Public Reasoning in "Post-Truth" Times: Technoscientific Imaginaries of "Smart" Futures
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OriginalversjonIn: Rommetveit, K. (Ed.). (2021). Post-Truth Imaginations: New Starting Points for Critique of Politics and Technoscience. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429053061-8
Our current “post-truth” era seems to some extent to be a moment of competing realities, where future imaginations are no longer shared within society. Among the many optimistic narratives and imaginaries of progress, growth, control, and rational order manifesting themselves in contemporary society, those of “smart” abound – especially in relation to technoscience. Although deeply value-laden, desired “smart” futures such as “smart grids” or “smart cities” seem to gain traction and become dominant (or even hegemonic) prospective futures. These constructed “truth regimes” are typically characterised by lack of context and particularity, fuzziness, standardised subjects, and a bracketing of contingency. This chapter presents a critique of such “smart” imaginaries, examining the logics behind them and their role in contemporary society. Some of the ways in which they normatively reduce space for democratic engagement are isolated, but in the end, it is argued that in the contemporary post-truth “times of interregnum”, there is also opportunity for alternative imaginaries that might open up new spaces for public reason to thrive.