Notes From an Uncredentialed Intellectual

my drawing titled "conference"

Uncredentialed? The word doesn’t even pass the spell checker! Yet, I had to put some sort of name to the concept of being a thinker who never went to college.

Overarching concepts

In my little journey through this lifetime, there were certain “big” problems I kept running into. Here is a list:

  1. Revealing underlying technologies.
  2. Organization of data.
  3. The psychosis of forgetting.
  4. Beyond mainstream, and the hierarchies of control.

I don’t know that this is complete, but this is enough to start with. As a non-college – and so, non-specialized – person, I try to make up for my lack of detailed knowledge with a broad scope of interests. These particular themes appear over and over again in the more “serious” portions of my posts.

I’ve never studied, for instance, the old philosophers of Greece, nor even of China. That puts me in bad odor with doctors of Philosophy. They’ve somehow forced themselves to study all those old books, and I haven’t! Good for them! But, what do we have to show for it? My teacher (another uncredentialed intellectual) studied some of those books,too. At least he has something to show for it! There is some idea in academia that production consists of putting more books on library shelves. Maybe there’s some point to that, but what about doing something positive about the human condition?

Let’s go through the above points, as problems (intention – counter-intention).

Revealing underlying technologies

The first situation where I ran into this one, as I recall, had to do with sculpture. Here’s an example – picked at random, really.

my wood sculpture titled "Fingers Gone"

So: Can you tell from looking at this piece how I made it? What tools I used? Does it matter?

Those were some of my questions as a sculptor. And I discovered that this was actually a small issue with some artists. In my reading I discovered that some sculptors would leave tool marks on their finished pieces on purpose. Whether intentionally or from laziness, many ancient (and modern) sculptures include marks on their surfaces that give clues as to how they were made.

Is this a necessary piece of understanding that the viewer of a work of art (or any other human creation, for that matter) benefits from? I felt a need to arrive at some opinion on this subject, one that I could use as a guiding principle. And my opinion was that it is helpful to future users of the work if underlying technologies employed in its creation are made obvious or are in some way stated. This allows the user of the technology to be more involved in its creation or improvement, if he or she desires to be.

User as mindless consumer

Those who want to create products that simply can be used, without understanding or participating in any way with how they were created, can make a certain case for this approach. But I don’t prefer it. It seems to me, in a nutshell, sneaky. And that (secrecy) is a hallmark of bad control.

Organization of Data

One of my early run-ins with this problem had to do with my study of botany, or plant identification (field botany).

list of plant genera

I wanted ways to abbreviate plant names on maps or other documents where space was limited. So I tried creating a totally complete list of all plant genera so I could give each one a number code. It was a crazy system that I never really used. Pre-computer, you understand. I also had codes for the books I read or used. I managed to lose that card file somewhere along the way, though.

My personal digital library has something like 150,000 files in it. The internet contains literally billions of indexed files. How are you going to find the file you want without somehow breaking it down into categories? Well, Google (“Alphabet, Inc.”) came up with a usable answer: Keyword searches.

This answer, however, didn’t satisfy me. I had a file system to work with, and I wasn’t going to totally waste that resource and just dump all my 100,000-plus files in one folder! (People have been known to do that, however.) So I invented my own system.

The psychosis of forgetting

my pencil drawing titled "Castle Yard"

A “psychotic” is out of touch with reality. In a nutshell, he can’t remember or refuses to remember. Thus, remembering, in some sense, could be seen as therapeutic. I don’t know that I’d really thought much about this until I read Dianetics.

I did keep records. Here’s an example:

some of my models

At some point (this is dated 1972) I decided to throw all my plastic models away, even some wood ones. So I took some photos of them first, then trashed them. This is the only record I have that shows that I used to build models, what they were, etc.

Did I need this record? Maybe not. But I know that there are some things that, if I forgot or didn’t keep a record of, would put me in big trouble.

Keeping records are a good hedge against forgetting “important” things. But remembering is, potentially, a lot more therapeutic than merely having a record of something. It helps to put your life and experiences in a bigger context. And, as it turns out, human memory contains certain material that is vital to reveal and handle. What Freud was trying to do is a shadow of this. The problem was how to recover the most important past experiences. And to discover how far back you had to go to get “everything.”

Truth and Reconciliation

“Truth-seeking” is a crude attempt to apply the potential benefits of “getting to the bottom” of some personal issue to the larger group. When a group suffers a very major setback or dismaying event (a “group engram”) it tends to get stuck in that incident and so can become crippled by it. Determining the truth of what happened can lead to resolution (what they call “closure” in psychology). The psychology concept, however, is seldom applied to groups (one of the many weaknesses of that discipline).

The first example of this that we may think of is South Africa. This was a reasonably successful application of this idea. The process revealed, among other things, that the S.A. intelligence services had been used to spread false rumors in the country, and to “neutralize” political activists. It was important for South Africans to know how people like Steve Biko had actually died, after all the lies they were told at the time it happened.

But there have been many other attempts to uncover unpleasant truths, many of them much less successful. The Warren Commission which investigated the JFK shooting was a disaster. The 9/11 Commission ended with a similar failure. They just served to give “validity” to official lies. Too many government officials, and others, were involved in those incidents to make a genuine truth reveal possible. So now the truth of such incidents is in danger of being lost “forever” barring the use of extraordinary research methods.

The JFK thing was big for me, as it was one of the first world events that I remember witnessing (via TV and others, of course; I was never in Dallas). But so was the Vietnam War, the MLK shooting, various riots and other events, and 9/11 of course. As a society and as a planet, we are to some degree stuck in many such events, and that stuckness cripples us.

My studies in Scientology were one way to begin to deal with some of this personally. And my looks into the various nooks and crannies of human experience were attempts to find answers to some of the bigger and more recent events that have paralyzed the planet to one degree or another.

Of course, to learn the truth is, quite often, to see the true criminals revealed. And so the true criminals have a vested interest in us never remembering. My teacher calls this condition “dead forever.”

Beyond Mainstream, and the hierarchies of control

I didn’t start learning much about this subject until I heard a lecture known as “Ron’s Journal 67.” It dates from 1967. It reveals to some degree the details about some of the people mentioned above, the true criminals on this planet. Of course, the names change and individuals age, die and are replaced. And since these people are “organized” in a very non-formal way, there is no real named group you can point to and say “it’s those guys!”

It has been with some trepidation that I retained by articles on what I call “The Model” on this blog. This data relies heavily on what I learned from my teacher, which is data each person should really learn for themselves. But I thought it was too important to go unmentioned. Understanding about hierarchies of control begins with oneself. We are composite beings, which is to say, there is a dominant being and a dominated being. The existence of such situations indicates a prior failure to control – to employ good control. If good control were the norm, hierarchies of control would not be needed.

But there is a compromise situation with regard to this which allows for games between human groups. Hierarchical systems of good control are possible. Easier said than done, but at least it has been said, and a pattern with numerous details established and well-used. So we know the concept has workability, just as continuing to exist as a composite being has workability, as long as the senior being can govern honestly and with adequate data to do his (her) job properly.

And that’s 30

…It’s an old radio expression that my grandad (Mom’s dad) used to end his letters with.

If we can replace the hierarchies of bad control with something more workable, then we may be able to overcome, as a society or civilization, the psychoses of forgetting, learn to organize our data so that it is easy to access and, for the most part, actually true and accurate, and thus become cause over all underlying technologies, all the way down to the ancient electronics that keep us pinned to this planet. And that, I think, would be a good thing.