steelweaver - Reality as failed state - tl;dr version (I like doing this)
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Collectively, there is no longer a single cultural arena of dialogue.
What many techno-scientists fail to understand - and thus find most frustrating - about dealing with climate change deniers is that the denier has no real interest in engaging at the scientist’s level of reality.
The point, for the climate denier, is not that the truth should be sought with open-minded sincerity – it is that he has declared the independence of his corner of reality from control by the overarching, techno-scientific consensus reality. He has withdrawn from the reality forced upon him and has retreated to a more comfortable, human-sized bubble.
In these terms, the denier’s retreat from consensus reality approximates the role of the cellular insurgents in Afghanistan vis-a-vis the American occupying force: this overarching behemoth I rebel against may well represent something larger, more free, more wealthy, more democratic, or more in touch with objective reality, but it has been imposed upon me (or I feel it has), so I am going to withdraw from it into illogic, emotion and superstition and from there I am going to declare war upon it.
So, from this point of view, we can meaningfully refer to deniers, birthers, Tea Partiers and so forth as “reality insurgents”, and thus usefully apply the principles of 4GW to their activities – notably, they are clearly operating on a faster OODA loop than the defenders of mainstream reality, and thus able to respond more quickly, with greater innovation, than the sclerotic bureaucracy of institutionalised reality. [Open source bazaars – media-effective denial memes spread virally through community far quicker than effective strategies of rebuttal do.]
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The deniers are operating from a different ontological platform – an emotional reading of reality where there are forces wishing to control them and restrict their personal power and agency, and there are the forces of freedom, which is the side they believe they are on.
They are wrong, of course, but it is important to demonstrate to them that they are wrong on the level they are operating from – not by citing more climate statistics at them, but by demonstrating that the forces they are serving are actually the most vicious extant representatives of the control they profess to hate.
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