Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quote of the Day: The Wildean Paradox

I was just reading an essay by Umberto Eco entitled, "Wilde: Paradox and Aphorism," and I stumbled across one of my favorite bons mots by Oscar Wilde:
"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be in the wrong."
Here are some others for fun:
"Every great man has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography."

"I can resist everything but temptation."

"Falsehoods [are] the truth of other people."

"The only duty we owe to History is to rewrite it."

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
These are also amusing because they reverse common sense:
"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess."

"Anyone can make history. Only a great man can write it."

"The English have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language."
Being a historian, the second to last saying here particularly speaks to me!


w said...

Good to know there are unions in higher ed. I only thought it was being discussed. Great quotes today too! :)

Jared Calaway said...

I was just reading about unions in higher education in the book, "The Last Professors," which indicates that it operates on a state-by-state basis. There is a famous court case around 1980 in which Yeshiva University professors wanted to unionize, but the court declared that the professors were "managers" rather than "workers" and, therefore, could not organize.

At state schools, organization, like I said, is state-by-state. Some states have no legislation to address such issues, and, therefore, the professors have no legal backing to organize. Whereas in others, they can. Most of the time, however, when there is unionization, it primarily occurs among temporary instructors--visiting instructors, adjuncts, non-tenure track instructors, etc.

A few years back, NYU organized--the non-tenured professors and the TAs. But I think their union was dissolved or has lost a lot of momentum in a recent House of Representatives ruling that removed the right to organize or organization would be at the mercy of the university administration in private universities like NYU and Columbia (this is when the House was still dominated by Reps, and the issue has not been reexamined under the current Democratic majority).

So, it is a complicated issue.