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A Review
Chapter IV
Boris Sidis'
Philistine and Genius
by Doug Renselle

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Chapter IV
Back to Fundamentals — Minus Collegial & Corporate Barbarities.
©Quantonics' contrived chapter title.


(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)
22 "We are stock-blind to our own barbarities; we do not realize the enormities of our life and consider our age and country as civilized and enlightened. We censure the faults of other societies, but do not notice our own. Thus Lecky, [1838-1903 ad. Irish historian, William Edward Hartpole Lecky.] in describing Roman society, says: The gladiatorial games form indeed the one feature which to a modern mind is almost inconceivable in its atrocity. That not only men, but women, in an advanced period of civilization, — men and women who not only professed, but very frequently acted upon a high code of morals — should have made the carnage of men their habitual amusement, that all this should have continued" (Our bold emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

Consider Boris' statement from a quantum, "both global cohesion, and individual autonomy," perspective.

...made the carnage of fetuses their habitual amusement...

"for centuries with scarcely a protest, is one of the most startling facts in moral history. It is, however, perfectly normal, while it opens our fields of ethical inquiry of a very deep, though painful, character.'

"As in modern times, our college authorities justify the brutalities of football and prize-fights, so in ancient times the great moralists of those ages justified their gladiatorial games. Thus the great orator, the moralizing philosopher, Cicero [106-43 bc. Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Stoic philosopher, greatest Roman orator, master of Latin language and prose.], in speaking of the gladiatorial games, tells us: 'When guilty men are compelled to fight, no better discipline against suffering and death can be presented to the eye.' And it is certainly instructive for us to learn that 'the very men who looked down with delight, when the sand of the arena reddened with human blood, made the theater ring with applause when"

(Our bracketed notes.)

Sports fans, skip forward a couple of pages!


"Terence in his famous line proclaimed the brotherhood of men.'

"One feeble protest is on record, a protest coming from the mother of civilization, from ancient Athens. When an attempt was made to introduce the games into Athens, the philosopher Demonax appealed successfully to the better feelings of the people by exclaiming: 'You must first overthrow the altar of pity!' [Demonax was a second century bc philosopher. Demonax attempted revival of Diogenes' cynical philosophy. Born in Cyprus, Demonax went to Athens, where he became very popular. His philosophical hero was Diogenes, a third century bc philosophical cynic. Demonax hated vice. One identifiable friend of Demonax was Epictetus, a Phrygian Stoic. Demonax lived to be nearly a hundred.]

"The philosopher Demonax had not the compromising spirit of the modem professor. Although the brutal games of our youth and populace need a Demonax, we certainly should not look for one in our colleges and universities. Our college authorities assure us that athletic prestige is indispensable to a good university. In fact, according to some official statements, football teams are supposed to express the superior intellectual activities of our foremost"

(Our bold, red and green emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

"colleges. Like Cicero of old, we claim that 'our games are good — they train men, and no better discipline can be presented to the eye.'

"The fact is, man is bat-blind to the evils of the environment in which he is bred. He takes those evils as a matter of course, and even finds good reasons to justify them as edifying and elevating. In relation to his own surroundings, man is in the primitive condition of the Biblical Adam, — he is not conscious of his own moral nakedness. Six days in the week we witness and uphold the wholesale carnage, national and international, political, economical, in shops, factories, mines, railroads and on the battlefields, while on the seventh we sing hymns to the God of mercy, love and peace.

"We pick up the first newspapers or popular magazines that come to our hand,"

(Our bold emphasis.)

"and we read of wars, slaughters, murders, lynchings, crimes and outrages on life and liberty; we read of strikes, lockouts, of tales of starvation and of frightful infant mortality; we read of diseases and epidemics ravaging the homes of our working population; we read of corporation iniquities, of frauds and corruption of our legislative bodies, of the control of politics by the criminal classes of the great metropolis of our land. We read of all that evil and corruption, but forget them next moment.

"Our social life is corrupt, our body politic is eaten through with cankers and sores, "the whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises and putrefying sores," and yet we think we are a civilized people, superior to all"

(Our bold emphasis.)

More Gore!

More Clinton!


"countries and to all ages. 'The voice of our brother's blood crieth unto us from the ground.' How can we be so callous? How can we be so mole-blind and so stone-deaf ?

"The truth is, we have but a thin varnish of humaneness, glossing over a rude barbarism. With our lips we praise the God of love, but in our hearts we adore the God of force. How much physical force is worshiped we can realize from the crowds that throng the games of baseball, football, prize-fights and boxing exhibitions. They go into tens of thousands. How many would be drawn by a St. Paul, an Epictetus, or a Socrates? [First century ad. St. Paul. 14th and last apostle appointed directly by Jesus. Paul was relentlessly tested by God more than any other apostle. He suffered thorns of responsibility his entire life. Perhaps he suffered because he killed prior to becoming an apostle. Yet, uniquely he, invited but alone, visited spiritual levels beyond those of any human other than Jesus himself. Doug's fading references here are recall of his first full reading of New Testament seven years ago. 5May2000]

"The newspaper, the mirror of our social life, is filled with the names and exploits of our magnates of high finance, our money-mongers and usurers. Our journals teem with deeds and scandals of our refined "smart set" set up as patterns, as"

(Our bold emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

Almost none.
28 "ideals, after which our middle class so longingly craves. Like the Israelites of old we worship golden calves and sacred bulls. Our daughters yearn after the barbaric shimmer and glitter of the [bejeweled] [PDR corrected spelling 3May2000], bespangled, empty-minded, parasitic females of "the smart set." Our college boys admire the feats of the trained athlete and scorn the work of the 'grind.' Our very schoolboys crave for the fame of a Jeffries and a Johnson [Johnson was first black in USA to achieve prize-fight championship. Jeffries attempted to retrieve white control of prize-fighting, but lost, July 4, 1910. Race riots bloomed all over USA as a result. Doug]. If in the depths of space there is some solar system inhabited by really rational beings, and if one of such beings should by some miracle happen to visit our planet, he would no doubt turn away in horror." (Our bold emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

Given our newer quantum underpinnings we might noodle those beings would abhor classical 'rationality,' as a primal cause of that which Boris declares "Philistine."
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2012 Rev. 26Aug2009  PDR Created: 5May2000  PDR
(6Jun2001 rev - Correct p. 23 typo.)
(12Aug2005 rev - Adjust colors. Add arrow GIF in place of wingdings.)
(14pr2006 rev - Adjust colors. Release table constraints.)
(26Aug2009 rev - Make page current.)

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