Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog


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Written by janeh

March 12th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. In our quest to pad all the edges of reality, child-proofing the world…

    preventing anyone anywhere anytime from being offended or “triggered”, which is just a code word for “I haven’t dealt with my problem like a grownup yet.”

    I seem to be having an immaturity theme going on here.


    12 Mar 14 at 1:46 pm

  2. I hope Jane can clear out the multiple postings!

    The quest to avoid offensive materials seems circular. I’m offended by the idea that college students must be protected from offensive topics.

    And I found a lot of the Anti-Vietnam war protests offensive. Who protects people against offensive students?


    12 Mar 14 at 4:45 pm

  3. I thought post-secondary education was where you went to be shocked and possibly offended after your more sheltered primary and secondary years!


    13 Mar 14 at 7:29 am

  4. Mique

    13 Mar 14 at 7:13 pm

  5. Cheryl, I think you might get nearer the truth if you think of modern non-vocational education as a sort of finishing school, concerned that no liberal’s intellectual maidenhead be violated while in their care.

    There are exceptions, of course. Every now and then a coelacanth turns up, too.


    13 Mar 14 at 9:04 pm

  6. I keep wondering if the virus has infected science and engineering classes yet? Perhaps the need for bridges that don’t fall down provides some immunity.


    14 Mar 14 at 12:05 am

  7. Times change. In my youth, it was practically de rigeur for university students to return home after their first semester with new ideas with which to shock their elderly relatives and old friends.

    Mind you, some of the ideas were pretty silly, but that one shouldn’t be shocked wasn’t one of them. Times certainly have changed!


    14 Mar 14 at 5:23 am

  8. jd, I think not so much the need for bridges that don’t fall down as the fact that they do or do not. In the physical sciences, medicine and engineering, even the most senior faculty can be proven wrong. This tends to focus attention on reality, if you will. (N.B. I’m not sure this applies to theoretical physics, and advanced mathematics deals with consistency of reasoning, which is not–quite–reality.)

    Elsewhere–remember the old Army adage that “doctrine is the opinion of the senior officer present?” I’d say in any Grievance Studies course–but also in Sociology, Political Science and frequently in Economics, the correct answer is whatever the professor says. Four or nine years of telling people exactly what they want to hear has no good effect on the students–but decades of never having to admit to mistakes can have a devastating effect on faculty.

    No, I don’t know how you fix it. Tightening up the requirements for high school diplomas and consequently dropping “any four year degree” job requirements might help quite a bit. But I don’t even know how to get to that.


    14 Mar 14 at 6:52 pm

  9. Robert, advanced math isn’t tied to reality. It might have some physical use but its mostly mathematicians following their own interests.

    Theoretical physics does tent to be tied to experiments. The major exception is people trying to study the Big Band. They are pushing General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory about 15 orders of magnitude past our best eximental data.


    15 Mar 14 at 5:49 am

  10. Yes, that’s what I said on math. On physics, I was thinking of what I’d heard of string theory–“not even wrong”–which seemed to push them toward the “professor’s opinion” end of things.

    Please note that I have NOT discussed the traditional humanities majors–English, Classics, History and Philosophy. I’m not going to. I just don’t want it thought they were included in my earlier philippic.


    15 Mar 14 at 9:05 am

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