June 30, 2013

"[A] national cult of individualism and careerism threatened to turn America into a country of hypercompetitive loners ruled by tyrants."

Wrote Philip E. Slater in the 1970 book "The Pursuit of Loneliness," which sold half a million copies.
Having re-examined his life through the lens of his own book, Mr. Slater decided in 1971 to resign as the chairman of the sociology department at Brandeis University, where he had taught for 10 years, and take a different path. He took up acting, wrote novels and began culling his personal possessions down to the two boxes he left when he died at 86 on June 20 at his home in Santa Cruz, Calif....

He gave up his car, learned to live on one-fourth the income he was used to and began pursuing a life he would describe in a 1980 book, “Wealth Addiction,” as “voluntary simplicity."...

“The experience of losing everything and finding I was having a wonderful time,” he said, “opened me to experiences I otherwise would not have had. I would have protected myself from them if I had known.”
Sociology, circa 1970. I guess it couldn't last, this kind of sociology that made you not want to be a sociologist.

134 comments:

urpower said...

Quite an amazing writer, as all writing conspires to shut the writer down, and I'm still haunted by his footnote in "The Glory of Hera" suggesting black teenagers launching violently at white cops in the segregated South were out to connect with the Father in the way the son does first & maybe always best.

kentuckyliz said...

So Trayvon launched violently at George to connect with the father in the way the son does first and maybe always best?

That sucker punch, getting GZ to the ground, and dishing out a MMA style ground and pound must have really connected Trayvon to his Traydad. Made him proud. (Dad had a gang tat that he later concealed.)

kentuckyliz said...

No thread hijack intended. Do you think the critique is still true? I hear the Millenials described as connected and community minded and they're going to transform the world. Then they bump up against reality as they graduate college with huge student loan debts and are working as baristas and fighting over whether to share their tips with shift supervisors. Then it seems a little careerism and individualism is in order.

Wonder if our sociologist friend had huge student loan debts. Likely not.

urpower said...

Treyvon it seems launched at Zimmerman to establish his ass was not to be cracked. He would do the cracking, the fisting. Sadly Slater is not here to explicate, though he does refer to the pervasive homoeroticism of teenage boys & the fear of it.

AllenS said...

I guy I went to high school with eventually became a multi-millionair. He lost it all... his wife, his business, his house, his collection of cars. He is not happy.

Aridog said...

kentuckyliz said...

Wonder if our sociologist friend had huge student loan debts. Likely not.

What student debt was there in the 1950's and 1960's? Back then, you could be living independently and be over 21 and still not qualify if your family had more than subsistence level incomes. I don't even recall a financial aid office on either of the two large campuses I attended.

kentuckyliz said...

How did he lose it, Allen?

If he had the skills to build a successful business once, he can again.

kentuckyliz said...

Aridog, didn't costs line up with being able to work your way through school?

dc said...

I wish more sociologists would follow in his footsteps.
Take that any way you want.

edutcher said...

Bet this guy was a big fan of Teddy Kennedy, whose career was a war against individualism (of course, so was Uncle Joe's and Chairman Mao's).

Quaestor said...

A national cult of individualism and careerism threatened to turn America into a country of hypercompetitive loners ruled by tyrants.

Well, he was half right.

madAsHell said...

He didn't have a wife??

cassandra lite said...

I was a college freshman in early '70, assigned Reisman's "Lonely Crowd," which made me focus obsessively for weeks on whether I was inner-directed or outer-directed. Finally I decided that I wasn't directed at all.

Terry said...

If a large majority of his fellow citizens did what Slater did, would he still manage to live simply and unbothered on a fourth of his previous income?
I can't think of any real philosophy that recommends the accumulation of wealth for its own sake. There are people that do it, I'm sure, but it's not a course of action anyone justifies.

Quaestor said...

A national cult of individualism and careerism threatened to turn America into a country of hypercompetitive loners ruled by tyrants.

Yeah, and atmospheric nuclear testing threatened to spawn 400 foot tall fire-breathing lizards with hankerings for sukiyaki.

I have never read such an over-wrought sentence that wasn't a line from a 50's B-movie sci-fi script, which only goes to show that to get a half-million in sales it's just a matter of timing, not eloquence. 1970 was, after all, the dawning of the Me decade (or was that the 80's? I don't know... when respectable men started to wear porn star moustaches and women were blow-drying their brains out I stopped paying attention) I don't buy for a minute this latter-day Diogenes crap, if Slater dropped out of the social landscape it was a case of well-earned contrition for being such a lousy writer (notice I don't accuse him of lousy sociology as there's no such thing). Hell, people used to crawl to Jerusalem for less grievous transgressions of taste, so why not a little self-imposed pseudo-poverty?

n.n said...

