anthropopsychology, anti-Semitism, attitudes and beliefs, BDS, Nobel Prize, Peter Higgs, social grammar, social process
In July 2012, physicists at Cern announced the discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson. He was in Geneva to hear the news, and wiped a tear from his eye as scientists made their announcement.
The news immediately led to calls for Prof Higgs to be knighted and for him to be awarded a Nobel Prize – perhaps along with others who had come up with the theory in the early 60s.
BBC News – Profile: Peter Higgs – 10/8/2013
” . . . perhaps along with others who had come up with the theory . . . .”
Dwell on that a moment.
The pioneer has already been awarded the Wolf Prize – considered to be the second most important prize in physics – but he refused to fly to Jerusalem to receive the award, because he is opposed to Israel’s actions in the Middle East.
Prof Peter Higgs profile – Telegraph — 4/7/2008
To be accurate and clear about this telemetry, Peter Higgs received the Wolf Prize with Robert Brout and Francois Englert in 2004.
Five years later, Peter Higgs, retired to the English countryside (I am jealous of that), hasn’t to settle for the second most important prize in physics.
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Francois Englert, a Belgian Jewish professor at Tel Aviv University and a Holocaust survivor, shared the Nobel Prize in physics.
The prize for Englert and Peter Higgs of Britain for their discovery of the Higgs particle was announced Tuesday.
Francois Englert, Tel Aviv U. prof and Holocaust survivor, shares Nobel for physics | Jewish Telegraphic Agency – 8/9/2013.
Years measured and perceived in the company of computers would seem packed with data and progress, so richly so that one might say that participation in the anti-Semitic BDS (“Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanctions”) movement so popular on the hip Far Left in 2008 would seem something to have taken place a long time ago.
No less a darling of the BDS crowd than Norman Finkelstein debunked the movement for what it was (and remains) in 2012.
Nonetheless, that the Nobel-prize winning Peter Higgs imagined in 2008 that he stood up to the Jews by expressing his contempt for Israel and refusing his presence at the awards ceremony for that second most prestigious prize in physics (Wolf!) seems a moment that has come back to bite his reputation in the butt.
Having tracked this mess back to 2008, lets return to the BBC’s reporting and it’s handy suggestion that Higgs would win the Nobel “ perhaps along with others who had come up with the theory . . . .”
Why not mention the names?
Perhaps the reporter did not know their names, so he couldn’t write, say, “perhaps along with Robert Brout and Francois Englert, also at work on the issue.”
Or, thinking like a writer an editor, once one drops in a noun for a general audience, one has to fill in the “who” about the whom, and that comes with costs in column inches and old paste-up headaches (not everyone reads the papers online, y’know).
However, notably, The Telegraph reported in 2008 and in parenthesis within Roger Highfield,’s “Prof Peter Higgs profile” the following:
(He has had a few conversations with them in recent years to make peace over how he seems to have taken all the credit in the publicity – “they had reason to be aggrieved”).
One hasn’t to be that legal eagle with the BBC: the news was out with Higgs profile. In fact, it compelled it.
Why leave the Jew out of it?
Why repeat the gaffe of 2004?
In the lands of deserving great egotism, I would think the British and the BBC have every right to crow about Professor Higgs’ Nobel-validated accomplishment while Israelis and Jews have the same prerogative to brag the same of the Belgian researcher and Holocaust survivor today working at Tel Aviv University, Francois Englert, but from yesterday forward, so one may declaim, “Peter Higgs and Francois Englert” are nouns inseparable for looking over winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
None are compelled to add any assembly of adverbs apart, perhaps, from “the physicists”.
Anti-Semite and Jew and Judgment
In casual terms related to our “anthropopsychology” — I’ll gum that one up and call it “evolutionary social psychology” — it seems someone is always looking down the microscope at someone else. Who is doing the viewing? Who has been smeared on the slide like that famous “patient etherized upon a table”?
Who is doing the doing?
Who is being done unto?
