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College Profs Denounce Western Culture, Move to Caves

Autor:   •  February 16, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,646 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,003 Views

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[Light blogging, as I have been busy this week. Well, okay, drunk. Anyway, here's a slight remix of one of my old leftovers, a 1999 CNSNews piece.]

Cambridge, MA - Two years ago this month, Alan Lowenstein, associate professor of philosophy at Harvard University, came to a fateful conclusion. "I suddenly realized that the oppression of western technology extended to my own life," he explained. "That's when I got rid of my computer, threw away my Brooks Brothers suits, changed my name to Grok and moved into a cave."

A passionate critic of Euro-American "linear thought," Grok is one of a growing number of college professors around the nation who have relocated to caves, mud huts and makeshift sweat lodges to demonstrate their disdain for western culture and technology. For Grok, 44, the move to a cave was a natural step in his intellectual progression.

"My dissertation at Columbia synthesized the seminal works of Jacques Lacan, Derrida, and Michel Foucault," says Grok, referring to the influential French deconstructionist philosophers. "I was able to prove, conclusively, that conclusiveness is not conclusive."

The 1988 dissertation, entitled "Beyond the (Dis)Integration of Post-Modern Post-Toasties Pair 'o Dimes and Paradigms: Look at How Clever I Am," created a stir in academic circles and landed Lowenstein a prestigious teaching position at Harvard. From there, he honed his cutting-edge research.

"I began to deconstruct everything I could get my hands on," says Grok. "The Old Testament, Shakespeare, Dick and Jane, a 1967 J.C. Whitney catalog, the Boston phone book, you name it. I showed how everything is a lie, that everything could be deconstructed. Well, except Deconstruction, obviously."

When he earned tenure in 1991, Grok decided to broaden his philosophical research. "I realized that deconstructing literature was overly limiting. It was clear that other fields of inquiry could benefit from deconstruction."

It was then that Grok published a series of influential articles in which he deconstructed the sciences. "I initially showed that the so-called 'scientific method,' so treasured by the self-appointed high priests of science, was nothing but a bizarre ritual of the industrialist phallocracy," said Grok. "From there, it was a short intellectual leap to disprove the reality of the periodic tables, gravity and algebra."

The Awakening

Despite being elected chairman of the Philosophy Department in 1995, Grok felt an intellectual void. "I needed some way to explain why literature and science were so bad, so putrid, so incredibly vile," said Grok. "That's when it dawned on me. They were the products of western culture."



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