Eric Blair, a Professor in the Faculty of Useless Knowledge was interviewed recently for The Australian and reported in On Line Opinion, regarding the uncovering of long-lost records in a city once known as Canberra. Eric Blair’s work has enabled scholars to get a better idea of the way that Australia became a leader in the transformation of goverment around the world in the Third Millenium.
Catallaxy: Not everyone has heard the first interview, can you put us in the picture on that?
Blair: We dug up the ruins of a very old city called Canberra, dating from the end of the Second Millenium, which was the seat of the national government until it was replaced by a computer in the garage at Kirribilli House which directed tax revenue to the state governments.
Catallaxy: Yes of course, everyone knows that was part of the great efflorescence of Austalian civilization which was the wonder of the world. What about the useless knowledge that you found in the dig?
Blair: We found some of the records of a government that plunged the nation into debt, depressed the productivity of the workforce and made a serious effort to undermine free speech. As I described in the previous interview, we found some records of an obscure politician who drew attention to some of the state-funded research which raised concerns about the value of the work and the process of allocating grants.
Catallaxy: What a strange way to do business! You would have to be well over a hundred years old to recall a time when higher education and research were funded with public money!
Blair: Well of course it was a primitive civilization in many ways.
Catallaxy: Yes of course.
Blair: To cut a long story short, those research programs turned out to be the tip of an iceberg. They were like loose threads in a knitted garment, if you keep pulling the whole thing comes undone. It turned out that the schools of philosophy, the queen of the sciences, were captured during last century of the Second Millenium by waves of anti-intellectual fads and fashions. Wittgenstein in his first phase, Wittgenstein in his second phase, Heiddegger, Sartre, Logical Empiricists, Deconstructionists, Paradigm Theory…
Catallaxy: I suppose it was the same around the world, no wonder they were struggling with fanatical movements and terrorists.
Blair: Yes and it was just as bad in economics. The most important philosophers and economists were practically forgotten, their work sustained by isolated pockets of people who were mocked as cranks.
Catallaxy. But they were dug up, so to speak, as a result of investigations prompted by “pulling on the threads” of suspect research grants? Who was responsible for all this?
Blair: We need to dig deeper into the records. One thing will surprise you, we found a very old blog called Catallaxy!
Catallaxy: Catallaxy!!?? You mean there was a blog called Catallaxy in the early Third Millenium?
Blair: It was lost for centuries and we only found it last week.
Catallaxy: Well it is a great name for a blog. We thought it was our idea. Oh well, I suppose they were involved in the great revival of learning and classical liberalism?
Blair: I doubt it. So far We have only found threads of abuse thrown at some people called hammy, numbers and some others.