Aging Scrapbook

/ Stories / By Age / ’70s /


I’ve been riding my bike nearly every day for a bit now, three miles, five miles … I’m embarrassed to report a mistake I just made:
I was pedalling home through Woodhaven Estates. A couple, elderly, were walking ahead of me. When I first took up skiing I was grateful to the experts who would warn “On your left” or “On your right” as they whizzed past me. This pair shifted position, and then some. Finally I was almost upon them, the woman was lurching a bit left. I decided the safest and most courteous thing would be to pass them on her right. So I said, softly, “On your right.”

I saw no response from her or him, but by that time I was abreast of her and passing her. “Ooo, ooo, ooo,” I heard from her. “Ahh, ahh.” Then, “You should toot your horn.”

No, I did better than that: I spoke, in an even voice, unalarmingly. At least that was the intention.

I’m 78 1/2. I don’t hear much of what people say. I suspect this couple didn’t either. I warned them, they remained unwarned. Now I see that I should have come up on his left, should have warned them earlier, should have made sure they acknowledged me … Or I should have blared them off the face of the planet with a truck horn! I worked in a motorcycle place in NY& in 1967: Outrider sold truckers’ air horns for motorcycles: clear traffic for ten miles!

I coming up behind them, I should warn them in a polite way; but at the same time at some time pedestrians become responsible for their own handicaps: they certainly weren’t paying attention.

London Bridge is the first known avenue to have instituted traffic rules: then invented traffic keeping to the left, or to the right. With manners many more people can it into the one shrinking world.

Points I yield on: I believe that pedestrians should have right of way and right of courtesy over vehicles: they were afoot, I was on a bicycle.
Further: it was (I presume their park, not mine. I owed them a little extra courtesy. They were old: I should beware of assuming competence.
But I’m old too. they should beware of assuming competence … pk, joking again.

Stories by Theme by Age
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Truth versus Fact

/ Thinking Tools / Truth

A TV viewer emailed an accusation: Texi Thompson, winning the major, had hit her ball from an incorrect position. The officials assessed her four stroked in penalties. Tumple, tumble out of the lead.

Back in 1961 I worked a season at the flat tracks, NYRA. Cappy would announce, “The results are now official.” That signaled the bettors that winning tickets could now be paid off. Once the state paid off on the 6 hors at 8 – 1, the state didn’t care if God showed up with an alternate photofinish: The state paid on what Cappy announded as fact. The state didn’t bother to distinguish fact from truth, itself from God: the truth was a practical matter, money was involved.

What would monotheism be like if the epistemology of science held. Science goes by the best information at hand. New data, new interpretations may succeed old date, old interpretations. Churches can’t do that. At least churches don’t do that: correct wrong information at your peril. Where money is involved, power, the 2,000 year old account will correct the current account. Indeed, there will be no current accound. Classic information only.

Truth Menu

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Fashion Puritan

/ Deschooling / Rants /

Steven Johnson’s Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World just gave me an insight into why the world of the last five decades has refused to acknowledge my FLEX: my offered internet of 1970. FLEX was conceived by this infrmation-Puritan as hard-pewed: bare, spare, utilitarian: information without frills. But societies, nations, states … banks, manipulated markets posing as free … profit from illusion, delusion … luxury: not rational shopping (what I had in mind); irrational window shopping!

I refer once more to my analogy of the time: in 1970 I was forever citing the dictionary as a paragon of information organization: list the words defined alphabetically! not in technicolor, not with a loud soundtrack, not with porn queens, legs agape: no: plain text, black and white, a standard font. Just the information please. If I’m looking up “information” I want to find it in the “I”s, after “im…”; before “it…” No pop-up ads: no ads other than the word itself. You use FLEX to announce your availability as a math teacher. In front of your students you want your math to show; not a Coke ad, not MIT’s logo on your shirt. Napoleon dressed his generals to show his, Napoleon’s might: Napoleon himself wore basic black. Jesus was crucified in his birthday suit; not wearing purple robes.

The Church dressed its Christianity in gold, in silver, with colored lights, with spectacular architecture; Puritans said Enough already: and wore plain black and white: puckered their bottom on the hard pew.

Johnson writes, Where shopping for clothes had previously been a straightforward, no-frills series of exchanges, bartering with street vendors or tradesmen— no different from buying eggs or milk—now the practice of browsing and “window shopping” became its own sought-after experience.
A page or two before he had reported Daniel Defoe (in The Compleat English Tradesman) looking for and failing to find commercial utilitarian function in the shops that were inventing fashion as luxury.

In the 1960s I wanted a Puritan internet. I wanted everyone to have politically free advertising: I wanted the ads to be digital, online, in the Cloud … barebones, hard-pewed. The person advertised could wear jewelry; but not the ad itself. I was looking for society to offer its contents in plain black-and-white text, like a dictionary. Let the word defined be jeweled or plain, the dictionary itself “should” be unadorned.

DeFoe didn’t understand his own culture. His century was inventing shopping as fantasy, as indulgence. He didn’t get it, he didn’t like it.
Me too: with this difference: my offering an anarchist internet to a controlled kleptocracy was itself a form of play: absurdist. I couldn’t possibly expect people compelled to study state propaganda under state automata, people with no idea what their words meant, to understand. My idealism was an entertainment. If you weren’t entertained, I was: it’s like Alan Watts’ theology: Shiva disguises Shiva from Shiva: the universe contains no other entity to fool. Shiva pretends not to get it. That’s the joke. Get it?
No, of course not.

more in a bit

Deschool Menu

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O’Hairy Morality / Teaching / Society / Social Epistemology / Cosmology / Religion /

I’m loving the biopic I’m watching on Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

I wouldn’t spit in your ass if your guts were on fire.

Mme Atheist addressing the kidnapper who’s holding her for ransom
(while Christian society looks the other way).

I’m hating my memory of a letter I wrote Madalyn Murray O’Hair in the 1960s: wise-ass pk took the stance that she was deeply religious, as am I, but with slightly difference semantics. Now I apologize to one- and-all, especially to her, for what I now believe were wrong spiritual and political tactics: everyone understood what she meant; no one understands what I meant. (That could all change, could all reverse (or alter to some other torque) but I’m not holding my breathe.

(I’m paused in her movie where she’s about to take on the Plege of Allegiance’s “under God”. I remember the grade school we were compelled to attend addressing that issue when I was in the 4th grade or so: the pledge had not had that provision; the school added in in my childhood, I was part of the alteration.) I want to point out please that I’d been brainwashed to believe that worshipping God was a good thing, then that freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, were good things. I was part of the preposterous attempt by churches and by schools to pretend that they believed both, respected both, had both. Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s life shows us as clearly as any behavor from Senator Macarthy that we don’t know what words mean, what actions mean, what politics and religion is about.

The Christians send her shit smears in the mail, throw rocks, run away: don’t take responsibility for their sabotages.

Why, when Nazis parade, do the “majority” so successfully remain silent, don’t expose the egregious pretenses, allow the hypocrites their hypocrisy?
O’Hair is vulgar, confrontational: but by their behavior it’s the Christians who are the immoral atheists, O”Hair the hyper-moral “Christian”. But of course it’s the hypocrites who firmly control the majority: the Christians don’t speak up, neither does God.

But should God really have to? Isn’t it all obvious? Which one’s the Christian? the guy on the cross? or the felons who put him there?

Religion Menu

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Monthly Archives 2

Reason Derailed]
2016 12 24 I’m watching Good Night and Good Luck, Edward R. Murrow vs. McCarthy, vs. J. Edgar: civilization vs. honesty. US establishment is throwing its weight around, calling everybody a Communist, all unconsciounable behavior at best, now the networks are administering loyalty oaths, threatening unemployment, unemployability: only the dishonest need apply. Meantime our institutions, though they see that they’ve been threatened don’t see that they’ve been undermined. But this should surprise no one. Priests in the church get things exactly backwards, they think they represent God, that the Bible is an example of truth, not lies, not at best mistakes mistakes: CBS staff actually believes that yesterday they were clean, today they’re pressured, they have till tomorrow to decide … No, no, it was all decided long ago. Jesus wasn’t the first victim, merely the most famous.

I lived through all of that: the school, the press, the public, standing up for McCarthy, abandoning Christianity, civil values, feeling virtuous as we mislabeled everything. And now we think that there were only a few bad apples, that we survived it. We didn’t. We didn’t survive. Or we changed identity: the evil survived, grew, transformed.

Literal, Symbolic
2016 12 19 Do you believe in God? That’s a common questions, is it not? How common is it for the person or group asking the question to be willing (or competent) to define terms, to allow you to be clear? Unheard of, never.
“God” is, among other things, a trigger that guarantees that emotion will overwhelm reason before anything can be made half-clear.
But never mind that: I have a different question to focus on: how literal is your (or the group’s) understanding of the terms?
For example, you can not believe that Jesus is an historical figure, you can not believe that the gospels can be examined with normal reading skills, but still believe that a good man, an unorthodox teacher, someone whose life and teachings stimulated thought got sandbagged by the establishment. You can believe that the justice system, though it might honorably and truly find you guilty of speeding would prove utterly incapable of fairly judging the rebel who turned over the money tables in the temple when the frauds running those tables were cheating the poor: and God, the supposed recipient of the sacrifices. In other words, the symbol doesn’t have be be believed in literally to be believed in symbolically.
Never mind whether I believe in God. Never mind whether I believe in Jesus. Never mind whether I believe that Jesus can reasonably be distinguished from Christ. What I do believe in is human failure; what I don’t believe in is the kleptocratic institutions of civilization:
the institutions that use coercion.
If the school is compulsory it doesn’t matter what its victims believe: or think that they think.

History Will Say
Nixon used to say “History will say …” That’s like Nero writing a poem, reciting it, then reviewing it: repressing all other reviews.
It was exactly like that at the Salvation Army when the fed squirted me from jail, Jesup GA, to a HalfWayHouse in Palm Beach, Salvation Army run. The Salvation Army had a motto posted by the entrance: it reviewed the Salvation Army’s performance in handling prisoners, including political prisoners: the Salvation Army had God at Judgment putting the Salvation Army in heaven, at the top of the class, perfect performance, no improvement possible. Yes, they continued to oppress the prisoners, political and criminal, then elevated themselves to heaven for right action.
You know, what if I really did commit the crime the FBI accused me of? what if their evidence was real instead of concocted? Could any crime I could have committed, or that you could have committed, be half as bad as Nero’s crime in reviewing his own poem?
Stalin wrote his own reviews, Hitler etc. tried to. As is, the school text book are written by school board flunkies: what if they were actually written by Nixon’s staff? As is, history is written by Lincoln’s staff, still extant, still funded.
The revolution I want would erase utterly whatever the last administration’s school board was.
Notice, as always, the main crime is the compulsory nature of the school. If you have to be there, it’s a crime: a crime so severe that all the money in history would not suffice to compensate it.
I don’t want all the money is history; I just want the freedom to find my own fish: and water: and woman. Or to fail to find them.
No luck? Then fuck me, I strike out, so what? it’s not Napoleon’s fault.

YoYo Reload
Yahoo has long annoyed me, but it’s quite a while now that I’ve used as a secondardy home page. Now though I’m driven toward severing all ties. You link to a page, the page starts to draw itself, then pauses, hiccoughs, redraws itself, loops, and loops, and loops, and loops.
Had the public supported the internet I offered in 1970, would things have gone wrong? Certainly. Might I have gotten drunk? Coudl our coders have been asleep at the wheel? Certainly, for sure. And perhaps some of the problems would have been in the unforeseeable nature of things; not greed and stupidity and dishonesty puking over itself, and puking some more.

But the one thing that surely would have gone wrong is infact exactly what did happen. Big government, big, business, big media would have seen that a free football was too slippery to hold onto. That and all of god’s suggestions would have been undone, sabotaged, as fast as god made them. The preachers with original messages will never keep up with the poisoners.
If there were any real Christians amid the Christians, that would have been obvious since before Paul.

Gender Locker
2016 03 06 In the 1960s my favorite army buddy, an avid Yankee fan, told me that one reason some Yankee fans didn’t join Casey Stengal’s bandwagon behind Yogi Bera, still an active player at the time, was their discomfort seeing Yogi scratch his balls over the potato salad. Food was out, there were no sneese guards, nobody had ever heard of a sneeze guard, players came and went from the showers, Yogi remained naked for longer than most … I love that image: Yogi dangling his dick over the food. So that was much in my mind when female reporters wanted admission to sports lockers rooms. Women slaves would always have filled the gladiators’ locker rooms, some would have been masseuses; none would have been reporters.

Have women, females, ever had full freedom of movement in any society? “Should” they? In America? Especially in America?! Rhet Butler could walk into the female slaves latrine if he wanted to; the female slave could not walk into Rhet Butler’s poop room: not unless she was summoned, not unless it was her regular job to carry away the slops. Etc. Nineteenth-century members of the House of Lords couldn’t walk into Parliment’s ladies room because through Queen Victoria’s reign there was no ladies room: Parliament wasted no time discussing women’s comforts or needs.

So now Peyton Manning is retiring. Last month we watched him prevail over Cam Newton. Now there’s been a month more talk about Peyton Manning’s age and so forth. And now there’s talk about Peyton Manning rubbing his balls and his ass in the face of a woman who was assisting the medical treatment of his foot. Would the gladiators in Rome have had female medical aids in the locker room? Surely some part of the catacombs the gladiators hung out in before being summoned to the arena could be considered to be a “locker room”. Slaves, whores … doctors … how about reporters?

If the masseuse can come into the catacombs, if the whores can come into the catacombs, can the reporter? the female reporter. Can the reporter get mixed up among the whores? Can Peyton Manning be expected to be able to tell the difference between a slave, a whore, a doctor, a reporter?

I scribbled the above after reading that Peyton Manning is retiring. I surfed around to see what more I could find on the accusations reported above: all washed away! whitewashed!
We’re so stupid, so selectively blind, we stand like dummies no matter what lies are told us, no matter when “rights” are perverted, stolen, subtracted. Ah, but the sports news is replete with items about the Broncos just loving Peyton! what a wonderful man he is. …

Shooting Rampage
2016 02 21 Now there’s another one. Now demands for gun control will quicken once again. Of course there will be more guns, good for business, but most of the more guns will go to cops, to soldiers, will increase not modify, how far up the federal creek we are. Human nature goes crazy, again. Instead of shouting hurray, this might reduce our toxic numbers, we gang up to defeat nature even further. No, no: let everybody shoot everybody. Soon the guns stores will close, ammunition won’t match, people will be too hungrey to pull many more triggers.

Gender Neutral
2016 02 05 First French ‘neutral gender’ defends label in court
French court allows gender ambiguous person (mis-)labeled “male” at birth to be designated as “gender neutral”. “Guy” was born with a rudimentary vagina and in tiny penis, no testes: a natural accident: and the guy’s been tortured by the bureaucracies ever since. Billions around the world will be indignant, certain in their minds that God is clear on the subject, nature must be clear also. But nature isn’t clear. Neither is God. Neither is the law.
I know one unequivocal thing on the subject. Jared Diamond, one of the leading great scientists ever says that his field, zollogy make things clear with a simple definition: if the subject has testes, whether developed or not, thw subject is a male. He does not have to have a penis, or a beard, or broad shoulders: he has to have testes. No testes, then the individual is female.
Female is the default development. A guy with testes but the testes nonfunctioning, not pumpiing out testosterone to induce puberty, will develop a “female” appearance. Great subject, some of us have rfinally learned something; but not the law, not the courts, not the governors. The law should be guided, then reguided by science, then by the best science, but it isn’t. And don’t hold your breath.
Science will never rule, but never even be heard from except by a few: not while the world is run, into the ground, by yahoos screaming self-confidence. Motivated by ingnorance, not humility.

Faggot Morality
2016 01 19 For decades my son has cringed when I use the word “faggot”. It’s a pejorative word, sends political, cultural alarms ringing: bong, crash, aye. I was half-way through college before I ever began using it. I always meant to get people’s attention, risking opprobrium. What happens though is people disconnect their minds and run for the hills. The word faggot come most forcibly into my ken one evening in the West End Tavern, late ’50s, early ’60s, when the Academy Awards were on the tube. The camera focused on Tab Hunter: “faggot, faggot”, began screaming all the queers at the back end of the bar. Leading the riot was Jack, the queer who entered my dorm room and slid his hand under my blanket when I was napping. But by that night in the West End Jack had learned to leave me alone. Or maybe I was irresistible to him when I was eighteen or nineteen, but not long quite so compelling when I was twenty or twenty-one. It was also Jack who had first introduced me to the word “gay” meaning homosexual. I resisted and was offended by that usage then and remain so now. I’d trade Yeats’ poem Lapis Lazuli for all the political correctness in the world. But no one pays attention to me, now even less than then.
Btw there were plenty of dykes in the bar that night (and every other night); but they didn’t scream at Tab Hunter, and Rock Hudson (and sneer hints about Brando) the way Jack and friends did.
(Poor me, I was smitten by Robin, the makeup-less boho chick in the red cape and black boots, she stopped my heart, bull dyke I understood from Jack, and I have seen her singlehandedly coral all the attractive females at a Village party, right from under my yearning nose. Anyway, Robin’s femme was Jan (who looked like she ought to have been the bull): Jan and I became friends. She got a kick out of my infatuation with her lover. At the moment I am pleasantly remember the back-rub she gave me in my mother’s Buick at dawn one morning at the Cloisters. Jan was the first female I ever knew to seem perfectly frank about the erotic behavior of herself and others. If she had wanted a quick bof, no strings attached, I think she would have said so.
Skip: I approach from another angle. I just read Edna St Vincent Millay’s Renascence for the first time since public school. I’d assumed that I’d once read the whole thing. Now I feel confident that I never read more than the teacher, and the teacher read only the dozen or so opening lines. That damn poem goes on and on, more scientifically embarrassing by the phrase. Not as devastating as discovering how superstitious and ignorant classics like The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are.
Skip to my senior year, blurring with the year after: I shared a five room apartment on W 112th, Alan in the five rooms next door took as a roomie grad student Marcia, recently out of Vassar. So one day in bed I’m being very attentive to Marcia’s pussy, and she tells me, “You make love like a woman”. My face must have betrayed now upset I was, Marcia protested that she meant it as a compliment. Then she startled me with tales of the lessie goings on in the Vassar dorms. “It’s the same everywhere”, she assured me: “Smith, Bryn Mawr, Radcliffe …

WordPress told me last week that K. had 20,000 readers in 2015, in 150 different countries: mostly in the US, Germany, UK. Those couple of people who’ve let me know they approve were not heard from in 2015. It’s been nine years since I heard from any such person.
PS: the last such was also in jail. He hailed me as a political prisoner, did not identify himself as such, but: his arrest for whatever was putting him out of business. I bet it had a political dimension: he had had a successful Italian restaurant on a major intersection around West Palm. I was never able to pay rent, this guy had paid rent, lots of it: but bankrupt, out of business, you can’t pay much rent. I bet it was political at least in part.

I keep dozens of scrapbooks here, a dozen or so of them I made (past tense) “monthlies”: that is, I dated them the first of the month, updating the fictional date each month. But now I’ll keep just one: this one. Here I’ll jot notes to be further developed, maybe elsewhen, maybe moved elsewhere. This is, some may promote to modules; others may remain entries in scrapbooks.) Excess will go to a Monthly Archive.

Incomplete pk
2016 01 22 There are pieces here that qualify as “essays”: they’re “complete”. Some seemed “finished” when I first mounted them. Others get added to, gradually. Such additions may complete some, render others more chaotic. That typifies my work of the last half century. But recently I blurt and post, I rant. It’s “rant”; not “essay”. Again and again I promise to return, to improve. Sometimes I actually do.
This post provides an easy place to blurt. I actually do delete some of it.
Even the casual visitor should be aware that many of my themes are recurrent: points about semiotics, semantics, epistemology, homeostasis … Today’s blurt may be a deal less coherent that how I launched an idea on line twenty-five years ago. Oh well, I’m gettin’ old. Since resources were diverted from me: the enemies of life that run the world recognized me, correctly, as an enemy (of the enemy): and sabotage is old hat to them: the profit seekers, the corporate toxifiers.

Wiki = FLEX Junior
2016 01 08 Last evening Jan and I watched Wikileaks : War, Lies and Videotape. I point out to your now as I pointed out to her last night (and my son this morning): my Free Learning Exchange of 1970 was the precursor of the wiki: a website where the content may be modified by the users. All wiki sites, including wikileaks should be designated FLEX Junior, FLEX III …
FLEX offered to keep community data bases, updateable by the community: FLEX also offered to attempt to coordinate FLEXs worldwide. I did: I corresponded with all the community data bases that sprang up, or tried to spring up, around the world in the wake of Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society and my FLEX.
This internet is the result of the world’s kleptocracies stealing — but perverting — the idea.
The idea was actually from God, but we all know that kleptocracies are deicides: unrepentant, unapologetic. and very far from truthful.

Polar Bear Rash
2016 01 02
One of a few articles today on New York swims yesterday, New Years: Alec Baldwin in the Hamptons, clubs in Cony Island … The Baldwin article specified that he “braved the chilly waters” – another journalist showing his ignorance, another raft of editors not qualified to supervise. Decades ago I saw a marvelous doc on a Long Island polar bear club. The swimming member was clear:
if you swim in the ocean every day in the summer and keep swimming in the ocean every day as autumn comes, then winter, the water is not cold; the water is warm: at least compared to the air. In summer say the air temperature is 80, the water temperature is say 60. That water seems cold. Comes winter, the air temperature is say 40, the water temperature is say 55. It’s winter, it’s cold, but the water seems warm!
Besides, the polar bears don’t go in for long.

My father loved the beach. When I was a kid we’d go for walks on Jones Beach. We’d run into isolated polar bears. I remember one guy who’d built himself a huge fire on the sand. He’d run into the ocean, swim around, run out, warm himself by his fire. I remember waiting by his fire as he swam: he rushed out, sprinted to his fire: there was a huge chunk of ice in his chest hair by the time he got to the fire and wrapped himself in a blanket. The air was very cold that day, the water froze on his wet chest. Still, I bet the ocean had been warm, relatively.
Regardless, when I skied my beard would freeze on a cold day. One day in Maine I saw my frozen face in a mirror as I entered the SugarLoaf lodge. Wow, I bet I was impressing a lot of fire bunnies. But: my face was not cold: the ice was insulating my face. The ice was keeping me warm.

Obscene DH Porn
2016 01 02 DH Lawrence and his essay distinguishing obscenity from pornography popped into my head. His arguments made the subject important to me, though I no longer trust myself to remember what the points were or to which term they applied. It would have been c. 1957 when I read it. A couple of years after that I was much influenced by GB Shaw’s treatment of freedom and censorship.
It isn’t just aging that erodes memory and erodes meaning: attitudes migrate, sometimes reverse. In 1957 I would have understood “pornography” to be a shameful activity: by 1974 when I told Norman Mailer that his American Dream was the “greatest pornography” I’d ever read, he understood, appreciatively, that I mean the term as praise, art with a possibly high value; it wasn’t an indictment.
If I have it right Lawrence meant “obscene” as an indictment of the culture holding the opinion, never mind how it seemed to evaluate a particular literary reference.
Words drift, meanings drift, the cultures too drift, at varying rates.
2016 03 14 I bet there’s a set of laws akin to physics involved. I bet the math is beautiful. Too bad such intelligence is repressed: what we have is what’s left over after universal (but not absolute) repression.
The people whom the society subsedizes should be grateful to those the society represses for their advantages.

