"When there is much desire to learn,
there of necessity will be much arguing,
much writing, many opinions; for opinion
in good men is but knowledge in the making."
This essay on free speech is probably the best argument I make to myself as to why I went to college. I think of myself as a auto-didact; I read constantly, and try to challenge myself -- not too much, that way lies reader's block. But stretching.
Still, I never ever in a million years would have read this essay if it hadn't been assigned. In fact, some of the most memorable things I read in college came about the same way. And it wasn't the practical stuff that I would've thought I needed or wanted at the time that has stuck with me, but the more general philosophies and intellectual thesis's, the ethical and moral literature, that has served me best.
Areopagitica.!? Talk about being put off.
I expected a dry, boring impenetrable philosophy tract. John Milton?
Instead, I found a fascinating and deeply thought-provoking argument against censorship. This is an issue that never goes away. In the internet age, his arguments are more cogent and concise than ever; in fact, I think I need to go back and read it again. If I remember rightly, it wasn't a chore. His language was beautiful and poetic, as well.
Probably anyone who writes a blog, especially on politics, should read it.
3 days ago