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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  February 17, 2008

Magnanimity, Humility and Pride

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is my favorite modern thinker and the closest form modern society has to the classically educated man. He is free from having to feign knowledge and enjoys speaking truth in the face of vaunted ignorance that otherwise is tolerated and permitted as the dominant mode of discourse. His research into source materials often uncovers basic misunderstandings and academic laziness that have been repeated as doctrine for centuries. Sloppy work is the norm for academics and the "educated", while truth and verified knowledge seems to be of little concern. Oh, but they have good intentions...

Those who desire honest and sane thinking demand much higher standards than the "educated" who argue tirelessly about lies, nonsense, and the irrelevant after having waged war against truth and pledged their careers to defending an empire of largely fictional reality. This drives the honorable people away from academia and leaves the incapable, crooked, feeble, and ill-constituted in charge.

    The magnanimous despises others justly! (but without being puny). He does not gossip, only takes grand tasks, does not care for honors, does not work for Goldman Sachs (wearing a tie, demeaning "annual reviews", in exchange for millions in bonuses), does not care for academic tenure & for the company of academics and other half-men (but does not hold grudges), does not kiss the clients' behinds, does not read the NYT, etc. ἀναγκαῖον δὲ καὶ φανερομισῆ εἶναι καὶ φανερόφιλον ... καὶ ἀληθευτικός [upfront in his loves and hates! & free!] The problem is to be grand precludes psychological socialization by a milieu (say when you become part of an academic or professional collective, you no longer feel free of your opinions lest you hurt someone and become progressively domesticated).
    [ Nassim Nicholas Taleb ]

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