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There are indeed multiple hierarchy threads in the academy. I had to realize that I was playing a low status chump all time - not displaying competitiveness, initiative, leadership unasked; lazy to build networks; being rudely polite without asking or giving respect. Particularly the administrative layer has been growing and pushing down scientific activity to lower status - probably worldwide.

What we would need is an educational programme devoted to the idea of softening the edges.
Softening edges in the sense of restraining the instincts in each lifetime, or in an evolutionary sense? In the later case, some selection rather than education would be needed. That does not has to look ugly - just think of building some anti-idiocracy. But instead of a society-wide project, you would rather start by nourishing a network, a layer (or even some sect) of people you would like to be selected. And watch out for the trends, events that would select against your preferences!

Just educating for softening edges would meet silent (or submerged) resistance: We don't need no education.... The real game would be playing with human subpersonalities - foremost, teaching people to reason without hierarchy concerns, disregarding intimidation. The post-WWII decades had a little success here.

The edges are actually useful sometimes, and you cannot take them away from people. In particular, the modest intellectual types would benefit from some instinct education - leading to a better competition to simplistic hierarchy machos. Such initiatives may even meet well organized resistance.

by das monde on Thu Jun 19th, 2014 at 06:30:33 AM EST
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