Sunday, April 29, 2012

Professionalization is the ANTIDOTE to "Untutored Genius"

   Romanticism's finest rebuttal to the hubris of the Enlightenment Project was its counter-claim that 'there will always be dark mysterious unknowable regions, outside in Nature and inside the human brain'.
   This was best illustrated by The Age of Romanticism's most original idea: untutored, unfettered, un-peer-reviewed, genius. The genius, as it were, of  genius.

   Genius's biggest, darkest, deepest mystery, to a world raised for  centuries on the belief that one excelled only by learning the rules of one's elders and predecessors, was how exactly did they get all that caramel genius into that little chocolate-dark head, without 25 years of highly expensive schooling ?
   Genius's overwhelming superiority to both the ordinary and the highly educated individual posed the gravest threat yet to the ideology of Classical Enlightenment.
   Because beneath all of  Classical Enlightenment's brave talk of  'the democracy of thought' was its belief in a natural (aka Nature-authorized) aristocracy.
   Pre-Darwin social darwinism as it were.
   It was based ,ultimately,upon superior force and violence: might makes right, survival of the most violent and the biggest.
   The aristocracy, already in decline as its land-seized-through-violence-wealth dimmed in comparison to the new wealth obtainable through new ideas and new inventions, had to quickly reinvent itself, if its children and their children's children were to remain at the wealthy top of society.
   Hyper-professionalization, based on Scientism, would be the answer.
   Now to get to the top of the world of professionals - the tenured professor of basic research in a top-ranked university - would first require 25 years of the best formal and informal schooling that money could buy.
   Only the wealthiest and best connected of society could hope to  easily enter into such any expensive conversion of present day wealth and power into future wealth and power.
    So let the rare genius slip into popular prominence, virtually untutored - they could only do so as entrepreneurs.
 Because ultimate knowledge (public/aka formally peer-reviewed and published in a top-cited journal) would have been successfully re-defined as only something someone with a superior university position could present to the world.
   Academic genius failing to pass through this secular eye of the needle could and would be simply ignored.
   Hear them sing today : "If what he claims is true (Russia was at least as much as Germany to blame for WWI)  why isn't Sean McMeekin a tenured full professor at some university we have at least heard of like, Oxford or Columbia, eh ?"
   Steve Jobs can be a genius then - like Satchmo - as long as he agrees to go no nearer to a university than to write it an endowment cheque.
   Professionalization is an attempt to erect a filmy gauze of order and rules and proper procedures, over a Reality that knows of no such thing.
   Mental floss for those psychologies unable to handle uncertainty and loss of total control....

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