- To my mind, one of the most important aspects of a college education is that it provides a vigorous stimulus to independent thinking. ... The desire to know more about the different sides of a question, a craving to understand something of the opinions of other peoples and other times mark the educated man. Education should not put the mind in a straitjacket of conventional formulas but should provide it with the nourishment on which it may unceasingly expand and grow. Think for yourselves! Absorb knowledge wherever possible and listen to the opinions of those more experienced than yourself, but don't let any one do your thinking for you. --James Bryant Conant, speaking to undergraduates just two years after Hitler had come to power in Germany
- The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff
- George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left
Michael Roth, Huffington Post
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11/12/2013 | Over the last year there has been a steady stream of articles about the "crisis in the humanities," fostering a sense that students are stampeding from liberal education toward more vocationally oriented studies. In fact, the decline in humanities enrollments, as some have pointed out, is wildly overstated, and much of that decline occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. Still, the press is filled with tales about parents riding herd on their offspring lest they be attracted to literature or history rather than to courses that teach them to develop new apps for the next, smarter phone.
America has long been ambivalent about learning for its own sake, at times investing heavily in free inquiry and lifelong learning, and at other times worrying that we need more specialized training to be economically competitive. A century ago these worries were intense, and then, as now, pundits talked about a flight from the humanities toward the hard sciences.
Michael Roth is President, Wesleyan University
The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff, Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Don’t expect them to save us. They don’t know how. And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implodes and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, they will be exposed as being as helpless, and as stupid, as the rest of us.
George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left, George Monbiot, Guardian (UK)
- Conservativism may be the refuge of the dim. But the room for rightwing ideas is made by those too timid to properly object.
- How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
- Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes