Alien Ruth

/ K. Symbols /
Bible, etc.

What’s so moving about the story of Ruth? Is it the King James diction? That’s half-English, half-alien. Is it Keats? That’s pure English, deep English, ancient, native: like the original human language.

Ruth to Naomi:

Whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people [shall be] my people,
and thy God my God.

(God here is like the dining room table, or like the master bed: inheritable, transferable.)
lots of editing needed, but no emergency

The Keats meant only a little bit to me in public school where we were forcefed. But after letting it stew for a couple of years, my dorm-neighbor Bob made reference to Ruth “amid alien corn”: and I was damn moved. All those years when they’re filling your head with sludge, never mind, you don’t know what seeds are sprouting, you don’t know where your deepest layers are being set. If fact that is the story of Ruth, is it not? she knew who her people were, and she was recalibrating, resetting.

Blake Ruth
thanx commons

Keats wasn’t the only one under our skin, there was Blake too!

Scrapbook scribble coming

I’ll tell you one reason the story works: it’s got girls in it! What a relief after all that male god and all that male Moses. (Mrs. Moses (and Moses Junior) tried to get established but they got pushed aside.) Christians, like Jews, had to read the Bible: they didn’t have to like it, they didn’t have to understand it … Understand it!? Who would test them?

The Book of Ruth is about cultural disruptions. They’re constant, they’re everywhere; but 2500 years ago was a big disruption: Babylonians pushing Jews around like WASPs pushing Cheyennes.
Natives weren’t alone getting stolen from: never forget Sutter’s Mill, Sutter’s gold, Sutter’s Sacramento Valley.

Jewish identity is very much at stake here: for all that male history, male theology, Jews actually identify themselves through women! Never mind the geneaolgy from Noah to Abraham to David to Jesus: you’re a Jew if your mother was a Jew! Jesus comes from Abraham, but he also comes from Ruth: a foreigner.

Anyway, I’ve got Ruth on my mind because I recently met a Ruth: an attractive, very much younger, woman. Maybe I’ll tell a bit about trying to get acquainted with that Ruth.

K. Symbols

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Social Information Networks

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschooling /

Social Information Networks

Governments have always been networked: for six thousand years and more. Corporations have always been networked: since their more recent emergence. Governments and corporations say they serve the public: while life, the biosphere, degrades.

The words are pk: the inspiration is Ivan Illich.

Our perception of Pleroma — the physical universe — is based in information. The possibility of science is based in the assumption that Pleroma doesn’t misrepresent anything: light is light, gravity is gravity. The whole electro-magnetic spectrum is just that: the electro-magnetic spectrum. Civilization is based in control of information. Rulers know when to use definition A and when to switch in definition B: unannounced. Swivel logic, misinformation, breeds and breeds.

Illich said, with increasing force around 1970, that if the public wished to survive governmental- corporate tag-teaming (again, the words are pk), then the public must network itself: appropriate some of the same tools. Illich gave us the blueprint for cyberneticized learning opportunities. Denis Detzel said he’d do it. I said I’d do it. I didn’t hear from Denis: we both did it: independently.
I emphasized that the networking that applied to learning opportunities applied just as well to all public information. Cybernetics could apply the freedom of the ancient marketplace to contemporary societies: with modern efficiency. Naturally expanded, Illich’s blueprint was all the internet a public would need.

The public preferred the magic show it was used to — the sloth, the flattery (the greed) — to making the effort to free itself. But then governments and corporations perfectly well understood that they kept the advantage: raking off resources till there was little left to contribute toward autonomous survival.
Till 1970, the misinformation, the false models the public is steeped in, was imposed on the public (largely through the school (and university) system). Destiny used Illich and pk to turn the tables on the public. Since 1970, the misinformation, the false models are the public’s own responsibility.
This is not the first, and probably is not the last, time the public has ignored a chance to grow up: spurning a low-tech internet offered at cost.

Ah, but we didn’t know! So many of us didn’t know.