Grass Roots Pill
A bureaucrat has been in the news for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex parties. Her religion and the law are in conflict: this woman takes money from the law side of the equation but marches according to the fundamentalists’ reading of the Bible.
Now I was just reading an article by a female reporting how she’s been embarrassed by pharmasists trying to curb her behavior: again, church vetoing state.
Notice: as always: God hasn’t been heard from. Oh the people say they’re representing God, through the Bible, through their thumper preacher; but where’s God in all of it? Put God on TV, let him say what he means. Burn the bibles, burn the churches, cut the tongues of the preachers: let God speak. Then do what he says, or don’t but know you’re not.
So this female writing reports on others’ stories, the fifteen year old girl orders a contraception drug, the pharmacists start to make up the prescription, but mock her the whole time.
If we’re a people of law then the girl should be able to call a cop, close down the pharmacy, sue them while they’re closed, permanently, the pharmacists themselves, personally having to pay the bill.
I’ll develop this further, later.

Humor Alive: and Well
2015 12 31 Happy New Year!
Last week or so I experience Amy Schumer, Trainwreck, for the first time. Basketball cheerleaders are shaking their pompoms, wiggling their tush, Amy calls out, “You’re gonna cost us the vote!”
That is very very funny. She was born yesterday, welcome to earth.
Woody is my age, I’ve known him since the early ’60s, he used to flirt with my girlfriend on Sheridan Square, everybody knows he’s a genius whether they can stand him or not. An early line of his I’d missed, until yesterday:
the schlemiel stands there, holding an old pocket watch. Woody says, “My grandfather on his deathbed sold me this watch.”
What I want you to notice is what they share, the class of joke: the jokes seem to be about one or another thing. The comedian leads you to think that you’re on one track, actually, you’re on a different track.
What they’re actually about is the same thing: stereotypes: politics wearing a mask, culture masking hypocrisy.
Let met note also: Woody is comfortable being an uncomfortable Jew. His Jewishness is confident, he can admit some degree of sterdotype. Amy’s a Jew too, yes? But her schtick isn’t being Jewish; it’s being female, a feminist: a comfortable feminist who can make jokes at her sisterhoods expense! Well, it’s about time. Lose us the vote, that’s priceless.

Bible Proof
2015 12 29 Just watching Myth Hunters. Three guys climb Mt Ararat in Turkey looking for Noah’s Ark. The narrative opens by asking if the Bible offers just “stories”, or could the stories actually be true? Fair enough, seemingly: until the next assumption knocks it all to kerphluie: if they find the ark then that will prove that every word of the Bible is true!!! Uh, ‘scuse me fellows, what? If one number in the phone book actually reaches the named party: then that proves that every datum in the phone book is accurate? ??? One thing being true proves that everything is true? If there’s such a thing as a fact then there can be no non-facts?

One thing I love about this balderdash: They name an astraunaut, Irwin, as a member of the team. They also name a Scott. Hold on here now: my girl’s name is Irwin, her son’s name is Scott! So that has to prove anything you want it to prove, eh?

An hour later: I’m still thinking about this Creationist exastraunaut, Irwin. The story goes that the moon rover’s wheels wouldn’t turn, or it wouldn’t steet, or the legs were broken, and Irwin prayed over it, went back to the rocket and slept, in the morning the rover worked just fine. So, God fix it, right?
Or Irwin sabotaged it, then fixed it, then attributed his antidote to God. Which reminds me of how the Church excuses fraud if it promotes faith. Which reminds me of Teillard: a good priest, an inspiring theologian, a cheat in science: all good, if it promotes faith. And I can just see astronaut Irwin patting himself on the back for fraud, for sabotage, for lying.
I don’t say he did do this: I say the story reminds me of … It could have been cheating, could have been planned cheating. All of which reminds me of:
Feudal Theology
I was raised to love God. I took to it like a fish, I wasn’t the only one. Eventually, I came to love truth. I see that other religious do not. Oh, they pretend to, they’re good at the rhetoric, excel at the pretense … But what it comes down to is an invitation to fraud. Identify the cosmos with God, identify God with truth, then pretend that loving God proves you love truth … Now, trust and love the cheats who switch decks on you mid-trick.
Isabel Rossellini did a wonderful skit on Noah: she mocks the human politics of the Bible’s Noah, thinking everything is male / female, in a world where one survival choice is palmed as Chosen, for all, by authority. Not we’re 92% heterosexual; no, we must be 100% heterosexual, or at least pretend we are, torture the truthful. Isabel has hermaphrodites on Noah’s gangplank. Isabel affectionately mocks the straight-laced god and his bible.
So, decades ago, I chose to keep God and Truth. Mistake. Others didn’t follow, others can’t follow. I was wrong to have tried. But I don’t take it back. My jokes backfired, harmed me, harmed mine. But put me in a unique category. One I wouldn’t trade. For anything.

Accident and Force
2015 12 27 Just absorbing Ken Burns Roosevelts, reading that TR carried The Federalist Papers on safari in Africa. Hamilton etc. c. 1787 or so wrote

It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.

Yes, Alex, yes, Madison, that’s it exactly: could governments form rationally, consciously? No, it’s all accident and force. We pretend to do better, but it’s illusion. delusion: accident and force. So sorry.

Thinking of Hamilton, got to repeat story. One morning at Columbia, walking across the quad, passing Alex’ statue, we saw silver footprints, man’s shoe sole, on the statue’s base, and stepping away, north and east. Those who followed the steps found that they led to the statue of Alma Mater, in front of the old Low Memorial Library. There the stops ascended Alma Mater’s base. There there, clear as day, was a man’s handprint in silver on Alma Mater’s copious bosom. Her face however looked the same as always. If she was responding she played it like poker.

Conscience over Constitution
2015 12 26 Church vs. State, Law vs. Inspiration
I’m an anarchist, always have been, by which I mean not that everyone should murder everyone but that I don’t want any authority telling me what to do, say, think. My oldest ethics are religious, not moral: if God is right, if God is the owner, the creator, the blessed, the blesser, then we should do what God says, not what Hitler says. As a child I believed that religious man was capable of hearning God’s commandments, and obeying. I no longer believe that anything we say can be trusted no matter in whose name we’re saying it: I don’t trust what Moses says or the Pope or Billy Graham; I DO trust what God tells me: the problem there is how do I show you that God said it to me? No, no, God has to show you, himself; not Moses, not the Bible.
Anyway, one consequence of my anarchism these days has been that I don’t trust God either: I trust Nature! Laissez Faire: Nature will get rid of the bad ideas: meantime, we don’t need any laws, any cops, any priests: trust to evolution, to Nature: if we’re wrong, as we’re almost certain to be, don’t worry, Nature will get rid of us: clean, healthy, simple.
Laws, and cops, etc. are for cheating. I don’t want cheats to flourish, it doesn’t matter what the papers say.
Thus: if we elect Teddy Roosevelt to be President, and TR swears to uphold the Constitution, then by golly that’s what he should do! Ah, but Bully Teddy thought his conscience told him that the federal government should protect the coal miners, that Teddy’s White House should threaten the capitalists with nationalizing coal mines, with having the military dig and deliver and sell the coal …

The US should never have survived TR’s moral improvisations. The US should never have survived the Great Depression. Teddy, and FDR, should have minded their own business: we’d all be dead, God’s law, that is to say, Nature, would rule.

See? Anarchism, yea!

I love the recent news story of the bureaucrat who put her church’s propaganda over the law she’s sworn to uphold. The law said fags could marry; her church had said, No, they couldn’t. So she put her conscience over the law.
My own favorit personal example: when my beloved patroness, Catherine, was dying, terminal, the nurse came to the house. I showed her Catherine’s Living Will: do not pray over me, do not preach at me while I’m in a coma … Thus I made sure that the nurse kept her religion in check. Don’t preach at Catherine’s helpless dying body, don’t breach her peace at her end.
Oh, the nurses contradicted me, made it plain, she’s follow her church, not the law, not her vows as a nurse …
I called the nursing service and complained. They told me, Sure, I could hire the other nursing company: there were two, only two. If the other company’s nurse also put her church over her duty, well then, fuck Catherine, she can die in torment. Conscienceless conscience.

Bully War
2015 12 25 Watching Ken Burns’ the Roosevelts. Teddy is campaigning for McKinley, beaucoup whistlestops. Teddy stands in the train’s rear, a fellow veteran of his preposterous charge up San Juan Hill introduces him: Teddy is “the man who led us up San Juan Hill like sheep to the slaughter — and so will he lead you” !!
Teddy led us in beligerence, in imperialism: in godlessness. He wasn’t the first, or last, but boy, was he good at it.
I gotta check: did any hint of Christianity ever creep into his life? or the lives of his family? I don’t mean the delusion that God is going to forgive anybody; I mean the idea of the imitation of Christ. Can you imagine Jesus leading a kamikazi charge?
Well, humans have always been offered leadership in meekness, in mildness; but no hoards get up and salute, leaving their body a smear on the horizon.

Squeeze Princess Leia
2015 12 19 delicious: Carrie Fischer is mocking Hollywood for pressuring her to lose a few dozen pounds for the current Star Wars film. Images filled her baby bottle, images put her in a gold bikini. She was cast as an icon: now icons don’t count. First we should stop caring about images, we should separate appearance from profit; then we should campaign to let the aged icon stay fat.
I do confess: I love Carrie Fisher, I love her mom, I love her nascence. I never game a damn about her father, but the whole family is the essence of our delusory character.

Cage Fight Dump
Speaking of images, Yahoo sports obsession with Ronda Rousey has fascinated me for more months now than I can easily calculate. Here’s this cute blond, not too chubby, kicking people in the chops, letting the camera into her twat, up her ass, showing her holding up belts, joking about immortality, all out of Las Vegas. Exhibition wrestling was always staged, early TV developed hand in glove with fraud. Fine, so what else is new? Then suddenly another cute blond takes Ronda’s belt, then she’s shoved up our nose, day and night. Breathe, breathe again: and what? everywhere you turn here’s Ronda Rousey again: pictures of her twat, splayed open.
Good for her. I still look at the pictures. And now we can invade Holly Holm too.
And the best thing of all? internet images of spayed coo don’t stink, don’t spread cholera, at least not ina any simple way, not the way we’d think. No matter how you stare, there’s no shit on your nose. at least not from the pic.

Yahoo Sports
Speaking of which: News has always been fraud, “news” has always been defined by the powers: but never more blatantly than now. When I was in school journalists pretended to something called “objectivity”: as though gods walked the earth, not men. It didn’t happen all at once, there’s no truthful way to say who done it, the powers never get arrested, until they’re no longer the powers, Hitler and his pals knew exactly what was going on when they turvy-topsied into hunted, not hunters: still, the race to meretriciousness is on, and streaking: news is concocted for the ads. Ads and news used to pretend to be distinct, now there’s less and less pretense. You click this headline link, and get a “news” item; you click that headline link, and get a nest of ads, that you can’t get out of. Pull the plug and start over: except that now your box is filled with malware. The government is protected, with your money, while it holds you helpless, for rape and exploitation. So: you click what you think is a news item, you think an actual article will follow, maybe you’ll get the name and phone number of the pretty girl who lured you in the first place, but it’s, and it’s an infinitely slippery pitcher plant slope, sluicing all down into its digest-juices maw.
Anyway, you ask about blood pressure, you get pictures of cheerleaders, then one of the cheerleaders, her bum splayed under your nose, white panties, gold undies … but she has diahreah, and there’s brown stink everywhere … and, if you click that, then you get a cascade of fat black queens with the shits: in your face! Well, then you’ll have blood pressure alright.
And never, ever, forget: it’s you fault! That’s because you didn’t support my Free Learning Exchange in 1970 when I offered a cheap interference-free internet. Together we could have tipped coercive powers into the dump, become free, stood on our own feet. We didn’t. So fuck us.
God saw what we wanted, saw that we deserved it, and gave it to us: exactly the same as he would have done if he didn’t exist!

Protecting Civilization
2015 12 19 I just said to my girlfriend over the phone as she waits for ComCast to correct its signal to her so she actually has a working TV, “Our society is incompetent, and too dishonnest to know it”.
The trouble with protecting civilization and its institutions is that then you’re stuck: with civilization and its institutions: corrupt, hypocritical, dedicated to fraud.
The real killer is we think we’re getting away with it.

Last night I watched a TED Talks, an ant guy, talking, boringly, about diversity. This guy and the audience patiently applauding him have no clue of the dishonesty stacked under their universities: like priests agreeing with their dupes that being priests proves them to be on the side of God, not Evil. Backwards, as always.
My girlfriend knows I’m right but only half-admits it in private, the perception doesn’t reach the public, truth has no allies.

Utopia Surprise
2015 12 16
In the 1960s, early 1970s, my army buddy Phil cracked me up with his prescription for perfect democracy: my perfect democracy was no democracy at all, no government at all, if necessary, no population at all. Phil wanted in contrast a US in which everyone on every committee was irreconsilably at odds. His indelible image for impasse was a bull dyke sitting on everyone’s face. So, here’s Abby Wambach being ugly. The public just cheered her, now we’re stuck.

Social Sin
2015 12 07 I pledge to write something about “sin” as a social concept.
We think of sin as assigned by God, but God too is a social concept: hermit crabs would have no God, no sin, no Bible. Eve’s mother, an ape, couldn’t commit adultery: Eve was the first human, therefore the first to be capable of adultery, not that anyone in her troop but herself could have had any awareness of it.

Dream Team
2015 12 07 Federer says yes to Hingis: Roger will team with Martina for Davis Cup, Wow.
And Lindsey Vonn just swept, again, at Lake Louise: I wish she and Tiger could team: both of them healthy, that is.
And Steph Curry just keeps on going, and he aint’ the only one: every Warrior on a golden roll.
What a time for sports: just as good as when Jordan formed the basketball Dream Team.

2015 11 18 If any of us actually had a legitimate claim on any turf then I might be able to see how those people could define a border and close it, keep others out, defeat other claims in advance; but in a world where there are only two sorts of people, the dispossessed and the kleptocrats, we’re just pigs making noises: grunt, fart, splat.

But never mind that, I have a better, simpler take on further harming the harmed. Do what we want, steal what we want; but remove all the misleading labels from the churches, and from secular institutions too. Subtract all associations between the institution and ethics. Divorce churches from associations of goodness, charity, morality. Let the Christians hog the trough, but deny the Chrisitans any right to associate themselves with God, love, Jesus, or Justice.

Fish in a Barrel
2015 11 13 Paris, the West, France, Christianity, Atheist Kleptocracy Under Attack
Decades ago, after Columbine, the University of London asked me, the deschooler, the cybernetic free market data base person, to comment. I said, that they published, that the state corralling kids into schools is imprisoning them in harms way: what’s convenient for the teacher, and for the parents, and the corporations is also convenient for the terrorists: if the fish are trapped in a barrel of course you can shoot more of them with one pull of the trigger: you don’t even have to aim. In the American Revolution the redcoats all stood in a line where we could shoot them; we hid in the woods! We want to stay alive! Not fair!
If I want to live (which I don’t, not now, not much longer, please), and terrorists are targeting populations, what should I do? go to an NFL game? try to sit on the Fifty Yard Line? or go hide in the woods, don’t make a sound, don’t tell anyone where I am, throw away my cell phone?

Steph Nuff
2015 11 13 Curry & Co. launch their season with a 10-0 start! Jeez.
When has anybody ever looked so beautiful on the floor? A few times, but only a few.

Aerial Fishermen
Another right column click-pic shows a guy fishing from a bank. Along his line there’s an outsized splash as an osprey dives from the zenith to snatch his bass.
I’ve done a lot of fishing in Florida since 1989 but in the 1980s till then, though cycling myself among Florida state parks, I was nature-watching, not fishing. I’ll never forget the hours I spent though watching others fish. In Myakka River State Park fishermen congregated on a bank lobbing minnows under a bobber into the river past the band of hydrilla that buffered the bank. In time the bobber would zoom under, the fisherman would reel a big catfish to the edge of the hydrilla, and there a big ‘gator would emerge its jaws from the weeds and steal the struggling catfish.
I also enjoyed watching the ‘gators’ pecking order: any twelve foot ‘gator could take any three pound catfish from any eleven foot ‘gator. But once a thirteen foot ‘gator appeared in that section of river the twelve footer made himself scarce, free catfish or not. I never say ‘gators fight like hippos: they knew who the winner would be: the smaller reptile yielded.

That year on the Myakka, just south of Sarasota, I saw plenty of twelve footers, and plenty of eleven footers. But since then, the mid-’80s, I’ve seen much bigger: up to eighteen, nineteen feet: on Arbuckle Creek, toward the Avon Park Bombing Range. Then I stopped seeing such: murdered, every one, I don’t doubt: silently, by the authorities, who aren’t supposed to, but do.

Hippo Crit
2015 11 13 For the last decade or so I’ve used Wikipedia as my default home page, Mail as my second browsing stop and Yahoo as my third. puts my International headlines top left, my sports headlines top right, then my financial news, science news, entertainment news. Throughout the day then I recycle back through yahoo, hating it more and more as the months pass. Now yahoo is a habit I’ve tried to kick, but not valiantly enough to succeed.
I notice that pidgin is increasingly the ruling grammar. English teaching was purged from the universities in the 1960s, right after political theory (and absolutely internet theory, namely my own): who’s doing the English editing now? Chinese?. But I’d until now been of the opinion that a little science was getting more and more broadbased. Uh uh. Fer instance.
For the last week I’ve seen a right-collumn-teaser pic of a gnu with a croc on its back. It says “Click to see what happens next”: and next it shows some hippos zeroing in on the croc! Fine, nice, interspecies altruism. Or was it just interspecies hatred of crocs?
But our Chinese illiterates churn out continuing headlines misidentifying the hippos as fellow-predators! allied with the lions, and hyenas!
No, no. hippos are grass eaters, like the gnu.

Anyway, I got extra pleasure clicking on it a second time in a week or two, the more as I imagined queues of Nature camera crews gawking at the last six preadors and last dozen ruminants crowded into a final shrinking acre of “wilderness”: the support crews all “Chinese” editing each others’ English usage.

Of course the truth will ever-less be told: truthfulness was crucified out of the species millennia ago.

Debi Thomas, Broke Doc
Seek and ye shall find. I clicked on a pic of a skater. Debi Thomas: oh yes, now I remember her. The article reminds me of a few basics: a couple of skating awards I knew, recalled; her becoming a doctor, specializing in knee replacement, having her own practice … was news to me. So the article says she’s living in a bug-infested trailer, broke, no job, with an angry drunk fiance.
What’s the first thing I think? Well, I started watching a doc the other day on how divorce court can bankrupt anybody: the judge sees you’ve got property: Oh, we know how to take that away from them, Ooo, more money for lawyers, less justice for the public, screw the children: take them from the parents, put them in a “home” … I didn’t know that happened to her, I didn’t know what happened to her, but that’s the first thing I thought (obsessed, like King Lear meeting Gloucester and assuming that it’s gotta be his daughters that have ruined him): or like Jarndyce & Harndyce in Dickens: waste every penny in the estate on legal fees …
So what’s the next thing I do? I search the engines on Debi Thomas, find a report: Yes, a ruinous divorce, punishing expenses that will bankrupt even a rich person: not one word that it was all the fault of the angry drunk boyfriend, no hint that it’s all Debi’s fault..

2015 11 05 I’m watching a documentary of biologists searching for coelocanths over the last century or two. It’s cram full of many of the bullshit tricks that annoy me in “science” programming: they pretend to be interested in the subject but the real subject always turns out to be the joes making the movie. Suddenly this doc riveted me: divers, real deep, lose communications.They figure it’s dynamite: fishermen blowing up reefs to harvest some fraction of what they destroy. One type of fishing versus another type of fishing. The science fishermen deploy dozens of millions of dollars worth of cameras, high tech diving stuff: the natives use a boat and a few sticks of dynamite.
We enjoy Audubon’s bird paintings. We forget that Audubon shot those birds with a gun before he sketched them with watercolors. I can imaging the two fishing camps arguing before the UN their right to murder all life on earth: A) it’s so we can eat; versus B) you have to find in our favor cause we spend the most money!
The scientist dives into the trench with $40,000,000 worth of gear, he gets into trouble, he jettisons the equipment. Of course the government should reward the team that wasted the most resources: the dynamite will never catch up.

Polanski Rape
2015 10 30 Polanski fucking teens and preteens is in the news again. This time the girl he raped when she was thirteen says she’s glad Poland wounldn’t extradict Rolanski to the US for sentencing, she thinks enough is enough, forget about it already. Speedy justice is a fundamental of modern kleptocracies: theory thereof at least. Speedy justice is also impossible, incompatible with accuracy. Enough already, the girl, long now a woman, says.
But I want to remind us of something:

Polanski fucked the little girl. She was underage. Therefore, in law, it’s head always up its ass, it’s “rape”: it doesn’t matter if she solicited him – she could have paid him: it’s still rape, and his fault. We hear “rape”, we easily overlook the details. Civilization requires whole clouds of extra absurdities. Good. Now, let me remind us of something else:

Stage mothers, stage fathers too, used to deliver their little thirteen year olds to Polanski monthly, almost daily. Once or twice it could have been hourly. Sometimes his cute little virgins were delivered like Western Union candy to his hotel room two at a time. Hell, Eroll Flynn fucked two thirteen years olds at a time, why shouldn’t Polanski?

Flynn drank himself, fucked himself, fought himself to death before he ever went to jail for it. No body was after Flynn, were they? But Polanski is a creep, a rat; not just a genius, artist, great film innovator.

I’ll never forget the first time I ever heard of Polanski. 1962. I was stationed in the arty at Whitehgall Street: my best buddy was Phil. I was the movie buff, but sometimes Phil beat me to something. It was Phil who returned from a jaunt to a Polish neighborhood in Manhattan having just seen Polish films in Polish, no subtitles, except for him strictly a Polish audience. Phil was excited: there was a student film, some guy named Roman Polansky: they showed his thesis film: Two Men and a Wardrobe: shot of the beach, the surf, two men emerge from the waves carrying a wardrobe! Holy Mackerel, that’s serious craziness. The next thing we knew Knife in Water came out. Next thing, Polanski was making lavish porn, Roman orgies, bare tit. Then he married a beauty, then that beauty was murdered. Weirdness followed this weirdo.

And tons of teeny pussy: girls dying to let the creep violate them.

In the Godfather some cute little blond, dressed like a doll, is delivered by her mother to the horrible Hollywood creep: the one who finds his horse’s head in his bed. The little blond had been crying: mama didn’t care: the audience seethes: goddam pervert. Happens everyday, long has, if not always.

