"As we all know, for the virtuous student, college life has become a variation on The Temptation of Saint Anthony—a never-ending assault by the demons of gluttony, envy, sloth, lust, and pride."
That's confusing "virtue" with something actually relevant to academic involvement. I agree there's a lot wrong with the current system, but it's not that students are having too much sex and sleeping in on.
"Members should cultivate nonviolence, humility, and ungrudging obedience to just authority. Speech should be used in moderation, and only for some purpose. Instead of gossiping at meals, edifying books are read aloud. There are no private possessions, only two meals a day, and vegetarianism is the norm. Clothing is simple, utilitarian, and uniform."
That's not going to happen. Once again, we have some confusion between this weird form of self-denial with caring about education. It's perfectly possible to be committed to learning/research/etc. while still wanting to talk to your friends during dinner.
This isn't even getting at the daily ritualistic prayer, the claim the current academic zeitgeist is "decadent", the fact that a lot of research requires expensive equipment, something unaccounted for under this scheme, the suggested "withdrawal" from the rest of the world, etc.
EDIT: Not to mention, there's the problem of people with families. Does the rest of the family have to join in also? What about children? If they don't, how does the member provide for them? Are only single people allowed to join? What?
From what I saw, it's not that students were having too much sex. It's the combination of a lot of undirected lost souls who are not committed so something substantive (like learning/research) with a pervasive atmosphere of bacchanalia. I saw people go through many emotional wringers in school.
Once again, we have some confusion between this weird form of self-denial with caring about education.
I agree. I think it's perfectly possible to have an atmosphere which is contemplative without going towards asceticism. What's really needed is a shift in emphasis.
the fact that a lot of research requires expensive equipment, something unaccounted for under this scheme
There's a lot of research and substantive work that doesn't require expensive equipment. For one thing, I would love some monasteries to become hosts for Google Summer of Code work.
Engineering school makes even the most dedicated student wonder why they're even bothering at times. And now you'll take away getting laid, fucking off, bitching, and Starcraft. And you'll have them do additional manual labor on top of that.
I think part of the reason these monasteries have such sterling reputations is cause we never hear about the failures. No one really bothered recording the number of people who joined, and then ran away, or even the number of successful for which monastic life was actually an improvement. I mean sure, you gotta read all these books, and plow a field, but at least you have a bed (albeit hard) and roof, and the lord isn't out to tax you all the time.
Now I don't mean to say that there isn't value in learning for it's own sake- there is. You don't need to reshape education to do that though. Every student today has the ability to make these choices- like icegreentea said, they choose not to because they don't think it's valuable.
There. Fixed it for ya.
The Engineering School Truth In Advertising Committee
On the other hand, the article seems to be going in a more insular direction, which I absolutely cannot agree with. Universities and colleges need to teach as a part of the world, not from ivory towers. The biggest problem with my alma mater is that it's very isolated geographically and that created a "bubble" where outside events didn't really penetrate beyond sports or a few political interest groups.
In you look around and wonder what would happen if there was a general collapse of civil society you do have to wonder who and where the bodies of knowledge that we have collected over the last few thousand years would be preserved (right back to things like the Homeric epics - which have made it through two long dark ages).
The relics that were safe through social meltdowns and other problems are the evidence.
There are pretty safe assumptions that lead to that position too - museums will get destroyed just as other municipal buildings would in a period of societal collapse. Imagine you're uneducated, living in what was a museum and need to build a fire ...
If the artefacts are still safely ensconced in a not yet rediscovered cave then they're relatively safe.
We get a lot of our historic information from ceramic and stone artifacts - I wonder what durable items we might pass down through the millenia?
His point is that if a colony of insects happened into that cave a month after they were "safely ensconced" 500 years ago, then they wouldn't be there for us to find. Basically you're falling for survivorship bias.
Yes some artifacts will be destroyed in caves. But we also know that artifacts won't be preserved in museums. Hence I said relatively safe. Clearly not all artifacts survive but we're sure that no artifacts remain in the Library of Alexandria (whether scrolls from there were saved or not, they weren't saved in the library).
