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Welcome to another Mindf*ck Monday, the only weekly newsletter where the ideas are as good as the jokes are bad. Each week, I send you three potentially life-changing ideas to help you be a slightly less awful human being. This week, we’re talking about 1) the conflict between modernism and postmodernism and why it matters, 2) how irony will be the death of us, and 3) building the skill of self-questioning.
Let’s get into it.
1. Winning the meta-war - You’ve probably heard the words “modernism” and “postmodernism” before. Perhaps you heard them uttered by a stuffy professor or some nerd with a bow-tie in an art gallery. But I’d like to take a few minutes this week to convince you that they are practical and important terms.
First, some definitions. Modernism is the assumption that the world is clearly-defined and measurable. There are facts that exist independently of any of us. Gravity will always be gravity. Two plus two will always be four.
Modernism arose in the 17th century, with the scientific revolution, and later, the Enlightenment. Modernists held that our understanding of the reality could be infinitely improved upon through experimentation, observation, and reason.
Postmodernism, on the other hand, …
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