Mount Stupid (Again) - Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Two weeks ago, I discussed the importance of understanding how much I know (or do not know). As noted then...
44 minutes ago
I am very concerned about your proneness to depression, your disdain for ordinary human interaction, and your belief that if you can’t make it into MIT or its lofty equivalent, you essentially have nothing left to live for except being a disillusioned drone eking out a living until you can retire as a hermit living aimlessly in the wilderness.
And I say this as someone who, although he lacks your obvious brilliance in math and science, has always felt at odds with society and uncomfortable with much of what passes for socialization.
But, in my case, I’ve long been interested in many disciplines and issues, aided and abetted by my increasing appreciation of the interconnectedness of all phenomena and of all disciplines that study these phenomena, so that I’ve come to regard almost no academic subject as boring or worthless, and almost all learning, whether curricular or extracurricular, as potentially illuminating and enriching.
I won’t deny that I share your aversion to grinding, rote memorization of dates and places, but I’m guessing that there are other aspects of your humanities courses that are or at least could be fascinating to an open and curious mind, and that gifted and accomplished theoretical physicists from Einstein and Oppenheimer in the past to Ed Witten today have opened their minds and interest to disciplines and subjects far outside their own discipline and have probably been the happier for it.
Moreover, while I too prefer to discuss subjects and issues that most people would probably prefer to pass up in favor of “small” talk about their jobs, their families, their favorite sports team, or the latest insult from some politician or gossip about some celebrity, I have learned to take more pleasure in the company of others by looking for and appreciating the beauty that lies in almost everyone whether they’re talking about the sacred or the profane, the profound or the mundane.
I hope you make it into MIT and get to do the kind of work there that you heart longs to do, but I also hope that, whether you do or don’t, you’ll find life to be richer and more fulfilling than you seem to now, and that other people from all walks of life and levels of intelligence will come to occupy a more vital and pleasurable part of your life than they seem to now.In the meantime, I hope you keep on blogging about yourself and your experiences inside and outside academia, because your blog has been one of my longtime favorites, and it’s been a real pleasure to get to know you as well as I’d like to think I’ve come to know you and your beautiful search for truth.
Maybe those of you who are so gleeful over the prospect of someone being relentlessly sexually abused might be a little less so if you were the victim or even the observer of such abuse. Of course, you'll reflexively counter that Fogle's getting back what he gave out. But even if that's true, and I'm not aware that we know that any of the children in the confiscated pornography or in his documented sexual encounters were endlessly, forcibly, and viciously sodomized, it doesn't legitimize the infliction of such grievous punitive abuse. What Fogle did was very wrong. And what you all are getting your jollies publicly fantasizing about is also very wrong. And just as a certain kind of sickness or defect undoubtedly causes people like Fogle to do what most of us never would because, thank goodness, we don't share that sickness or defect, so a certain kind of darkness lies at the heart of human nature that craves the kind of awful retribution we see condoned and celebrated here. We humans really are a sorry lot!
no one deserves to be treated as a subhuman even if you, in your savage advocacy to the contrary, believe otherwise. Moreover, it could be argued that people such as yourself, in publicly urging that a fellow human being be essentially tortured to death, is guilty of worse than the person on whom he wants to see this torture inflicted. Yes, I would argue that all the people here, including yourself, who champion the "justice" of Mr. Fogle being raped and tortured for the rest of his days are more reprehensible in your conduct than Mr. Fogle was. And if I'm right, what do you advocates of savage justice suppose should be done to YOU?