Should I Believe in Social Darwinism?

Even if you sleepwalked through every biology class you ever took I find it nearly impossible that you’ve never heard the phrase:

“Survival of the Fittest”

It’s a phrase that was tied to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution that those with the best traits for reproduction success (sex…nice) will be the ones who survive and carry on the species going forward.

That is pretty much a universally accepted belief because it makes sense. Those who have all the desirable traits to reproduce are going to be the ones who continue to live generation to generation and those who don’t will slowly fade away.

But somewhere along the way people decided to add a word before “Darwinism”.

Social Darwinism

What’s that?

The theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals.

Well Pat, that doesn’t seem like a crazy belief. Is it so wrong to think that the most qualified and skilled people will inevitably rise to the top of their profession and start to accumulate wealth? Sounds like you’re getting a little too woke again.

Imagine this:

There are two children who decide to play baseball for the first time ever. Considering neither of them have ever played before, let’s assume they have equal skills at the game.

On paper this is fair.

If only the world were that simple.

There is a big difference I forgot to mention about these two children.

The parents of child #1 have accumulated massive amounts of wealth and are able to provide private lessons, the best available equipment, as well as total emotional support along the way.

The parents of child #2 come from a low-income background despite both parents working full-time. They can only afford low level equipment and make it to a couple games a season due to their demanding work schedule.

When child #1 inevitably achieves greater success playing baseball than child #2 should this be viewed as:

-“Survival of the fittest”

or

“Survival of the most wealth and resources”

Alright Pat, I get where you’re coming from. But life is not fair- get over it.

I completely agree; life is not fair.

Let’s stop acting like it is.

NNNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

NNNN Episode #16 with David Noone

Great conversation today with David talking about:

-His atypical life path so far

-His experiences in education

-His thoughts on weed and vaping (referencing the current Massachusetts ban)

-Life

Hope everyone enjoys. (likes, subscribes, five star reviews encouraged)

#NNNN

https://anchor.fm/pat-labelle/episodes/NNNN-Episode-16-with-David-Noone-e5kv9f

My Mid-College Crisis

By: Nicole Bates

I always heard the cliché: “College is the best four years of your life.” However, since arriving at college, I have become skeptical of this statement, because if college is the best four years of your life then I guess life is just downhill from here!

Now don’t get me wrong- college is fun! I love getting drunk with my friends on the weekend and having very little responsibility, but I think to myself: “There must be something more to it than this.” I know I’m getting deep here, but seriously! When you think about it, that cliché does not make sense. College may be the most reckless four years of your life, or the years where the most change happens, but is it really the BEST four years of your life?

I wonder to myself if that cliché has been spread as a means of control. They tell you that, so you are motivated to get good grades in high school, get into college, and get a degree. Then you can “contribute something meaningful” to the world. But sometimes I find it is easy to lose sight of why you are really here; to learn and grow as a human being. And in that case, you are really just following a socially constructed path: you graduate, get a boring, well-paying job, start a family and live in the suburbs. Before you know it, you’ll be just like your parents!

I am letting my cynicism take over a little here. I don’t necessarily think that lifestyle is a bad one. For some people, their goals revolve around stability and family. However, I feel as though the system doesn’t really allow room for students, who may not necessarily fit that mold, to explore other options.  So, now that you have some idea of my stance on college, let me tell you about the mid-college crisis I experienced when I arrived at school this fall.

I have never felt truly settled at UMass, but I think coming into my junior year, I went into full-on crisis mode. With two years in and two years left I thought: what am I actually doing here?

I’m starting to get antsy because now the novelty of being away from parents and going out to college parties has worn off, and I’m left to think about what I am actually getting out of an education that is costing me (and my parents) tens of thousands of dollars every year, and will leave me in debt for years after I am finished.

So, there I was a few days into the semester, sitting in my dorm room, having a BREAKDOWN. I was questioning my major, questioning my intelligence, and most importantly realizing I had become completely disillusioned by my education.

I called my parents and told them: “I know I’m a junior but I think I have to change my major.” Coming into this year I was a communication primary major with a theater secondary major and a minor in French. But I wasn’t fully invested in what I was learning; I missed reading challenging books in English class, I missed learning about animals in biology, and I never thought I’d say it but- I missed math. I discovered I actually love learning, and if I am going to be paying for this education, I want to feel like I am being educated.

My Dad’s solution to this crisis was to drop out. And I’m not going to lie; I seriously considered that as an option. But when my roommate heard me on the phone and gave me a worried look I knew that wasn’t a serious option.

