass provided by the character of Spock, as against the selfish and rash adventurism of Captain Kirk and the reactive judgementality of Dr Bones. As I recall it, the other characters were not positioned to make global evaluative judgements on ethics, action or affect. What I liked about Spock was his ‘natural’ recourse to logic. As half human, it was thus only a superficial conceit that this was not also or not possibly a human capacity as well. Spock provided the ego ideal of justice in a time when faith in rational argument was the dominant metier of politics, of futurity, and of understandings of the human condition.
In my second year of University, I took a philosophy course called Principles of Critical Reasoning, which focused on the constitution of logical argument and the ability to parse logical fallacies. It was one of my favourite classes, notwithstanding the myriad cartoons I drew in class of the professor, Bob (I don’t recall his last name). Drawings of Bobcats, Bobsleds, Bobsicles and so on. Drawing as it were, on his bearded post-hippy long haired countenance. I believed in this class. And I learned from it, worked hard on assignments, found it filtering into my day to day life.
So what can it mean to be ‘post-logic’ and ‘post-truth’. I drew on this question in a way in my gene book, considering the truthiness of genes. But i don’t think I assimilated my own observations about projection and persuasion sufficiently, such that Brexit and Trump and authoritarianism in general could make any sense at all. To me these are unnatural. Against my formative understanding of discourse, of reality, even of attachment and repudiation. I love the capacity for logic. My own ego ideal. That one can build a good fabric out of reasoned compassion and empathy.