Anti-Intellectualism Will Make Our Body Good?

Another day, another revelation. After stumbling on this article in Medium explaining why science is wrong. I was struck how much more popular that article was than real, fascinating science articles in the same issue. Then the same prolific author, Zat Rana, comes out with an article slickly claiming that depth gets in the way of clarity, a revelation to “help you”. The title is revealing: “The Philosopher’s Problem: When and Why Thinking Can Be Harmful.

Why science is wrong, why depth is bad, thinking harmful… The (self-described) “engaging” style of that journalist is slick (he is just a journalist, whereas the little read real science articles next to his were written by scientists). Mr. Zana has at least 50,000 “followers”. “Followers” is where it’s at; we are back to tribalism, as I discovered during the last presidential elections when many urged me to declare for Hillary, anything else was “bad form”. “Bad form” included Bernie Sanders… who, I was told “lacked experience” (after 50 years in elected politics including mayor, congressman, senator, and stays in Cuba and the USSR…) Up high in the media, many were on the Obama-Clinton gravy train…

Indictments have been made in the Russian influence machine in the USA. Well, it’s not just the Russians. What one could call the “Davos” machine is much more powerful.

Back to Zana’s “engaging” propaganda against science, and now thinking and “depth”. Clearly there was a machine behind that slippery slope, like there is one behind self-declared Jewish supremacist Steven Pinker or the Guardian newspaper, posing as left, but then financed by plutocrat Bill Gates, then publishing Pinker… and censoring my comment on Pinker, naturally. Sure enough, essayist Zat Rana, is part of the “World Economic Forum”…Davos, the much flaunted worldwide plutocratic conspiracy. He also writes at “Quartz”, another plutocratically financed device. But, well, it seems we have to learn to live with plutocrats in command. Even going to space now depends upon plutocrats (as governments dropped the space ball, in another deep conspiracy organized by their sponsors, namely said worldwide plutocratic conspiracy).

We are increasingly heading towards the same situation of the late Roman Republic when only men connected to extreme wealth could act. This ended when the leader of the “Populares” the extremely wealthy top general Caesar was assassinated by his own class; thereafter it has been dictatorship for 2061 years and counting. Caesar may have been a scumbag in Gaul, but he understood Roma was not militarily secure, and had to be made so (China had the same problem a millennium later, with a near-terminal outcome, when the Mongols considered annihilating it).  

Zat Rana’s essay extolled the “Cogito Ergo Sum” of Descartes, a famous point of view, so dumb, even plutocratic philosopher Wittgenstein used to make fun of it in Cambridge. Wittgenstein would go around the halls, saying:”I think, therefore it rains”. The Cogito is not just dumb, it’s obviously false. When one is in full action, one doesn’t think about thinking to reveal to oneself that one is. Any speed sport will easily remove that notion. Barreling down a mountain on skis, facing a towering wave in the surf, solo climbing 3,000 feet about the maw of a giant bergshrund (they wont even find your body!) are the sort of activities which are all about existence perceived, and not thinking about thinking.

(Descartes probably rolled out the “Cogito” to demolish Christianism, a crucial objective at the time.)

Sure enough, following singing the praises of the dumb Cogito, the Davos essayist pushed the lie that man is the only animal capable of thinking about thinking, something that, we now have known for quite a while experimentally, is not true.

Other animals think about thinking, and even about others thinking. Many birds, if they ascertain that another bird is a known thief, will hide food again, somewhere else, when the observing bird has been removed. That means birds can have a “theory of mind”. As Ludwig Van Beethoven put it in the 9th:”…Even the worm was given desire…”

Ants work hard and cleverly. Army ants build bridges for their army, adapting and modifying circumstances given to them by nature (as pictured above). We also have to work, of course, but thought can replace work, and we ever more think rather than work.! That’s not jut the way, it’s the only way!

Thinkers don’t run around in circle like processional caterpillars (which have been observed circling around, following each other for a week). Far from it. Descartes invented analytic geometry, enabling, among other things, the invention and writing down of calculus by Fermat (and then Leibniz; Newton used an idiosyncratic approach). So asserting Descartes brought nothing imminently practical to our lives is to say the last four centuries of scientific and technological expansion, which rest on analytic geometry, Descartes’ invention, were nothing. That’s not just grossly anti-intellectual, it’s counterfactual.

It’s so much more important to be wise than being a worker, that this is the name of our species: Homo Sapiens (Homo Faber, the fabricating Homo, was proposed by French philosopher Bergson, and rightly rejected; as seen above, even insects make tools). Homo in general and Sapiens in particular, is all about smarts, depth… not work. Smarts, precisely to avoid work. We got to smarts through ever deeper thinking. For dedicated workers genetically, or epigenetically incapable of deeper thinking, consider ants, or… slaves.

To believe we have to be careful about thinking deeply is reasoning like a slave, who does deep only when asked by Master. It is actually the master definition of a slave. But, of course, among slaves, it’s more than useful, it’s the key to self-fulfillment.

