Consilience helps maintain heterodox perspectives about tribalized subjects like the vaccine for COVID-19.

With uncertainty and fear public figures are called upon to provide reassurance and leadership. They ask experts who attempt to figure out the best way forwards but, with a novel virus and overlapping complex-critical systems, they succumb to the temptation of projecting certainty that is not justified. When these dynamics are mixed with tribal loyalties that have exacerbated over the last few years the subject becomes combustible.

On the one side are believers in vaccines as a route to freedom and health, on the other are those who worry about the erosion of personal liberties.

About a matter that is fast-evolving and so complex, relating to science, public policy, the economy and politics, there are no simple answers. We need to maintain an open mind and have the freedom to debate the matter without falling into tropes.

I wrote this article Vaccines vs. Ivermectin: Dialogue is More Valuable than Facts explaining that we can reach deeper levels of understanding by taking into account developments on the frontlines of science. For the first time in history it is possible to see the mechanisms operating in our brains and the profound significance of social interactions. These deeper levels of understanding, known as consilience, open our eyes to limits of reason and the value of collective sensemaking.

I took aim at Quillette, the online publication from Australia that abandoned their usual stance of representing those who wish to think for themselves and don’t treat complex matters as merely a quest to get everyone to fall in line with mainstream tribal positions. I posted this article titled, Quillette’s Heterodox FAIL.