Thursday, December 23, 2010

FLEX, Life, & TIME

Whew. I've not given quick versions of my stories about FLEX & IBM, FLEX & Ma Bell. At least some of what I told at / is again somewhere. Here's a three syllable forecast of the most important of such stories:

1971, 1972: TIME-Life hired a guy. The guy saw FLEX's cable show, listing FLEX community learning resources 24/7. TIME told their new guy: find that guy: "that guy" meaning me: find the guy who was implementing Illichian learning webs in real time, real space, in a real city: New York City. The guy found me: it was no trouble. All that data was on the cable show! (How stupid did TIME have to be not to have seen it themselves?)

The guy interviewed me, got all excited. That got me all excited: it was about time that somebody recognized the revolution we were living. Newsweek had considered of giving FLEX seed money, as had IBM. But they didn't; not one penny. By this time NYSCA was stealing my (and Illich's) ideas. NYS was cringing from FLEX by founding pale imitations, run by the kleptocrats: schools without walls, school credit for life experience ... Cheez.

TIME's guy brings me in: to Madison Ave.: to introduce me to his bosses. He does. The bosses interview me: and shunted me out the back door: no trumpet blasts: not even the sound of a flushing toilet.

Now TIME puts the founder of on its cover! Forty years after betraying the human species, entrenching kleptocracy, protecting the owners from information revolution. There isn't any part of FaceBook that doesn't devolve from Illich's Deschooling Society and from my Free Learning Exchange. Ditto Google, Yahoo, ... It's all plagiarism! Kleptocratic-kleptocracy encore.

I see it as simple. TIME wanted the information revolution. It wanted to control it. To ride it. To master it. I wanted to ride it, lead it, goad it, in a sense to master it; but not to control it. I didn't want TIME controlling the information any more than I wanted the school board controlling attendance, curriculum, costs ...

Help! Ma Bell

The first company I solicited to help FLEX was the phone company. Realize: in 1970 Ma Bell was a monopoly. But I addressed the phone company in the person of an elder in my childhood church, Mr. Kraus, the father of two of my public school classmates. Had I a budget, a paid secretary, stationary to spare, I would have made copies of all my proposals. But no: in 1970 I was proposing digital data keeping for the world, but still had none myself. I typed a letter on erasable typing paper: and mailed it. Take my word for the accuracy of what I report: or wait till Judgment: I've trusted all along that God will have copies: of everything (and that God can prove that they're uncorrupted.) (Such a cosmology may be naive, but I'm referring to pk (and US) in 1970!)

My letter asked Ma Bell for seed money. My appeal to IBM was far more detailed. My phone company letter was my first draft of my first such appeal. I explained that the point was to implement Ivan Illich's design for a cybernetic learning web. I pointed out that the phone company would be instrumental in the operation of such a learning network: as would be the post office, local real estate ... People were phoning in their information; we were phoning out information.

My letter suggested that the phone company could cooperate with me in designing a way to use the phone company's infrastructure to bill FLEX uses. I even proposed something analogous to a area code for such billing. In other words, I was proposing that the phone company co-invent with me 900 numbers! Call FLEX, agree to pay, and $3 gets added to your bill, Ma Bell depositing all the $3s to a FLEX bank account. My royalty from the phone company alone could have financed everything!

Mr. Kraus never answered my letter. Mr. Kraus never told me whether or not he forwarded my request to the powers. For all I know Mr. Kraus, sunday school teacher in our church, could have destroyed the letter, and proposed 900 numbers to the Ma Bell Powers himself!

I've lots of details from yet to add to my Help! IBM post and many more never yet told anywhere. But I'm afraid there aren't many untold stories about my phone company letter of 1970. I never heard form Mr. Kraus or from anyone else in the phone company. You can speculate as freely as I can: depending on your interest, on your IQ, your power of imagination ...

Help! IBM

I founded FLEX, the Free Learning Exchange, in New York City in 1970. By 1971 I was asked major companies for help: the phone company, IBM. The details are marvelous in themselves and I'll sprinkle some below, but first, buff outline.

I asked IMB for $100,000 seed money. The point was to extablish cybernetic, digital, community data bases.
This is a good idea.
I don't see IBM having much to do with good ideas.
IBM, Director of University Relations, 1971

A digital data base could serve a community cheaply; public schools taxed, enslaved. A voluntary (non-coercive) data base was all a society realy needed. The public could use cybernetics to pry the monkey Fraud off its back.
Government is force.
George Washington

I got a response from IBM's Director of University Relations. I showed up for my appointment. The two of us sat at a conference table big enough to land a plane on. He asked me how I'd come up with the figure of $100K. I confessed that I didn't know what I was doing: I'd be happy with $10,000. $1,000 would be better than nothing. The point was to try to save the public the $50B the US was spending to enslave and defraud, leaving Johnny still unable to read. With FLEX Johnny could learn to read for much less (or remain illiterate) for much less (either way). I needed to live, to rent a space, to install phones, to pay the secretary (already long-working as a volunteer), to buy materials, to buy publicity ... the rent space on mainframes, to learn to write relational data base software ...

The Director said that he thought that a realistic budget for what I intended would be something more like $20M a year! just for NYC! I told him I didn't doubt that he was right. But that in my first year (year and a half) I'd need to spend $100K before I could learn how to spend $20M well. If they wanted to give FLEX $20M, I'd take it. I'd certainly welcome anyone's advice, experience, expertise. $20M was nothing compared to what NYC's school budget. The point was to offer something better than the schools, an internet. The point was to become informationally free: for less than it cost us to be educational slaves.

I didn't spell out all of the implications, but hinted in several directions. My 2010 vocabulary is different from 1970, 1971, as is all of our vocabulary: I didn't use the term "internet": what Illich and I were inventing wouldn't come to be called an internet for quite a few more years yet. CERN, the pentagon, Congress, the universities would plagiarize Illich and me for years, for decades, before the term for what Illich and I were proposing would come to be settled on as "internet."

The Director told me that he'd present my proposal to "the Powers." He said I should hear within a few weeks. He warned me not to hold out too much hope, he himself was skeptical. He said, "You see, this is a good idea. I don't see IBM having much to do with good ideas."

Sure enough. IBM's answer was a brief Thanks, but no thanks.

Within months the IBM building had widow displays of cybernetics in classrooms. IBM had chosen to profit by working with Caesar, not with Spartacus, not with Jesus.

This and other such stories had been told at / The fed censored all my domains in 2007, destroying my business in the same fell swoop. Squashed, I still struggle to speak. The society's media still don't cooperate, still oppose. But God knows. And if we're wrong about that too, the Truth will still prevail: but perhaps in a world without Homo sapiens (or the defeated complex biosphere).

Expanding the story is important, the details have been buried. I'll add some as I can after I tell related stories about Ma Bell and TIME-Life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

R Subvert Independence

I'm gathering school purpose modules into 2010 January. I add this one and place it on the 12. I duplicate it here today as a way of pointing to it as new.

Adding to / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DeDe / School Purpose

Humans beings spread over the earth looking for resources: for food, for shelter, for a place with fewer enemies. Humans are born dependent: it's the parents' (and the group's) responsibility to train the kid to find resources on its own: as fast as possible: the parents, the group, never know when the earthquake is going to get them, or the lion, or the cold: maybe the kid will survive, maybe humankind will continue: the kid must learn, learn lots, learn well, learn fast.

Good. I'm all for learning. But are schools good for learning? Do schools teach the kid to find food? fast? well? Or do schools keep the kid from learning what roots are edible? what's under that girl's breechcloth? Don't the schools schedule what's taught and what's learned without having any idea when the earthquake is coming? where the lion is? Don't schools prevent parents and small groups from training their children? Isn't a school the state as kidnapper revealed?

Oh? But who's it for then? Why would parents and small groups let themselves be raped like that? Good question: but the super-groups, the major interest holders, the Fortune 500 ... control the magicians who false deal everybody.

The school doesn't train the child to find food but to conform, to wait till the school bell rings, to wait till the factory whistle sounds, to wait till some bureaucrat tells her what to do, to wait till Pavlov's bell steals his independence.

Friday, December 17, 2010

State Cheats

The state cheats the state: and of course cheats the people: not to mention god, the universe, nature, the biosphere.

My beloved Jan just told me that school students were allowed to use calculators during tests. If they didn't, they wouldn't score well, and if they didn't score well, then the schools would not be entitled to quality funding by the state: so the state was cheating on behalf of the schools, so that the state would be cheated: as the students and population and marketplace, and god have been cheated all along.

But why tell me? I'm the deschooler? I don't believe that the state should have anything to do with education! with schools, with anything. Don't ask me if I believe the schools should forbid or allow calculators; I don't think state-run, state-interfered-with schools should exist. That's why I offered a cheap internet in 1970: as an alternative system for recording resources, one in which nothing was compelled.

Jan, not surprisingly didn't see my point right away. In seeing me not support a state prohibition of calculators, she took me to be soft on learning. Not at all: I just don't see that it's the state's business either way.

I went on to tell Jan that I saw nothing wrong with students using calculators, I use them myself. But if there was no electricity, then I could calculate with pencil and paper: and of course I believe that students should also be able to: but how and when and where they learn it should not be up to the state. Neither should how much it costs.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

General DeDe

Introducing: General DeDe!

