The Cambridge Dictionary definitions of academia and rigor mortis, according to the Internet, are as seen below.
The definitions of the strange terms used in the title of this post are, according to yours truly:
Rigordemia: Rigorous pursuit of the truth, and the presentation thereof, concerning any given subject, topic or branch of knowledge without recourse to “academic licence.”
Acamortis: Death of academia observable in the monolithic stiffness of the body academe.
I have had quite a few conversations with academics over the last few years, with people ranging from students to PhD supervisors, or so they have said to me. Over the last few days before penning this post, I happened to have had short conversations with perhaps more than the usual number of academics. What emerged in my mind was a conversation I had listened to some time in the year 2022, between the Hon John Anderson and a certain Katharine Birbalsingh. After revisiting that conversation, I went on to listen to or watch more of Katharine Birbalsingh’s videos. The one where she delivered one of the Roger Scruton lectures in 2022 impressed me greatly. It also caused me to make yet another mental note to find out more about this person called Sir Roger Scruton. I might have shared the video of the conversation called “The virtue of traditional education” before, and I embed it here again. I do encourage you to watch it, particularly if you think raising children to become citizens well able to make their own way and are highly desirable to others is important. Katharine Birbalsingh believes that all children need to become functionally literate and numerate as a first necessity.
Memories of many other great conversations I have listened to began to flood in. Professor James Tooley’s “Educating the world” conversation with the Hon John Anderson, Thomas Sowell’s conversations with Peter Robinson on “Uncommon Knowledge”, Milton Friedman’s numerous discussions, debates and lectures, Victor Davis Hanson’s explanations of military history and so many more. What was demonstrably consistent to me was that all of these recordings were extremely rigorous in referring back to facts and exhaustive testing, interpretations and thinking through what was already known and integrating new knowledge and discoveries as we go along. Whether or not concepts were discarded or modified in the light of new discoveries depended on commitments to speak and explore truthfully in as diligent a manner as possible.
Do I have a “To Watch” list or a Required Reading list for everyone? I say everyone because I detest the notion that only academia should be pursuing knowledge, understanding and wisdom while all others work to produce more pie. No, my list of “To Watch” or “Required Reading” is too long and it keeps expanding. I say this on the precondition that everyone ought to have read and keep reading the Word of God. However, if you do not wish to read the Word of God, then at least get hold of some of what I have outlined above. It would help you to uphold “Rigordemia” and fend off the “Acamortis” which has already insidiously spread amongst what ought to be called Erudite.
Do you want to encourage and be involved in becoming Wise and Benevolent? Feel free to talk to me. You’re welcome!
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