The most important occurrence within the crowd is the discharge. Before this the crowd does not actually exist; it is the discharge which creates it. This is the moment when all who belong to the crowd get rid of their differences and feel equal.
Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power
The Dissolution Of The Sting
The sting forms during the carrying out of the command. It detaches itself from the command and, as an exact image of this, imprints itself on the performer. It is small, hidden and unrecognized; its most essential characteristic, as we have already seen, is immutability. It remains isolated within the person concerned, a foreign body lodged in his flesh. However deep it may lie hidden, however incapsulated, it always remains a burden.
It is very difficult to get rid of the sting. It must in fact dislodge itself and can only do so if and when it reacquires force equal to that with which it originally penetrated. For this to happen there must be an exact repetition of the original command-situation, but in reverse. This is what the stung waits for through months, year and decades. It is as though each sting had a memory of its own, but of one thing only: the situation in which it was implanted. When this situation recurs, the sting cannot fail to recognize it, for this is its sole content, the only thing it can recognize. Suddenly everything is as it was before; only the roles of the actors are reversed. When this moment comes, the sting seizes its opportunity and hastens to fall on its victims. The reversal has at last taken place. ”
Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power
This brilliant essay brought the point home to me today that we are very much at war now, the mockers and the mocked, the bullies or the “skeptic” or “debunker” movements vs the long suffering carriers of the Science Wild And Free torch. The former have the bully pulpits, the editorships, the positions, the authority, and appear to be envious of the latter, who have the love of the truly curious, or, you might say, the audience.
The battlefield is the elitist oligarch’s playground and institutional conformity church known as the TED talks, which have for many years been enforcing narrow notions of Right Thinking on the rich and impressionable, for an audience (that’s right, audience) fee of $8,000 per person. (Which at a typical TED conference amounts to $16 million, yet they pay participants nothing, make them work 16 hour days for one week, and share hotel bunks, bound by strict cult like rules participants rarely dare protest against.)
Now TED has made a very bad mistake, gone too far, as the arrogant always do.
This has caused a revolutionary fervor to seize the comments section at the marginalized Bad Children’s corner they have assigned the Sheldrake and Hancock video clips to on their site, as TED founder Chris Anderson tries to excuse himself to a distant destination where he can’t respond to Hancock’s clear questions, while holding up a Wikipedia page as an attempted shield.
What is being fought here? Who are the opponents? What do they stand for?
I’ve been immersed in this war for a long time–it spans so many fields of science, from AIDS to Vaccines to Global Warming to Nutrition, Health, to Paranormal studies, parapsychology, Quantum Physics and beyond. The bullies, calling themselves “skeptics,” have had one singular weapon which has been impossible to counter, as it is designed not to be answerable, namely pure relentless mockery. Reputation destruction. Wikipedia bullying. Charges of “pseudo-science,” and “woo,” to anything at all that doesn’t conform exactly to a fiercely reductionist, materialist, market driven and frankly misogynist approach to “Science.” Anything that slows booming global bio-tech and pharmacological progressivism is “denialism” and “woo,” and any scientist who steps out of line, no matter how esteemed, how decorated or respected, is thrown into the garbage compactor.
Debate is the very thing that was removed, from the outset, to be replaced by crude censorship, proud of itself, always claiming its unquestioned right to protect the public from “bad” science, “wrong” science, “debunked” science and “irresponsible” science. The bullies found successful tactics and used them without shame: Primarily, the Denunciation: Denounce the aberrant scientist from behind closed doors, and delete, expunge, remove, their article, website, good name, presentation, job, or TED talk, under the guise of protecting their audience from erroneous and bad science. The soul of science–innocence and inquiry–were overtaken by contemptuous persecution, abuse, the all-permating Maoist sense that nobody was safe.
Rupert Sheldrake was always one of the names that could trigger the outbreak of war, as his science revolved around that which requires minds to imagine the possibility that there are worlds of meaning, occult you might call them (occult means unseen,) that transcend the known laws of physics. Telepathy, for example.
The bullies despise anything they can’t control. They are quick to label anything mysterious “crazy,” and as such, they are reminiscent of the 15th century Dutch clergymen who lived in perpetual fear of women as witches. Undiagnosed misogyny ripples through the whole drama; Real men don’t believe in woo. Real men crush woo. Real men serve industry, reason, capitalism, markets, and “real science.”
You know them by their uniformly mocking tones, always the same deadly consistency, never letting up, never allowing neutral tones in, which might suggest that the accused, bullied and mocked are human and reasonable. No, they must be demonized, abjected, and punished like children. And the public must be protected.
Their condescension is also their downfall.
Their time has come and gone–they are obsolete as the dodo. No interesting or serious minds think like they do–only businessmen and corporate shills–seeking to rape and possess the soul of “science,” which is a spirit that has never visited them, and never will. They will never invent, never find, never discover–their only roles in the big drama are mockery and disdain, and as we know, this is the sign of weak minds, disintegrating, from the subconscious knowledge that they are being overpowered and stripped of their self-claimed authority, as I write.
Their bullying will intensify. They are hoping to imprint their names on eternity.
“Why did people fling mud at them all?” Yevtushenko wrote in a 1957 poem called “A Career.”
“Talent speaks for itself, whatever the charges.
We’ve forgotten the men who abused them,
Remember only the victims of slander.”
No matter what, TED is a ruined brand name, exposed and shabby. Obsolete in the electrifying times ahead.