This observation must be motivated by projection.

That outcome is only a concern with fanatical individuals who do not recognize individual dignity and choose to devalue human life. They act to consolidate capital and control in minority hands thus establishing a monopoly, which is typically authoritarian (e.g. communism, socialism).

Americans, on the other hand, are predominantly capable of self-moderating, responsible behavior. They reject left-wing ideology and the corruption it sponsors in all of its forms.

That said, exceptional corruption can mimic extraordinary or fundamental corruption. However, it is often obfuscated, and thereby left untreated, due to the super position of the latter.

Anyway, why be concerned about the welfare of one, two, or some clump of cells?

Palladian said...

Richard Feynman on the social "sciences".

Jay Retread said...

Hey you Althouse Hillbillies! Now go buy some more shit though Ann's corporate portal.

harrogate said...

edutcher, you make a good point about Ted Kennedy. Really, you do. It is neither detached from reality, nor detached from Ann's post. It's just a wonderful contribution.

And I am sorry you're getting cyberbullied.

Mumpsimus said...

That "cult of individualism" sounds kinda scary. I hope the authorities are keeping a close watch on it, if it's still around.

Balfegor said...

Re: Kentuckyliz:

No thread hijack intended. Do you think the critique is still true? I hear the Millenials described as connected and community minded and they're going to transform the world. Then they bump up against reality as they graduate college with huge student loan debts and are working as baristas and fighting over whether to share their tips with shift supervisors.

Millenials are Organization Men, bred for the grey flannel suit, in an age where there are no more organizations and no more grey flannel suits.

harrogate said...

"I guy I went to high school with eventually became a multi-millionair. He lost it all... his wife, his business, his house, his collection of cars. He is not happy."

One of your most interesting comments ever.

wholelottasplainin' said...

I don't even recall a financial aid office on either of the two large campuses I attended.

*********

At a state school I attended back then, there definitely was a Financial Aid Office.

When I lost my in-state tuition status when my Air Force father was transferred, it saved my neck.

I graduated with $6K in debt, but was able to pay it off w/i two years, thank to the good-paying engineering job I landed straight out of school---and was recruited for to boot. The companies came to us!

It was a Golden Age, I now realize.

Michael said...

Palladian. Outstanding Feynman piece. Very grateful to you for the link.

Michael K said...

"I don't even recall a financial aid office on either of the two large campuses I attended. "

The "National Defense Student Loan" program began January 1, 1960. I got out of the Air Force and discovered I could get a loan, then I went to the Financial Aid office and was turned down because my major was pre-med.

I walked out and went around the block ad came in to a different lady. She asked my major and I said "English Literature." She signed me up.

I had been an Engineering major before and worked as an engineer but it was too tough to try to do pre-med and upper division mechanical engineering at the same time.

Plus I had to work part time to feed myself. I got a job as a "hasher" in the Pi Phi house, which took care of meals on weekdays.

Tuition was about $20/ unit at the time. Like all Ponzi schemes, you have to get in early. Medical school tuition when I started was $600/ per semester. That was 1961;

Yes I did go ARM.

virgil xenophon said...

When I attended LSU 62-66 from Illinois out-of-state tuition (above the base in-state rate) was $FIFTY (50) DOLLARS/semester my freshman year and had risen to the ungodly sum of $150/semester by my senior year.

(Can't remember what the base in-state tuition was as I was on tennis scholarship so actually paid nothing..."not my problem" lol)

Hagar said...

@Aridog,
There was an Army recruiting office. Request draft, do your time, and get the G.I. Bill.

ricpic said...

Hey get with it, whining loser loners, the only good comes out of the collective!

virgil xenophon said...

@Palladian

I actually viewed that interview live way back then, remember it well. He also likened the social sciences to the Cargo Cults of the Pacific Islanders with their runways, bamboo control towers with thatched roofs and tin-can telephones, radios, etc., all ready for the planes to land, saying that, like the natives, "the social sciences are going through all the correct procedures, but just like the natives, the planes ain't landing, nothing's happening." (i.e., no results, lol)

Hagar said...

And no fuss, no muss.

Quaestor said...

Here's the Caltech address with the "cargo cult" theme. The date is 1974, which is significant, I think.

bagoh20 said...

I understand that if you find it hard to make money that you might want to put less time and effort in so you can enjoy life, but I don't understand walking away from making money when it's easy in order to live poor. Just keep making money and invest it or give it away to help others. It's much less ethical to work hard at being poor than it is to work hard at being rich.

