Dreams Come True - Why Scholars are a Miserable Lot Who Often Only Seek to Make the World as Bleak as Themselves

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Secret Alias
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Dreams Come True - Why Scholars are a Miserable Lot Who Often Only Seek to Make the World as Bleak as Themselves

Post by Secret Alias »

The argument that Morton Smith discovering a letter which references the Gospel of Mark is 'too good to be true' because 'life never works that way' is only proof of one things - scholars are by and large a miserable lot of people who must as a whole regret their decision to enter the humanities. For I see plenty of examples - hundreds - of people who 'dream things' and then 'make them come true.' I happen to work in a field of people who aren't miserable, so I have a hard time relating to the skepticism of scholars. I must figure that none of the dreams of these people ever came true and life only taught them one thing - not to have dreams.

But then I realize I am a little hasty because there are a lot of scholars who 'dreamed' about discovering something and then set about to 'search' for said thing and - miraculously - discovered what they were looking for. An example from a JSTOR article I am reading:
From the beginning of the great excavations of ostia in 1938 I hoped that perhaps the discovery of new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses would give us new dates for the time of Hadrian as they had done a few years earlier for Trajan. And then an amazing unforeseen thing happened: almost simulataneously was discovered a fragment of the Fasti Ostienses telling us that on January 24, 127 a temple of Serapis was dedicated in Ostia by one Ca[ti]ius (VIII K. Febr.templum Sarapi quod [.] Caltilius P [? --- ]/sua pecunia extruxit dedicatum [es]t) The Serapeum of Ostia and the Brick-Stamps of 123 A. D. A New Landmark in the History of Roman Architecture Herbert Bloch
So of course because he 'hoped' to find the exact thing he found we 'know' that he really forged his discovery. Of course in Smith's case he was not even looking for a fragment of Mark. But the moral is - scholars CAN BE a wretched lot who IN SOME CASES would serve the world by leaving the earth as soon as possible.
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Jax
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Re: Dreams Come True - Why Scholars are a Miserable Lot Who Often Only Seek to Make the World as Bleak as Themselves

Post by Jax »

Secret Alias wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:46 pm The argument that Morton Smith discovering a letter which references the Gospel of Mark is 'too good to be true' because 'life never works that way' is only proof of one things - scholars are by and large a miserable lot of people who must as a whole regret their decision to enter the humanities. For I see plenty of examples - hundreds - of people who 'dream things' and then 'make them come true.' I happen to work in a field of people who aren't miserable, so I have a hard time relating to the skepticism of scholars. I must figure that none of the dreams of these people ever came true and life only taught them one thing - not to have dreams.

But then I realize I am a little hasty because there are a lot of scholars who 'dreamed' about discovering something and then set about to 'search' for said thing and - miraculously - discovered what they were looking for. An example from a JSTOR article I am reading:
From the beginning of the great excavations of ostia in 1938 I hoped that perhaps the discovery of new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses would give us new dates for the time of Hadrian as they had done a few years earlier for Trajan. And then an amazing unforeseen thing happened: almost simulataneously was discovered a fragment of the Fasti Ostienses telling us that on January 24, 127 a temple of Serapis was dedicated in Ostia by one Ca[ti]ius (VIII K. Febr.templum Sarapi quod [.] Caltilius P [? --- ]/sua pecunia extruxit dedicatum [es]t) The Serapeum of Ostia and the Brick-Stamps of 123 A. D. A New Landmark in the History of Roman Architecture Herbert Bloch
So of course because he 'hoped' to find the exact thing he found we 'know' that he really forged his discovery. Of course in Smith's case he was not even looking for a fragment of Mark. But the moral is - scholars CAN BE a wretched lot who IN SOME CASES would serve the world by leaving the earth as soon as possible.
Esse! You totally blow my mind sometimes. :D

Any good news on your wife?
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Jax
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Re: Dreams Come True - Why Scholars are a Miserable Lot Who Often Only Seek to Make the World as Bleak as Themselves

Post by Jax »

Secret Alias wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:44 pm Not yet. Thanks for asking.
Yeah amigo, no problem.

Been reading some of your posts from a while ago. Good stuff. :cheers:
gryan
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Re: Dreams Come True - Why Scholars are a Miserable Lot Who Often Only Seek to Make the World as Bleak as Themselves

Post by gryan »

Secret Alias wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:46 pm ...I see plenty of examples - hundreds - of people who 'dream things' and then 'make them come true.'

...there are a lot of scholars who 'dreamed' about discovering something and then set about to 'search' for said thing and - miraculously - discovered what they were looking for. An example from a JSTOR article I am reading:
From the beginning of the great excavations of ostia in 1938 I hoped that perhaps the discovery of new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses would give us new dates for the time of Hadrian as they had done a few years earlier for Trajan. And then an amazing unforeseen thing happened: almost simulataneously was discovered a fragment of the Fasti Ostienses telling us that on January 24, 127 a temple of Serapis was dedicated in Ostia by one Ca[ti]ius (VIII K. Febr.templum Sarapi quod [.] Caltilius P [? --- ]/sua pecunia extruxit dedicatum [es]t) The Serapeum of Ostia and the Brick-Stamps of 123 A. D. A New Landmark in the History of Roman Architecture Herbert Bloch
This being April 1, I looked up the article, suspicious of an April Fools' joke similar to this one:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7813

But, this is no joke!

American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 63, No. 3 (Jul., 1959), p. 226
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