Friday, January 03, 2014


Slate is really hurting for content I reckon...

This is mostly pretty funny...

One sad thing, though, is that theses like the one summarized as:

Rocks that are next to each other in Massachusetts now were also next to each other 400 million years ago.
                     - Geology, Amherst College
Once there were some lost lobsters who were maybe a tiny bit different from some other lobsters, so I killed lots of their larvae to find out if they were actually a tiny bit different. Turns out I don’t know, so I have to do it again.
                      - Earth Systems, Stanford University 
Are probably actually pretty interesting. That's a significant aspect of the joke. Theses like these, however:

Look at this zombie. Isn’t it racist and sexist? Yes, it is.
                       - English Literature, DePaul University
FML: All my feelings are constructed
                       - Religion & Women and Gender Studies, Harvard

Not so much. Is the zombie racist and sexist?, it almost certainly isn't. (For one thing, zombies have no thoughts...) But nobody writes a thesis like that in English Lit. The question "is x racist and/or sexist?" is not one that is ever given a negative answer. You know the answer before you begin in ever case: everything is racist and sexist. That's an axiom of a certain absurd approach. It's bad enough that allegedly scholarly work is discussing zombies...but add the de rigueur accusations of prejudice, and you inevitably get something that's almost guaranteed to be both frivolous and morally bankrupt. And no, our feelings are not "constructed," of course...though they are to some extent influenced by social forces, if that's the sort of thing you're thinking of... But that rather weak proposition isn't going to cut it in either Religion or Women and Gender Studies. With respect to the latter two theses, the humorous summary is probably the best thing about them. And that's a sad testament to the state of the weaker reaches of the humanities today...


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