Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Things to Think Upon

Time to think has been sparse lately... I've a couple of posts in mind, but haven't found the time to sit and write them out.

In the meantime, and somewhat related to what I intend to post on, I found an online lecture that I strongly recommend "Higher Education: What Makes it 'Higher'?" by Daniel Robinson, at Lectures at ISI, and it is available in Video (streaming) or audio MP3(downloadable).

An absolute delight. Not just the typical railing against the state of Higher Education from someone who is within it, Robinson manages to impart a bit of the Higher Education he's discussing, in the process.

Daniel Robinson is my favorite Prof at the Teaching Company(Daniel Robinson's bio at the Teaching Co.), I have all his lectures sets and highly recommend them (you might want to get them when on sale though), not just for their content, though that too, but for the perspective they give and as direction for pursuing points in more depth on your own.

A Flavorful quote from the lecture, he's talking about responding to his 13 year old grand daughter's email:
"Dear Poppa, we're doing the theory of Evolution, do you believe in Design?"

My dear, dear, dear girl, what a good question, do I believe in design. I said a friend of mine with whom I went to school, who died in 322 B.C., Aristotle by name, once wrote this, 'If the art of shipbuilding were in the wood, we would have ships by Nature'. Yes, of course I believe in design, but you want to know, my dearest girl, whether I believe in a designer.

I do. love Poppa.


A couple links to items discussed in the lecture, and which I also strongly recommend reading and thinking upon What Is a University? by John Henry Newman

Literature and Science by Matthew Arnold (1882) which was the reply to an address by one of the better agitators for our now flattened world - I'm sure Huxley didn't see it coming (difficult to see beyond the horizon while looking at the ground with a microscope) "Science And Culture," by Thomas Henry Huxley

Sigh - late for work, back soon.

4 comments:

Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
That is a beautiful quote by Aristotle. And particularly used in that very context – teaching his 13 year old grand daughter.
I’d never seen it before. Also partial to the nautical theme. I’ll have to share it with the naval architects I work with. Curious if they’ve seen it.
Also really like the Grandfather’s final answer, just two words which also act as his vow, “I do.”

WitNit said...

I have all of Daniel Robinson's Teaching Company lectures as well.

The definition of "teacher."

Van said...

WitNit said "The definition of "teacher." "

Yes indeedy! By the way, he's got a new set available at TeachCo, on the nature of Consciousness, which I just downloaded & started today.

maplehouse said...

Fellow Teaching Company addicts can join my Yahoo groups and phpbb forums:

Some of my new Yahoo groups:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Teaching_Company_Users/?yguid=317656331
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Teaching_Company_Users_Professor/?yguid=317656331
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Teaching_Company_Users_Subject/?yguid=317656331

Teaching Company forum:
http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com/index.php

Robert Hazen's "Origins of Life" forum
http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com/viewforum.php?f=17

Doug van Orsow
moderator