The occult history of the dunce cap

The really evil part of the dunce cap is that it is always generated uncursed. It auto-curses as soon as you put it on!


No love for the distaff side? Not all historical portrayals of witches’ hats had brims.

Also, we can save efforts here by visiting the Wikipedia page for “pointed hat.” The fact of its existence makes me grin.


Don’t forget that today we have our own Dunce SCOTUS:


I did not grow up with dunce caps used in schools but I do recall getting sheets of paper that were longer than the standard 8.5 x 11 size and these sheets were referred to as foolscap paper. We pronounced it “fullscap” and had no idead why it was called that but I did notice a water mark in the corner of the sheets of a pointy hat. Fools cap, indeed.

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He was such an evil, slimy creature.

I recall a fellow UCSB grad school student (specializing in history of the Renaissance period) told me about how the Scotist school of thought fell out of favor after a couple hundred hears of dominating the scene, and scholars who rejected it started wearing flat four-cornered caps as a sign of opposition against pointy-hatted “Dunsmen and Scotists”, thus the origin of the funny mortarboard worn at graduation ceremonies to this day.

Which is a great story, but a quick web search just now didn’t turn up any citations of that, nor any well-documented sources confirming Scotus or his followers believed the bit about conical hats conferring intellectual advantage. The Atlas Obsucra article cites The Straight Dope as source for that, which very annoyingly doesn’t cite any sources itself.

Too lazy to dive into actual research mode about all the above, so not saying all the cap-business above isn’t historically accurate. Might be, might not.


I think Crowley might have been like a snake-oil salesman; a huckster who didn’t believe in his own product, and, like L. Ron Hubbard, laughed all the way to the bank.

Which, of course, doesn’t make him any less evil or slimy.

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The cheapness (thoroughgoing thinness) of the paper may or may not have been consistent over time, but once I get off the front page of Google (to DuckDuckGo) it’s a little less plainfaced, and still used for Australian stationary supplies (and in Hindi explainers, for word fans.)


i am surprised that nobody mentioned the tinfoil pyramid hats that were popular among a certain group in the seventies. i heard the idea was to focus the waves from the aliens who were on the way so the tinfoilers could welcome them, like in ‘war of the worlds’ or the ‘cookbook’ episode.

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Perhaps this group in the 1970s?

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