"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Nov 6, 2008

The Criminalization of Learning

The Crime of Reason

(Basic Books, New York, 2008)

Prof. Robert B. Laughlin
Department of Physics
Stanford University

When we are young, we learn that knowledge is a beautiful, logical thing that anyone can use as he likes - provided, of course, he has the patience to read and think. This idea partly comes from parents, who never tire of inventing reasons for us to study more, excel in exams, and so forth, but it's also something we usually conclude on our own. Most of us decide in young adulthood that the ability to reason and understand is natural, human and rightfully ours.

Unfortunately, this conclusion is erroneous. While some information is indeed available for free and even forced upon us in school, most economically valuable knowledge is private property and secret. The owners of this knowledge do not want it made public, and certainly do not want the state paying people to "discover" it. One can argue endlessly about whether "no trespassing" signs in libraries and schools are good things, but the debate is academic. As a practical matter, our rights to learn have already been circumscribed.

People often have trouble speaking about this problem because it's a worldly matter, like the practicalities of having children, that polite individuals don't discuss. Instead they smile and insist that education is golden and that the various ways of withholding knowledge - intentional generation of confusion, stonewalling, lying, disinforming - are obnoxious but not conspiratorial. They then deflect the discussion in a new direction by declaring the concerned person to be paranoid.

This denial is extremely irresponsible. The issue is the criminalization of learning. It's important. It's something we need to think about.

- cont.



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~There is no God and we are his prophets.~

-Cormac McCarthy-

Man is superior to the stars if he lives in the power of superior wisdom. Such a person being the master over heaven and earth by means of his will is a magus and magic is not sorcery but supreme wisdom



'The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them'.....'Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.'.....'In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.'.....'War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.' George Orwell

war is terror

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