What happened a century ago? The codes opening the doors of perception had changed. They had been changed from above. Elites invented relativity. Also a poison gas. Folks invented, too. They had changed codes form below. The populist masses invented social revolutions. What’s the score? Here is the bill of the elites. Science became more sublime. Art became more unexpected. And here the bill of the masses. Revolutions can be sparked by a twit. Enjoyed art can be reproduced mechanically, for instance on Chaplin’s assembly line.
Both parties also lost. No professional group can safely claim monopoly of knowledge. Doctors, lawyers, politicians, academics – have to face a second opinion. Neither God nor Darwin. Neither evolution nor intelligent design. The case is pending. The court of reason postpones the latest judgement. Masses also lost. Industrial workers cannot compete with gays and lesbians. Black citizens face the immigrants from Latin America and Asia with competing claims to victimhood.
What next? The codes opening the windows of opportunity had changed. Einsteins made us aware that a point of view makes a point. Duchamps convinced us that that if we can admire toilet ceramics today, we shall love cans soup tomorrow and Reichstags or Central Parks wrapped up in plastic the day after. Robots of the world unite?
Haarlem, March 14, 2019