Sunday, September 08, 2002

In the Wall Street Journal, James Bowman reminisces about the old Oxford-Cambridge entrance examinations, which used to include (until some time in the 1980's) a three-hour essay-writing session requiring the applicant to select from a list of topics such as, "is popular culture a contradiction in terms?", or "is there any point considering what might have happened?", or "why should promises be kept?". According to Bowman, the aim was to "tempt candidates by wording questions as invitations merely to regurgitate their prejudices--and then reward those who didn't, who could look at a question from both sides, with all the argumentative logic and imaginative sympathy that such an exercise may require."

Ah, if only we could institute a similar admission exam for bloggers....

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