So, if you can’t behead Flynn by the time he’s belting down the day’s third quart of gin, while he can still get it up for a twelve year old, then forget it: civilization missed the boat: don’t still be extraditing him decades later.

Hey, how come Polanski is even still alive?

Civil Booty

2015 09 13 Even a monk like me — however over-sexed I’m still basically an ascetic, gave up worldly concerns many decades ago — can’t escape from yellow news. Maybe the assaults of journalism would reach me for only the few minutes it took me to check out of the supermarket, still, that was more than enough time to see claims that Elizabeth Taylor was a vampire, Richard Burton actually a dyke with bad skin. Now I flick on the Mac, the Mac picks up a WiFi signal: I ask for my mail, then I click OK, take me to the set of news feeds known as Yahoo. There headlines are stacked by category, and, by golly, they even allow me! to CHOOSE! which feeds come first: Sports, Science, Entertainment … but ringers abound: headlines, pix, that don’t belong in the advertized category. I want tennis scores: and I get tennis scores, but I also get stock market advice, warnings about cannibal zombie invasions … I coulda stood on the supermarket line and been no worse off.

Today I just learn that some DJ is suing Taylor Swift — if it weren’t for Yahoo yellow I wouldn’t likely have ever heard of Taylor Swift, let alone had a clue what Taylor Swift looks like: yellow intrusions, if they don’t intrude a pic of Lindsay Lohan looking like an OD’d zombie, they shove some girl with oversized mammaries in your face, or, a shot up into some blond bimbo’s crotch … Blah, blah. Anyway it seems that some DJ is suing Taylor Swift because he was fired from some station after Taylor Swift said that he kept groping her butt.

See? If it weren’t for yellow Yahoo, I’d know the tennis scores, information I want, information I requested, but it’s extremely unlikely I ever would have heard of this DJ grabbing some on-stage ass. But that’s just one detail. Yesterday I learned that some woman is suing Bill Cosby, accusing him of forcing his dick up against her mouth: she instinctively opened up, and comic Bill, he’s so funny, made a disgusting mess all over her! Now we all have to know about the law suit.

Is that nice to force your dick into a woman’s mouth, the woman apparently thinking she’s on a job interview? No. Definitely impolite.
How common is such behavior? If you read Dickens, it never ever happens. If you let Yahoo into your Mac, then it happens everyday.

But let me insert an important consideration: There stories aren’t about butt squeezing or coming all over a job interviewee’s face nearly so much as they’re about money. The DJ is suing Taylor Swift because she’s got some bread. Lawyers would want all their fees and court costs up front if she didn’t have lots and lots of bread, and then they still wouldn’t take the case, no matter how she’d sabotaged your career. Ditto Cosby. Who ever made more money from sunny family TV than Cosby?

While we’re at it, also notice: there’s a threshhold. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday the lawyers won’t hear a word against the Dr. Huxtable black-American family guy. Then Wednesday PM a crack appears in the dam. Thursday the lawyers are calling you: calling everyone who ever had a job interview with the Temple star. By Saturday eve the lawyers are renting billboards advertising their willingness to sue blow job rapists and ass grabbers.

In parallel let me add, the ass-grabbing part I understand. I’ve never seen Taylor Swift, not in person, but if I did I might not be able to refrain from grabbing her ass myself. But I’ve never been tempted to ram my dick against any woman’s teeth, no matter how luscious her ass.
Wait: another oblique note demands to be heard here: Whatever it looks like, however tempting, you don’t know if said ass, up close and personal, is luscious or disgusting: you need to be right in that air space.

There’s so much to consider, I expand further:
I’m not an ass grabber, though I’ve done it: and been much more often tempted to do it. And I have done it, and my grope has been enthusiastically welcomed by almost as many women who have simply ignored me, went right on about their business.
In the army, sub-waying to Whitehall Street Induction Center every Monday to Friday, and some Saturdays, I became aware of the number of accidental contacts female commuters had between their haunch and the back of my hand. Once I realized they were coming to me whether or not I had willed them to come to me, I realized they were coming to others as well, and many of those others were coming, aggressively, to them! The subway was a festival of ass-grabbing.
OK, now further:
There have been times when I was seriously considering fondling the heinie of the young woman standing before me, when, believe it of don’t, she reached around, fondled my ass, lifted my buttock! She did, the woman!
And further, winding up now, I knew a bunch of TV and media studs who would stand before you, seriously conversing, then gently grab your ass, man fondling man!

So I know the female-side of the equation. I know: the normal reaction is to do nothing! not let it register!

How can we sue anybody about anything in a culture where there are no facts? it’s all too embarrassing.

Moral: Sue Bill Cosby all you want now that the weather is ripe for ganging up. He’s got the money, or did have.

That’s another thing: John Grisham handled this one beautifully: the lawyers can prove that the corporation has $400 billion before the jury finds for the plaintiff to the tune of $100 billion: but before a penny is extracted, that corporation may move to Nigeria, go bankrupt in Miami …

By the time the lawyers are advertising on the billboards, play your cards close to your vest.


2015 09 03 Drowned kids washing up on Turkish beaches. Turk blames Europe. Where are these migrants from? Why don’t they go home? Why doesn’t everybody stay home?
Ah: home isn’t always so easy to figure out. Why didn’t the Carib Indians stop Columbus from landing? Well, Columbus wasn’t a migrant, he was a captain of the advance guard of the flood of pirates about to arrive. If Montezuma had known a bit more about Spain, would he have cooperated one inch with Cortez? Should Crazy Horse have invaded England before the Mayflower sailed?
If we’re here, what right do we have to say that somebody else can’t come here? What right to we have to laugh at theTrump and his foreign-o-phobias?
I must expound of the concept of primogeniture and its victories (and the costs of its victories): give all properties to the eldest male, give privilege — non-property privilege — to the second oldest male: and screw everybody and everything else.

Hikers Behaving Badly: Trail Partying Raises Ire

2015 09 01
In the mid-1950s my clique had beer parties every weekend: every Friday, many a Saturday, and plenty of Sundays too. We were fifteen, then we were sixteen … Come spring we’d move the bash to any beach along Dune Road in the Hamptons. We’d fill a drum with beer and ice and start drinking. Other gangs would come out and visit. By Saturday we were not only all drunk but naked. A man walking with his wife along the surf edge would soon wish he’d chosen a different stretch of beach when we’d rear out of the sea at them, screaming gibbering teen drunks.
One summer we moved the bash to Sinnecock Inlet. Cops came wondering about the camp fires. The story went that Almer took one cop’s gun out of his holster before the cop realized what light fingers, lightning quick, were doing. But those cops understood that we were lawyers’ sons, stock brokers’ sons, Wall Street partners’ sons, and they kept a very easy pedal far from the metal.
Had any cops ever raided our original bash site, back at Almer’s, he would have found in a trice where the fancy cabana club signs, the Sands and so forth, had disappeared to: any of those signs would have cost thousands to erect in 1954: soon as they were up, they were gone. Decorating the walls were also “death masks”: plaster casts we made of ourselves while drunk. Mine got misplaced, then busted: everybody hated me: I disapproved of all the kleptomania.
The sixties were a very different atmosphere, I had nearly nothing to do with my high school people. I wanted only to ski: and for spring skiing I camped at Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mount Washington. First we just dumped alpine tents anywhere in the woods, built a fire, pulled out the scotch, and roughed it. But soon rangers made their presence felt, suddenly all sort of rules changed how we did things. Campers abusing campfire safety (and nature conservation) were to blame: they burned living trees as well as dead logs. (True!) By 1970 we were forced to camp in the state-made shelters. Bummer.
But: I admit: as skiers we were hard to separate from my high school people as beach party beer drinkers. We were drunk and destructive, not good scouts.
What’s the difference now? In 1954 you could lose a dozen teens on Dune Road and never miss them; now the partiers are wall to wall, tree to tree, sand grain to sand grain.
I was shocked the weekend John and I drove onto the beach at Nausset, the Cape, and sank our wheels into the sand, immoveable, before typing a striper-swiper onto the surf rod’s line. The cops came, and didn’t indulge us a bit. It’s been a while since I’ve been on Dune Road, or anywhere in the Hamptons. In 1954 you could drive for miles without seeing a dune house; now I bet they’re wall to wall: $x, y, z million.
What if Genghis came around today? where would he raid? he’d have to stand on line first at WalMart.

Victorian Spend A Penny
2015 08 21 I’ve commented more than once how Victoria’s Parliament had no ladies room because ladies’ need for a ladies room could not be brought up before Parliament. For the same reason, though homosexuality was illegal, capital as a matter of fact, lesbianism was not: once again, the existence of lesbianism could not be mentioned to a female crown.
This morning’s Yahoo linked me to a post by a woman reporting having been given a hard time by public facilities and by the public when her menstrual cycle asserted itself.
I found the ironies tedious and didn’t read far but I nevertheless yield to the temptation to mention a bathroom absurdidty of my own: yesterday, at the VA medical complex in Bay Pines FL. Bay Pines has rest rooms all over the place, I never have difficulty finding one. They’re clearly marked, usually sside by side, always near by if not side by side: Men here, Women there. I do int o the Men, no mistake. And there above the toilet is a sign:

Please do not flush
Sanitary products down the toilet:
Use the special container provided.

Sanitary products? What sanitary products were associated with a men’s room? toilet paper? We weren’t supposed to flush toilet paper? Maybe they meant condoms. Sometimes mens rooms vend condoms. But there were no vending machines visible. And I saw a waste basket for paper towels. But there were no other waste containers.
Maybe the sign placer was worried that a woman might come into the mens room, want to flush a tampon, and be tempted to use the toilet for that purpose too: but there was no container!
Just the government wasting public funds, again.
But of course there are no public funds: all funds are owed to the state.
When I find my spend-a-penny comments I’ll relocate this.

That Gangster
2015 08 03 In Frida Diego Rivera brags that his wife Frida’s paintings are not only getting noticed, they’re getting bought: “By that gangster,” he says, “Edward G. Robinson”. Yes, Edward G. Robinson, the famous gangster. Edward G. was our much loved actor of gangsters, and other roles. He became rich, he bought paintings. He had good taste. It was synergetic: everything in the circle promoted everything else in the circle.
Let me tell of the time that famous gangster bumped into me.
MOMA. Late 1950s, a big Cézanne show. 1959? Very crowded. I was planted in front of a small watercolor: landscape. Man oh man: Cézanne. I was focused on a tiny section, brush stroke scale. Then I wanted a perspective, zoom back. Like a dancer: zoom. Kerpow. Edward G. Robinson has chosen that moment, at a centimeter from the same spot on the floor to zoom foward! Puff! a collusion.
No damage. He absorbed me like a big marshmallow.
As I rotated my look, I saw him, recognized him, knew that he was a collector, smelled his after shave; but he didn’t see me, he saw only the Cézanne! Good gangster.

Women in Sports
2015 07 28 News, sports: over- and under-reported
photo of Jackie Mitchell with Babe Ruth & Lou Gerig: she struck ’em both out in an exhibition game!
I’m 76, I never heard that until yesterday. I’m daily aware of true things that still haven’t been allowed to surface: some things don’t surface ’cause they don’t surface, other things, many other things, get sabotaged.
The New York Times has obits on major figures already written out, 99% ready for press: all they have to do is fill in the date, time, maybe name a mortician. The Vatican’s the same, any big shmear organ. And they’re got alternate obits, ’cause you never know when the political weather is going to change. One year the Times won’t mention Babe Didrikson; but don’t think they don’t have multiple-choices of laudatory homiles: and muck-rackings too.

Lies can be built from truths.

The Vatican library can release reactionary balderdash one day, and treacle it over the next. Now even Podunk News has Babe Didrikson propaganda on tap. And stories proving that George Washington was a bull dyke.
Nevertheless I am very pleased to still be alive amid a yes-let’s-be-less-unfair-to-women-and-other-minorities storm. And I ain’t the only one: look at the pic of the NBA stars of yore applauding a woman coach, David Robinson grinning like a bandit. Wonderful. Wonderful to see the old guys, wonderful to see a couple of gals too.

2015 07 19 Lines I just wrote in another blog I must further develop here:

The tribe rules, not rationally.
Freud has Oedipus backwards.

Hef’s Playmates
2015 06 22–abc-news-celebrities.html
A Playboy whore lives in the mansion, finds a Hef document declaring that if at the time of Hef’s death this girl is still living in the mansion, she will inherit $3M. She’s indignant. What? Does he think he can buy me??? Honey, I think he did buy you: top to bottom.
You have no business understanding my attitude to Playboy and the whole schmear unless you know that Playboy turned my Puritan stomach from its first issue though to today, two thirds of a century later. I read Esquire, posted Esquire calendars, but still in the early 1950s gave that up too.
Don’t get me wrong, this Puritan fucked a jillion women of my own. So it’s a different kind of Puritanism.

Pharoah Crown
2015 06 06 I’ve lived through lots of horses winning the Kentucky Derby, then the Preakness, only to gasp and fade at the mile and a half of the Belmont. I’ve long heard this and that reason for it: to cite one example, the competitors aren’t compelled to race all three races, but to win the “triple crown” the horse must: run all three, win all three. It’s only these past few days that I heard a reason that should compel attention: it takes a horse three weeks to recover from a race of a mile plus: running the horse sooner is like asking Frazier to face Ali again while he’s still black, blue and purple from the last battle: like getting Shakespeare drunk after the premier of Hamlet, then urging him to rite Lear the next day: not just hungover, still drunk.

Betting which branch will produce which twig to produce which leaf which will first touch the roof doesn’t do much harm, though anyone should understand an argument that the difference is arbitrary; which plant is the better photosynthesizer, which plant digs deepest for water, these are real differences: nature and evolution related. Meantime: I agree that the Triple Crown, silly as it is, would be less silly if the three races were spaced three weeks apart: run the Belmont in July.

2015 05 28 email to theMarcus:

a word further on A Thousand Months:
I do not recommend you see it, but: a detail followed hard on the detail I already mentioned: priceless:
The kid loves his father, he’s told the father is off in France, not true, the father is in jail, along with practically all the other males, political prisoners.
The women line up to visit, haven’t seen their men for a year, no trials, all very “illegal”.
The Nazis announce that all visits are cancelled, Go Home.
Our woman wants to know Why: she’s knocked down, dragged away by the cops.
Grandfather tries to plead with the thugs, he crawls on his knees, begging, imploring, Forgive her, forgive her, trying to cling to the cop’s robe: praying to the cop, all peasant-to-shah body language. The cop beats grandpa while grandpa persists in trying to pray to the Nazi!
One other word: the kid is special, he gets to carry the teacher’s chair. Throughout the film this kid is carrying the chair.
Americans don’t know what a chair is traditionally, can’t have it explained, from a totally alien universe: chair does not mean comfort, does not mean convenience, it means Authority!
The king, the pope, sits: because he’s in charge; not because he’s tired.

School, Lies, Myth
2015 06 22 One of those infuriating popups, top ten, top twelve, this or that: there’s one today on lies told by schools. First it says that Van Gogh didn’t cut his own ear off, Gaugin cut it off with a sword in a duel. Maybe: but a mistake in fact is not a lie: not until it’s deliberately repeated as a falsehood. It goes on with a bunch of bromides like Columbus didn’t discover America, the Greeks “knew” the earth was not flat … Then Lincoln and slavery is addressed: where some falsehood is diminished to a “myth”. No! Myth and fiction are not synonyms. A lie is not a myth, a mistake is not a myth: not until the culture has lied to itself and mistaken everything for a long time: then it’s myth.
Like ferinstance: it’s a myth that women, females, are, and always have been, the source of all evil. First you have to swallow forged biblical documents, generations of false scholarship.
School wouldn’t be so evil if we weren’t forced to go to it: for our daily propaganda diet. Some little Baptist church elevating lies to divine messages aren’t nearly as bad as a universal catholic church draining whole economies into its monopolist maw while it deceives us one and all.

Demilitarize Police
2015 06 22 apropos: Seattle: “demilitarize” the police and produce officers who think of themselves as guardians of their communities, not members of an occupying force.
Really? That’s nice; but: to me it’s all like the Nazis remaining in power, promising to do better. I don’t believe us. Governments, states, have no right to survive exposure.
If the earth gives us another chance, if god gives us another chance, if Jesus says, OK, one more try … No. I don’t think we should have another try, not without paying a debt or two first.
First the civilization makes it impossible to establish true facts: then it promises to do better: still without knowing the truths it’s suppressed.
We want to keep Jesus crucified and reform the world.

Third Grade Pop
2015 06 22 A news & comment article yesterday said that pop music hit the charts at a third grade reading level, barely literate and getting dumber. I remember from decades ago hearing a tinpan ally veteran say that it never took him more than a few minutes to scratch out the basics for a popular song. He was not saying that the song was stupid, he wasn’t saying that his audience was stupid: I understood him to be saying that what he wrote was basically human, that we had all already adapted to it. Maybe there were profound parts, but few hard parts.
Yesterday’s article had the opposite tenor: as though civilization should be a test that most fail.
I can see points both ways. But I remind us of a third tangent:
Any twelve year old who wants to channel Shakespeare immediately speaks awkward nongrammatical diction with a preposterous voice. It’s true you can find passages in Shakespeare that seem stilted, awkward, not at all modern, damn hard to understand; but check out Lear’s speech as he carries in the corpse of his dead daughter Cordelia. It’s third grade level at best. It’s so simple it could pass for prose. It’s the greatest poetry ever uttered, totally simple. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t get it.
It’s not Nazi-vertical; it’s common humanity broad-based.

Waco Bikers
I loved the news interview where the expert declared that there was nothing new about the vilence of the bike gangs, he said they’d always been like that, always killed each other, always ignored the police presence.
I’m reminded of the Cuban draftees I was interviewing for the Army in 1962, 63. They told threilling horror stories about the bandits in the mountains of Colombia, capturing people, cutting off guys’ dicks, castrating them, sticking their dick back in their mouth, sewing their balls closed over their dick. Jeez, I said, how come we don’t do something? You can’t, the Cuban answered, they’re wild men, mountain men. But if you caught them, put them in school, it still wouldn’t change them:

They like to kill!

Yeah. I believed it then, I believe it now. Kleptocrats, centralizers are so naive.

This file fills up fast, I empty it now and then, moving stuff to more specialized scrapbooks, promoting stuff to unique modules … I’ll make a Monthly Archive for excess.

Law, Intention
2015 05 12 newsitem, “that laws intended to protect everyone are often used to hassle certain citizens but not others”.
I challenge the word intended as naive. Additionally I task the naivte as at least partly deliberate. Kleptocrats know well what they’re doing, just as magicians do when they declare the trick deck to be “a perfectly ordinary deck”. Of course the Nazis know tht they can use the law to persecute Jews, fags … Of course the Texas cops know they’re going to abuse the law to suppress niggers.

Marriage (and Other Blithe Blind Institutions)
2015 05 02 Gay: it’s true, we needed a simple word, one syllable if possible, for homosexuality: but how dare we borrow a word like “gay”? perverting it forever! (How can we ever again read Yeats’ great Lapis Lazuli with a straight face? without a guffaw?)
It’s impossible for populations (or experts) to discuss institutions — like you can’t look at the earth from the earth, not and see it whole, not and see it balanced, not and see it objectively; but it’s impossible to tell kleptocrats that they lack objectivity: on anything!
One quick point: marriage is a fundamental institution: it’s been selected preferencially, over and over, coninuously, for centuries, millennia … it’s impossible to see the whole of its advantages. Definitions are kneejerk, not rational. And the supporting institutions (church, Bible) are utterly unreliable, dishonest, fictions.
Same sex couple are getting “married”? so what? what’s the fuss?
They want not acceptance but preferment! preferential tax treatment, default assumptions, deference …
Importance can’t be overstated, I’ll try to return for more.

Femalicide: Jimmy Carter: still causing a storm in his fight for women–nfl.html
2015 05 01 Jimmy Carter addresses problems of codifying basic human laws: How do you get the Chinese, the Indians to oppose the abortion of female fetuses? the killing of infant girls?
“These countries pass laws that prevent these abuses, but people just ignore the laws and the government looks the other way.”
That’s right: “law” reverts to tradition, democracy, but pushing does change things.
Politicians thinks it’s OK to impose standards; this anarchist does not: though I too have devoted my life to trying. My Free Learning Exchange expresses my attitudes on the subject: mind your own business, minimize regulation …
Free Learning Exchange
Moses came down from his mountain with ten Commandments, said they were from God. There still n universal acceptance of a singe one of them!
What if Moses had issued his Commandments one at a time? would #1 have been accepted yet? modified? rejected?
Anyway, note: it doesn’t matter what the God said, or the Moses, or the Church: human behavior, human prescriptions, evolve: and so far nothing rules unchanged.

Two-Way Law
2015 04 29 Woman uncovers two-way mirror in a bar bathroom
Cigar and Stripes bar in Chicago seems to have a full length two-way mirror opposite the toilet of the ladies room. The bar owner says This is a fun house: no one’s right to privacy has been violated. Translate: women have no right to privacy; or, rather, they do but only if they think to examine the false mirror before they sit down with their pants down. The door of the secret spy-place isn’t locked: therefore … In other words, where the culture has no integrity, the culture has no integrity, and isn’t entitled to any!
With bad faith on all sides all discussion of law is nonsense.

Armenia Remembrance
2015 04 23 I’ve said it before, I’ll say it now: I bought a William Saroyan paperback in the early 1950s, read it, loved it, loved him, came to love his people, his culture, came to know a little about their victimization. The next time somebody tries to shove the holocaust up your nose, yes, remember the Jews, remember the Nazis; but remember the Armenians too: and the gypsies, and the queers … Nazis kill more than one type.
Oh, and remember also: there a half-a-dozen-billion humans on earth: I believe we’d be much better off with a half a billion instead: a half a billion that wouldn’t climb right back up to a half-a-dozen-billion humans, and counting. So: there’s something to be said for Nazis, and Stalin, and murderous tyranny, and state terrorism …
When people fear Stalin they cower in Hitler’s shadow. The hell: we should have cowered in Caesar’s shadow should have listened to Jesus. We didn’t. Now we should have no complaint no matter what happens.

