Friday, September 2, 2016

Get a Classics Degree: At Least Greek or Latin

A tedious aspect of arguing contra usury, defined as any interest on any amount for any duration, is when my colloquists will explain to me how the ancients did not understand PVT, time preference and other modern economic "discoveries."  Unh!  They did.  And address the points explicitly.  The problem is not that the ancients did not know what we know, the problem is we do not know what the ancients knew.

We once did.  Even in my lifetime I met many professionals who were expert in Greek and Latin: lawyers, doctors, engineers.  It was part of being educated.  Mostly dead now.  I did recently meet a young commercial fisherman who was expert in Latin.

Back in my day you could not get through Phil 101 without hearing about 7th century BC engineer Thales and his workings of options and futures markets.  I wonder how many millennials have ever heard of Thales.  Or Phil 101.

We had to get rid of that access to the ancients before we could get rid of what the ancients taught.  Then we could have people profoundly ignorant and run the basic scams again.

So Greek and Latin are dying out as academic pursuits.  Too bad.

Of course, it is all translated, so it is still accessible, but it is denigrated as irrelevant. "Since it has nothing useful to say about today, ignore it."

As a daughter was getting her BA in Latin, she would come to me with stories she read written by the ancients. She would exclaim how some ancient situation was exactly like today.  Exactly.  The hegemon cannot have us know these scams have all been run before.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.