Thursday, August 24, 2006

Boris Johnson on Physics

Here's a great (and characteristically funny) article by Boris Johnson, noted classicist, buffoon and shadow minister on Physics.

Here's a quick quote:

You can strain all your faculties until your brain feels as though it is about to give birth. You can take out your panga and hack hack hack through the dense undergrowth of your stupidity until - kazam! - you get it; for one brief, shining instant, you stumble into a clearing.

The clouds part and you can see straight up to the heavens and the fundamental facts of the universe, and, in that instant, you will look on your Physics teacher with new eyes and, instead of a torturing old pedant, you will see a prophet and a man blessed, like the first great atomist, because he was able to understand the Causes of Things.

For what it's worth, I largely agree with him, but think there's still too much elitism. Yes, I think a much smaller proportion of people probably could get an A in Physics than in Media Studies for the same amount of work. But that doesn't imply that people who get a D in Media Studies are worth less than people who get an A in Physics - it just means that they're probably not as good at academic stuff and would be best applying their talents and efforts elsewhere.

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