Letters & Essays
I am aiming to set up ultimately an independent university, supported by business enterprises, at least until such time as adequate funding is received from some external source.
In terms of the modern ideology, I know that I cannot make this sound attractive; I had to start from a zero capital base. Progress has been much slower than it might have been precisely because of the increasing difficulty of appealing to potential associates. Anyone who came to work with us now would very likely be able to accelerate our progress considerably.
People in the modern world are very much encouraged to seek feedback from doing something "creative" or "interesting", also of course from the social status and power over other people which a job may provide. On such terms we cannot hope to compete. The most useful things are nearly all considered beneath contempt and it is almost impossible to employ anyone to do properly even those which might sound relatively high-powered.
We are not in need of any highly skilled help, except perhaps in DIY and house maintenance, as we could handle any work requiring numeracy, literacy or computer skills ourselves if our time was sufficiently released from administrative chores. In particular, we cannot make use of anyone's computer skills, which we are often offered.
I would not attempt to attract anyone by the "interest" of the books that may be written, and at present are being squeezed out only in teaspoons, or of the research that might be done and at present is not being done at all. We are still at the stage of building up even a minimal institutional environment and the capital base to support it.
I know that unless a person is very unusual they are likely to find it a deterrent that they will do work of a kind that will contribute to creating some scope for those already here to use their abilities in progressive ways. As I once said to a part-time worker, "People don't want to do any work that sets other people free to do anything they regard as intellectual". "I think you have hit the nail on the head", he said. "But", I said, "If people are working part-time they have plenty of time left over to do whatever they find interesting. Those of us already here are working absolutely full-time to support and run the place, without having any time at all for anything like writing books. So even if we were freed enough to spend a few hours a day on those things, we would still have less free time for them than a paid part-time worker has for following his own interests."
It has seemed to me for many years that we have reached a difficult stage of development. Any extra personnel could significantly increase our ability to make money and so gradually to write and publish books faster. Actual research remains further in the future but could follow on from increased financial resources.
This, however, would make it clear that we are not a commune, or group of enthusiasts for some particular area of work. So long as we are as constricted as we are at present, the fact that we are attempting to work towards a large scale structured institutional situation is obscured. So long as we are unable to do more than struggle to subsist and deal with the front-end loading office chores of being an institution at all, we differ minimally, at least in superficial appearance, from the socially acceptable concept of a group of enthusiasts who believe they can get something out of contemplating the object of their enthusiasm in communal poverty. Such people usually make a point of disregarding financial considerations; we, on the other hand, regard them as primary and a prerequisite for work of a scientifically and academically meaningful kind.
There is no need for applicants to have particularly high IQs or intellectual interests; we are over-supplied with extremely intellectual people as it is and there is plenty of work to be done that is basic and practical; in fact there is at present and foreseeably, no scope for paying anyone, however intellectual, to do anything that is commonly regarded as skilled or prestigious.