Broken Wisdom

Clever words, sayings, mind blowing, penetrating ideas and sophisms – they circulate everyday on social platforms. They’re un-dignifyingly called „inspirational quotes”. Bits of brilliant knowledge that, for years and centuries, were kept prisoners between the covers of books and magazines, hidden deep in strange, dark places like archives and libraries when no man ever set foot without a certain sense of purposefulness and commitment. They were made for few eyes; and for even fewer minds.

Now they’re everywhere, coming and going like clouds in a windy spring day. Sometimes they make you read them twice and mumble to yourself „good one this one!”. So you „like” it or „retweet” it. And then you move on to a YouTube jam and then you play FarmVill, and then you go shopping.

We like sophisms and „inspirational quotes”. We like them precisely because they were taken out their original context. Someone did the dirty job for is, kindly removing the trash out of our way, so that we can savor the pure beauty of some words of wisdom. Who needs context when we can have the essence? Who needs the story when we can have the plot? Get to the point, say it quick, say it smart! Don’t get entangled in a web of branchy explanations!

We have no time and no respect for broader, cumulative perspectives and, to be honest, we don’t even understand that s**t. It is hard to get, therefore irrelevant. That complicated stuff is not inspirational, it just give you a headache. Again, get to the point. Say it smart. Hit it hard. Be yourself an inspiration or find an inspirational quote to hang out there, on your wall.

You and your followers will forget it minutes after they liked it anyway.

And, in the large scheme of things, these quotes mean nothing. They change nothing and no one. They live gloriously a couple of minutes, hours, a few days at the most. Like insects. Like scattered ashes of some great man.

The internet is indeed the medium that glorifies the choice; anyone’s choice. It is the medium of all non-stake options, of false hierarchies, of derivations, and of everything that is irrelevant and reversible; a refined thinking is one click away from an obtuse debate and all platforms promote, as a rule, an abstinence from meaning. Good, bad, and neutral values, news, polemics and pieces of information are meeting and merging together forming a swarming orgy that not even a strong, ascetic mind could successfully dominate.

The use of online resources – inherently lacking in precision – easily leads to the “infantilisation” of us all: we have grown accustomed to ask more and more questions about everything, without taking the time to examine the profound nature of the answers we receive.

We have grown accustomed to wait for the inspiration to come in the form of some quotes coming from a great book written by a great man we know nothing about. We rely on nothing, but broken wisdom.


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