The Humanities are Still Important (Supreme Court Edition)


J.L. Wall

J.L. Wall is a native Kentuckian in self-imposed exile to the Midwest, where he teaches writing to college students and over-analyzes Leonard Cohen lyrics.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Hold on — Supreme Court Justices are quoting foreigners?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      So long as they’re the right foreigners, it’s acceptable.Report

    • Avatar J.L. Wall says:

      I forgot to mention to announce that I’m also waiting for the coming GOP explosion over how Justices are not merely inserting foreign law into their rulings, but foreign literature! It’s not even law!

      I think Clarence Thomas might be the only one who comes off squeaky clean from this. His notable literary influence is, apparently, “24.”Report

  2. Avatar James K says:

    While I’m sure there are some benefits to be gained from having a background in classical literature, I wonder at the opportunity cost.

    Speaking for the quants of the world, the one thing I think needs to be better taught for good citizenship is statistics and probability. A large number of foolish beliefs held by the voting public are due to being easily deceived by numbers or failing to understand the nature of probability and risk.Report

    • Avatar J.L. Wall says:

      My point had less to do with people needing to study literature in depth than with the fact that at my alma mater, one could graduate with a so-called Bachelor of Arts without taking a SINGLE course in literature, and without gaining any more sense of cultural heritage than what they came in with. “General requirements” have the result of creating a maze that students have to go through in order to avoid the courses they don’t want, rather than encouraging them to develop “skills” or “background” through courses they think they’ll enjoy.

      As for stats and probabilities — you’ve got a good point. I appreciate my (limited) education in them more as time passes. I don’t know enough to do a thorough analysis on my own, but I know enough to have a semi-developed bullshit alarm.Report

  3. Avatar TC Hansen says:

    And they also quote Dylan and the Beatles frequently, which is mildly (???) disturbing.Report