But that’s because we allow ourselves to be in thrall to the kleptocratic institutions. The Times declined to carry the message.

Did the Times lose its charter? No. The Times remains (ha!) the paper of record. Just as the government is still the government: no matter how many countries it invades, no matter how many land-mines it leaves behind, lies it tells and is caught in, how many elections it corrupts …

I’m not sure how good a note the following makes: so it’s just a note: detachable. I’m just watching 1941’s How Green Was My Valley. Issues of labor, and union, and strike are pussyfooted near. I don’t say “pussyfoot” because I’m a communist, a socialist, all gungho for labor; I’m not. I don’t believe in labor any more than I believe in corporate capitalism … or democracy … or America. Don’t forget that I don’t believe in civilization or even in agriculture: wishing that we still wandered in search of food. But: if you are sympathetic toward labor, then think of this: a low-tech internet, a simple data base of resources and of personal statements for the public, would serve as a union for people. Boards of elections shouldn’t be trusted to count votes. Representatives shouldn’t be trusted to represent. (How much time has your congressman spent listing to you personally? And if you had him for twelve hours, would your senator listen to him?) But FIX / FLEX could count votes, could record what you say, what you write. (It wouldn’t however then shove it down anyone’s throat.)

Keywords: information, Networks

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Transgender Regulation

/ Culture /

promoting this from archive to module:

Lots of news, all over, confusion over gender. Now some law says people must use bathrooms according to the gender listed on their birth certificates!
No, no, if there were any reason in society, politics, law would be informed by science, not by a mob of bureaucrats.
Jaren Diamond in Why Sex is Fun explains the zoological basis for determining sex: If you’ve got testes, you’re male. That’s it. That’s the single consideration.

And try to understand what people not trained in science never will, that the default structure of the human is female.
If you develop testes in the womb, you’re male: whether or not those testes then infuse you with male hormones. Without such infusions the individual will flare the hips, develop breasts, but still be male! You can’t tell by looking!
You can look like Rachel Welch but still “be” Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But the laws are written by people who win elections, people who look, and regulate, but will never have anything right.
The law favors the majority-bent morons.

2016 09 22 I declare, what’s this really about? It’s about the power of the people to push other people around based on ignorance. Every Democrat, every Republican is convinced without proof that he and his like-minded neighbors know what’s male and what’s female, what God has to say about it. God’s manuscript will never be found, the Bible-thumpers who forge the Bible won’t allow it.

I wish we did have the Bible, God’s actual manuscript, 100% error-free: then we’d know exactly what to do: and be right! As is we’re in the same position Adam was in and Eve, we don’t know shit from Shinola.
Isn’t that silly: I haven’t seen any Shinola in decades, yet the cliche still comes to the tongue.

There was an article today, some transgender “woman” beeped in the airport scanner. A pair of security people approached. If the passenger is male, the man will pat him down: if female, then … The ex-navy seal en route to giving a speech about cultural sensitivity says Those are my boobs, I’m female: the guy doesn’t pat me.

I don’t know how to react to this: other tan to repeat for the billionth time: bureaucracies have no business making scientific determinations: any more than the pope had any right to an opinion of what Galileo saw through his telescope: or what it meant.

But: the airline doesn’t have to let anybody fly if they won’t be patted down. The passenger didn’t want the man patting him down: don’t let him on the plane: then let him sue, and everyone’s ignorance and wrongheadedness can clog the courts for a thousand years. Adam and Eve got thrown out of Eden, they shouldn’t imagine they’re competent to make transgender evaluations.

Don’t let him fly: then let him have the courts cancel the airlines’ rights to sell tickets. Let the society collapse.


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All the Information

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschooling /

All Information, 2005.2.6 draft

All Information. What can that possibly mean?
I mean public information. I mean voluntary information: not coerced. I mean information that an individual wants to advertise: information that doesn’t trespass on anything private.

