Episode 5: Big Cats & Suspicion

In this episode, Dr. Martinez drifts along with a recent viral video about Siberian Tigers and drones with the help of French Philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s comments on suspicion and appreciation.

This episode builds off the first NTK blog post about this topic.

It all started when a the viral video of Siberian Tigers chasing and destroying a drone appeared in newsfeeds and social media.

Despite its initial success in garnering lots of “likes” and posts about “l love cats” and “good for them, good for me“,  the video was quickly followed by a Vice.com “expose” of the video.

Turns out the video is “actually bad.”

In these two very different responses to tigers and drones is a very clear example of what French philosopher Paul Ricoeur referred to as a “hermeneutics of suspicion” and a “hermeneutics of appreciation.”

His thoughts can be found in his book Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation.

What was fascinating about this moment in social media hype was the timing of the viral video and the critical response.

The sheer timing of the release of the video and the critical response creates and feeds into current appetites for “debunking.”

Questions emerge about what the effect is of this debunking style, whether intentionally used or not.

Could it be that the real consequences of fake news is not a “misinformed” nation, but a nation of people who simply cannot trust anything they experience first hand?

What if “fake news” is really a product of an appetite for pursuing/creating/and performing “debunking” and suspicion as marks of “intelligence” or “enlightened knowledge?”

What if being a critical thinker today has now become synonymous with being suspicious?

Is there any worth in genuine encounter and learning, or critical processes that require a honed desire for LEARNING for appreciation and not simply suspicion?