Going to waste

I’m trying to become a perpetual student.  The advantages of this are getting to read and write and think and learn and argue a lot, with access to other perpetual students and libraries and databases and tea and coffee making facilities, and not being in much danger of being corrupted by money.

The main disadvantage as I see it at the moment is that it encourages you to do all that reading and writing and thinking etc without ever really acting on it, except with more reading and writing and thinking etc.  As an arts student, it’s easy to learn very clearly what is wrong with the world and how hopeless it is to do anything about it, which is not really a nice place to be in.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do about this problem, perhaps I’ll have to give up on my perpetual student goal and become a cobbler or something and do the thinking and arguing on the side, like Tolstoy.  But I figure a good early step is to try and distribute my essays a little wider than just the lecturer who marks it.  Maybe some other cobblers can do something with my thoughts, and maybe I can join them.  Or maybe some other cobblers will help me realise that if I was out in the cobbling world I would see things a bit more holistically than I do in the perpetual student world.  Or maybe other perpetual students can help me realise how stupid my thoughts are, and then we can amend them before any unsuspecting cobblers start taking them too seriously.

In any case, even if only a few people end up reading these essays, at least it’s more than just the lecturer…  I spend a lot of time on these essays so it would be a shame if they went to waste, being only read by one person who probably knows it all already, and only cares enough to give it a mark and then move on to the next one.

So that’s basically the point of this blog so far – it means I can put all the essays I want to share in one place that isn’t Facebook, where there can be public discussions if people want to have them.  I might eventually put other writings on here too… We’ll see.

Of course, if I am going to expect people to actually READ my essays, I’ll have to try and make them ‘interesting’ and ‘relevant’ – it would be great if this blog can somehow encourage that.

Anyway, does anyone know any cobblers?  My shoe has a hole in it.


About calebmorgan

I write political blogs at cutyourhair.wordpress.com and sometimes other stuff at calebmorgan.wordpress.com. View all posts by calebmorgan

3 responses to “Going to waste

  • camostar

    Nice! Good to hear you’re “actually doing something” now in Christchurch. The discrepancy between writing and action is sobering and a good thing to be aware of. You’d like to hope that writing does change the way people think and do, but maybe that’s too optimistic. Most of the time it’s just something new with which to tickle our ears or something that we can define ourselves with by accepting or rejecting it… I’d like to think that God calls some writers to write, but then again calling can just be an excuse to avoid the real issues. Help!

  • Caleb Morgan Anderson

    Yeah, im still not quite sure how to resolve it, but i decided in the end to get a job as a sociology tutor rather than a builder when i moved to chch… I like Peter Maurin’s idea that the scholars should become workers and workers become scholars.

    I think how i’m interpreting that at the moment is that, yeah, some people are better at practical stuff and they should devote most of their time to that, but they also ought to spend more time thinking and critically analysing stuff … while others (me) have the other problem and shouldn’t feel bad about spending a lot of time on ‘mental work’ but they should also spend some time actually, like, doing stuff. I’m not sure what kind of ratios i’d advocate – 80/20 maybe.

    Tolstoy would probably say this was selling out too easily to an ideology that justifies intellectuals living off the sweat of the common people’s brows. but i’m not a count, i don’t have an estate and serfs. some of the common people will earn a lot more than me (though that’s largely my choice not to climb the career ladders and take the financial opportunities my intellectunal qualifications put in front of me). etc.

  • camostar

    Are you tutoring sociology? Cool man! I was referring to the community project you’ve got going. That’s such an awesome idea. I kind of had this dream that other people would be able to make use of all my books, but I’m being a bit protective of them as of yet because I’d like to think that if people were using them then they’d be using them nicely or something. And it seems I need to hold onto them so I can access all the notes I’ve written in the margins alongside all the actual content in case I ever write a book that references them or something.

    The ratio thing is nice. I think it’d also be nice though to strip off all things possible like socialising, working, etc to focus on writing sometimes. Like you could produce so much more… Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were both without woman — as Paul points out it gives time to do other things. But yeah, maybe the passionate writer needs to do a little sacrifice of precious writing time and spend it being a little bit human.

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