Yes I see that you can also argue that items in caves/other caches are also eventually removed or destroyed in situ but it is the preservation against rampaging hordes and systematic destruction that I was targetting.
>That doesn't mean that being lost is safer than being in a museum. (Perhaps it is, but where's the evidence?)
Obviously this is circumstantial evidence but I think that museums are simply too obvious to protect against certain things like looting in war or social collapse scenarios.
High school student:
-Wakes up at 6am, Juggles school, extracurriculars, home responsibilities, social life, holds a part-time job
-Doesn't change out of pajamas until it's time to go to the bar.
The author is ignoring a significant advantage that actual monasteries and convents have on this point: they are exempt from taxes by law and longstanding tradition. It's not clear that an institution lacking this advantage could really become economically self-sufficient.
My brother looked at it - was quite attractive but didn't have his specific field of interest.
By reputation, it's a highly successful institution.
Why? What is it about this attire that makes you want to do that.
All I can see is that such dress is an attempt to feel superior over others and that your belonging to such a group would allow for the feeling of superiority without the effort of intellectual advancement?
One could, however, think of it as a discipline thing. If you wear a perfectly pressed suit you're less likely to slouch. And if you're less likely to slouch, maybe you're less likely to be sloppy in your thoughts, so your research might be better.
Then again, maybe your research would wind up being worse because a suit feels so conformist. Who knows? But it would be a worthwhile experiment.
Or maybe it wouldn't matter because you're just you with different textiles covering (or not) your naked body.
You should dress according to your age. You don't get any younger/cooler by dressing like a teenager. Put on some nice clothes, learn some manners and grow up.
Now get off my lawn :-)
PS. Attention California-based hedge funds with strict dress policies! I am available! My email address is not in my profile but if you're that smart you can probably figure it out!
Hell, I thought everybody already understood that this was actually the point of college, but I will defer to Frank Zappa on this one: If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.
Going from Bourges, he came to Orleans, where he found store of swaggering
scholars that made him great entertainment at his coming, and with whom he
learned to play at tennis so well that he was a master at that game. For
the students of the said place make a prime exercise of it; and sometimes
they carried him unto Cupid's houses of commerce (in that city termed
islands, because of their being most ordinarily environed with other
houses, and not contiguous to any), there to recreate his person at the
sport of poussavant, which the wenches of London call the ferkers in and
in. As for breaking his head with over-much study, he had an especial care
not to do it in any case, for fear of spoiling his eyes. Which he the
rather observed, for that it was told him by one of his teachers, there
called regents, that the pain of the eyes was the most hurtful thing of any
to the sight. For this cause, when he one day was made a licentiate, or
graduate in law, one of the scholars of his acquaintance, who of learning
had not much more than his burden, though instead of that he could dance
very well and play at tennis, made the blazon and device of the licentiates
in the said university, saying,
So you have in your hand a racket,
A tennis-ball in your cod-placket,
A Pandect law in your cap's tippet,
And that you have the skill to trip it
In a low dance, you will b' allowed
The grant of the licentiate's hood.
Such a model would only work if the students in that place are of such ideological disposition that they do not find all the fancy stuff fun.
I was once asked what I'd do if I had a 100 million, by some sheer luck or something. My answer was that I would anonymously buy a huge stretch of land in a remote area somewhere near the Western Ghats/Himalayas (India) and start a zen monastery type of institute for sciences; frugal(with Internet/infrastructure) in nature but strict in admissions, with no age limit for members. No fee whatsoever for the students, boarding and lodging included. A centre for higher education in science and technology, modeled after JNVs. And I would try joining that institute as a student, taking admission tests.
Sounds like a typical grad school.
Note that I say this as an atheist and as someone who doesn't think that there is much place for religion in modern education, apart from learning about religions as part of general cultural awareness.
Note that there was also an earlier Bronze Age "Dark Age" in Eastern Europe:
So the preserved knowledge is only a tiny slither of what they destroyed.