Questions on ‘Do It,’ ‘Caste System’
I read with some confusion the question in the “Do It with Emotion” column from the Jewish girl who is falling in love with a fascist [Apr. 11]. I was even more puzzled when Ms. Emotion and Dr. Do It answered as if this was a perfectly sane question that made even a fraction of sense.
I cannot see how the question is different from one like: “I think I’m falling in love with a diabetic. However, I am a libertarian. I’m desperate. What should I do?” Presumably, Ms. Emotion and Dr. Do It would answer by discussing the conflict of our ideals and whether good sex with the diabetic outweighs the philosophical differences.
Perhaps there is some meaning of ‘Jewish’ or ‘fascist’ that I am unaware of, although I cannot imagine any that would make the question make sense.
Also from the Apr. 11 issue, Bukola Afolayan’s letter describes a ‘caste system’ of majors that separates some majors out as being better than others. I have to contend that this is a reasoned and logical system, for the most part.
I notice that Afolayan avoided the Dalits of education: the music and art majors. Would it be as easy to rally against esteeming medical students or chemical engineering majors above students at art and music schools? Similarly, will it lead to MIT’s downfall if it considers itself better than the average community college?
It is certainly wrong to believe that there are not competent, motivated, successful people in all majors. However, we do not need to esteem them all based on the major itself. This is clearly apparent with artists and musicians. When forming an opinion of one, I would ask what they have done, what works they have composed or performed. My judgment of their achievement in the field is simply not based on their institution or the fact that they are studying in the field. The workload and difficulties of various majors clearly are not equivalent to those of others. As a result, I see no reason to esteem students in them equally because of their majors.
That in no way means that I cannot have even greater respect for a student in a ‘lower-caste’ field. Perhaps this rational thought will lead to my downfall, but I am content to take my chances.
Robert J. Ragno G