The Four Post-Modernizations

Second Question:
Aren't You Assuming a Multitude of Conspiracies?

No. I am not, so far as I am aware, postulating so much as a single one. As Laplace said in another context, ``Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothé se.'' When, for instance, I claim that the mass media encourage neophilia, to their own pecuniary benefit, I am not saying that neophilia is a dastardly plot imposed by Big Business on a populace which would just as soon be dancing round May-poles and singing ``Barbara Allen.'' Given a neophile audience, the mass media will appeal to, among other things, its neophilia, to ensure their own acceptance and hence sales. The rationale is obvious - those whose products so appeal will do better than those whose products do not. The pitch may even be made with perfect sincerity. Since the media are popular and influential, they will reinforce the prevailing neophilia, and encourage the wavering or doubtful. Since the resulting demand for specifically new products benefits the industry as a whole, it can survive and prosper. Conspiracy is not only false but irrelevant.

That this should have to be said is frankly a bad sign. One would hope that two centuries of evolutionary biology, ``nebular hypotheses'', statistical mechanics, cybernetics, etc., would have taught all educated people the lesson that order does not imply an organizer:

The locusts have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands.