René Dubos

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / Social Order / DeGate / DeSchooling / Philosophers /

Social Critics, Matrix Setters, Trailblazers before Illich

René Dubos

René Dubos

I never heard of Dubos in 1970, so I certainly didn’t have his teaching in mind at the time. I nominate him as a source for FLEX after the fact.

In Celebrations of Life Dubos reports talking about the world’s problems at a campus, being supported by the students’ indignation over environmental degradation. He invited them to address the mess in their own TV room.

Think globally. Act locally.

They didn’t like being exposed as part of the problem.

I knew Rome was burning but I had just enough water to scrub the floor …
I only know the middle ground where we live our lives.
The Poisonwood Bible

Please notice that FLEX offered to network communities. FLEX offered to coordinate local networks into one universal network. Bottom up. Not top down. Only the principles, the constitution as it were, was top down: free people must agree on these freedoms or the words lose their meaning.

The use of the institution was to be free: non-coercive; open … The administration of the infrastructure must be cephalous, dictatorial, uncompromising. A constitution is logically and philosophically (and politically) distinct from a forum. (Golfers don’t argue about the rules in the middle of the tournament. Does anyone interrupt the hootenanny to reengineer the acoustics? Jam how you wish; the architect made the room from an eminence.) (2013 04 04 There’s gotta be a typo just there, what did I mean by “cephalous,” un-hyphenated?)

Illich wrote of community resources. I believe the networking of the networks was my addition. (Correct me if you read Deschooling and find a passage I’m forgetting. I’ve had little occasion to reread it myself since 1974.) The thinking is Dubosian whether or not I knew it at the time.

2004 09 02 Reading Denis Wood’s Five Billion Years of Global Change: A History of the Land [NY 2004], I notice him quarreling with Dubos’ “Think globally. Act locally.” He reverses it: Think locally; Act globally. But his explication shows him to mean the same thing.

I’ve got to do a piece on authorsmanship: the phenomenon where one picks at an author for lacking the trait he’s famous for: The trouble with D. H. Lawrence is that he lacks a sense of human sexuality; or Freud’s problem is that he has little awareness of the unconscious; or Jesus’ message would play better if he showed a sense of love.

Wood’s book is otherwise very good: so far. I’m not yet confident that he realizes that he’s addressing Dubos’ territory. He seems scholarly … but could have a hiatus or two.

Deschooling Thinkers

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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