…of the mind
Your Eyewitness has been pondering over the President and his PNC Government’s stance on the Constitution in general and the consequences of the NCM. He wondered whether they really didn’t understand the constitutional stipulations for which they keep being dragged over to the courts and getting bitch-slapped! Or is it they’re just playing the fool because they want to hang onto power by any means necessary. As you, dear readers, would know, he’s been leaning towards the latter.
But a friend suggested a different reason for their obdurateness – they just can’t see the light, ‘cause they’re suffering from “epistemic insouciance”!! What’s that, you ask? Well you just echoed your Eyewitness, complete with raised eyebrows and all!! “Epistemic insouciance”, I was informed, is a “vice of the mind” that’s always afflicted a lot of us, but which has taken on a whole new significance in this age of fake news. The fella who popularised the term informs us that “An epistemic vice is a personal intellectual failing – usually a character trait, attitude or way of thinking – that systematically obstructs the gaining, keeping or sharing of knowledge.”
And what are some of these “vices of the mind”, you ask? ‘Intellectual pride, negligence, idleness, cowardice, conformity, carelessness, rigidity, prejudice, wishful thinking, close-mindedness, insensitivity to detail, obtuseness, and lack of thoroughness’. And as you can tell just by looking at the list: like the regular “moral vices”, such as sloth and greed, which we’ve been warned against, these can also stunt our minds and cripple our actions.
“Epistemic insouciance” is an attitude of casual indifference – a “dong-kay damm” attitude – about the facts, and this is the epistemic vice that’s key to understanding the position of the PNC politicians on the Constitution since they came into power. They really don’t give a horse’s ass about the facts that undergird the Constitution, and they therefore spout bullshit as a matter of course. Unlike when “lying”, the PNC don’t care whether what they say is true or not. All they care about is the IMPRESSION they make – on their supporters, who’re predisposed to believe them, for one reason or another.
They don’t care about what the Opposition thinks!!
Think of it. Why else would Granger say that Art 162 (2) of the Constitution — to select the GECOM Chair — meant he had to be “a judge OR a judge”!?! And why else would he and his chorus clamour “33 isn’t greater than 32”??!! There’s got to be something radically wrong with these folks…and we now know what it is – epistemic insouciance!!
Can it be cured?? Of course; but like all vices, the victim first has to admit he’s ill!! Which the PNC will never do!!
Yesterday being “International Day for Women in Science”, its focus would strike a discordant note in Guyana, where the STEM subjects in the high schools and in university are all dominated by female high flyers!! Even our Minister of Telecommunications is female, as well as the individual who took the lead in introducing Robotics and STEM in our schools. So we ought to pat ourselves on the back for our forward thinking – and make sure as we translate all this brain power into industries and business, women are represented in TOP MANAGEMENT!!
But the age-old vice that has haunted women – male violence against them, starting from childhood – is sadly alive and (literally) kicking; and from the statistics, even increasing. What’s going on?? One theory is that the excellence displayed by females in the schools, which is being translated into them demanding equality in all areas of life, might be exactly what’s fuelling male rage, since they can’t deal with the new reality.
And this is what we have to rectify here.
…of corrupting institutions
Back in the day, the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Sir Harold Bollers, was once described as a “toothless poodle” because of his slavish obedience to Burnham’s whims and fancies.
So what do we call Justice James Patterson?