Mad Hat Dance
2015 04 21 For years and years I’ve had a favorite fishing hat. Soft and floppy you can wad it in a pocket. The brim goes all the way around, keeps sun off your neck and your collarbone. I fish in it, but I also garden around Jan’s property, especially her lake front: and I wear that hat for all such purposes. Until: my hat went missing. Months ago now. I kept repeating that it could show up again, one never knows; Jan says, No, it’s gone, you’ll never see it again … And the other day, after lending her Tilly hat to her son for a vacation, she hands me a package: a brand new, really neat outdoors hat: adjustable, comfy, wide all around brim, adjustable anchor under the chin, roll down / roll up neck shield … So, for a week, I’ve worn, and loved my new hat, feeling half Aussie …
Until: I’m in her shed, putting tools away, and there, hanging on a hook, over the shed window, is my fishing hat! It’s never been missing, it’s been hanging right where it belongs: only I can’t see anymore, and I guess she can’t either! ’cause she’s been in the shed too.
Gregory Bateson explained to his daughter in one of his famous metalogues, that the knicknack on the shelf has a few points where it belongs and an infinity of points where it doesn’t belong. I think of that distinction often. My glasses: belong on my face, or in my pocket, on in the glasses case in my pocket, or on the counter, upper frame down, while I wash my face … or in the glove compartment … or, or, or … There are several sets of points where my glasses belong, and an infinity of points where they don’t. Same, or similar, with my hearing aids, with my car keys.
If my keys aren’t where I think they ought to be, then I know a series of candidate places they might be, before I declare them lost.
If you don’t need glasses, if your vision is 20 20, and you mislay your glasses, then you can find your glasses, probably easily, because you can see! But if you need your glasses to see, if your getting on in years, then … N’est ce pas?
Well: here’s one detail on my hat:
My hat had a series of right places, places where it belonged. Inside her back door, hanging on the director’s chair. on my head, in my hand … on the back seat of my car, in the hat box in my closet … The hook over the window in Jan’s shed was a legitimate place, but one only rarely used. Why had I used it that time? Ah, I bet I can guess: ’cause it was rainging that day, the hat was soaked. I wasn’t fishing, I was putting gardening tools away. I hung my dripping hat from the hook over the window.
And we old, and we can’t see very well anymore, and we’re used to getting along without seeing very well, and often, in Jan’s case, don’t wear our glasses no matter how much we need them …
Hat note:
I never wore hats: till I played tennis. Then I needed something with a peak, an eye shade. (Then I looked at the tennis greats: they played witout hats, they served, staring the sun down! Then I needed warmth for skiing, wore woolen hats. Etc. Then I spent time in Florida … that’s when hats became important to me: 1982, 1983 … I spent 1983 wearing a safari hat, it became my emblem, my logo. One day in a mall in Fort Lauderdale I took my hat off, went in to see my customer. “Where’s your safari hat?” he asked.

Holocaust Evil
2015 04 21 There’s a news article today reporting that a FBI exec said something about evil and the holocaust that offended some Poles or Czechs, whoever. I can seldom calmly follow the logic of such articles but here I read far enough to satisfy myself that the speaker had spread the guilt, the objectors wanted it concentrated: as in, Nazis were “evil”; those not belonging to that party were “good”. I’m in the camp, however small, that believes that nations are all evil, that history cannot be reasonably divided that way.
If you hid the Jew in your closet (and kept silent as the Nazis hauled your children away in punishment), then you were not guilty of the holocaust, not at all; if on the other hand, you paid your taxes, didn’t laugh at the papers, the brownshirts, then you’re among the guilty.
But: it doesn’t matter what I think, it doesn’t matter what the Times says, it doesn’t matter what history says … or what you think! only the truth matters (though it also matters that we have no claim to the truth!) Only god, the god of truth, matters; other Gods, not at all.

Pee Power
2015 04 20 Pee-power toilet to light up disaster zones (headline)
That headline brings back fond memories. As a child I held the conveniences of civilization in contempt. I wanted freedom. I didn’t want to have to go to school, or church, I didn’t want to told what to pray for, what name to summon God with … I, like so many of us, was a “Romantic”: I wanted things “natural” …
I was in my second of two years drafted into the army when I discovered skiing. I took a weekend job to wait tables in Sugarbush to earn money. The “friend” who got me the job betrayed me: there was no pay: the pay was room and board: and access to the ski lifts. Screwed out of my money, I took the ski opportunity: and the rest was history: I was hooked, deep, ecstatically. Next thing you know I can[‘t ski enough, can’t go far enough away, find deep enough snow, brave a steep enough piste … So: by the time I was in my late twenties, I was spring camping on Mt. Washington, climbing up the headwall of Tuckerman’s Ravine … skiing through Memorial Day. Which meant camping in snow, learning to keep warm, to carry dehydrated foods … And one of the thrills of such “primitivism” was seeing in the dark by the aid of carbide-fueled head lamps, like miners’ lamps. One of my favorite details: you put the carbide in lamp’s well, add moisture. the moisture released the a gas, the gas burned, and lantern threw a beam. … Now did it: pee worked plenty well enough: you carried the water, you drank the water, you peed the water, you fueled the lantern. Marvelous.

Madame BoReal
2015 04 19 Last night Jan and I watched Madam Bovary, the 1949 MGM version with Jennifer Jones. (James Mason plays Flaubert, on trial for obscenity, wow.) Madam Bovary was one of the classics that transformed my life as an undergraduate: I became almost as obsessed with Flaubert as I had been by Nietzsche, or, more relevantly, by Ibsen. My reading of the paperback ended in an esthetic tantrum in which I swore aloud, hurling the book, that I would never read again. Within the minute I had picked the book back up and was rereading it.
But: I never read anymore Flaubert, then or now! (Neither had I read much more Nietzsche! I went right on collecting obsessions!)
In any event the perception that hit me between the eyes in 1958 or so returned to me vividly in watching the movie: Emma Bovary is a bored housewife who automatically compares her provincial life with the “romance” of the trash novels sneaked to her as a girl in a convent. She dreams away her mental life in the romances, ignoring the inconveniences of her actual life. She gets into trouble, of course, the fool, and takes the romantic mid-Nineteenth-Century way out: she commits suicide, by arsenic.
Fine. All ordinary enough. But: Flaubert did his homework. He takes the reader detail by detail through her mortal suffering at the confluence of arsenic and her biochemistry: she suffers like a chemistry lecture! The reader is almost ready to do forensic autopsies.
Wow. Madame Bovary finally ran into reality!
Had I done a better job reading my Cervantes as a freshman or sophomore I might have been less impressed by Flaubert as a sophomore or junior; but I didn’t really read Cervantes till this past decade, and Flaubert had hit me like a sledgehammer: like he hit Mme Bovary!
This is a movie note, I should add: I’m extremely frustrated at not being able yet to rent a DVD of the James Mason / Carol Reed Odd Man Out. Jan hasn’t objected: she does’t know it. You don’t know it either? then you don’t know movies.
Keep Looking
I ordered Odd Man Out five, six years ago from Netflix: they didn’t have it. So I ordered it from Blockbuster. Ditto. Then, back with Netflix again, I ordered it again, failed again, waited a year, two … failed again. So I just ordered it yet again: and lo and behold, Netflix says it’s available! Time will tell.

Goose Roar
2015 04 17 Last evening there was a huge roar overhead, low flying monster plane: Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose lining up to land on my trailer roof: rumble, shake, went on and on.

Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose
thanx findingdulcinea

I just sat there, playing my game, didn’t budge. And I remember being blasé about overhead terror when I was a toddler in WWII. The first couple of times we got shook by mechanical thunder overhead we ran around, wildly searching for “cause”: after a few such, we ignored the war, the danger: there was no terror: just civilization as usual.

Answers, Then & Now
2015 04 16 You know these pesky pop up links that tempt ensnarement in a web of ads with teasers such as The Lucy Show, Then & Now? Taxi, Then & Now? I just spent a minute getting run around over Farrah Fawcett, Then & Now? And of course there was an image! Jeez, what a mug she had! Irresistible. But I can never see references to her in her prime without remembering, with vivid embarrassment, an exploitation of her physiognomy that I wish she had been able to sue over: if not jail the image rapists. It was an Art Expo, later 1970s. My PK Fine Arts, Ltd. had a couple of booths. My customer, Richie, shop in Lake Success, had a big spread. Richie himself was big, fat, puffy, a financial marshmallow. He had people walking around the expo that time in body paint: silver boobs, silver bush. That was OK, the models were paid, I don’t think they were drugged. But one of Richie’s clowns, his expo performers, carried a sandwich-board-size re-pro of Farrah’s fantastic face, with the mouth drilled out. He’d set the prop on the floor, show the gaping mouth, then shove his pelvis against her printed face: giving himself a Farrah blowjob all over the Columbus Circle Coliseum.
Later I heard that the FBI lurking about that year to arrest Richie for forging certificates of authenticity for fake Miros. They were supposed to be lurking for Ted too, my girlfriend’s husband. But not much happened.
Something must have happened because I heard Richie moaning about presumption of innocence. …
Jeez, if anybody ever should have been presumed guilty, not presumed innocent, it was Richie!
But I shouldn’t rag Richie, especially not after thirty-seven or more years. Richie I now believe was actually a shade more honest than most of the bastards I dealt with. He only told the lies you insisted on hearing, and his checks actually cleared. Those two things along elevate him toward sainthood.
Ted never did get nailed that I heard of, but his reputation was pure toxicity.
(Some of the things rumor charged me with came true even if they started out false: when you’ve been robbed blind, it’s hard for your checks to keep clearing.)

Forgiveness Notice
2015 04 08 Christianity is the major religion in the world in terms of which civilization is the major religion of: Christianity is the major religion of the industrialists, of the capitalists. Christianity is the major religion of the homes of the major Foture500 corporations.
Now, note especially: Christianity is the major religion of the idea of forgiveness. God sent his son, let us torture him to death, lie about him, betray him, not get a single thing right: so that God can forgive us!
If we do the rituals right, God has to forgive us, he has no choice in the matter. Religion here is the matter of giving choice, free will, to the God killers while taking free choice away from God himself. Will God get a word in edgewise at Judgment. I hope to see him try. But I’m not holding my breath. The evil magicians will never let an honest magician onto the stage, never let him hold the mic for as long as the seven-second-delay.

Educating Ignorance
2015 04 08 I’ve told fragments of this (set of) story(ies), but I can write it separately fast, incorporate only laboriously: time running out.
Joining two threads: why pk is such a piss-poor piano player, why pk’s background is chronically impoverished.
I’m told I was taken for piano lessons when I was three. Most of the hour was spent trying to build a pyramid of telephone books on the stool, already cranked to its highest reach, so that my tiny hand might reach the awesome keyboard. Once there, teetering, my mother holding the improbable pile somewhat steady, the teacher told me to put my right hand fingers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on the keys: thumb, pointer … middle C, D, E, F, G. No way could my hand spread five keys wide. “Bring him back when his fingers can spread to five keys”, said the teacher.

But the second beginning of my piano education never commenced. Mom threw Dad, the drunk, the philanderer, out. Dad thought, I’ll show her: and that was the last money we ever had from him.

The law said it could make him pay, but it never did. (I know, in parallel: the law told my wife that it could make me pay; not if I don’t want to pay, I said: not so long as I’m willing to remain unemployed for my whole life) (thereby also not paying to bomb Asians).

Anyway, the August Paul Knatz Senior marriage started to unravel (in this following version of the story) when Mom was at a party. She was introduced around as “Mrs. Knatz”. “That’s not Mrs. Knatz”, some woman volunteered; “I’ve met Mrs. Knatz”. Apparently Dad was going around registering himself with every girlfriend he’d ever had in Brooklyn as “Mrs. Knatz”. Every hotel in NYC knew a dozen “Mrs. Knatz”s; none of them my mother.

Ay yai yai, so many threads I’m trying to weave: I’m forgetting them. But I have managed to tell of my three year old childhood.

Note: we had a baby grand piano at home. But it was in execrable tune. I sat at the keyboard as a child, pressed a key, pressed another key. It was awful, no chord sounded anything but awful. In contrast it was so easy to put a record on the player, hear Bach, Chopin … Eventually I’d be hearing Dixie, and then jazz: and there, in addition to Bach, was my obsession for the next couple of decades.
2015 04 09 You know I want to bring up another consideration: the piano has been our default instrument for centuries, but that’s recent. The piano is the familiar even-temperament instrument: it can sort of play in any key, only-sort-of out of tune: the blue note doesn’t exist on the piano, however natural it is to the voice, to the violin, to the sax … Several modesties kept me from expressing my natural voice, but it was pure poverty that kept me from the sax, or the bass.
Anyway, the first instrument I took up as an adult was the recorder (the straight up and down wooden (or plastic) flute). But the recorder only had two octabes: I wanted to play a Miles / Zawinull thing from the Real Book, I needed a Bb below middle C. So I got a regular flute: only to learn that the flute also didn’t have a Bb below middle C! Pleanty of higher notes, but no lower notes. But I also soon encountered advice to play a chord instrument in addition to any melodic instrument: want to improvise on sax? learn piano! or guitar!
So I bought a cheap keyboard. Wow, did the value of that $100 stretch on and on, for years, decades.
And no I’m so used to keyboard, I no longer mind that there’s no blue note: I can get around that the same bunch of ways thousands of others have: blurs, slurs, slides …

Yesterday I sat at my Roland keyboard, self taught since the 1980s, Stella By Starlight on the music stand, and tried, as I do every day, to coordinate the melody (beautiful, simple, easy) with the chord progression (highly counterintuitive: pure jazz, going from Em7 b5 for the first measure to A7 for the second measure: to Cm7 for the third measure, to F7 for the fourth measure …
But I know from a million playings, over decades, the key is BbM7! How does BbM7 launch from Em7b5?
Far out!

The Em7b5 / A7 is oh so familiar in jazz: it signals that you’re in D minor (which is often actually C!)
But where’d the Cm7 / F7 come from? And what’s next? Fm7! Bb … insane.

Note: I just drafted that all wrong: confusing Beautiful Love, which also launches from Em7b5 / A7: and is Dm!
How many others has that diminished second confused?

Secret Typer: To Type or Not to Type
2015 04 18 I taught myself touch typing at age twenty-one. I went from hunt-and-peck typing to touch typing in 24 hours, 24 continuous hours, no breaks, brief meals only: in 24 hours I achieved moderate speed, better-than-average accuracy. When I invite my beloved Jan to type something she repeats that she can’t, she doesn’t know where the letters are: and, at eighty-three, coming up on eighty-four, her sight long since short of 20/20, searching might help but only very slowly, too slowly to make sense for messaging: it does no good to crunch a bunch of numbers to predict tomorrow’s weather if the crunching takes a millennium or more to attempt: it’s easier just to wait till tomorrow, and see.

So: I type, very fast, more than accurate eough, Jan doesn’t type at all, blazons it if cornered, and …

I remember vividly, and sympathetically, why Etta (Hilary’s mother) concealed what typing ability she had: she was a woman! employed (as an economist) by the United Nations, and she knew, knew in her marrow, that if the UN heard she could type, being a woman, they would naturally flood her with typing. She would be given less and less economics and more and more typing: and somehow they would find ways to stall her salary, trying to decrease it to what the kleptocracies of the world paid typists: as little as possible.
I had a good reason for teaching myself typing when I did: I had a paper due. The paper was actually fifty-one weeks overdue. I hadn’t done it when it was due, I’d missed graduation. Columbia let me attend the graduation ceremonies, invite my family, etc., but it came from on high, way below the belt, that I had one year, and no more, 52 weeks, not 53 weeks, to submit late my senior seminar paper: otherwise, throw my four (now five) years of Columbia away. Instead of graduating, I’d stay fallen in the dust bin.
So: the paper was due, I hadn’t written a word. Now I had one week to do it. It could be a year late, it couldn’t be a year and a day late.
Now: I wrote my papers on the typewriter, had since age ten. Hunt and peck. I believed that if I had only 24 hours left to write the paper, think the paper, proof the paper, submit the paper, I’d do it, just squeaking by, Knatz-style.
I knew since age ten that I made myself dizzy by looking at my source material (say, Leaves of Grass when quoting Whitman) then looking at my keyboard — then looking back to the Whitman … I knew, sudenly of a certainty, that I’d work with less headache if I could touch type, save looking back and forth. So I did. I learned touch typing to procrastinate on a paper I’d already procrastinated a year on. Actually you could say I’d already procrastinated more than a year: I know students who would have submitted the finished paper at least six months before the due date.
Silly: Whitman is the wrong souce to cite: I quoted Whitman in high school, I’d forgotten Whitman in college. All my materials that needed copying were on Bunyan: Pilgrim’s Progress.
So: I learned touch typing, and did squeak the paper in at the year-past-due second-and-last deadline. The result was reported elsewhere.

Pandora Nuke
2015 04 07 I’ve been dipping into Pandora’s Promise, an egregious screen on nuclear power: dangers, harms have been exaggerated (I don’t doubt that’s true), dangers, harms are routinely misdiagnosed in our ignorance (I don’t doubt that’s true) … we need more power to continue to aim at prosperity while growing out populations (I don’t doubt that’s true) … It shows “environmentalists” caught in convictions that didn’t pan out … blah, blah … all as though nuclear power were safe, sane, understood … known. Balderdash.
At no point this this propaganda come within a mile of the concerns that I see as relevant: is civilization a sustainable enterprise? Can we grow our nations into the billions, and then double them, then double them again and continue to hope to live? and not continue to be ass-out ridiculous?
Reagan Logic
Reagan understood correctly that you could derail any pursuit involving reason if you threw in a consideration of continuint or growing prosperity. Don’t ask people if they want surviving grandchildren; as them if they have $1, do they want $1.10? or $2.00? Greed, optimism, will displace reason every time.
Right now, as to date, rational discussion is not possible. Politics will undercut examination. But: that doesn’t mean that consequences won’t be whatever the consequences are, regardless of what consequences are imagined (or are failed to be imagined). If smoking is cancerous then people who smoke, regularly, will get cancer: it doesn’t matter what they see coming.
The consequences of the train wreck will not be limited by dangers the passengers discussed before the train wreck.
My scenario:
We see greed for power as having disagreeable as well as agreeable consequences. we argue that we’ll be fine so long as examination never becomes intelligent, that politics will remain powerless to discuss optimum populations … then, there’s the train wreck, or the ecstasy … Will we be alive? oh, not us, but our granchildren? will anything we care about be alive?
and never mind how much is in the bank. never mind whether the corpse got a raise that it can’t spend.

In my mind we can’t afford any of the means of power production: it ain’t just nuclear.
PS K. has yet to mention: pk in the early mid-1970s worked for Stone & Webster, engineering. What did Stone & Webster specialize in? specifically? we build nuclear power plants! I was the Assistant Director of Continuing Education: I had to see that the engineers stayed informed in their skills.
Did they? Not that I could tell.

Golf Two
2015 04 07 Jan’s friends include a family with Lexi Thompson, the golfer, as a granddaughter. Golf Digest put Lexi on a cover, covering her mammaries with a towel instead of a top. Now we’re in Sex & Society Digest; not Golf Digest. Some clown writes that he’d take up golf if more women dressed like that on the golf course, but instead of yelling ‘Fore he’d yell Two!
Some mag puts Tiger on the cover, he’w wearing pants: underneath his pants he’s got a pair of balls, so what? We don’t look at the cover and think “UghGugGugGug, balls!”
Lexi is female, she’s striking-looking, she can play: she could model too, so what?
Anyway, I find it offensive for Golf Digest to shun covering women’s golf, blacking out women from the golf universe, and then suddently showing “c-” on a cover, or boobs: same difference, almost. (Joan Rivers had a shtick on that, re: her daughter: Joan screaming, “Show them your c-!” (but not until the price is right.))
It’s like the Royal and Ancient keeping woman from their membership as well as they ignore wogs — women, wogs, same thing — Then suddenly offering competition to Playboy, and Penthouse.

What’s parellel? I’ll tell you: Imagine the Temple of Solomon News putting Jesus on their cover, after they’ve crucified him! First, they murder him so he’ll shut up; then they want to manage his resurrection, claim agent’s fees.
Like white people sabotaging blues, then pretending that they were a major stock holder all along. Watchout, the people claiming authority from on high, never have any. It’s always pure chutzpah. like the FBI knocking me down so they can supervise the internet they stole from me, perverting the loot: and supervise me on the internet: that is to say: censor me.
Golf Digest has no right to Lexi, or to women, or to golf. Ah, but they can publish a magazine, controlling markets.
In the 1980s I knew the guy who founded Golf Digest. He wrote for Golf Magazine, had sold Golf Digest, made a pile of money … He had nothing good to say about Golf Digest then: I doubt that he’s alive to say anything of any kind now. He also loved Beethoven: and lusted for my girl friend.
He’d ask her to dinner: “Oh, and can Paul come to?” she ask.
I’d actually get a free dinner!

Boogie Woogie
2015 04 06 Everybody has weird dreams, right? But did you every have a dream about a painting? An abstract painting?
I recently found myself in a dream centered on Piet Mondrian’s painting Boogie Woogie!

Broadway Boogie Woogie
Broadway Boogie Woogie
thanx pietmondrian

As a kid, fifteen and up, I spent plenty of time in front of this painting, in MOMA of course. I haven’t been in MOMA since the middle 1960s: regardless, I never imagined dreaming of it.
There was no plot in the dream: it just centered on (an impression of) the image.
Ah, but a minute later I realize something: there’s a movie titled Boogie Woogie: with Amanda Seyfried. I like her, have ordered it, it’s on my queue. Still: why should I dream about the painting itself?

HierCon stories, Highlands Co employment
I’ll sketch some personal stories here, illustrating how society gangs up on me, sabotages my ability to live.

Kentucky Dodgers
2015 04 05 When I was a kid the Yankees always won, the Dodgers always lost: year after year, October after October. The Yankees are still New York, sort of. But the Dodgers stopped being Brooklyn a long time ago: proving that they never were; but people in Brooklyn thought they were: as the team owners knew they would think: many of our fantasies being orchestrated (the orchestrators having little idea how orchestrated they themselves are). Anyway, Brooklyn would lose, Brooklyn would go crazy: there’d be riots, looting, arson. So finally, was it 1956, the Dodgers finally won! And that night Brooklyn really burned.
Now these contests were called a World Series. The “world” was “New York” (in this case, the Bronx) and Brooklyn. New York was preordained to be the winner. It was after all the Empire state! Brooklyn, however rich in native genius, was bush, boondocks, not the empire builders, not Doctor Livingston; Brooklyn was serf country. And of course even I thought those heroes were from those places: Babe Ruth was from the Bronx, Joe Dimaggio, from the Bronx … Jackie Robinson was from Brooklyn … We thought just what the owners thought we would think, planned for us to thing, budgeted our thinking …
So were was Kentucky? Kentucky didn’t exist. Kentucky existed somewhere way way way way after Brooklyn, the famous farm for serfs.
Well this year, like last year, it was Kentucky that was supposed to win. Kentucky had the biggest budget, the fewest scruples. Kentucky was the most professionally amateur. Kentucky was coached by the biggest loudmouth, the guy with the chip on his shoulder the size of Pittsburgh.
And now they’ve lost! to Wisconsin! And last night, and today, Kentucky burns.


Posted in pk Personal, pk Teaching | Leave a comment

Wager With Lucifer

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Teaching / Social Order … DeCentralization / Deschooling /

Keywords information, records, central, God, Lucifer, wager”/> & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Decentralization /
Miscellaneous Deschooling Rants

God’s Wager With Lucifer

Before I weave my candidate myth, let me share my initial aim (who knows where the writing actually ends up?): HL Mencken said “… democracy is based upon so childish a complex of fallacies that they must be protected by a rigid system of taboos, else even half-wits would argue it to pieces.” Without compulsory schooling any twelve year old ought to be able to refute the assumption that centralized information management is always necessary. But, could that same twelve year old, older and graduating from school, still do so?) That’s why civilization must train us only to listen to the civilized. The wild child won’t get it because the wild child isn’t social: but any caveman should be able to see through the pretences of any forged-literate in schools. Centralized information management may gain short term goals, but the big picture gets messier and messier as it does so.

