Phantom Knowledge

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If phantom pain is the pain you feel in a sorely missing part of your body, then phantom knowledge is the knowledge you feel to have about a feat you sorely missed (see) performing. It does happen that phantom knowledge contributes to the Midas syndrome, the phenomenon that when you get what you want, the world deteriorates.

The current (it is November 16, 2020) implosion of the US political system, with an incumbent president refusing to transfer office to his intended successor even though he won the election, with a renewed COVID-19 wave demanding more healthcare capacity than available, leading to severe lock-downs in a growing number of severely-hit states that the economy (predictably again) will not be able to cope with – that the current implosion of the American political system is an example of what a toxic cocktail mixing phantom knowledge with the Midas syndrome is.

By phantom knowledge I mean for example today’s tweet at 2:51 pm local time by Donald J. Trump: I won the Election! That tweet differs from the official count of the votes cast. And I mean by Midas syndrome, for instance, the strange phenomenon that whoever finds the state of disintegration in which the new president of the United States will find the federation that he takes over in January in a state that he intended it to be, at least if Trump were the one to take over. Trump as the savior of the country. Trump, who has shrunk the US and its reputation to such an extent that there indeed is extensive room for improvement. Make America Great Again!

Today on CNN there was a report on the discord and divide that have arisen and deepened in the US. Phantom knowledge plays a role there. A woman dying of the virus warned her daughter that the virus is a hoax, she didn’t agree.

The US now has more than 250,000 COVID deaths, an economy that has been hit once again and a political climate that has been crumbling for decades under the pressures of phantom knowledge. It has become unstable as a result.

The state of the union is like you have never seen before