Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday's Quote: The conundrum of higher education

Here's more about Mamet
Allen Mendenhall is one of the more refined young thinkers of our time.  A prime exemplar of Libertarianism in its truest form, the well-educated Mendenhall recently featured a piece by The Weekly Standard senior editor Andrew Ferguson highlighting a January 2009 speech at Stanford University by David Mamet, wherein the Pulitzer-winning playwright offered his take on the current state of higher education.  Have a look:

"Higher ed, [Mamet] said, was an elaborate scheme to deprive young people of their freedom of thought.  He compared four years of college to a lab experiment in which a rat is trained to pull a lever for a pellet of food.  A student recites some bit of received and unexamined wisdom — 'Thomas Jefferson: slave owner, adulterer, pull the lever' — and is rewarded with his pellet: a grade, a degree, and ultimately a lifelong membership in a tribe of people educated to see the world in the same way.

"'If we identify every interaction as having a victim and an oppressor, and we get a pellet when we find the victims, we're training ourselves not to see cause and effect,'" he said.  Wasn't there, he went on, a 'much more interesting .  .  . view of the world in which not everything can be reduced to victim and oppressor?'"
– from "Andrew Ferguson on 'Converting Mamet'" at The Literary Order; May 16, 2011

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