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Writing. Literature. Philosophy. Culture. Ph.D. U of Arizona.

On the tyrannomania of the new cultural “elite.”

Photo by Huang Yingone on Unsplash

One of the major benefits of leaving academia is being able to enjoy literature again. Instead of “interrogating” texts for crimes against [fill in your bias blank] in the name of social justice or critical race theory, I can once again just read books for enjoyment and occasional enlightenment.

I don’t think most people outside the academic bubble have a clue as to the resentment toward literature and art that literature teachers teach their students.

A recent article in Aero online highlights the #DisruptTexts movement in education: “#DisruptTexts encourages teachers to “Ask…

“Far behind the eye the quest begins.” — Samuel Beckett, “Ill Seen Ill Said”

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

It’s the ones who suffer who sit in their rooms alone and write, suffering, alone, feeling the need to share their suffering and loneliness with others who may or may not sit in their rooms, suffering, alone, whether or not they feel the need to write or just sit in their rooms, suffering, alone, it’s this lack of others who understand suffering and loneliness that the sufferers and the lonely want most to bring an end to, writing about their suffering, their loneliness, to connect with…

The pendulum swings back toward the herd

In The Joyous Science, Nietzsche points out that for most of human history it was not a pleasure but a punishment to be alone, to signify being an individual. “Free thinking was regarded as inherently disquieting.” To act independently, to go against the herd was immoral; the more a person went along with the herd, the less they harmed the herd, the less of an individual they were, the more moral they were considered.

Morality is the standards we use for the preservation of our communities. These are often based in error and…

The absence of hardship is the hardship.

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As 2020 slouches toward 2021, we’ll soon be inundated by pundits and journalists with tens of thousands of wasted words on worst year ever! and the meaning of it all, words typed by the very same pundits and journalists who’ve spent most of 2020 pumping up the fear, pushing the fear, addicting people to the fear, all in the mighty quest for clickbait advertising dollars so they can keep their jobs while the rest of us lose ours to the fear. That’s the meaning of it all.

Fear is not just the mind killer, it’s the medium of media control

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The media is a fear generation machine.

It demands that you respond with anxiety and submission to the fear.

It’s nonstop 24/7 manipulation control via narratives of fear.

From a rhetorical point of view, the media employs three tactics to build narratives: anecdotal evidence, expert opinion, and academic studies.

Typical New York Times story: This happened to Person X, so it will happen to you. Studies show that it will happen. Professor Z of Elite University says, “yes, this will happen to you.” A survey shows that…

Status games in the crab bucket

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We hear and read so much in the media about X is subverting our democracy, Y is destroying our democracy, Z is demolishing our democracy, ad infinitum, especially from journalists who were not hired for their knowledge (they basically have none), but for their ability to express outrage opinions designed to get clicks to drive the advertising revenue of their employers. Oh the outrage! Oh the clicks! Oh the advertising dollars flowing in!

Perhaps that’s what really ruining our democracy.

We idealize democracy, or at least the Athenian concept of rule by the people…

Possibly, even probably, not

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Politics, politics, politics. Sucking the joy out of so many lives, as some rage and riot, throw tantrums on Twitter or other social media mental illness generators, seeding hate and division against those who don’t agree with their every 240 character opinion, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Imagine this is the story of your life. Maybe you don’t have to.

Seriously, this is a life of poverty, a life without humor, without joy, without laughter. …

“No great movement designed to change the world can bear sarcasm and mockery…”

Statue of Giordano Bruno in Campo dei Fiori Rome

It’s easy to cite the dozens of internet examples and anecdotes of censorship foisted on us by the all-knowing Silicon Valley and media types.[ UPDATE: Twitter and Facebook censoring the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s emails is the most egregious one yet]

But let’s look back to some more lasting and influential examples of the effects of censorship on societies and individuals.

On February 17, 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic in the Campo Dei Fiori in Rome. His works were placed on the Church’s Index of Prohibited Books; a metal…

“Word begets image and image is virus”

Photo by Alex Andrews from Pexels

One of several books I’ve plowed through in this plague half year is Barry Miles’ biography of William S. Burroughs, Call Me Burroughs. Burroughs lead an incredible, fascinating life, but he was also, for the most part, a truly awful human being. I’ll leave the details for your own reading of one of the best biographies I’ve ever read.

One thingI will bring up is that Burroughs spent pretty much every day of his adult life on opium, heroin, morphine, apomorphine, alcohol, marijuana and/or hashish. He wasn’t one of those write-sober-then-get-fucked-up writers. …

Those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.

Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

What do philosophy, economics, and systems engineering have in common? They all recognize that the whole is not just the sum of its parts.

  1. “The whole is something besides the parts.” Aristotle, Metaphysics
  2. “A system is an arrangement of parts or elements that together exhibit behavior or meaning that the individual constituents do not.” INCOSE, Systems Engineering and Systems Definitions
  3. “The sum of all knowledge of all individuals exists nowhere as an integrated whole.” F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty

The fallacy of composition is basically the same idea: that what is true for a part is also true…

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