Smart thread. (53)

29 Name: キタ━━━━━━━━( ・∀・)━━━━━━━━!!!! [Del]

Universities, as envisioned by humanists such as Humboldt, used to be places dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. It was accepted that scientists were the elite of humanity, tirelessly working to change society, business, war, the human condition itself, indubitably for the better.

This is no longer the case.

Because of the stratification of society, it used to be that scientists came from the higher classes: the children of aristocrats and entrepreneurs. This was occasionally seen as a problem, and gifted children of the working classes were also supported, people such as Thomas Huxley. This idea that all the most enlightened spirits of humanity should be called upon to wrest the secrets of the universe from itself for the benefit of us all is embodied in nothing as much as the construction of Akademgorodok.

These days, science is subject to business, and scientists are no longer judged by the quality of their work, and the impact of same, but by the quantity of their publications. Whole faculties who by their nature don't benefit business are shut down.

It was Adolf Hitler, one who thought himself above the humanist education that his father had afforded him, who, in one of his more famous speeches, claimed that education rots his youth, that youth should excel insted in physical fitness. (Interesting as the man himself was worst of his class in physical education.) Under his leadership, scientists couldn't publish their knowledge freely. (Similar constraints existed elsewhere: In the Soviet Union, the construction of a much needed computer was sabotaged by the political leaders for fear that robots might cause unemployment; likewise, research into genetics was discouraged. And I am told that in America, scientists are not allowed to mention that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, nor that the sea temperature is rising exponentially.) Hitler also set up his own university where scientists were supposed to discover what he wanted to be true. (Unsurprisingly, the universe, final arbiter in all things scientific, disagreed with him, the, according to his autobiography, Second Coming.)

These days, careers in science are discouraged by making them prohibitively expensive to pursue, titles being awarded as costly decorations rather than in recognition of academic achievements. Instead, there is rising demand for highly skilled working class employees. Those that would still pursue academic distiction do so in pursuit of a management position.

Acadmics, then, are now those members of society who were unable to find employment in industry, or unskilled in the mysteries of business management. Instead of being the light of humanity, they are reduced to being the waste products of education, as the saying goes: Those who can't do, teach. And yet those are the very people who survived higher education; hardly the dregs of society, many of whom are forced to resort to crime to survive.

(Hitler's prison camps consistently failed to turn a profit, even after unemployment was declared a jailable offense to bolster the numbers of the imprisoned. I hear that these days, great advances have been made in that regard in other countries, such that crime is now fundamental to the economy.)

This systematic destruction of science as an institution, this undermining of humanist endeavours, can not be feasible. Anti-intellectualism will bring about a dark age of ignorance, where those whose love for truth is too strong to succumb to religious indoctrination will have to resort to live in cloisters - and that didn't work out too well for the rest of society the last times it happened.

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