The occult history of the dunce cap

Originally published at: The occult history of the dunce cap | Boing Boing

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Not quite a dunce cap, but it looks pretty stupid.

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The conical hat is common on wizards like in ‘The Wizard of ID’ or Discworld’s Rincewind.

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This is an interesting, but pernicious myth. The truth is that mankind adapted the design from the standard gnome hat which was created to prevent them being bonked in the head by falling acorns and such. Since gnomes are so much more intelligent than humans, it was believed that this design conferred some measure of gnomish intelligence. It doesn’t, but it’s hard to convince humans otherwise.

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In Nethack, the dunce cap and the wizard’s hat both appear, before being identified, as a “conical hat”. The dunce cap limits your wisdom and intelligence stats and is always cursed, so when you put it on you can’t take it off…

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“It was designed according to ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case the Dome collects the Orgone energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medulla Oblongata for increased mental energy.” —Gerald Casale, DEVO

devo

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I’ve my “thinking cap” on, Right Now!

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I mean, Mr. Duns must’ve known about:

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Came here to make sure this was posted. Pointy hat off to you!

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Would it be any of these?
image

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“… pointy hats… meant to denote wise men.”

So, a signal that otherwise would have indicated flattery, over time became sarcasm… similar to this:

“Great work, Einstein.”

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tenor

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image

Yeah, well, we can put that particular myth to rest.

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Well it’s being worn by a dunce, so I guess it counts!

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I was thinking pretty much the same thing

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I must be the dunce. Occult = wizards?

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From the [Indo-European] mummies of the Taklamakan desert in China, from the high-status burial of a woman:
iu

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In medieval Europe,Jews, particularly those sanctioned as covert loan officers for the crown, were “advertised”/bidden to wear conical caps (“Phrygian” cap). This was mostly enforced by papal enforcers so it had the onus of the whole punish the Jews for the crucifixion horrific nonsense. i had one literature prof (“distribution credit”) who felt (pun unintended) that Tolkien certainly knew this history, so he was telegraphing that Gandalf (despite being one of the Maia) was yet another Jewish wizard (wizard which has the meaning of “wise” from middle english)

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I opened up my phone and wondered what bb thread merited a mummified iguana.

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