In truth, the world is not about “work”, nor do we need to “make it work”. The world works very well without us. First we need to find out what we want to achieve, with this world. Right now we are supposed to heed the advice of our masters, and those who work for them feverishly, like Zat Rana. And this is exactly what happened. Not all are Elon Musk, hell bend to explore the universe. Most plutocrats’ true calling his laziness, endowed by cruelty. Not an indication of nice global outcome.

Patrice Aymé

Note: Here is the conclusion, in extenso of the Davos essayist. Zat Rana:

“The Takeaway

The power of depth has its time and place. And philosophers, like Descartes, who have engaged this depth have given us some striking insights.

That said, if this ability to think deeply isn’t controlled and managed, it spills out beyond the domain in which it finds its strength. We have to be very careful about the degree to which we engage it.

The thing that actually makes the world work is clarity, and this clarity can only be found if we adequately train it to come through.

In the words of the legendary inventor Nikola Tesla, “One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”

Not every tangent we think about is worth exploring. Not every idea that pops up is worth considering. Not every nuance needs to be given its time.

Sometimes, all life demands of us is the ability to see the parts of reality we need to engage with, clearly and simply. It means that rather than adding more to our vision and observation via thought, we have to be disciplined about removing what isn’t useful and relevant.

This takes practice and intention. It requires you to think about thinking and slowly develop the awareness to watch your mental processing occur.

It’s not easy, but if honed, this kind of clarity changes everything.”

And Patrice will abstract this thus: The power of the depth of thinking has its time and place. One instant, one spot. Davos and its plutocracy, will control the rest, people. No probing question, no examined life. Even Socrates would have found this disgusting, and “not worth living“.

 

6 Responses to “Anti-Intellectualism Will Make Our Body Good?”

  1. heraclitusofephesus Says:

    I simply cannot stand these people. I’ve met plenty with this mentality. Even Sam Harris does it when he says some knowledge or pursuit of it can be harmful (then he brings up an example like nuclear codes…). It makes my blood boil (not exaggerating). Good piece Patrice. Descartes was indeed important for mathematics as well, Cartesian coordinate system is still used today.

    (I’ve been very busy lately so I haven’t been able to post.)

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Heraclitus! Your comments are always appreciated…Busy here too, so I just saw your comment. I have been struggling with galaxies (incoming essay: my SQPR model looks ever better, and the ΛCDM model, conventional MSM cosmology, ever worse…)
      There is a whole lot of slick Internet operators out there, indeed, and I can’t stand them either. Descartes is actually the founder of modern math. The invention of graph theory in the 14th century by Buridan and his students enable to solve some differential calculus problems, but one had to wait for algebraic geometry…. Descartes was shattering in math, but Cartesianism was too important to wait for Descartes…

      Like

  2. EugenR Says:

    A.The main problems of wisdom of masses, their choices sometimes fail with catastrophic consequences. The masses react usually to occurrences, without to try to conceptualize the information.

    B. Wisdom of masses has no long term perspective. The result is their political choices are based on short term situations.

    C. The masses are interested on the local problems, while in modern economy the problems are global.

    D. As the result of B. and C the elected political representatives adopt accordingly short term local policies and denial long term global problems, like global environment, international distribution of wealth, coordination of economic growth and economic slump policy.

    E. At times of boom all the coutries have policy of boom and increase their debts, and the same is in times of bust. If the economic policy would be global, at times of bust the countries with low debt, that are usually also the less developed poorer countries should increase investments and increase their rate of debt. It doesn’t happens even within European Union. East European countries, much poorer as to standard of living and infrastructure, but also with low rate of debts didn’t increase their investments,  but in contrary, some of them even implemented austerity measures. 

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Wisdom of the mass problem is well-known, Athens was a tragic example.
      However, mechanisms can be installed to mitigate said problem. Just look at Switzerland (or even Norway). It’s not because the Swiss said no to Europe that the Swiss government refused to do the wise thing.
      What I propose is to ADD to the representative democracy system, just as is done in Switzerland. Even there one can have contradiction between people vote and parliament. Same, BTW, at EU scale already. Same happens in the USA: California laws are sometimes in contradiction with Federal laws. Say on pot, refugees, Dreamers, etc…

      Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Regarding D and E:
      D: Global plutocracy is a fact. It buys the politicos. Just race my good friend Obama’s recent travels…
      E: Austerity was a pretext to transfer assets to rich people:
      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/tarp-transfer-of-assets-to-rich-people/

      Although China is also transferring assets to powerful people, it has been much less austere, behaving more like the Second French Empire (Napoleon III), the Second Reich, Stalin’s USSR, and the Thirty Glorious Ones… That’s of course the right way to do it…

      Like

  3. Gmax Says:

    This Rat Zaza or whatever his name incarmates intellectual fascism at its best (I am using your excellent semantics). Exactly what plutocracy needs. But those guys infect the Internet. Anyway sounds like he had a committee writing ‘his’ stuff. Too polished

    Like

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