This recent October I coined the term "DeDeDe" and offered it as a possible alternative to deschooling. Deschooling was only part of Illich's opposition to compulsory ritual in modern kleptocracies. He wanted us to De-License, and to De-Professionalize and to De-Regulate: all a part of DeSchooling.

Today I offer a related coinage: General DeDe. I, Paul Knatz, long nicknamed pk, occasionally called other names, both good and bad, propose that you may regard all pk deschooling writing as authored by General DeDe.

Picasso's name became a symbol of his powerful art: still, it was his surname, his patronymic surname. Pablo Picasso Ruiz became known as Pablo Picasso, then simply as Picasso! The likewise great Hokusai was not born with that name. He became known, loved, revered, by variations of his birth name, then dubbed himself Hokusai: which abbreviates Japanese slang which suggests "old man, crazy about painting." By golly, it means the same thing Picasso came to mean!

So, August Paul Knatz, Jr. I was born. Paul I was called, then pk. Now I'm the crazy old man, committed to Deschooling: to deregulation, to delicensing, to opposing the over-professionalization and the over-specialization of everything: all related to opposing government regulation of anything!

The first part, General, is itself a complex: largely a complex joke. I'm an Illich disciple but also a Bucky Fuller disciple. Bucky called himself a generalist, taking a stance against over-specialization. I second that proposal (even if I'm far from the hundredth to do so: I one hundred and nintety-fifth it!)

The term also recalls John Sutter to me: the first widely known white man that the expanding United States stole from. American settlers didn't give much of a damn what we took from the natives, we didn't much care how we treated the Irish or the Chinese let along the imported slaves. But we were typically less forthright the way we stole property from those we thought of as white. We stole Sutter's land, killed his livestock, and helped ourselves to his gold, all in violation of treaties with Sutter in which his New Helvetia was recognized as a sovereignty. (Now I don't believe in sovereignty, but neither do I believe in kleptocracy!) Anyway, Sutter promoted himself to Colonel once he discovered a route across the Rockies, first white man to do so, and developed the Sacramento Valley. A bit older he promoted himself to General: General Sutter. The same kleptocracy plagiarized my Free Learning Exchange and its offer of cybernetic digitization of resources both human and material, with peer matching and feedback. Illich's design, which I offered to implement at cost (enough for workers to live on being part of the cost)

Monday, December 06, 2010

HierCon Stories

HierCon is a folder abbreviating concepts as well as words: the verbal references are to NoHier and to conviviality, the former being already a abbreviated reference to my censored domain AgainstHierarchy(.org) (meaning against politically imposed unnatural hierarchies). One idea of Christ is that Jesus taught us, or tried to teach us, how to live better together, better than humans were living in the Roman Empire, a Mediterranean kleptocracy under the Caesars: Augustus Caesar at the time. Jesus disciple Ivan Illich taught the concept of conviviality in that light. I, as a Christ / Illich disciple, try to teach the same: that's why my writing is mostly unpublished, why I'm blackballed by the schools I tried to displace with an offer of cybernetic social data basing, why I was jailed, bankrupted, censored.

The deposed, a domino victim of federal censorship, gathered personal pk stories illustrating the non-convivial nature of our society's institutions, categorized by school, church, army, bureaucracy A, B, C. I'm locating my recreation of these censored stories in 2009 April. I've been telling these stories since they occurred, beginning in childhood. I wrote them at beginning around 1995. I recreated them at this blog this 2010.

My domains, for example, organized materials by category (logical hierarchies, not unnatural, not politically imposed, not coerced). Blogs string materials in time. I relocate and re-title this blogs postings of such stories in an attempt to make their biographical chronology clear.

This 2010 I've also started mounting / posts on Reasons for School. They are being presented temporally in 2010 January (and will continue in February.)

While I move the school stories I'll leave the "original" post in 2010 until I'm satisfied that the move is complete.
Understand, stories of other institutions subversion of conviviality will follow.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Politics Trumps Scholarship

In "education" politics trumps scholarship. The school board decides that Twain must be censored, not the English professors, or that Darwin and theories of evolution must be supervised by teachers colleges, not by biologists, zoologists ... scientists.

But watch out: all the teachers college has to do is start mass-graduating scientists! trained by the same morons who trained your Miss Tilly to tell you not to split your infinities. Hell, it's what the fundamentalist churches do: they erect assembly lines to cobble tame science teachers: to address the children in the church.

It won't matter what politics does so long as kleptocracy continues run by coalitions of selfish intellectual convenience.

All I want God to do is wait till we're dead, then point out to any intelligence left over in the universe that we had chances, that we refused to consider them: preferring fake science, fake intelligence, trick decision making ... to real.

Bell Curve Teachers

The king can assassinate the critic. His propagandists meantime write speeches attributing such behavior to an enemy, denying that this administration would ever do such a thing. The Temple assassinates God while retaining authority in the name of God, the moron public in no position to challenge a thing.

Given enough time a Socrates will arise, a Jesus will overthrow the money tables. But Athens simply had Socrates arrested, then condemned him. The Jews' political and religious figures simply broke their sacred laws to blind-side Jesus, enlisting the Romans to do it for them, their political overlords violating their own Roman laws to do the Jews' religio-social dirty work.

In the US (and around the world) schools exhibit the same characteristics. The Temple pretended to represent God but actually side-railed, then murdered, God. The government imposed schools claim to represent "knowledge," but it's authority is political. Votes, appointments, determine who's version of facts, of knowledge, of evidence, of learning, gets fed to the helpless citizens' helpless children. Darwin is voted out, then voted in, then voted out. Twain is praised, then censored, then forgotten.

It's not evil, like the gospels would make it seem. It's not stupid like the science propagandists would make Galileo's story seem. It's just social homeostasis and the bell curve at work.

IQs Along a Bell Curve

The state-school graduate is shuffled into Socrates' role after the false dealers have kangarooed Socrates. The professors are left over after the Church purges Galileo and his evidence. Priests are still left in the Temple after the elders have sandbagged Jesus.

God makes a population of IQ 100, the population makes a faculty with IQ 110, God sends a Jesus with IQ 200, the 110-IQ faculty feels exposed, threatened, the 100-IQ public watches passively while the 110-IQ faculty suborn all witness to persecute the God-sent savior

Man's only hope lies in the faculty after devouring Jesus achieving an IQ of 111.

It would seem that they could have been raised way toward 200, but that's an illusion. If they settle for IQ-111 and if at the same time society continues to survive for another few years, it's OK, it's good, it's a gain. But the faculty average is just as likely to wind up at 109, 108, 107 ...

Licensed Authority

Temples, churches, schools always have to power to interrupt and correct; never the obligation to listen or to understand.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Money Tables

Jesus overturned the money tables in the Temple of Jerusalem.

Churches turn them business-side-up again.

Ivan Illich tried to overturn the money tables in the Church.
Ivan Illich and I tried to overturn the money tables in the schools (he with his Deschooling Society, I with my Free Learning Exchange, Inc). (With his Medical Nemesis Illich tried to overturn the money tables in the hospitals.) (My Free Learning Exchange, Inc. tried to overturn the money tables in government, in media, in our whole system of record keeping and market manipulation.)

Government, the whole society obeying, turn them business-side-up again.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Compulsory Education 1870 is currently emailing ads for EG West's Education and the State (1965). The email says,West explores the views on education of the nineteenth-century British reformers and classical economists who argued for state education. He demonstrates that by the Foster Act of 1870 the state system of education was superimposed upon successful private efforts, thereby suppressing an emerging and increasingly robust structure of private, voluntary, and competitive education funded by families, churches, and philanthropies.Good. Now would catch us up with advanced education consciousness in 1965. is connected with The latter published an article on Ivan Illich several years ago. That could have brought education consciousness in line with 1970 (but only early 1970, because it showed no awareness of what then happened in the rest of 1970, during and after the publication of Illich on the subject. And when I alerted them to their omission, they remained silent!) (Other good articles had appeared in the meantime: 1965 to 1970: Lauter & Howe's reverse engineering of "school's purpose. For example: the schools are commonly seen to fail in advancing literacy, numeracy: maybe, the author's hypothesized, advancing literacy and numeracy are not the real purpose of the schools: the schools succeed totally in making the majority of the children tractable morons who show up more or less on time and do what they're told: perfect fodder for industrial domination. Thus, the schools do not fail; they succeed: only too well.)

But neither nor have reported on the further work of the deschoolers: Illich followers: me, pk, for example. Illich suggested cybernetic data basing at the community level as a way around state dominance of secular rituals. I pk offered the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. in New York City. Similarly starting would be learning networks wrote me from all around the world asking for my advice. So too did state educational institutions. I answered them all: repeating Illich's basic points:
Llist resources.
Match interests.
Publish feedback.
andDon't tolerate state-coercive ritual
Don't tolerate substitution of certificates for skill testing.
I also encouraged these early learning networks to share resources. Thus, in that latter feature, I, even more than Ivan Illich (while standing on his shoulders) invented the internet. Illich invented social networking as a defense against state dominance of potentially free people: I proposed that digital public records be coordinated. I'd already spun a short story in the 1960s which had modeled an internet, and in 1969 offered for publication a short story in which banks had internet'd credit through modems, satellites, and voice recognition software.

