Only Knowledge Is Truly Noble


The long beaks of Black Plague doctors, circa 1348 CE, ensured social distancing, so did their sticks. Goggles glasses integrated to Plague Personal Protection Equipment covering the entire body, prevented the Plague to enter through the eyes… Similarly, COVID can enter the body through the eyes, but Twenty-First Century medical authorities forgot to consult with their Fourteenth Century peers…

Black Plague doctors had indeed had biocide agents in their respirators… Doctors got little infection, and nobles… not at all.

Nobles were socially distant in their castles and well protected from rats and their fleas by armies of domesticated dogs, cats, civettes, hawks, falcons and owls, etc…

No nobles were injured in that Black Plague experiment…

Middle Age authorities imposed blockades on the penalty of instant death from skilled archery… To go from Marseilles to Aix was impossible, as archers had orders to shoot on sight. But the isolation from town to town mostly failed… In the end. But it delayed the pandemic, which took a couple of years to spread from Marseilles, where it arrived by boat, and the rest of Western Europe. Quarantine initially failed, because contaminated goods were allowed on the land, and transmitted disease, even if no human directly did. 

As far as transmission of infection was concerned, much was known: Pericles, 25 centuries ago, was tried for ignoring basic rules against infection, while a “plague” had started in Athens, bringing a relatively enormous loss of lives… In Pericles’ defense that when Athens was besieged… But ha should have anticipated this, as top general, and he recognized he anticipated everything in the war with Sparta, “but not a pandemic”.

Red hot irons were used against infection, and people were injected with smallpox even around 1700… (Very deadly…) Washing hands was more problematic, water was not necessarily clean, they would have had to use wine…

***

Friend Ian Miller observed: So social distancing works!

Yes! Absolutely! Social distancing is a noble pursuit, it saves lives, civilization, now or in the future, I have ruled aristocratically all my life! But the notion of nobility is deeper and more subtle than usually considered…

Noble, nobilitas actually comes from: *gnobilis, literally “knowable,” from gnoscere “to come to know,”

We owe everything to the most noble instincts, even the flag of the USA. The basic artistic idea comes from the Franks, Seventh Century, let me present to you the Coat of Arms of Charles Martel (who famously crushed two giant Islamist invasions of Francia : 

America is a European colony in more ways than one… And it is the Franks who introduced the concept of “Europe”, in the modern sense…

Plato believed that societies should be ruled by philosopher-kings… But of course that was a self-contradictory notion: A king is a power center of one, an autocrat, fundamentally, even for the best, an assassin. A philosopher is the one who rules over wisdom, that is knowledge, and is, in turn, ruled by them. Fundamentally completely ineffectual at ruling over men.

The most advanced societies should be ruled, not by one self-declared super-smart monkey, as Russia and China are, but should be ruled, not by monkey, but by the best and highest ways, namely the most intelligent ones. “Ways” are those of the multitude, the mores, morality. In other words, the light of the most knowledgeable, the most noble take a long time to reach the multitude.. But that’s how civilization advances. Having one person impose more advanced and clever ways is tempting and can superficially work, as in the cases of Caesar, Clovis, Bathilde, Charlemagne, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, etc. But for one enlightened, progressive ruler, one hundred vicious autocrats blossom (even short term apparent progress, for example Augustus, and many other Roman emperors, is followed by long term disaster). 

The point that Plato forgot, in his hatred of democracy, is that the notion of king, that of physical power on subjects is not… noble, not knowledgeable, as it ignores the blatant ethological fact that humans are not made to be ruled…  

Only knowledge is truly noble.

Knowledge starts with as little as one, it’s true… but new knowledge needs peer review, and is only validated by the multitude.

Forget philosopher-kings. Embrace knowledge,, knowledge of facts, knowledge of logic, knowledge of emotions, knowledge of the crowds… Next we will fustigate Elon Musk’s blatant ageism… and hubris, which reminds us of why, and how plutocracy makes even the best, into evil beasts…. 

Patrice Ayme

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14 Responses to “Only Knowledge Is Truly Noble”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    We humans are a funny lot. I was reading recently, in a science blog, that humans are not that special (I’m not sure that’s the right word, but still!) and are on a planet that is not that special. You wrote about this recently.

    As a race we have become adept at extending life, but that isn’t shared across the world, and a few are living beyond 100 years. But we all die! No exception! No wonder religion and faith have such a strong pull on us; millions of us are very scared of dying. That includes me although I am doing my best to come to terms with the event, and I am an atheist.

