Friday, July 01, 2022

This sentence is false ...

Dazed and Confused, the song by Led Zeppelin, sums up the insanity raging through America as the country's vibe is not only crazed but stupid to a fault thanks to the rise of social media and the ability for the intellectually challenged to make their voices heard no matter how ridiculous their thought process may be, something exemplified by QAnon, a site proselytizing truly stupid shit 24/7. 

What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar. They built a tower “with its top in the heavens” to “make a name” for themselves. God was offended by the hubris of humanity and said:

Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.

The text does not say that God destroyed the tower, but in many popular renderings of the story he does, so let’s hold that dramatic image in our minds: people wandering amid the ruins, unable to communicate, condemned to mutual incomprehension.

Babel is not a story about tribalism. It’s a story about the fragmentation of everything.

Read the rest of Jonathan Haidt's excellent piece as he delves into the details of the tech equation of why Babel lives in the year of our lord 2022.

Illustration by Nicolás Ortega. Source: Belshazzar’s Feast, John Martin, 1820.

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