I offer my own history as evidence that the practice of sabotaging reformers and burying evidence is alive and well: the most liberal institutions following suit along with the most repressive.

My got censored by the US after they arrested me: my nearly three thousand other internet publications got eclipsed: my IS provider destroyed all my data in the wake of the court order to proscribe one section of one domain. My son rescued my data, the FBI having confiscated my equipment, but he didn't remount it. He kept alive, but not, not, not

Research this. You won't find the truth in the records of any university that I'm aware of. I doubt you'll find much in the Library of Congress. Though while alive I could show anyone who visited me proof galore from my records. (I'd said online I had proof. The FBI arrested me, went through my stuff: and left much of my evidence unmolested! The repressors will never have intelligence robots, not so long as they use humans.)

(Tell a dumb crook about fingerprints, and maybe he'll go back to the crime scene and destroy everything except the fingerprints!)

An English Illich fan posted an article on Illich more than a decade ago. He said, "We should read the deschoolers." But I see no evidence that he's even aware of who the deschoolers are. I see no evidence that he even know who I am! He doesn't mention contracting Denis Detzel, founder of the Evanston Learning Exchange. Denis, according to Illich, was talking deschooling even before I was!

Deschooling Society came out in 1970. It was a best seller. My Free Learning Exchange, Inc., Denis' Evanston Learning Exchange, started in 1970, mine only a week or two ahead of his. My deschooling writing has not been published, except by me, mailing it around the world, posting in online since 1995. I'd written voluminously to those teaching colleges which had contacted me. Was anything I wrote read by anyone who could read?

I have no evidence: then or now.

Dozens of people volunteered to help me. They must have understood something? Where are they now? We're further in the dark in 2010 than we were in 1970!

By the way, that mailing also touted a related book by Albert Jay Nock: The Theory of Education in the United States (1931). I wish I could afford to buy either of them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Illich Points Commentary

Illich published his deschooling program in six points, some subdivisions necessary. The new world needs to be explained to the former world (which doesn't listen).
  1. No Compulsory Ritual

    Parochial cultures see nothing wrong with applying their customs among themselves. Problems arise when different cultures mix. We bump into a wall we need to back away from if we are to survive. If the Jews all start their Sabbath on Friday evening, that's fine. If the Jews kill all the Canaanites, they can still start their Sabbath on Friday evenings. But what happens when Jews, and Canaanites, and Greeks, and Egyptians all get squashed into Alexandria: then the Jews need to have their Sabbath any way they please, but leave the Canaanites and the Greeks and the Egyptians to themselves. In other words, in a Europe dominated by the Roman Catholic Church it rubbed few against the grain that the Church used its power to compel attendance at masses. The Protestant Reformation challenged that. Today's shrinking world needs to catch its secular side up to its sacred side: no compulsory school, no compulsory reveille ...
  2. No Certification

    Confusions of logical type trip us up. If a businessman wants a secretary who can type, he has every right to test the typing ability of the job applicant. But business farms the testing out to specialists, in advance: to the schools. The job applicant arrives with a diploma from Tilly's Typing School. In the short run a step is saved; in the long run the confusion of map for territory has been institutionalized. The government has enforced this confusion to the convenience of business and to the destruction of the society's reliance on its own native wits. Overnight, being a Harvard graduate reintroduces our imperialist ancestor's class system: if Harvard bestows superior skills let it show in the sausage, not in the recipe. No, no: a free society would not tolerate the institutionalization of doubtful shortcuts. See if she can type yourself, witness the Harvard grad's skill in action, in an active career. In a deschooled society, asking for a diploma would not be illegal; it would be very bad manners: and not be done.
  3. Iteration: No compulsion, No Coercion: We're so dumbed-down by authority, invitations to liberty sound to the society's inmates like worse authoritarian regimentation! No. Illich unavoidably tiptoes near confusion here. He did after all join an authoritarian institution, the Roman Catholic Church, as a priest. He ascended to monseigneur. He knows hierarchical authority. (Not me, I have nothing to do with the Catholic Church, except to criticize it.) Illich helped me understand that I am an anarchist. I see him as an anarchist, as do others. (I wouldn't follow him if I didn't.) (Not a bomb thrower, understand, a would-be free man, who would live among other free men.) My son is an anarchist: he sees both Illich and me as authoritarian! Precisely ass backwards! My offering of Illich's program was made to those who would adapt it voluntarily, not under duress. There's a difference between pleading with prisoners to free themselves, and holding a weapon on the while mouthing the "same" invitation. Termites build mounds by synergy: the second termite drops a grain of sand onto the couple of grains that a different two termites happened to drop resting against each other. There's no foreman, no government.
  4. Publish volunteered information on resources.

    This is the area in which my presentation differs from Illich's: in detail, not at all in spirit. He distinguished between human and inanimate resources. I don't see the need as far as institutional structure is concerned. The same resource data base that lists English teachers could also list libraries. The same resource data base that lists stationary stores could also list plumbers.

    In a class society a government may combine with an AMA to give preference to MDs. The pregnant woman is thwarted from hiring a midwife: midwives don't get listed in the phone book. But I'll bet midwives have killed far fewer women in childbirth than obstetricians have.

    A free people would leave other people to be free to chose what they learn, how they learn, it, where they study, what it costs ... We wouldn't want to hold still while the state told us we couldn't buy rice, we must by potatoes; we may not walk, we must drive; we may not drive a bug, we must drive an SUV ... Why do we tolerate control over "education," over "health" ...?
  5. Mutual Interest Matching
  6. Feedback
    Expert Feedback:
    Client Feedback:

I'll edit these over time. Revisions, additions will cease when I'm dead.

FLEX 2 + 3

In the forty years since I wedded my life to Ivan Illich's deschooling program I have come to see his four point learning networks as three points. The previous post, Illich 2 + 4, reviews his. This blog republishes his Deschooling Society of 1970 (online at, restored here 2009 January once the fed destroyed my domains (2007 Feb) (and crippled me from getting them back up quickly).

His political foundation I retain as "two":
A. No Compulsory Ritual
B. No Certification

His four points for his proposed institution can be simplified to three points. It also covers more ground:

2.1. Publish Resources
2.2. Publish interest matching results
2.3. Publish feedbackof the same two kinds (except that butchers and bakers and Indian Chiefs (and clients) could use the same two feedback tools):3.1. Resource people on resource people
3.2. Clients on resource people
The following post will comment on the parts of this and the preceding post: Illich Points Commentary.

Illich 2 + 4

Ivan Illich presented his deschooling principles in six parts: two plus four. (I'm going to represent the parts with letters, reserving the numbers for my condensation.)

A. No Compulsory Ritual
B. No Certification
(His Deschooling Society, 1970 is online here [2009 Jan], see Chapter Six especially.) Those first two parts constitute the political aspect: the institution proposed to take over the society's learning needs was offered in four parts:C. Publish volunteered information on human learning resources
D. Publish volunteered information on material learning resources
E. Publish peer-matching wishes
F. Publish feedback on the human resources:that latter of two kinds:F.A. Resource people on resource people
F.B. Clients on resource people
See Illich's text for his explanations. See the following post, FLEX 2 + 3 for my version.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Political Impossibility

bk just emailed me this link, hawking Political Impossibility by WH Hutt. "Should economists curb their rhetoric and prescriptions based on "political realities"? Should anyone attempt to conceal the truth about state intervention for fear of not fitting into the existing political culture?" asks the ad.

My FLEX in 1970, in offering a cybernetic data base to the public — human resources, material resources, interest matching and a feedback data base on the resources, offered a tool by which anyone could publish their own ad at nominal cost (provided the intfrastructure was supported). Thus not only could economists express themselves freely, so could anyone else, and on any subject, in any discipline: FLEX was history's only true free-speech organ. The regular culture's "free press" is given over to leaving faulty facts and faulty assumptions unchallenged, as is the school system. (Never forget, curriculum is set by school boards, not by an intercultural coalition of scholars. Flat-earthers rule. The culture rules, retarding change, preventing progress, growth, learning.)

I'll say more later, but notice immediately the cultural truth of Hunt's thesis and the fact that my FLEX (Illich's design with some pk expansions), supported, used, defended, addressed and could have solved forty years ago!

I answered bk: "Doesn't [Hunt's point] hold in All areas?
There's never been a better proposal for freedom than my FLEX. And I
see no better proof than FLEX that we've never had freedom, only
rhetoric and compromise and cowardice.

"Of course I have to admit that the fed could have taken over FLEX and
regulated and changed it utterly, the way the Church takes over and
perverts "Jesus," the way the fed did take over FLEX by creating its own meretricious Pentagon, CERN, university internet, then regulating it, crushing the inherent anarchism out of it. Still, some small increment of freedom might have escaped."

Actually, I edited a word or two while quoting the latter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Misused References

Isaac Asimov once told me that he had no control over the graphics or the headings and captions in his books. His publisher was responsible to him for his prose; his publisher had no responsibility to him for any other aspects of publishing. (Our topic was the Crab Nebula. I'd noticed that his pic of it in his Guide to Science seemed to be a mirror image of the same night object shown in my son's school text. He said, if there was a mistake, it was likely in his book (though it added that the Crab Nebula would look more or less like that fro some perspective somewhere in the universe. He was determined not to be too upset by the possibility that some graduate student working for low wages from the publisher could have mis-flipped the emulsion side of the negative.)

