Sunday, April 10, 2011

A post-modernism test

This test will indicate to what extent you are open to understanding post-modernism. The test below presents two sequences of numbers. Choose the list that seems to make the most sense.

A:   4, 7, 3, 8, 5, 1, 9, 2, 6
B:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Choice A:
This choice is the post-modernist choice. If an unordered list of numbers makes as much sense to you as an obviously ordered list, then you might not find post-modernism hard to understand.

Choice B:
If you chose B, then you might be confused by post modernism.

Analysis of test:

Both lists present numbers of no particular relevance. After all, what does the number 4 or 7 (or whatever) have to do with anything? List A is unordered, and makes the meaningless of the numbers obvious. This list symbolizes the endless flux of reality. List B has been ordered. The act of ordering has imposed human meaning on the endless flux of numbers. The human mind is attracted to such order, because it is the only way to grasp something about the flux.

But where is the truth in an unordered list of numbers? There is none. The numbers by themselves don't mean anything. Even in list B, the numbers themselves have no intrinsic meaning. The truth of list B is contained in it's order. Truth is that which humans bring to endless flux, to structure it, to represent it to the mind in a way that allows one to usefully deal with it. The opposite is to have no useful representation, which is simply confusion.

Post-modernism asserts that the imposition of order on the world, and the desire to grasp the nature and structure of things... is a culturally induced fantasy that has no relation to reality. They look at the list above and chose A, not because it makes sense to them, but because list B does make sense, and they believe that this sensible ordering of list B is a lie. In their view, they choose the truth of the endless flux over the lie of the ordered universe. They believe that not knowing is the truth, and that knowing is a lie.

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