Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

The most infuriating thing in life for me  §

is when people don’t give me credit for knowledge. I just plain know more than most people about most things. It’s knowledge I can defend, cite, provide resources for. Knowledge about which an expert would not disagree with me.

But somehow, in real life, in a day-to-day public, this is absolutely disregarded and even disbelieved.

When happens when you stake all of your claims in life—claims on status, on resources, and even on identity and social location—in a discourse that is widely disregarded, disparaged, and also disappearing?

The answer is that you are increasingly locked into this small discourse community if you are to continue to have any status, resources, or identity at all, and the longer you maintain this orientation, the more locked into the community you are, because the more ground you have to make up to achieve these things in other discourse communities.

This is the ivory tower, and I am in it. And I can increasingly see why people in it don’t venture outside, and why they’re hated. It’s because they have what is widely perceived to be unfairly large reservoirs of status, resources, and identity within the context of the larger system when set off against the general publics of other discourses that aren’t inclined to (and absolutely at the end of the day) don’t grant legitimacy to these claims based on a discourse (knowledge, academics, science, a particular conception of epistemology) that is equally held as illegitimate.

So if you’re already in the ivory tower, or if you think you have a chance of being in the ivory tower, with what the public already tells you is a bunch of unfair perks, you go inside and shut the door, to keep all of those that are angry at you out.

Inside, you can position yourself within the discourse and stake a claim to your share of this bounty of status, resources, and identity. Outside you’re now one of those who are, in effect, stealing from the public. They hate you, they delegitimize the discourse upon which your claims are based so that you know that your defense won’t work with them and will be essentially hollow in their eyes—you know that there’s no point talking to them.

And then you’re inside the ivory tower, one of the pompous assholes inside the ivory tower, and you know you’re seen that way, but you also know that it grants you a bunch of advantages so long as you stay inside, while if you go outside you’ll be ripped to shreds by people who fundamentally don’t share the same way of looking at the world. So why go outside?

Disbelieving someone is always an assertion. It is either the assertion that they are naive/ignorant/stupid or the assertion that they are acting in bad faith—lying to you. To be disbelieved is to be belittled.