Illich: Richard Wall

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Personal / Mail, Feedback /

I hope you already know Richard Wall from His recent [2005] article on Ivan Illich is a must. bk alerted me to the post, I wrote Richard Wall to point out that the actual Illich Learning Webs (such as my FLEX (Free Learning Exchange)) were not mentioned, and we’ve been getting to know each other and each other’s work since.

… Your network/FLEX/information for all concept is/was ahead of its time …

2005 01 28

Subject: RE: deschooling

Dear pk,

Prompted by your e-mail, I have finally been messing around in the Infoall labyrinth, looking for handles and finding them, lo and behold, in metal tigers and virgins (not the ‘brides of Christ’ variety, no way, but rather the sun sign variety). You have exactly 12 years head start on me (my vintage is 1950), which of course is a whole cycle of the Chinese calendar.

… Like all prophecy, it is misunderstood and even feared.

But I cannot do you justice just yet, partly because I am flitting about and hyperlinking too much, from Macroinformation to to Infoall to Chat to Decshooling, then on to the blog, which I like a lot, and then back and around again to the bio, the family and the favorites, and I’m not dwelling long enough on the more complex, theoretical stuff but enjoying rather the comments on movies and music, for a start.

A gentleman-amateur in an age of professionalism

[You can’t see what Richard is referring to since all pk domains were obliterated by the Fed Govt. Frames, layout … were an integral part of K. meaning. Gone, forever: until God shows it at Judgment.
Meantime, the layout here doesn’t translate well to blog, I fuss with it to some extent, wasting precious time.]

Then in the process of reading what you say about Alexander I open another (local) website to discover that Oliver Stone’s Alexander the Great has been and gone at cinemas near us, and that I have to drive over our own golden gate bridge (built by the same klepto-corporation as the one in San Francisco, Bechtel), to another town to find a cinema where it is still showing…..maybe tomorrow.
But I digress. Where was I before I went over the bridge? Well, I was too brought up on ‘La Strada,’ (actually that was my parents’ favorite), on literature, on Bach and Handel (and the Brahms Violin Sonatas), and over time I discovered for myself Take Five, Miles Davis, The Name of the Rose, and so much else that I have found on a first trip around your website. Just by the way, here’s what I had to say about Bach a while back, in another piece for Lew Rockwell, The Inspired Genius of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Because we are afraid of chaos

I think your network/FLEX/information for all concept is/was ahead of its time, and so, like all prophecy, it is misunderstood and even feared. Putting it in a rather more banal fashion, at the time Illich was putting forward the idea, in Deschooling Society, and you were trying to give it practical form, we were coming out of a very linear age (for some reason I think of Eisenhower and 1950s refrigerator ads here). Networking, hyperlinks and circularity, which are more feminine concepts, were beginning to assert themselves against the predominantly linear (male) culture. This does not mean that I necessarily approve of “feminism” the movement (there is far too much coercion involved there), but simply that the feminine side was beginning to be felt and beginning to break the **emotional** ice. In such a transition there is pain and resistance, especially when what you are doing is opening up hearts. As a male, and first-born to boot, I was of course brought up in a linear culture and environment.
But there was always an antidote provided by the life of love (music, nostalgia, sympathy, conversation, longing, things and people loved, all this before I had even a smattering of anything that I might have ‘professed’). Of course, the linear (rule) is necessary to give structure (organization as you call it), because we are afraid of chaos. Against the feared chaos we try to hold on to order, just as we try to hold on to possessions, but order, like ownership, is transitory. Why did I never understand this when I was growing up? If I had, I would not have spent so much time and effort searching for the anchors and handles (the security), as is often still my first instinct.

“Amateur” is a lover.

Which brings me back to your quite correct criticism that my article on
Illich flashed light where light had already been flashed before, maybe less
incompletely, but still far too much in hock to the linear, secure,
published culture. Yes, mea culpa, but in compensation what I did was
enough for you (or at least for bk) to find me – so now I have an
opportunity to go into new places and find many new things through you.
Well, once I had a school report which went like this:
“He is a gentleman-amateur in an age of professionalism.”
And, as you have pointed out, amateur is a lover.
I’ll stick with that any day rather than the coercive, cartelizing
professionalism of the self-appointed experts our society suffers from
More to follow.
all the best

Each of Richard’s letters have been very nice, thoughtful, germaine, but I’d thouht of posting just the above. Then again I’ve got to share at least part of today’s letter. Good thoughts about Woody Allen were followed by reflections on:

Frames and Borders

The visitor to your website becomes very aware of your generous hospitality.
You are, so to speak, opening the door, letting people in and welcoming them, and solicitously making sure they are OK and can find their way around. Hence there are constant reminders of the ‘proper entrances’ to each section and making sure that the visitor can see all four frames, etc..

But the fact remains that you overflow all the borders and frames. You are borderless. Your writing resists confinement, and I daresay your paintings take up the whole canvas too.

Richard kindly imagines me painting: but that’s an art I don’t do;
I sell paintings (now and then).

2005 02 15 Correspondence rich indeed has followed. I may choose additional selections another time.

2012 08 03 update: Richard told me he was going to be busy concentrating on something, and I haven’t heard from him since. I don’t know but have to suspect that Lew Rockwell diverts people away from the full truth: like the Church, passing this message but blocking that one.
My son is also under the Rockwell thrall: sounds good, until you see what’s missing: and there is the difference between heaven and hell.
Don’t forget, realize if you didn’t know: the oldest version of Mark has the angel tell Mary of the resurrection, tells her to go and tell the disciples; but she does Not: she goes home, afraid, and hides!
That’s our vaunted dignity of man.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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