Non-overlapping magisteria

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The Devil’s Advocate

Blackstar.png
The symbol of the great delamination.

In which the curmudgeonly old sod puts the world to rights.

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The JC is cultivating a theory that, at a point in the last decade the online universe and the real universe diverged — “delaminated” — set off along their own independent, meandering trajectories ever since, finally lost contact and now bear absolutely no relation to each other.

The great delamination

The JC dates that loss of contact to 2016 — specifically, 10 January 2016, or “BlackStar”. The “great delamination” at which the digital/analogue separation became irreversible, is a key inflexion point in the social history of the 21st century.

The digital and analogue worlds have become “non-overlapping magisteria” to use Stephen Jay Gould’s excellent term from Rocks of Ages. It is a category error to apply standards in one to situations arising in the other.

Disentanglement

Because the magisteria are fully “disentangled” — the causal arrow is broken in both directions — it has become impossible for independent observers in one magisterium to understand corresponding rationales imported from the other.

This presents a “cancellation problem” for subjects who still equate their own personal congnitive states between the two worlds. Whereas to an observer, digital person A and analogue person A’ are distinct and unconnected, in person A’s own mind they are, of course, one and the same.

Many of the serial sociopolitical and cultural disasters we are encountering at the moment are the result of people confusing their magisteria.

See also