[ Note: Some have had difficulties accessing previous videos I’ve presented here in the past few weeks. I believe I’ve now learned how to prevent that problem. So I expect there will be no more such frustration.]
This is the second part of the two-part story of my experience of American academia that moved me from the idealized view I had of the academic world I had growing up (derived largely from my admirable father — Jacob Schmookler -- who was a professor of Economics) to a much dimmer view that resulted from the experiences I had once I departed from the beaten path in my intellectual life.
That departure from “the road more traveled by” was necessitatewd by my having a life-changing insight in 1970. That insight began my life’s work on A BETTER HUMAN STORY, that I devoted myself to because I have seen it as putting into an importantly different light some fundamental issues (like our nature as creatures, the reasons human history has been as it has, and the challenges that must be met if human civilization is to survive for the long haul).
The first part of this story I posted here a week ago in video form. It told of my experience at Yale, where I went as a graduate student, having been assured that I’d be given the freedom to pursue the work to which I was committed. At Yale (1970-71), I encountered a lack of integrity, and a preference for derivative work over path-breaking new work.
(When the professor in charge of my program finally understood what I had come to Yale to do, which he described as my wanting to articulate a new “Weltanschauung,” he proposed in all seriousness that I could do my work on Emerson, because he too was interested in his Weltanschauung.)
The stories told here today — a Harvard story (1979), and a Princeton story (1983) — completed my departure from the academic world, which I’d grown up expecting to join and thrive in.