Quotations From Chairman Jim, digital edition

Jim Leach is the Obama administration’s chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the subject of this long-running series. The NEH has now posted Leach’s remarks last week at the Digital Public Library of America Conference. In these remarks Leach touches in passing on the subject of illiteracy “in the citadels of academia” or, as I have called it in a previous installment of this series, educated illiteracy. Leach’s remarks on this subject remind me of Epimenides’ famous paradox of self-reference. Epimenides was the Cretan who asserted: “All Cretans are liars.” Consider Leach’s conclusion:

“Despite not knowing exactly what to expect, facilitating this revolutionary advance in the democratization of ideas may be the greatest no-brainer policy option this great center of democracy is confronted with at this fractious time in our politics. Just as we need an infrastructure of roads and bridges, we need an infrastructure of ideas.”

Sic, as they say.

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