Michael said...

Virgil. Was Johnny Barton on your team at LSU?

bagoh20 said...

"But he worried that democracy in his own country was declining, and that a combination of self-absorption and distrust of their government made Americans vulnerable to the appeal of authoritarianism. "

Isn't just the opposite happening? People are so trusting in government - or a I should say so distrustful of everything else - that they are voting for and accepting authoritarianism in the form of an oligarchy.

edutcher said...

harrogate said...

edutcher, you make a good point about Ted Kennedy. Really, you do. It is neither detached from reality, nor detached from Ann's post. It's just a wonderful contribution.

And I am sorry you're getting cyberbullied.


I am?

By whom?

bagoh20 said...

"But he worried that democracy in his own country was declining, and that a combination of self-absorption and distrust of their government made Americans vulnerable to the appeal of authoritarianism. "

Isn't just the opposite happening? People are so trusting in government - or a I should say so distrustful of everything else - that they are voting for and accepting authoritarianism in the form of an oligarchy.

virgil xenophon said...

@Michael/

LOL. Yeah, Jonny was my roommate for a semester spring, soph year, iirc) Either you must be from Memphis or you know him now?

Quaestor said...

That "cult of individualism" sounds kinda scary. I hope the authorities are keeping a close watch on it, if it's still around.

It doesn't take long to realize that there is something fundamentally wrong that "cult of individuality" construct, which makes me wonder if Philip Slater was being willfully obtuse. I mean, how far into a writing project can one get without healthy self-doubt intruding, the am-I-just-jerking-off moment? For me it would kick in three or four sentences after introducing the "cult of individuality" meme. My book about loneliness would self-immolate long before I had a manuscript worthy of the name.

Maybe I'm being too cruel. Maybe Slater meant something different from cult when he used the word cult, or something different from individuality when used the word... Both?

virgil xenophon said...

@Michael/

Corr: was probably fall, 1963.

bagoh20 said...

" the am-I-just-jerking-off moment?"

I get that pretty often when commenting here, and I just delete it without posting. I'm not sure if that's a good sign or bad.

That's one of the things that makes this whole blog community activity worthwhile to me. I read something, and then I start writing a response to what I read. The process is very valuable to work out what you believe, and to see what it looks like when given form. It has led me to change my position on issues quite few times.

What I'm saying is you should thank me for all the shit I spew and then delete without you ever having to read it. It's a lot of work.

Maybe someone could pass this idea on to Ritmo.

betamax3000 said...

A Cult of Individualism, A Flock of Loners, A Clog of Bare-Footed Dutchmen, A Gaggle of Singular Geese.


I Think I made My Point.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "What I'm saying is you should thank me for all the shit I spew and then delete without you ever having to read it."

I Do Not Understand That Concept.

bagoh20 said...

A cackle of feminists.

YoungHegelian said...

From the NYT article:

Though it was just one of a tidal wave of sociological blockbusters published in 1970, including Charles A. Reich’s “The Greening of America” and Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock,” “The Pursuit of Loneliness” earned Mr. Slater rave notices.

In the early 70's, thoughts that formed in intellectual hothouses in the 60's bubbled into public consciousness, often in tomes like the ones above that stated in the most serious & high-minded manner predictions about the future that turned out to be utter bullshit. Try reading "Future Shock" or "The Greening of America" without howls of laughter now. Another big seller from the time that'll crack you up: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (but were afraid to ask). The Woody Allen movie is by far that books best contribution to Western Civ.

betamax3000 said...

I Was a Member of the Cult of Individualism until I was Subjected to an Intervention. The Intervention was at Starbucks.


betamax3000 said...

Everyone Ordered My Exact Same Caffeinated Beverage: I Gave In.

betamax3000 said...

I Did Not Realize that a 'Macchiato' was Code For Anal Sex. How I Regret That Day. Communally.


Terry said...

From reading the obit. it seems like Slater thought it was a bad thing that people have different values, where we should all have the same values. His definition of 'democracy' doesn't mean people voting for stuff, it means that community values are more important than an individual's values.
Crazy stuff, hard to believe that intellectuals were once so blissfully (or dangerously) ignorant of human nature.

rcommal said...

HAH!

YoungHegelian said...

I also really love squish-lefties who act as a life based around a "vow of poverty" is some major-league, new-fangled, discovery. I mean, the Church had monastic poverty codified by 300AD.

But in the let-it-all-hang-out 60's, I guess the vow of obedience just wasn't going to sell. And the vow of chastity, I mean, oy fucking veh!

bagoh20 said...

