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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on July 16th, 2014 (All posts by )

    Virginia Postrel:

    Higher education exists to advance and transmit knowledge, and learning requires disagreement and argument. Even the most vocational curriculum — accounting, physical therapy, civil engineering, graphic design — represents knowledge accumulated through trial and error, experimentation and criticism. That open-ended process isn’t easy and it often isn’t comfortable. The idea that students should be protected from disagreeable ideas is a profoundly anti-educational concept.


    9 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      All too often opposing ideas are not presented these days

    2. dearieme Says:

      How very true: well said, Postrel.

    3. veryretired Says:

      If one sees a system in operation that is, in fact, accomplishing the exact opposite of what it claims to be doing, then the true purpose of that system is what it is doing, not what it claims to be doing.

      The educational system is a prime example. The justice system is another.

      Government programs consistently produce the opposite of that for which they are allegedly designed.

      Regardless of the (allegedly) well intentioned motives behind such schemes, it is fair to ask: If, after a century of repeated failures, each of which followed the same pattern of claiming a problem only the state could solve, designing a state program which would supposedly solve the problem, and then having the problem get progressively worse with each enlargement and expansion of the program(s) that were supposed to fix it, isn’t it long past time to reject the statist solution?

      If your well has gone dry, why keep lowering the bucket expecting water?

    4. MikeK Says:

      Solving a problem could put you out of business if that is your purpose. Bureaucrats understand this very well.

    5. TimL Says:

      Yet there’s this:

      I gave up on my alma mater (University of Wisconsin) when they offered a course on 9/11 trutherism. They are free to offer whatever they want, but as someone who was in Washington on 9/11, my money will not go to support garbage.

    6. Death 6 Says:

      I assume that your words “progressively worse” was an intended pun. I like it and plan on using it every chance I get.


    7. veryretired Says:

      D6—you are correct, and use it in good health.

    8. TimL Says:

      Another genius move at UW-Madison:

      Grades by race and sex! Wonderful.

    9. MikeK Says:

      “Grades by race and sex! Wonderful.”

      I saw that, too. Do these people ever think about the fact that this twiddling of the dials devalues every genuine accomplishment of minority kids ? Did you notice this part ?

      including high-status special programs, high-demand majors,

      I wonder how many engineering and physics professors will cooperate ? Employers are watching this stuff. Microsoft already used tests in its employment process. Is that the answer ? Medical students have to take a USMLE. Next, engineers will have to do something similar.