Hi Chris. I got a loan of “Content and Consciousness” from the California library system. I’m just getting started. I think Illich’s critiques are overblown, but I’m interested in seeing his prescriptions for improvement. In my current view he appears to be poorly grounded in what is, and what’s possible.

Thanks again for expanding my horizons. This is the first time I’ve heard of Isabelle Stengers.

I don’t have the knowledge base to comment on your first two paragraphs.

I think I understand the “importing of the anxieties of market completion into scientific discourse”, but I’m not sure I know what you mean by “enslaving the sciences to technology”.

I take it that with “the calamity humanity recently inflicted upon itself out of fear of a disaster” you are referring to the covid pandemic. Yes?

I heartily agree that “Authentic knowledge is the result of following the questions wherever they lead – even and especially when they lead down the slowest path that brings us to further questions. Desire for rapid decisions cannot be allowed to undermine our commitment to collectively pursuing the truth at its own speed.” This ideal cannot always be met, but currently, for a variety of reasons, we appear to be moving away rather than toward it.

“Whenever we let fear of calamity overwhelm our clarity of thinking, we place ourselves in immense danger”. Although the free flow of ANY emotion is intrinsic to our humanity, for any significant social decision to be productive, emotion needs to stay out of the driver’s seat.

I might be starting to share your dim view of various current institutions. Last night my wife had us start to watch “Encounters”, a five episode Netflix documentary supposedly presenting hard evidence for encounters with outer space aliens. This morning I got suckered into watching a slick, long sales video: https://www.bostonbrainscience.com/os/

for brain enchantment pills (I think - I cut off before the hard pitch) that claimed to be backed by many peer reviewed scientific articles. It seems to me that at least in the US a significant chunk of the population is living in a reality that is quite at odds with what is.

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