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Missive #34

I fixed the problem with Astra on Sunday. Have not received a response to my Support Ticket to which I plan on saying: “Thank you very much, I have fixed the problem. If you give me enough time I can usually do that OR I will make it worse and give you even more work to do.”

The problem appeared when I updated to Astra 4.0.2. The version that I had been using had the Post Title Meta Data selector button in the OFF position as the default.This 4.0.2 version had the selector button in the ON position as the default. I found it and found out what it did as much by accident as knowing what I was doing.

I also noticed that the opening quote glyph on my quotes was screwed up so I have spent some time fixing that also.

I will not be watching the State Of The Union speech tonight but have a prediction. The pilot of the F-22 Raptor fighter that shot down the Chinese balloon will be in the audience sitting next to Dr. Jill.

There were no Book Promos that I could find and very few Customer reviews for this book. It is certainly not one of Huxley’s most read books. That should not be in my opinion. I can’t say that I really liked the book but I liked his essays, some were good and some not so good, more than his novels.

In lieu of a Book Promo I give you the Contents. Each chapter is a separate essay that was probably first published in various magazines during the 1920s then in this book in 1928.

  • The Idea of Equality
  • Varieties of Intelligence
  • Education
  • Political Democracy
  • The Essence of Religion
  • A Note on Dogma
  • The Substitutes for Religion
  • Personality and the Discontinuity of the Mind
  • A Note on Ideals
  • A Note on Eugenics
  • Comfort

Here are a few quotes from the book.

Class and money determine, not the nature of the individual’s intelligence, but the way in which it shall be used and the ends which the individual sets himself to attain. Thus, it is sufficiently obvious that intense poverty and continuous exhausting labour prevent any but a very few of the poor and hardworking from using their intelligences in the sphere of abstract thought. An upbringing in commercial surroundings, coupled with the need to earn a living, will predispose a man to set up the making of money as the end of life, and to use all his intelligence to achieve that end.

Demagogues are not the only or even the most efficient exploiters of human suggestibility. The newspaper proprietors have carried the art of the confidence trickster to a yet higher pitch. The spread of elementary education has been accompanied by a great increase in the influence of the press. Who reads may run in the same direction as his newspaper. This is a fact of which the rich were not slow to take advantage. Practically speaking, the whole English press is now in the hands of four or five rich men. Plutocratic oligarchs, they aspire to rule, under cover of democratic institutions, impersonally and without responsibility. To exploit democracy, they have seen, is easier and more profitable than to oppose it. Let the many vote, but as the opulent few who own the newspapers tell them. The many obey — generally, but not always.…
The newspaper proprietors will not rule undisputedly until they have discovered in what circumstances men assent, and in what others they respond to suggestion by deliberate contradiction. They have already realized (what schoolmasters have discovered long ago) that indirect suggestion is less liable to arouse contradiction than direct. Doctored news convinces much more effectually than many dogmatic leading articles. But the science of journalistic confidence trickery is still in its infancy. A time will doubtless come when the propagandist methods of contemporary newspaper owners will seem basically crude and inept.

States function as smoothly as they do, because the greater part of the population is not very intelligent, dreads responsibility, and desires nothing better than to be told what to do. Provided the rulers do not interfere with its material comforts and its cherished beliefs, it is perfectly happy to let itself be ruled. The socially efficient and the intellectually gifted are precisely those who are not content to be ruled, but are ambitious either to rule or to live in an anti-social solitude. A state with a population consisting of nothing but these superior people could not hope to last for a year.

But society being what, in fact, it was, they did nothing of the kind. It was not, indeed, until the sixteenth century that chairs became at all common. Before that time a chair was a symbol of authority. Committeemen now loll, Members of Parliament are comfortably seated, but authority still belongs to a Chairman, still issues from a symbolical Chair. In the Middle Ages only the great had chairs. When a great man traveled, he took his chair with him, so that he might never be seen detached from the outward and visible sign of his authority.

2 thoughts on “Missive #34”

    1. The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, will be with Dr. Jill as well. Plus the parents of Tyre Nichols and Bono.

      That still leaves room for a last minute invitation for the F-22 Raptor fighter pilot to take a seat.

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