Betamax, Your comments are like waves at the beach - plentiful and reliable. A reader can just pick up his board anytime he gets the urge and ride one in. Sometimes they knock your Speedo off, and you yell out loud: "Fucking Betamax!"

YoungHegelian said...

I also really love squish-lefties who act as a life based around a "vow of poverty" is some major-league, new-fangled, discovery. I mean, the Church had monastic poverty codified by 300AD.

But in the let-it-all-hang-out 60's, I guess the vow of obedience just wasn't going to sell. And the vow of chastity, I mean, oy fucking veh!

betamax3000 said...

Re: "Sometimes they knock your Speedo off, and you yell out loud: "Fucking Betamax!"

That is Why I Double-Speedo.

Terry said...

Dear God. Phillip E. Slater's novel: http://www.philipslater.com/How_I_Saved_The_World_medium.pdf

He was married five times. How was he to know how selfish and self-centered these women were when he married them?
'Married four times' and 'accurate judge of humanity' don't seem to go together, do they?

Paco Wové said...

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex"

I remember sneaking my older brother's copy of that for furtive reads when I was just a wee sprat. I was struck by just how down the author was on homosexuality.

betamax3000 said...

Individualism Suffered a Serious Blow when the Concept of 'Cool' was Removed from the Individual and Applied to the Collective. All us Cool Kids are Fonzie, together, there is No Potsie, much Less a Richie Cunningham. Fonzie Has a Cool Non-Profit Job: the Jukebox is Free For Everyone.

Jack Kerouac Said it Best when He Wrote: We Are All Lonely Stardust, Stuck on the Greasy Axles of Lettuce Trucks, Endlessly Uphill with a Clutch That Knows No Tomorrow: We are Where is My Drink Wait I Had a Moment There Where are My Pants.

Lem said...

Great video Palladian.

Terry said...

Slater refused to go along with the 'community value' of individualism. How did he know that his values were correct when the community said otherwise?
Is it possible that he was simply a narcissistic fool?

Lem said...

I remember that guy from the Challenger disaster investigation commission.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ricpic said...

Kerouac often lost his pants but never that grungy red and black check flannel shirt.

betamax3000 said...

Narcissism: Everyone Wants to Know When I Masturbate.

Collective Narcissism: We Will All Masturbate Together. Everyone Will Want to Watch.

Individualism: I Will Not Pay for Your Kleenex.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paco,

"Down on homosexuals"? Dr. David Rueben loathed them. He discussed male homosexuality in his book under the same category as prostitution, because that's what he thought their behavior was closest to. He also gave stomach churning descriptions of venereal diseases that at the time only affected gay males.

And he was one of the sexual liberals. But one in the great lefty tradition of homo-hating, like Ernest Hemingway.

ricpic said...

Hey bagoh, me too. That's right, I also deep six half my stuff. Oh, a lot of the rest is still crap? But to me it smells like roses.

betamax3000 said...

Individualism Kerouac Robot says:

We Live to Be Alone Yet Together, Shoelaces without a Shoe, A Shoe without a Soul, Solitude and Stitched Canvas Consonance and Damn I'm Still Typing Even Though I Blacked Out Hours Ago This Is Amazing Space Bar Space Bar Space Bar.

betamax3000 said...

Individualism Kerouac Robot says:

My Soul is a Microphone and Sibilance - Sibilance - Sibilance Is This Thing On?

Lem said...

Chris Sams Philosophising

Lem said...

Orson Wells Philosophizing

Lem said...

James Joyce Philosophizing

Mark said...

Feynman was one of the great minds of the 20th Century. One of those guys who could look at just about any problem and jump right to the key fallacy.

rcommal said...

Individuals here can't even keep track of Althouse blog history, much less the history of various commenters, much less why some *C*ommenters occasionally asked after are no more, at all. Hell, it seems that a number of individuals here can't even keep track of Althouse's sons. Not that knowing which one they really intended to go after in an attempt to get to Althouse would be admirable, mind you. Still, it seems to me that if commenters *are* going to go after an Althouse son (even just to say something along the lines of--and I'm paraphrasing here--love the sinner, hate the sin) in order to make a...point, they damn well ought to have been keeping track long enough to justify their confidence in knowing which one to use in that...point.

Lem said...

W H Auden Poem

rcommal said...

Striking out ignorantly in a pointed fashion is even more stupid than striking out wildly, though both share a similar arrogance and dumb-assery.

Lem said...

Shakespeare

creeley23 said...

