Sign of the Apocalypse #27

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    Jun 27, 2010 5:33 AM GMT
    . . . ok, so I was casually chatting with an attorney yesterday and quite out of the blue I mentioned something about John Stuart Mill . . . and she, a bright-ish 40-year old J.D., had no idea who he was . ..

    . . . does anyone else get an ominous sense from this? . . . is this connected to the oil spill?
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    Jun 27, 2010 5:35 AM GMT
    Hmmm it must of started when they built the first automobile. It's all apocalyptic. Like the planet is fucked and I think the creators of AVATAR know it!
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    Jun 27, 2010 5:41 AM GMT
    There have been signs of the apocalypse since the earth was formed.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jun 27, 2010 8:33 AM GMT
    I have graduated from college 3 separate times (the last time studying law), am well read, always read the news, and I'm a crossword puzzle whiz.

    Who's John Stuart Mill ?
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    Jun 27, 2010 8:40 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidI have graduated from college 3 separate times (the last time studying law), am well read, always read the news, and I'm a crossword puzzle whiz.

    Who's John Stuart Mill ?


    Oh thank god...now i don't feel as stupid for not knowing who he is
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    Jun 27, 2010 1:23 PM GMT
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.


    on point (2):

    funny-pictures-kitten-chases-bad-thing-a
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jun 27, 2010 1:24 PM GMT
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.
    True on both counts. Immanuel Kant was a real piss ant who was very rarely stable.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jun 27, 2010 1:24 PM GMT
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.


    That is a silly reason to feel superior. I feel superior just because I am.
    icon_razz.gif
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    Jun 27, 2010 1:26 PM GMT
    DCEric said
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.


    That is a silly reason to feel superior. I feel superior just because I am.
    icon_razz.gif


    And I think, therefore I am.

    suck it, bitch.
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    Jun 27, 2010 1:28 PM GMT
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.

    Factoids like this used to be part of the cultural bric-a-brac that everybody carried around with them. That was back in the days when a bachelor's degree meant you'd been exposed to, if not fully absorbed, a core body of knowledge.
    Those days are long gone.
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    Jun 27, 2010 3:09 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    cowboyathlete said
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.
    True on both counts. Immanuel Kant was a real piss ant who was very rarely stable.

    Heidegger Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could drink you under the table.

    David Hume could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel.
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    Jun 27, 2010 3:22 PM GMT
    All of us -- even the brightest people -- are ignorant about some things.

    To me, the ability -- or inability -- to verbalize a thumbnail on John Stuart Mill is hardly a test of intelligence or a sign of the apocalypse.

    Sure, general knowledge -- facts, figures, historical names -- are important. But even more important is the ability to think critically and systematically. Hardly ANYBODY does that.

    All that said. . . I can fully accept someone who has never heard of John Stuart Mill.

    But I'm totally suspect of anyone who can't sing the theme to "Gilligan's Island." If you can't do THAT -- well, then -- you DO have a problem.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jun 27, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    I thought it was going to be a thread about Sarah Palin going to England to meet with Margaret Thatcher - my bad icon_rolleyes.gif


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/14/sarah-palin-margaret-that_n_611561.html
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    Jun 27, 2010 3:27 PM GMT
    We are no longer given a classical education...high school and even college is vocational more than anything and ultimately...being "educated" does not have a well rounded aspect anymore.
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    Jun 27, 2010 3:51 PM GMT
    noren said. . . ok, so I was casually chatting with an attorney yesterday and quite out of the blue I mentioned something about John Stuart Mill . . . and she, a bright-ish 40-year old J.D., had no idea who he was . ..

    . . . does anyone else get an ominous sense from this? . . . is this connected to the oil spill?


    You mentioned him 'quite out of the blue'? I doubt it. I suspect this came out of a discussion concerning the president taking too much control and Democrats being portrayed as socialists and you were using Mill to try to add some legitimacy to this belief. And I seriously doubt the conversation delved into Republicans trying to limit the personal choices we make our lives every day. She was 'bright-ish'? She must have agreed with you.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Jun 27, 2010 3:52 PM GMT
    I was asking my roommate (educated, engineer, now working in education for the underpriveleged) if she was familiar with the source of a particular Bacon quote (the one about the moon being reflected in the water, but not vice versa, thus once can understand the heavenly by contemplating the earthly, but not the otherway around).

    Her: "bacon quote...?"
    Me: "Francis Bacon."
    Her: "Who?"
    Me: Famous philosopher (and corrupt magistrate). Postulated on science's place in society and the scientific method. A little bit pre-enlightenment era. ...
    Her: "Never heard of him."
    Me: * incredulous look of horror and dismay*

    I mean, she's the type that doesn't pay much attention to things that don't directly relate to her and her life (with a few exceptions), but I was still just dumbstruck.


