Embracing Empiricism

SAMIR MARDOLKER explains the concept of empiricism and how it will help break the influencer force in the near future

2024 adds to number 8; composed of two full circles or rings side by side to make a symmetrical figure. Number 8 is considered the Great Karmic Equaliser; a force that can create as well as it can destroy.

One way in which you contribute to the creator force or the destroyer force is by taking a considered view on what opinions you share and support on social media. In particular, on contentious topics like wars, religious divides, governance, tech replacing labour etc. Needless to say, the very act of sharing without thorough review of all facts and context adds to the risk of unnecessary provocation and nudges us toward a polarised society. Presumably, we are less likely to have the time and bandwidth for thorough review of facts. Surely, you would have experienced mindless sharing on whatsapp. And we all have gone through the exchanges that follow. What starts as joke is then gets into destructive conversation. So it is advisable NOT to share mindlessly on contentious topics.

If you still do decide to share, then at least let it not be unsolicited sharing. If you still can’t control your desire to share and send it to all in your group, at least do not mindlessly forward but add your perspective or agenda in sharing the same. Also add what response you are seeking.

So much for sharing; now come to how the karmic forces act if we are receivers of content. The destructive forces are at play if we let the content we read influence us. In particular, when there is sharing that calls for an action to be taken. Such action may be following a practice, buying a product or endorsing an opinion. If you do come across

you can add to the creator force by not being easily influenced on the choices you are being asked to make.

Remember, there is an entire industry thriving on influencing you but your best bet is to adopt sense of empiricism i.e. believe that true knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from sensory experiences i.e. seeing, touching, experiencing etc. Leaning on empiricism whenever possible helps break the micro influencer chain and adds to the ‘creator force’.

A Bollywood blockbuster that epitomises empiricism is Aankhon Dekhi (Through my own eyes). The movie instills a sense of empiricism through personal choice and experience where Bauji rejects to believe anything he is told unless he has seen it himself and whenever people say something is one way or another, he nods that it might be, without acknowledging it.

Brands are also guilty of fuelling the ‘influencer’ industry. As we know, increasing marketing dollars go into identifying and garnering the support of influencers. Needless to say, in many instances, the influencers are mindlessly (without evaluating themselves) propagating the brand message. So, if we follow what we are told, we risk a bad outcome.

As the number of influencers and the messages they send to us increase, it is intuitive to conclude that their influence will degrade as well. Brands may then go ‘back to basics’ and adopt techniques that help support empiricism. For instance, trial offers and sampling. Influencers, if at all, will then earn their credentials by way of basing their product support claims on empiricism.

I see empiricism as the counter trend that will gain traction once the world realises that too much of influencing, as with everything done excessively, is not too good. I hope that you will embrace empiricism for the rest of 2024 and beyond and let the year be aligned to the creator force.

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