Post-horror and the epistemic chaos of platform capitalism

It occurred to me yesterday that the epistemological chaos of platform capitalism now figures in popular awareness to a sufficient degree (albeit mediated through epistemically lazy liberal tropes) that its outgrowths now figure in horror films. See the Knock at the Cabin which tells the story of an affable family’s idyllic rural retreat being ruined by a doomsday cult who met on a message board:

Like other post-horror films it plays with the question of who we should trust when the apocalypse comes. The cult members are obviously deranged, with a lingering possibility that derangement has led them to stage an elaborate ruse. But does the epistemically unacceptable basis for their beliefs (meeting on a message board) or the content of those beliefs (the imminent apocalypse) justify assuming they are necessarily wrong?

It is this doubt which an otherwise flawed film plays with expertly over ninety minutes and I think it captures a broader epistemic predicament which is becoming widespread: faith in our doxa is breaking down at the same time as challenges to it are emerging because these are two sides of the same process. This means living with the lingering suspicion that those heralding imminent catastrophe might very well be right, in spite of the reservations we have about who they are and how they came to those views.

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