Thursday, March 27, 2008

Viridiana Jones (and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart)

The Irish Rover examines the intersection of Catholicism and the University, but to what extent have the rise of information and communication technologies molded that relationship? I think that most of my fellow editors would agree the the widespread audience of the USNews and World Report Rankings has far too great an effect. But if you yearn for deeper understanding, perhaps you should visit Knowledge Rules, featuring none other than Notre Dame professor of Economics Philip Mirowski, who chronicles the adventures of the fictitious Viridiana Jones through the academic landscape.

I had Prof. Mirowski for my writing-intensive economics requirement: History of Economics in the Context of Intellectual History. His class was one of the most difficult I've taken in my collegiate career, requiring a 30 -plus page take-home research final due only one week after a 20-plus page term paper. None of the 12 or so students ever understood what he was saying in class, although we took notes at a feverish pace because there was no way we could glean the information of the readings -- they were simply too long and confusing.

I think that Prof. Miroswski's lectures were confusing because he is too brilliant to notice the point at which normal minds stop following his. He once lent me an article for use in my term paper, failing to realize that it was written in Dutch. He also discussed economics at a level so far above what we were introduced to in other classes that it was impossible to guess at his political or economic leanings.

For that reason, his blog posts, like his books, are not by any means easily accessible. If, however, you truly thirst for an understanding of how academia -- and thus the search for knowledge -- functions in today's environment, I suggest you take a look. Otherwise, consider this a routine notification of a Domer entering the blogosphere.


Brandon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon said...

Mirowski does tend to know an unusual amount of unstated information that the rest of us don't even understand has an impact on anything. I haven't read this post yet, but it looks like exactly what he wants me to do my 30-page paper on. Smart guy, best part was that the first thing he ever assigned to us was a documentary that featured himself as one of the key interviewees. Nice.