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How does one become as intelligible on anarchism/anarchy as people here like dot, lawrence, ingrate, ALC, asker, etc?

0 votes
Definitely not limited to those listed, but you have such developed, informed, and (usually) open answers that are impressively articulated and show a lot of knowledge and insight on the matters you discuss. How does someone get to be as smart as you all?
asked Dec 14, 2012 by anonymous
just barely graduate highschool with a c- average, then overcompensate by reading a lot of anarchist theory? kidding (well, except for the part about barely graduating and overcompensating).

Thanks for the kind words, but I am not sure how to answer this except to say keep reading and thinking and writing, and be open to having your assumptions challenged.
Being awesome and obnoxious at the same time.You know, the kind of assholes who aren't afraid to throw ideas out there and learn from it. And being old. Those are my guesses. Good luck on your own journey to awesomeness. ;)
The anarchists listed (and more) are indeed most appreciated, so a shout out to y'all, please don't get too old too fast. We need you!

4 Answers

+4 votes
katherine difiore is mostly right. being old (ie having had a variety of experiences and learning from them), not being afraid to make a bit of a fool of ones' self, and putting effort into communicating ideas are all very helpful.
and thank you for the kind note.
and reading groups! good reading groups are so awesome! :D

since i'm editing, let me add that i think school has nothing at all to do with being smart. and i bristle at the assumption.
picture me bristling. ;)
answered Dec 14, 2012 by dot (51,490 points)
edited Dec 15, 2012 by dot
+2 votes
Many years of reading, discussing, fighting, taking a position and defending it (until/unless it is no longer tenable), encouraging newbies to check out certain ideas/thinkers/documents and report back, paring down to a select few the assumptions ingrate likes to have challenged. Getting started is as easy as becoming outraged at some mundane aspect of the current social order and trying to figure out, on your own or with other sympathetic folks, just what the hell is going on.

Back when I was starting on the anarchy path, there were so few resources to draw on; I kind of envy how much easier it is with the interwebz to find others who are already interested in similar things. Anyway, smart is relative. I know there are plenty of smart folks who might not be as articulate as your listed favorites (and thanks for including me), but who are still worth chatting with.

And yes, being old (which doesn't always translate into experience, but in some of our cases does) certainly helps.
answered Dec 14, 2012 by lawrence (20,010 points)
I think I'm less old than some, but more old than others, and I think that age and perspective have helped (what I would've written in my late-twenties versus my late thirties is really different).

Also, big ups to the smart being relative thing. I know some smart-as-fuck folks (with degrees or the right jargon to prove it!) who are complete idiots, and I know some rather unintellectual people who say in three sentences what I take three pages of writing to say.
0 votes
dang people enjoy answering this question due to being flattered

on the real though all you have to do is just go ham with the name dropping and people will think you're smart
answered Dec 15, 2012 by asker (7,930 points)
lol. yes, being appreciated is quite nice. but i expect calling out someone's name will get a response in most cases, regardless of whether the comment is complimentary or not.
also, there are certainly people on this site who drop names but don't get a lot of love here.
+3 votes
Damn, I don't get a namedrop.

If I had to identify sources of anarchist knowledge that I actually encountered, absorbed, and added to my perspective to some extent, it would come out to something like this, in no particular order:

* CrimethInc (okay, CrimethInc was actually a HUGE influence, to be honest)
* Peter Gelderloos
* Margaret Killjoy & Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness
* RAAN (like a motherfucker!)
* Emma Goldman
* North Carolina Piece Corps
* The Institute for Experimental Freedom
* Wikipedia
* Random articles on AnarchistNews.org
* Random selections from ZineLibrary.info
* Random selections from zine libraries and tables at radical events
* A lot of discussions, debates, and arguments with people (anarchists and otherwise) that both helped me articulate my points further and made me aware of gaps and rough edges in my perspective

And, of course, reading Q&A on this website. Seriously.

It's not something that happened to me overnight and I occasionally remember things I believed or said five years ago and cringe - but that's just a part of being a human being, sometimes, I think?
answered Dec 15, 2012 by Rice Boy (11,540 points)