IMG_0569
Blog powered by Typepad

« | Main | The Search for an Eternal Norm: excerpt (part two) »

Comments

Ha! I thought, up until the last line, that you, MP, had written this and I was most impressed. Still, thanks for posting it. Sometimes the only solice a free thinker has in the world of corrupt group think is knowing that there are others out there who understand and feel the pain.

Another form of solice would be winning the big lotto and being so stinking rich that one could pursue whatever endeavor or form of self expression that one desired - no, that one's soul and passion demanded - in the manner that one desired; unfettered by the all pervasive web of corrupt dogmatic social pressure.

In fact, one could then set the tone, if not the exact message, of the group think as mediocre minds in our society tend to pay obedience to those with money, but then again, who wants an entourage of slavish fools?

Any how, an interesting perspective on Hamlet's suffering.

"This is to say that I set Hamlet above Fortinbras, although it would have been better if Fortinbras have been born Prince of Denmark."

The author of this statement would seem to be more of a thinker than a man of action so I am not surprised at his preference for his own type.

I think it's impossible to say which type is better for civilization. Certainly thinkers have helped and hurt civilization. Communism being an example of the latter. It is the men of action who have gotten civilization into trouble following those thinkers but it is also the men of action who have gotten civilization out of trouble fighting them.

This reminds me of an old joke: There are four types of people defined by the two characteristics "intelligence" and "industriousness". Intelligent and industrious people are the people who make history. They contribute leadership and progress to civilization. Those who are intelligent and not industrious also make a great contribution. They make the best engineers, always finding ways to get more done with less work. Even stupid lazy people can be useful. If they are supervised well, they can do useful work. However the curse of humanity are those who are stupid and industrious.

I've see the part about stupid hardworking people to be true, much to my own dismay.

"Most book-reviewers rarely do more than sample the books they review. "

tldr

rotf lmao


Very interesting analysis, but personally, I wouldn't want to be too holier-than-thou. To be born human is to be born to lie. Even Hamlet pretends to be mad - his "antic disposition" leads to Ophelia's death.

The author is right in some ways, but I think the actual situation is much, much more complicated than he realizes.

We could make a square graph with two axes: Orthodox/Heterodox and True/False. Then we'd be closer to the actual situation.

Orthodox/True. The author doesn't acknowledge this quadrant, but it probably makes up about 80% of human knowledge. For the most part, sticking to the CV is a good idea. I'm talking about in many non-controversial cases. For example, kitchen towels shouldn't be made of nylon, and one shouldn't feed a dog chocolate bars.

Orthodox/False. This is what the author is rightly complaining about.

Heterodox/True. This is what the author is rightly celebrating.

Heterodox/False. The problem that the author is not really acknowledging. People advocate heterodox but false positions all of course think of themselves as holy rebels, but most are idiots. For every Voltaire, there are 1,000 idiots who think they have something to contribute but don't.

The close-minded skeptics are of this ilk. They think they are rebelling against the bane of religion, etc., but in reality they are wrong and forming their own insular orthodoxy at the same time.

Plus, there is probably also a z-axis of Known/Unknown, which further complicates things.

I like to think of myself as a hermetic rebel, but I try also always to keep in mind that one of the great pitfalls of the ego is to think that one is different and righteous while one is in fact just stupid.

"Especially in the competitive upper ranges of society, the positions that people take on the issues that confront them, the attitudes they strike, are based, not on a concern for what is true, but on the objective of gaining credit for “right thinking.” In an elementary form this can be observed among young intellectuals in the lobbies of any concert-hall after a symphonic performance. Each in his comment tries to give an impression of critical appreciation, using a fashionable vocabulary to show that he is one of the initiated."
That reminds me of this episode from The Catcher in the Rye, p. 164:
"At the end of the first act we went out with all the other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that was. You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were."

Something that I find troubling is that not many people seem prepared to commit themselves to changing the social mentality away from conformism. :-(

The comments to this entry are closed.