BLOGOSPHERE — In what major bloggers see as a defining moment for bottom-up journalism, major bloggers warned yesterday that the universe itself may be a clever forgery.
The controversy began in a late-night entry on PhiloBlog.com, where a poster identified only as “Duckhead” challenged the notion that any kind of objective reality exists at all.
“What is reality anyway?” the entry read in part. “Reality is what is filtered through our senses. Maybe what you see as red, I see as blue. Maybe what tastes like Mountain Dew to me tastes like Pespi to you.”
Within minutes over two dozen major bloggers had picked up on the post, including Jason Kottke of Kottke.org and Rob Malda (aka CmdrTaco) of Slashdot.
“This makes a lot of sense to me,” wrote Kottke. “The nonexistence of absolute truth may very well explain us to ourselves.”
Citing the works of deconstructionist philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Barbara Johnson, Kottke revealed further flaws in the assumption of an empirically verifiable reality.
“Everything we experience is, ultimately, a construction of our minds,” he wrote, “and thus the universe and everything in it is also a construction.”
But Malda took a more practical approach in his post, listing phenomena only comprehensible if Duckhead’s theory is true.
“I understand everything now,” wrote Malda. “I’ve always been baffled by the existence of such things as genocide, child abuse, Freddie Prinz Jr. and Glitter: The Mariah Carey Story, but if it’s right that these things are just figments of our — possibly demented — imaginations, everything becomes clear.”
Less than an hour after major bloggers latched onto the story it appeared on Matt Drudge’s The Drudge Report, and from there it was soon picked up by mainstream media outlets, including CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN.
Empiricists were scrambling this morning to counter the claims made by Duckhead.
“Come on. Empiricism is the foundation of all modern civilization,” said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. “Everything we know about the world around us demonstrates that our reality is more or less aligned with that of others. Unless you’re psychotic or Rush Limbaugh or something.”
In a rare show of unity theologians joined scientists in denouncing the blog post.
“God created the universe for us to enjoy,” said Dr Marcus Hennman, associate professor of philosophy and philosophical theology at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, CA. “Scripture teaches over and over that the physical world, flawed as it may be, is very much objectively real.”
But such statements did not calm the storm currently swirling through the blogosphere.
By noon EST today many major bloggers, including Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit.com, were calling into question God’s prior knowledge of the true nature of the reality.
“We have to ask: ‘What did God know, and when did he know it?'” Reynolds wrote. “If it’s true that God made us in such a way that the vast majority of people are living a gigantic illusion then I think he has no other options but to step down.”
“That’s if God himself isn’t a fraudulent construction of our psyches,” he added.
God did not immediately return prayerful requests for comment.
But, noted Reynolds, “whatever happens in the days and weeks to follow, this is a defining moment for bottom-up journalism.”Powered by Sidelines