I read The Pursuit of Loneliness while living in a commune composed of three trailers in a park a couple miles up the road from Our Land where we had a few acres, a goat named Hagen, and big plans to change the world, but in the meantime we were doing stoop labor, pick-up construction jobs and shit work on chicken farms to buy our rice, veggies, beans and granola.

Slater made great sense to me then and helped cinch my belief that we were doing the right thing. I thought he was almost as good as Charles Reich and The Greening of America.

I found him on HuffPo a several years ago and sparred with him a bit. His views hadn't budged an inch since the seventies and he was full of the expected vitriol towards Bush and Republicans.

I thought being liberal meant having an open mind and continuing to grow and evolve, but for most of the people I knew from those days it meant staying the same, becoming more tribal, and loathing conservatives.

rcommal said...

That scene was about friendship and loyalty, Lem, above all, and the fact that the gay partner of the gay dead man lying in the coffin quoted Auden (even though it was Auden) at that point in that movie, in context, had to do with encouraging and valuing lifetime ties, unbreakable by death--as against being a dilettante in relationships, including marriage.

I'm hoping that this is why you posted that link.

If it is not, well, then, after all of these years, Lem, you can guess what I would say:


creeley23 said...

That's one of the things that makes this whole blog community activity worthwhile to me. I read something, and then I start writing a response to what I read. The process is very valuable to work out what you believe, and to see what it looks like when given form. It has led me to change my position on issues quite few times.

bagoh20: Likewise. (And thank you very much for being selective in posting. Me too.)

Joan Didion said it well, "I write to find out what I think."

Didion is a writer whose work only got better as I got older. There was a time when I thought her near-hysteria during the hippie years was over-wrought but now that we see the full unwinding of that, culminating in the election of Obama, who is essentially the Sixties President, she seems quite prescient.

If Althouse ever wants to play the All Good Sentences Game again, she would have far better luck with Didion.

creeley23 said...

Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself. Although now, some years later, I marvel that a mind on the outs with itself should have nonetheless made painstaking record of its every tremor, I recall with embarrassing clarity the flavor of those particular ashes. It was a matter of misplaced self-respect.

-- Joan Didion, "On Self-Respect"

Lem said...

I'm hoping that this is why you posted that link.

The "other words" the professor spoke of, as wanting to be a professor of, is what I speak of, while, at the same time, proving the impossibility of that, because for one I don't know them, other words, if only by my own experience and second, hope is arguably the most abused word in the English language... or something.

If that makes any sense.

rcommal said...

Y'all know that one of, if not the earliest, mantras of Althouse was: living freely through qriting.

Also, at a pretty early time, she wrote (to paraphrase), "When I get bored, I behave badly."

I, myself, am beginning to understand that better, now.

Lem said...

The "other words" stand for paraphrasing.

rcommal said...

Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself. Although now, some years later, I marvel that a mind on the outs with itself should have nonetheless made painstaking record of its every tremor, I recall with embarrassing clarity the flavor of those particular ashes. It was a matter of misplaced self-respect.

-- Joan Didion, "On Self-Respect"

6/30/13, 9:48 PM
Blogger Lem said...

I'm hoping that this is why you posted that link.

The "other words" the professor spoke of, as wanting to be a professor of, is what I speak of, while, at the same time, proving the impossibility of that, because for one I don't know them, other words, if only by my own experience and second, hope is arguably the most abused word in the English language... or something.

If that makes any sense.


Lem said...

I find the arts to be... if some of you could forgive my daring (atrevimiento)... our "other words".

Tom said...

Honestly earned money (meaning money not earn through violence, threat, or fraud) is a place holder for protective and creative value. So wealth is the accumilation of productive and creative value. If someone is bringing this much value to their fellow human beings, why is it bad they are wealthy?

The problem is intellelect doesn't equate to providing value to others. So intellelect doesn't automatically mean wealth. Nor does a fancy degree from an Ivy League school. Sometimes intellectuals from Ivy League schools become wealthy - it probably happens a lot. But it only happens honestly when that person brings tremendous value to others.

But that doesn't stop the intellectucal who can't bring value. Like James T. Kirk faced with the Kobioshi Maroo(sp), they attempt to reprogram the game. Capture government and un-earned wealth can be yours. Convince others that wealth is bad and watch as the rich give away their fortunes. And what's the best filter to reprogram the game? Why college itself. So some sociologist actually takes this clap-trap seriously... It was bound to happen.

RiverRat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RiverRat said...

Count the anal orifices of this idiot. Input and written output.

rcommal said...

