What is nonsense? An introduction to an examination of nonsense by example.
In the following weeks I will be publishing a series of essays called Examining nonsense. These essays take a speech and analyse it with the intention of revealing whether it is nonsense or not.
At this point, dear reader, you should be provided with a description of the speech in question. However, this speech is so vague that it is difficult to describe. It is like describing a cloud in precise detail: A cloud is always changing, and has no distinct form, and therefore it is nearly impossible to describe it in precise detail. Such is also the case for this speech. I would therefore advise you to simply watch the speech yourself. Nevertheless, here follows an attempt at a description of it.
The speech is titled “I tried to wake you up” and is given by conspiracy theorist and former footballer David Icke. It sets a conspiratory tone before poorly rephrasing some notions from philosophy and science in an effort to build the idea that our perception consists entirely of vibrations. It goes on to add dark energy and dark matter into this. Why this is added is not explained. In the end it concludes:
So, when you open your mind and open your heart, your frequency goes up. Provable fact, measurable. As your frequency goes up, you’re now being able to hold and access more and more and more information. And thus you become more aware, more knowledgeable, more insightful, more intuitive.
This concludes the description of the speech itself. I recommend listening to it for a fuller understanding of it. Now, to talk about it, and to argue for its analysis.
The speech being examined is an example of a speaker exploiting the listener’s willingness to interpret benevolently. It consists of A-grade nonsense which borrows credibility and authority from respected and accredited topics and people, such as science and Nikola Tesla. It will likely be a good object for analysis.
Examining nonsense was motivated by the question of how philosophy can aid normal people in their everyday lives. All academic pursuits equip people with tools to detect nonsense, but philosophy is particularly useful in this because it teaches one to detect nonsense in a universal way.
This means that while a physicist might be good at debunking scientific nonsense, she may not be so well equipped to deal with social nonsense. The philosopher on the other hand sees nonsense not in terms of a specific study, e.g., physics or sociology, but for what it is in its essence: the lack of meaning, or sense. This series tries to be an example of that, namely by examining nonsense.
Thank you for your time, and I hope that you will enjoy the further reading. The first essay properly examining the speech will be published on Wednesday the 10thof November, 2021.
The speech in question can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqFgSwCu4LQ&list=FLUXn9vn8Br5VXy4CnvapwRg&index=1
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