Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Not A Real Blog Post

with 3 comments

And it’s not.

Thursday is my worst day, Friday starts early and ends early–and I fall over.

So I’m in no shape.

But I thought I’d address a few things.

First, Charlou wants to know why I’m writing this.

Well, AB asked to know why studying the liberal arts was to any value to the individual of today–

And I said I’d tell him.

I started with a (not yet quite finished) definition of what the liberal arts are–hard sciences, mathematics, social sciences, languages and humanities–and the reason it’s important to study each one (and not just ANY one).

That will be followed by an explanation of why I think it is valuable to the individual to know all this stuff.

And that will be followed by an explanation of why I think it would be to the good of society if as many people as possible knew this stuff as far as is possible.

After that, I was going to address Charlou’s post about all those secondary and primary school things, and especially about how we’re giving all sorts of people who never had the chance before the “opportunity to go to college.”

For what it’s worth, absolutely none of this is about my, or anybody else’s, college education. 

College was more than worth it to me, because it gave me a framework for what I was, in most cases, already reading. 

I read my first book of philosophy at the age of twelve, having found it on my father’s bookshelves–which I was always raiding–and been curosious about what kind of thing it was.  It was Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, and when I was halfway through it I gave it back to him and told him I didn’t think I understood it.  He gave it back to me and told me of course I did–and he was right.  I just didn’t believe it.

Two years later, I went to work on Aristotle–all of it, not just a thing here and there.

And I’m still doing it.  If no colleges had existed, if my parents couldn’t have afforded to send me one–I’d still have read this stuff and I’d still be reading it.  Because I am still reading it.  I spent the early afternoon with Clement of Alexandria.  He lived in the second to third century and wrote about the importance “Greek learning” to the newly triumphant Christian Church. 

On my coffee table I have a book by Liebnitz, an eighteenth century philosopher whose work I never have gotten around to before, who did not appear in any of my college courses.  He’s always interested me because he wrote philosophy in his off time, while keeping a day job as a lensmaker.

The simple fact of the matter is that I love this stuff.  I have loved it since I first discovered it existed.   As far as I’m concerned, the point of discussing these things is to discuss them.  I could do it all day.  I think knowing this stuff, and talking about this stuff, and reading this stuff, is one of the top three reasons to love being alive. 

Some things are worth knowing in and of themselves.  The point of knowing them is just to know them.  The point of talking about them is just to talk about them. 

So, you know, AB gave me an excuse.  But I might not have needed one.

As to the rest of it–I’ll get back to it tomorrow.  But I’ve got to state the Oliver Rule.

There are a couple of people who read and sometimes comment on this blog who may remember the Oliver in question, who appeared on a small atheist e-mail discussion list called Sechum-L a few years ago. 

The experience was–well, traumatizing. 

It was, however, largely my fault that I allowed myself to get sucked into it.

So in the wake of it, I established a rule–if you ask me a question and I respond to it and then you indicate that y ou’ve read my response by quoting from it, only to turn around a day or so later and ask the same question again as if no response had been given–

Well, I stop talking directly to you.  

I’m not going to stop talking to anybody right now, because I have a feeling the thing was inadvertant–

But I addressed why it’s not as good to study just one thing deeply, among other things, a ways back. 

I will admit I’m a little bemused by all this talk of “geniuses.” 

I’m going to go fall over again now.

Written by janeh

September 23rd, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'Not A Real Blog Post'

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  1. Saturday here in Australia. Woke up at 2AM. breakfast at 3AM, diabetic hypo at 8AM. Oh well, the last is an excuse to eat chocolate.

    I was no where as precocious as Jane. My interest in philosophy started after I was 30 and was triggered by Mary Renault’s books about Ancient Greece.


    23 Sep 11 at 6:07 pm

  2. michaelwfisher@cox.net

    23 Sep 11 at 7:06 pm

  3. If you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about, it wasn’t just one bit, it was an entire post that I reposted accidentally.

    I usually write anything of any length in a text file, and then post it. This saves much grief when there’s a power flicker, or when I submit a comment only to get “hahaha! we logged you out while you were typing that, and NO, you can’t get it back!”

    So, maybe I should have kept the different posts in different files, but I didn’t, and that’s just life.


    23 Sep 11 at 8:18 pm

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