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Wisdom of Crowds

Dec 9, 2022

The boys are back in town! Damir is back from yet another globetrotting trip, so the Crowd is returning to podcasting after a brief hiatus. Beginning with Kanye West's recent antisemitic interview with Alex Jones and dinner with Donald Trump, we discussed the success Democrats have had with pinning crazy candidates and viewpoints on the GOP. Shadi is concerned that overheated rhetoric about the death of democracy may be harmful in the long run, while Damir, ever the cynic, is impressed by the dirty politics.

Of course, propping up crackpot candidates in a primary so that they can be beaten in the general election is a risky maneuver. Will covertly helping Donald Trump stay in the race invite divine judgement? Less theologically, how many people who seriously believed rhetoric about encroaching fascism will ever let that belief go? Shadi and Damir consider whether the "split personality" created by lives lived increasingly online leads to belief in outlandish, alarmist claims.

In Part 2 (available here for subscribers), Shadi, on a characteristically theological tangent, wonders what Heaven will be like. Will we be able to know the deepest thoughts of our friends and acquaintances? Will we even have the identities and selves that we do now?

Damir, also considering a (relatively) "undiscovered country" fills the Crowd in on his recent trip to Japan. What about Japan do Westerners not understand? Is it a modern, "Western" country, or some other, stranger, form of modernity. And are the media's representations of Japan as a deeply dysfunctional society all that accurate?

Required Reading:

  • “Can You Pair Bond During Cybersex?” by Elizabeth Dee (Default Friend).
  • “Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination,” by Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine).
  • Patrick Stewart’s scene with Ricky Gervais on Extras.