This is not Quaranthropology but it is a continuation of the story:
I like how in his films, Tarantino uses stories as a means of identification: this is my story, this is who I am, this is what I want and this is why you should trust me. But then there’s also a serious danger in that: What if I’m just a good storyteller but a very unreliable narrator? And what if I’m carrying a gun? What if I’m an undercover True Detective?
The plumber told me that his wife had passed away 2 years ago and he is now in quarantine with two teenage daughters. Well, not really in quarantine with them because he’s actually very busy with work so he can’t really be sure his daughters are quarantining. He suspected they were unreliable narrators but this wasn’t such a big deal to him since he doesn’t believe in Covid anyway.
As a good anthropologist, I pretended to be very naive and asked him to tell me what he thought of Boris getting Covid. He said it was all a publicity stunt, nothing to be trusted. He himself was not naive and wasn’t getting fooled by Boris.
In the end, the one thing that he and I definitely agreed on was that Boris himself was an unreliable narrator and even a bad storyteller.
So where is the place for truth in all this? Does truth require reliable narrators, good storytellers, audiences who are not willing to suspend disbelief? All of the above? Or is truth the truth even without any of these?
Back to quaranthropology, real quaranthropology: I’m interested trust – what it is, how it works, how it gets eroded and what the consequences of that erosion of trust are. Recently, I’ve been hearing so many conspiracy theories, so many expressions of mistrust and paranoia and have been becoming increasingly distrustful myself. And yet, we go on, recalibrating how we trust: some go trusting their gut, some trust science, some trust trustworthy individuals, some trust God. I’m not going to ask: who do you trust, I’m going to ask: HOW do you trust?