2006 09 17
The slave owner may be wrong the beat the slave, hell, the slave owner is wrong to own the slave. But that in itself doesn’t make the slave any saint. NYU was wrong to be blind to what I was offering … (Ah, but was the public which demands selective blindness from its institutions wrong to want to remain blind? Bestial conservatism has something to be said for it from an evolutionary(-resist) standpoint.) But NYU wasn’t wrong to feel disrespect radiating from pk. It was natural for NYU to resent it. And to resist it.
Another area in which NYU may not have been entirely wrong concerns how responsible pk was being at learning the assigned scholarship. pk is very poor in that area. pk is a very slow reader (though careful, inspired). pk will never finish reading all the literature of a period. pk does well to read everything or nearly everything by the artist. No wonder I may not yet have begun to read secondary materials about that artist.
With respect to Shakespeare I never for a second planned to read every stupid thing written about Shakespeare. Therefore I would miss lots of good things written about Shakespeare as well.
But I don’t see that it should have mattered. Not much. Not fatally. I saw something big in the Sonnets, something true, something profound, radically different from anything I’d ever heard about them. Did I have to read everything written about the sonnets to prove that my thesis hadn’t been published before declaring what I saw? If what I saw appealed, I should have been listened to: whether or not I was the compleat scholar on the field. Duplication of invention is more the job of the patent office than the inventor.
How can ideas evolve except through dialogue?
Just getting buried is good only for potatoes.
The wise society would listen to its inventors, not appoint a committee of non-inventors to tie him up with red tape.
PS: I’ll say further, perhaps could have said first: I have always been a bad student: from day one. I hated school. I hate school.
I’m the guy who invented the internet in order to shoot school between the eyes.
But, for every two teachers saying I was stupid, there was generally one saying I was a genius. And by the time I was in grad school the first category of opinion had disappeared, while the second had waxed nicely.