For a decade or so I've been getting email from It quotes Illich on deschooling. Bravo. But it seems to be hustling biker-oriented porn! At the least it's a dating service.

Now it burns my ass more than anybody's to see dating services using Illich social networking concepts out of Deschooling Society to steal resources from the only legitimate request for funding for social cybernetics: my appeal for resources to build infrastructure of that nature beginning in 1970 and lasting through today (and tomorrow). But dating services sprang up within a half a year of my original such announcements: 1970, 1971. Such companies made millions, billions by now. I still have yet to reach $2,000 in funds raised: in 40 years!

Ivan Illich Disciples

... Denis Detzel
Dennis Sullivan
Paul Knatz ...
John Quintero ...

General Background Information

Ivan Illich had had a world of associates, friends, and followers before I first read and contacted him in 1970, volunteering to be his disciple (something I couldn't afford to do unless he was going to pay me, because I had a wife and child and no income). His Church associations I knew nothing about at the time. Some of his intellectual associates, teachers and theorists,  I knew a bit about: Paul Goodman, Jonathan Kozol ... One of Illich's first correspondences with me mentioned Denis Detzel as an American interested in establishing Illich-concept learning networks. (In that respect, in 1970, Dezel was #1. The best I can tell I therefore became #2.) Others I read or met and perhaps got to know a bit as a result of my interest: Everett Reimer, Larry Grimes ... Visiting CIDOC (Illich's Center for Intercultural Documentation, Cuernavaca, Mexico), (at Detzel's invitation) in 1971 I met and became acquainted with some of the core people then in attendance: Dennis Sullivan most notably.

By 1972 my Free Learning Exchange, Inc.'s newsletter gave contact information for well more than one hundred incipient or functioning learning exchanges around the globe: mine was the first so far as I can tell, though Denis' was the first announced as imminent. (From 1970 to 1973 my FLEX mailed dozens of announcements to Denis's Evanston Learning Exchange; that latter in that time mailed me one back! And Denis, having invited me to meet him at CIDOC disappeared, not keeping his classes, run off with a girl to Acapulco!) Other would-be learning webs sprang up like mushrooms, one hundred thirty-odd contacting me, me passing their existence on while answering their requests for advice and so forth. By 2006 my domains had posted nearly three thousand web files: hundreds of those in my deschooling domain:, ancestor to this blog. I posted a deschooling history at a new domain,, and emailed a revenge fantasy to the department at NYU which had done more to screw my academic career than any other, driving me into Illich's arms. The FBI arrested and the judge censored a folder, prompting my internet host to destroy all five of my domains and all of their content, my family having paid all my bills while I was in jail except the one that mattered most: my IS! Thus, the fed and my son tag teamed me, subtracting my gospels from the public ken: the public not having been paying much attention, as usual, anyway. Nevertheless, I've been re-posting files as fast as I can to a set of blogs, so there's a great deal of information online about pk however much has been destroyed.

Once I'd announced the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. in NY in 1970 any number of Illich friends and associates contacted me: Noreen Connolly helped as a full-time secretary for nearly three years, unpaid, as was I too, alas. CIDOC alumna Helen Volkomener steered some Methodist Women funds our way. (Unfortunately, we needed more than one patron, the public keeping its pockets zipped.)

At CIDOC I got to know Dennis Sullivan a bit. I got to like and admire him. He got to understand my style a bit: it had rubbed him wrong at first (and he's not the only one). Dezel and I exchanged a few words. I'll add more information about Detzel, Sullivan, and pk; but today I must tell a few starter things about a later-coming Illich disciple, John Quintero: the one I feel closest to.

John Quintero

I first heard of John Quintero when he phoned me in the late 1990s. He introduced himself as a follower of Ivan Illich and told me that he regarded me as one of the greatest philosophers of the Twentieth Century because of founding of the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. In NY in 1970, with its Illichian deschooling principles at its heart. John asked permission to visit me in Florida sometime: which he did, on his way to Illich's memorial service in Germany after his death in 2002. I'll tell more about all that, but first:

Two individuals from my small list of Illich disciples have been arrested, done jail time: me and John. Others could have, I don't know everything. Now of course it's theoretically possible that we were arrested because we'd done something wrong. The Nazis may have arrested vastly more than the eighteen million they killed in concentration camps and some of those arrested may actually have committed a crime: snatching a purse, rape, murder ... Since political regimes keep their own records, and anthropologists find only a few objective facts compared to the reams of fictions spun by rulers, it's impossible to know what proportion of persons arrested and convicted were actually guilty of anything a cross-cultural plurality would agree was criminal. I know the truth in my case: the US made a satire of mine to be incendiary after ruling that whatever it interprets to be incendiary is not protected by the Constitution. In other words, the Nazis can safely censor anything they can get away with misreading. So: technically, acording to the fed, I'm guilty; actually, according to liberal philosophy, I'm not only innocent, I'm a hero. John was arrested and convicted of statutory rape: he hugged his niece. He says he did very much in fact hug his niece, many times, but not improperly. I believe him.

I further believe his explanation: John's a Pope-extolling, rosary-carrying Catholic as well as a disciple of the late Monseigneur Ivan Illich. I am not Catholic at all, not to any extent, but I know that he is. And our difference there makes no difference in my recognition of his embodying the essence of Illich's convivial living principlies. (John founded I helped him compose, code, and publish it.)

more to come

Friday, October 15, 2010

Society, Coercion, DeDe

We're social animals. Me too. I love society. But I hate this society.

(Society, on the other hand, loves itself: and hates me.)

Society in general says it follows God, worships Jesus, but of course it does just the opposite. Those who follow God, or try to, or who ally with Jesus, or try to (those who overturn the money changing tables in the temple, or try to), are still isolated, persecuted, silenced. And society has no conscience about it. (Neither is society very conscious.)

Previous draft:
We are social creatures. Me too. I am loyal to "society," in the abstract. Concretely, I oppose, I hate, this society. I want to kill it. I want to put it out of its misery. I don't care that I suffer and die trying to do so. I can't help that I may fail to do so. I recognize that I have, thus far, so far as I can tell, failed to do so. But I try. I try to transform the society: the society resists transformation.

I knew that. Everyone knows that. Everyone automatically understands that that's what the Christian stories symbolize: the individual failing to transform the society, the society breaking all its most sacred rules to oppose the would be reformer, then the society getting reformed, at least partly, and deifying the failed transformer it had murdered.

I'm not the only individual trying to participate in that pattern: but I do, I have, I am. And none of us know which of today's martyrs will be recognized by tomorrow's "Christians" to have been on the side of God, Christ ... Buddha ... evloution ... the right. And none of us know if any of us will be here tomorrow to have any such opinions. Christian symbols too may evaporate: with the dinosaurs, and the dodo.

previous draft's beginning:

Societies exhibit different standards than individuals, much fuzzier standards.

We are members of the Genus Homo, the species sapiens, the modern subspecies, the redundant sapines sapiens: wise wise man, the talker. We are a social species. Our ancestors chose, genetically, to follow the survival stretegy of grouping. In danger we don't scatter, we group. Or: we may first scatter, but then try to group: to regroup.

We reproduce, we try to clone ourselves. We reproduce sexually, meaning that our young are partly ours and partly other. My son resembles me, but he also resembles his mother; my son resembles my father, but he also resembles his mother's father. Our "identity" gets diluted over time. We change whether we would or not.

I am a social animal, you are a social animal. We talk about being individuals, and we are, so to are marbles, maybe for all we really know so too are electrons, but we group. There are lots of symbols, some of them fuzzy clouds of symbols, that we group under: Christians, Americans, Republicans ... Any of those groups can (and do) claim to be "under" "God," or on the "good" "side," or among the "good guys." Other groups have different slogans. None are dictated by Truth, or Reason; none are wholly without truth, or utterly without basis in reason.

The fossil record shows species swallowed in oblivion, extinct. Their strategies worked, or there would be no fossils, then the didn't work, or they'd still be here.


I love society. I hate This society. I love intelligence, in the abstract. I hate our failures to become intelligent. I despise our instututions that claim allegiance to intelligence while actually opposing it, sabotaging it, entrenching mediocrity: bombing others while wrapped in symbols of freedom.

I understand that societies train their young. I wouldn't change that. But I oppose (and have sacrificed my life to opposing) coercion, doubly so where instituions such as church or state, school board or draft board, put their weight behind the coercion.

I urge us to recognize the difference between papa telling junior "You must speak English," or "You mustn't say 'ain't'" and the church saying "You must attend mass (and it must be in Latin)" and the state saying "You mut attend English class" (and "You must put on this uniform and go and burn that village of gooks").

