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Archive for February 27th, 2009

bad press

with 3 comments

Oh dear… (From the NYT)

Mr. Freeland is part of what he calls a revolutionary movement to close the “chasm in higher education between the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs.” The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently issued a report arguing the humanities should abandon the “old Ivory Tower view of liberal education” and instead emphasize its practical and economic value.


As money tightens, the humanities may increasingly return to being what they were at the beginning of the last century, when only a minuscule portion of the population attended college: namely, the province of the wealthy.

That may be unfortunate but inevitable, Mr. Kronman said. The essence of a humanities education — reading the great literary and philosophical works and coming “to grips with the question of what living is for” — may become “a great luxury that many cannot afford.”

All of this puts one in a tough spot, no? The humanities are good career preparation, but this is mostly or especially true for careers that kids who go to elite schools get: academia, the arts, marketing, law, consulting, etc. But on the other hand – well, fuck career preparation, there are other things in life. On the, um, third hand: that’s easy enough for me to say, way easy for me to say.

What do you think? What do you think we should do?

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February 27, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Posted in academia

hot stove league

with 8 comments

At 32, my life is now split evenly between the period of baseball lineup generation and literature. Thus the following (clipped from Charles Bernstein’s blog) has an automatic appeal. And I have to say, this looks not random and silly. This looks about right:

Charles North
Complete Lineups; art by Paula North
(Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press, 2009).

as in baseball lineups, eg ….

Wittgenstein lf
Heidegger 2b
Aristotle 1b
Kant rf
Hegel cf
Hume ss
Sartre 3b
Plotinus c
Plato p

Heidegger is a #2 hitter, and he would be a secondbaseman, wouldn’t he? And Hegel in the five slot is perfect, just perfect. And Sartre would play thirdbase. Wittgenstein is everywhere that he should be. Weird, uncanny, perfectly right this thing!

I haven’t got it in me to make my own tonight (I tag Kaufman to do a full one), but for now. When it comes to modernist fiction writers in English, Conrad bats second and plays SS, has to – he is the Derek Jeter of the team, and Jeter is a natural #2. Fitzgerald fits into #6 or #7, definitely at second base. It’s a tough call but I guess Woolf #3 (and in centerfield) while Joyce bats cleanup and plays right, or maybe first.

But who leads off?

Your turn Scott, seriously, Mr. All Glove No Hit…..

(UPDATE: SEK nails it….)

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February 27, 2009 at 1:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized