10 October 2011

notepad: October

The purpose of mediocratic ideology is the same as that of Marxist ideology: to make life impossible for genuine intellectuals, i.e. those who might generate real cultural progress. To mask the issue, an ersatz system of high culture has been built up, designed to perpetuate and reinforce the ideology, and to ensure no assistance is given to those whom the system carefully excludes.

• Last year was the 40th anniversary of The Female Eunuch, a book so influential that its author was nominated for “greatest living genius” by a recent broadsheet readers’ poll.
A woman who appears to have had issues with her father, and by extension with men generally, and who has always seemed to exude that aura one occasionally finds with intelligent, driveful women — of seething with resentment — became the blueprint for a generation.
Women have very little idea of how much men hate them ... Men do not themselves know the depth of their hatred ... a certain kind of man whispers obscenities to women and laughs at their humiliation and confusion which he construes as evidence that they are guilty of the secret bestial desires that he has touched upon ... Men who appraise women with insolent stares in buses and subways and chink the change in their pockets are communicating the same hate-filled innuendo.
Inspired by such passages, women (on average) became more aggressive, critical and ruthless in their dealings with men; and — the male-female dynamic being what it is — men (on average) retaliated by becoming even more aggressive and ruthless themselves.

• “Increase the money, Igor, we must have more money!”
“But Herr Baron, the systems will not hold, we risk a terrible explosion!”
“More money, dammit, more! We shall revive the economy, or die in the attempt. It’s alive, I tell you, alive! Hahahahahahaha ...”
[10 Oct]

• It’s a pity that many (most?) of the key figures of feminism, brave though they were, were not brave enough to admit that the class they represented was that of exceptional women, and not of women generally.
The result was a deflection from the need of talented women to evade the strictures of conventional role-playing and the exclusions of male-dominated environments, towards a preoccupation with the statistical norm and an insistence that all women behave in particular, supposedly non-traditional ways.
Whether the feminisation of former male bastions has on balance aided genuinely exceptional women may be doubted: they now have to contend with female, as well as male, opposition.

• If I had to guess the ideological stance of the Alphas at Googlecorp (facilitating searches, gathering personal data, lecturing on education policy) towards the mediocracy concept I would say they were probably not supportive.
I had already wondered why, when starting to type “mediocracy”, one bizarrely got {mediocracy vs mediocrity} as a suggestion – which does not lead to this blog – but not {mediocracy}; now I find the bots, or the Googliati, have escalated the war thus:

Excuse me, Larry, Eric, but mediocracy is now officially a word, generating over a million hits when I last looked, so this makes about as much sense as “we naturally assumed you cannot seriously have meant to type hairy otter, so here are the results for Harry Potter.”

• Via Radio 3’s Through the Night I discover Clara Schumann’s Quatre Pi├Ęces Fugitives.
Some of her compositions seem a little odd, but this I like better than most of her husband’s solo piano work.
Also of interest is her Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann.
[17 Oct]

• Not long ago I read a column in which a journalist described her 7-year-old son’s wanting to carry her shopping for her as “atavistic”.
I think the journalist was meaning to sound vaguely sympathetic towards men and their hard-wired tendencies, but if so the effect was spoiled by the use of that word — the implication being that we are dealing with a primitive characteristic, now obsolete and slightly quaint; a vestigial feature no longer functional, like a coccyx.
If women brought up with the current version of feminism cannot even tolerate masculinity in their own children without being patronising, how are they going to tolerate it elsewhere, say in the office, or when deciding the fate of a defendant?

• Recently one of our readers kindly sent us a substantial donation via PayPal, though being by no means wealthy.
If everyone who regularly reads our blogs were to contribute a similar amount, we would be a good part of the way towards our goal of creating an institutional academic environment, which in turn would put us in a position to shake up some seriously ossified scientific and philosophical areas.
Parallel with doing such work, it will of course be necessary to apply for positions at recognised institutions; as things stand it is naive to think that, in an academic context, social status does not matter.

• Why should you spend your hard-earned pay on subsidising intellectuals?
But you already do.
The tax you are forced to pay is used, among other things, to finance ‘research’ — though it tends to be restricted to work likely to reinforce the dominant ideology, including the notion that it is morally desirable for you to pay even more tax.
[24 Oct]

• In psychiatry there is a concept called projection.
Applying this to the quotation at the top of the page, one might speculate that it represents an inversion and that the author's original observation/intuition runs more like this:
Men have very little idea of how much women hate them ... Women do not themselves know the depth of their hatred ...
Funny: the quotation, and its source, are marketed as standard fare in universities around the world, whereas expressing the speculation, even hypothetically, would quite likely mean the end of your career.
[31 Oct]

aphorism of the month:

People have been marrying and bringing up children for centuries now. Nothing has ever come of it.
Celia Green, The Decline and Fall of Science

food for grey cells:

arguing over liberty vs. equality

The author of this blog is an unsalaried academic. Like his colleagues, he is excluded from the academic system because of the way that system is currently run. (The phrase “sausage factory” was recently used by a government minister, expressing part of the problem.) As a result, he is unable to write in detail about intellectual issues to which he could be contributing, and has to limit himself to brief blog comments.

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