Could there be such a thing? Could any two people not disagree as to what it is?
It’s thirty-five years now that I’ve been talking about this publicly and I’m still not sure I’ve done it right. Indeed, I fear I’ve done it wrong; so I try again today.

Ideas of what is whose business differ with culture, with theological tradition, with age …

The history of civilization is in part a cresting wave of Authority interfered with by little wavelettes of Independence. Once upon a time individuals tried their magic to control their destiny. Individuals came to not trust their magic, so they transferred their belief to the shaman. The shaman transferred it to a god. Monotheism called the god God and tried to transfer all Authority to the God. Then along came nations: substituting the State for God.

Once upon a time individuals thought they had their own minds. Then God knew your mind better than you did. And then came Richelieu: the Gestapo, the KVD, the CIA …

In 1970, in founding the Free Learning Exchange, Inc., I was trying to push us into a Global Village, one without a Gestapo. Now I’m not sure that a global village is a good idea. The idea of human culture colonizing the galaxy repels me. The universe might be best left fallow. The natural war between gods should continue, no one entity winning.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) it’s not up to me. (But I push a little here, I cheer a little there.)

We are multi-celled creatures. Social creatures. We are creatures of this and that niche. We are not planetary, we are not galactic, we are not universal. We have enough ganglia feedback to initiate a little bit of consciousness; self-consciousness; sentience: just a little bit.

The contents of the diaper is the mother’s business: temporarily. Temporarily, it’s the mother’s business more than the baby’s business. At what point do the contents of the diaper become the Kremlin’s business? If the whole society is worrying about the health of some prince, isn’t something wrong? Is the contents of the peasant’s diaper ever the Kremlin’s business?

Each age will draw its lines in different places. (Each age will imagine that it’s the one that counts!) (Just as we imagine that our god is the important one: our state.)

I don’t draw my lines in 2005 in quite the same places that I drew them in 1970. Still: few attributed significance to my 1970 lines in 1970. In 2005, while drawing new lines, I’m still trying to show my 1970 lines: to show that something went terribly wrong (as usual), that 1970 offered us an ark that we ignored (and then perverted). I suggest that we’d have been better off in 2005 had we boarded my ark note: instead of being led by the nose by Time-Life, by MaBell, by Washington DC, by IBM, by the school system …

All Information

All Information. I mean volunteered information: information volunteered by an individual to be made public.

My name is Paul. My profession is English. My profession is also liberty. My email is linked from the left hand side of the frame at the bottom of your browser window [domain version destroyed by fed 2007 02, now it’s just a blog] (if you entered Deschooling through it’s main entrance).

The color of the girl’s areola is not the boy’s business — until the girl shows it to him: or until the girl permits the boy’s independent explorations. At no point is the color of the girl’s areola the state’s business. At no point is it the boy’s business if his explorations aren’t welcomed by the girl.

pk these days offers his comments online (as he once did through the Free Learning Exchange). Anyone is welcome to find pk’s comments and make of them what they will: ignoring them, praising them, recommending them, abandoning them … pk’s comments are not mandatory.

Individuals should consider making themselves independent enough to similarly accept or ignore the state’s mandates.

I don’t say it’s easy. The state has monopolized the electro-magnetic spectrum for a huge geographical area. Individuals have permitted the state this monopoly. The state’s ambitions would fail if enough individuals resisted.
The state doesn’t work alone. Individuals should become alert to parallel cartels.

Look for fallow land. Respect the land’s fallowness. Look for fallow societies, respect their fallowness. When all land is developed, all societies satellite, expect the super-society to crash.

I would have better hopes for a super-society that had self-formed; not been politically (and militarily) fiated.

more as I get to it. There will never be an end to this discussion.

An Arc of Arks:
2005 03 14 fury has just asked after the significance of pk’s spelling “ark” as “arc.” She even offered a good explanation. But I’ll confess in the style of Dr. Johnson after one of his mistakes was exposed: Why? Sheer ignorance!
Though Illich refers to the “Arc of Mankind”!
All the Information, 2005 4/7 draft

Once upon a time any individual would acquire information, any group would acquire information. The group inevitably would encourage the propagation of some information among its members; discourage other information. With civilization the group went into runaway.

