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The NOYB (i.e.: None Of Your Business)

One possible rendering of François Rabelais' Abbey of Theleme, where the rule is: Do what you will.

The NOYB would be a very different kind of educational institution. It would combine the best and leave out the rest of Rabelais' Abbey of Theleme, Boccaccio's Decameron, Uraniborg, Aristotle's Lyceum, a "gay" bathhouse, The Bauhaus, the libary in the film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, The hotel in Last Year at Marienbad, you name it we want it so long as it provides epidemiologically safe delights which enrich embidied souls. No belief in any ideology allowed, only universal critical examination of everything. Everybody takes to heart and practices Niels Bohr's advice to his tstudents:

Take every statement I make as a question not as an assertion

No males who want to engage in body contact sports or "locker room" sick sexist talk, no females who want to play "hard to get" or "look don't touch", nobody who wants to boss anybody else around. No person who can take offense at any symbolic expression whatsoever, because each understands the difference between words and things/acts. No crowding, including symphony orchestras and no audiences of any kind. No chemical deodorants. Children tolerated in moderation, but the procreational limit would be one child per person and if the child dies you don't get to have a reeplacement. Everybody is expected to create (in the arts and scineces) like only human beings can on this earth, not to procreate like any plant or animal can. An institution for the living, neither for the dead nor for the unborn. Morals are forbidden, chastity is considered a mental illness, and promiscuity (not just sexual, but also disrespectful behaviors like sharing your germs with others by publicly coughing without wearing an N-95 respirator) is also unacceptable. Dress code is anything that would not arouse sexual interest in any person could not get it. Etcetera and so forth.

First question: How to pay for the place? I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) don't have a complete answer, but I advocate anarcho-syndicalism: worker self government. Two foundational principles:

(1) Waste not want not.

(2) It you don't mess it up, nobody has to clean it up.

Everybody has to work but no one shall be made to waste their life in labor that does not contribute to their continual growth in cultural self-formation and joy of life (obviously it is not possible to control the vicissitudes of fate, from oncogenes to rogue asteroids).

One very small part of the solution are craftspersons who are such obsessed geniuses that they produce masterpieces that are "priceless" and want with their time to do only their craft, so the watchmaker George Daniels would be welcome. But there are not many such individuals. I think the more general solution comes in two directions: Persons mastering crafts to produce works that are indeed priceless in the sanse that the quality is so high that there can be no consideration of cost competition. There are numerous persons who make this grade; I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) personally know some of them. The other direction is to reconstellate what remains of necessary labor, after rigorously applying principles #1 and #2, above, to be humanly meaningful. Let's consider the bottom of the barrel: Who has the more meaningful job: (A) a second-line manager in a multi-national tech company producing shoot-em-up computer games or, even worse, time-and-motion monitoring software to micro-manage medical professionals, or a valet / housekeeper (aka: maid) for a world-class cardiac surgeon? The cardiac surgeon's servant is helping save people's lives. In the middle ground, we have psychotherapists who can genuinely help (not f*ck with the souls of and normalize) gifted but troubled individuals, master production craftspersons (potters, jewelry makers, et al.), tool and die makers, teachers (tutors), and others. The "trick" would be to cut all the nonsense out of education: teachers not using students for cheap labor but rather having as their single minded goal to make novices into new masters as expeditiously as possible, starting with treatng the learners as peers who just happen to have not yet attained as much in specific skill areas (treat the kid as if he, she or othre was your father or CEO), not treat the learner as a lower life form that needs to "pay their dues".

Some persons genuinely like to do gardening. Limit the population to the number of persons who can be fed with hand gardening. Nobody needs foie gras or Doritos. If Belgian monks make perhaps the world's best beer, so too can persons here. Ditto whisky. Make it such high quality that people will pay any price for it. There is, of course, another lesson here: There is more taste in a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream than in a gallon of Sealtest. A little quality goes a long way, but no amount of dreck can satisfy an educated palate. Part of education in NOYB is the diametrical contradiction of the prig bourgeois Sigmund Freud's ideation that satisfaction of an instinct untamed by civilization is greater than -- than what? His petty brain? Or a connoisseur? Does a boar/bore have better sex than a tantra master, oink, Siggy? Sigmund Freud not welcome at NOYB! Sandor Ferenczi, yes. Toilets? Hire Mies van der Rohe to design the bathrooms.

NOYB would not be a technical school. It would not train, or, as the case may be, educate physicians, pyhsicists or structural engineers. Buildings do not stand up nor cancer tumors get excised successfully because the engineer or surgeon had a humanistic education and liked Louis Kahn or Hippocrates. For how education would go at NOYB, please now read Louis Forsdale's story of the softball game that turned hardball.

There would be no courses, not tests, no grades, no differentiation between faculty and students. Each person would be a Fellow, again, the most mature fellow would treat the rawest novice as if the latter was God wishing to learn a new skil ("How can I help you Sir?"). It would be extremely interesting to learn the details of Philip Johnson's time as an architecture student at Harvard, since he entered the program as a world recognized art and architecture critic, not as a tread-on-me school kid. How did members of the Harvard architecture faculty treat Philip Johnson? OK. That would be something learners at NOYB might want to study.

Another possibility: Tycho Brahe's research center, Urainborg.

Neither would there be bullshit auditorium cattle round ups. Ther would be no auditorium (there would be no lecture halls, either). Personal computers completely obviate the need for large numbers of persons to aggregate physically like herd animals. The only herd animals at NOYB would hav e4 paws, not be haredim or professional sport stadium fans or other instances of deindividuated hominids. Friends would share meals. For some specific architectural ideas, see here. Also, the following is a great apartment design I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) came up with in 1983. (Eliminating the terrace in the sleeping area would provide a large study space.)

So a few friends would get together spontaneously and self-organize dto study a particular book or film of reflect on some philosophical issue, or whatever was meaningful to all of each of them that each felt he (she other) might learn from conversing with the others. Good wine, good conversation, good learning.  
 
 
 

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BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)Invenit et fecit


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2022-05-14 11:54:06