    Most people live very very... 'local'... lives. I feel rather bad for them.
    Honestly, I think this is a large part of what drives people to religion and wonky spirituality. People have so little exposure to even moderately grand ideas that they want for some sense of awe. Eventually they just jump on the simplest pill to swallow, which tends to be dumbed down mysticism. Unsurprisingly, they're rarely fulfilled by it...
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    Jun 27, 2010 3:54 PM GMT
    neosyllogy saidI was asking my roommate (educated, engineer, now working in education for the underpriveleged) if she was familiar with the source a particular Bacon quote (the one about the moon being reflected in the water, but not vice versa, thus once can understand the heavenly by contemplating the earthly, but not the otherway around).

    Her: "bacon quote...?"
    Me: "Francis Bacon."
    Her: "Who?"
    Me: Famous philosopher (and corrupt magistrate). Postulated on science's place in society and the scientific method. A little bit pre-enlightenment era. ...
    Her: "Never heard of him."
    Me: *horrified and dismayed* "Liberal arts education is in decline then...?"

    I mean, she's the type that doesn't pay much attention to things that don't directly relate to her and her life (with a few exceptions), but I was still just dumbstruck.


    Most people live very very small lives. I feel kinda bad for them.


    Indeed...I get weird looks when I use German, French, Yiddish or Hebrew references in my conversation. Like this dude has a certain je ne sais quoi or I cant leave work an hr early, its totally verboten.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Jun 27, 2010 3:59 PM GMT
    agri_sci saidWe are no longer given a classical education...high school and even college is vocational more than anything and ultimately...being "educated" does not have a well rounded aspect anymore.


    I'm inclined to agree.
    But I went to a liberal arts college as an undergrad and go to a tech college for grad, so I feel like my experiences are biased. (I'm also not sure how well classically educated people used to be -- the people that history remembers are scarcely representative of society in all respects.)

    Thoughts from the wizened RJers? icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 27, 2010 3:59 PM GMT
    jprichva saidJohn Stuart Mill:

    1) English political philosopher of the mid 19th century
    2) Another excuse for noren to feel superior to everyone else.


    That's ok, he's a hottie... put a dick in his mouth so he can't talk.
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    Jun 27, 2010 4:02 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    agri_sci saidWe are no longer given a classical education...high school and even college is vocational more than anything and ultimately...being "educated" does not have a well rounded aspect anymore.


    I'm inclined to agree.
    But I went to a liberal arts college as an undergrad and go to a tech college for grad, so I feel like my experiences are biased. (I'm also not sure how well classically educated people used to be -- the people that history remembers are scarcely representative of society in all respects.)

    Thoughts from the wizened RJers? icon_wink.gif


    LOL. We all know that only the upper class was educated. But they studied EVERYTHING....Now we get just enough to get us work and create capita
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Jun 27, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    agri_sci saidLOL. We all know that only the upper class was educated. But they studied EVERYTHING....Now we get just enough to get us work and create capita


    But I'm not sure how true that was. There may have been some classics requirements, but it's not clear how many engineers, lawyers, etc. (more practically oriented occupations) actually were well versed in philosophy, history, political theory, etc.
    Certainly, those things seemed more valued (compared to, for example, the indignant ignorance displayed by some above -- the idea that knowing something they don't is somehow elitist and unnecessary) -- but that doesn't mean it was especially common.

    Again, historical figures tended to show a strong degree of classical knowledge, but the more notable pundits today do the same. I think that's a bias that may skew our sense of history.

    [Also, it's not true that only the "upper class" was educated. I'm talking 50-80 years ago. There was a huge amount of upward mobility in the US at the time.]
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    Jun 27, 2010 4:14 PM GMT
    Who cares.... Grow up Gramps

    OMG did everyone see britney's new hair or Linsey lohan wraping a car around a tree and simon cowel shopping at target...

    You gotta at least have read about it on twitter icon_twisted.gif
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    Jun 27, 2010 4:17 PM GMT
    noren said. . . ok, so I was casually chatting with an attorney yesterday and quite out of the blue I mentioned something about John Stuart Mill . . . and she, a bright-ish 40-year old J.D., had no idea who he was . ..

    . . . does anyone else get an ominous sense from this? . . . is this connected to the oil spill?

    noren, I am afraid this is so painfully obvious. ... icon_redface.gif ... I am embarrassed for you.
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    Jun 27, 2010 4:17 PM GMT
    BP totally fucked up
  • Buddha

    Posts: 1767

    Jun 27, 2010 4:26 PM GMT
    If I understand this correctly, this is only about not knowing of Mill? What's the big deal about that? I probably wouldn't have known who Mill if I hadn't decided to pick up philosophy in highschool. Obviously different people will think different things are important to know, depending where they come from, what they're brought up with and what their focus in life is. My sister might think it's more important to know the periodic table by heart instead of knowing what themes Faulkner wrote about.