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

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Chapter XVI
Nurture Mutable Memes; Vaccinate Microbes of Myopia.
©Quantonics' contrived chapter title.


(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)
91 "One other important point claims our attention in the process of education of man's genius. We must immunize our children against mental microbes, as we vaccinate our babies against small-pox. The cultivation of critical judgment and the knowledge of evil are two powerful constituents that form the antitoxin for the neutralization of the virulent toxins produced by mental microbes. At the same time we should not neglect proper conditions of mental hygiene. We should not people the child's mind with ghost stories, with absurd beliefs in the supernatural, and with articles of creed charged with brimstone and pitch from the bowels of hell. We must guard the child against"

(Our bold and color emphasis.)

3Aug2000 Comment added by PDR: For those of you interested in MoQ, especially those of you taking degrees now in MoQ, this page is worth a whole semester's class of work juxtaposing Boris' words with Pirsigean philosophy.

As you know, we emphasize importance of Dawkinsian memetics here in Quantonics. What are Dawkinsian memetics in MoQ? What do Boris' words mean here when he speaks of "mental microbes?" Juxtapose "mental microbes" to Dawkinsian "memes." (See Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, et al.)

What criteria do we use to "criticize" Quantonics' "quantum memes" vis-à-vis Boris' classical "mental microbes?"

Consider MoQ's social level vis-à-vis its biological level. Consider social antibiotics and vaccines against socially harmful biological infectious agents. Consider morality of a social level's attempt to destroy 'evil' biological agents while preserving good biology.

Now shift your thinking up one level to intellectual vis-à-vis social. Boris speaks of antisociotics (coined), doesn't he? Consider moral aspects from MoQ standpoint and compare to judgments you made re: social vis-à-vis biological.

There is much here!!! Heads up! Doug. 3Aug2000.


"all evil fears, superstitions, prejudices and credulity.

"We should counteract the baneful influences of the pathogenic, pestiferous, mental microbes which now infest our social air, since the child, not having yet formed the antitoxin of critical judgment and knowledge of evil, has not the power of resisting mental infection, and is thus very susceptible to mental contagion on account of his extreme suggestibility. The cultivation of credulity [too easy believability], the absence of critical judgment and of recognition of evil, with consequent increase of suggestibility, make man an easy prey to all kinds of social delusions, mental epidemics, religious crazes, financial manias, and political plagues, which have been the baleful pest of aggregate humanity in all ages.

"The immunization of children, the development"

(Our bold emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

Evil, i.e., ESQ.

We concur.

"of resistance to mental germs whether moral, immoral or religious, can only be effected by the medical man with a psychological and psychopathological training. Just as science, philosophy and art have gradually passed out of the control of the priest, so now we find that the control of mental and moral life is gradually passing away from under the influence of the church into the hands of the medical psychopathologist.

"The physical life of the nation is now gradually being regulated by medical science with a consequent decrease of disease and mortality. Gradually and slowly the school begins to feel the need of medical advice, both as to the health of the pupils and their more efficient training. Gradually the medical man assumes the responsibility of guiding the teacher and telling him why the pupils are defective in their"


"studies and why the pedantic methods of academic pedagogy are arid and sterile. In some cases the doctor actually undertakes the training of the young. Thus the Italian doctor, Maria Montessori [Italian educator and physician; originated her own Montessori school methods. PDR], from the education of defective children has finally undertaken, with immense, almost phenomenal, success, the training and education of normal children.

"As we look forward into the future we begin to see that the school is coming under the control of the medical man. The medical man free from superstitions and prejudices, possessed of the science of mind and body, is to assume in the future the supervision of the education of the nation.

"The schoolmaster and the schoolma'am with their narrow-minded, pedantic pseudogogics [pseudagogics] are gradually losing prestige and passing away, while the medical man"

(Our bold and color emphasis. Our bracketed notes.)

We are unsure, but think Boris uses both pseudagogics and pseudogogics as synonyms.

"alone is able to cope with the serious threatening danger of national mental degeneration. Just as the medical profession now saves the nation from physical degeneration and works for the physical regeneration of the body-politic, so will the medical profession of the future assume the duty of saving the nation from mental and moral decline, from degeneration into a people of fear-possessed, mind-racked psychopathics and neurotics, with broken wills and crushed individualities on the one hand, accompanied, on the other hand, by the still worse affliction and incurable malady of a self contented mediocrity and a hopeless, Chinese philistinism.

"There are in the United States about two hundred thousand insane, while the victims of psychopathic, mental maladies may be counted by the millions. Insanity"

(Our bold emphasis.)
96 "can be greatly alleviated, but much, if not all, of that psychopathic mental misery known as functional mental disease is entirely preventable. It is the result of our pitiful, wretched, brain starving, mind-crippling methods of education." (Our bold emphasis.)

Just by adopting pluralism's many contexts and many truths we cure much of insanity.

To view schizophrenia as many contexts instead of insanity would be an incredible breakthrough. That view requires acknowledgment of a quantum (not a classical) reality, however. We can make similar remarks about autism also.
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Doug Renselle
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2012 Rev. 26Aug2009  PDR Created: 5May2000  PDR
(3Aug2000 rev - Add new comments in red to page 91.)
(20Mar2001 rev - Add p. 96 autism link.)
(26Aug2009 rev - Make page current.)

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