Hand washing is a primal act of trust. We desire sanitation, so we wash our hands. But why don’t we do jumping jacks or rub our hands together to “frictionize” the germs away?
From a young age, our parents taught us the value in hand-washing. Later on, we personally learned the science and had the practice reaffirmed by authoritative bodies. This act is trust because we cannot complete the tests to view the truth for ourselves.
If this doesn’t appear an act of trust, then it’s merely blind trust. Unspoken faith in an unforeseen act.
Any daily act of grooming, activity, or productivity is based on trust of something. Trust in the process that produces an outcome.
Reason is involved as well. When policy or culture fail to reason, our intellect does its job to root out fallacy. When women and minorities are excluded from business and governmental roles, a pendulum is released and culture begins to shift.
This is the basis for social contracts- trust counterbalanced by reason.
But what happens to a society whose reason is impaired? Aldous Huxley asked and answered this question in Brave New World speculating that psychological conditioning through repetition would transform the world in an identical image.
His dystopian society hadn’t just stopped thinking and started laughing, “they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking.”
So if a culture becomes ensnared by a technology that can manipulate, not just our behavior, but our thoughts, social contract theory is out the window.
Trust becomes worse than blind- it’s ignorant. And ignorant is not what we can be when it comes to cornerstone behaviors we practice in culture.
We need to proceed with our eyes wide open, so that we may use technology rather than be used by it.Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
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