disinterested science

Brett Knowlton brettk at unica-usa.com
Tue Jul 28 10:46:51 PDT 1998


I've overstated the case a bit in my first message, but not too much.

MIT was a fascinating place. You mention Harvard as well, and I went there for 2 years as an undergrad. Harvard was very politically charged, but the debate was limited to traditional conservative and liberal (i.e., Republican and Democratic) positions and ideas. MIT on the other hand, was apolitical as a general rule, with the exception of a small radical minority. The "left" student publications at Harvard are pretty tame compared to MIT's Thistle, which is downright radical.

In fact, MIT is where I became a radical after becoming friends with someone in the radical minority. My guess is that the apolitical atmosphere is due to the fact that techies are too wrapped up in their work (be they problem sets or research projects, which really do keep you pretty busy) to get involved in politics. But the few that do start thinking about politics figure out what is really going on. It also doesn't hurt to have a guy like Chomsky at the Institute, who commands great respect (and rightfully so) among the students who are politically aware.


At 07:29 AM 7/28/98 PDT, you wrote:
> MIT was basically a development
>>center for business.
>I'm reminded of Chomsky's comments that he's been able to get away with
>what he said over the years even though he's been in the maw of the
>Military Industrial complex because since MIT is just a "technical
>school", they don't care as much about politics as at a finishing school
>for the ruling class like Harvard. Was that your experience?
>Jim Baird
>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

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