Shall we pay the piper now? or later: when no amount of payment will suffice?
(School’s purpose is to identify the potential refuters, to isolate them, make sure that no one listens to them … soo easy in a social primate species.)

God’s messages are constant; but the damned won’t hear them.

(1970, when I offered a free information system, may not have been too late, but it’s no longer 1970.)
Ah: I extend my preface to add that my target needs more than one coordinate. Having referenced Mencken, I must also reference Arthur C. Clarke: specifically his story The Billion Names of God. (My memory of the title comes close enough for now: I can verify it another time.) Bunch of Tibetan monks save their coppers till they have the millions needed to buy a main frame computer. The monks believe that the universe exists for the purpose of uttering the many names of God, that the universe will cease to exist once the complete taxon has been uttered. (Then the cosmos may express itself in whatever comes next: after universe.) For many centuries the monks have busied themselves guessing at and uttering possible names for God. They’ve decided that a super computer will conclude their quest the sooner. (Tibetan Buddhism isn’t a big fan of life going on and on: all that pain.)

Some scientist hears about the plan and, alarmed, races to Tibet. He’s climbing the Himalayas just in time to notice the stars begin, one after another, to wink out.

Cosmology and theology are inseparable in my mind (liberated theology, theology liberated from dogma, from superstition) (Is that possible?)). It seems that Clarke thought something similar before most of the rest of us could think at all. Anyway, my target would imagine a wedding of cosmology, theology, and refutation of axioms.

God’s and Lucifer’s Wager

God and Lucifer were once very close. I mean close like roommates at a male boarding school, if you follow me: close like they were married. They’re still close: but at longer than arm’s reach. They’re both software programers, albeit at opposite ends of town, and the one sure thing that will make one give the other a call, a challenge, is if he thinks he’s written (or can write) a bit of software that will prove some point odious to the old competitor/companion.
Almost every calamity in the history of the universe they once made together on a lark has been a direct result of their bets against each other. You see, any of their wagers necessitates the proviso that the opposite party may interfere with the new code, but only in certain limited ways. If God makes a sun, Lucifer may not unmake the sun; but he can write some subroutine from which may emerge sun spots. Lucifer may make some perpetual motion homunculus, but God can crab his motion with the ague. You can’t take Barry Bonds out of the other guy’s line up, but you can encourage Bonds to make errors.

See? DNA: there’s an actual illustration. Both parties were surprised in that one once some of the errors produced forms more interesting than those made without such errors. (Nowadays no one can get the truth out of either of them as to which of them made the DNA and which of them then made the errors.) (In fact, I’ve heard each of them claim that the errors had been the whole point all along.)

much more to do here but I post my beginning while other obligations call

A tip of the hat to Denis Wood (Five Billion Years of Global Change: A History of the Land [NY 2004]) for his they used to be married perception.

2006 07 04 And a salute to for its wonderful Top 10 Creation Myths.
(One of the best, most engrossing, can’t-stop-clicking-the-next-link, web sites.)

Wager Scrapbook
2017 04 21 I read in some related loose material:
Cause / … / Decentralized Effect

from Iona Arc, a pk blog

Humans claim sentience. I don’t dispute the claim: I only add that sentience must be a spectrum, and that we can’t possibly know how “left” or “right” we are on the spectrum (left or right as in statistical limits). Are we toward its beginning? or toward “the end”? (Does such a spectrum even have an end? does it even have a beginning?)
Recently some humans share the claim of self-awareness with a couple of other mammals: the chimp, the orangutan. Note: we’re all mammals. All bilaterally symmetrical. All vertabrates. We all have a top and a bottom. We all have a face at the front side of the top end. It’s not surprising that we should associate self-awareness and sentience with having a bilaterally symmetrical face: and at the top end. note Humans are social: though some males and a very few females are loners. Chimps too are social. Orangutans … uh … on occasion: all the adults males are loners. (I suggest you leave them alone: unless you want to see some exquisite violence: exercised against you!)
Social, self-aware, sentient humans have a trick: they generalize. And they have a social trick: they grab generalizations made by somebody smart, and apply them: stupidly.
For example:
Newton was very smart. He figured out some characteristics of gravity. He figured out lots of things. Newton never said he had figured out everything. On the contrary, he said he had picked up a couple of pretty shells from along a vast shore.
That’s all right: the group tells the lie for him: we can figure out anything. It’s not that we have this and that fragment of knowledge; no, no: we have knowledge. God has knowledge. the church, the state has knowledge. experts, the university has knowledge.
If I hit you in the head with a stone ax, you might fall down. I see myself as the “cause” of your falling down. I generalize: I cause things. My generalization is stolen by the group: we cause things. the generalization becomes fuzzy: we cause all things.
Uh, no, wait: we cause all good things; all bad things are caused by the enemy.
We group together. Now and then the group follows together a decision of some individual. Let’s all go beat up on the rooster who’s down in his luck, has lost a few feathers. Let’s kill him. We centralize, we form a hierarchy. It works! We form a fearsome efficiency. We worship centralization, hierarchy, efficiency.

Now we do something that makes this individual think that our self-awareness, our sentience (our hierarchy and our efficiency), are definitely on the beginner’s side of things: we made flawed generalizations about centralization: the universe must be caused! the universe must be centrally caused! the universe must be hierarchically caused!
Looking at a problem we truck in assumptions about centralization, about cause. We impose hierarchies whether they’re there or not.
I always get a kick on sports shows, the commentator says, “There’s the first lady, leading the cheers”: where some president’s wife is more likely to be behind the crowd in the clapping. The network does not get a flood of raspberries: we swallow the flagrant imposition.
We sometimes have a true perception, but inevitably spoil it: what was wrong with the Soviet was Stalin; then we think: the solution would be Nixon.

I can imagine cavemen making these errors. They too were sentient, had faces, had a top and a bottom. But they weren’t over-organized within an inch of their lives the way all modern kleptocrats are. We escape the church, but fall into the school. we escape Stalin, but fall under Bush.
If we consider the universe we’ll find centers: lots of them: billions and trillions. Our earth is the center of our earth moon system. Our sun is the center of the solar system. But there are hundreds of billions of suns: just in this galaxy. Cells have centers: the nucleus. Atoms have centers: the nucleus. The galaxy itself seems to have something like a center. (Always though beware: does it really? or are we polluting our perception with our prejudice? are we over-reifying our model?)
But consider the universe. We can’t see it; we can only see light generated by nearby stars and that light reflecting from other matter. We have to try to conceive it, we have to try to model it. Look at some of the models developed by big astronomy teams. Is there a center? Is there anything like a center? Is center an appropriate concept for the universe? Beware of imposing order on one system by inappropriate analogy with order from a different system.
Does the universe modeled, in any of the models, “look” hierarchical? Where’s its “top”? (And where is “north”?) Does the model look like it has a boss? a president? a god? It would be foolish to assume that it doesn’t just because we don’t see one, it would be foolish to assume that it does: just because we’re encouraged to see things that way.
But the universe is too big, too unknown. There are lots of things nearer to hand that we can also look at. Check out a model of a nice big fat organic molecule.

more coming
fer instance:
Nam myoho renge kyo: the universal law of cause and effect Sure there are causes, sure there are effects: many kinds: not all centralized, not all direct, not all top down: not at all as simple as billiards. But trust the group to get all generalizations wrong.
(That’s a good pk joke: does anyone see it?)
Face at the Top End:
pk loves to point out that we have a “face” at the other end too. On women it’s called “ass” or ” pussy.”
Here pk will further observe that humans’ top-end faces are unique, highly individual; our nether faces though are largely generic. Male is distinct from female, but Ned is not much different from Ted, nor Sally from Ellie at the other end.

Deschooling: Double Entry / Double Books keywords information, records, double entry, double books”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Decentralization /
Double Entry
Double Books
Everyone’s heard of double-entry bookkeeping. Few understand it. The bookkeeper lists all assets: and then, day by day, transaction by transaction, lists all debits and all credits. I’m no accountant, but that’s the essence, isn’t it?
(Double entry thinking has matured any number of areas of thought: science, systems … If you’re male, you’re also not-female; if you’re a 1, you’re not a zero …)
Everyone’s also heard of keeping two sets of books. Everyone understands that one, don’t they? You keep one set of records for yourself, and another set, a fictitious set, for the IRS.
Apart from our own practices — we respect privacy, right? — we associate duplicate bookkeeping with the bad guys: the Mafia, the crooks … I can not emphasize strongly enough:
All centralized institutions keep more than one set of records!
If they don’t, they have the capacity to. It doesn’t matter what the law, the charter, the constitution says.
And we all understand that too (without understanding it). The senator may look at materials forbidden the non-elect adult; the adult may look at materials forbidden the child. The Times holds onto reports it doesn’t publish: so, The Times has records it’s put on record, and the Times has records it hasn’t put on record. Few prelates have rank high enough to freely browse the Vatican archives.
So, still using the Church as an example, there are those records the Vatican shares with the public, there are those records the Vatican shares with Catholics, there are those records the Vatican shares with all priests, there are those records the Vatican shares with some prelates … and there are those records the Church destroyed: no one can see them.
Information erodes in the universe itself. Of course. Entropy (in all of its meanings) seems to be a true law. But we know of no examples of the universe deliberately destroying information. Natural is a tricky word: for the most part we merely use it to contrast human behavior from everything else: don’t we?
Then again, improved thought, improved techniques, can read some things formerly believed erased. There are analogies to “fingerprints” everywhere. One year the FBI can’t read the torn up letter, the next year they can. So people shred their letters. Then next year the FBI can read the shredded letter. So they burn the letters. God may be able to read even the ashes: even the ground ashes.
We know in great detail what St. Augustine thought. Augustine troubled to write it down: but then some people assign the writing. What Abelard wrote is shoved into the archives. How much was burned we don’t know. And what some ordinary heretic wrote got burned without any record being kept of the burning (unless there’s a record buried somewhere in that remote part of the Vatican archives.
Civilized record keeping has from the get-go been duplicitous. If we’re Catholic, we may be glad that trash got censored. If we’re parents we may be glad that you can go online and not have beaver popping up no matter what command you give the PC. If we’re American we may be glad that the Pentagon put its A-bomb plans in the safe.
Civilized record keeping had little choice but to be at least potential duplicitous: until 1970 when pk offered the Free Learning Exchange.
Imagine that it was supported. Image that we had a working FLEX some time following 1970. Imagine that pk somehow retained absolute control over this paradoxical offering: a centralized local for decentralized information. pk is human. pk could have burned some record that deeply offended him.
Still: the idea was to censor nothing.
That was an idea of the United States at its Bill of Rights writing sessions. How well has the United States maintained that ideal? A lawyer can prove that we’ve maintained it perfectly; while any child can see that we never meant it in the first place. (Macroinformation!)
That’s why ideas, ideals, institutions … must constantly be phoenixed: burn it, and recreate it. Many a generation will be unable (unwilling) to recreate it in its original spirit. That can’t be helped. But maybe the next generation can. The son may be way stupider than the father; the granddaughter may be way smarter than grandpa. One generation may be selfish, another … less so.
That’s a start. I’ll be saying more and more about central / decentral here and elsewhere.

The publisher decides what books to publish and determines the investment in promotion. The publisher will have accurate, detailed records of sales, of reviews, of stocks … The publisher will have few to no written records of which MSs were rejected and why. Who reads those manuscripts, by the way? The most senior executives? or the cheapest, most junior labor?
But we all understand what happens anyway: because some records which don’t depend on publishers may survive a change of generation, a change of culture. William Blake had to publish himself in 1812; but his work has been a reliable seller since it did finally get published by others. Go through the publisher’s lists for 1812: Wordsworth, Coleridge … Byron … Where’s the Keats? Where’s the Blake?
What records does academia keep of other great geniuses still not published? None. No one knows.
Cavemen didn’t keep records of those they silenced either; but then they didn’t keep records of anything: except maybe the phases of the moon. Losing information isn’t nearly as bad a crime as mismanaging information. While John Hurt Fisher was Secretary of the MLA I heard him confess that the MLA had rejected Mont Saint Michel And Chartres when it had been offered to them. I doubt that that fact was a normal part of MLA publicity; but its most powerful executive volunteered the story: at least when he was among his students. Publishers have annual events where they brag about what they promoted; picture a judgment day where some demon confronts them with what they repressed, suppressed … or merely failed to promote.
FLEX would have published EVERYTHING; but promoted nothing.
Understand, pk in his private person could have promoted this or that from FLEX; but the institution itself merely recorded. No endorsements. No opinions as to what was valid, what fraudulent. If the big bad wolf says he’s grandma, then that’s what FLEX says he says. Little Red Riding Hood has to watch her own way. (How stupid can she be? Not to see the teeth?)

Deschooling: Centralized versus Decentralized keywords information, centralized, decentralized”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Decentralization / 2004 09 24
Once upon a time information was common to a human group. DNA is of course common to the species: and therefore to the group. Each member is human; one individual might have red hair. But practical information too — who’s best at finding edible roots, who’s best at chipping flint — would also have been common. Each individual has a private memory, sharing what part the individual chooses, but much information is common: everyone knows that Conrad is taller than Miriam.
Centralities war against one another.
Then humans bred: and bred. Then humans farmed. Then humans built graneries, then villages, cities … nations. Centralized organization came more and more to the fore. The king knew things the peasant didn’t know, the general knew things the king didn’t know. With kleptocracy, centralization becomes the default. Centralized kleptocracies murder decentralized groups: witness Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia … the Amazon … And centralities war against one another.
A man’s spirt must take a different shape if he believes that all sorting in the universe is due to an external agent. Gregory Bateson
King of the hill is a dangerous business. And all hills are born without kings.
Stalin is the natural, inevitable flower of centralized information systems.
(Notice: though the BBC makes relatively responsible nature documentaries, they continue to carry on the king of the jungle pathology: When dinosaurs ruled … is typical diction in title or narrative.)
The decentralized get murdered; but I believe that the centralized are doomed. The specialists, the experts … the centrally certified … are doomed. I believe that the doom would be less pressing if we decentralized: while repudiating kleptocracy. We must reinvent groupness. Illich showed us how. I offered us the actual tools. Central authorities haven’t murdered me yet; but they have seen to it that few people have heard me. And they’ve seen to it that even those who have heard me are so centralization-shocked that they don’t dare change their habits. Feed the central authority — or starve.
Centralized information sees to it that everyone in the super-group knows about … the Greeks, the President, Shakespeare … We all see what’s in the spotlight. It’s very difficult to see what’s in shadow. Those who poke into shadows are not promoted by the central information services: school, church, library … licensed networks … publishers …
Centralized information exists in a vicious circle. What’s accepted gets shoved up your nose; what’s rejected remains invisible. (Even if you had acess to the Vatican archives (ha, ha), would you find there accurate accounts of the beliefs of those burned for heresy? Accurate?) (In the United States, Thoreau sliipped through: but have you heard of Spooner? of Harmon? of Tucker?)

pk’s personal domains mount files which are composed and polished and also, far more commonly, files which are merely begun. Follow the ideas; not the nicety of dress. If I haven’t completed a connection, trying making it for yourself. If you think my reasoning is off-base, try seeing if you can put in on-base before merely ignoring it. All logic is an after thought anyway: it’s not how we actually think; it’s how we dress up our thinking. At least men do.

I’m just reading Mitchell Resnick’s book, Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds. Decentralization is a main theme there. Conventionally we have assumed that flocks of birds for example must have a leader, a chief bird in charge of the beautiful patterns the flock makes. Now we realize that it’s not so: and no necessary. The flock patterns are emergent from individuals decisions.
Decentralization has not to date been a key word in pk’s usage till now but it certainly has been core to my activities. Responding to Illich, founding FLEX, responding to Gregory Bateson, to the cyberneticists … inventing Macroinformation … Decentralization is core to all of them: whatever words I used.
But of course we’re all decentralizing. Some of us know it a bit sooner: just as not all persons realize that it’s raining at the same time. But sooner or later everyone knows that they’re drenched.
Simultaneously, we all retain centralist assumptions. Resnick points out some of his as he proceeds. No one’s conversion is pure. Nor should we reject centralized solutions where they’re appropriate! I wanted to centralize the decentralizing mechanism under me! Someone with a big gun has to make sure the axioms are honored. What flows in the pipe is free; the pipe is not free to cease being pipe.

2004 09 27
I want to point out that “God” is a centralist concept: “gods” were a less centralized, but still centralized concept (centralized once the gods are “bosses.”) The Devil too is a centralized concept. Whatever the truth is, we need a variety of models. We need new models. We need lots of new decentralized models.

This theme is also discussed at’s Society section: Homeostasis: Authority vs. Decentralization
This theme continues here as
Double Entry / Double Books.
It continues in enough new files, more coming, to justify a link here to the relevant section of the main menu.

Deschooling: Central / Decentral Paradox keywords information”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Decentralization /
Merely Apparent?
I want all the information (all the volunteered information, private information volunteered to be public) in one place: one place for each community. A known location is convenient: that’s “central.” But I want the information to be unedited, uncensored, unmanaged: that’s “decentralized.”
The universe seems to be decentralized. There are lots of centers. If those centers are organized, they seem to be organized by physics, naturally; not by sentient supervision. Civilization in contrast, in all the forms we’ve yet known it, is (or strives to be) centralized. We imagine a God who’s in charge (if guilty of a little absenteeism), we want a king who’s in charge, a pope, a president … a father. A Boss.
The boss makes sure that the information has a certain slant to it: the slant that justifies the boss. Look at any institution. The structure from the university to the Vatican to the Kremlin is the same: authority (selected by some sort of social consensus) reigns over plebes not so designated. That’s what we’re used to. It seems fine: until you notice the flaws. Again and again it turns out, give it time, it always turns out, that the authority diverges more and more from experience. So a revolution is needed. (And nature always provides them. We call it extinction. The old species couldn’t put the new food in its mouth, couldn’t chew it, couldn’t get nourishment from it … the old male couldn’t get along with the new female, or visa versa. Death. Clears the way for other possibilities. Freedom comes from the void, not from the boss.)
In my own experience, my own church never understood any part of the messages I understood myself to be conveying to them from God. By social consensus, they were the ones in touch with God. And notice — here’s the key: the society never had to prove that its judgments on the matter corresponded with events, with experience. But of course we only allow journalists to report who won’t see the mismatch. Hello social failure: centralized. Authoritative.
My professors didn’t understand what I offered to show them about literature. No, by social consensus they were the ones who already knew (elected by people who damn well know that they don’t know); I was the fledgling. If what I said didn’t match what they already thought, they could safely dismiss it.
With it, they dismissed your best change for survival, for adaptation, for matching map to territory.
By social convention, centralized (self-elected) authority, my experience didn’t happen to me. No, something good for all, something Pollyanna-orthodox happened to me.
I couldn’t communicate with my church. I couldn’t communicate with my school. Fine: I’d communicate with the public.
Ha! The public can’t be communicated with: except through its own centralized, self-elected … delusions.
But I tried. In 1970 I offered to keep all the information (all the volunteered information, private information volunteered to be public) in one place. Ivan Illich showed us how. Denis Detzel was doing something similar in Evanston (and had known Illich longer). I wanted the information to remain unedited, uncensored, unmanaged. If the provider of the information is lying, if the provider of the information is deceived, still, get the lie, the deception right. First let all information be accurately gathered, accurately stored. Then trust that information to sort itself for reliability in the public mind by the public accessing it and feeding back the next generation of public information. (If on September 9 Jack the Ripper says that he’s Jack the Wonderful Guy, then on September 10, others may say, No, he’s Jack the Ripper. Beware. The public should evaluate its raw information, not the boss.
I offered that system in New York City, following Illich axioms, extrapolating them a bit. I wanted that system to be the model (itself already modeled) for all other communities fed up with centralized, managed, boss-ridden information. (The boss shouldn’t keep the porn out of the library: though the boss may very well hang around the library and beg little kiddies not to look at it. There’s a huge difference between saying Don’t listen to Reich and burning Reich’s books.
Then I wanted those many decentralized centers to network: share resources common beyond their borders. If invited, if allowed, if supported, I hoped to do the coordinating. There’s no reason to show the phone number for the bone setter in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn to the woman with the broken arm in Kent, England; unless the woman in Kent, England says, “Don’t you have anybody in Bensonhurst?”. Then, the “public” should expand, share.
In the centralized information system (set) called the United States, “doctors” are licensed by the state. Most other so-called healers are not. Without a note from your doctor, no one has to listen to your complaint. A note from your witch, a note from your acupuncturist, won’t do. (Since 1970 some acupuncturists have been accepted into the priesthood of doctors, but no witches: at least no one calling themselves a witch.) The state needs to provide no evidence (that wouldn’t be laughed at by a scientist (unless that scientist is also licensed by the state) that doctors heal better than disenfranchised healers. This is centralized information.
(It’s thanks largely to Illich that these days the state has no choice but to admit that its precious doctors with their precious health industry are the number two killer in the United States: right behind heart disease! That was not known in 1970 by more than a very few. Despite his books being driven out of print, out of the stores — in a word, censored, it’s now acknowledged even on TV. Still, they’re licensed, still you have to go. Catholics still send their children to priests even after the admissions of rapes, of molestations: like the gambler gambling in the crooked house because it’s the only game he can find.)
By the Illich axiom (extrapolated by pk) the information system’s role is to record the witch’s claim of being a healer alongside the doctor’s similar claim. It is not the system business what the truth is. That is the public’s business: a public having both access to all of the claims and also access to experience with the claimants and also the ability to then report that experience: No, he’s Jack the Ripper. Beware.
more next time. I edit, I revise, I expand.

previous start:
I’m not ready to write this now, but I must jot a quick point to be developed.
There seems to be a paradox in pk’s social information ideals. I want information decentralized; but I want centrally available in any local: and interconnected with other locals: an internet; but an internet with no management of the information other than to record it accurately: and to make it available without hinderance.
In the past that has only been thinkable under centralized authority. I want to keep the center and get rid of the authority.
Now: is the paradox a true contradiction? Or can we simply not see it? Am I making some fundamental mistake? Or have the rest of you?
Thirty four years after I founded FLEX, my own son still dismisses my ideals as “information Communism” and sees coercion lurking behind my offer of freedom. Coercion? Where? Don’t just tell me; show me. What about FLEX was coerced? What about FLEX was in danger of becoming coerced? Nearly anything can be infiltrated by coercion in the modern world, but where was the threat of it?
My son has also been repulsed by my ideal of everyone having the same sized ad, all ads in the same font size, with the same font and background color. I want the information to be in the information and not in the presentation. Understand, I wouldn’t forbid GM from taking huge ads; just not at FLEX. I want to see the yellow pages more like the white pages: just the information please. And I want anyone to be welcome in the book: whether or not they can pay the bill. Therefore, the system must be subsidized — voluntarily — by the society. Those with more should voluntarily pay more: those that those whose luck has been bad can try to change it.
That last consideration could fall away in a fair society; but it’s a must in an unfair one.
(But what society has ever considered itself unfair?)

