Dear Jonny, Autodidact Fallacy?
I’ve gathered from your readings you’re a fan of autodidactism.Christopher Michael Langan is an autodidact who came up with CTMU theory.He argues that because he didn’t graduate from any institution his theories never come under serious review.So, my question is. do people need a degree to be taken seriously in “intellectual” circles? I feel it’s an unfortunate fallacy.
Generally speaking, I would have to agree with the notion that individuals who choose to self-educate are scoffed at by those who have chosen the formal education route. Despite the controversial nature of Christopher Langan’s contentions, his intellectual prowess is a force to be reckoned with. It’s not hard to imagine how much insecurity and resulting skepticism his unorthodox behavior/ideas have caused in cookie cutter academics who have traditional educations (that he, a one-time bouncer, has been referred to as the smartest man in America has to leave many “intellectuals” feeling downright threatened). It is of no surprise that his CTMU theory has been met with scrutiny. Humans are expected to pursue knowledge in a certain way, at a certain time, in a certain place, from certain individuals. Only after they have completed that process will many people – all of whom have done the same thing – humor what they have to say. When someone chooses to stray from that formula, I believe it makes others fundamentally uneasy – particularly if the person in question is learning at a superior rate. Of course, not every autodidact can be a Michael Langan or Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting. But there are many brilliant people out there who choose, for many different reasons, to pursue an alternate means of education. The unfortunate fallacy of which you speak is a definite reality.