Intellectual Etiquette

¡Hola! Everybody…
So, if a single mother finds herself in a bad way (after being fired by, let us say Citigroup) and applies for welfare, she’s ridiculed, called immoral, and she definitely has a cap on what monetary assistance she can expect. Why is it, then, that when a Wall St. CEO or corporate entity suckles on the public teat, we are not applying the same standards?

::blank stare::

I am gone all day…

* * *

-=[Intellectual Etiquette ]=-

“Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.”

— African proverb


I have several posts almost ready to roll on white racism. I will not suffer fools easily. Fools like those who refuse to read what I write and react rather than think. Fools such as the woman who came to my blog read the term white racism and ran screaming that I was a bigot. Go to her blog. I would dare say you could probably sharpen a thin pencil with her anal sphincter.

Good riddance!

Or the other fools who react in anger because they don’t bother to understand. One guy, beside himself at the notion of white privilege, asked in a belligerent tone that I furnish some material from peer-reviewed journals and when I gave him a link to a blog I wrote in which I synthesized material from a slew of academic journals, he refused.

Good riddance!

Or the dumb twat who took a cursory look at the same material and suggested that my sources were slanted, failing to notice that I had included tons of research from what I call racial conservatives. In fact, the whole post was dedicated to a logical dismantling of their flawed methodology. I think she also stated that facts don’t matter

::listens to strains of the Twilight Zone theme song::

Good riddance!

I’m very meticulous about my reading material. When I post here, I can guarantee you that I have taken the time not only to research the material, but that I have constructed a logical argument. This is not mere personal opinion. Knowledge and opinion are not synonymous. In fact, the vast majority of opinion is worthless. If that sounds elitist, then, fuck it, call me an uppity spic — I am an elitist if being an elitist means having some intellectual standards.

In any case, if you read me, you will note that there is a logical sequence to my writing. That, to me, is the greatest respect I can pay a reader: that I have taken the time and effort to present a coherent and logical message.

In turn, I expect for my readers, if they’re going to engage me, to show me the same respect by attempting to understand what I have written. Some people here have gotten their egos bruised because they have failed to attempt to understand before disagreeing with me. Some people apparently believe they skim my posts and then engage me. People, I hate to break this to you, but there is no Santa Claus and you cannot agree with something you have failed to understand!

Yup, life sucks. And here? I’m going to hold you to… Standards!

Honestly, I could give a flying fuck if you called me a muthafucka. You’re not that important in my life. You don’t suck my dick, nor do you give me any ass, so if you think imma muthafucka, a bastard, or an asshole, it doesn’t rally matter that much to me.

What?

If you have taken the time, however, to understand what I have written and demonstrate that understanding before you call me a muthafucka, we’re gonna be cool.

Here is what I’m going to propose. It’s called intellectual etiquette and I have adopted these from the book by Mortimer Adler, How to Read a Book. If more people observed it, the world would be a better place. For example, we wouldn’t be in the economic mess we’re in today.

First, respect (in my book) means understanding the material in such a way that you could restate the post in as briefly a manner as possible. Secondly you should be able to come to terms with the author by interpreting his key words or phrases. Know the author’s arguments preferably by constructing them out of sequences of his own sentences. Determine which of his problems he has solved and which he has not. Also, note which problems the author knew he failed to solve.

I have skimped on the first two stages of Intellectual Etiquette because the following is most important:

  • You cannot say you agree, disagree, or suspend judgment until you can say, “I understand.”
  • Avoid disagreeing disputatiously or contentiously (doesn’t always happen, but try)
  • Exhibit your recognition of the difference between knowledge and mere personal opinion by presenting clear reasons for any critical judgment you make.

If you’re going to criticize and want to be taken seriously, you should adhere to these standards:

  • Show where the author is uninformed.
  • Show where the author is misinformed.
  • Show where the author is illogical.
  • Show where the author’s analysis or account is incomplete.

Please note, of these last four, the first three are necessary criteria for disagreement. Failing all of these, you must agree, at least in part, although you may choose to suspend judgment.

If you don’t use your critical faculty, you will lose it, or never really cultivate it. Act the fool and I will treat you in kind.

Love,

Eddie

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