This makes a very good point about the growing hysteria as 20th century culture in all its forms disintegrates around us. Guilt by adjacency is ridiculous but, then, so is Jordan Peterson in my opinion. Ridiculous is not quite the right word for him but I haven’t yet been able to think of a proper label for the garden variety intellectual fascinated with exploring the concept of his own fame. The difficult part is that he accidentally, it seems, invented a version of himself that made it. It worked so well that he keeps repeating it. Ad nauseum.

The incipient hysteria on all sides is the result of the failure of the English language as major paradigm change shifts the meanings of many words into a new space. Everyone is being catapulted into a world of meta language and the least logical have jumped to the conclusion that nothing means anything so their darkest fantasies might as well be real. As with all cases of cross language communication when understanding disappears speaking louder while not listening is the solution of choice.

This reminds me of the story a friend tells of his time studying in Japan to become a Japanese language instructor. He, of course, is tall and blond with blue eyes. On a train to visit a friend for the first time he wasn’t sure of the stop and asked an older Japanese gentleman if the next stop was near the town he was looking for. The gentleman informed him that unfortunately he could not answer that question because he did not speak English. This was, of course, explained in Japanese. My friend apologized (always apologize) and explained that Japanese was fine and he just needed confirmation of the name of the next stop. This resulted in a louder explanation that it was impossible to answer that question because he did not speak English. There was nothing more to be said.

That seems to be very much what is happening. Guilt by adjacency is just another form of this confusion.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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