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Thread: Barbaros Adipiscendam

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    Barbaros Adipiscendam

    The barbarians are winning.

    I see that in an effort to combat “systemic racism” Princeton will no longer require Greek or Latin for Classics majors. I’ll admit to confusion over exactly how conjugating verbs or translating Virgil constitutes oppression.

    Perhaps next they could eliminate math from the physics program, it being a tool of white supremacy.

    O tempora, O mores

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    The barbarians are winning.

    I see that in an effort to combat “systemic racism” Princeton will no longer require Greek or Latin for Classics majors. I’ll admit to confusion over exactly how conjugating verbs or translating Virgil constitutes oppression.

    Perhaps next they could eliminate math from the physics program, it being a tool of white supremacy.

    O tempora, O mores
    You lost me on the connection to white supremacy. I have seen numerous reports that a liberal arts degree is not worth much but the focus should be on the STEM-focused courses. Would this not be more of the same?

    FWIW, I think that everyone should first take a liberal arts year or two to learn how to think. It is quite amazing how smart people were in the past and communicated in different languages. They were able to build cathedrals, pyramids, waterworks, ships, understand the stars enough to travel the world without the STEM-focused courses. Imagine that!
    ETA -this same wisdom was expressed in every continent and colour of humanity. It was not just white people!!!!!!!!!

    I would be interested in learning why this is happening. Is it all industry driven to create the best worker?
    Last edited by razz; 5-31-21 at 11:39am. Reason: Add further info
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

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    I have seen numerous reports that a liberal arts degree is not worth much but the focus should be on the STEM-focused courses. Would this not be more of the same?
    that was never meant to apply to Princeton, that was for the ordinary folks who are going to non-prestigious state U, who should get just the right, but not too much education, wouldn't want that. But in truth most people do need a way to earn a living as well of course, whether that's through a focused bachelors, trade school, post graduate, apprenticeship, the family business, or frankly with many people it's just by falling into something (but how does one plan that?). But honestly if your degree is that prestigious it alone will open doors.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    You lost me on the connection to white supremacy. I have seen numerous reports that a liberal arts degree is not worth much but the focus should be on the STEM-focused courses. Would this not be more of the same?

    FWIW, I think that everyone should first take a liberal arts year or two to learn how to think. It is quite amazing how smart people were in the past and communicated in different languages. They were able to build cathedrals, pyramids, waterworks, ships, understand the stars enough to travel the world without the STEM-focused courses. Imagine that!
    ETA -this same wisdom was expressed in every continent and colour of humanity. It was not just white people!!!!!!!!!

    I would be interested in learning why this is happening. Is it all industry driven to create the best worker?
    I think that with an adequate application of racial reductionist ideology, it is possible to dumb down both the humanities and the sciences to the point where there can be little material difference between them.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    You lost me on the connection to white supremacy. I have seen numerous reports that a liberal arts degree is not worth much but the focus should be on the STEM-focused courses. Would this not be more of the same?

    FWIW, I think that everyone should first take a liberal arts year or two to learn how to think. It is quite amazing how smart people were in the past and communicated in different languages. They were able to build cathedrals, pyramids, waterworks, ships, understand the stars enough to travel the world without the STEM-focused courses. Imagine that!
    ETA -this same wisdom was expressed in every continent and colour of humanity. It was not just white people!!!!!!!!!

    I would be interested in learning why this is happening. Is it all industry driven to create the best worker?
    I completely agree with your thoughts on liberal arts education. I often think the same thing about how people used to be so diverse and skilled in so many areas. Now we're experts how to access our favorite TV shows and whatever micro-specialty we are skilled in and that's it. I would love for the Renaissance ideal to have a renaissance!

    As for the Classics department dropping the requirement of Greek and Latin at Princeton.. oh, well. I personally think that's a shame because I tend to appreciate those things, but I'd love to read about the rationale.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I'll ask my daughter, a recent graduate of Princeton who was in the Classics department, what the story is.

    I already have some thought that there may be more to see here than the surface story. For instance, I know the department has been deeply troubled the past few years, and many female and some male department members are refusing to take some of the core language courses from the main professor who teaches such things, for...reasons....

    https://www.dailyprincetonian.com/ar...atz-misconduct

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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    I took Greek in college but it was koine, not the elitist classical literary Greek. Maybe they could switch to that.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    So, talked to my daughter just now, who just this morning talked to some faculty members in the department at Princeton.

    As I suspected, it's a media tempest-in-a-teapot:

    https://classics.princeton.edu/depar...-concentration

    Daughter also pointed out that the pre-existing language requirements for the Classics track made it nearly impossible for people from non-privileged backgrounds to enter the department, or to do well in it, as you basically had to enter Princeton as a freshman already with significant skill in Latin/Greek, and "that pretty much means you only get kids from douchie schools like Andover and Exeter". My daughter was fortunate in that she has an extraordinary facility with languages, parental and grandparental support and expertise in teaching languages, and arrived at Princeton already with a working knowledge of English, Old English, French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Old & Middle Egyptian. In her work at Princeton, she concentrated most of her efforts on Anglo Saxon, Celtic, Norse, and Coptic languages.

    Daughter points out these changes allow people who are more interested in the history/culture/legal/social tracks in the Classics department a chance to do more work in those areas without much of their free course load being consumed by language classes they have little use for. She also posits that this change will encourage more people to enter the department and pick up a working knowledge of some of the languages, without having to master it to the level required to do graduate-level research.

    She went on to say:

    "I think it’s important to realize that an undergrad humanities degree should be useful and meaningful even for people who have no intention of further academic work and I think that sometimes gets lost in the requirements and orientation of academic departments"

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    t But honestly if your degree is that prestigious it alone will open doors.
    Throughout my entire career in technology/science, I was never once asked if I had a degree, what I had studied, or where I had attended university.

    They did more background checking on me when I entered fire/rescue work than they ever did in industry/science :-)

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bae. Just common sense.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

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