Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
    Loading
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on October 5th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Conjuring images of the medieval church or the Kremlin persecuting dissidents is delicious, but it comes from times and places where very few people even had access to the information that the academy was exposed to. Those controlling authorities could actually hope to keep certain opinions from spreading by applying pressure at a very few places. That world has been disappearing for years. Anyone can get ahold of the ideas of Foucault, or Trotsky, or Derrida at the touch of a button now. Where unavailability is still a problem, ironically, are precisely those areas where those ideas are in ascendance.
     
    This is why online learning and other consumer-driven postsecondary education is pushing them out. Prestigious universities are losing prestige, not because Americans are anti-intellectual, but because they are anti-intelligentsia, anti-academy. Even George Bush reads Camus nowadays. The figure of The Professor in comic books and Gilligan’s Island, a person who knows much about all important subjects, does not even work as comedy or stereotype anymore. People chuckled about the comedic exaggeration of Russell Johnson’s character then – now they would fail to find it funny at all, except as some sort of retro thing. People have access to the information themselves and know that humanities professors are often not all that smart. Smarter than average people, perhaps, and trained in particular specialties, but not dealing with subjects far beyond the ken of mortals. That is in fact why these disciplines have developed their own coded vocabularies, to identify outsiders rapidly. They can no longer rely on their superior knowledge to do that for them. It’s too easy for a talented amateur to join the conversation after a little work.
     
    There is no need to censor the academy. They are making themselves increasingly irrelevant. The entrenched, government-funded educators at younger levels is more worrisome.

    Assistant Village Idiot

     

    3 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. virgil xenophon Says:

      Asst. Village Idiot:

      I worry about it ALL–the entrenched
      left-wing bureaucratic zealots, the Halls of Ivy, K-12, Hollywood, MSM–ALL of it. As a matter of fact, I really despair about the future. We may be slowly reaching a tipping point, or point of no return in which cultural values will have become so distorted that those holding a collective cultural memory of the values of our Founding Fathers and the civilization that produced them will be so small as to
      preclude Republicans or even liberal
      Democrats of the traditional persuasion
      from ever holding office.

      The fact that “we” in our small numbers can by-pass the credentialed totalitarian “progressives” via alternate means is of little consequence if the entire society is infused with left-wing propaganda at every turn from cradle to grave such that these views come, as if by osmosis, to be widely held as the “normal” state of affairs.

      Let me give you an example. In another life I was a financial consultant exclusively to the medical community.
      During a session with a young resident
      physician I briefly commented that, as he was recently married and with a young baby, he should buy some cheap term group Medical Assoc. Life Insurance as by any financial indicator he was vastly under-insured. His reply was: “That’s going to be a tough sell because, you see, my wife is Dutch, and she thinks life insurance is something the Government should provide.” This conversation took place over thirty years ago. That anyone should let a government bureaucrat decide how much one’s life is worth is beyond me–but just remember 9/11 when we had to set up a commission to let the government decide how much people were worth? It wouldn’t
      have been necessary had people been of the state of mind that individuals should make financial sacrifices to prepare for the worst, i.e., properly insure themselves–instead of leaving it to bureaucratic whim. The sort of creeping dependence upon the collective that the 9/11 need to establish a special master to dole out government provided death benefits sourced from the pocket-books of other taxpayers demonstrates is evidence of slow motion national suicide via the creeping acceptance of “progressive” collectivism.

    2. PlanB Says:

      Conjuring images of the medieval church or the Kremlin persecuting dissidents is delicious, but it comes from times and places where very few people even had access to the information that the academy was exposed to. Those controlling authorities could actually hope to keep certain opinions from spreading by applying pressure at a very few places. That world has been disappearing for years.

      Anyone can get ahold of the ideas of Foucault, or Trotsky, or Derrida at the touch of a button now. Where unavailability is still a problem, ironically, are precisely those areas where those ideas are in ascendance.

      Anyone claiming to have gotten “ahold” of Derrida “at the touch of a button” — is lying.

      This is why online learning and other consumer-driven postsecondary education is pushing them out. Prestigious universities are losing prestige,

      Questionable premise given that post-bac enrollment rates are at historically unprecedented highs — during an era of hyper-competition for admission? As are test scores on licensing exams across the academic spectrum.

      not because Americans are anti-intellectual, but because they are anti-intelligentsia, anti-academy.

      Even George Bush reads Camus nowadays. The figure of The Professor in comic books and Gilligan’s Island, a person who knows much about all important subjects, does not even work as comedy or stereotype anymore.

      Except in/on; Bill Nye the Science Guy, CSI, CSI- Miami, CSI-New York, Danny Phantom, Dexter’s Laboratory, DragonflyTV, Kim Possible, MythBusters, Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Lisa of The Simpsons, and The X Files. Or in recent films, like, In “The Visitor”, “Smart People”, etc., etc.

      People chuckled about the comedic exaggeration of Russell Johnson’s character then – now they would fail to find it funny at all, except as some sort of retro thing. People have access to the information themselves and know that humanities professors are often not all that smart. Smarter than average people, perhaps, and trained in particular specialties, but not dealing with subjects far beyond the ken of mortals. That is in fact why these disciplines have developed their own coded vocabularies, to identify outsiders rapidly.

      Coded vocabularies like the “ken” of mortals?

      They can no longer rely on their superior knowledge to do that for them. It’s too easy for a talented amateur to join the conversation after a little work. There is no need to censor the academy. They are making themselves increasingly irrelevant.

      By accepting/welcoming more diverse opinion/insight and integrating themselves into the cultural zeitgeist more accessibly — through technology — as with amateur web-based astronomers being called upon to aid NASA Ames Research Center projects?

      The entrenched, government-funded educators at younger levels is more worrisome.

      Alas…until academia offers 7-figure salaries, stock options and golden parachutes — the brigades of government–(under)funded educators will doubtless remain entrenched.

    3. Mitch Says:

      I got Derrida at the touch of a button — my delete key.