University Renewal, Freedom Isn’t Free & The Gobbler

Alan Jacobs at National Affairs: ‘Renewing The University’

‘For, whomever or whatever you might blame for the current state of affairs, the recent hostilities have been distinctly unfriendly to the creating and sustaining of intellectual energy. Universities need to get beyond these disputes, at least to some degree, if they are going to retain any meaningful chance to fulfill their social missions.’

Hmmm.  Many intemperate people with radical views have been rewarded, in many cases, for their intemperance and for their radical views.  I doubt many such people will be voluntarily returning any of the budget (the People’s budget!) anytime soon.

My two cents: Keep learning, aim for moral decency, and be reasonably open to new experiences and criticism.  On a daily basis you will often meet people smarter than you or better than you at something you thought you were good at (humbling, to be sure). Everyone knows many things you never will.

I’ve found that true-belief is everywhere, and people taken up into belief are often pretty clear about what’s not up for discussion.  Ideologues sometimes believe what they say, sometimes not.  In fact, go by what other people do, not what they say.

Once there is an apparatus of incentives, procedures, prestige and money set-up around a set of ideas and principles; such as found in universities, companies, organizations and bureaucracies, such things tend to keep going until they can’t any longer.

The worse the ideas and incentives are, the worse the people in them tend to behave.  So, aim to get into reputable organizations, and, should you find yourself within one, ask what you’re bringing to the table.

You probably believe in some ideas and principles yourself, right now, but as for that, keep thinking, and check often to make sure your head isn’t up yours or someone else’s ass.

There is very little evidence that life is fair.

P.S. Hey, have a little fun!


From The College Fix: This guy seems pretty reasonable, and he grew-up within the old Cold War structure in Romania (the cold makes you strong!).

He did leave…


Via Twitter, The Gobbler is back (we’ll see):

Click here to experience ‘The Gobbler.

‘If you’re ever wondering what the War Room of “Dr. Strangelove” would look like if the movie had been directed by Prince, here you go.’

After taking the photo tour, I remain convinced that ‘The Gobbler’ exists in its own realm of awesome badness.  Such a shag-covered, abandoned love-child of the late 60’s and early 70’s is challenging just what I thought I knew about American culture.

And while I can lounge in the bathos of this Wisconsin motor court/supper club’s global ambitions, and walk through the valley of the shadow of its modernist, U.N. international style, I still can’t fathom the intentions of its authors.

Why, Gobbler, why?

Want to lose an afternoon?  Visit Lileks.com.  A fine humorist with a sharp pen and a keen eye.  This is what the internet is for.

Additionally:  Donald Pittenger, at Art Contrarian, and formerly of 2 Blowhards, has been looking at modernism.  From the banner of his blog:

‘The point-of-view is that modernism in art is an idea that has, after a century or more, been thoroughly tested and found wanting. Not to say that it should be abolished — just put in its proper, diminished place’

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