Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Henry and George

Foreword: George (see below) has been quoted as saying that the world would be better without editors. I can see his point. They change structure thereby stomping on what an author is trying to convey. Yet, their 'lifting' of the message (assuming that this is possible) can improve what was written. And, would we not acknowledge that some of what we see in blogs could use an edit or two? The whole tone in this blog is supposed to be coherent and, hopefully, convergent to some notion that has extreme importance (in my opinion) to our future. From time to time, there may be what seems like a digression, yet such has a purpose. This is a start of one of those.


George is for George Edward Kimball, III whom I met 46 years ago (Aug '65) in Lawrence, KS. In brief, George was my roommate for about six months. He and I kicked around Lawrence until I left in spring of 1967 for SF. I did not see George, again, until 2009 when we (my wife and I) caught up with him at lunch in Lawrence.

As I recall, George and I never talked about our past or families. I read some (especially the recap sponsored by the Irish Times) on George a few years ago. I had not known that his father was close by and was an officer (after high school, I had spent two years in the Army) or that he had a pedigree (his existential being was 'beat' or some semblance).

About two years ago, I started to do my wife's family history (my folks are post-Civil War) and discovered that she was Kimball by several threads. So, was it George or Kimball that I knew (to be explained, in time)?


After some reflection the past few weeks, I thought that I would try to understand and to express George's impact on my life and on his times. Plenty have acknowledged his influence. Who is even looking at the larger picture?


In another forum, I started a series dedicated to GEK III: Salem Commoners and Cambridge non-commoners. Those posts deal with the times and troubles that we all share in general; these posts here will be more of a personal, and philosophical, nature.


Why under truth engineering? George, in a sense, was a collection of axioms and rules within my cognitive framework that express the 'truth.' Are we all not such types of aggregations (in our being?), or as some might say, conglomerations? I used 'archetype' [09/23/2015 -- georgekimball [dot] com is gone] in a prior medium (JMS comments). But, we'll get more into that through time and posts.

While George and I were rooming, I had a revelation about why I bounced around colleges. I wrote an op-ed titled Why I am a College dropout which was published in fall 1965 by the KU paper (I'll post this on-line sometime). Harking back to the editor comment of George, when I re-read this paper recently, I was struck by how far off the mark it was due to editorial changes. Too, I thought that I might redo it in order to clarify the message.

So, not only did I write the article, I dropped classes and became a part-time student for several years at various places. You see, the message in the paper is that the educational experience is targeted to 'career' and employment rather than self-realization (what is that?).


Of course, a pragmatic sense would take the more direct thrust. But, I ask you, where will people find some place where they can learn of truth, life, and values that are beyond money and mere posturing?


So, who is Henry and why is he first? Well, Henry is for Henry Adams who was quite prolific. He may not have been perfect (and has had his critics), however I really liked his EOHA, for several reasons, when I read it as a young man enough to adopt 'EOJ' (Education of John) for my quest as an autodidact.

Henry's life and experiences were very much different than mine in many ways; yet, given the American experience, there were overlaps. And, that will be a major part of the story as I recall George's roles.


In a sense, George was the first cohort that I met who was not hung up in the trappings that are thrown down for the younger set in order to pull them into the established 'order' ostensibly for the sake of peace and harmony. How he might have maneuvered himself away from this might bear some attention. But, that will be later.

Until I met George, I hung my ropes on the tranquility offered by the likes of Emerson (Ralph W., of course) and Spinoza (Baruch, of course). That is not, in itself, bad; yet, post-George the world loomed larger. Let me explain some operational details since there was a diversion into existentialism which, thankfully for me, morphed into a hybrid (with influence by Kierkegaard).


Of course, I had sat in classrooms. I had done that in several other universities prior to my sojourn at KU. I even knew many remarkable minds, including a cohort who had been 'indoctrinated' (this will be addressed many times -- sufficient to become clear, it is my hope) at the Sorbonne. Too, I had had my exposure to the counterculture and similar.

Yet, George brought something to the table that I had not seen before. What that was (is) will take some time to explain and discuss.


For one, George's posturing was more tongue-in-cheek than earnest. At least, that was my take. In other words, George was the real deal.

Consider please, George's writing reflected his humor from what I have seen (even the early Beat work (it is phenomenal that someone inter-generational, like George was, could be so successful in the medium) and perhaps more).

Too, George knew that 'posturing' is the oldest profession (related to establishing the pecking order); yet, he also did not have to step into the ring, so to speak (I don't think that he knew that I had six brothers -- three of whom are Marines).


Mind you, it was at the time of the 'dropout' article that I took to serious self-study (all of the connotations). In my opinion, there is no support in our culture for this type of learning. Nor, is it even respected. Probably, the closest thing would be the book club that has actual discussions.

Are there things like a chemistry club? Physics club? Etc. Oh, I know, lab experience is the main issue here. But, have you heard of a Math club? Oh yes. For students. What about the larger population?


As an aside, education has been as bounded (hounded) by 'special interest' groups as has politics.


It was while George was my roommate that I started to seriously read Psychology/Psychiatry. In particular, I studied almost the sum total of Jung's works. Too, I began a more experimental set of studies whose results are yet to be published.

Universities are great since their libraries can be a gold mine of material. That is, before the WWW, library stacks were the place to find knowledge. Unless, one sat at someone's feet; I never did this; did George?

Prior to George's advent into the scene, my main learning technique was to wander the stacks, pick books at random, open them to a random page and then start to read. Of course, you would then follow up. It is not unlike going to those things referenced in a text book and actually reading the source material.

Who does that in this day and age?


George added to my reading list in an interesting way. Would it ever have come about in my random fashion? Of course, this touches upon the role, and necessity or not, of any mentor during one's journey through the various valleys of knowledge.


George was quite social; I met a whole bunch of people while he was my roommate. As well, suffered the sleepless night.

My roommate after George was a student working on his dissertation who was up all night reading and typing notes.

There were several juxtapositions, such as this, that associate in my mind when thinking about George.


Henry Adams was about 100 years before George's and my time, and Henry lived through a transitional time. We all know about the transitions that we peers of George have gone through. Ought we be taking a closer look?

I probably ought to find someone from the prior transition times (that is, colonial - late 1600s -- and revolutionary -- late 1700s) in order to complete the proper composite. With both George's and my wife's tree, I'm sure that I can do this (by the way, Adams is a cousin, to boot).


The point of all this? Look at what the label says.


08/03/2015 -- George as inspiration of computing and existentialism.

04/23/2015 -- George at Beats in Kansas.

07/03/2014 -- The Magna Charta is a wonderful example for us to apply to provider (king)/user (baron) issues.

11/30/2012 -- Turns out that Baruch will be of more use than I had thought.

07/06/2012 -- Today, we have the one-year remembrance of George Edward Kimball III (GEK III). In another context, there was mention of a wider realm. That theme will be explored within the framework of t-issues in the sense of what we can learn from cohorts. ...

06/17/2012 -- George, again. By the way, the above-mentioned article written while young was influenced by my infatuation with Spinoza. When I think back, I appreciated his 'ethics' focus (may I ask? in the modern world of the best and brightest, who even considers ethics?). One theme of the article dealt with the purpose of knowledge (and acquisition, thereof). Yes, again, the modern view: to increase one's advantage at gaming (idiotic at its core). So, why learn other than to keep your 'lord' (it over all) position? I will try to explain, in due time. It's one of the main themes of the GEK III posts.

12/09/2011 -- Nitty gritty truth I.

12/06/2011 -- Alex Belth characterizes George as a 'bad ass' while adding the further qualification of his being so in the Sportswriting world. I would offer an alternative view that would stress positive connotations. George represented a lot that ought to be more prevalent in a sustainable world. He was iconoclastic and liked to tweak the noses of those in authority. However, he was for the little person and supported their interests. How to describe this better? Hmmm. Would it have a sub-title: When men grow up?

12/05/2011 -- What would George have thought of the OWS?

09/21/2011 -- On Wealth and the CEO MVP.

09/10/11 -- The Georges can get mixed up. We have GEK III, of course. But, we ought not to forget George Orwell who tells me that I dropped out from point collecting, not education.

08/17/2011 -- On cousins, it goes this way. There were early families, say early 1600s. Then, starting around 1630, a mass influx happened in New England. Thousands of families, swamping resources. After about 30 years (we can pick the events in England that relate to this), the flow over here slowed to a trickle. Hence, families over here inter-married so as to make an American line, so to speak. There are many people now from New England who have literally 100s of colonial families in their tree. Hence, one can find 'cousins' everywhere, almost.

Modified: 09/23/2015

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