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Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)
Ian Dickson on Mon, 6 Oct 2003 18:13:34 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> A Puff Piece on Wikipedia (Fwd)

In message <200310060046.h960kHs15070 {AT} bbs.thing.net>, Kermit Snelson 
<ksnelson {AT} subjectivity.com> writes
>  The true conundrum at
>the heart of intellectual work is not the fact that it is sometimes
>persecuted, but that it must be paid for, and that it has never been
>able to pay for itself.  Intellectuals and artists have always relied on
>patronage, patronage depends on plunder, and plunder depends on deceit
>and exploitation.  Who, after all, paid for Europe's cathedrals?  Who
>paid for Beethoven's sonatas?  Who pays for universities today?  In a
>very real sense, Straussianism is nothing but a formula for plunder and
>deceit, all for the sake of making the "philosophical" life possible.
1) Intellectual work does not have to be paid for.

I give you Van Gogh on one hand and my unpublished novels on the other. 
Or even this post.

Not forgetting a long and honourable tradition of people doing 
intellectual work in their spare time, or even while doing something 
rather boring.

Of course it is a fact that many people who consider themselves 
intellectuals do like the idea of being paid for their elegant thoughts, 
and some of them get quite stroppy when they don't believe that society 
recognises what they believe to be the real monetary value of those 

2) To move from arguing that accepting patronage implies that 
intellectuals are in support of deceit and exploitation it just plain 
sloppy thinking.

To accept patronage from Saddam Hussein (when you could choose not to) 
would be to support such activity.

But to accept patronage from me certainly doesn't. (Please don't all 
rush at once, my current scope for patronage is limited, at least until 
I can find some more customers to engage in deceitful exploitation).

ian dickson                                  www.commkit.com
phone +44 (0) 1452 862637                    fax +44 (0) 1452 862670
PO Box 240, Gloucester, GL3 4YE, England

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