Christian churchs tell us that we're no good. (I agree: basically.) Our (falsely) "liberal" institutions tell us that we're inteligent, have found reason, have superceded Original Sin. (I disagree, utterly. and scream my disagreement.) Media today tell us that we're the good guys (while burying mountains of evidence to the contrary). (Universities bury evidence, hide ideas, silence speech, just as inexorably as any Spanish Inquisiiton ever did.) (And they get away with it because they're the record repository.) (We're in truly fatal trouble when all the record keeping institutions coordinate their false record keeping!) (Thank God for the parts of the universe not under our command, where fingerprints of unknown kinds contradict our orthodoxy.)

I be back quick to edit and contine

Saturday, October 09, 2010

InfoAll: DeDeDe

or: All the Information

(a blog associated with, the deschooling domain spun off from a fatality of federal censorship: all pk's domains evaporating after pk's arrest and silencing.)

"Deschooling" opposes coercion. The Church lost its power to force people to attend particular sacred rituals: the public should oppose the state's power to coerce attendance at secular rituals: from compulsory pledges of allegiance to compulsory attendance at math classes.

I've been working up some synonyms for "deschooling": and currently propose two additional associated "de"s:

(DeRegulate) and



Information should be deregulated. We don't need Big Brother, we don't want Big Brother. (Alas, we've got Big Brother.)

Society is sinking itself under the pressure of experts: liscensed professionals. It wouldn't be so bad if the licensed experts were in any way actually the best experts, but the society that crucifies Jesus while honoring Augustus, Herod, Pilat ... Barabas does not have the right experts in place, nor the right healers, nor the right teachers. Deregulate information, deregulate skills, and society just might become human: without human being a bad word.

DeSchool was an unfortunate diction choice: can't be helped. Revolutions never have time to polish their rhetoric. I like DeDeDe better, but I just invented it. After forty years people still don't know what deschool means, how are they going to understand DeDeDe? Well, maybe they will, maybe they won't: the dead or crippled or broken martyr can't control what the crucifiers will say. But it's my term, and from here on I'm abbreviating it: DeDe. Read it to symbolize all the De's: deschool, deregulate, de-anything: anything kleptocratic and manipulating: anything where a bureaucracy witlessly coerces others.

2010 12 15 I also offer the name "General DeDe" as an alias for pk. pk is my nickname from college: Paul Knatz, my initials: written lower case for compex reasons gone into elsewhere.

Given the above anyone should see that the DeDe part of the proposed nom de plume shortens the DeDeDe above to simply DeDe. But all De- associations are welcome: three, and more.

The first part, General, is itself a complex: largely a complex joke. I'll elucidatein a new post dated today.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

lllich Diction: She/Her

Ivan llich symbols, diction, attitudes ...

pk has preached deschooling since 1970, devoted, sacrificed, his life to it, been martyred by the Nazis of schooling (that is, of coercion, of interferring with other people's business). My home page, published to the internet since the early mid-1990s, gathered relevent materials: first in's FLEX section, than at, a domain dedicated to the purpose, then additionally at this InfoAll blog, and now at a being resurrected first on my hard drive, in hope of getting back into cyberspace (cyberspace, an invention largely of Ivan Illich and Paul Knatz, the anti-centralization cyberneticists stolen by the conventional US thieving politicians (and bureautcrats) in a section renamed DeDeDe: for DeRegulate, DeProfessionalize, DeSchool: a trinity of aspects of deschooling. I took to Illich like a fish to water because he embodied many of my own ideas and attitudes, but also added fresh perspectives and analyses and alternatives that I'd never thought of. His being a Roman Catholic priest, a monseignor, threw me for a loop, but then again the Church had already defrocked him before I ever heard of him: thus his Imitation-of-Jesus crown of thorns, his stigmata, were already in place for any Christian to see and marvel at. (If the kleptocratis is chauffeured in a chariot, you know almost for sure that it isn't Jesus, isn't a disciple of Jesus; if he's hanging upside down while everyone else is dripping gravy on their tie, then it might be Jesus, or a Jesus disciple. Anyway, here's the first a a series of presentations of Illich images:

Church as

Illich distinguished between the Church (that he loved) as She and the Church (that he hated) as Her. The Church as She was the bride of Christ; the Church as Her was the Whore of Babylon.

The Church as She served God: that is, Truth, evolution, progress ... grace; the Church as Her servied the fat, ignorant, lazy, stupid, vain, selfish, gluttonous ... priests. (Ivan isn't around to ratify or to disavow some of my diction: "evolution" there may represent pk more than Illich.) (I can't wholly represent Illich's will anymore than he (or I) could wholly represent Jesus' values.) (The Bible changes a word, a letter, a comma; next thing you know the Bible is grossly misrepresenting what it purports to serve.) (That's life, that's scholarship, that's service.) (Don't worry, the truth will still sort out: just with nobody having been right all the time: no human.)

Think it out from there yourself. Think of other institutions that can be so divided: the school as genuinely interested in learning, in skill, in mutual service ... vs. the school as authority-bound, ignorant, vain, serving hubris ...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Deschooling's 3Ds

as De-Regulating
as De-Professionalizing

I say again, the term we've used for the philosophy of liberty that opposed compulsory religion, compulsory party membership, compulsory schooling has been "deschooling" since Illich's Deschooling Society was published in 1970. I repeat further that Illich did not coin the term, that distinction belongs to an editor at Harper's. Illich did not like the term, and neither did I. I don't know anyone who did. But movements don't always get to name themselves. Typically, like the "Impressionists" (or the "kikes" or the "niggers") the term is coined as an insult by enemies of the style (the culture, the group). Ah, but sometimes a movement can propose alternate names for itself. Earlier at this blog I wrote the following:
A better term might be "Christian"; but that term is already misleading, long-appropriated by the recent millennia's crops of Christ mockers. For "deschooling" just think uncoerced: free of secularly imposed ritual (as well as Church-imposed ritual): think "free."
Since then I've been toying with a coinage of my own: DePro: short for de-professionalize.
(DeReg for deregulatory should also be considered.)

"School" and "profession" are not synonyms, but in deschooling contexts they sure are related: deeply. Illich argued that schooling prepares the young for a consortium of prescriptions. Once upon a time if your pharmacist had arsenic, or opium, you could buy it. The pharmacist prepared and sold chemicals. He might also offer information about the chemicals, he might offer advice about the chemicals. But he didn't imagine that it was his business to tell you what you could have or what you should do with it. Someone with the leisure could learn to read, or not. Able to, one could read scripture, or novels, or polemics ...

Cultures naturally wants members to think and do and consume certain things. But until recently it was not the state's business to tell you that you couldn't buy opium, even with a prescription. The Temple told Jews how much to donate, which children to donate as student priests, the Church told "Christians" what to pray, when to pray, what to believe, what to think, how much to pay for candles, but the government didn't presume to tell you that you musn't own gold, mustn't ride a motorcycle, or must spend $X for Y years studying Z subject or that you must do it at MNO venues sitting before ABC teachers. But states do, and they don't stop there. You also must "get a note from your doctor"; a note from the shaman (or the witch) will not do.

It's easy for the state to get the ignorant to believe that the state is competent to imitate Harvard, to mass produce Harvard, to give you a $100,000 education just up the road for only $50,000 in tax money (to be paid in your stead by lotteries and flat tracks). The state gets the citizens to swallow the competence of the state to "educate" "teachers," at state facilities, funded by compulsory taxation. (Harvard has to sell you on the idea of Harvard; the state just threatens you with pariah-hood, even with jail.)

Soon you can't do anything without state prescription. The state grants near monopoly power to this bunch of doctors, that bunch of lawyers, the other group of nurses: one post office, one money printer, these couple of banks, those couple of pharmaceutical labs. You can no longer buy your rat poison from the guy in the neighborhood who has it; you have to buy only what the state doesn't forbid, and only from the state-licensed monopolist. It "ought" to be your own sense of things that tells you to use this mechanic or that obstetrician rather than this or that gypsy; not state-pre-or-pro-scription.

In nature we could be intelligent or stupid on our own: stupid meant we didn't live well or long. Now we all have to cooperate with unending compulsory stupidities. In nature an individual's life might get lucky, be good, and be long. In state managed civilization I don't think we'll survive much longer, or be any healthier, or smarter, than chickens crowding cages till they can't stand up.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kiss & Tell

Where do schools get the right to detain children for training?
Even if they have the right, and those who bestowed it had the right to bestow it, where did they get the right to test children?
And where, oh, where, did they then get the right to blab the results to strangers?
In other words: some school board, accountable neither to God nor to scholars, kidnaps your kid, tests your kid ... and decades later blabs your kid's test scores to some college, to IBM, to GM or Ford ... to Washington DC!

Individuals don't have the same standards as institutions.

When I was a kid our warring parents sent my sister and me to a summer camp, to see if the two of them alone could do better than the four of us together. Star Crest was the name of this camp: woods, a lake, canoes ...

pk (and cute girl)
at Star Crest Camp

There was a kid in my dorm who shit his bed regularly. The counselors displayed his shitty sheets on a line behind the dorm: airing the dirty laundry of the one social retrograde for all to see. I ask you: who made that decision? The counselors? the camp administration? the sleeping-shitter's parents? Someone explained to little me that public humiliation was supposed to embarrass the incontinent into learning bowel control in their sleep: bright, huh?
I don't know, but I imagine that in time this kid did learn to shit less in bed; but did his humiliations help? I doubt it.