My Subject Is Information
keywords information
Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules /
@ K. 2004 06 18

on Information

(two kinds)

documents … resources
as in
wisdom … effect … art

I started this module before deciding to open Deschooling which will soon incorporate and supercede it.
My Subject is information.
My Mission is to distinguish practical information in a society from information as a phenomenon to be studied by philosophy, by science.
Whatever the physical universe is made of, the human universe is composed exclusively of information. What the eye sees, what the ear hears, what the mind thinks … is information. What we say to each other, read, write … What makes you jump while watching Psycho … is all information. Indeed, all was information before we were born. The DNA (information) told the cells (more information) how to grow bone, muscle, ganglia, nerves … how to form organs, how the eyes should be this color, the hair that — curly, kinky, or limp, the skin whatever …
We have had to date little control over our DNA. What we control (over-control, misguide) is pubic information: what books should be published, reprinted, what programs aired … whose words should be taken seriously … What we damn well ought to understand, but don’t very well, is what information is in the first place: what’s different about Shakespeare? why does Beethoven move us so?
My Free Learning Exchange (1970) attempted to deal with public information better than societies and their governments had yet done: social information degenerating fast the tighter its controls. My theory of Macroinformation addresses the last kind: the Shakespeare, Beethoven, Psycho … aspect. The DNA I leave to others, wishing they’d be careful.
For now, access my theory at Macroinformation
But new files I plan to put here. Renovated public information files will be moved here:

Next, now, I repeat:
Ideals are what we think we should be, do, have … Institutions are what we are, do, have. We must move our institutions, whatever their inertia, toward our ideals.
What are our ideals? We can’t possibly know that without freedom of information. And I don’t mean free according to some agenda’s mislabeling system. If Tolstoy (or Gandhi, Jesus, Illich …) tries to explain his principle of turning the other cheek, nonresistance to evil … to a flock of geese, a tribe of cannibals, a synod of Mafia dons, or a debutante cotillion … good luck. If Einstein tries to explain Relativity to Roosevelt … Nevertheless, a society that pays better than lip service to diversity, to liberty, to conviviality … a society that understands that stress can only find relief in the random, that the matrix of a universe of choices made must remain a void of choices not yet seen …
Whatever your ideals are, mine are clear:
Map the community;
Coordinate the communities’ maps.
That is a pastiche of VonFoerster, Illich, pk.
I repeat:
An institution of free information is the only institution a free people would need.
Freedom has to be paid for by the group. If they don’t pay, if they don’t pay enough, then they can’t be free.
But it shouldn’t cost much. It’s private profit that’s costly.
There’s much more on all of this in Illich’s writings: and at pk’s FLEX. There’s much of the former at the latter: and all will be moved here.


Principal relatives:
Libraries: Is Their Purpose Ambivalent?
FLEX as Improved Record Keeping
Library: Actual vs. Potential
Meta-Library: this file
Illich: Deschooling Society: Chapter Six
History of Schools, Universities
And a few of secondary importance:
College Bookstore Committee
Scholar vs. Merchant
Birbeck College: Free Learning Revisited
EDCENTRIC: Free Learning
The FLEX LEx Net
Church … School … John Birch
FLEX: the Meaning of It All
FLEX’s Founder
Deschooling Update
Phew! You’ll find a lot more using the Search tool.

and still more, also to be edited and absorbed:
FLEX: Development Notes: Constitution keywords US, constitution”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Development Notes /
Analogy: FLEX & The US Constitution
Through FLEX, I offered to act as world librarian. FLEX was offered as a public institution. FLEX was to be run at cost. My applications for funding to IBM, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund … emphasized that FLEX executives were never to be paid more than a lower middle class salary (as much money as anyone should ever need). The “profit” was to go to the “public.” The point was would-be tribal, anti-kleptocratic. The point was that public information should not be impeded. Each individual would be empowered to make his own living. FLEX is anti-union, anti-corporate, anti-government, pro-human. Tom and Betsy get the same size (text only, facts only) ad as Coke or GM. All ads would be in one place and would wait humbly until sought; no ads would invade anyone’s privacy. The point was to facilitate dialogues among individuals on the basis of common interest. The point was to take command of cybernetic technology before the technology was used to take further command of us for same-old same-old: economic, political, and ideological advantage. I didn’t want to be thanked, I didn’t want to get rich; I wanted the world to have it: pure and unadulterated. No one would have needed a PC, an ISP account. Only FLEX librarians would have had to become techies. Someone had to write the software, maintain the data, know how to get it and give it.
There is talk in plenty in this world, but fewer deeds. Owen Parry’s Abel Jones novels
Everyone said, Good, give it to us. How? Give FLEX the resources and FLEX will give them back to you. At cost. No million dollar salaries. No pork barrels. No stock dividends. Nothing to deal secretly. A public institution. The world’s first real one. But if you don’t give the power company the resources to build the generator, then the power company can hardly give you the power.
After warring among themselves since time immemorial, the tribes now called Iroquois brought relative peace among themselves by fashioning, approximately a century before Columbus, their Great Law of Peace. As European settlers moved closer and closer among them, the Iroquois freely shared their political wisdom. Benjamin Franklin acknowledged being influenced by their system. The US Constitution borrowed freely from the Great Law. Fine. The Founding Fathers were welcome to it. Of course the Founding Fathers toned down the liberality of the Great Law in their version. Women for example were fully enfranchised in the Great Law. There was no place for slavery. Peace, not property was the point. There were already some kleptocratic elements in Iroquois society, but the US Founding Fathers translated the law according to their kleptocratic habits. They took a liberal set of laws and fashioned them into something merely miles more liberal than anything Europe had ever seen. Fine. We were welcome to it.
Except for one thing: we don’t acknowledge the borrowing. Therefore, ethically, it’s theft. Oh, I don’t say what we did was illegal. Not so long as we write the laws. Killing our benefactors, stealing their land, wasn’t illegal either. (Neither is violating the Constitution illegal: not so long as it’s the President doing it, or the CIA, or the police … at least not so long as no one stops them.) Law is meaningless except as it’s obeyed.
When other FLEXes started sprouting up, I was overjoyed. When they contacted me for advice I talked about our all interconnecting, networking the world. New York’s FLEX was to be a pattern, not a monopoly. Just let me keep it pure. (And if I don’t, get rid of me and replace me with someone who will.) (And if they say they will and don’t, then we’re right back where we started.) Unfortunately, that was the last I ever heard from most of them. We didn’t interconnect.
Meantime, dating services were sprouting like mushrooms. Did the dating services say, Why fund FLEX and have free data for the rest of all time, free data on anything you want, anything important to you, including getting laid, free data at cost, when you can give us lots of money now for just a little bit of data now, once only unless you pay again, and just about the one thing: getting laid? No. FLEX wasn’t mentioned.
FLEX invited all teachers (that includes university teachers, stupid) to register. Though several university teachers were on the board, Ivan Illich, frequent university lecturer, himself was on the board, the only university teacher to register his availability through FLEX was yours truly, the founder. Eighteen or so years later, scientists and university teachers were beginning to bypass the snail’s pace of conventional publishing and were mounting their papers on the internet. Was there any explanation why they hadn’t mounted their papers at FLEX since 1970? Any apology? Any explanation?
FLEX would have been democratic. FLEX would have had knowledge be common. That’s hardly the purpose of a modern university. We don’t support cheap access to main frame computers. We want knowledge to be common only among those who can afford expensive access to main frame computers. No. Nada.
Universities are kleptocratic institutions. Like countries, unacknowledged theft is their stock in trade.
William Blake’s Jerusalem has become an anthem in Great Britain, especially in England. There are any number of exclusive schools that sing it as a school song. Had Blake not lithographed his poems and drawings himself, we wouldn’t know them. Is there a single English school that can demonstrate it ever bought a single copy of the poem from Blake? I’ll bet Blake would be glad to know the schools were singing it. But ethically, it’s stolen intellectual property. I grant that it’s too late to pay Blake. I grant that it would be a crime not to sing it. But how can we sing it and not pay Blake’s royalty to some other starving artist? How dare we look at a single Van Gogh painting and still allow any artist to be evicted, get turned away from the market, have his phone disconnected …?
There isn’t any decent aspect of today’s internet — chat rooms, search engines, yellow pages, white pages — that wasn’t offered by FLEX thirty years ago. Differences are merely technological: PCs, modems, graphic manipulation … How dare anyone go on-line for any purpose and not pay a penance … if not to FLEX, then to some young and starving revolutionary institution. There are always thousands of them. You just have to open your eyes. And stop being a damned kleptocrat.
But it’s OK. All debts will be paid at Judgment Day.

FLEX: Development Scrapbook keywords FLEX, Scrapbook”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Develop / 2000 11 27
I must find time to add a piece on coercive culture as oppression. Scattered about are references to Claude Levy Straus’ observation that literacy was developed as a means of control. (pk adds, first control of farming inventory, then control of the farmers …) I must gather into one place arguments such as these:
The little kid sees his big brother jump his bicycle using the cellar door as a ramp. Little kid is impressed. Brother seems so brave, strong, advanced, superior. Great. Right and natural. Little brother doesn’t realize how soon he’ll be able to do the same, or better, or almost as well. Show the same kid Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, tell the same kid about Babe Ruth or Ted Williams, and the little kid may as well pack in now and kill himself.
Read Shakespeare to a society of writers and they’ll likely agree that the dude could really write. They’re likely to agree that he set the standard, that they’re good but not that good. But they shouldn’t pack in and kill themselves: they are in that universe, at least part-way. Read Shakespeare to a little kid (age fifteen to thirty or forty) who can’t even fill out a government form, and the kid may as well pack it in. Show the kid the great wealth of Bill Gates, tell him about the insane courage of Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Patton … Kid may as well pack it in.
Tell people about Jesus when they’re ready for a myth, for a moral lesson, for a Paul Bunyan. Let the kid find Jesus himself. Or Galileo or Newton. Remove all obstacles between the kid and what you hope he’ll find, but don’t shove it at him.
Abe is worried about his son Lev’s apparent lack of ambition. The rabbi suggests a test. Leave three things around the living room: the Torah, a bottle of Manishevitz, and some loose cash. Hide behind the curtain when you know he’s coming. Watch him. If Lev shows interest in the Torah, perhaps they’re hope for him yet. If he filches the money … well, maybe it shows some business acumen. Maybe there’s a little hope for him. If he takes the bottle, ignoring all else … wash your hands of him, forget about it, a drunk may as well be a goy.
Abe distributes the articles and hides. Lev arrives. Leafs through the Torah. Abe is about to leap out and embrace him but thinks better of it and keeps watching. Lev sees the money, counts it out, pockets it. Abe’s blood pressure rises. Lev sees the Manishevitz, takes a swig, leafs the Torah, takes another swig, puts the bottle in his pocket …
Abe falls through the curtain, tearing his hair and rending his clothes. “Oi vey. A Catholic priest!”
Arthur C. Clarke has a novel in which humans pack a rocket to start a new civilization in a never before human-contaminated system. They decide that only technical information may go along: no Bible, no Homer, no Shakespeare. Much as I love and revere those three things and many more cultural artifacts, I envy the humans born to a society without them. Since we have libraries, I want good ones. Since we have governments, I’d prefer honest ones. But what I’d really prefer is none. Every culture should develop its own literature, then purge it so the next generation can develop its own.
Notice: civilization does do that in a way. We’re forever inventing new games, starting stats from zero. A publisher produced a book of lists some years ago: ten greatest athletes of all time, ten greatest political leaders … Funny: all entries were from a few years older than the current generation … The NBA is wonderful: it’s only a half century old. Michael Jordan gets compared to Wilt, neither get compared to Achilleus or Sampson. Caesar got compared to Alexander, not to Sampson or to David. Napoleon got compared to Caesar … Who ever heard of Shaka? He whipped a lot of European asses, but we don’t like to remember it.
I was teaching at Colby when The Graduate came out. Good movie. Far from the first terrific thing that Mike Nichols had done. Some zophtic coed had the gall to tell me that it was “the greatest movie of all time.” Did she first demonstrate acquaintance with DW Griffith? Jean Renoir? Rene Claire? Rossellini? Chaplin? Kurosawa? I don’t think she even knew Bergman or Fellini. Even so: we’re only talking a century plus a couple of years.
It’s inevitable that humans look at the universe in the narrow (and short) beam of a flashlight. One thing I hate about school it that it seems to validate our short and narrow view. Short and narrow views have the imprimatur of the culture. We give a professorship to the guy who can lengthen it slightly (but not also widen it): widen it slightly (but not also lengthen it: and again, only so long as the guy who can lengthen it doesn’t team up with the guy who can widen it).
“History” began in the Garden of Eden (about a measly six thousand years ago). Way too far away for us. So history began in 1066. Way too remote for Americans. So history began in 1776. No, no: history began with Roosevelt and the Depression. How about with Vietnam? No, no, no. History began … when I was born. (Meaning when I came to semi-adult consciousness. Age six? Twelve? Eighteen? Thirty-five? Maybe I haven’t been born yet!)

Do you remember the school quality “works well with others”? That quality is (supposedly) cultivated in the individual student. shouldn’t such a quality be paired with a consideration of how well the school, the teachers, the society works with individuals with something to say? with prophets? with geniuses? with artists? with people with alternate proposals for survival strategies? In my experience the school, together with the culture, gets a big fat zero in that area: in pk’s case: and in the case of countless others: past — and I fear — to come.
Please notice here: the members of my rough list — “geniuses” & “prophets” — have something in common. That is, one sees immediately that they are not ordinary. What does that mean? It means that they are not tuned only to the immediate group. They’re not just singing that weeks top ten. They seem to be open to something other: to “god,” to the “universe” … to dead (or to future) languages. In other words, the schools are tuned only to certain certified voices. Some committee of powerful interests wants you to hear voices A & B but not voices M or X. A & B hammer away at the group. The group gets A & B by rote. Recognizes A & B, mistakes recognition for quality, for wisdom, for a good survival strategy. But do A or B hear “god” accurately? Do they hear “Jefferson” accurately? Or Jesus or Marx or Darwin? Do they hear any thing accurately? (And if they do hear Jesus or Marx or Darwin accurately, are you sure that that’s the only voice you need to hear?)
When I was a kid in school I labored valiantly but vainly to get the teacher and class to listen to Benny Goodman, to Lionel Hampton, to Gene Krupa. I’d finally get permission to bring in a record and play it. After five seconds the teacher would sweep the needle from the grooves, unapologetically ruining my prized recording. “That’s enough of that” was a red-faced scream. What did they hear that was so fearful? Our true multi-racial, multi-cultural roots? Now some schools assign those very same things: but only now that it’s no longer instructive: boring. Jazz is fine so long as it’s lost it’s power to stir us.
FLEX: Development Scrapbook keywords FLEX, Scrapbook”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Develop / 2000 11 27
I must find time to add a piece on coercive culture as oppression. Scattered about are references to Claude Levy Straus’ observation that literacy was developed as a means of control. (pk adds, first control of farming inventory, then control of the farmers …) I must gather into one place arguments such as these:
The little kid sees his big brother jump his bicycle using the cellar door as a ramp. Little kid is impressed. Brother seems so brave, strong, advanced, superior. Great. Right and natural. Little brother doesn’t realize how soon he’ll be able to do the same, or better, or almost as well. Show the same kid Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, tell the same kid about Babe Ruth or Ted Williams, and the little kid may as well pack in now and kill himself.
Read Shakespeare to a society of writers and they’ll likely agree that the dude could really write. They’re likely to agree that he set the standard, that they’re good but not that good. But they shouldn’t pack in and kill themselves: they are in that universe, at least part-way. Read Shakespeare to a little kid (age fifteen to thirty or forty) who can’t even fill out a government form, and the kid may as well pack it in. Show the kid the great wealth of Bill Gates, tell him about the insane courage of Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Patton … Kid may as well pack it in.
Tell people about Jesus when they’re ready for a myth, for a moral lesson, for a Paul Bunyan. Let the kid find Jesus himself. Or Galileo or Newton. Remove all obstacles between the kid and what you hope he’ll find, but don’t shove it at him.
Abe is worried about his son Lev’s apparent lack of ambition. The rabbi suggests a test. Leave three things around the living room: the Torah, a bottle of Manishevitz, and some loose cash. Hide behind the curtain when you know he’s coming. Watch him. If Lev shows interest in the Torah, perhaps they’re hope for him yet. If he filches the money … well, maybe it shows some business acumen. Maybe there’s a little hope for him. If he takes the bottle, ignoring all else … wash your hands of him, forget about it, a drunk may as well be a goy.
Abe distributes the articles and hides. Lev arrives. Leafs through the Torah. Abe is about to leap out and embrace him but thinks better of it and keeps watching. Lev sees the money, counts it out, pockets it. Abe’s blood pressure rises. Lev sees the Manishevitz, takes a swig, leafs the Torah, takes another swig, puts the bottle in his pocket …
Abe falls through the curtain, tearing his hair and rending his clothes. “Oi vey. A Catholic priest!”
Arthur C. Clarke has a novel in which humans pack a rocket to start a new civilization in a never before human-contaminated system. They decide that only technical information may go along: no Bible, no Homer, no Shakespeare. Much as I love and revere those three things and many more cultural artifacts, I envy the humans born to a society without them. Since we have libraries, I want good ones. Since we have governments, I’d prefer honest ones. But what I’d really prefer is none. Every culture should develop its own literature, then purge it so the next generation can develop its own.
Notice: civilization does do that in a way. We’re forever inventing new games, starting stats from zero. A publisher produced a book of lists some years ago: ten greatest athletes of all time, ten greatest political leaders … Funny: all entries were from a few years older than the current generation … The NBA is wonderful: it’s only a half century old. Michael Jordan gets compared to Wilt, neither get compared to Achilleus or Sampson. Caesar got compared to Alexander, not to Sampson or to David. Napoleon got compared to Caesar … Who ever heard of Shaka? He whipped a lot of European asses, but we don’t like to remember it.
I was teaching at Colby when The Graduate came out. Good movie. Far from the first terrific thing that Mike Nichols had done. Some zophtic coed had the gall to tell me that it was “the greatest movie of all time.” Did she first demonstrate acquaintance with DW Griffith? Jean Renoir? Rene Claire? Rossellini? Chaplin? Kurosawa? I don’t think she even knew Bergman or Fellini. Even so: we’re only talking a century plus a couple of years.
It’s inevitable that humans look at the universe in the narrow (and short) beam of a flashlight. One thing I hate about school it that it seems to validate our short and narrow view. Short and narrow views have the imprimatur of the culture. We give a professorship to the guy who can lengthen it slightly (but not also widen it): widen it slightly (but not also lengthen it: and again, only so long as the guy who can lengthen it doesn’t team up with the guy who can widen it).
“History” began in the Garden of Eden (about a measly six thousand years ago). Way too far away for us. So history began in 1066. Way too remote for Americans. So history began in 1776. No, no: history began with Roosevelt and the Depression. How about with Vietnam? No, no, no. History began … when I was born. (Meaning when I came to semi-adult consciousness. Age six? Twelve? Eighteen? Thirty-five? Maybe I haven’t been born yet!)

Do you remember the school quality “works well with others”? That quality is (supposedly) cultivated in the individual student. shouldn’t such a quality be paired with a consideration of how well the school, the teachers, the society works with individuals with something to say? with prophets? with geniuses? with artists? with people with alternate proposals for survival strategies? In my experience the school, together with the culture, gets a big fat zero in that area: in pk’s case: and in the case of countless others: past — and I fear — to come.
Please notice here: the members of my rough list — “geniuses” & “prophets” — have something in common. That is, one sees immediately that they are not ordinary. What does that mean? It means that they are not tuned only to the immediate group. They’re not just singing that weeks top ten. They seem to be open to something other: to “god,” to the “universe” … to dead (or to future) languages. In other words, the schools are tuned only to certain certified voices. Some committee of powerful interests wants you to hear voices A & B but not voices M or X. A & B hammer away at the group. The group gets A & B by rote. Recognizes A & B, mistakes recognition for quality, for wisdom, for a good survival strategy. But do A or B hear “god” accurately? Do they hear “Jefferson” accurately? Or Jesus or Marx or Darwin? Do they hear any thing accurately? (And if they do hear Jesus or Marx or Darwin accurately, are you sure that that’s the only voice you need to hear?)
When I was a kid in school I labored valiantly but vainly to get the teacher and class to listen to Benny Goodman, to Lionel Hampton, to Gene Krupa. I’d finally get permission to bring in a record and play it. After five seconds the teacher would sweep the needle from the grooves, unapologetically ruining my prized recording. “That’s enough of that” was a red-faced scream. What did they hear that was so fearful? Our true multi-racial, multi-cultural roots? Now some schools assign those very same things: but only now that it’s no longer instructive: boring. Jazz is fine so long as it’s lost it’s power to stir us.

FLEX: Development Notes: Literary Liability keywords Literary, Liability”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Development Notes /
Literary Liability
Did you follow the story of Erin Brockovich? “Ordinary” gal was key in the forming and success of a suit that punished Pacific Power & Electric $330 million for knowingly allowing carcinogens to sicken the public. I understand that this gal was on Oprah. Julia Roberts played her in the award winning movie. Merely seeing the movie qualifies the founder of FLEX and student of Marshall McLuhan as well as Ivan Illich to make a couple of points: both deschooling related.
1. The law firm Erin Brockovich worked for teamed with her. Were it not for the law firm’s pro bono work, she wouldn’t have learned about the sick families they way she did. Erin Brockovich didn’t sue PP&E, the firm did. Yet it seems clear that at every step of the way, the firm wouldn’t have noticed the damage, wouldn’t have escalated the suit, wouldn’t have jeopardized its own existence playing power poker against the giant.
My own lawyer wanted to see the assault against me as merely excessive, but basically no-fault. He was playing for maybe $20,000 as a settlement, not hundreds of millions including punitive damages. My lawyer preferred to pull the blinds against the truth of the circumstances rather than wade in over his ankles. He wanted the assault to be seen as negligent, not martial: with the landlord, the county, the police, the state … involved. Erin Brockovich uncovered public evidence before anyone thought to destroy or alter that evidence. The evidence then snowballed. My lawyer couldn’t find his ass with both hands. Erin Brockovich’s lawyer and the court got snowballed by an avalanche she started: one that all the schooled authorities and experts had remained blind to.
The experts paid to protect the public hadn’t. Neither did those experts wish to cooperate in exposing themselves. Systems of experts become self-protective, self-serving. Erin Brockovich should have somehow included the law in the law suit: the water commission, her own boss …
2. Erin’s boss takes on a partner, his only apparent alternative to bankruptcy, once he’s listened to this unschooled do-gooder. The partner’s associate, in the movie at least, though it rings too true to be all fiction, faults Erin’s “research.” Her report doesn’t list her clients’ phone number, for instance. “Which one do you want to know?” Erin asks. You don’t mean to tell me you’ve memorized five hundred phone numbers? “Pick a name,” Erin insists. Once prompted, she not only spouts off the address and phone number, but the complete medical history. Times five hundred or so, that’s a lot of data. The two lawyers who’ve just bought their way into the gravy train are amazed. Erin’s boss is merely embarrassed. Fiction? A Hollywood script? I don’t know. But I know it’s possible. Literate people’s can’t comprehend the prodigious memories of non-literate peoples. Some literate persons have massive mental storage, but most, once they can write things down, don’t bother to develop their natural storage system. McLuhan was merely the first scholar whose studies on the subject I’ve encountered. Hadn’t Erin’s new lawyer-bosses ever heard of Homer? There are epic poets today who have no written notes: just the entire core of the culture in their heads: coded as poetry.