If it is not, well, then, after all of these years, Lem, you can guess what I would say:

To wit, fuck you.

rcommal said...

Because, no problem; it's what I expected. Little clue, have you, and none that you would choose to find useful.

William said...

Futurists always think that tomorrow will be just like today only more so. Not true. In the seventies I thought that some kind of apocalypse was just around the corner. That was the opinion of lot of people. The world truly looked like it was going to hell in a bucket. Nonetheless, the 20th century had a reasonably happy ending. That's why I take AGW with a grain of sand.....You need a comfortably bourgeois upbringing to be able to despise wealth and security with such vehemence. There's a good living in it if you can sell it.

William said...

He made more money despising wealth than I ever made by pursuing. He probably got to screw a lot of coeds too.

Lem said...

Conservatism comes in for me where our history has told us we do when we prosper.

We are feeling fantastically there-is-nothing-we-cant-do rich and we perhaps feel we deserve to celebrate this by relaxing old fashion notions and prejudices about ourselves.

When we have tried before we have overdone it, we've overreached, you guys know the history of the word better than me.

I'm Not leery of the experiment not working (sorry for the double neg) because I'm sour on us, or because I don't like us or I'm a bigot.

I'm leery because I'm afraid we haven't done anything to earn it and therefore we aren't going to do diligence on the work necessary to preserve it.

Fun is only possible up to the limits our designs can guarantee.

About 10 years ago, a guy thought gay marriage would be a good idea and we were making happen.

The most honest thing I can say to that, at this point; I don't know.

Lem said...

I guess I got a little carried away with the topic... but maybe you could tell I've stewing? the subject and I don't get a chance to let the steam off the pressure cooker ...

You see what I mean?

We are still negotiating over words and we want to act like we are free.

rcommal said...

Lem: The thing you've never disclosed is whether you are actually involved and invested in either work or raising a family, or in both, not to mention in extended family as an adjunct to taking of your immediate, nuclear one. Where are you now? (You don't have to disclose details in order to state your stand and stake, all the way around.) State your stake, declare your investment, and then carry merrily along. Why not do so, specifically?

Lem said...

We can remake marriage but we can't save Iraq or whatever...

We can remake marriage but we can't _ fill in the blank.

Lem said...

Why not do so, specifically?

easy..

That standard would invalidate my precious opinion.

That's against the rules of pageantry... not to mention my precious privacy.

Nobody is paying me to stand naked ;)

rcommal said...

We are still negotiating over words and we want to act like we are free.

Oh, bullshit, as you present and state it. It's clear that you are not free, and that what you mostly have to offer is lame words in the form of projection. On that sandy castle-building just before high tide, you have planted your clay feet.

---

No counting on you, full stop.

bagoh20 said...

We take standing at all for granted. 60 seconds ago my house just took a nice jolt from an earthquake. I'm currently in the middle of removing the walls from the middle of my house and creating an open floor plan. I'm not completely ready for the freaking ground to shake it right now. Goddamned Bush!

Lem said...

Take privacy for instance...

The concept of privacy is the do diligence work I was refereeing to before, as the price we pay to accommodate each other better.

Privacy... the elaborate scheme by which we prevent each other from discriminating each other too much.

What does gay marriage do to that work?

Lem said...

Once something like sexual orientation is "private" can it be un-privatised?

I realize these are probably dumb questions but... if I'm asked to testify I want to do better than the prosecution star witness.

Lem said...

What?

There was an earthquake where Bags lives?

Dude, get out of the house.

bagoh20 said...

OMG! The shaking is coming from inside the house!

Lem said...

It's clear that you are not free, and that what you mostly have to offer is lame words in the form of projection.

I don't know how much more clear than "I don't know" I can be.

I'm just feeling my way around in the dark.

Lem said...

The shaking is coming from inside the house!

That better be a meta shaking.

El Pollo Raylan said...

rcommal wrote: On that sandy castle-building just before high tide, you have planted your clay feet.

Ok, that was brilliant.

El Pollo Raylan said...

bagoh20 said...
OMG! The shaking is coming from inside the house!

An Althouse divided against itself cannot stand.

rcommal said...

boom boom

Lem said...

An Althouse divided against itself cannot stand.

Word has it that a lot the houses damaged by Sandy were second homes of the not too badly off.

Sorry I'm so slow responding, I'm spending time looking up how to say what I want to say.

Sometimes I goggle entire phrases.

wholelottasplainin' said...

OpenID betamax3000 said...

I Did Not Realize that a 'Macchiato' was Code For Anal Sex. How I Regret That Day. Communally.
****

Until recently, I did not realize that the Hall & Oates ditty, "I Can't Go for That", was originally titled, "The Anal Sex Song."