Humans evolved as a social species. The group does things as a group that it wouldn't tolerate from individuals. If I throw stones at a woman and kill her, it's murder; if the group throws stones and kills her, hollering that she's an adulteress, it's justice, it's what God said ... it's anything the group agrees to call it. (2011 09 17 Check out the movie Agora: the stoning of Hypatia, the math genius, the Christians calling her a whore and witch.)

I'm an adult now (some of the time, some people would agree) and I see more and more behaviors by groups that I can't endorse. I see gathering the young into state-run pens called "schools" and then publiclly displaying the kids' shitty sheets, in the form of grades, as appalling. If General Sternwood hires Philip Marlowe to test his youngest daughter to see if she's a nymphomaniac, I see that as General Sternwood's business, and Philip Marlowe's, and possibly Camilla Sternwood's too; not my business, not your business. If Philip Marlowe markets his findings through Geiger's dirty bookstore, now he and General Sternwood begin to resemble Camp Star Crest in my mind.

If my father (or mother) (or I myself) hire a math teacher to test and grade how well I know my multiplication tables, I see it as every bit my father's, my mother's, and my right to do so. I see it as the hired teacher's right to perform the test, and I see it not only as a right but an obligation on the teacher's part to share the results with my father, or my mother, or me: depending on who hired him. If however the math teachers tells our neighbors, it's a violation of trust: far worse than the braggart telling the boys at the bar that Cindy let him feel her up behind the harvester. That's bad enough — but now tell me this: what if the teacher also blabs my grade to the municipal authorities? what if the municipals then blab my grade to some university? what if that university then sets itself up to blab that grade to IBM? to GM? to the US ARMY?

Under government your private business becomes the business of organizations that have no business knowing your business. But of course it's our fault: we let the government get away with a little arrogance, soon their insolence is boundless.

Kissing and telling is an ethical matter if it's kissing we're talking about. If it's institutional betrayal of confidence we're talking about, as in the recording and publishing of grades, the government ought to be made to walk the plank: and would be, if there were more than two or three real people in the society. But here's a situation where I'm all in favor public disclosure of intelligence test results. My IQ not the state's business; but the President's IQ is very much my business, and yours. The school teacher's SATs and GREs are very much public business, as is the IQ of the rude lady at the motor vehicle bureau.

Every public official should have their IQ tattooed on their forehead.

And you know, maybe the public should know the IQ, the SATs, and the GREs of Fortune 500 CEOs too.

The CEO of X Corp has an IQ of 135? Why so low? How come the zillion people with IQs of 140 or 150 or 180 didn't get the job? That's what we ought to know: what percentage of highly intelligent people are unemployable? got sandbagged, like me?

We're a society of people of average intelligence avoiding communication with people of high intelligence. We listen to stupid gods, why don't we listen to smart gods now and then?

Friday, September 17, 2010


To deschool means to resist coercion: to resist involuntary attendance at rituals. No church "should" compel attendance at a "mass"; no government should compel attendance at a history class. Deschooling has other meanings which Illich argued in his book on the subject of 1970, and which I've argued as founder of the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. in 1970 (and since): from soap boxes, in newsletters, on the phone, in fliers ... and online since 1995 (when I added philosophy and politics to business activities online): no compulsory curriculum, no substitution of certificates for demonstration of skills (it's OK to ask for proof of typing skill, illegit to ask to see a diploma) ...

Here by the way is a picture of pk and his son bk from that period: 1969 or 1970: it's a passport photo: we were on our way to see his grandma in Switzerland.

pk, bk passport
I share an email I just sent to bk:

Today's Straight Dope has this question: "People diagnosed as clinically obese are sometimes said to have a hormonal condition that makes them unable to lose weight even if they cut calorie intake to a minimum. Surely if you forced them to exercise while making certain their dietary intake and vital signs were healthy, they'd be slim and trim in a couple of years. In the end, isn't obesity always in the mind and not in the hormones? — Guy Scarsbrook"

I love it except for the "if you forced them to exercise" part. Who's "you"? I believe mama should be able to force Benjamin to eat his carrots and papa ought to be able to force Benjamin to wear a hat in the winter, but who else should have rights to force anybody to do anything? People can force people, but then they're rapists, thugs, muggers ... without general social support. Only parents of infants "should" be exempted.

I say "should" meaning: IF we want life to be what I (or any speaker) want(s). (If we don't, if we want to be dead, then we "should" misbehave in all possible manners.)

Anyway, groups, political groups, seem generally to think without thinking that force is OK if the mass of men do it ... then that that force is OK if the mass of men appoint the brown shirts to do it ...

The anarchist who first invited me in 1970 to be interviewed with her Free U anarchists on WRVR radio was called by her anarchists "Mercury." They met at the Methodist Church on Sheridan Square in the Village: big People's Yellow Pages banner out front: they were doing community bulletin boarding before Illich, before me!

Mercury also had a speaking gig at Hunter College, and invited me along. in 1971 I was getting most of my speaking gigs through her. (She and that group also introduced me to a wonderful bunch of European anarchists.) (Though my favorite guy of all was local: he wore a Stamp Out Human Chauvinism button!)

Anyway, at Hunter: some woman wanted to "take" children from abusing parents. Clearly she seemed intent on "helping" children: children who weren't hers! and was willing to trespass to do it. I wanted us to watch our trespasses. So I dragged my feet with her.

She didn't get it. No one got it.

The original email has been edited a bit: improved I hope.

PS: Benjamin is the four year old son of bk and his wife Nathalie.
PPS: There was a Quaker church which also supported the Sheridan Square anarchists. All FLEX literature was printed by me on a Quaker owned multilith in a loft on W 18 St. (Mercury taught me to clean it, ink it, run it ... and loaned me the plates, paper ...)
The only church that supported my FLEX was the United Methodist Women division. Every church ought to have.

PSS: Jan came over as I had the above pic open in Photoshop for retouching: I cloned out the passport stamps, fixed my teeth a bit ... Jan didn't know me in 1969, had seen only one photo from 1971: she assumed that the above was a pic of Brian and Benjamin; not pk and bk! Hilary, bk's mom agrees: she likes our passport photo, always did, and sees a lot in common among grandpa, son, and grandson.

Jan knocked my socks off when she noted resemblances between pk of 1970 and Shakespeare of the woodcut in the 1623 Folio (which I always have on the wall by my computers)! Sure: look at the shape of the hair over the ears.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Convivial: Freedom From Religion

Recreating / Teaching / NoHier / DePro/Deschool /
Health Care — Feedback
Freedom From Religion

Catherine Kaltner
Catherine Kaltner

Catherine was my best friend and my patron from 1990 till her death in 2004, aged ninety-six: my only patron: my best patron ever!

Here's the basic story, real quick: Catherine was ninety-five. She got ill. Just before she went terminal and before I arranged for help and services through Hospice, I arranged for services through a medical agency. A nurse came. I showed the nurse Catherine's Living Will. I showed the nurse where Catherine was utterly clear: she didn't want any religious services, any prayers. Don't try being a missionary to this ancient atheist.

I didn't impose my religiosity on Catherine; she didn't impose her bleak views of the cosmos on me. I wanted the nurse to be on the same page with us.

Immediately upon being introduced to Catherine, the nurse started preaching at her! I reminded her of her obligation. Oh, no, she said, talking about God is good!

I got rid of that nurse fast: and that nursing service. But no one seemed able to understand what had been wrong. No one cared why we objected to the nurse. It might as well have been her breath! She entered our house under false pretences. She committed fraud. She was a menace to society.

No one cared. Next nurse, next agency. When I didn't like the second agency either, that was tough. You can have, as Illich cracked, Ford or Chevy, but not good transportation.

revisions will follow:

Understand: I am a follower, call it a disciple, of Ivan Illich: because I recognize him to be a disciple of Jesus. I think the society, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, in which he was not only a priest, but a Monseigneur, recognized it too, because they defrocked him: took his resources, tried to take his influence. I see that the society recognizes me as his disciple, that is, as a disciple of Jesus, because I've remained unpublished, gotten sabotaged, misrepresented, wrongfully interfered with, arrested, wrongfully convicted ...

Catherine didn't want to hear any of that. She supported me because she loved me; not because she understood or believed anything I wrote or said. Catherine couldn't read a word I'd ever written, neither could she read Illich, nor did she want to try. I also loved her, and it had nothing to do with philosophy. (And I was glad not to repeat the mistake I'd made with my wife (and my son): expecting them to understand.)

Further understand: I seconded Illich in opposing compulsory ritual. I further seconded Illich in opposing state interference with any human behavior. And I was with him 100% in his opposition to our dependence on the imposed services of experts, of professionals. In other words, we're for liberty.

I further supported his criticism of the US and its foreign aid: particularly in Third World countries. It's bad enough that the US has cut down its forests and covered everything with concrete: do with really think that we should "lead" Peru to do the same? Illich said that giving Peru GM trucks could do more harm to Peru than sending a tank and opening fire!

