Inspired by Sir Roger Scruton: ‘Get Rid of Universities Altogether’ (or at least defund them)
UNIVERSITIES: THE INSTITUTIONALISATION OF IGNORANCE.
- By producing noise of ignorance stronger than the signal of valid information
- Often having no clue what they’re talking about, presenting it as “science” (e.g. nutrition science, evolutionary BS psychology etc.)
Example: Nutrition Science
It took one single paper, by John Ioannidis, to do a reality check: “almost all foods revealed statistically significant associations with mortality risk”, proposing the necessity of a radical reform of the whole field.
STEM fields are also hijacked.
The virus of ignorance is NOT limited to the humanities & the gender-bender studies. Those who imply “something is wrong” with hard science are a minority forced to APOLOGETICS or SILENCE.
Let’s take a hard scientific field: Physics.
Spending loads of $$$ to go beyond the “falsifiability of science”, engaging the methods of… Astrology (rationalisations + pointing to the stars).
Contrary to popular belief, fields like Astronomy & Astrophysics have even LESS CONSERVATIVES than marxist/liberal fields like Sociology. Similar trend, of course, in all domains.
Source: Nature magazine.
The rest, the “conservatives”, go to university to learn that:
- Conservatism is a combination of realpolitik + capitalism
- Enlightenment, a quasi-atheistic trend favouring individualism against collectivism.
- American & French Revolutions … fruit of individualism!
And my favourite one: the Judeo-Christian values of the west!
A term populated AFTER the WWII in english-speaking world as the deep roots of our… civilisation! Our ancestors, surprisingly, studied other roots e.g. Greek / Latin / Catholic / Orthodox values etc.
So, should we close down the universities?
In fact, it has happened before. The defunding & closing down of the Academy of Athens. An act of religious dogmatism by the Byzantines! Right?
In fact, the Academy was degenerated & it was the Byz, not the Romans, that closed it.
Contrary to University indoctrination, it was the Christian Byzantine Empire who introduced a SEPARATION between THEOLOGY + SCIENCES. And it was exactly because the Academy of Athens mixed those two domains.
secular higher education + separate ecclesiastic studies.
Contrary to University indoctrination, the Church Fathers took the single most important step of towards modern science: to exclude astrology.
The last pagan Emperor, Julian the Apostatem, was the last Emperor with a council of astrologers. Typical for Roman rationalists.
Science vs. Scientism : a different conception of the world.
This conception is lost.
What does the absence of classical conception of the world means?
- a limited sense of time & purpose (consumed in the little things)
- ignorance on how the world actually works (multiverse utopias were everything is possible)
- blind trust in mass media (pavlov training)
Primitive impulsions are addictive. Like heroin addiction, you need to increase the dose to keep the same effect. Universities & media steadily increase the supply for those trembling for their daily dose, just to feel better for a short period. They NEVER get satisfied.
a. New Inquisition: going after fake science & fake news (e.g. Alex Jones accused of witchcraft).
b. New Institutions: bought off
c. New Platonic & Christian institutions with:
- Homer, New Testament, Virtue
- Citizen vs. individualism
- Freedom of research
Any serious education adds value by teaching two things: taking risks & assuming responsibility.
In this topic, finally, I have more time to study Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb, with all the twitter context. Very good writing indeed.
However I’ve expressed my disagreement on certain points of Nassim Taleb manifesto. It’s hubris to use “Greek/Platonic” in a negative connotation.
Platonism is not the past, it’s the FUTURE and the PILLAR of western education (including theology, linguistics & logic).
Example: Plato uses word IDIOT (ΙΔΙΩΤΗΣ), in the most literal sense, favouring the INDIVIDUAL/PRIVATE life in a [collective] democracy. It’s used as an insult!
Modern illiterate west, by praising individualism, by definition praises… idiocy.
All words in greek (ancient & modern) around the individual are insults.
- own, private: ιδιωτης / idiot (insult)
- I, me: ego / egoism (insult)
- individual: ατομον / ατομισμος (negative connotation) / ατομικισμος (insult)
21/ And the opposite is also true. The most significant words in greek have a strong COLLECTIVE element:
- politis (citizen), δημος (demos) etc.
- αμιλλα: friendly rivalry in competitions. It’s like “compete strongly but don’t forget you’re friends with common interest”.
Those are the real ΙΔΕΕΣ / FORMS / MODELS of Plato, not unique to his texts but found throughout the classics.
greek: ΜΟΡΦΗ (=form) -> ΜΟΡΦ-ΩΣΗ (=education)
french: “form-ation” = education
Education = FORMS/MODELS shaping the mind & attitude of a student