By “all information” I don’t mean to suggest that humans are or will ever be competent to archive all information: I doubt that any god could. What I mean by “all” is “not artificially limited” (socially: politically, religiously).

Once upon a time any individual spoke an idiolect. A family spoke a language to some extent mutually intelligible to all members. The larger society had a still wider, necessarily fuzzier, language. Et cetera. In the 1700s AD dictionaries began appearing. In the mid-1800s a new project appeared: a dictionary that would represent the whole English language! Not just approved words, not just good words … All words. It was first published in the early 1900s: the OED: the Oxford English Dictionary. Amazing. A first. Civilization has always kept records: but it was always “how much wheat is in the royal barn?”

2016 09 22 A son or grandson of that society may morph the question to “how much weat do we want to say is in the barn?” Primitive societies may be wrong, but they don’t lie; all modern socieites lie: to their public, to themselves, to their their backers, their bankers …

Once upon a time the Church kept records. The libraries were called monasteries. With the Renaissance, secular libraries proliferated. They were called universities. The monasteries kept the holy writings; the universities kept the vulgar writings: Virgil, Ovid … of which more and more was being dug up.
“Public” libraries appeared in the Victorian Age. But they were always selected for the public, paid for by rich people; never by the public, paid for by the public. And not one has ever been complete.

(Modern governments have a dodge that taxes are paid by the public for the public. Is it true? Is the money really volunteered?)

In 1970 pk’s FLEX offered to store and render retrievable — to anyone — all information volunteered by the public as “public.” Initially the intent was to establish learning webs in New York City. Spontaneously, other learning webs were being offered in other locales. pk hoped to coordinate all of them, making an inter-web, adding more and more types of public information services, until, for the first time, the human world had an un-censorable universal public information system: a complete library.

Today Deschooling’s Mission is to gather pk’s writings on this subject — information in the sense of documents, public records — into one easily accessible place (also offering explanations as why it didn’t quite happen). To date those writings, those coded for HTML at least, have gathered under the heading of FLEX / FIX (deschooling, free information exchange). Now I’m reorganizing everything (again): distinguishing as clearly as I can among information as theory (Macroinformation), information in its usual sense of documents, records (Deschooling), and other pk information ( New modules on the subject will go here. All FLEX modules will be moved here. pk’s information theory belongs at Macroinformation. All other pk writing generalizes as

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Miles from Bird

/ Music & Art /

I started my jazz collection ten, twelve years old. The guy who owned the record store paid attention to what I bought, offered guidance. My collection swiftly morphed from raw juvenile to quality Creole, from formerly popular swing to modern jazz that few knew even after a decade of exposure: Brubeck, Charlie Parker … I bought Bird records, Charlie Parker, before I ever heard of Miles Davis: that’s how I heard of Miles Davis: he was on the Bird records. I noticed Bird and Diz from the beginning: but then I noticed Bird and Miles also. Later I learned that Dizzy delibearely sat down (at the piano) so Miles, just a kid from St. Louis, could develop his trumpet. Those geniuses saw Miles’ genius, and made room. Bird loved Miles’ counter-melodies. I didn’t hear them, at first, my jazz ears were yet developing. (And the development needed is without limit!)

In 1974, starving because I’d founded FLEX, 1970, the world’s first internet: dumped by my wife as well as by my society, I took a job with Circle Gallery, hoping to learn to sell as well as to survive (so I could still try to explain FLEX (as I still do) (as I still fail to). Anyway my first night on the job I found the guy they’d hired to wrap purchases tring to befriend me. He wanted to tell me about his Bird collection. He had everything: only better: he’s deleted from the tape everything that wasn’t Bird: Bird, no Diz; Bird; no Miles. No nobody, just Bird.