Once again, Catherine didn't follow any of that (any more than did anyone else I was aware of). What Catherine did do was get old: very old. She was blind when I met her, and crippled. She was really blind and crippled as medical incompetence supervised her getting terminal. OK, she'd had enough by then anyway, never mind that medical incompetence killed her a little earlier than might have transpired without their administrations.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reasons for School

Blogs publish like a diary, chronologically reversed., ... were hypertext, webbed, you could meta-jump, burrow, skip. I want my Reasons for Kleptocracy's Compulsory Schooling modules together in a row: therefore I'm posting them as though I'd put them up beginning in January 2010. Actually of course they were thought out since 1970, and mounted at / starting in 1995.

Anyway, skip back to January 2010.

Friday, July 30, 2010 Deschooling Posts

As I remount modules at blogs in the wake of my arrest and censorship, the destruction of all of my domains, of my life, my business ... I have the joy of a loved one reading some of it over my shoulder as it were: and I see how very difficult some of my writing is. Yesterday I compared it to spooning tablespoons of instant coffee directly into your mouth and trying to swallow. Some of that can't be helped: lobster meat is dense, don't expect it to be cotton candy. Some of that can't be helped for other reasons: the modules are scribbled fast, then years pass as other notes get added. The style doesn't always get smoothed.

I fix the fixable as I can, as I see it. The intrinsic density I make no apology for. Blame the truth, blame the universe, blame God.

Some of the density I can try to dilute, maybe. Meantime It's more important to get the messages back online in whatever form. Better instant coffee than no coffee.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hierarchy vs. Conviviality

The personal stories at expressed a common purpose: to illustrate that a convivial society would better fulfill human nature than the hierarchical coercions that kleptocracies have foisted onto us since civilization over-extended everything: from population to agriculture to industry. The term "convivial" is Ivan Illich's. It is the Jesus-inspired context for "deschooling."

This is the common theme of my biographical stories whether of school or church or army or work place.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Informational Hysteria

As a kid I like chaotic streams of information, I liked the vaudeville hams bumping each other out of the spot light, I loved the Dixieland musicians coming in on top it seemed of each other's solo. But the habits of the culture that I came to prefer and that we are now bereft of offered information in single doses, with time to absorb it. When I went into Columbia's stacks or NYU's stacks or Colby College's stacks I was able to look in the nineteenth-century English novelists section without being interfered with by shelves or volumes from seventeenth-century French poets. Melville's Moby Dick minded its own business while I browsed Ben Jonson's plays. Today I was reduced to a nervous wreck as I tried to enjoy TV coverage of the tennis championships at Wimbledon. ESPN2, switching in and out with NBC, put on a match between Federer and Melzer — great — but then the screen would split and two, then four, matches would be shown simultaneously, Patrick McEnroe or Brad Gilbert or Hannah Storm talking the while, switching to cameos from Pam Shriver or from Dennis Cahill. Then a match between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova would intervene. The whole time soccer scores occupied a graphic at the bottom of the screen.

When I was a kid I looked forward to the circus, but then three rings proved to be too much. Maybe God can listen to six billion prayers simultaneously but I don't even want to try.

The internet I offered in 1970 was intended to offer us a tool with which we could pry ourselves loose from the strangle hold of managed information. Everyone could have had a cheap ad; no one's ad would have interrupted any one else's ad! On your honeymoon did the hotel's whores come into your bridal suite and flash their pussies under your nose while you tried to embrace your wife? Did you pick up the remote and switch from your bride to Elizabeth Taylor to Marilyn Monroe to Claudia Cardinale?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good Reasons

Adding to / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschool /

No matter how evil the kleptocracy's reasons for kidnapping the young for choreographed indoctrination, good things can still, can also, come of it. For example, the orthodox Jew may meet a radical Catholic, actually come to see another viewpoint. The girl trained to keep her legs crossed may meet the guy who makes her knees buckle. Some of this is "accident": God is not mocked: it doesn't matter what we humans try, life, the universe, will have a still later word. I mention it because individual choice may come into play: you hate the history class? Good, you have a right to; but: open your eyes occasionally anyway: you may encounter something you wind up loving. I hated grammar in school, but wound up loving linguistics in graduate school.

I never would have loved it taught by the school board, but I adored it taught by scholars: and I wouldn't likely know it had I not been "forced" (by the desire to teach college).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

R Subvert Independence

Adding to / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DeDe / School Purpose

Humans beings spread over the earth looking for resources: for food, for shelter, for a place with fewer enemies. Humans are born dependent: it's the parents' (and the group's) responsibility to train the kid to find resources on its own: as fast as possible: the parents, the group, never know when the earthquake is going to get them, or the lion, or the cold: maybe the kid will survive, maybe humankind will continue: the kid must learn, learn lots, learn well, learn fast.

Good. I'm all for learning. But are schools good for learning? Do schools teach the kid to find food? fast? well? Or do schools keep the kid from learning what roots are edible? what's under that girl's breechcloth? Don't the schools schedule what's taught and what's learned without having any idea when the earthquake is coming? where the lion is? Don't schools prevent parents and small groups from training their children? Isn't a school the state as kidnapper revealed?

Oh? But who's it for then? Why would parents and small groups let themselves be raped like that? Good question: but the super-groups, the major interest holders, the Fortune 500 ... control the magicians who false deal everybody.

The school doesn't train the child to find food but to conform, to wait till the school bell rings, to wait till the factory whistle sounds, to wait till some bureaucrat tells her what to do, to wait till Pavlov's bell steals his independence.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The purpose of state-run education is to flush scholars from the schools and replace them with bureaucrats, rendering knowledge difficult to impossible.

Let me flesh that out a tad further: The purpose of state-run education is to flush scholars, scientists, artists, teachers (most with a touch of bureaucrat to them) from the schools and replace them with bureaucrats (some with a taint of scholar, scientist, artist to them), rendering knowledge difficult to impossible but in all cases (or almost all): controllable!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


(Not from / posted directed to this blog:)

Rulers guide the public to believe that the experts are there because they know best; actually the experts are there to train the public to sit passively while mumbo jumbo trumps sense.

The purpose of school is to accustom the future consumers to passively accept the services of experts: and, I repeat, the purpose of experts to to train the passive consumers, the obediant workers, to allow mumbo jumbo to trump sense.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Myth Displaces Experience

Recreating / Teaching / Society / NoHier / DeSchool /

Reasons for Kleptocracy's Compulsory Schooling
(Reverse Engineering Society's Purpose for Education)

Myth Displaces Experience

Science depends on evidence, culture depends on myth. Politics can be depended upon to use coercion to introduce new myths and to empower them over experience. One king will drive his culture into seeing that their nearly flat earth has become curved; but most kings will drive their culture into insisting that the curved earth is flat.

Authorities are typically retrograde.

In the contemporary world, Nazi-run since the early industrial revolution, all hoi poloi must attend ritual "learning" sessions called school. In the United States we repeat to the children, more often than the magician insists that his trick deck is "an ordinary deck of playing cards," that the children — penned there by law, by gun, by jail — have free speech. At no point do the children, or the parents, or their journalists, get to visit the jails, full of the censored, the falsely-accused, the kangaroo-convicted. The first guy I talked to in federal prison said he was there so he couldn't publish a sequel to his I Know Who Shot JFK.

If I say "I've been censored," the schooled don't ask where they could find evidence; they correct me: with their imposed myth of liberty and justice for all.

Even the scientists know that, if they want their government handouts to continue, they'll find the evidence for their experiments in government-kept terrariums of Potemkin information.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Recreating / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschool /

Reasons for Kleptocracy's Compulsory Schooling
(Reverse Engineering Society's Purpose for Education)

School as Halter

The horseman prepares the young horse for work (such as carrying a rider) by confining the horse to a pen with the trainer. Gradually most candidate horses will accept the presence of the trainer (most are born to captivity anyway), then the horse accepts a halter, then a blanket, then a saddle, then a bit ... Once the trainer mounts the horse to finish "breaking" it, most horses comply after only a little protest kicking. Those that don't are sent to the glue factory, not put on welfare. Schools do the same for young kleptocrats.

Sure some skills are offered, some actually learned, in part, by some: math, grammar, history ... football, typing ... But always, as background, so familiar as to be as invisible as water to a fish, the young kleptocrat is trained in the kleptocracy's justifications for its brand of kleptocracy: It was right of us Jews to take Canaan from the Canaanites, Because .... God loves us, not them ...

Reasons: Myth will continue to develop that reason further: then I'll resurrect the bulk of's forty-year long list of additions to Illich's quorum of reasons kleptocracies compel the young to consume schooling.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Monopolize, Homogenize

Recreating / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschool /

Reasons for Kleptocracy's Compulsory Schooling:
Monopolize Time
While Homogenizing the Population

Modern schools monopolize the population's time and attention from early (early enough for children to be utterly impressionable) to the very borderline of adulthood (where habits of thought have already been formed).

If the schools were conversant with good habits of thought and tried to pass them along, that might be a good thing, but developing healthy minds is the opposite of the schools' true purpose: monopolize time while homogenizing the population. The most successfully homogenized, honor students, are sent onto universities which continue the processing. My Academic Bestiary of examples of school atrocities [reassmebled here] narrates the case of my fourth grade teacher pointedly avoiding thanking me for the cookies I'd baked for the class. She attributed the gift to my mother whom she thanked warmly in absentia. She called me a liar when I reasserted the cookies' true provenance (they were mine!) I was convicted without a formal accusation or a trial before my peers (twelve fourth grade boys who baked cookies: how would that be for a jury?)

