evilbeej: (Marvel: Pete Hotknives)
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evilbeej: (Pete: DO YR HWK)
Board: Academy X
Message: 15/65
Date: Sun Feb 19
Author: Pete Wisdom
Subject: World History/CWA...


...has been rescheduled to a time when *sane* human beings are awake, rather than stupid o'clock: 3 PM, not noon. Same day.

The first and most important thing you've got to understand is that /no one/, likely save some mutant Shaolin monk from high in the Steppes, can know everything. Even if some poor bastard in, say, East Timor - just to be more hypothetically sadistic, yes - DID happen to be perfectly and clearly aware of every singly thing happening in the world through every moment of his life, that's still just one lifetime's worth of comprehensive world history. One miserably short lifetime.


And one lifetime out of however many billions of years of sentient life on Earth, that's nothing. That's a goldfish fart in a tsunami. And consider that there're only so many years of /evidence/ of written history, and /of/ those years, the unwritten events-- the sheer volume of raw knowledge that mankind has *lost*. If it helps, think of it - world history - as a ninety-year-old granny who hits her head on the medicine cabinet door and gets total amnesia *then* has a *stroke*, has to spend the next year and a half learning to move, speak, read, and write, and then dies the week after she masters the diagramming of sentences.

Pretty crap, right?

Now remember that hypothetical all-seeing bloke in East Timor. There's no way he can write all of it down. Not even if he's Quicksilver. Too much data. So even if everything _could_ be known, not all of it could be recorded, and /of/ what /could/ be, only part of it survives or ever even comes to light.

Got that? All right.

We, as a race - and I'm talking, to clarify for you separatist bastards, about *we* the /people of Earth/ - know precious little about our own past and fuck-all about our own surroundings. I'm telling you, even bloody /time-travellers/ an only read so many books (or whatever, telepathic brain-dumps, *I* don't know). Just as a practical aside, I'll note, this means if some crafty fuck comes up to you and says 'Oi, look here, mate, I'm from the future so you'd best do as I say or it'll be the worse for you, I *know*, I've /seen/' then you're to take it with roughly an ocean of salt.

So. This class is meant to be about world history and current events, and I've just gone and told you it's impossible to actually learn enough of it to matter at all. Now that I've completely discouraged as many of you as possible from attempting to be educated, I'll tell you what I'll actually be *teaching* you:

How to determine what you actually need to know in order to make this world we've got into a better place, using examples from, yes, history, and applying them to, yes, current affairs; how to tell when you're being lied to, and how to compare sources to get a broader view of a situation or news account; how to determine *what is relevant*, and why, and how.

Anyone who likes is free to see me after class and arrange for an independent study -- which WILL be graded -- that protects your sheltered little worldview and fulfills the state's requirements of mass indoctrination.

evilbeej: (Che!)
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Reading list:
Postman, N., & Weingartner, C. Teaching as a Subversive Activity. New York: Delacorte Press, 1969.
Jay, Anthony (Ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Lasn, Kalle. Culture Jam. New York: Quill, 2000.
Pelton, Robert Young. The World's Most Dangerous Places, 4th Edition. New York: HarperResource, 2000.
Engles, F. & Marx, K. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Washington Square Press, 1964.
Bullitt, John M. Jonathan Swift and the Anatomy of Satire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953.
The National Citizenship Test (1965, Bantam Books)
Goldin, Judah. The Living Talmud. Chicago: Mentor Books, 1957.
Campbell, Joseph. Myths to Live By. NYC: Bantam Books, 1972.
Guenther, H.V. Tibetan Buddhism in Western Perspective.Emeryville, CA: Dharma Books, 1977.
Armstrong, Karen. The English Mystics. London: Kyle Cathie Ltd., 1991.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.
Points of Rebellion by William O. Douglas.
Civilization, Past and Present, Vol I by Wallbank and Taylor, USC Press, 1942.
MI6: Inside Her Majesty's Secret Service by Stephen Dorril.
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan.
A Dictionary of World Mythology by Arthur Cotterell.
Fighting Chance: Ten Feet to Survival by Arthur Robinson, Ph.D., and Gary North, Ph.D.
Dictionary of Theories by Jennifer Bothamley.
Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch.
evilbeej: (Alistaire Banana)
WARNING! House of M spoilers herein! )
evilbeej: (wondy)
A short fic which follows up Benway's X-Manson Marvel cult fic.

I Could Be Again )


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