“When the main reason why people do x is so that someone else can evaluate their ability to do x, it seems to me that something has gone wrong.”
Seems to me that part of the problem with philosophy (and those who make it, especially for a living) is that no one, except perhaps a few practical crackpots and conspiracy theorists, seems to acknowledge or admit there is connection between this basic flaw in how philosophies are presented and evaluated and the way that flaw presents itself across a spectrum of other life activities – in the evaluation of experts by non-experts, in the insistence that celebrity makes for better theories, etc.
On Philosophy’s Uselessness to Society
Are they still weapons, these mere words
we use to crystallize what thoughts
may form at random in our heads
or like to squeeze out for some end,
a worthy cause we would advance,
a blessing, curse or snare of love,
some cleverness sure to impress
or at least baffle for a time?
How everyone is armed these days!
It takes so little effort now
to build an arsenal behind
a screen of anonymity.
There are more poets, it would seem,
than there are fishes in the sea,
more than the stars out there in space,
more now than ever were before,
and each would wield a sacred sword
to cut away the rotted flesh
and free the suffocating soul
so it may somehow serve the world;
and everyone assumes their blade
will make the most important cut,
remove the cancer, scour the wound
and make the body pure again.
There is no end to such deceit:
that words alone can change the world,
that careless phrases in the void
transform some evil into good
by virtue of their worth alone,
or by some miracle subdue
the brute force that enslaves the world
and makes it blind and deaf;
while everyone pretends they hear,
that they are the sole conduit
by which the universe declares
itself, and by that act, survives.
They may be weapons, but what use
are words in such unthinking hands
that would destroy to somehow build
a world that values their intent.
Just how will some mere phrases turn
the tide of angry sentiment
that grows against the use of thought
and would devour diversity,
while everyone, in pantomime,
acts out some peaceful, loving role
without believing it themselves?
What good can such words do?
30 APR 2013