FLEX: Development Notes: Privacy Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Development Notes /
Anarchist me doesn’t see where the government gets the right to test citizens’ “intelligence.” (Anarchist me doesn’t see where the government gets the right to exist, or, existing, where it imagines it gets the competence to test intelligence. Wouldn’t it itself have to be intelligent first? Can you think of any intelligence test that the government could pass?)
One reason government gets away with it (apart from the guns and the bombs) is because it does it to us while we’re young. Few citizens themselves imagine that the young are anything but so much chattel. Mama owns the infant’s ass. Mama gives the infant (expecting it back, I admit) to the baby sitter … and so forth.
I concede, given the existence of the government, that the government has the right to test the intelligence of candidates for employment with the government. (Though even there, I believe the testing should be done by a third party: a party independent both of the citizenry and the government. The Chinese may export their candidates for employment to ETS in Princeton; US should export its candidates for employment to the Sorbonne or to a Shaman in Tasmania.) But even were we all to concede the right of the government to test intelligence, where does it also get the right to give away or to sell this information? What right does a school have to disclose IQ scores to colleges or employers?
OK, let’s concede them that right. They already do it anyway, don’t they? OK. If the government school has the right to test and disclose IQ scores of citizens to other schools and to prospective employers, how in hell is it that the citizens still don’t have the right to know the IQ scores of those in and employed by the government?
I believe that the private citizen’s IQ score is no one’s business but those he designates it to be shared with. In contrast, I believe that candidates for election, government appointees, government employees, right down to the school janitor, the postman, the court stenographer … should have to have their IQs published on their foreheads.
Imagine a presidential TV debate where everyone can see: the 115 on the whichever side; the 97 on the other. (I do not suggest that it should automatically follow which score the voter should prefer to support. Neither, as I’ve already iterated, do I think the scores mean anything reliable.)
One last thought in this vein: OK, we accept the testing, we accept the publishing, the government folk are or not branded: If the prospective employer can know the employment candidates record, why doesn’t the candidate also know the prospective employer’s record? Kid goes into the personnel office. If 80 or 135 or whatever isn’t branded on his forehead, it’s on tags around his neck, in his folder, somewhere. He should see before him: personnel officer, 105; foreman, 76; CEO, 111 …
While we’re at it, why not the CEO’s arrest record as well? Oh, yes: convictions and acquittals may also be noted.

FLEX: Development Notes: Knowledge keywords Knowledge”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Development Notes /
The culture that trusts a school system gives itself away: or would if more than three people in history knew better. To whit, the existence of a faculty implies that the subject is “known.” The teacher has mastery of the material; the student doesn’t, or has less mastery. That’s fine for a knowable subject: like “do you know your way around Greenwich Village?” It’s preposterous for an unfathomable subject like “navigation.” The faculty can know what’s known. Planck can know Einstein: Einstein can know Planck; neither of them will know String Theory.
Imagine Darwin presenting Origin of Species to the biology faculty at Oxford in 1859. Certainly they’d “grade” it for him: they’d grade it “wrong,” of poor quality. The genius, the miracle worker, the great teacher, the original theorist … has no place in the school of the known. We can easily imagine Mozart welcoming a new sonata by Beethoven: and more or less the reciprocal. Mozart and Beethoven were more or less on the same page. I wouldn’t trust either of them to review a raga by Abdul Alaudin Khan or a phrasing by Billie Holiday. Could either Mozart or Beethoven do what Billie just did? Can they so much as hear what she just did? Maybe. But not necessarily.
A school marks what you can see. It also marks where you’re probably blind: and unconsciously blind.
Personally, I, Paul Knatz, have zero experience of a school (or faculty member where I was matriculated) understanding any part of the essence of anything I’ve ever said where I judge my statement to be of importance. Nowhere is that more true than in the areas of deschooling or of macroinformation! [Macroinformation]
I’ve just started glancing in at a forum on deschooling: organized around Illich’s name. I have yet to get the sense that a single participant has read Illich, has a clue even of what areas are covered by deschooling!
Also see my new Thinking Tools module on Knowledge.

FLEX: Scrapbook Jottings keywords FLEX, deschooling”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Development Notes /
Even with medication, my blood pressure is 187 / 140. If I have a stroke, I have no idea how I’ll be able to continue. I import it here unedited so the interested can peer into the intended future of this directory.
My jottings are highly abbreviated. FLEX is of course the Free Learning Exchange. FIX is Free Information Exchange. X is Christ. xian is Christian. h&h is heaven and hell. sch is school. soc is society. vv is visa versa. med is medicine. klep is kleptocracy: government by theft. hss is Homo sapiens sapiens. … Even spelled out, the words are shorthand to myself. Make of it what you will.
2001 10 11 Years are slipping by without my having yet stumbled upon a quote I’ve long meant to add here. My memory says it’s in a Leslie Fiedler book: The Return of the Vanishing American, I’d thought. Some founding father had written some native chieftain offering a couple of scholarships to young braves of the chief’s choosing. Perhaps it was Franklin. Perhaps I’ll find it in Love and Death … which I think I have buried around here somewhere. Anyway: the chief declined, most respectfully but firmly. The explanation ran something like this: No thanks, we’d tried a bit of your education once before. After a year or two of it our young men could no longer even kill an enemy. (2005 02 06 Franklin’s letter is now quoted at Deschooling: Benjamin Franklin.)
Perhaps overcivilized societies can afford to waste resources such as youth, but subsistence, gatherer / hunter societies, can’t. Neither would there be any pleasure for them in the waste. Hey, let’s light our cigar with a thousand dollar bill. Hey, let’s just waster our youth: pour it down the drain. Pop, like champagne: and it’s gone.

sch-us a charade to pretend that we’re looking for solutions. Sols have never been hiding.
the school says I’m educated, my fellow morons say I’m educated, I must be educated. Throw them for a loop, they become disoriented for 10 seconds, wait till it passes, and go right back to “believing” that they’re educated, rational, etc. But it’s never examined except by themselves and their circle of pack dogs.
Navy: everything you learned in school is wrong; 6 mos later: everything we told you in basic is wrong, now here’s the real skinny. Etc, on and on, CIA, Whitehouse: OK, now here’s the real truth.
retrain: why? why not train right in the first place? Real theory needs continuous refinement, but seldom wholesale restatement. It’s only the school version that needs continuous revolution: still always way short of real theory.
nature: trust family, fear all else
civ: trust klep family, fear all else
how trust klep family: by Pollyanna mythology
thus: spectrum of wild man to Pollyanna
with klep civ having a few institutions like ch/school/u to drip of few drops of wild truth into the Pollyanna mythology.
Scholars are tolerated who display a few drips of truth in their specialty.
The soc is mythological pabulum in its sci, rel, hist; the pro may be partly responsible in his area: yes, historians may know about Sutter or the Iroquois (so long as they don’t repeat it too loudly)
FLEX wouldn’t drip the truth
fix would have ended all information monopolies
flex would have ended all educational monopolies
no wonder the schools ignored it
opposed only by being ignored (mostly only)
if the church wanted to become xian it must give up its property and deprofessionalize its priesthood
if the US wanted to become a truly free or democratic society it would have to give up a whole list of things:
compulsory rituals
for starters.
deprofessionalize teaching, deprofessionalize everything.
The medium is the message, wrote Marshall McLuhan, and he meant what he said. What message does school send?
You have to go.
The state, not your parent, is your parent.
What you are is no good: you must be magically translated into something else (alchemical process).
There’s no place for you while young anywhere but in this artificial environment: you’re kept aside while the environment at large is translated (degenerated) into something ever more artificial itself: traffic, commerce …
Even if your parents are lawyers and psychiatrists, some illiterate from a state college is better prepared to “educate” you than they are.
Even if you by age eight can read better than the teacher, you still have to go through the twelve alchemical grades of translation.
sch is to put you in debt till you’re too old to rebel, to be truthful … so you will willingly wear the garb of cap klep
female teachers, poor salaries, children reading great literature. shows that the intell is a waste of real peoples time. The chiefs don’t read; they make money. Intell demoted, reserved but poor women and helpless children. demoted. $ for men, culture for women & children. like church.
to impose adult ideas of the dead on the young, to make them feel small and hopelessly inadequate: X, Jeff, Moses, Ein … all out of reach (not so)
cf tchers and incompetent 3 card monte dealers: the cheating shows, but the police are there to make sure you pay the cheater.
deprofessionalize teaching, deprofessionalize everything.
ivan, give up
school’s role:
to parade a succession of impoverished ignoramuses before the youth of the society, saying: This is what intellect looks like. Despise it. Shun it.
Church was organized to fac communication from past to present, God having communicated with the past, but not the present, except through the past
Univ organized to fac communication from other pasts: Greek, Roman …
Univ never organized to fac communication in general: among faculty, among students
US org or fac comm from constituents to gov: by horseback, over 6 mos
therefore, all inst should be redes w ea new comm rev: but they’re not
The primary institution for a world that would be free must be one of free public information. It must not be a church, nor a military, nor a government. The kleptocracy saturated human world
klep: ch&st: competition for gullibility
you get the money if you’re bright. The brighter you are, the more money … so long as you’re not too bright. So long as you don’t see the tricks, or keep silent about them if you do.
Aristotelian universities: truth in moderation, excellence in moderation, honesty in moderation, academic freedom in moderation …
the person(s) who sees the illegitimacy of the u’s tenure must be eclipsed
easy to do when they’ve got a lock on the budget and the media only follow the money
a lot of intelligent people go into teaching: how many of them stay.
compare IQs of the bulk of untenured instructors with the IQs of the entrenched.
am I suggesting that IQ’s are a reliable measure of anything but human social foolishness? No, but make the test anyway. IQ is not irrelevant to intelligence: I say only that it measures the society’s ability to measure while measuring a bulk of individuals.
software dev! à la 1971!
then bring in Illich, Fuller
babel: mono/diversity
continuity yielding discontinuity & vv
expand on religion, racial, etc; dif bet kleps
former’s morality: It’s all mine: your self, your women, children, land, life … backing the winner: Yankees, Bulls
Lincoln, Kennedy …
Jesus & Christians …
Reed & med …
Einstein & hss …
cf heavyweight insanity
I take a moment now to spell one out a little, just so you see.
I refer to a perception, I believe by Garry Wills, I believe originally published in NYR. Probably late 1960s. Possibly it was Mailer. The perception is: middle weights can be sane: they know with a high degree of probability who they whip, who can whip them. Weight, reach, conditioning, training, height … all count. The middle weight champion knows that a light heavy contender can knock him silly regardless of pound for pound skills. A heavy weight champion, undefeated as was Ali for so long, is necessarily insane. He cannot know his limits because he hasn’t met them yet. What goes for boxers and for athletes goes for nations, religions, cultures … goes for institutions. That’s what pk adds. The US is insane. Even more than was the USSR. Or Hitler. A sane people would wish to live in a sane culture, would repudiate any idea of #1.
civ is always having been right, contrary to the evidence.
Caroline’s family vs. FLEX
h&h is where the record isn’t lost of where you put your money
the lottery requires that you produce the winning ticket, not that you claim to have known the answer
h&h is where the players are concealed, you don’t know who’s judge, who’s beggar, who’s X, who’s the least of these my brethren …
Kafkaesque bribing conver/ flex: sch rewards recitation of convention. CC was different; NYU the same. At least CC seemed different at the time. It looks less different to me now.
sch reps the culture
but ind intel is needed to challenge the culture, the conven
intel must operate outside soc, that means outside sch democ: how democratic is it for Ronald Reagan, Michael Jordan, Tom Brokow to run for office against John Smith, Betty Jones, Jane Shaw …
FLEX / FIX would offer equal advertising space to all: Paul Knatz and Coca Cola get the same size announcement.
Ronald Reagan, OJ Simpson, Monica Lewinsky … would be disqualified.
What size budget should be allowed? Zero. A budget greater than zero should also disqualify.
Of course OJ and Monica should be free to sue the Inquirer for ruining their chances to represent their democracy. Maybe the Inquirer would have to stop printing bullshit.
Only those who impress unequally from an equal base should qualify for representation.
But why should a wired society need representation. Propose legislation via a net. Everyone has a password. Each password gets one vote. evo: not wrong to be wrong: wrong to remain wrong
After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Eliot.
Church: pre & post: Humanism, Galileo, Luther …
school: pre & post: Goodman, Illich, FLEX …
gov: pre & post: Rousseau, Jeff, Fuller …
US: pre & post: electronics, communications …
hss: pre & post: Darwin, Freud, FIX, Bateson-Prig, Macro …
change has changed. Postman
evolution has changed
   sentience, imagination, reason, science
Now no excuse.
Thus: extinction, god, heaven, hell, all have changed. flex: TIME
3/29/99 Cen’s Gr’est Minds
Tim Berners-Lee p 193
Vannevar Bush
Srinivasa Ramanujan
GH Hardy, Cambridge 1914, d 1920 age 32
The only animal that can’t live without a sheepskin is a sheep. (Willow’s dad)
ElGreco: I was thinking of him when I founded FLEX
schools train us not to see the obvious
old paradigms blind us to new
civ says freedom, education, law, etc, all good, etc. Then why FLEX? flex: purpose of school
to make sure not one in one hundred citizens will have enough science or reason to pass the Wason Test
Fuller’s explanation of Carnegie endowments: isolate the “intelligent” in a playpen, put the wild genes in a terrarium, cage the competition in a nursery
school/u a filter to censor and govern experience
sch a trick, promotions a baited trap, like a lobster pot: go in; can’t get out
flex: the economics of redundancy
cf getting diagnosis from an AI @ FIX and consulting your local GP
the universal diagnostician is vastly more knowledgeable and vastly cheaper
ditto every kind of info
cf 1 variorum ed of Hamlet and 100,000 PhDs on Shakespeare
in other words, to be well designed and efficient and best quality, economics has to be reinvented from the ground up. flex: restruc FLEX to just attributes
FIX to just attributes
add open ended list of what schools are, do
flex: the right to advertise flex: the tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction. Blake flex: sch
also learn there
like just because some dive is a front for hard drugs doesn’t mean you can’t buy a drink while you’re there. flex: the anesthesia of education flex: schools, training, publications …
training to be moron participant in illusion
sch for the convenience of the institution, not the trainees
contradiction between purpose and stated purpose FLEX: elucidate details of teachers meeting Becky invited me to. Ron Gross was there.
Interruptions and misunderstanding from beginning to end. But like my orals crew: the problem wasn’t that they didn’t get; the problem was that they did get it, foresaw it a mile away, feared it, had to defend their bailiwick against it at all cost to logic, fairness, reason.
I’m talking about letting the water flow, find its own channels. I’m talking about employing technology to enhance nature, not to deal more aces to the cheats. But their sinecures depend on cheating.
Most delicious, the guy whose objection was most immediate and irrational was a “black” “teacher.” Sounds “elitist,” he objects. Leaving people alone to shop for themselves, to make their own decisions, to make their own mistakes … is elitist? How? Jim, you’ve got it backwards. FLEX: competence and training are not identical. They may or may not be equivalent.
internet should have been all classics, text only, first
all texts, text only, second,
and graphics and whistles last
just as any sick child should receive everything medicine has to offer before any bellyaching CEO or duenna. FLEX: NYR pubs Illich
I write I’m doing it. No answer, no help. They don’t mean what they publish.
No help from Illich. How can I believe he meant what he wrote?
We’re intellectuals. We don’t actually MEAN any of this stuff. This is what people who live in fancy mansions say, not do.
rel overview
& flex
to kleptocracy, wasi’chu flex: PS: Has BK told you about FLEX? My Free Learning Exchange? The Pentagon had invented the military internet by 1970, but dammit, I was the first to offer an internet to the public! You’d think I’d have a little credibility. No: people shun me the way Californians avoided John Sutter. flex: sch-us a charade to pretend that we’re looking for solutions. Sols have never been hiding.
flex: graduating PhDs, innocently taking over the positions of persecuted predecessors. Little German boys in All Quiet getting their pep talk from the recruiter.
Freshfaced politicians and consultants arriving in DC …
None of them have the picture. flex: The internet that I “invented” and offered in 1970 was an antidote to kleptocracy. The internet that MS & NBC have taken over is kleptocracy at its all too familiar.
The public didn’t support their own free empowerment. The public is stuck with what it deserves. Unfortunately, I and mine too are stuck with what the public deserves. flex: schools are devoted to training their charges to survive, perhaps flourish in the world that was. The school’s map of what was will match the culture’s. The school is no better than the culture is seeing what is. It’s too busy with what was and with its charges. flex: connect to Babel
Ms. etc. flex: software, cf MS. for profit vs. for tribe flex double: a certificate of graduation proves by alchemical magic that you are not ignorant: certified non-ignorant. The Iroquois who wrote the Great Law was ignorant, a savage; I have a cert: I am not ignorant, I am civilized.
On a utha han’: no matter how many degrees you have, the klep lifer can always demand that you have one more. I the klep lifer have knowledge of all essential things; you with your PhD from MIT and you nobel prize lack certification in …
flex / klep: sch, court … institutional window dressing to cover fraud
the internet’s published history is silent on the oldest and most relevant facts. flex, mislabeling: info, entertainment, advertising …
declare themselves by their willingness to be scheduled.
news vs. dictionary
internet vs. encyclo, FLEX, or library flex, noam: relate mathn keep young busy: busy hands are too occupied to develop inquiring minds flex, schhist: Universities were never places where truth was objectively searched for
never been such an institution.
they were revolutionary however, starting as secular monasteries, Humanism …
the Church didn’t support them.
Now Us are state supported. even the “ind”s are compromised. They have all the same medieval tricks that characterize the law to pretend to something that they’re not.
Universities are a mask, a deception: klep parading as nature, freedom, order, free speech, free inquiry …
Cartamania rules universities just as firmly as it does state, law, God …
clarify Septuagint Greek honor: do Xians honor J?
do USians honor King?
Statues and holidays don’t matter. they’re window dressing. just remember J was executed 2000 yrs ago, King was assassinated a couple of decades ago: execution, assassination, the result is the same. Now here are all these Xians and politicians acting as though they wouldn’t have done it. Bullshit.
Ignore what we say, examine what we do. Are we loving? Charitable? Peaceful? Reverent? Do we forgive our enemies? Do we turn the other cheek? Give our second coats away?
Are we still racist swine? It doesn’t matter if we assimilate blacks: hell, we once assimilated Irish, Italians, etc.
The question is who are we still exploiting and then despising? The answer in civ is never no one.
always distinguish magical J from comprehensible J.
Now: I don’t ask if we can raise the dead of heal the blind. I don’t know that J could either. Concentrate on the part of J that can be imitated. Do Xians do it? No, not many: or, 2000 years later, they’d find themselves crucified too.
You want to find Christians? Scan the prosecuted. Illich was defrocked. Lost his budget. FLEX was never given a budget. etc. JDia: series of cfs
pk’s extrapolations: thanatos, FLEX (u’s as way of not listening, of rigging the outcome …
joke: : lords prayer, rel to info, flex, mislab klep, flex, label: nothing in klep is as labeled: sch says they want smart, learned faculty; they leave our the most important qual: tractability; not too smart, certainly not too honest or they won’t be tractable m/t FLEX: Clarke’s geometry girl’s suit was an uphill battle at each stage. First, she couldn’t even get her parents to believe her and they should have known her best. motive: O benefit of ill, as Sh wrote.
Jewish humor benefited by millennia of persecution.
Has it ever flowered more beautifully than in the latter half of this century?
Mel Brooks … Woody Allen … Should Brooks and Allen owe royalties to Hitler for some portion of their genius?
god tricked me. for my own good. who’s gonna say sacrifice your life for failure, but then you get to incriminate. Not that he ever promised me success: Jesus, if J failed, how should I do better? Yeah, but we should have had FLEX anyway. I had to believe there was some chance, whatever the odds against people ever being made to see their best interests. It’s only slowly, by myself, without external (note: internal) inspiration, that I’ve figured it out. None of us ever had a chance. That’s not what it’s been about. I’ve been part of the rope, the leash, the noose. Give em some slack. Give em some more. Give em so much they don’t know there’s a leash there. Let them mistake it for freedom. Then, bingo, it tightens what seems like all at once, and they’re dangling. Sure, you’re dangling with them. So what? There was never any choice.
Hamlet worried that God wanted him to revenge his father by killing Claudius, fine, but then God would want to throw him into hell for breaking his law against killing. Fine. It’s the Abraham problem. Double bind. Fine. I’d rather be kicked in the balls by God, then kicked in the teeth as I double over, so long as it’s by God, than hear God second, third, and millionth hand and live in the White House.
note: so far left, you’re right; so far in, you’re out … 2 squares. + our tendency to use wrong metaphors. or to use metaphors wrongly.
keep your eye on the prize new hp: parallel charges of klep between general (God, US, Con, Sutter …) and personal (stories, movies, FLEX … all degraded, not credited)
The imitation is typically a perversion of what’s imitated. per: expand pk to relate more directly to FLEX
Fuller etc
analyze bio of prolonged childhood
contrast to klep of prolonged childhood property: with FIX / FLEX the only proprietary thing would have been the individual soc: FLEX
I don’t know if any of the above will be useful to the visitor but believe me, it will be useful to me once I make time to do something with it.

Deschooling Directory Structure keywords structure”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules /
First, on the positive side, what public record keeping should be:
Human / Inanimate Vertical / Horizontal
Do you want to trade (buy/sell) (vertical)? or share (horizontal)?
Vertical / Horizontal
Expert testimony (vertical) / Consumer testimony (vertical or horizontal)

Next, on the negative side, what we are now, where we’ve been, what’s wrong with it …
Centralized Information Systems
The schooled society: school, media, government …
Who Sez?
Ivan Illich is the key philosopher behind the views argued here. (pk speaks plenty in the other directories.)

Deschooling Links keywords deschooling”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Module edited 2002 07 20
Over the years Illich-related and deschooling-related links have accumulated in this my deschooling directory for Today I think I’ll attempt to gather them into one file where they’ll be easier to edit: though I’ll mount them first and verify them later. Back a minute later: I’m just deleting old ones with problems.

Deschooling Society had the text up for a while, now down except for the introduction. Ectopia’s link relied on Penn State. The public didn’t learn not to trust universities in 1970: I’m putting the text up myself courtesy of my gallery. (05/15/2003: Now Penn State has it back up again!) (Since down again: but now has several Illich texts up!

