Whose truths

The new Zeitgeisters value the subjective as well as the objective. If someone says 'I feel good' or 'I feel bad', this is a truth. They listen to emotions and credit these with due seriousness. They look at the effects on deeper psychology and believe these are important in city-making. They'd 'rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong'.6 They agree with those who believe the notion of a stable, unwavering truth waiting to be discovered has been discredited. Fritz Capra summarizes succinctly the point made earlier:

My conscious decision about how to observe, say, an electron, will determine the electron's properties to some extent. If I ask it a particle question, it will give me a particle answer; if I ask it a wave question it will give me a wave answer. The electron does not have objective properties independent of my mind. In atomic physics the sharp Cartesian division between mind and matter, between the observer and the observed, can no longer be maintained. We can never speak of nature without speaking about ourselves.7

The new Zeitgeisters want to encourage a conceptual shift in what we take seriously and how we view things. Most importantly, they have a value base. It is based on curiosity about 'the other' and so is interested in cross-cultural connections and not inward-looking, tribal behaviour. It believes in bending markets to bigger picture objectives such as greater social equity, care for the environment or aspirational goals. The market on its own has no values; it is only a mechanism. The emerging spirit of the times tries to think holisti-cally.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment