I love the writings of scholars who take the trouble to cite their sources.
Let me count the quotable quotes in one online essay of moderate length.
1. the opening lines of the Dhammapada,
2. The great physicist Sir James Jeans
3. VS Ramachandran, professor of neuroscience [quoted in] (The Emerging Mind, Reith Lectures 2003, p.37).
4 a short poem by Emerson called “Brahma”.
5. the Svetasvatara Upanishad
6. the Victorian writer Andrew Lang
7. the great philosophers of Vedanta—by Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva among the great medievalists and by their modern disciples Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan— (paraphrased, not a useful citation)
8. The great Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu,
9. Sri Aurobindo
10. Shakespeare’s King Lear
11. the great Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, in Fitzgerald’s brilliant translation
12. Vergil (brief epigram, not a useful citation without cumbersome research)
13. Jesus (brief epigram, requires a quick and easy web search to verify)
Now, I don’t ACCEPT all of those quotes. In particular, I think Omar Khayyam was badly mistranslated. But because the writer has had the good scholarship to provide me with citations, I can look up her primary sources and argue in a scholarly fashion.
The scholar in question is none other than Lasha Darkmoon.
Supposedly, she is an educated woman. But in fact, I don’t care about her diploma. Perhaps she dropped out of school; perhaps she never attended school, and she is just faking it.
I am not concerned with her academic pedigree. I just like the fact that she sources her claims.
The relevant essay is here:
and it’s not exactly in her supposed specialty. She’s supposed to be a Classicist – so her field is Greek and Latin – but apparently she learned good, scholarly citation habits, whatever she may have studied.
Now, there are a few self-taught scholars who embrace the fact that they are NOT too highly educated – primus inter pares is Uncabob:
Because of the way I was raised (even though I graduated college) I far more understand the blue-collar mentality than I do those who went to Harvard and Yale (I have met them and have never been impressed).
In other words, I was born with a high general intelligence and graduated college, but in many ways I have a blue-collar mentality.
Uncabob has some harsh words for book-learning – at least in the field of Journalism!
I have a degree in Journalism. Specifically, Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism. I wish I hadn’t gotten it. Even in college I was surprised with the stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of the average journalist. I didn’t think most of them were like that. Turns out they were – and still are.
When it comes to regular output, I can always count on:
but unfortunately, his scholarship is limited to whatever he’s watching at the moment.
When it comes to scholarly arguments, I can point to another otaku, but he’s more interesting when sharing his experiences, e.g.:
But, I learned something interesting about being miserable–and mind you that I do not conflate this misery with depression: when one is miserable, humor is ridiculously easy to find. Very little could send me into guffaws. I remember one cadet who had an awesome comedic genius. From our vantage point within the ranks, we watched the CO walking to the front for colors. The cadet said, “He needs some new shoes. His soles are practically rubbed out, and he’ll be walking on his socks soon.” I vainly tried to stifle a laugh, and was fortunately not punished for my impertinence.
Sadly, the manosphere is in the midst of dark days. Many of the blogs on my blogroll have stopped posting. One dear blog-friend, Retrophoebia, simply deleted his blog, and followed the Elusive Wapiti into the mists of time.
I had thought Graaaaaagh was posting more, but he hasn’t done anything lately:
And Luther might be hibernating, for all I can tell – he hasn’t posted anything since February.
Luther, by the way, is quite scholarly whenever he’s making any kind of claim about facts. He has always cited sources and linked to them!
Henry Dampier, who is a young but accomplished scholar, hasn’t been posting a lot lately, but he did write this:
Infrakshun is posting irregularly on two blogs – on his wordpress, he still hasn’t put up anything in May of this year.
but on his blgspot, he’s posting current events:
Infrakshun is another writer who links directly to sources – although keeping up with current events is like drinking from multiple firehoses, at least he gives neatly labeled links to the firehoses…
Ex-Army is not often in a scholarly mood, and usually he leans toward whimsy, as with his latest:
Hawaiian Libertarian is famous on various chans. His most recent post got reposted on various infinity chans and was quite well-received:
BuelahMan sometimes waxes scholarly, in his research/lecture pages:
That last one makes me think he might like my biography of Iserbyt, which is basically just a link to her most famous book:
Zippy is not exactly an easy lecturer to understand, most of the time – but he is clearly a scholar, and most of the time he is a fairly indulgent teacher, at least for his regular students. He’s got quite a thread going at:
St. Estephe is an easy and entertaining lecturer, and he’s still doing good work quite steadily:
And of course, the most scholarly of the bunch, the mortar-board-wearing DR. Φ, has been writing when time permits:
There is very little scholarship in the world today, so I am trying to promote some under-appreciated classics by reposting the Project Gutenberg texts of old textbooks as permanent pages.
You can get Proudhon in PDF:
You can get Veblen in plain text:
You can get Wealth of Nations in plain text, but make sure you have enough time to read it all.
So here is my little contribution to scholarship. You can go to these pages, and you can read (e.g.) Veblen, and when you are flaming some troll, you can trot out a polished quote, such as:
There is no point in
cultural evolution prior to which fighting does not occur. But the
point in question is not as to the occurrence of combat, occasional or
sporadic, or even more or less frequent and habitual; it is a question
as to the occurrence of an habitual; it is a question as to the
occurrence of an habitual bellicose frame of mind–a prevalent habit
of judging facts and events from the point of view of the fight. The
predatory phase of culture is attained only when the predatory attitude
has become the habitual and accredited spiritual attitude for the
members of the group; when the fight has become the dominant note in the
current theory of life; when the common-sense appreciation of men and
things has come to be an appreciation with a view to combat.
The substantial difference between the peaceable and the predatory phase
of culture, therefore, is a spiritual difference, not a mechanical one.
And when the troll says he doesn’t believe it, you can point him to Veblen, and after he checks it, he will probably say that Veblen is stupid and you’re incompetent for even trying to cite that source (because that is the way of flame wars).
But perhaps the soothing, well-crafted, ornate, Latinate prose of Veblen will soothe the burns of flame wars. And if not, perhaps it will put us to sleep, because DAMN, son, Thorstein sure loves the sound of his own authorial voice.