Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out.
What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than
yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply
persists in his lunacy?
A novelist should not be too intelligent either, although... he may
be permitted to be an intellectual.
The Case for LegalizationEGR's editorial stance on the legalization of recreational intelligence should come as no surprise to longtime readers of this publication. Newcomers, however, may be shocked or dismayed by this explicit position statement, and it is therefore to them for the most part that the following commentary is addressed. It is only after lengthy and, at moments, agonizing internal debate that we have finally arrived at these judgments, the first of which is that we have remained silent on the issue for too long.
In America and many other parts of the so-called Free World today, intelligence users risk a life of criminal detention in already over-crowded institutions where their sanity will be threatened on a daily basis by known fools, recidivist cretins and other sorts of dangerously feeble-minded managers. Intellectual buggery is a real and frightening prospect for such hapless victims of our draconian legal system -- victims whose only offense has been to think for themselves. We are forced to ask: is this altogether fair?
The argument is often put forward that intelligence abuse can lead to "harder" forms of thought, such as philosophy, literary criticism and cultural studies. But let us examine whether there is any real basis for this charge. The constitution of the current readership, for instance, provides at least circumstantial evidence that not everyone who thinks necessarily thinks deeply. While EGR admittedly attracts those already inclined to fleeting speculation, most subscribers would as soon read the labels on canned food. Perhaps widespread social practice provides a more definitive metric.
Among actors and artists, intelligence use is often perceived to be fashionable, and several noted Hollywood personalities have even gone on record for legalization, among them Keanu Reeves and Julia Roberts. However, one has to inquire whether such cases represent anything more than grandstanding, as it begs credibility to imagine either of these individuals in rapt contemplation. More convincing to our mind is the fact that no less a personage than the President of the United States once admitted to having had a thought during his student days at Oxford. His later disavowal that he reached any conclusion from the experience left very few voters convinced.
Turning to more empirical research, medical studies have shown that light reading can be an effective palliative in the treatment of glaucoma and can even, if carefully administered, be used to reduce the severe pain that is often associated with certain types of terminal stupidity. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that such therapy has led to thinking per se, and even less to imply that true intelligence was ever the result.
But whether or not cognition can be proven to be harmless, we believe that questions about its control ultimately reduce to moral issues. Should consenting adults having ideas in the privacy of their own homes be subject to the state's rigid notions of what constitutes "normal" behavior? All governments are averse to thought for obvious reasons: the erosion of confidence it often leads to, the irritating questions, the suggestions of impropriety, and so on. And yet, isn't it possible that our leaders might actually be served by occasional reflection? While this may be too radical a notion for many to accept, we believe such a possibility merits at least further data collection.
Beyond moral considerations, there is the fiscal toll. The overall costs related to the apprehension and internment of illicit cogitators have become so steep that they threaten to destabilize national currencies and world financial markets. Perhaps nowhere has the problem become so critical as in the United States. Of all the countries in the world, the U.S. has confined the largest proportion of its population to corporate cubicles -- many for victimless thought crimes. Thus impounded, these individuals no longer contribute to private-sector productivity, but represent a huge drain on the nation's public resources. Monies expended on Dilbert calendars alone have now surpassed the entire gross national product of some East Asian economies.
Where will it all end? Whether, as some have argued, it is a natural human tendency to think, or yet another aberration exacerbated by the Internet, something must break the endless cycle of infringement and incarceration that is crippling both countries and corporations and weakening their ability to remain Number One. Applying a little thought, in fact, might help to provide a solution, as it is probably not even possible for all of them to be Number One at once.
For all these reasons, Entropy Gradient Reversals is proud to add its voice to the call for the decriminalization of all mental processes, and further, for the immediate release of those many millions currently being held against their will behind earth-tone-fabric-covered office partitions -- those whose only transgression has been to say: "Hey... I've got an idea!"
DisclaimerNothing to disclaim at this time.
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Entropy Gradient Reversals CopyLeft Christopher Locke firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.rageboy.com
"reality leaves a lot to the imagination..." John Lennon
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