About the Polymath Society International

Why We Need It

Translate This Page to Spanish, French Etc.

The Polymath Society International can help us realize our full potential. It is not only for the mind but for the soul. It is an advocate of sanity and rationality. It is also an advocate for the arts, for beauty and virtue, for truth and reason. It is a place we can not only make better friends, but a place where lost intellects can recuperate.

By interacting with others in a thoughtful and purposeful way, we can accomplish what would otherwise be just be whimsical thinking about how things ought to be. This is not about politics per se but about coming up with good ideas and practical solutions to the misery of human incontinence and mental affliction.

Contrary to popular belief, good ideas do have a positive impact upon society, either directly or through public policy. The impact of your ideas largely depends upon breath and depth of perspective. You also have to write well. Good writing knows no bounds.

Success in "making a difference" also depends critically upon the strength of individual initiative and perseverance. You cannot change the world only by talking within your small circle of friends. You have to reach beyond. A well written letter, from the recipient's perspective, can be very persuasive. After all, there still are not so many people who really write well. And most policy makers do not have much time to think for themselves.

The sciences are largely fragmented. Few are concerned about how to integrate the various areas into a wider panorama. There is the interdisciplinary approach in the university, of course, but mostly in closely related fields such as the social sciences. Academic discussions are largely disconnected from solving problems for real people, except perhaps through various government programs. Academics mostly limit their actions through state mediation, with predictably dismal results. Too much of the focus is upon academic argument, studies, papers, and conferences. There is not enough direct action. Those with great knowledge are somehow prevented from or unable to communicate with those who really need guidance, that is, young minds.

By and large, public policy is guided by the opinions of experts in various fields, many of whom are paid advisors/lobbyists for various points of view. Working for a corporation also tends to narrow one's focus to a particular corporate objective. So the efforts of the best minds are too often channeled in a narrow focus, or else unwittingly directed by others. The Polymath Society can focus attention on the urgent problem of letting good minds go to waste. It is not only a lost potential in problem solving ability, but also in aesthetic appreciation, ethics, social concern, and cultural appreciation.

Peer groupings by age and market segment create barriers to inter-generational communication so that much wisdom is lost. Culture is not being transmitted. It is actually being lost. We see the results of this today in what we might call micro segmentation, a splintering into many varied subcultural groups with their own belief and or ideological systems of a highly transitory or artificial nature, "Lord of the Flies" etc. The Polymath Society International seeks to cut through all these artificial barriers, to establish a common basis for dialogue and learning among people. We want to encourage youth to study philosophy.

The formation of the Polymath Society International is really a movement to promote the appreciation of all things intellectual. It is a positive, not a negative movement. So in your organizing efforts and self-portrayal, never be obnoxious. Never act like you know everything, even if you think that you probably do. Always remember, expertise is by its very nature self-limiting, which is another reason to participate in a polymath society. We need other points of view.

The polymath society is not concerned with making money, not with pettiness of fund raising. It eschews anything that would distort a fair and objective approach to understand what we are about. It does not belong to any one person or any one group but is a living organism, so to speak. It is free to reproduce and to thrive in varied and sundry ways. It can and should be a part of every other organization. Open up a Polymath Society chapter in yours!

We can use the internet to promote this society. In doing so, always remember to be positive rather than negative in your approach. Nothing fails faster than negativism. Many people have already found the truth, or so they think. Many are firmly attached to a particular ideology or paradigm and will only be able to understand things from the security of this way of thinking or that way of feeling.

This is the Polymath Society International, whose goal is to organize local polymath societies. So you may form the Polymath Society of Jackson, Mississippi, for example, or the Polymath Society of PS124 in New York. These locals will hopefully be linked in cyberspace to each other. A local or geographical orientation can facilitate the involvement of all kinds of people. You can become affiliated with our international and share ideas and news.

The Polymath Society International is run on the basis of trust and mutual responsibility. There is no point to making legal issues where none need exist. Everyone is responsible for their own actions.

In onganizing we often have to rely largely on our own resources, our own enthusiasm. But there are also many under&&endash-&emdash®regutilized resources out there. What is really missing is good people to organize those resources. So we need to address some of the practical ways to organize (see Activities section).

I think of myself as only the curator for the society, a care taker. Legally, this is an educational project sponsored by Lacey Computer Co., under its aegis. Organizing this is not an attempt to create another social institution but an attempt to breath some life into those we already have.

I will put links to responsible members and chapters in these pages as they join or want to be affiliated. Hopefully, we can do some shared as well some individual thinking by various new developments in web technology.

Thank you very much for participating. Keep up the good work!

Tom Lacey

(If you have specific suggestions for any of the text included in these pages, please comment freely.)

Email: polymath@psynet.net