Well, the first thing I decided to learn with regard to salesmanship was not to insult anybody trying to make friends with me. Arghh, what a terrible thing to do: even Bird from the grave couldn’t stop Miles from being a jerk as well as a genius.

I just listened to Miles’ Sketches of Spain. Tears streaming down my face, so moved I couldn’t even listen any more.

I remember when Miles was making that album. I already loved the stuff he’d done with Gil Evans: Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess … Jimmy Cobb, the drummer on that album told me it was in the works, told me he needed a place to practice. I had five rooms on W 188th off Morningside: of course he could set his drums up there: Myron had a piano in his room, I had all my records in what used to be the dining room. When Sketches came out I bought it immediately, but was disappointed in it: I didn’t know yet how to listen to flamenco rhythms, Moorish soul, Islam / gypsy esthetic. Of course don’t trust me, a white kid from Long Island, don’t trust me no matter what I say I can and can’t hear; but trust Pedro Almodovar: when he wants to show quintessential Spanish, what does he put on the sound track? That’s right: Miles!

more comin


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Crichton’s State of Fear

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschooling /

Michael Crichton: State of Fear, on universities

email to Catfarmer (& bkMarcus
Crichton’s State of Fear passages with the “thought ecologist” are cool. He analyzes modern society as controlled by the PLM, politico-legal-media complex, keep the public in fear, always finding new fears. “dedicated to promoting fear in the population — under the guise of promoting safety.”
paperback p 500 ff

then he gets to universities:
The world has changed in the last fifty years. We now live in the knowledge society, the information society, whatever you want to call it. And it has had enormous impact on our universities. Fifty years ago, if you wanted to lead what was then called ‘the life of the mind,’ meaning to be an intellectual, to live by your wits, you had to work in a university. The society at large had no place for you. A few newspaper reporters, a few magazine journalists could be considered as living by their wits, but that was about it. Universities attracted those who willingly gave up worldly goods to live a cloistered intellectual life, teaching timeless values to the younger generation. Intellectual work was the exclusive province of the university. But today, whole sectors of society live the life of the mind. Our entire economy is based on intellectual work now. [2016 09 21 I’m “correcting” typos: in a “quote” that’s tricky.] Thirty-six percent of workers are knowledge workers. That’s more than are employed in manufacturing. And when professors decided they would no longer teach young people, but leave that task to their graduate students who knew much less than they did and spoke English poorly — when that happened, the universities were thrown into crisis. What good were they anymore? They had lost their exclusive hold on the life of the mind. They no longer taught the young. Only so many theoretical texts on the semiotics of Foucault could be published in any single year. What was to become of our universities? What relevance did they have in the modern era? … What happened … is the universities transformed themselves in the 1980s. Formerly bastions of intellectual freedom in a world of Babbittry, formerly the locus of sexual freedom and experimentation, they now became the most restrictive environments in modern society. Because they had a new role to play. They became the creators of new fears for the PLM. Universities today are factories of fear. They invent all the new terrors and all the social anxieties. All the new restrictive codes. Words you can’t say. Thoughts you can’t think. They produce a steady stream of new anxieties, dangers, and social terrors to be used by politicians, lawyers, and reporters. Foods that are bad for you. Behaviors that are unacceptable. Can’t smoke, can’t swear, can’t screw, can’t think. These institutions have been stood on their heads in a generation.

It is really quite extraordinary.

The modern State of Fear could never exist without universities feeding it. There is a peculiar neo-Stalinist mode of thought that is required to support all this, and it can thrive only in a restrictive setting, behind closed doors, without due process. In our society, only universities have created that — so far. The notion that these institutions are liberal is a cruel joke. They are fascist to the core …

(I’ve omitted words, rearranged lines …)
He’s got his dates wrong: it was well underway way before the ’80s. My own History of Universities has it going on for centuries, forever, but escalating since early post WWII: as fed $ poured into universities. What used to be essentially the faculty and their knowledge became administration-driven. It wasn’t the faculty that called the cops at Berkeley or at Columbia in the late 60s. Wasn’t the “students” either.

