Monday, April 23, 2007

Unspoken assumptions

I like this article by Perry de Havilland because it makes two important points: the presence of a meta-context buried within an argument, and the unspoken assumptions that sustain that metcontext. In this case, the meta-context is that the gap between rich and poor is bad and that wealth is something that should be divided by government controls, rather than something that individuals create.

The article is a succinct and accurate precis: amongst the comments it garnered was this gem:
  • For decades, the assertions and assumptions of collectivist theories regarding economics, social organization, politics, and culture have been drummed into the minds of students from early childhood to post-graduate doctoral candidates.Any deviation from those tenets, any question, any attempt to argue for an alternative viewpoint was, and is, dealt with ruthlessly, especially in the higher academic setting. Biting sarcasm, and scornful dismissal by instructors and peers, soon make it very clear to those foolish enough to put forward any but the "approved" case that this course is fraught with peril. "Diversity", in any intellectual sense, is unwelcome, and repressed by means both subtle and blatant.

All ecomyths have inherent meta-context that sustains them. Understanding comes from addressing the assumptions that sustain both the defining narrative and the dogma used to promote the ecomyth. The links from this site all feature regular articles that assist in this endeavour.

Persist. It is often an individual exercise because, as the post above clarifies, independent thought within higher education does not really mean independent of the prevailing metacontext and its sustaining assumptions. By default, that also means outside of the mainstream media and refereed journals: both of which are captive framers of that same metacontext.

So blogs and blogging, the home of independent thought, independent minds and alternative ideas. What constructs inform your world? What ideas assist you in defining the highest image of yourself? What principles serve as your compass?

Remember, all change stems from the individual and from the willingness of individuals to be leaders.