I would be sad if I left.

Because as disillusioned as I had become at UMass, I knew I still had some good things going for me. I have amazing friends, in-state tuition and access to university resources I would not otherwise have access to.

Realistically, looking back at my life decisions, I think I would have really benefitted from a gap year, and I wish that was presented to me in high school as a viable option. But there’s no point in dwelling on the past, so I decided I needed to pull myself together and figure my shit out.

So, I acted.

I changed my secondary major to something where I felt I would be more intellectually engaged, and now in my four years I will come out with a double major and two minors: talk about making the most of your time here!

If you are anything like me and college isn’t what you hoped it would be, don’t get discouraged. And if you are younger than me and already questioning your major, DO NOT HESTITATE to explore your options. Because in the end, your undergraduate major won’t really matter, so you might as well study something you are passionate about.

A cliché I do agree with is “everything is what you make of it.”

No matter what kind of college experience you are having- make the most of it. Because though I don’t think it is necessarily the best four years of your life, it is definitely an influential period in a young person’s life, and you should be stimulating your mind in classes, in conversations with peers and in exploring everything the world has to offer.

NNNN

NNNN Episode #14 with Liam Cullagh

Image result for thinking face meme

By far my favorite show we have done yet with topics including (in order of appearance):

-The current state of radio today

-The idea of “outrage” in regards to comedy

-Liam’s trials and tribulations of open mics and doing sets at the UPub (Did he do coke with a stranger on a bathroom railing?)

-Should General Education classes be required? (Geology STINKS)

-How America’s history is presented to us throughout the education system

-The education system in general

-Surprise guest WMUA Sports Director Colin Cronin gives us some thoughtful analysis as well as the inside scoop on all things UMass football

Enjoy (and maybe even share if you like it- no pressure though):

http://anchor.fm/s/9f00fb0/podcast/rss

 

 

 

 

 

Letters to Pat

The Letter:

Dear Pat,

I have been following you for quite some time now and want to first commend you on your impeccable wit and internet suaveness. For these reasons, I figure you are the best person to give advice about all things college.

I am an incoming freshman and my mind has been racing trying to figure everything out. What should I know about parties? What clubs should I join? Is the whole thing even worth it?

I know you’re probably spending the majority of your time fending off beautiful co-eds but if you can spare a few minutes to reply I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Concerned Freshman

The Response:

Dear Concerned Freshman,

First and foremost, thank you for your generous compliments. It is not easy being the voice for college students but if I don’t do it- who will?

As far as the specifics of your question:

Partying (If you’re a guy):

When I was heading into school last year I was ready to turn ‘Animal House’ into a modern reality. But after deciding not to rush a fraternity, I failed to study the ancient questions of “What’s your ratio?” and “Who do you know here?”.

Big mistake. (look for open windows)

Partying (If you’re a girl):

You’ll be fine.

Clubs:

If you’re a nerd:

Daily Collegian

If you’re a dummy:

Amherst Wire

If you’re a little bit of both:

nonamesnonumbers.com (Contact nonamesnonumbers1@gmail.com if interested)

Is the whole thing really worth it?

UMass mission statement:

The University’s mission is to provide an affordable and accessible education of high quality and to conduct programs of research and public service that advance knowledge and improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.”

Let me start by saying; I have loved a lot of things about college.

I love meeting all different kinds of people, I’ve taken some interesting classes, the social aspect is fun, and getting the opportunity to use a sweet radio studio is second to none.

But the price is outrageous.

Right now I’m looking at around $50,000 dollars in debt post graduation (and I’m lucky enough to have my parents helping me out).

A lot of advice from adults in terms of uncertainty around a career path entering college is “Oh don’t worry about it! You’ll figure it out!” followed by the all-time cliche “These are the best four years of your life!”. The latter part of the first quote is true; you will figure it out. The question becomes whether or not you will be facing $50,000+ of debt before you do.

I’m not saying this to be a debbie downer but rather because it is a harsh truth of the world we’re living in. I’m also not putting the blame on adults who say this because as we all know it was a “different time” when my parent’s generation went to school. I spoke with a UMass alumni this summer who told me tuition cost him $1,200 .

He’d be lucky to get textbooks now.

I honestly believe that if you take the “These are the best four years of your life!” advice then they will be; and that scares me more than anything- cause life can be pretty damn long.

So my sage wisdom with one whole year under my belt boils down to the four words so eloquently stated by modern day philosopher Wiz Khalifa:

“Work hard, play hard”

And hopefully things will work out.

NNNN