Silly me.

Lem said...

You probably think that's a cop out. its a cop out that I can only remedy by doing what I'm doing right now... which is great even as limited as it is.

Lem said...

And with that I bid you all good night.

Mark said...

I used to live downstairs from a Ph.D. student in the ninth year of his research and his wife. They often talked of living a life of obligate simplicity.

Lem said...

Ok. One song.

Couldn't Get it Right

rcommal said...

Lem said: You probably think that's a cop out. its a cop out that I can only remedy by doing what I'm doing right now... which is great even as limited as it is.

My problem with you, Lem, over several years, is that you consistently have been not just saying but also have been advocating for the position that whatever I, or the likes of me, have to say is a cop-out and is without use.

I'm willing to agree with your notion of remedy for yourself, so long as you're willing to apply that notion to me and my family.

Palladian said...

I realize this isn't a café thread, but why not?

As I've mentioned before, I lost my home at the end of February. I had three days to move over a decade of stuff, including my studio and workshop supplies, into a storage unit.

Since my summer classes didn't run this year, I'm jobless for the next two months. I'm desperately trying to keep from losing everything, which I will if I can't pay my storage bill, so to make ends meet I'm selling a few things. If anyone happens to be interested in a beautiful 1778 copy of Hannah Glasse's "The Art Of Cookery", which is a landmark English cookbook, I've put it up for auction on eBay.

I'm also available to produce commissioned drawings and watercolors, please contact me here (Make sure you take a look at some of my work to make sure you like what I do before you request anything, but I'm fairly versatile and willing to accept almost any challenge. I can't currently produce prints of my older work as my equipment is in storage, but I can always produce new works.

Sorry to pimp my wares and services, but a man's got to do what a man's got to do...

Tyrion Stark said...

Philip Slater is a quite amazing writer. I admire him for not being dependent on materials things and not basing his happiness on them. I do wish more sociologists would follow in his footsteps.

- T.S., tampa corporate law

rcommal said...

Lem: That Climax Blues Band link was nonsense (much like the band itself).

For the record, I noticed that you still won't state what stake you have in supporting various parts of family and what you have and are putting into that. Does that mean that, rather than being a supporter, you are a supported?

If so, I repeat:

How dare you not just cast doubt on me and mine, but actually shit on me and mine?

---

By the way, I'm well and damned pissed at so many here at Althouse. What fakers. What poseurs. What ripe examples there
are here of individual people who deserve be described as a "pisseur de copie."

rcommal said...

Palladian:

My impression has been that your stuff is being held hostage until you can pay off the storage bill. That could be wrong. If that's true, exactly what is needed to pay it off and set you free from that problem and worry? I'm not in a position to offer to pay it off, but if you give a better picture of what's required, perhaps there are people here and out there who could help bit by bit.

Also, we are also just two hours away, and we have **quite a lot of storage space** in our home which we would be willing to offer to you for free for a year or so, if that would be of help.

rcommal said...

I hope that I am not overstepping here, in my saying this publicly, but Amba stopped by here in December, and I'm pretty sure she would vouch for our sincerity, Palladian.

Palladian said...

rcommal, thank you for the offer of storage space, it means a lot to me. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that my stuff is several hundred miles away from where I'm currently staying, so I'm just trying to maintain it in storage until the summer ends and I go back to the city to resume teaching and to hopefully find a new semi-permanent apartment that I can afford.

The storage, because I didn't have time to shop around (as I said, I was given three days to remove my stuff before I was evicted), is expensive (400 a month) which is a lot of money when you've already been drained of savings and are temporarily unemployed. Hence the auctions and the offer of commissioned artwork.

It's so easy to fall down and so very hard to get back up again.

Oso Negro said...

Re: Ann's original post, sociology would be a lot more interesting if it were politically neutral. It has been resoundingly leftist in my lifetime. In fact, it would be interesting if anyone on this board actually knows a Republican sociologist.

rcommal said...

Also--LOL! (I'm assuming is the proper attitude)--my decidedly not-freewheeling upbringing day to day in terms of responsibilities and chores and obligations and expectations did still allow, in my free time, for quite a freewheeling in terms of reading all kinds of things. That meant not just being allowed to read freely but also being freely allowed and encouraged to read whatever books I could lay my hands on, including not just from the library, but also those that my parents, and their friends and colleagues, were reading at the time. Ripe for the picking up, would be a way to describe it.

Thus...

Slater's not a new name, nor notion, to me.



Nichevo said...

