Friday, October 29, 2021

for a Literary university in a democratic ecology

for someone engaged with “scholarly work on ecology
and literary modernism” 

What Universities Owe Democracy, by John Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels et al. (Oct. 2021), inspires (for me) an idea of interplay wider than conceptions of the university and democracy:

Literary understanding <—> the university <—> democracy <—> ecological understanding.

Moreover, the interplay isn’t linear. Literary <—> democracy;
university <—> ecology; and Literary <—> ecology are equally relevant.

Indeed, a rich appreciation of ecological thinking—highly humanistic thinking—can contribute importantly to the university <—> ecology interface (which is absent from Daniels et al.’s book).

Usefully, though, they advance four foci, i.e., “four distinct functions of American higher education that are key to liberal democracy: social mobility, citizenship education, the stewardship of facts, and the cultivation of pluralistic, diverse communities” {publisher’s description].

Friday, October 15, 2021

It Just Is: The City, Life

Late night, looking at the S.F. lights (for the “millionth” time, from
my spot in the Berkeley hills), I realized again that there never was any Purpose to It All.

No news here. The City—the urban kluge—gradually emerged (like brains in nature) for specific functional efficiencies: roads, lights, buildings, which altogether implied no conception of aggregate consequentiality (e.g., neighborhood, traffic congestion, inspired community, crime, deterioration of infrastructure, spectacular architectures oblivious of adjacent ugliness).

Unlike nature, which adjusts itself ecologically, the structural City forces upon itself unadaptability to consequences that its opportunistic humans are compelled to face.