Three types of knowledge: How, What, Who. All three types are necessary, and everyone uses all three types all the time, but the dominant type strongly influences the form and the success of a culture. = = = = = How-ism is based on skills, on knowing the way. How to build, how to cook, how to repair, how to keep people happy, how to keep them under control. How-knowledge comes directly from the senses, tempered and conditioned by comparison and proportion, with a constant awareness of feedback and cycles. (Does this work better? How can I tell when it's better? When does it repeat?) How-knowledge can be passed with no words at all from mother to daughter, father to son, master to apprentice. What-ism is based on facts, on knowing the data. What-knowledge requires language, symbols and formulas. You can acquire what-knowledge by reading or listening. Who-ism is based on identity and quotation. Who-knowledge requires a strong sense of status, an up-to-date reading of comparative authority, and a tape-recorder mind. If the high-status person says "2+2=5" and wears Prada, we must say "2+2=5" and wear Prada. If the low-status person says "2+2=4" and wears J.C. Penney, we must mock "2+2=4" and discard everything with a J.C. Penney label.= = = = = Modern journalists, like modern "scientists" and modern "economists", are pure Who-ists. They simply copy-paste the most fashionable "information". Facts are poison. Anyone who dares to observe Nature with his own senses is a Basket Of Paranoid Conspiracy Theories. Reality is SOLELY AND STRICTLY CONTAINED in documents emitted by the Empire. Anything not contained in Imperial Documents is an Unthing. As long as Hillary's coughing and fainting were mere OBSERVED FACTS, perceived only by TROLL through mysterious TROLL superpowers called "eyes" and "ears", the coughing and fainting were poisonous Unthings. Wild tinfoil conspiracy theories. When the Empire stated in an official document that Hillary had pneumonia (which is in itself an impossible diagnosis) the "reporters" instantly switched. They copypasted the document and agreed with it. Now Hillary's health has become an issue worth "discussing" because it's NO LONGER AN OBSERVED FACT. Previous generations of reporters were equally biased but had a professional impulse that came first. Murrow was a Commie and a globalist but he was literally and etymologically a RE-PORT-ER before any of that. PORT = carry, RE = back. He saw and heard things, then CARRIED BACK what he saw and heard, so the masses who weren't present in London could indirectly see and hear the same things. This concept has been totally extinct for 40 years.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.