Social Medium

Yesterday I had to motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City of the Hill – second of the week – for the annual inspection of my visual sensors by my Opto-physician and his staff. Aside from the usual grrr brrr of less than enjoyable tests, I was a bit betaken by their forms of address to me. The staff always address the hamsters (a bit more than lab rats but not much more) as Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. but the arzt himself addressed me by “Doctor.” 

As I said I am betaken by this. Most communities in the Yankee Republic are such that the majority of “Doctors” in the community are physicians and dentists; secondarily thumpers of holy writ. Huntsville – the reason why it is a Shining City – is one of the exceptions. Most of the “Doctors” in Huntsville are actual nerds of the technical perversion and not medicalists or justicers or divines.

Usually the exceptions are college towns and while Huntsville has more than its share of real (as opposed to for-profit diploma mills masquerading as real) colleges and universities. But those “Doctors” are a minority. The majority are the folks who work for the Yankee Army or NASAl or one of their contractors. So the social order is different from most places.

Those “most places”, the ones where the Doctoral population is dominated by the medicalists, is rather exclusionary and elitist. Under no circumstances are the other doctorate holders – except maybe the divines – ever called “Doctor.” The reason (excuse?) for this is always Unity of Command, to appropriate the Army term. And the society of these towns is rather exclusionary. The medicalists only associate with themselves except for business and superstition. It’s rather formal and stuffy.

It’s similar at college towns except the formal stuffy ones are the faculty.

But in Huntsville its rather uncomfortable for the medicalists and academics and divines because the Techno-nerds are the doctorate majority. And they are generally more open and unstuffy. (I’m not sure what the opposite of stuffy is here.) And it makes for a much more open community.

But it does confuse the devil out of the staffs. So they end up getting stuffy to protect themselves from the heresy or lese majeste (not sure which.) And are thus a bit entertaining.

And we often get some intriguing cross-discipline fertilization.

But then I came back to Arab and was once more a minority.