Bro, um, good luck with that I guess.

Palladian, I will look at the Glasse auction. Is it readable, i.e., the pages supple enough to be used weekly if not daily, or will it flake on me? I would speak more words of support and conceivably help to you but perhaps best in private.

Rcommal, before I wearily attack you for your manner, what is your matter? What do you want?

Palladian said...

Nichevo, the paper in my copy of Glasse's book, like most pre-19th century paper, is perfectly flexible, however, I would not recommend using any book of such advanced age and rarity as a working, regular-use reference book.

creeley23 said...

Top academic institutions
are wonderful, but there are unrecognized benefits to not coming out of one. Grads from top schools are funneled into high-income 80-hour-per-week jobs, and 15-30 years of soul-crushing work has been accepted as the default path. How do I know? I've been there and seen the destruction. This book reverses it.


--Tim Ferris, "The 4-Hour Work Week"

LarsPorsena said...

Michael said...

Palladian. Outstanding Feynman piece. Very grateful to you for the link.

6/30/13, 6:54 PM
________________________________________

Me too.

Robert Cook said...

"...sociology would be a lot more interesting if it were politically neutral. It has been resoundingly leftist in my lifetime. In fact, it would be interesting if anyone on this board actually knows a Republican sociologist."

I have no idea whether your assertion is true, and part of the trouble is that you do not define what you mean by "leftist." However, accepting your assertion for argument's sake, does this ever make you wonder at the phenomenon...to say, "why is that?"

Is it that those of "conservative" frame of mind are not drawn to such fripperies as "sociology," (given their valorizing of the "stalwart individual," and abjuration of "society")? Or could it be that sociologists' study of societies across time and geography leads them to develop attitudes that you perceive or define as "leftist," (i.e., observation and acquisition of knowledge leads to inevitable conclusions)?

dbp said...

"But he worried that democracy in his own country was declining, and that a combination of self-absorption and distrust of their government made Americans vulnerable to the appeal of authoritarianism."

This strikes me as counter intuitive: If I distrust government (and I do) I would want to grant them less power, not more. Further, if I am self absorbed, then don't I want to do my own thing and not be forced by government into doing what "the man" says I ought to be doing?

Rusty said...

It may be necessary, comrade Bob, in order to study the extra terrestrials among us.

Aridog said...

kentuckyliz said...

Aridog, didn't costs line up with being able to work your way through school?

Not sure what you mean, but yes, working full time in skilled trades I was able to pay all of my own costs. I had to...as I said there was not financial aid available in my case.

Hagar said...

@Aridog, ... There was an Army recruiting office. Request draft, do your time, and get the G.I. Bill.

Heh heh. It was 1963-1968. "Do your time - Get the GI Bill" could also be "come home in a box" just like Country Joe's Fish Cheer. I preferred to graduate before enlisting....which I did do in 1968. I had promised my draft board I would enlist for 3 instead of be drafted for 2 if they let me finish in June of 1968. They did and I kept my word. 1968 was a really foolish year to have done that in some people's eyes.

PS: I had a police record so I was ineligible for direct enlistment for OCS, or anything else, including the draft. It took the Army 60 days to determine I qualified for a "moral waiver" to enlist or be drafted at all. I enlisted in August 1968, and subsequently became an NCO.

Tom said...

If everyone is community and world orientated and most of our community and world issues are bigger than one individual can solve, all this will do is frustrate millennials. If each person takes care of themselves amd their family in a an honest manner and market is allowed to reward this, guess what, the world and community problems just kinda work themselves out. But it takes trusting people and I'm not sure socialism is based on high trust.

annk said...

Millenials are Organization Men, bred for the grey flannel suit, in an age where there are no more organizations and no more grey flannel suits.
Balfegor, you are absolutely right! I'm going to have to use this on my campus.

annk said...

Millenials are Organization Men, bred for the grey flannel suit, in an age where there are no more organizations and no more grey flannel suits.
Balfegor, you are absolutely right! I'm going to have to use this on my campus.

John Smith said...

I think the problem is that the word "Individualism" and "Atomization" are used interchangeably.

Individualism for the people who use it in a positive context does not refer to an undesired lack of connectedness with others, or some other form of loneliness.

It typically connotates, 1. independence 2. the exercise of personal judgement [in contrast with group-think]

Self styled individualists wanted a citizenry that was more independently minded and less suseptible to mass propaganda or the hijacking of collective identity for selfish political interests.

They did not imagine nor did they desire to break down all forms of social bonds between people.

rcommal said...

LMAO (as well as my nips)!

; >