QUESTION AUTHORITY, DON'T BEG FOR IT.
A question frequently asked: "Do you have a bio somewhere on the web that could be read?"
There is a crying need for intellectuals to constitute a worldwide network. We are living in unique times, when good thinking can be broadcasted to the entire planet, as never before.
Naturally people searching for a better grasp on reality, look for authority, but that is more than a bit self contradictory. Authority is so yesterday, because, as long as there is progress, authority comes short, and this is good.
Denying authority is related to the biography question. I deliberately do not provide with a bio. I am motivated by thinking, and the product of my thoughts ought to stand on its own, even if I am small and ridiculous, green with yellow spots, hermaphrodite, young, old, of Aztec descent, or a Tagalong speaker... I am tired, and I would like other people to be tired from the nationalism, religionism, sexism, ageism, etc. (Also there is a security aspect: somewhat incredibly, I was assaulted with lethal violence more than once. Contrarily to my friend Obama, I am not provided with bodyguards)
To get to the truth, it is necessary to avoid arguments based on authority. There is a number of reasons for this:
1) Yesterday's glory does not reveal necessarily tomorrow's truth. In the most important, cases, quite the opposite; yesterday's certainty is, all too often, tomorrow's lie.
2) Having satisfied previous authority, or authorities, is generally the way to become an authority, in turn. Feynman contemptfully noticed that the business of deciding who would become an authority was the Academy of Science's main activity. Then he resigned.
Those authorities may, or may not, be endowed with higher values. For example if a head of state elevates someone to a position of authority, that does not mean generally it is deserved, or even that the head of state ought to be an authority. Even Ernst Roehm contested Hitlers' authority in the matter of Nazism (Hitler therefore visited Roehm in the cell he had imprisoned him in, and shot him to death, a sure way to terminate the socialist interpretation of national-socialism.).
3) There is a psychological characteristic in human being, a desire to be economical, a trick from billions of years of evolution. Some call it lazyness. Brain work consists into brain rebuilding, and thus is energy intensive. Believing saves energy, comparatively to verifying things. Thus people often prefer instead to believe vast mental schemes rather than checking where they logically came from. So people are drawn to live at the feet of authority rather than in a dialogue with thinking. Both forms contradict each other, and one has to chose, whether to become, emotionally, a believer rather than a criticizer.
To believe with the heart is often the best choice, but then the next question is which kind of heart. The naive and touching heart Pascal found solace with, of the haughty mien of the Athenians at the pinnacle of their power?
To destroy the authority argument, Socrates used to say that he knew nothing, a polite way to say that they knew nothing. I am a bit more honest, and will humbly recognize that I know plenty of things. But I will not publish a bio. Lest it looks authoritative, I guess...
My way to destroy the authority argument is just to argue. People have to learn to distinguish between the plausible, and what is not so. A form of meta learning.