so it's easy to think of brooks as an idiot, but i think he's sorta onto something. at least he's sniffing at it, even if he doesn't know what it is.
the difference between h.s. and college isn't so much the educational content as it is the socialization. can't quite put my finger on it since i've only been turning the idea in my head for a little while this morning.
i'm thinking (anecdotally) about the relationship between me (b.a., j.d.) with my mother in law (h.s., i think). thinking also about the relationship between my sister-in-law (b.a., maybe an m.s.?) and her mother-in-law-to-be (h.s.) similar cases.
there are just certain "immature" behaviors that don't really make sense to me. for example, my m-i-l has this need to be "queen bee". it's something i remember from h.s., but evaporated in college. i hypothesize that, when you've only had a h.s. education, there are certain things (like "acceptable" behaviors) that are sorta frozen in time--hence "immature".
anyway, just a thought.
-puppylander in our own comments
Oy and double-oy, to paraphrase a great American. I hope puppylander, who is a regular commenter here, won't be offended that we are offended by this ridiculousness. Anecdotally I'm thinking about the relationship between Barack Obama, B.A., J.D. and Pakistan which is full of certain sociopathically homicidal behaviors that don't really make sense to me, for example, swarms of killer robots murdering civilians and children left and right. I conclude that this has to do with the socialization one receives as a jurisdoctor.
I like to imagine that even as he wrote, our commenter was shaking his head in quiet disapproval at some big black lady screaming at a cop. What do they ever hope to accomplish acting like that? What he calls maturity and acceptable behavior, I call a learned culture of undue deference and self-subjugation. If I may again undertake a little paraphrasis, college is a slave mentality. Yes of course David Brooks is onto something; he understands that education exists to mold the free mind into an employable jelly mold. It strips and sandpapers your brain; you are a chair to be refinished, upon which time the Vikram Pandits of the world will sit their asses down upon you motherfuckers.
So it may be that your mother-in-law buzzes around because she never took Intro to Psychopathy and Principles of a Con; it may also be that the elder women in an extended kinship grouping are simply recapitulating a few hundred thousand years of genetic and cultural behavioral norms. The idea that the completely weird behaviors one picks up in the pursuit of a late-modern system of institutionalized mind control represent a sort of ordinary and baseline human maturity is, ahem, exactly what they want you to believe. But in reality the long view down your nose at your social inferiors is no different from the long gaze of a billionaire banker from his trading-floor aerie onto the massed rabble on the grass below.