March 10, 2010

A letter.

Professor Cahill,

Here are a few things that I've learned in taking your class this quarter:

1. History really does repeat itself.  Not in the way that I used to assume - where exact actions were repeated - but in the way that people think.  In their ideology, in their values.  I'm beginning to think that it might be a result of each successive generation's backlash against the former.

2. Many people have discovered things before they were "discovered".  Whether it was because the original discoverer lacked the courage of their conviction or because said "discovery" was simply not accepted, it is clear to me now that hardly any discoveries change the world overnight.  Time is the ultimate obstacle through which all knowledge must pass.

3. Science is invariably swayed by politics, and politics by culture.  As much as we'd like to think that a purely scientific mind will simply rise above the pressures of society, the truth is that a majority of scientists are as prone to vanity, weak judgement and fame as any other person, and they're not above indulging their vices.  Alternatively, we owe more to the few who've weathered past cultural storms than I could possibly imagine.

Thanks, and see you on Friday,


No comments: