By Jeff Kubik
The Socratic method is founded on the belief that, together, we can understand our world through careful examination and thoughtful discourse. The only thing of which Socrates was certain, he said, was that he knew nothing.
Unfortunately, thousands of years later, the bleeding hearts of the freshly minted student body continue to drown student papers and blogs with their stumbling steps toward social consciousness. Armchair observations, impromptu rez salons and the general inanity of the reasonably intelligent barrage us all with a message that always boils down to the same sentiment in the end: “I’m in university… whaaah!”
Research is time consuming and technical, but fortunately for the sophomoric philosopher in all of us, a lifetime of intelligence and similarly pretentious cohorts have led us to believe that our opinions are valuable; nay, indispensable!
Let me guess, your heart overflowed for the residents of New Orleans, seized at the thought of the US government’s incompetence, or even blackened with cynicism at the uniform response to the sensationalized reaction to a foreign catastrophe? Congratulations, you’ve joined the self-satisfied mass that populates this school and thousands just like it.
You despise reality television? You feel that words are cheap and apathy is the new zeitgeist? Stand at the back of an enormously long line and start talking–if you’re loud enough someone might hear you.
Your personal revelations on the nature of youth? Your wide-eyed views on the complexity of hum-anity and its nuanced interactions within its own sphere? They’re common as dirt and you’re no better.
The asking price for a university graduate’s opinion is currently somewhere below medical waste and a flood-water corpse–your friendly debates and personal reflections are dumping grounds for commodities no one asked for.
Take the advice Socrates never did and accept that your knowledge is dialogic masturbation. Clam up, study hard and one day, if you’re very lucky, the knowledge you take will be worth repeating.
Or you can always try hateful rants. They’re even easier to produce and far more gratifying to dispense.