The protests were out of hand, but why should they have been in hand?

How did “hands” get into universities?

Because they have always been hierarchical. Elder faculty have always been able to set aside new ideas, administer what doesn’t get propagated.

K. Symbols: Fort5

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Incompleteness: Not Quite “All” Information

/ Deschooling /

Deschooling. All information? All? The universe manifests all information, only the universe. Sentiens, the universe of sentience (with its fraternal twin, Pathologica), weaves Macroinformation: ever more and more of it, the potential for macroinformation being for all I can tell infinite, and necessarily not completely model-able. So, with respect to public information, what does pk mean by “all”?
Well, of course it’s a shorthand, it begs explanation. I mean that public information should have no restraints barring volunteered information. I oppose anyone publishing the contents of your pockets unless you voluntarily turned your pockets out for the purpose. I do not grant governments or government (or church, or any institutional) agencies the right to spy. I believe in the right to list your number, I believe in the right not to list your number. Somewhere the phone company would have to know your unlisted number but that archive should not be accessible to the cops, to the FBI, not even to the phone company executives. The phone company computer would know it, and that computer should have no AI capacity. The server for my domains knows my password, but my server is primitive; I’d had servers who did not know my password: only the computer.)
The universe cannot be totally mapped, another, bigger universe would be needed to hold the map. Where the limits are I don’t know, but we could certainly map more and better than we do. And that’s what FLEX (FLEX) offered. A directory of teachers should list everyone who volunteers as a teacher: no union membership required. A directory of healers should not be edited by the AMA.
Thus any such directory would contain misinformation, lies. So what? so long as a companion directory can be called up publishing peer and consumer reports on the listings. Let’s see: Einstein says he can teach physics. Maybe he can maybe he can’t. Let’s see what others on the list say about Einstein, let’s see what his students say.
Directories should tolerate no editing by experts, by union card-holders.
If the public can’t sift Jesus from Pilat amidst unfettered information, then I’m afraid the public is stuck. And should be stuck.

Deschooling also displays far less than all of pk’s own arguments, explanations, stories … on Illich deschooling, on pk’s own schooling, on school horror stories … on the idea of public networking, on the internet we pay such a high price for, having failed to support free public networking: that is, pk’s FLEX. And that relates to pk’s personal failings, to pk’s neuroses … I never told Illich that I was the guy to successfully reform the world. I never introduced myself to him, or to the world, as a proved finisher. I expected him to do it. I just wanted to dedicate my life to helping him. He left it up to me — and you. Big mistake.
See’s Incompleteness Theorem (and also pk’s funny journal entry (Ivy League) on the subject of pk incompleteness).

Here’s what I had written earlier. Another draft will decide what stays, what goes, what expands.
Deschooling. The name emphasizes all information, but of course “all” is shorthand. I mean all voluntary public information.
I do not mean the contents of her purse, his pockets, my underwear, your family secrets. I do not mean that nothing is private. I mean unrestricted, unregulated, unlicensed.
As things are nations believe they have the right to glean information on more and more privacies. Not me. I believe that the only information the public has a right to about the public is information volunteered by the public. All else is private and only the private parties business.
My Free Learning Exchange invited the public to list its resources. It further invited the public to report on its experiences with the listed resources. If you volunteer yourself as a public resource, say as a math teacher, then you also invite the public to comment on your qualities in your capacity as a math teacher. If you declare that you sell cars, then you are also inviting reports on lemons you’ve sold.
If you teach only within your own family and do not list yourself as a public resource, then your qualities are none of the public’s business.
If your math teacher tests you on algebra, the results of that test are your business and your math teacher’s business. If your father or sister or lover are paying your tuition, then perhaps the results of your test are your sponsor’s business, but to no extent are your test results the business of the public, of the government, of your neighbors, of your employer, or your possible prospective employer: unless you want to volunteer them.

Keywords information, FLEX, records, library

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