torsdag 31 augusti 2017

Orwell's 1984 Doublethink vs Copenhagen Interpretation

Here is how Orwell describes doublethink in his famous book 1984:
  • Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. 
  • The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. 
  • The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.
  • Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.
  • To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies --all this is indispensably necessary. 
  • Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. 
  • Ultimately it is by means of doublethink that the Party has been able --and may, for all we know, continue to be able for thousands of years -- to arrest the course of history.
  • All past oligarchies have fallen from power either because they ossified or because they grew soft. Either they became stupid and arrogant, failed to adjust themselves to changing circumstances, and were overthrown; or they became liberal and cowardly, made concessions when they should have used force, and once again were overthrown. 
  • They fell, that is to say, either through consciousness or through unconsciousness. It is the achievement of the Party to have produced a system of thought in which both conditions can exist simultaneously. 
  • And upon no other intellectual basis could the dominion of the Party be made permanent. If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality.
Can we see something of doublethink in our present (Western, liberal, democratic) society? Yes, climate alarmism has all the features of doublethink and The Party, and so has quantum mechanics, the incarnation of modern physics, with wave-particle duality, complementarity and denial of reality as flagrant expressions of doublethink, all according to the Copenhagen Interpretation lead by Bohr acting as the Party. 

Think of that!

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