Revolution Starts with a Poster

It is to Academia and Time, What a World Map is to Geography and Place!

Chronologium Academicus

This evening we had the pleasure of hearing from Guy Cutrufo about his magnificent creation with a magnificent Latin name, the Chronologium Academicus. It’s a $65, 53.25″ x 73.25″-inch, laminated poster that collects and organizes the sum of all academic everything ever. A useful tool, I’m sure, for a world so lost in specialization that we rarely get a chance to see the Big Picture. But it’s more than that. For Guy, it is a mission to set a new standard for cultural values, restoring our respect for education and knowledge.

The perceived relevance and meaning of education in our society is generally considered too central, systemic, and cultural a problem to be amenable to solution. However, the widespread use, adoption, and display of Chronologium Academicus could represent a systemic first step toward such a solution, particularly through its capacity for making the portraits of the famous of history and academia more familiar to those exposed to it.

Now that’s a powerful poster. Still, he recognizes, there’s only so much a poster, any poster, can do.

In our society, the steps needed to produce societal rewards, images, symbols, and other cultural reinforcements for education can effectively be taken only by, or at least through, the media, especially television and films.

To that end, Guy offers a series of recommendations for how eggheads can be foisted into the media for the betterment of us all. Among them:

Television talk shows should have academic figures on as guests at least once or twice a month.

Composers should always be credited, even on commercials.

And my personal favorite:

All speakers, particularly in news and documentaries, should be discouraged from using the historic present tense.

Do these things—“combined with the widespread adoption and display of Chronologium Academicus,” of course—and we’ll be on our way to a cultural renaissance.

Join the revolution. Learn more and order your own copy at the official website,

Nathan Schneider is an editor of Killing the Buddha and writes about religion, reason, and violence for a variety of publications. He is also a founding editor of Waging Nonviolence. His first two books, published by University of California Press in 2013, are God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet and Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. Visit his website at The Row Boat.