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November 26, 2012

College Begins Offering Major in Pot Studies

"Interdisciplinary." You know, I took some "interdisciplinary" courses. They were sort of interesting, but they were without much rigor -- sort of interesting bullshit sessions with a reading list. When you're pulling little bits and pieces from five different areas of scholarship you're going to be pretty glib and facile about each of them.

Anyway, I was going to knock such things but then I realized, part of the way along, "Hey, those were kind of interesting."

Oh right I was talking about something else. A major in pot.

A public university located in one of California's prime pot-growing regions has formed an academic institute devoted to marijuana.

The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research at Humboldt State University plans to sponsor scholarly lectures and coordinate research among 11 faculty members from fields such as economics, geography, politics, psychology and sociology.

Not mentioned: horticulture. I wonder if they'll actually teach pot-growing. But then, it's one of those things you don't have to teach, eh? Work as play. People do it on their own.

This is something really driving me crazy about "scholarship," this tendency to take people's hobbies and interests and craft some kind of faux discipline around them.

Aren't people just supposed to tend to their hobbies and interests on their own? Do they need an allegedly academic wrapper around Porn Studies or the like?

Not only does that tendency cheapen (down to nothing) the idea of scholarship, but it also indirectly pushes an insidious line of reasoning: that one can only learn or become more interesting (or interested) via a formal academic process with class credits and lecture halls and so on. Didn't we used to have reading clubs and other special-interest clubs for this sort of thing, this quasi-scholarly socializing/hobbyist interest thing? Isn't the "academicization" of stuff that's really Just Interesting Things kind of reducing instead of expanding the pursuit of Interesting Things? I'm starting to think that the academy is too important to be left to academics.


"If anyone is going to have a marijuana institute, it really should be Humboldt State," economist Erick Eschker, the institute's co-chair, told the newspaper. .


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posted by Ace at 06:31 PM

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