As some of you may be aware, a HUGE scandal has erupted regarding the source material used for the Free University lessons on Philosophy. Actually, this was going to be revealed as part of the graduation ceremony, so it's not really a scandal at all, but that certainly makes it sound more dramatic.
Phoenix Quinn - exposed! Along with an unnamed co-conspirator.
The fact is that all of the philosophy lessons were drawn from a marvelous little book by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein called Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar.... It's available for only $4.99 on Amazon and I would encourage everybody who has enjoyed these lectures to get yourself a copy of it.
There is much more material in the book than in my New Worldish homages to it, so do check it out.
(I would also note that part of my fascination in this exercise was discovering how practically every philosopher mentioned in the book had a counter-part in the New World.)
It was a bit surprising that it took so long for anyone to notice the joke since this book was on the NY Times bestseller list for quite some time. There was even a big, fat hint dropped in one comment: "Admin and a Platypus walk into a bar..". Anyway, kudos to Dutch Marley for finally figuring it out. MaryamQ, who is very clever, also came very close to getting me to expose the sham at one point by asking, "How do you know all this stuff?"
Perhaps it was not entirely ethical of me to pull off such a long-running joke. But judging from the many comments, it seems to have brought pleasure to quite a few people. So I count that as a success. As one final lesson in the impermanence of all things, and in the spirit of Tibetan sand paintings, the entire set of articles has now been vaporized and heretofore exists only in your minds.
Although my methods may have been corrupted by my lack of virtue and a somewhat cynical attitude towards the New World, that is no reflection on the extraordinary students.
Bright sparks of sparkling personalities
The series -- which ran for just about two months -- elicited 345 comments, only 6 of which could be considered tedious or trolling. That's a 98.3% rate of charmingness on behalf of the student body! Players responded from virtually every part of the New World, both veterans and newbies. I think I noticed that there were even 4 or 5 five former country presidents among them.
Numerous responses were of a high-quality. Some were deeply philosophical, some acutely witty, many just very funny. They highlighted the enormous charm and personality of the responders. Of particular note in this regard, special mention goes to: MaryamQ, Samuel Seabury, Thedillpickl, Johnobrow Dadds, BeDva, Plugson, Vincent Nolan, Mister Beefhead, Comrade Laika, Arjay Phoenician and maverick10 Dodge Knight. Many participants had fun or clever things to say, but you guys especially delighted with your witty repartee and insights.
So, without any further ado, based on both the quantity and quality of student participation, and by the Authority invested in me by my own solipsistic interpretation of Bishop Berkeley's phenomenology, the following Diplomas are awarded.
Use them only for good!
Doctor of Virtual Philosophy (VPh.D.)
Doctor MaryamQ, with a Chair in Philosophy of Happiness
Doctor Vincent Nolan, with a Chair in Post-Marxist Economics
Doctor Johnobrow Dadds, with a Chair in Situationist Anti-History
Doctor Samuel Seabury, with a Chair in Classical Philosophy
Doctor Thedillpickl, with a Chair in Pickles
Doctor rainy Sunday, with an Honorarium in Whimsy
Doctor Comrade Laika, with an Honorarium in Literature
Doctor maverick10 Dodge Knight, with an Honorarium in Poesie
Doctor Arjay Phoenician, with an Honorarium in Ethical Philosophy
Doctor Ace451, with an Honorarium in Contemplation
Doctor BeDva, with an Honorarium in Latourian Relativism
Doctor Plugson, with an Honorarium in Canadian Relativism
Doctor Linus Ben
Doctor courage cowardly dog
Doctor Max Wellbrock-Talley
Master of the Arts of Virtual Philosophy (M.A.)
Master cival unrest
Master Cold Hearted Snake
Master Early party lycker Cuyler
Master Blue Holt
Master Chris Carnage
Master Dumb Emma
Master Sir Robert Dudley
Bachelor of the Arts of Virtual Philosophy (B.A.)
Specialist Aldous Zamiatin
Specialist Alee Ann
Specialist Alexandr Sunbeliever III
Specialist Brad Carre
Specialist Claudio Siux
Specialist daeng Oni
Specialist Dutch Marley, with an Honorarium in Detective Logic
Specialist Jude Connors
Specialist Mestre Luiz
Specialist Mr eLego
Specialist Thomas Keesman
Certified in the Arts of Virtual Philosophy (C.A.)
(Please note that those who contributed only a tedious comment have been excluded.)
Orator Alex Collier
Orator Amil Topuz
Orator Daniel Parker
Orator George Pumpkinette
Orator Grainne ni Mhaille
Orator Gregus Hedvik
Orator Jelen od Potoka
Orator Joe DaSmoe
Orator Jovan Tekelija
Orator Kemal Ergenekon
Orator Lieutenant Scheisskopf
Orator logan Dunleavy
Orator McCorleone Family
Orator Michael Porter
Orator Michal Lodziana 1
Orator Pisoj Zobr
Orator R00ffles Mesyats
Orator Rheinlander von Phalz
Orator Ronnel Nonato
Orator Sean Power
Orator Spud of Doom
Orator St Krems
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