Saturday, September 18, 2010

All Souls, Oxford should continue to put genius to the test

For more than a century, prospective Fellows of All Souls, Oxford have had to sit a frightening exam paper that contains no questions and just one word. Now it has been dropped – and Harry Mount (failed, 1994) says the college is the poorer for it.

by Harry Mount, Telegraph (


Scot said...

I've always been nagged by the feeling that these kinds of tests said more about those who administer them than those who take them. Unless you're a philosophy major, the time you spend with this kind of intellectual masturbation is the same amount of time some other university kid is learning new code, conducting unique lab experiments, or actually out in the world making a buck. I would rank any of these endeavors as a better indication of one's intelligence than asking that person a single word question.

oceanwhale said...

: ) have you look at it this way:

...masturbation saved my life. soul?

Scot said...

Masturbation is awesome - nevermind the chinese turning japanese, i turned japanese a long time ago. I see philosophical introspection as a flourish, not the main act. I think there is a point when intellectual abstraction becomes so unmoored from reality that confusion sets in, and the only people you can relate to are others that also can't step out of their own minds. I don't mean to dichotomize these points (as we know we occupy very common ground wrt the philosophical vs the pragmatic), but I've grown a strong skepticism of intellectual imposters, of which places like Oxford or Harvard are all too happy to produce.

oceanwhale said...

: ))))

Agreed. People cannot be trusted. Institutions - even less.

And even I will give up woolgathering for kisses (or any other trigger of an adrenaline rush).

"Kisses: Words which cannot be written." (Nicole Louise Devino)