Friday, September 28, 2012

Who cares?

… Pop Culture Has Turned Against the Liberal Arts - Kevin Craft - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
What gives? Why are so many works perpetuating the stereotype that liberal arts programs cater to Peter Pan boys and girls and sad-sack professors, none of whom have the emotional intelligence to deal with life's problems? Part of it could be recession-era scapegoating. And part of it is that the cultural heroes of the moment are largely start-up kings like Mark Zuckerbergs and Steve Jobses who dropped out of college to pursue fortune. You can see similar strains of thought in Scott Gerber's recent Atlantic piece critiquing the liberal arts curriculum for inadequately preparing entrepreneurs.
Once liberal arts schools moved away from being the foundation for a classical education — which prepared you doing just about anything that came you way —  they began the journey toward irrelevance. Good to bear in mind that, once upon a time, people didn't feel the need to go to college to be, say, a writer. Think Twain, Melville, Whitman, Poe, etc.

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