Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Civil Obedience

To Act is so Easy.
To Think is so Hard.

“We come to learn what it means
to think when we ourselves try
to think.

If the attempt is to be successful.
we must be ready to learn to think.

As soon as we allow ourselves to
be involved in such learning, we
have admitted that we are not
capable of thinking.”
M. Heidegger

I remember a student on a task
force in the 80’s (instructed to
re-assess the whole curriculum)
telling us “your chief job is to
teach us how to think.”

I asked my classes next day: how
many here don’t know how to
think and want to learn,
raise your hand.

It was like asking: who here don’t
have a sense of humor and wants
to get one?

A language problem.
I’m sure of it.
A Call for English Majors.

I attempt (by faux humility, rhetoric
rather than reason, and a repertoire of
instrumental disclaimers) …

1) “for the sake of argument”
2) “improve my terms”
3) “or what’s a college for?”
4) “do I overstate? or do I

5) “look: I’m just trying to
put IT in play here.
6) “IT, I said: do I always
got to be spelling IT out?

…to cast critical thinking in terms of
the comic spirit: ludic, ludicrous:
in game, good play— sport,
life-long liberal art.

How else help leverage some
systemic self-corrective cyber-
noetic criticism without never
a solid ground let alone a leg
to stand on?

I’m asking.

It’s a language problem.

Where are the English Majors
when we need them? And the clowns?
Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns..

Now there are 4 chief obstacles in grasping
truth which hinder every man, however
learned, and scarcely allow any one to win
a clear title to learning, namely:

1) submission to faulty and
unworthy authority.

2) Influence of custom.

3) Popular prejudice.

4) Concealment of our
Ignorance accompanied
by an Ostentations display
of our Knowledge.
Roger Bacon, Eng. Major

& how can I remember well my ignorance
which my growth requires who has so
often to use and abuse my
knowledge, damnit.
Hd Thoreau, Eng. Major.

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