The Arizona Desert Lamp

Spring Break Reading

Posted in Campus, Media by Evan Lisull on 12 March 2009

Reading on the BeachWell, that’s quite enough of that. We’ll be blogging at a lighter pace throughout the break, but for now here are some selections from Tucson town:

-Alyson Hill is back, with a new blog: Arfing Round the Bend. Already, she knows more than you do about cat food marketing; at this rate, she’ll be Treasury Secretary by July. Also, she writes a poem with the appropriate amount of levity for the upcoming break.

-At Critical Political, Matt takes up arms against this post of mine on the academy. A sample:

Frankly, I have a hard time understanding anyway what “knowledge for the sake of knowledge” really means anyway. It’s easy to say this, to accept learning just for learning’s sake, but I think there is a flaw in thinking that this is the whole story. Every action and plan has intention behind it and some kind of goal. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge, as Evan takes it, probably has its origins in medieval monasteries, the safe havens of wisdom in the dark ages. Then, the dissemination of knowledge was a challenge to the social order, and so dissemination was a threat to the knowledge itself. So the purpose of knowledge for its own sake was its preservation, and this was in response to the social conditions of the time. I can’t imagine anyone who really thinks that this is the case today – that the preservation (and continuation) of wisdom and knowledge is dependent on keeping it locked up, rather than directing it to what we recognize as explicitly practical goals.

Read the rest here (and yes, a reply is forthcoming).

-I’ve been remiss in noting Laura Donovan‘s chronicling of her Women and Literature (here and here). This empirical data gathering will prove, I think, to be extremely important when it comes to discussing the academy in broader terms. We do need more of these sorts of accounts. though.

-In addition to his work against PIRG, Ben Kalafut of Goldwater State fame finds that freedom of choice when it comes to health care isn’t quite dead yet.

-Justyn pities the fate of conservawunderkind Jonathan Krohn at the Civic Spirit. (And, shamelessly, I will point out that I have a loopier take on the kid over at the Kosmopolitan.)

Image courtesy of Flickr user scissorhands33

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