Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

24 times a second

Posted by vlorbik on August 17, 2009

i’ve been complaining lately…
and not just lately… about
the “rule of authority”,
particularly as it works itself out
in *schools*. “schools” here
means—humpty-dumpty—K-PhD.
where i come from, anybody without
a “terminal” degree is a dropout.

“schools are prisons”, say i.
this isn’t “literally true” of course.
it wouldn’t even have any content
if it were; it would just be
a mathematical truth like
“prisons are prisons”.
aristotle’s “a is a”.
ayn rand was charmed by it
but then she was obviously
delusional. it’s *there* all right.
it just isn’t all that *interesting*.
so i’m already lying as soon as
i open my mouth to speak and
might as well try to get used to it.

this paper—hey, it isn’t *literally*
a “file” either—what *does* one call
these damn things? (not “documents” surely.)…
paul graham’s “why nerds are unpopular”
(hat-tip to an outstanding blatherer)…
works the same vein pretty effectively—
there are twelvehundred comments—
and looks like something i’ll have reason
to refer to again; you could do worse.

but my mission-of-the-moment is
to admit (here at what might yet
prove to be the *beginning* of
yet another everything-is-wrong
litany of complaints) that
“keeping people in their place”
is a perfectly legitimate function
of anything worth calling
a government; looked at from
the sunny side of the street,
it’s called “keeping the peace”
and, um, violent metaphor,
sure “beats” the alternative.
(except when it doesn’t.
cornered rats fight.
humans too.)

so a post like my own
“listening the most precious thing”
might seem… lopsided. as it’s meant to.
the working assumptions on “both sides”
of “the education wars” seem to be biased
for the *liberating* aspect of the process,
to the *exclusion*—the “denial”,
in the model of the day
of the “control” thing; the least one
can do when screaming in pain is to forget
that the other guy might have a good point.

but bygod a mighty fortress is our maths
and if i *hadn’t* gone facedown in those books
hour after hour year after year it’s reasonable
to conjecture that i’d’ve gotten into
*even more trouble* than what i did
and anyhow i’ve, um, “acquired a skillset”
that’s kept the more *violent* wing
of the church-and-state frontmen
for the true power elite whovever they are
from having to turn its healing powers on me
with enough force to turn me into one of their
enemy-of-humanity company finks. (much.
though… you know… nobody’s hands
are *clean* in this horrorshow.)

your milage may vary. but pascal had
a point about being alone in that room.

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One Response to “24 times a second”

  1. vlorbik said

    http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/mathematician-ulrich-gerlach-and-ayn-rand-2/
    maths in infinite dimensions

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