pk Motives, Ambition, Accomplishments …
Knatz.com / Personal / Overview / pk “Motives” /
@ K. 1998 04
Above I report my ambition and its evolution. I detail my strategies. Some of the evidence that it’s so is in the public record. Parts I publish here at K. from my own records. And I have many many more validating records in my files. Some might still be found who have confirming memories.
2002 12 27
I’m renovating this file these several years after first mounting it and am pleased to be able to insert in this context that fellow Illich disciple John Quintero, in our mutual grief at Illich’s recent death, again urged me to continue recording my experiences. If I don’t, he said, an essential part of American experience will be lost forever.
(The state-greased media repress the truth; someone’s got to tell it; or there won’t be no damn truth.)
What about my
That’s beyond my ability to report. They may be close to zero. I can’t point to anything visible that I haven’t had to publish or mention here for you to have much chance of seeing or hearing at all.
My ambition was between me and God. For any of it to have become an accomplishment, you would have had to join in. All my strategies were intended as collaborations.
I wrote my fictions:
Or at least offered some cogent reason for not doing so.
I offered to administer an institution that would make all public information cheaply available to you.
To you. And to him. And her.
You just went on with the same silliness that was already your habit.
Now the rich have to pay thousands of dollars and spend years learning software to get the same information anyone could have been getting all along for the price of a phone call or postcard.
OK, now we have micro-computers and an internet. Fine. It should all be on the net. But it should have been available off the net since the very early 1970s!
Or sooner, had someone other than me tried first.
My efforts were intended as social. Of course they couldn’t succeed without your cooperation and collaboration.
Little Hans sees a hole in the dyke. He plugs it with his finger. His countrymen know they live below sea level. They appreciate the danger. They recognize Hans’ contribution. The authorities came, thanked him, took over, let him go home. Praised his action.
We don’t see the danger we’re in. Little pk sees a hole that has nothing to do with sea level. Plugs it. Calls an alert. Initially, some come along. Oh, that’s nice. Very nice. By the way, there’s another hole over there. Little pk reaches and plugs it with his toe.
Shouldn’t some one have brought me a sandwich? shouldn’t someone else have offered to take a turn? Some did. That stopped in 1974. If the old authority didn’t see anything but an annoyance in my improvised plug, shouldn’t the group have formed a new authority around that plug? Given the old authority its walking papers?
But of course you couldn’t. I was competing
for your attention (and your dollars): when the government, the military-industrial complex, the school system, three networks, and five hundred corporations had already monopolized
Neither did the Medieval Church have to attract allegiance; it had already commanded it. Ditto Jesus’ Temple of Jerusalem.
OK. Let’s say that my work failed totally. That’s bad. But where does the “blame” belong?
Surely you’re not suggesting that Jesus’ work succeeded? Do you really do any of the things he said? How consistently?
You see our history as a series of successes only because that history has been cooked to pabulum, revised, and complaisantly and flatteringly flavored for your delectation. Not for your nourishment.
I intended my work as the closest I could come to a continuation of Jesus’s. Can you seriously disagree? Without suppressing the evidence? (Or I could say with equal truth and relevance: of Jefferson’s. Of the encyclopedists. Of Dewey’s …)
Now I’m ready for another clarification. As stated, my ambition didn’t change; my strategy modified. Now I add: my expectation changed radically. (As did my sense of what was really going on.) And my attitude underwent an utter reversal. It is appropriate to distinguish between the pk of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s and the pk of the 90s (2001 08 26, now into the 2000s).
The mean protects itself from the extremes. (Once again, see Homeostasis.)
In normal circumstances, the old ways are more likely to keep you going than any anything newfangled. In extraordinary circumstances, the probabilities change drastically. Yesterday, you breathed without thinking. Good. Today, you’re walking along the river. A falling something knocks you cold along the bank. You’re unconscious. Breathe without thinking. Good. What if you’re knocked cold into the water? Now you’ll drown if you don’t wake up and stop breathing till you can get out of the water.
For an infinity of tomorrows like today, all our institutions are fine. So what if the geometry teacher didn’t understand the first thing she was talking about? Who really needs geometry? So what if the preacher’s miracle was staged? Or the winning party saw to it that the votes were miscounted? So long as it wasn’t you, who cares if the FBI murdered some Black Panther? We’re alive. We’re number one. If the Yankees lose, we switch to the Bulls. Didn’t Genghis Khan get away with pretty much whatever he wanted?
Unfortunately, there’s a huge and critical difference between having been lucky so far and continuing to be lucky. The drunk stumbles to his car, wakes up alive the next day. Is that pattern guaranteed? Wouldn’t his luck improve if he stayed sober and kept his eyes open?
Unfortunately, we’re far from sober and our eyes are far from open. OK, you don’t blame the Jews, you don’t drink. It doesn’t matter: this is a new metaphor. A majority of us who are not addicted to alcohol, or to barbituates, or to opiates are never-the-less addicted to a long series of things that cannot be sustained in a world of finite (depleting) resources, escalating (untested) techologies, and exploding (deluded) populations.
. . .
How about how ever more complex, expensive, and technocrat-dependent our government-fed expectations about medical “care” and military “security” become? I hope you would see the irony in the quotation-marked words even had I not so marked them. What’s the current stat? Iatrogenesic disease (doctor-caused) is the leading cause of death? Or are the doctors only in second place? Second only to car accidents or cancer or something? You can look it up. No, I’m not talking about Dr. Karvorkian; I’m talking about the rheumatic fever you pick up while the hospital is X-Raying your sprained finger. Were we ever in greater danger than when our weapons offered us the most potent security?
When I was young I understood that following Jesus led to the crucifixion of many saints. Many early Christians were slaughtered by a number of means. Once the rulers called themselves and us Christians things didn’t change much. Sometimes we tortured and slaughtered at home (Spanish Inquisition); sometimes we went abroad to do it (the Crusades). Not many of those so used would have been saints, but some were. If they weren’t saints of the old God, they may well have been saints of the new. (See God.)
Peter Abelard. Galileo was merely threatened with torture. He shut up fast. But his great work was already done.