ACADEMIA: the comfortable convergence of the mind towards intellectual self-aggrandisement

Academia is the domain which facilitates the activity of studying a converging complexity of existence in increasingly exquisite detail. As the field of view narrows, fewer and fewer other individuals remain in a position to validly comment or dispute about any findings or conclusions, and consequently the mind of the student acquires a sense of omniscience which comfortably transfers to an assumption of all-encompassing intellectual power in all areas of everyday life. Even in those arenas where there is an almost total absence of experience, the academic presumes that they would indeed have been expert if they had chosen to dedicate their considerable powers to it, and thereby as a consequence are justified in assuming their opinions are of cosmic import. There is no shortage of pure academics who will quite unhesitatingly offer instructions to a gardener about the best method of producing compost, even though the only composting they have ever done is to throw an apple core out of the window of a moving train whilst reviewing the draft of their latest paper on the probable linguistic dilemma inherent in early neolithic transitive verbs.

The optimal and most propitious environment for the flowering of the academic condition, is that which fosters the homoeopathic strategy of diminishing the scope of the subject matter in order to achieve a significant dilatation of omniscience. The seated position, preferably in a 'fauteuil académic', is the most productive for the fabrication of hypothetic conceptual structures. From this posture, especially in a choreographic location designed for the purpose, the assistance of strategically located mirrors and diverse viewing aids can provide support and verification by self-reflections and aural reverberations. Assuming also that the distractions of the outside world have been minimised, there is no reason why a virtual hologram of intellect cannot be sustained for most of the tenure of the academic.

Before the pressures of science and pragmatism came to be applied, academia was responsible for innumerable catastrophes, stupidities and absurd suppositions. Whether it was a theory about the cause of a disease, the diagnostic characteristics of witches, or the location, fauna and flora of as yet undiscovered lands, academia has a very poor track record... by and large. Even the most revered and famous academic-philosophers of the past made assumptions and proposed hypotheses which were seen to be plainly false... the moment some one had the pragmatic initiative to check. Heavier objects did not fall faster than lighter ones... especially if the air was removed. The earth was not created six or so millennia ago. Physical and emotional well-being were not caused by an imbalance of humours. Money does not 'trickle down' from the rich to the poor... and so on... and so on.

'Pure' academia will continue as long as there remains areas of human interest and concern that are either assumed to be intrinsically unverifiable, or that they are independent of scientific researches. Religious academia, for instance, has ensured its ability simulate relevance by declaring its total immunity to science with respect to such matters and 'faith', 'salvation', 'eternity' and the like. Many others as well however, promote their speculative perspectives with an aura of the scientific... perhaps by including some mathematical modelling... in the confident expectation that pragmatic empirical verification is unlikely. Much philosophy, economics, history , politics and cosmology has been fabricated from the rarefied conjectures of the abstracted academic environment. Most attempt to compel existence to conform to their simplifications and hold reality to account when it unpredictably deviates. Any contemplations that remain unverified after multiple scientific attempts need to be viewed with a great deal of suspicion and a growing reluctance to foster and develop its ramification. Studious writings about the influence of the planets on human life continue to be published around the globe, even though the scientific community continue to be baffled on probability grounds, as to why more of the horoscope predictions are wrong than are correct. The central limit theorem itself is in question.