Might that experience have a little something to do with my never having been an honor student? not in high school, not before, not at Columbia, not in graduate school? The same zoo reports the school's response to my challenge to the high school geometry teacher's axioms as being neither Euclidean nor improved: zero: note she just repeated the axioms. My challenge wasn't passed on to her supervisors, to the school board. No board of mathematicians met to review her text's axioms or my charges against them. How can such a charade pass for "education"? It's simple. The answer is the same as the answer for so many questions: kleptocracy. Education means whatever the kleptocracy wants it to mean. Geometry means whatever the kleptocracy wants it to mean. Law, order, democracy .. they all mean whatever the kleptocracy wants them to mean. And the school is the pacifier kept stuck in your mouth till you've missed all chances to grow into a man. The honor students, the most homogenized, most pliable, among the mass of castrati, are rewarded to rehearse the lies at Time-Life, at NBC ... Some of them actually keep a corner of themselves intelligent: Bob Costas, Pat Buchanan ... But most are Kennedies and Nixons and have no unpolluted intelligence anywhere: cleverness merely: together with a plentiful lack of principle.


Man: had already repeated Paul Quinnet's title point of his Pavlov's Trout, but it bears repeating here.
We all know how Pavlov rang a bell while dogs were being fed. He then rang the bell and noted that he'd "conditioned" the dogs to salivate at the bell, even when no food was being served: response by association. Fine. How many of us know that the dogs were put on a table and put into a harness? How many of us know that one dog simply wouldn't cooperate? Pavlov could kill it, but he couldn't get it to wear the harness or to "behave" on the table. Paul Quinnett tells this story to "explain" to us why we love to catch fish: "because" the fish is like Pavlov's undomesticated, untamed dog; while we are like the rest of Pavlov's dogs. We are like the cow stupidly walking up the ramp where some guy will smash it in the face with a sledge hammer. Cows are so well "schooled" they need no school. Think of Jesus. We imagine him standing still, cooperating while the soldiers nailed him to the cross. I wish he'd torn himself to pieces, trying to escape.
2009 03 23 I insert a reminder to develop a comparison to "why" we love crime fiction: we know we're tame; we love to imagine heroes who aren't: Ned Kelly, Billy the Kid, Robin Hood ...
PS: I received a bee sting a couple of hours ago, my first in decades. I've suffered very few bee stings in my life. I used to offer to capture the bees in my bare hands so I could release them unharmed out the school window rather than allow the teacher's order that some "boy" kill the bee: eek! The bee never stung me. I was lucky, the bee had fewer than half its wits, it didn't like my smell ... or it sensed (correctly) no harm from me. Indeed, I saved it. Someone sees a bee, not just women, they become agitated, they wave their arms ... What I did, I felt something crawling around in my leg hairs, near my knee: inside thigh. Without thinking or looking, I pawed at it. It was a yellow jacket. It stung me: but good. I didn't blame the bee. I didn't judge the bee. I just killed it Hell, it was going to die anyway, it's stinger ripped by my flesh from its bowels. If I'd let the bee crawl around amid my thigh hairs to its heart content, it never would have stung me. As the Nazi colonel says at the end of Rossellini's Generale della Rovere, "It's my fault." (Hasn't anyone else seen that great movie? I've never heard it mentioned since I saw it back in the 50s.) I don't blame the teachers either. They're just conditioned domesticated animals: cattle so stupid they cooperate in their own slaughter: protecting the kidnappers who feed them. I don't blame even the fourth grade teacher who called me a liar. She was just protecting her prejudices from the truth: something any domesticated dog might do. What I wish is that I had just killed her. No judgment: just escape. Tear yourself apart rather than accept the hook and line. Does the fish think, "Wait a minute: why fight? maybe whatever has hooked me has only good intentions for me. maybe I'll be put in clear water, surrounded by healthy females, no other predators: my own private paradise ... No. The fish is a predator. In a world of predators. Real predators know better than to trust anybody. It's bad enough to trust your mate, or your litter. Sometimes that too backfires. Why trust God? Who knows what kind of a predator he is? Spiders like the black widow are one predator who've safely solved any social needs: they simply kill any bug they can reach: they have to be hypnotized to mate. ... Oh well: it would be very interesting to see what constitutes the biosphere one hundred, one thousand, five thousand years ... from now. How much of it will be domesticated? Will any part of it be human?

I unintentionally for the moment penned a pun above, a profound pun. Gregory Bateson identifies a series of levels of meta-learning as Learning0, Learning1, Learning2 ... [The / Thinking Tools module is to be recreated at my pkTools blog.] A creature operating entirely on what used to be called "instinct" exhibits Learning0 in a pure form. My favorite illustration is one from a science doc, possibly by Sir David Attenborough. The female wasp goes through her routine of preparing her next for egg laying. She clears a path, then the inside of the nest, then goes back up the path to reach the next stage. If a mean scientist puts any kind of debris on the path while she's clearing the nest, she's go back and clean the next again: endlessly, forever: if you keep putting new debris in the path. Instead of going 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... What was that, Paul? Of yes, these texts are written by idiots. But that's the school system for you. 6, 7, 8 ... The interrupted insect went 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3 ....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Medium School is the Message

Recreating / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschool /

Reasons for Kleptocracy's Compulsory Schooling:
The Medium Is the Message

Marshall McLuhan said it. The public repeated it (without understanding it). Illich analyzed its truth with regard to schools: It doesn't matter what tripe you parrot in school; what matters is that you're there: where you've been told to be: by people (not your parents) who do not have your independence or maturity at heart.

What could be more ironic than a captive audience of young consumers being told by the jailers that they're free, and what they're forced to consume is their free choice in a free market?

I don't challenge father's right to tell his son to get behind the plow or mother's right to tell Sissie to keep her legs crossed; I do challenge the state's right to tell our children anything: let alone where they have to be when told (or how much the force-feeders should be paid) (from public funds!)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Schools Clone the Society

Resurrecting / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschool /

Reasons for Kleptocracy's Compulsory Schooling
(Reverse Engineering Society's Purpose for Education)

Society's Reproductive Organ

School's Purpose

To Clone Culture

(And Our Culture Is Kleptocratic)

Illich said it. I can't overemphasize it. School is society's reproductive organ. But it's a vegetative process — budding; not sexual reproduction : where different informations mix: to unpredictable results. The results of schools are highly predictable.

The school does not engage in education or learning: it dispenses it. The school isn't a communication system; it's a broadcasting system. It dispenses messages: it doesn't receive them.

What school does wonderfully well is propagate the kleptocracy's basic message to its new cells:
Submit: and you'll be allowed to live.
What Christmas tells children at high volume and on every channel for a month or so before the winter solstice, the school tells children in a never-flagging whisper five days a week for ever more of the children's year:
Submit to absurdity or you'll get at best a minimum share of the kleptocracy's loot.
That minority of children who seem to submit well, regurgitating what's poured into them without choking or carrying on, get a special formula of the message:
Submit to absurdity gladly, submit to it well, and you'll not just be on the dole of the loot, you'll participate in the doling.
Some few not only participate in the dole but get to live in the palace. Truly glad participants, ones who wouldn't dream of giving the game away, may even get to abuse living in the palace. Now that's real success, abusing your position: get blow jobs under the desk, get to bomb poor people in far away countries.

(I don't mean drop the bombs: some loser does that; I mean order the dropping: decide who lives and who dies: in numbers the most insane Caesar never dreamed of. Poor Muslims in Afghanistan don't get no loot. They don't get to live!)

If you still say that Santa brings the loot even after you've caught your parents wrapping the gift, you're well ready for school. If you can remember how to spell "principle" from "principal" because the head administrator of your school is your "princi-pal"; if you can still say that Christians follow Jesus, or that churches serve God, or that government serves the People, or that Democracy is by the People, or that ETS tests intelligence ... by the time you graduate, why then you're ready for ... a life time of ... more of the same.

My graduate school told me what English was; it never heard a thing I said about what English was. But then society in general has never heard a thing I've said back to it.

I would rather fail to live than to abase myself to absurdity.
(I do want to live: just get out of my way and let me do it.)
I also say
There really are great teachers: Ivan Illich, Bucky Fuller, Gregory Bateson, Jared Diamond ... You just don't listen to them
(or to pk, trying his best).

At my HTML controlled the appearance of the data; here, Google rewrites my HTML: drives me crazy.

2011 09 17 I won't bother to rewrite code since all will soon be movd to pKnatz blog: there I'll sweat the code.

Speaking of Cloning:

I wish I could stimulate everyone to see a book, movie, painting I recommend. If I could I'd "make" everyone see Tarkovsky's Solaris. Critic Roger Ebert noted one of the film's astonishing effects: at the end, it's raining. It's been raining throughout the film's scenes on earth. We recognize the house, we learned the house as Kelvin's father's house. It's raining inside the house!
Ah, but Ebert failed to mention: it is not earth, it is not Kelvin's father's house; Solaris has a sentient ocean, the ocean is assimilating ideas from the human cosmonauts. Now Solaris is cloning was it has impressions of. But the planet does not know what it's doing!

Are these clones harmless? Wait and find out; or fight to the death.