We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Once academia lost the agreed-upon, universally held notion of what classical learning was and why it was important, a steady unraveling process removed not just the mission but the mystery—and indeed, the beauty—from the American university. How ironic that the struggling university, in its efforts to meet changing political, technological, and cultural tastes and fads, willingly forfeited the only commodity that made it irreplaceable and that it alone could do well. And how sad, since once the university broke apart the liberal arts, all the religious schools, self-help courses, and CDs couldn’t quite put them together again.
Outside the venerable halls of Columbia, the University of Chicago, and a couple of others, Hanson's ideal version of higher ed for the free citizen is not so easy to find. In fact, it never was easy to find, but was reserved for the elites or for the self-educated. Self-education is difficult, though. It's always best to have a guide who has the big picture in mind. That's why we all love CDs from The Teaching Company, now Great Courses.
"It's always best to have a guide who has the big picture in mind."
Perhaps, but that is not just your average professor or university department. With the internet, you can find a decent guide and not be at the mercy of whomever you happen to come across at the local uni.
I have several of the Great Courses in "Audible" versions that I put on my iPod and listen to in the car. Since I have a long commute once or twice a week, I listen to them while driving. I just finished a 50 hour course on the French Revolution.