Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,

We can celebrate the looming collapse of the New York Times more then that of the Ivies for two reasons.

First because as a corporation the Times is less capable of reform. A school replaces it’s student/customer base who are the bulk of it’s presence, every two to 7 years, depending on the unit considered. The faculty and staff turn over more slowly but senior tenured faculty are a fairly small group and, like with the SCOTUS, a change in Administration and political environment could produce dramatic shifts. The Times is the frozen expression of the personality of Pinch Sulzberger and as such may be the least reformable entity in America.

Second because while the Times is circling the drain due to the technical and market shifts that indicate that their influence would be declining under any circumstances our objections to the influence of Harvard and her peers is personal. The fact is that there is a need, a natural need, for elite educational institutions. If Harvard did not exist we would have to invent it. The problem therefor should not be how to get rid of Harvard but how to reform or replace it.

Why is there a Center for Gender Studies at any school? What legitimate heuristic or analytical purpose is served by diverting scarce resources to such a purpose? Just exactly what have the schools of Education or Sociology contributed to human knowledge in the last forty years? We just had a whole thread that touched on Skip Gates’ racist bailiwick. These and all disciplines should all be subject to periodic review. Chicago, to its’ credit, closed the Library School and the School of Education, which were famous in their day. More regrettably to me they also closed their renowned Department of Geography when they felt it could not keep to the standards expected.

See I only raise two reasons. I am getting better.

E. Nigma,
(who shared an opinion that Stanford was no better than Ohio State)
Just remember Stanford is America's only Junior University. It is in fact The Leland Stanford Jr. University. Named in honor of the deceased son of the railroad tycoon, robber baron and Governor, L.S. Sr. But to really get a rise out of them just look around what has been built on the old family ranch and call it Taco Bell U. The real problem with that place though is that it violates the Iron Law of Academic Excellence, which states that great schools shall be located in places where bad weather and hostile poor neighbors help to drive the students into the library.

Joe Hill,
(who called for taxing endowment income)
You could make an argument that the American endowed universities are in a position analogous to that held by the English monasteries before Henry VIII ordered their dissolution.

Joe Hill,
(who misplaced his "c" key and asks "why do we need seas?)

Follow The Fleet, 1936 Movie
(Irving Berlin)
Fred Astaire

We joined the Navy to see the world
And what did we see? We saw the sea
We saw the Pacific and the Atlantic
But the Atlantic isn't romantic
And the Pacific isn't what it's cracked up to be

We joined the Navy to do or die
But we didn't do and we didn't die
We were much too busy looking at the ocean and the sky
And what did we see? We saw the sea
We saw the Atlantic and the Pacific
But the Pacific isn't terrific
And the Atlantic isn't what it's cracked up to be

They tell us that the Admiral
Is as nice as he can be
But we never see the Admiral
Because the Admiral has never been to sea

We joined the Navy to see the girls
And what did we see? We saw the sea
Instead of a girl or two in a taxi
We were compelled to look at the Black Sea
Seeing the Black Sea isn't what it's cracked up to be

Sailing, sailing home again
To see the girls upon the village green
Then across the foam again
To see the other seas we haven't seen

We owe the Navy an awful lot
For they taught us how to do the Sailor's Hornpipe
And they showed us how to tie a sailor's knot
But more than that, they showed us the sea
We never get seasick sailing the ocean
We don't object to feeling the motion
We're never seasick but we are awful sick of sea


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