Originally Posted by gregory
I'm trying to counterbalance the viewpoint that college should be all practical. I feel that not being able to speak intelligently about politics, current affairs, history, art, etc is looked down upon universally, not only among those from the upper classes. To some extent, this is all very high school: The nerds versus the well-rounded, articulate, beautiful students.
What an extraordinary misconception! It's silly to believe that the children of the upper class are somehow more articulate or better qualified to discuss "politics, current affairs, history, or art" than the "nerds" you speak of. The autodidact can become reasonably proficient in those things (certainly politics and current affairs) while it's relatively difficult to become proficient in the same way with something based in math. I went to a prep school, now I double major in Econ (math based) and History (language based) at an Ivy. I think that qualifies me in some way to make these observations. Also, I'm damn glad that what you're saying isn't true. One of the things that makes America competitive is that talent from the middle class keeps rising to take the place of those in the upper class who get Art History degrees at Vassar. If the situation were really as you describe, we'd have a permanent and stultified ruling class instead of the constant social scuffle that is the result of the process I've described.