Much has been written, and spoken about Gad Saad, he is after all a most exotic creature: a marketing analyst and observer of western culture, together with science and philosophy, and a spicy squeeze of pragmatic no-nonsense realism.
If my glib description above annoys you, I can report that it also annoys me!
Trying to accurately label someone like Professor Gad Saad is extremely difficult, he sits in the mix of today’s cultural wars like a clean guitar solo in a cacophony of heavy metal soloists.
I want to speak about Gad Saad because I feel not enough is being said about him, and the other warriors of sanity who are striving to bring us all to our senses, and who offer oasis of beautiful, clear speech in these very dark days.
Epistemology was a subject that appealed to me right from the outset.
I know this could sound a little pretentious, but I am not pretending here, there is nobody really to whom I could pretend, for all I know this piece of writing will become yet another series of 0’s & 1’s on the web, condemned to remain in the purgatory of eternal unknowing.
The subject of Epistemology is all about identifying truth, really, it concerns itself with the nature of what we know, how we come to know something and why we persist in maintaining this as knowledge.
I have always been imbued with a spirit of questing, of seeking out the whys and the reasons for why the universe and our world are as they appear. All scientists are like this, and all scientists should also be lovers of Epistemology, otherwise they become bishops and priests, not scientists.
Evolutionary Psychology, there is a subject label for you!
I do not pretend to be an expert in this subject, or even to know very much about how it arose in the academic unfolding, where it seems we have exponents of new subjects appearing frequently these days: it is almost as if people are making it up as they go along!
As an account for the development of humanity, and life on this planet I prefer the work of Arthur M Young to that of Darwin, I think that Arthur Young is yet another hero of truth who has been smudged and obscured by the scientific establishment; his Theory of Process takes the essential parts of Evolution and fashions an entire ‘Arc’ of development, but I am digressing here.
For Doctor Saad the development of ideas has a biological function, together with the patterns of consumption, choices of consumption and the mechanics of marketing as a whole.
Dr Saad is described as being “A leading public intellectual”, we seem to have many of these in today’s web driven social media, and the open market of popularity determines its own criteria of merit.
I first became aware of Gad Saad about 2 years ago, he posts regularly on YouTube, and Twitter and takes full advantage of the opportunities for exposure that web platforms enable; no surprises here because the man is supposed to be a Marketing expert, and therefore the measuring stick of their success is in fact their success with gaining public awareness.
Perhaps ‘public awareness’ is too broad a brush stroke, I don’t think there is really any such thing these days: we have become a fractured, specialised society, we have multiple factions, groups of shared values/views which coagulate in response to media exposures.
The merit of individuals has little to do with their fortune and fame, something else is at work here; any casual observer of popular culture knows this, the vapid and superficial seem to gain much greater traction than the truly gifted or talented very often, what winds up being popular is definitely not always of the highest merit.
The same applies to political and social movements, what gains approval and becomes the de facto creed can very often not be either healthy or aligned with truth and philosophical rigor.
The title of Dr Gad Saad’s latest book echoes this reference: The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas are Killing Common Sense.
This book is rather like a distillation of Dr Saad’s observations and ties in closely with the insights he has gained from pursuing his academic discipline, and after taking in many of his social media videos I recognise many of the topics.
The Scourge of Cancel Culture
We are confronted today by a genuine threat to the very hard-won tenets of freedom that we westerners have taken very much for granted; we have become so blase and self serving that we are failing to notice the pernicious spread of virtual lynch mobs who take it on themselves to define the purity of virtue, and anything which does not comply with these definitions is used to justify complete destruction of people’s careers, reputation and status.
Academia and public office are two of the most obvious areas where this cancel culture seems most acute; with the readiness of corporate entities to try and ingratiate themselves with the more vocal factions in today’s virtue signaling rife social world means that workers are also vulnerable, the recent spectacle of Coca Cola with its ‘Too White’ campaign typifies this.
Dr Gad Saad has entire lists of examples, he has even coined some new terms, one of my favorites is: Epistemological Bigotry , I will let the good doctor explain this to you in this video of an address he made in December of 2020, not long ago.
If you have detected that I personally like Dr Saad, and that I am very sympathetic to his work and his intentions, you would be 100% correct. I think individuals such as Gad Saad are cause for great hope, and celebration, we have among our number people who think, who value good common sense as this used to be known; we need people such as Dr Saad, and his work should be made as broadly known as possible, because this is the way back, the road that returns to forever (to coin a 70’s progressive music title). I think western civilisation is able to recover, and to continue, but it is now that we need to take the erosion seriously, time is growing shorter and more perilous. Dr Gad Saad has a prescription for the infection of bad ideas, take a listen to him for your own good.
The above link to Dr Gad Saad’s book is not an affiliate link, it is placed here for your interest only.