Expertise is something we should all applaud; until thugs calling themselves a state, a nation … law and order, start imposing shills on you: false experts, calling them experts: misdealing, forcing fraud.
Ivan Illich encouraged “Christians” who would live convivially, as “brothers” (as distinct from stacked into a vertical hierarchy by the lackies of the war machine) to be self-reliant: parents should try again to teach their children rather than have then outsourced, to teachers. Brr, shiver, ugh.
Real teachers get crucified, always have: watch out for promoted teachers!
Anyhow, here’s a story. It’s true, but I tell it as urban legend, inventing the details: because researching it would sink my already foundering ship: torpedoed by the experts, for two-thirds of a century!
In the US, somewhere in North America, was a town, on an island, in a river: a very small town: but a town. It had a bridge to one bank of the river: it’s one artery, it’s lifeline.
The bridge was an old bridge, a wooden bridge: way old, way out of date, way in need of repair.
It wasn’t that they didn’t know it; it was obvious, had long been obvious. But now they had to reclassify it: as an emergency.
The elders called a contractor, a local guy, a “friend.” He knew the bridge well, but got out and down, examined it, came up with two figures: wholly replace it, for $X; minimally repair it, need it again in a year or two: $30,000.
The elders looked into the check book: $500. They looked at potential revenues, they looked in their pockets, they looked in the cookie jar … No way did they have $30,000. No way could they promise to repay $30,000. Banks on the bank looked the other way.
So they called an out of town construction company: $20,000,000, half up front.
So they called an out of town construction company they hoped would be more accomodating: sure enough: $6,500,000, 75% up front.
Gee, guys, gals, now what? We’ll lose everything: our homes, our businesses … We’ll be lucky to find work as chicken pluckers out there on the bank.
So: they decided to do what they could with the $500 they had and what they could scrounge. They bought lumber, nails, rented some SCUBA gear, figured how to drive a pylon or two deep into the muck, fed by fried chicken from the wives.
And they rebuilt the bridge, just fine. $500 plus their own labor and ingenuity.
In 1970 I said Why should it cost $50 billion to learn to read? I knew how to read before I set foot in the grade supposedly teaching me: I’d learned by seeing my sister learn. By the sixth grade I’ll bet that if properly tested I would have outscored the teachers. Result: I wasn’t tarred and feathered, not at first; just ignored. My family crumbled, my son was kidnapped, no one sticking up for family, not the churches, no one … And finally I was arrested rather than ignored, censored rather than just not published, jailed, not just ignored. The bomb droppers don’t want anyone seeing real choices.
It was bad in 1970: Nixon, etc; it’s worse now. Fatally.
And I laugh, and laugh: all the way to oblivion.