I believe anti-Semitism simply an expression of “social grammar”, i.e., the infant-to-child’s arrival via insight, autonomous invention (emotional perversity of mind), or repetition of a rule anchored in language that itself becomes the basis for guidance in the development of subsequent attitudes and beliefs. When that lowest level language programming becomes stable, many other facets of expression, including ill will toward the world’s one very small but hyperproductive Jewish state (or Jewish-majority, Jewish ethnic, Jewish cultural) state, may fall into place.
Those who have tried know that one cannot argue with anti-Semitic ranters because the rule-infused core can no longer be accessed internally even while it generates the nastiest and most malign of mouths.
A gentleman not so stricken and genuinely sympathetic with a well doctored cause may be corrected but feel hemmed in by this application of political correctness — when it protects the Jews, it’s good; when it defends Muslims, it’s not, right? — and fume about it in private.
In reality as regards bigotry — involving anyone as target — the realpolitik isn’t quite so simple, but one thing is not only simple but quite probably universal in politics: one person stands in judgment of another | one kind of person stands in judgment of persons of another kind.
There is in that an uncomfortable part of the experience of social reality.
It’s easier to criticize someone else, starting with one’s children, much less one’s neighbors, than it is to “take it” from another soul, especially if that soul proves —— or is perceived — as controlling, malicious, overbearing, and vicious.
By way of America’s broadest “Freedom of Speech” concept, Americans, in general, defend the expression of politically discomforting speech, including that of the worst bigots. If there’s crime to come via conspiracy to commit a crime or incitement to riot, for example, it’s not in the expression of beliefs or associated attitudes, however hateful.
What we tolerate in the air, we nevertheless judge in private, and in the slow grinding of the gears associated with politics, those whose talk most don’t like become marginalized figures or organizations. In effect, they’re free to exist: the minimum of popular endorsement, which may be restricted to themselves, has come to them naturally.
That a British Nobel laureate at least once boycotted a notable event over pique with Israel’s politics seems a fine expression of intellectual freedom and well within the gentleman’s rights — and rightly defended on that basis.
Do Jews point the judging finger too often at others?
That may be a question for the ages.
I have found it notable in the Torah that not only Moses and the Jews leave Pharaoh for the Promised Land but that all similarly fed up with Pharaoh’s Egypt — “a mixed multitude” — leave with them.
Some Jews argue that the Jews led by Moses made a mistake bringing along sundry others, but some time much, much later, the possible elder contemporary of Jesus, one of whose existence we are certain, Hillel would state, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me; if I am not for others, what am I,” and those words would be taken into the Jewish heart, infused with the Christian soul, and probably, likely, known to Muhammad.
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I?
If we point the finger too often at others, it may be for being more for others than they have been, historically or now, for themselves.
In Hillel, so my intuition suggests — nothing more than that — is the Modern House of Israel.
It is that Israel with which Peter Ware Higgs, a nice follow to judge by his picture, found exception, but as with so many other things in life, one might be urged to look twice.
Additional and Cited Reference
American Professors Share Nobel Prize in Chemistry | NBC Connecticut – 10/9/2013.
BBC News – Profile: Peter Higgs – 10/8/2013.
Elder Of Ziyon – Israel News: Norman Finkelstein slams BDS, ISM movements – 2/14/2012.
Francois Englert, Tel Aviv U. prof and Holocaust survivor, shares Nobel for physics | Jewish Telegraphic Agency 10/8/2013
Mideast Dispatch Archive: British co-winner of Nobel Prize boycotts Israeli university of Jewish man he shares it with – 10/9/2013.
Nobel Prize for Physics goes to ‘God particle’ scientists – World Israel News | Haaretz 10/8/2013.
Peter Higgs: Curriculum Vitae | School of Physics and Astronomy
Peter Higgs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prof Peter Higgs profile – Telegraph – 4/7/2008
PhysicaPlus – פיזיקהפלוס – Online magazine of the Israel Physical Society PhysicaPlus – פיזיקהפלוס – Online Magazine of the Israel Physical Society – Issue 12 – In Search of the God Particle
Professor Peter Higgs Supports Academic Boycott of Israel | KADAITCHA – 7/6/2012.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. T.S. Eliot. 1920. Prufrock and Other Observations
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