The reason why a Futurist is a Mindhunter
I recently binge watched David Fincher’s Mindhunter. It is a brilliant, very entertaining, and fascinating TV series. But there was something else that made me watch more carefully. It was this abstruse atmosphere that gave me the chills, watching great spirits who encountered almost violent opposition from somehow mediocre minds, namely, in form of disregard of their work efforts and how all of it could actually help and lead to preferred outcomes for everyone. Why did it give me the chills? Because it just reminded me of my own situation in such a weird way. The resemblance I witnessed was breath-taking, as well as the difference. As a futurist my subjects are not like in behavioral crime research specifically or primarily pathological, one should assume. However, exactly that made me personally realize the actual systemic, collective, and individual pathology of an allegedly meritocratic, but rampant, and with cognitive biases fueled, ill-guided overall systemic direction we are collectively extrapolating and individually complicit of.
As a futurist you slowly learn that there is something irreparably broken, an understanding of the irreversible nature of choices in the present that becomes the past, combined with the excessive display of ignorance for those consequences in the future. You feel entirely alone knowing nobody is going to waste their time and resources to fix this. You have the knowledge about the future, but you realize how useless and impotent you actually are, being confronted with an army of obstacles and limitations. The mission impossible becomes your desperate attempt to cope with a reality you are fully aware could be entirely different. You begin to count the number of alternatives like counting sheep in order to fall asleep, but instead you continue to stay awake throughout the night with the thought in your mind that the gap between possibility and probability is not only a matter of sheer chance, but an effort of tremendous sacrifice that could consume you entirely, if you are not being careful enough.
And here we are already spoiling the end of the TV series Mindhunter, and asking the question; WTF does it mean, that that what we are trying to understand and therefore solve, and overcome, begins to embrace us? The lines between good and evil were always only a binary simplification, purely serving power structures, not a simplicity at all. Reading between the lines is the most futuristic intellectual endeavor to comprehend the socio-economic and psychological confabulations that surround us. We are totally enmeshed in the lies of our decadence and fears. We begin to understand the very meaning of complicity; the nature of symbolic, anonymous, systemic, and structural violence; malignancy and exacerbation of systemic tendencies towards self-destruction; confabulations that become reality; propagandistic mass manipulation and mass surveillance; cognitive biases; social dynamics; self-fulfilling prophecies; wishful thinking; idealistic dreaming; and utopian delusions. After all that, we see the world differently and cannot go back anymore. Why would we anyways? Being in the here and now itself already feels like being in the past, stuck in archaic images. We have seen what will be next, and not in the hypothetical way described in the subjunctive. We know for a fact, because that is all what we do, thinking about it, and exploring the world in its entire structure and organization, of complexity and interconnectedness, comprehending causality and causation.
The next step however is the most crucial within the historic progress of mankind and civilization. We need to translate our understanding of pathology and ponerology into measures that serve the overall well-being of our species. Right now, one could provocatively speculate and argue that we witness exactly the opposite, once again not learning form the atrocities of our recorded history. I watched Jerome Glenn’s talk at Google on November 18, 2009 on Youtube. He knew about the task ahead already back then, regarding trans-national organized crimes, their penetration and subversion of the political infrastructure of our immaterial accomplishments of civilization, as well as the unnoticed oppression and psychological torture of an inhumane system that might lead to the emergence of dangerous individuals, acting alone, or instigated and manipulated by interest groups organized in secrecy. One should also not underestimate the pervasive power that labeling theory illustrates in the attempt to push people into directions of pathological existence, both as a strategy to disarm uncomfortable emancipatory opposition, as well as to create the problems that justify the perpetuation of the status quo.