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- Henry David Thoreau
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“A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”  - Martin Luther King Jr., 1947

Education....has produced a vast population able to read but
unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
- George Trevelyan

The State of Western Academia
Updated: 10/28/2019

Don’t think that I have been a follower of Rush Limbaugh or that I have even listened to him except incidentally when he was being interviewed on another serious talk show program. But he agrees with me on this issue without even having half of the rationale that I do. I quote:

“Western academia is broken."

If you’ve been following the planetary catastrophe/Electric Universe movement, then you probably agree that the American, and indeed the Western system of higher education has been broken for quite some time. Rogue feminist Camille Paglia has spoken at great length about the false and deceptive path that colleges have gone down since the 1960s. She explains that, breaking from the largely honest and truly rebellious spirit of freedom which won the day in the 60s, the movement more or less drugged itself out of existence. Her peers slowly ruined their minds by abusing LSD or other psychedelics, and all of the meaningful intellectuals washed out. This, she says, created the power vacuum that a kind of corporate class of academics needed to move in and take administrative positions in colleges.”

I have news for Rush: It's worse than broken,. it's turned into an existential threat, at least for America, because it is sucking the lifeblood out of each new generation by sending them deeply into debt, and for a pitifully poor quality, inadequate mis-education. Just like De Beers, when with the help of Hollywood they convinced each young woman that she needed a diamond ring to seal the love deal--"A Diamond is forever"--Higher education has convinced America that you need to go to college in order to be cultured and successful. But America is waking up to the debt problem at least, if not the poor quality of the product.

What Rush doesn’t get and few others do is that these institutions, EXCEPT for the more mundane technical, business, management, literary, clerical, etc., TRAINING, have been corrupted at a deeper level down to their ENTIRE soul, not just their politically correct soul, nor even their science soul. They have been taken over by people that have a strong bias for truth being transitory and relative. In their mind it’s all relative, and you can’t “live” well and sort it out very meaningfully. And what does it matter anyway? This attitude is a loss of the philosophical and spiritual soul!

One of the developments is an almost complete fragmentation of learning into discrete compartments that overlap only a little. There is no vision nor desire to produce men that can INTEGRATE things very much, especially into a big picture. Why would you TRY to do that? It is presumed that that is now not possible, and presumptuous to try.

I learned most, not from those who taught me but
from those who talked with me.
- Saint Augustine

Modern academia has not structured its education and curriculum around philosophy AS IT SHOULD, but rather has featured or focused on technical education and career preparation. Today, many feel that formal philosophy is arcane and unnecessary, and more than one leading influential figure like Stephen Hawking has denounced it as irrelevant, ostensibly because science is thought to be "real" and philosophy theoretical.

Thus they have all but abandoned real philosophy—sterling, humanity expanding principles of epistemology metaphysics, and ethics—producing wisdom that one can be sure of, and relegated it to being a somewhat interesting but arcane realm of academic study, mostly a left-over from earlier, less advanced days.

They have also taken history, drained the drama and philosophical blood out of it, and made it into a mere uninspiring academic requirement of learning facts and information. If you don't understand the philosophy or mindset behind the social and political movements of the past, how can you ever learn lessons from history? I have to admit that when I was in my college years, I had no appreciation for nor interest in learning history. No one set the study of it in a context that stimulated my interest, which they COULD have done.

Astronomy, the queen of the sciences, is still largely associated with the universities and has significant influence on societal thinking, but it is a wasteland because it has gone almost completely into "scientific" mysticism. It has clung to the gravity-centric paradigm, and has rejected the Electric Universe paradigm. It is now mostly concerned with black holes, dark matter, and keeping itself funded. It has left the real world behind, so much so, that one wonders why they use telescopes anymore. Why don't astrophysicists just eliminate looking at reality and emulate their great hero, Stephen Hawking, and just use their imagination supported by computers to model reality? Why don't they just completely focus on developing more algorithms to generate the necessary information to fill in the gaps?

The theological seminaries teach various traditions and let the real understanding of ancient times and the ultimate issues lie fallow. They actually accept the pronouncements of "Science" and circumspectly keep their teaching within these limits.  They are concerned with "academic" accreditation, when the only real sign of a valid form of it is producing men that can think critically, make an impact, and bestir society into reform leading to greater nobility and unity.

Sir Fred Hoyle has commented that academics
generally will not read papers they disagree with.

People with real vision that even have the potential to actually see how bad it is in academe have been winnowed out in a dozen effective ways. There is not a chance that any reformer could get through the micro-pore filter in place today and make an impact! And, not a chance that any significant world changing truth could get through either. These institutions are imponderable bastions for all that matters to them—orthodoxy, status quo, stability, economic comfort—and yet they are aflame with fashionable, liberal social causes.

Spiritually and/or intellectually, academia has long since transferred its faith to the new religion of scientism. They stopped listening to sacred-text-authority-based theologians and transitioned over to the “revolutionaries” in science, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr, etc. They have overwhelmingly settled into a world view of gradualism, uniformitarianism, materialism, evolutionism, and scientifically acceptable mysticism where—for the non-religious—randomness and chance play a major role in how the universe unfolds. It should be noted that there is little if any meaningful difference between randomness and chance versus the purpose and control of a “Who-can-know-thy-ways" God. .

A university is a place where men of principle
outnumber men of honor
. - Ernest May

If they are not passionate scientism believers, these are the kinds of administrators and department heads that you can invite to an Electric Universe Conference, and they will come and listen for what all the fuss is about. But what they conclude is that it is just another take, just another possibility fostered by fervent enthusiasts out there with a myriad of others; always with the possibility that one of these “fringe takes” that haven’t been fleshed out, verbalized and promoted well, or "accepted" may exceed the plethora of the ones that have already.

They don’t get too excited, one way or another about these kinds of things. EU theory? It’s possible and interesting. Saturnian Reconstruction? That’s hardly even remotely possible, and not worth talking about, taking seriously, or especially risking departmental cohesiveness nor academic political approval. Meanwhile, that’s just the Physics Department’s problem. Take any serious responsibility for fostering a relevant truth? You’ve got to be kidding! Why would you DO that?

What they DO take seriously is their careers and professional acceptability. They may mildly disapprove of the heavy influence of and emphasis on sports for their institution, but these are little more than bureaucrats or academic apparatchiks. They are politically astute and carry around an acceptable socio/political/religious posture. They may even have fashionably a minor cause that they espouse and foster to show they are not entirely uncaring. If something like the EU ever does tend to prevail, they can always say, “Oh yes, I looked into that 10 years ago and found it to be quite interesting, but didn’t have the time to really pursue it.”

Yet, maybe I am mistaken in my perspective. Maybe it’s been like this much longer than I, Rush, and Camille realize!

See: Bullying Nagel

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