From the “the world has changed” files, these two consecutive sentences in an essay by Andrew Marzoni on Michel Foucault’s acolyte Simeon Wade are sort of amazing.
Wade earned a doctorate in the intellectual history of Western civilization in 1968, writing a thesis on “The Idea of Luxury in Eighteenth-Century England,” and after teaching in Boston for a couple of years, hitched a ride with his fraternity brother Jet Thomas, who had officiated the wedding of Gram Parsons, to California, where Thomas owned a cabin on Mount Baldy.
On an apparent whim, Wade secured a tenure-track position as assistant professor in history at Claremont Graduate School, a respected if somewhat obscure research institution thirty miles east of Los Angeles, in a retirement Mecca for members of the Congregational Church.
As one does, apparently.
Earlier this week, I offered a critique of a piece that Neal McCluskey posted. He responded here. I started writing a rebuttal to his rebuttal but decided that I didn’t want to be the “someone is wrong on the internet!” guy, so I’ll just move on and allow readers to reach their own conclusions.
The tl;dr take is that he says his attack wasn’t on academic freedom; it was on taxpayer funding of educational institutions at all.
This strikes me as a case of what philosophers call incommensurable premises. Our basic assumptions are incompatible. Kudos to McCluskey for spelling out his assumptions candidly — a trait too often absent from contemporary policy writing. I disagree fundamentally with his position, for reasons outlined in the earlier critique, but I appreciate putting the epistemological cards on the table. At least we know where the disagreement is.
The Boy, reporting on his progress looking for a summer job in his field:
“I feel like I’m totally underqualified for everything.”
As good a description of how it feels to be 20 as I can imagine.