05 December 2014

Self-important academics

Researchers found that many parents ‘overvalue’ their children and believe them to be more special and entitled than others.

These parents are more likely to be conceited and self-important themselves, according to Dutch academics ...
(Daily Mail, 3 December 2014)
The ideology recently explicitly expressed by Dutch academics* (themselves agents of the collective) was present, although much less explicitly and universally, three quarters of a century ago when I was born in London in 1935. In retrospect it is easy to see that my father was habitually accused of believing me to be exceptional, or of ‘wanting to me to be a genius’, and as I was in fact precocious it was scarcely possible for him to say anything about my interests or achievements without arousing attacks on himself. Agents of the collective such as the Dutch academics referred to above, are, by virtue of being agents of the collective, regarded as an infallible source of value judgments.

The theory that some parents have a tendency to ‘overvalue’ their children, and that they should be corrected for doing this, had a deleterious effect on my education, and on the lives of my parents and myself. It was used to justify much of the hostility against me which resulted in my being prevented from doing things I wanted to do, such as take exams young.

* E. Brummelman et al, ‘My Child Is God’s Gift to Humanity: Development and Validation of the Parental Overvaluation Scale (POS)’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2014.

I appeal for financial and moral support in improving my position. I need people to provide moral support both for fundraising, and as temporary or possibly long-term workers. Those interested should read my post on interns.