virus: Re: Postmodernism and Truth

Ken Pantheists (
Sat, 18 May 1996 01:34:02 +0000

David McFadzean wrote:

> Deron Stewart mentioned in a recent message that there is an implicit
> Virian belief in one objective truth that is true for all people. I think
> that is true (for all people :-). The claim that truth is subjective is
> self-inconsistent. (snip) ... there is indeed a way that things are: an objective truth.

Hmm. Once again, you've done a good job of taking a step back and
presenting an interesting look at the big picture.

But, I think we need to address the *spirit* of postmodernism and what
it does.

The reason why "hegemony" is a catch phrase in much of postmodern theory
is that there really *are* groups of people who control culture.
Electronic media (here, I mean TV) promotes the reality that, yes,
several million people can go hom from work and have nearly the same
experience. Postmodern thought asks people to question the truth of that

Neil Postman and "somebody" Merowitz (he wrote "No Sense of Place"-
sorry for the academic laziness- I just don't have the book anymore.)
both write about how media changes the way we actually think about the
world and how we percieve truth.

Paradigm shifts occur with a shift in popular media.

Postmodernism, I feel, is the bomb that was made in the kitchen of the
culture that created the syndicated rerun.

It was, and is, one way to address the one-eyed god- the stupidness and
the power of the camera; the illusion of authority and authenticity, the
primacy of the eye as the organ of reasoning.

Memetics is an interesting idea when you look at it in the context of
this medium, ie. the internet.

I think (suspect) they (the idea of memes and this medium) evolved
syncronistically. I wonder if the model of "software" has translated
into how we think about thought. Memes are kind of plug-inable,
in-lineable, (erasable?, rewriteable? or read-only?)

And perhaps memes are a step beyond postmodernism. They address
information in a way that doesn't dwell on hegemony (I always read Blame
when I read hegemony). They are definately a child of postmodernism in
that memetics is essentially a deconstruction. But it is a deconstuction
that ultimately doesn't help any one group. Black lesbians can't say
"You're using *that* strategy", because they use it too.

I think this is what I felt when I asked if memes absolve us of
responsibility.(and I don't mean that in a good way.)

They're excellent ammo. And they've been given to both sides at the same
time. Problem is- it still isn't a level battlefeild.

However, I honestly do feel that this is the next, most productive step
in the dialogue between the controllers and the controlled.

> >certainly seems historically that anytime that there has been a period where
> >things seemingly could be explained by a particular paradigm along comes a
> >response that says no you can't. This centuries flavor of that is
> >postmodernism, it denies ultimate truths and explanations, as I've said. And
> Sounds like logical positivism is the thesis and postermodernism is
> the antithesis. What if there is an objective truth but no theory can
> even theoretically become identical to it? Because theories are necessarily
> constructed of ideas, concepts, words, and memes. No matter how sophisticated
> or accurate they are, theories cannot become what they describe. This allows
> for pluralism: there can be many maps of the territory, all accurate but all
> focussing on diffent aspects of Truth(tm). Is that a reasonable Hegelian-like
> synthesis?

Ken Pantheists            
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