Monday, September 18, 2017

#261 / Anything

If you would be interested in a book review that discusses the value of a liberal arts education in an ever more high-tech world, then click the following link to read, "Don’t Panic, Liberal Arts Majors. The Tech World Wants You."

I am in sympathy with the points made by Timothy Aubry, an associate professor of English at Baruch College. His review outlines the arguments made in two recent books, A Practical Education: Why Liberal Arts Majors Make Great Employees, and You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education

A Practical Education was written by by Randall Stross, and You Can Do Anything was written by George Anders.

While I endorse the "job counselling" ambition of these two books (and of Aubry's review), I was actually attracted to the review by the title of Anders' book, You Can Do Anything.

If we will allow ourselves to get beyond individualism, and put it in the plural, I am absolutely persuaded that "we," in fact, can indeed "do anything." 

We live most immediately in a "human world," a world wholly created by human action. As long as we respect the limits of the World of Nature, upon which we are ultimately dependent, "we," together, can do anything, and create any world we want to. 

Of course, most people don't really believe that, and we tend to spend most of our time wondering how we each, individually, can get ahead and make more money. 

That's a worthy topic to consider, I admit, but "our" topic ought to be how we, collectively, can create a world that responds to our highest aspirations. We live in, and we create, a "political" world, a world that is the result of actions based upon the kind of debate and discussion, conflict and controversy, that is the essence of political life. That world, the "political world," is a world in which "anything" is, indeed, possible. 

I like Anders' title (the individualistic bias aside), but I'd suggest we need a slightly different book: 

We Can Do Anything: 
So Why Don't We Do Something Good?

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