Then I read Don Easterbrook's rebuttal to the reaction he'd received to a previous post pointing out the correlation between PDO cycles and temperature cycles and Tim Ball's post on climate as a political dichotomy and not one of science. And I despaired. What they write is so transparently obvious to anyone with an open mind on the topic but, apparently, open minds are in short supply despite the age of enlightenment and the extant technology to bring that enlightenment to all.
Between my empathy and my despair, was I enveloped with a profound sense of ennui with the continued intransigence of political authority and the academy to neither see nor accept what people like Easterbrook and Ball so eloquently and clearly expose? Or was I overcome with a deepening resignation born from personal empathy with their situation?
My own blogging has become sporadic. I have spent a career trying to change the system from within and it appears that far from taking either Manhattan or Berlin, I have failed to hold even my own home court in the form of my own academic institution. Ennui or resignation? Am I simply tired of the stupidity of others? Or am I conceding the field and ceasing to engage in an artificial war of words in which there can be no resolution as the other side simply refuses to accept any evidence as factual that does not accord with their narrative? When academics blithely and routinely ignore empirical data as irrelevant, the medium has not just become the message, it has become the sole narrative of Big Brother University as funded by Big Brother Government in the cause of Big Brother Media.
Is it ennui or resignation to reject a worldview as promulgated by mass media social theorists? Moreover, when did social theorist cease being an oxymoron?
In a conscious act of personal salvation and sanity, I have moved my teaching into a large course on tourism and an interactive senior seminar on change. Professionally, I can survive, still exercise and extend my creative juices in the ongoing delivery and improvement of my pedagogy, and draw considerable satisfaction from the response of those students who value what I offer them: the opportunity to think, reflect and create.
I still believe in the power of education, but I am less confident that there is sufficient interest in using both the extant and future technology to enlighten, to educate and to empower. Instead, I have a deep sense of ennui with the axiomatic dogma peddled by self-interested stasists and a sense of resignation that the forces of conformity will persist in suppressing ideas in the ongoing oppression of true freedom.
But hope is a funny thing...it persists despite all rationality and tiredness.