Why many of our neighbours think what they do, and why they shouldn’t
|August 19, 2011||Posted by O'Leary under Culture, Books of interest|
In “The Interstitials” (New Republic, August 17, 2011), Michael Kimmage reviews Robert Vanderlan’s Intellectuals Incorporated: Politics, Art and Ideas inside Henry Luce’s Media Empire, an account of Henry Luce’s Time, Life, and Fortune empire:
Intellectuals Incorporated is a bracing contribution to American intellectual history. It is full of well-drawn biographical portraits, and through them Vanderlan analyzes a dynamic whereby intellectuals transform and are transformed by the world around them. The book reveals the complexity of this process, and Vanderlan writes about multiple paradoxes with originality and insight. What may at first be a job, and only that, can evolve into a calling. Luce, the rich and self-confident boss, owner, and entrepreneur was in charge, but he was consistently vulnerable to the will of others, the writers and photographers in his service. The market may be omnipotent, but the power behind this market is the consumers buying and reading the magazines, and they are often unformed and pliable. These consumers are altered by what they see and read. In this way, intellectuals, incorporated or not, can act upon the world as much as bosses and entrepreneurs.
Yes, and what did they achieve? A world where, in the words of senior Time writer Michael D. Lemonick,
Utterly contrary to common sense . . . and to the evidence gathered from our own introspection, consciousness may be nothing more than an evanescent by-product of more mundane, wholly physical processes.
“Consciousness is somehow a by-product of the simultaneous, high-frequency firing of neurons in different parts of the brain. It’s the meshing of these frequencies that generates consciousness . . . just as the tones from individual instruments produce the rich, complex and seamless sound of a symphony orchestra.”
There, Lemonick is just making stuff up, in support of atheist materialism, sounding like he knowd what he is talking about. Oh, and
Despite our every instinct to the contrary, there is one thing that consciousness is not: some entity deep inside the brain that corresponds to the “self,” some kernel of awareness that runs the show, as the “man behind the curtain” manipulated the illusion of a powerful magician in The Wizard of Oz. After more than a century of looking for it, brain researchers have long since concluded that there is no conceivable place for such a self to be located in the physical brain, and that it simply doesn’t exist.
– Michael D. Lemonick, “Glimpses of the Mind,” Time , July 17, 1995.
People have been steeped in this bilge for decades, they believe it, and act accordingly. And, spurred by the same “authorities,” they believe that traditional accounts of humanity are well-meaning falsehoods – when they are actually far more coherent and plausible. But those accounts do cast a cold light on the Luce empire’s intellectuals – legends in their own minds, mostly.
But one can’t argue with what people believe if they still read legacy media that insist it’s true.