The Wisdom of Peter Thiel

Last night, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute hosted a banquet at the University Club in New York City, with Peter Thiel as the guest speaker. Thiel is one of the titans of the Digital Age, famous as the founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook. Less known are his fight against multiculturalism in higher education (he was at Stanford during the infamous days of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western civ has got to go!”), love of Great Books, and faith in God. Continue Reading »

An Emerging Irony for the Professors

When you talk to humanities professors, especially those at elite institutions, it doesn’t take long for the complaints to begin. They say that the administration doesn’t support them, choosing to invest in the sciences and business school, not language, literature, and culture. They witness the number of majors plummet—English used to collect nearly 8 percent of majors; now it’s close to 3 percent—and they feel unappreciated. (At my own institution, the number of majors has dropped by more than 50 percent since I arrived in 1989.) The overall drift toward the “corporate university” reflects values they abhor, and many of them would like to move, but the job market is terrible. Continue Reading »

The Voracious Nought

I just got back from giving a lecture at a small liberal-arts college. The tenured professors were complaining. (That, after all, is allegedly what tenure gives professors the unlimited right to do). Their main complaint: Students are no longer doing the reading for “core texts” or . . . . Continue Reading »

Mark Judge on Two Kinds of Cultural Ignorance

On one hand, boomer-age cultured (i.e., liberally-educated) conservatives who don’t know contemporary pop culture and are too lazy about learning anything about it; on the other, young liberals who know it but are unashamedly un-cultured (i.e., rejecting the canonical distinctions that genuine . . . . Continue Reading »