    Yesterday, a book arrived that I had ordered. It is A Beginner’s Guide To The End, written by B J Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger, who had to care for her father when he died. I am only just into the book but it does look like a most useful book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ Says:

      Dear Paul,

      Only in facing and embracing death do we have much better glimpses of its imports and what it both gives and takes. You can see a very detailed, multipronged and poignant examination of mortality in my special post published at:

      https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/

      Yours sincerely,
      SoundEagle

      Like

    • SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ Says:

      Dear Paul,

      I concur with you about fearing death as a common feature of human nature. Yet, only in facing and embracing death do we have much better glimpses of its imports and what it both gives and takes. You can see a very detailed, multipronged and poignant examination of mortality in my special post entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye“, which has been composed as something very significant for posterity in the form of a special multimedia eulogy-cum-memoir-cum-biography.

      Wishing you and your family a wonderfully productive week doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most!

      Yours sincerely,
      SoundEagle

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ Says:

    Dear Patrice,

    I concur with you about your following statements:

    The most advanced societies should be ruled, not by one self-declared super-smart monkey, as Russia and China are, but should be ruled, not by monkey, but by the best and highest ways, namely the most intelligent ones. “Ways” are those of the multitude, the mores, morality. In other words, the light of the most knowledgeable, the most noble take a long time to reach the multitude.. But that’s how civilization advances.

    Only knowledge is truly noble.

    Knowledge starts with as little as one, it’s true… but new knowledge needs peer review, and is only validated by the multitude.

    Forget philosopher-kings. Embrace knowledge,, knowledge of facts, knowledge of logic, knowledge of emotions, knowledge of the crowds…

    In my following detailed post, I have shown that China used to be astoundingly and profoundly much of what it is not:

    https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/11/11/strong-wind-knows-tough-grass/

    Yours sincerely,
    SoundEagle

    Like

  3. SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ Says:

    Dear Patrice,

    Hello! I have just submitted two comments a few minutes ago and one of them have disappeared, probably mistakenly identified as a spam. Please kindly unspam it from https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=spam

    After unspamming it, the comment also requires your approval at https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=all before it will show up properly. Thank you.

    The said comment starts with “Only in facing and embracing death do we have much better glimpses of its imports….”

    Yours sincerely,
    SoundEagle

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Sorry about this, SoundEagle! Just saw your comment days later, I have been busy…

      Liked by 1 person

      • SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ Says:

        Dear Patrice,

        Yes, the repeated misidentifications of legitimate comments as spams are quite frustrating indeed. From time to time, I examine whether there are legitimate comments misidentified as spams. It is prudent to check your spam comment folder in your WordPress account from time to time. From memory, the default setting is that spam comments (whether rightly or wrongly identified as such by WordPress) will be permanently deleted in two weeks. So, if you don’t check your spam comment folder at least weekly then you might indeed lose legitimate comments that are falsely flagged as spams and consigned to be deleted from your spam comment folder in a week or two.

        Yours sincerely,
        SoundEagle

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear SoundEagle: You are totally right. But I have my mind all over, a sort of willed schizophrenia, and I get forgetful. The worst is when I read an interesting comment, and think: well, that’s interesting, this requires a thoughtful answer… And then I end up not giving back any inputs… Similarly and on a larger scale, much of my more advanced essays never some out…

          More generally I know pretty much for a fact that a number of electronic media block some people: Gates has totally blocked me, because I called him “Gates of hell” (from pluto-krat), so I don’t appear in Bing, etc. NYT has literally blocked THOUSANDS of my comments, Twitter limit me strictly, Facebook banned me thirty days (for “hate”) before rescinding later (as I made an analogy between them and standard Nazis…), und so weiter…

          Liked by 1 person

      • SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ Says:

        Dear Patrice,

        Hello! I have just visited your post here and discovered that the said comments are still missing. To show up properly in the post, after being unspammed, the comments also require your approval at https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=all

        Then look for the said comment. Hover your mouse cursor on the comment and the following line will appear below the comment:

        Approve | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | History | Spam | Trash

        Click the first word “Approve” to approve the comment.

        All in all, it is a multistep process to recover legitimate comments, involving the visit of two backend administrative pages.

        Yours sincerely,
        SoundEagle

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I looked around, including the last 75 spam comments (others don’t show)… “Lahore girls” was a particularly intriguing spam… Found nothing… Sorry… WP may block the comments with more than one link…
          Ooopss, I may have found one comment of yours which was “pending”… So were two genuine comments by readers I didn’t know… The ways of WP are mysterious… Thanks for helping…

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Gmax Says:

    Funny America didn’t even invent it’s own flag

    Liked by 1 person

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