Here’s a fine book I enjoyed reading written by my friend Ari Mendelson, which talks about the dangers of political correctness on the university campus, and especially in the humaninities. It’s a work of fiction, but it’s based on actual cases from a variety of college campuses.
Here’s a snippet from Ari’s web page about the book:
Lured by brochures promising limitless intellectual freedom, Jeff Jackson arrives at picturesque Tinsley College, eager to experience college life to the fullest. He does not know that the freedom he has been promised is in short supply at Tinsley, a college so dedicated to leftist ideals that the administration changed the name of the anthropology department to “anthrogynology” in order to make the name more “gender inclusive.”
Jeff makes the mistake of believing that the renowned Professor Bancroft Tarlton would be willing to debate the left wing politics that the professor advocates in his classes. Not realizing that there are just some questions one does not ask on a college campus, Jeff submits an essay outlining his provocative theories about happiness and human sexuality.
Professor Tarlton is not the only one furious at Jeff for his lack of devotion to left wing norms. Calling himself a “pomosexual” and believing Jeff to be not only a homophobe, but a “pomophobe” as well, Carl Fitzgerald, Jeff’s classmate, begins a feud with Jeff. The battle escalates from insults, to vandalism, to shattered love affairs and a dorm room inhabited by a fainting goat. In a college obsessed with political correctness, a clash between the writer of a “homophobic” essay and the “pomosexual” victim of a college prank can only end one way: with a showdown in a campus courtroom.
You can click the link to learn more about the book. It’s a nice little introduction to parents and college-bound students about what really goes on in the liberal arts departments of most universities. I resonated with the hero of the story who chose to study liberal arts, even though I studied computer science for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I knew that political correctness dominated in the liberal arts. My first choice of career was actually to be a lawyer and then an English teacher. I sat in on a criminal law course at one local university and then an English course at another while I was a senior in high school. That’s when I changed my major to computer science based on my experiences. Now that the economy is the way it is, I think it was the right thing to do.
University is a fine thing as long as you go there to learn math, science, technology or engineering. If you go there to study anything else, all you will learn is how to parrot the opinions of your professor. Any dissent will be met with bad grades, and possibly expulsion. There is no focus on producing value outside of the STEM departments. Not only is it a waste of money to be indoctrinated, but it destroys your ability to think critically and independently. You want to learn valuable skills in your time at university – all the better to pay back those enormous student loans. In case you would like to read a good book on the importance of choosing a major in STEM fields, here is a book authored by Captain Capitalism which makes the case for that, with all the facts and figures you would expect from an economist.
Here’s a blurb from his blog:
The amount of money they (or you) are going to spend on tuition, not to mention the sheer volume of their youth they will spend pursuing a degree, can NOT be wasted simply because nobody had the courage to tell the kids the truth about economics and the realities of the labor market.
But you don’t have to. The book will do it for it you.
“Worthless” explains first and foremost to the reader that the reason somebody got them this book is because that person really cares about them. And while it may not be what they want to hear, they will end up appreciating it in the future. “Worthless” also goes into detail and explains in clear, understandable language the economics behind the labor market, showing the reader how and why some degrees are worthwhile and others are literally worthless.
Sometimes, people just seem to go off to university and choose a major without really thinking about it. Both of these books will help a college-bound student to think a second time about why they are going to college and what they hope to achieve there. It might even be a good idea to just choose a trade school and learn some practical skills. In this economy, the first priority is to find a job. You can always study the really interesting fields like philosophy in your spare time once you are gainfully employed.