Deschooling Society online
Energy & Equity excerpts online
UK texts
Illich Profile
Illich Biography
Illich Obituary
Illich Archive
Remembering Ivan Illich
Birbeck College project
Deep Springs College Seminar
10 12 2003: Damn the bastards: I notice that the Penn State links are down: again! What was Illich doing affiliated with a university anyway?!?!

More URLs, which I’ll hot-link soon (and check again)
07/08/2003: now has more Illich text online than previously.
David Botsford’s article, Ivan Illich & the Deschooling Movement, includes a history of coercion in education. Download offsite PDF from: UK Libertarian.
Matt Helm’s Deschooling our Lives had been available at Find it, wherever it is. It’s got Tolstoy too!!
Max Stirner had a few words to say in his False Principles of Our Education.
Ben Wallace has a cute piece on school as a cause of post-stress disorder nightmares at
Government entry into education:
Another downed link; but I don’t want to just delete such: notice a pattern? Dissidents go broke, loose their host, get censored, don’t thrive … Surprise, surprise!
Getting government out of education: Ditto, unfortunately. Echoes of FLEX, except that we somehow kept our nose snuffling half air, half water for nearly four years.

Penn State finking out on its Illich texts online has screwed up links all over the world. I’ve fixed those here that I’ve noticed. Some good came from this evil: I was alerted to the situation by one Jonathan Walther whose Reactor Core maintains some fabulous texts online, going back to the Code of Hammurabi. You’ll find both Fuller and Illich there too!
PS: Penn State had put the text back up. Now it’s down again. Yo-yos.
While I’m doing lists I think I’ll gather deschooling quotes scattered throughout this directory into a connected series of files.
Recylcing gets a boost at web sites such as How come so few saw that they could have that and more, could have had all in 1970?!
Anti-Intellectuals in the Schools

2004 bin
Deschooling: Public Information: keywords information”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Archive / 2004 / 2004 09 08
Public information should be freely available to the public.
What constitutes public information should be determined by the public; not by any caretakers.
We should:

have a public information institution of four parts:

2. Resources Things


4. Resources Human


6. Track Interests for mutualism Peer Matching


8. Feedback Publish experience with the resources in Two Parts Consumer Expert


Notice that the above system is non-authoritarian. The information flows from a base, not from a top.
We should NOT:

interfere with the flow.

Other We Should Nots I’ll address shortly.
But next, let me point out that this system was articulated by Ivan Illich in 1970. Illich’s Deschooling Society proposed this system for learning webs (to replace the authoritarian (largely compulsory) school system.
Let me point out further that this system was actually offered, also in 1970, by yours truly, pk, in the form of the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. in New York City.
There is however an important difference between Illich’s proposed learning webs and pk’s actual FLEX: pk, who had been waiting (passively) for a cybernetic internet since 1960, saw that the same system naturally extended to all areas subject to a free market. If teaching resources can be listed, so can any goods, services, potential exchanges. Not only could the stunted schools and universities be opened to free competition, so could all other markets: from medicine to general trade. Free Learning could be exchanged: so could Free Information: FIX: Free Information Exchange. (In a managed market you must get a note from your doctor; in a free market you could speak for yourself (or get a note from your midwife, shaman, gypsy …)) (Experience, not authority, should determine whose view is more useful: yours, the doctor’s, the midwife’s, the gypsy’s …)

We should:

have free speech;

We shouldn’t:

have compulsory assemblies.

(I am writing in English, a natural language: full of pitfalls, ambiguities, inconsistent definitions … That can’t be helped. I deal with necessary clarifications below.)
I list Ivan Illich’s main shouldn’ts in a moment. In this context a different order is called for: Notice: there is no place in this system for
Publicly reported authoritarian grading:
no degrees!

As I so often do, I’m putting this up before it’s finished: it’s too important for polish or for completeness. Illich’s shouldn’ts are already here; just not yet in this file. Lots of pk shoulds and shouldn’ts are also already here. Use the search feature below while I move files, correct links, add more …
Note that FLEX / FIX was an incipient internet way more than a decade before the internet which now allows you to read this. It was an internet without PCs, without IBM, without MicroSoft … and without the Pentagon.
There’s nothing that EBay or Yahoo or Google offers (or MicroSoft or Wickipedia …) that you couldn’t have had — at cost — all these years, if anyone had been capable of listening, of hearing, of cooperating …
What you’ve got instead is a world busy wasting its remaining oil.
Would we really have stayed in Vietnam or invaded Afghanistan, Iraq … if all information had free market access? I sure hope not.

Notice: This information institution would not be a democracy. No vote could be held to change the basic axioms: no coercion, no censorship; record the data: don’t edit it.
The information would be as honest as the public providing it: no more, no less. We’d have to be as careful with it as we are with anything we consume. That’s why the fourth part: feedback, experience … is so essential. He can tell a lie; you can say it’s a lie. Caveat … everyone.

Also note: this free information theme embodies the modern agon (struggle) between central authority and decentralization. FLEX’s experience would seem to suggest that decentralization is losing; not so: decentralization is just aborning. It’s too bad the birth has been so slow, so ugly, so compromised.
(So disastrous for pk.) (I promise to make links between this point about decentralization and the parallel fate of my doctoral thesis on Shakespeare which I believe was resisted and sabotaged precisely because it was about the parallel struggle between authority and experience. I’ll spell this out further.)

Deschooling keywords information”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Archive / 2004 / 2004 09 10
Public information should be freely available to the public.
What constitutes public information should be determined by the public.
No public can be free nor can any public mature, become responsible or in(ter)dependent, without an institution for public information: and that institution

must not be

controlled by either the public nor any government; but rather by the design of one philosopher: Ivan Illich.
That design may be phrased in more than one way, and by as many persons as care to: but for the institution, the essence of the design must be inviolable. Illich expressed his design in four parts:
2. Resources

4. Human Resources

6. Interest Sharing

8. Feedback

Illich’s own words on the subject will be multiply quoted, referenced, linked to within: but here I rephrase the same design in twos and threes:
2. Resources

4. Feedback

The concept “resources” can subdivide in a series of halves and/or thirds:


2. Exchange

4. Mutual

By exchange I refer to trade — You fix my car, I’ll give you money; by mutual I refer to sharing — Let’s get together and figure out how to fix our cars.
Resources for exchange subdivides: there are inanimate resources — market places, libraries, quarries … and there are human resources: guides, healers, vendors …
Feedback is a kind of resource: in this case a resource deliberately created — We will publish all feedback. But it’s a meta-resource. It exists after the other kinds of resource and comes into existence on another plane: so we distinguish it. Otherwise, it too subdivides:


2. Peer

4. Consumer

One hardware story owner may publish comments on another hardware store owner (and visa versa), but customers of a merchant (or professional …) may publish their experience with the resource
Carrera marble is good …
This King novel was exciting but can little girls really set fire to things with their eyes?
My gynecologist, Dr. Ido … I can’t say what he did: but he shouldn’t have.
This burger is OK for ninety-nine cents, but …
What Einstein says about Plank should appear on a different list from what Einstein’s student says about Einstein.
That’s the system: Resources, Sharing Opportunities, Feedback.
If we lived in small groups we wouldn’t need it. But we don’t, so we do.

Every thing: every concept, every word, every detail … what I haven’t mentioned yet … needs further comment. As I bust up my previous draft for this top page I’ll link the parts here. (Meantime, you may rummage the previous version.) But the basic design — the institution’s constitution, law, essence — is essential. Absorb it. Indelibly.
One other comment I slip here (and may still move it): in the current presidential election both candidates are running on the Second Amendment. No, no. The Constitution, if in any way valid, should have nothing to do with an election. Either accord with the Constitution of recognize that the state is kaput. If we can speak freely, then whether we are anarchists, or atheists, or terrorists, or Jews … is irrelevant (where is the long list of “excepts” in the Bill of Rights?) If we have the right to bear arms, then we have the right to bear arms: government must contemplate no laws restricting the bearing of arms. If on the other hand, bearing arms is ruinous, then the state should fall and the Constitution should be trashed.
In a private organ, Coke can have a much bigger ad than RC (or visa versa); but not in this public institution. This public institution does not say that there cannot be other organs. Deschooling doesn’t outlaw schools: but should render them silly: an odd preference: expensive, inefficient.
But design should be followed (or trashed). We can eat two canoli or none, we may wear glasses or not … but we’d be wise not to much with out eyes. Our eyes are in the design. No mucking with the design.
pk offered Illich’s system for learning in 1970, suggesting how an educational institution could naturally expand to become an informational institution: all information.
It simply wasn’t tried. Just as we haven’t seriously yet tried our Constitution. Or our Bible. (Or any of a bunch of designs.)
Stupid me: it’s comments like that that I’m trying to get off the front page.

Deschooling: Public Information: 2004 09 24 keywords information”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Archive / 2004 / 2004 09 10
Public information should be freely available to the public.
What constitutes public information should be determined by the public.
No public can be free nor can any public mature, become responsible or in(ter)dependent, without an institution for public information: and that institution

must not be

governed: not democratically, not autocratically: not by the public, not by a legislature. What flows in the system is information; but the system itself is akin to pipe, to cable … a network. It is of a different logical kind. It must be designed. And the best design is that of philosopher Ivan Illich.
That design may be phrased in more than one way, and by as many persons as care to: but for the institution, the essence of the design must be inviolable: not to be tampered with. Illich expressed his design in four parts:
2. Resources

4. Human Resources

6. Interest Sharing

8. Feedback

After almost thirty-five years of promoting Illich’s design, a low-tech internet, I phrase that same design somewhat differently; but it’s essence, its function is unaltered. Deschooling gathers Illich’s documents and pk’s efforts into one place. Moving files and constant revision prevent the whole from being altogether coherent or efficent yet, but that’s exactly what I’m working on now.
Recent Drafts:
Sept 8
Sept 10
Sept 24
I’m working on it right now. The best synthesis will appear here ASAP.
I intend this top page to have its own menu of sidepoints: spinoff modules that expand, modify, qualify … the central points. Expansions, tangents … belong linked, not here, crowding the top.
Centralized versus Decentralized draft

Deschooling: Entrance of 2005 01 26 keywords information”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Archive / 2005 / 2005 01 26
Public information should be freely available to the public.
What constitutes public information should be determined by the public.
The informational infrastructure should be voluntarily paid for by the public — if the public values liberty.
Coercive, tax collecting governments should be kept away from public information, as should all institutions with a lien on them. Misinformation to disinformation is already too much their business.
Every member of the public should be recognized, not only as a consumer — which we certainly all are, but as a resource! There is no skill, no experience, which should be beneath the public’s published notice.
Your poem stinks? Let the public decide, not some editor. Your poem is great? and no one read it? I’m not promising you a rose garden: merely liberty.

Free-flowing feedback is the proper antidote to misinformation. Regulation becomes toxic. Let the liars lie: then speak.

If you are a citizen of Vanillaville you may very well already know who you want to talk to, who you want to avoid, who you want to fix your car, take your temperature, sell you medicine, teach you history … But what if you find yourself in Strawberryville?
In a convivial world (to use Ivan Illich’s phrase) finding out who’s who, what’s what, and what they expect for exchanges (“price”) should be as easy as finding the nearest Information Exchange terminal. In a public of any population, they should be as common as grocers used to be.
Ivan Illich published his design for Learning Webs in 1970. Also in 1970, my teeth in his every word, I offered to do it, to make it real, to be the public librarian for my community’s public information. Denis Detzel had already spoken about doing it. We both did, both were public by 1971.
I wanted to make sure that the public information exchanges were coordinated, world-wide. Above all, I wanted Learning Webs (naturally) to extend to All Information Webs: not just who can teach you? who can learn with you? where can you get this or that tool? but Everything. Everything public.
If you don’t want anyone to know how well you play the piano, fine: shut the windows, don’t advertise. If you don’t want anyone calling you, fine: keep your number to yourself. But if you do, say so. Register.
Public information exchanges should contain no information not volunteered.
But there’s a catch. Once you volunteer yourself as a resource, you’re fair game for comment. If you advertise yourself as a physics teacher, or a fortune teller, then any other member of the public — including your peers — and most emphatically including your clients, can report their assessment of your value as a resource. You want neither praise nor blame? Stay out of the market.
2005 020 21 Efforts to organize, to edit, to reduce, to clarify can trigger their own chaos. Today pk launches an Deschooling / School/Deschool / Information Web
InfoAll blog.

I plan to use it to post notes not yet fed into a module, scribble new itches, and edit existing modules. Once there, files can be moved back here: into I hope the most efficient organization to date.
There were no PCs in 1970. Basic had not yet been written. But I knew original authors of Fortran who were anxious to program for public benefit. They were already well off. Modest pay would have produced great work.
The public volunteered next to nothing. (So guess who’s responsible for the way we live now? in thrall to runaway obsolescence.)
A small community could bank its resources in a file of 3×5 cards. Larger communities (in 1970 would have) needed time on a main frame. Main frames insist on rent (they would now as they did then). But the time rented would be seconds: divied up, pennies. Pay me, pay the programmers, pay the receptionist. Divy it up. A few dollars.
But the public volunteered almost nothing.
Ah, you object. But you didn’t hear about it. You didn’t understand.
My friends, that was no accident. Monopolies, fiated experts, licensed professionals … don’t like to be threatened by free information. Professionals with licences do not wish to countenance clients with equal platforms. Does Ford want Ford owners to get equal time talking about Fords? Do doctors want their butcheries all over a web?

I moved my FLEX and deschooling files into Deschooling intending to simplify: to make things crystal clear: to celebrate Illich, and to expand my expansions of Illich.
Links broke. I thought I had fixed them. I just found more. Fixing more, I may well have broken more. Despite poverty, despite physical attacks, broken bones, knocked out teeth, threats on my life, I do the best I can. (Though a threat of jail was repeated as recently as last week — and the last policeman I spoke to threatened to cart me to the Looney Tunes, I have as yet not spent one actual minute in common with Jesus, St. Paul … or Paulo Freire by being jailed. Neither have I yet spent one minute in kleptocracy’s alternative incarceration: the camera obscura asylum.)

The Previous Draft: 2004 Sept 24 says more. The next draft will say it better.
2005 05 23 Meantime I stick in something for later merging.
One the one hand Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society talks (rhetorically, of course) as though institutions could be controlled. (Sometimes I do too!) But the essence is the opposite! Let it emerge. Philosophers should only offer guidance. (If the public doesn’t follow the most viable philosophers, fuck ’em.) (That’s what god, in his wisdom, made failure for.)
In my correspondence with him, both before and following the publication of Deschooling Society, Illich talked as though he merely had bulletin boards in mind: start with the already existing infrastructure. Yet he talked about computer time. In 1970 that meant a terminal. I imagined terminals salted more commonly than public libraries: as common as PhotoMarts, more common.
And I repeat: my emphasis was on coordinating the networks: making a world-wide net.

Deschooling: Entrance 2006 01 03 keywords information”/> Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DDD / Modules / Archive / 2006 / 2006 01 03
In the human bands more complex societies formed from, every member knew what the group’s resources were.
There’s the stream. Animals roam the grass. Run to the wood to hide. Og can fight. Mai is good with children. Za keeps the fire. No one finds berries better than El.
Add more than a couple of hundred people, start building shelters that can’t be seen through, develop fancy costumes that can emphasize what’s hidden — or misrepresent it, and all sorts of problems develop. What we call history tells stories about how we’ve dealt with such problems: from priests and kings to universities and bicameral democracy.

Around 1960 I became conscious of futurist visions of how cybernetics and satellites could revolutionize how information is utilized. I waited and waited for an internet: unfettered information exposing the flaws of centralized management. (Of course the term “internet” wouldn’t come for decades.)
But in 1970 Ivan Illich, having already spent years documenting western imperialism in the Americas, proposed exactly what I’d been waiting for: one informational institution to better perform the simple tasks that priests, governors and professors had proved so self-interested at: documenting Who’s Who and What’s Where so that interested parties could access the information, remove the blocks that always interfere with the HaveNots.
The functioning of that institution would have to be centralized. It would have to honor an iron clad constitution, but then all else could be decentralized: no more missionaries calling everyone else a cannibal and having the only say.
Illich’s proposal was the essence of simplicity.
1. Resources What’s Where Who’s Who Who wants to pool

2. Feedback post people’s experience with the resources What do the Whos say about the Whats What do the Whos say about the Whos What do the consumers say about the Whos What do the consumers say about the Whats

3. Illich proposed his learning networks for every community. The form must remain uniform, but the content would be entirely up to the members of the community.
Originally schools made sense: take a resource — the guy who best knows some subject — make him a center, surround him with those interested in the subject. Result: maximum efficiency of dissemination. You have a Bible. I want a Bible. You read yours aloud. I and others listen, memorize, copy. Soon, as soon as possible, each of us will have a Bible. (Of course your Bible may have had errors, my copy may add my errors. But that can’t be helped. That shouldn’t be helped; except by scholars, self-organized, offering their variorum editions: no central authority.)
But as soon as Gutenberg can print a Bible and Caxton can market it, then there’s no need for a school. All you need is a bookstore: and nobody guarding the entrance to keep out the “cannibals.” Take down the glass and the terrarium can grow into a forest. Markets replace schools: in a free society. (If only there were one!)
You still need a school where resources are scarce. There’s only one Mona Lisa. Care must be taken of it. Only so many persons can stand around it to look at one time. Somebody’s got to make sure no one’s got jelly on his hands: or there won’t be no Mona Lisa for long. Ah, but if all you need is a facsimile, then all you need is a market.
I saw instantly, in 1970, that here was the internet I’d been waiting for. Illich was talking about replacing the default monopoly of schools with learning networks. But I saw that ALL institutions could be replaced with the exact same single informational institution. We don’t need a representative if each of us could vote to a single data base. We don’t need the Times if people could tap accounts of events directly: no paper of record; just a free information marketplace. If an individual wanted to be Catholic, she could be Catholic; but no church would have a strangle hold on her. If an individual wanted to study physics, she would have a free market place, nothing excluded, in which to shop for guidance. And what applies for religion, for studies, would apply to everything: from auto mechanics to tennis.
Understand; a free market in no way interferes with exclusives. If you don’t want to publish your secret lasagna recipe, keep it to yourself: and your family. A free marketplace is not centralized Communism. With a cheap public data base, anyone could publish his novel, but no one would be compelled to read that novel. You’ve figured out how to unzip the universe, but don’t want to share? Fine: keep it to yourself. And if you do post it, let’s hope no one actually tries it! Freedom isn’t me going through your pockets. And freedom shouldn’t unzip the universe.
Frustrated with my own experience as a student and teacher, and wanting to market my writing without the imprimatur of an agent or publisher, I told Illich I’d do whatever it took to help him establish his learning networks.
But Illich wasn’t interested in making his proposal real; he was interested in continuing his critique of contemporary institutions: which he did: Tools for Conviviality, Medical Nemesis … He told me though that Denis Detzel was also interested in founding an actual learning network. I wrote to Detzel (just care of Northwestern, Evanston, IL, having no more details) and got no answer (it may never have reached him). But I didn’t wait to found FLEX: The Free Learning Exchange, Inc., in New York.
I wrote a basic invitation to everyone to register their expertise, their bookstore, their desire for guitar lessons … their wish to find others to talk about the movie with, mimeographed it, and started handing it around.
I wanted every community to go and do likewise: many did. And I wanted us all to coordinate our data. I wanted the math teacher in Vladivostok to be contact-able by the math student in Wichita, if that latter was thinking of traveling and if that math teacher was willing to be contacted. Understand: freedom is not giving out unlisted numbers.

Any individual local network could become corrupted: in all the ways we can imagine and in ways we can’t. When a public sees a departure from the ideal design — Illich’s (with my slight expansions), then it’s time to tear down and rebuild: raze and raise. But unless that ideal is adhered to, then we’re again indulging in political farce.

Deschooling is descended from the FLEX section of which is descended from my founding FLEX in 1970, having it as functional as it ever got by 1972.
Over four years a dozen of us raised less than $2,000. A hundred grand might got better gotten word out. A few dozen million might have succeeded.
At least two of the original ten authors of FORTRAN were hot to write public applications for FLEX; but they expected to be paid.
I wanted the resources for the institution to come from the public; but in 1971 I did ask IBM for help. The honcho there said that FLEX was a good idea. He doubted that IBM would respond to a good idea. Indeed, they didn’t.

DeCentral Menu DeGate! Deschool Menu
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Feminism Scrapbook

/ Scholarship /

I started a post on The Ascent of Woman, Dr. Amanda Foreman. Almost instantly it was a shambles: so many things clamoring for inclusion, correction, expansion: bravos for Foreman, and boos: for her and for all of us. I went through more than three drafts before I’d properly done one draft just of opening remarks! That’s what I get for writing while in my first reading. Now I’ve seen the four episodes of the Ascent show: next assay I may be writing on a more stable pony.

I start again but expand to related materials.

I like Foreman’s doc, I expect to watch it several times. In particular I’m grateful for the dozen or several significant women she mentions.

The Missing Women of History
I’ll gather a list, profile the members later.

Olympe de Gouges
Alexandra Kollontai

Margaret Sanger


I’ll also include at least one confession: I was prepared to soft-pedal Sanger’s contribution to the creation of the birth control pill. No, no: male stupidity, prejudice: it’s her baby, she conceived it, birthed it: the rest of us didn’t even realize we were dragging our feet. Typical.

But initially I’d wanted to ride one of my usual hobbyhorses: the role the ever-changing “Bible” plays in revising Christianity back to ancient misogyny. Churches present the Bible as an authority, Christians present themselves as enlighted, inspired, and good: good morally. No, no, all false. I’ll explain, in some detail, but first I write over the earlier post, then correct, add, adit.


Even I, living in the dark. had heard of Pussy Riot. The name struck me wrong, not least because I pride myself on my liberal use of vulgar terms. James Bond and his Pussy Galore should be booed, I with my ubiquitous pussy and quim etc. should be applauded, and funded, these Moscow girls … ? Shrug. No. Now I’ve seen them performing: ugh, and talking: ooo, beaustiful. I love these girls. I’d send them a dollar: if I have two dollars.

And I’ll spill some stories while here.

Bryant Park Pimp

Hilary and I were at Herman’s sporting goods stores on 42nd Street, drooling over the skis. I would have been 1970 or so. I would have founded FLEX. Before going home we visited Bryant Park, over toward the library at 5th Avenue: womens’ libbers were supposed to speak. I was impatient with all that since FLEX wanted everyone, not just women, to be free, not just blacks, and offered the mechanism to make freedom possible: cybernetic data bases for public use, no supervision. Anyway, sure enough, the speeches were commencing: and one guy, young black, already lit on wine or something, was rudely pretending that he was a pimp and that all the speakers were his girls. They didn’t want to be property; he was pretending they were his property!

Around that some time I attended a party for Hilary’s boss at the Barnard Library. All those women were ignoring FLEX, ignoring me, while they marched around in fashionable boots, to their knees. Jackie K shopped on 5th Avenue dressed like Che’! None of them qualified for consciousness.


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