UFO Conjectures

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which appeared in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. Published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a foreword) and Toole's mother, the book became first a cult classic, then a mainstream success; it earned Toole a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, and is now considered a canonical work of modern literature of the Southern United States.

The book's title refers to an epigraph from Jonathan Swift's essay, Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him"  [From Wikipedia]

Now, I’m no genius, obviously, but I am rather well-read and have an IQ of 149.

When I post something to this blog, it is sometimes a throwaway, but even then the posting is supported by a life-time of serious reading and a considerable library of books, which I use for reference, rather than the internet, notwithstanding the Wikipedia insert above.

And I am writing this because I’m distressed by the lack of understanding and literate abilities of some readers here.

They don’t get allegorical references nor the underpinnings of material from those books and readings that I employ.

Their lack of academic acumen forces me to continually and redundantly state premises or conclusions in comments.

But it’s not just here where a confederacy of dunces is blatant. Almost every UFO venue is replete with dunces.

Yet, I expect commenters here to understand the basics of literature and culture. Some do:

Bruce Duensing, PurrlGurrl, Brownie, Lance, Paul Kimball, Nick Redfern, among them.

Then there are the dunces, persons who try to take my topics to a hinterland of unknowing, which they inhabit because they do not read the post accurately or misunderstand what it’s intellectually based upon.

Dialoguing with dunces is aggravating and a waste of time, but I try to stick with some of the visiting dunces here as they have become regulars and their ignorance is temperate compared to others elsewhere.

That said, let me implore readers here to look up references before they comment about a topic or note, from me and other smarties.

The flock of insulting and stupid takes on Paul Kimball’s outing of duplicitous stances by some UFO biggies, online recently, would have been tamped down if the persons attacking Mr. Kimball were versed in moral and ethical dogma, such as is enunciated in Adrian M.S. Piper’s two volumes of Hume and Kant’s clarification of what it is ethical to do, rationally, when confronted by errant behavior or moral misbehavior. [Rationality and the Structure of the Self. Volumes 1 and 2: The Humean Conception and The Kantian Conception]

And not to know what personal betrayal is when I quote Eric Blair (Orwell) in 1984 is truly upsetting, as the message is so very clear to those with a sensibility about mendacious acts by those who pretend to be our friends.

And to say that one understands Quantum Mechanics, when there is no evidence that they do, is intellectual dishonesty.

I’ve winnowed out, by not accepting comments or deleting same that come from truly nescient individuals, but will accept and allow (and have) louche commentary, just to make the commentary section here somewhat vibrant.

Other than that, stand down if you don’t get my meaning here or that of others who have a brain and their wits about them.

I hate casting pearls before swine.



  • OMG, you like psycho-drama, Rich...

    And to say that one understands Quantum Mechanics, when there is no evidence that they do, is intellectual dishonesty.

    Dishonesty yourself! Where did you read I claimed "to understand Q.M." please ???

    I have not and never claimed it but only stated "I think you have nothing understood about Quantums Mecanic, but projecting your fringe ideas and believing Q.M support ALL and what M.Q states is available to a macroscopic level (and not only for quantums)."

    Why? Because it is well documented "Fringe" people call to Q.M. to support their fringe views or theories and use M.Q. very badly. To support it, I gave you in private (FB) the reference of an excellent French book about such "syndrome" we call here "QUANTOX".

    It is only what I have in mind, my friend, not claiming "ME, Gilles Fernandez, I understand M.Q. but not you Mister Reynolds". Seriously, Rich...

    For example, read it to understand what I have in mind please (there are many other entries in English, but well):




    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • Gilles,

    What makes you think I was referring to you, with my Quantum remark?

    There have have been others who've inserted their quantum misunderstandings here, in my previous posts and book reviews at our book-review blog.

    You are very important to me, but not the center of the Universe.

    There are others I excoriate here.

    You have got to be less sensitive and self-centered, mon ami.

    Your views here and elsewhere are pungent and well-received, even when marred by your English translation.

    So, take it easy.

    If I want to point to you in a post, I'll name you, specifically.

    Otherwise, assume that I'm writing about dunces unnamed.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • Ok Rich, my deepest apologies.
    To my defense, exchanging with you about "Q.M. and Fringe or PseudoSciences", recently here or very today in F.B. "explains" probably what I have had the impression to be "targeted" in your blog entry.
    Again, my apologies.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • No need to apologize, Gilles...

    You are like un frere to me, so you get lots of leeway here, even though you are a rabid skepticalist.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • The subject matter as a phenomenon that is impossible to quantify seemingly leads to a broadband spectrum of opinions that are equally impossible to quantify except in terms of intellectual maturity, or , if you will, emotional intelligence.

    My own experience as a writer has been that those who possess these attributes are a very small minority of the readership on this subject as well as in regard to the broader realm of Fortean and paranormal subjects.

    The most striking observation you ever made on this blog was that one cannot study the phenomenon by it’s own context, and that this requires a well read and informed readership in regard to being familiar with other intellectual pursuits and digressions, in order to have a greater understanding of where this subject is to be placed in a hierarchy of importance.

    Yet, we see one trick pony after another with a religiosity that is a calling card for naive realism, or cartoonish reductionists, simply because they have a golf ball sized universe of references.

    I stopped forwarding anything I wrote largely because of the inane to frightening comments I received. I suspect Roswell has dominated the subject is due to it being in essence, an easily understandable scenario, a linear narrative that appeals to a sense of simple causality, a case likened to a B movie that has great entertainment value as a parody of the body politic. in other words, the universe distilled to a handful of prosaic characters in a whodunnit. A rerun of a rerun of a rerun.

    If I wrote anything with the idea in mind to appeal to the greatest capability of the larger audience to comprehend it, I might as well write Exlax commercials. Most of what is written is self serving in a manner that has everything to do with making some appear larger than life size and little to do with the subject. Those of us who have been around the block know better. The subject is treated like commercial television with ratings being the alpha and omega of the exercise.

    And so..we are lodged in a merry go round along with the subject matter, and the sooner we drop the evangelicals among us, the better the quality of discourse.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • Rich,

    An interesting post and I promise not to take you off topic...on this one.:)

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • Thank you, Tim...

    Although you wander away sometimes, your meandering isn't egregious.

    I had three comments yesterday to my previous post that were so far afield they were galactic.

    The ended up in a black hole.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • It is largely because of this sort of situation that I do not insert myself into UFO discussions very much any more. I asked Jacques Vallee why he stopped writing on the subject and he said, "I wasn't learning anything."

    By Blogger Greg, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • I've sometimes thought about changing my tag to "luv2rd" because I'm addicted to it (as well as yarn, the knitting kind). If you tell me, it might not sink in. If I read it, it will. Smile.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, October 25, 2013  

  • " Now, I’m no genius, obviously, but I am rather well-read and have an IQ of 149.'

    ...yes, RRRGroup, Mensa-approved ufologists have long been the backbone of MUFON researchers....

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Saturday, October 26, 2013  

  • I've always appreciated Jim Moseley's entomological insight into the similarity between ufology and ufoology. There is much to be learned about human from this field of study...

    By Blogger Charles Swenson, at Sunday, October 27, 2013  

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