09 October 2011

Notes on my CV

Herewith the ‘Notes on my CV’ referred to in the previous post.

In interpreting a CV it is normal to consider only what a person has been permitted by society to do as evidence of what they are able to do. However, in my case I have to ask for the realities of the situation to be considered, as my life has consisted of being artificially prevented from doing what I could have been doing very well and wanted to be doing.

Given my extreme precocity, it was both cruel and unreasonable to expect my education to consist of taking about the normal number of exams at about the usual age. The post-war legislation which prohibited the taking of any exams at all until after the 16th birthday had a particularly terrible effect on my life. I therefore took many fewer exams and at much later ages than I could and should have done.

My life was one of agonised frustration and deprivation. I did not get to university until far too late an age, by which time I was too old and had been suffering for too long to take any interest in the process of taking a first degree. My college continued to apply the policy of refusing to accept that any problems which arose from a retarded education needed to be taken into account.

Recently people have been suing the educational system for providing them with inadequate skills and qualifications. I should have been able to sue for being left with no paper qualification with which to enter the academic career which, in view of my ability and aptitudes, I needed to have.

I did not accept that I could have any other sort of career or that life would be tolerable without a career.

In spite of my lack of paper qualifications I was perfectly well able to teach or do research in several subjects, so that the lack of a paper qualification and of support from my college was the only reason for my not applying for appointments teaching e.g. maths or physics.

My only motive in everything I did was to effect return to a full-time academic career as quickly as possible. The research I did was not determined by considerations of interest to myself but by what I could get funding for.

It may be considered that I was ill-advised to attempt to do research in what would be, even if accepted, a new area of academic work, as a means of returning to an academic career. In fact I was not advised at all, as my college refused to give any consideration to my need to work my way back to a university career. Whatever advice I had been given I would, in my desperate situation, have been forced to work on anything for which I could get funding.

There appears to be a social convention that a person is not subjected to suffering and hardship by being deprived of a career, however high their IQ and however great their temperamental need to put their drive and effort into a progressive situation. Anything they do in exile is supposed to have been done because of a particular interest in it. Neither of these things has been true in my case. My life without a career has been one of severe hardship and deprivation and the increasing desperation of my urgent need to return to a university career has caused me agonising frustration for many years past.

It is the social difficulties that have prevented me from applying to return to an academic career at an earlier age (any applications I did make being turned down) so I must ask that my age be not held against me since I have made the best progress I could. So far as I am concerned I am just in the position of someone in their early twenties attempting to start on a full-time, full-length academic career.

My CV shows that I have held a (usually unpaid) position at the Institute of Psychophysical Research for many years. Since the death of Professor Hans Eysenck, who had been Director, I have resumed the position of Director. This is not, and has never been, an alternative to an academic career. The organisation was founded by me, not as an expression of interest in any particular field of research, but as a vehicle to facilitate my return to a university career by providing an environment within which publishable research could be done. In this objective it has failed, as funding has been rigorously withheld since a seven-year covenant thirty years ago. It could be argued that, without any financial support at all, it has provided me with added liabilities to increase my sufferings rather than alleviate them.

Being deprived of a career is very like being condemned to indefinite imprisonment. One is deprived of every normal social function or interaction, of everything that could make life worth living. The horror of the situation is only marginally modified by whether or not one was actually innocent when first condemned. As it happened, I was ‘innocent’, since I was perfectly well able to fulfil the functions of an academic career.

I advocate the abolition of the state controlled educational system since, if it could ruin my education and my life, it could ruin anybody’s.