Can some of you put my mind at ease please? Watch

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morris743
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I'm quite silly when it comes to thinking about going to university. I'm not at all interested in where the degree will lead me tbh; I once was after been brought up on the usual spiel, but now I've grown a little and developed as a person all I wish to do is learn as much as possible about the world past and present and, hopefully, turn this learning into a force for good in some outlet at a point in the future.

What I am most keen for is a learning experience that is as reliable and without agenda as possible. There are so many conspiracy theories online (illuminati immediately springs to mind, and I'm not completely convinced that some of the theories wouldn't stand up to truth at some points. Some of them even involve Oxbridge) but I want to know that I'd be getting as least bias an education as possible at these quite obviously overall outstanding institutions. I believe there are plenty of debates for varying views which take place, which is a great start, but I want the whole experience to be something I can rely upon for truth and a neutral representation and analysis of all avenues, no matter how crazy they may seem.

Would anyone be kind enough to outline a strong case for why I should apply to Oxbridge with the above in mind, please?

Thank You for your time.
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NapoleonDynamite
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when you study a subject like Politics or History, you're always going to approach it from different angles, analysing and not always taking it for face value. That is neutrality, it allows you to form your own opinion based on a fact, though sometimes things are fact and undebatable. **** the Illuminati conspiracy theory, it's just a ploy for people on Youtube to get excited over. Go to University.
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morris743
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(Original post by NapoleonDynamite)
when you study a subject like Politics or History, you're always going to approach it from different angles, analysing and not always taking it for face value. That is neutrality, it allows you to form your own opinion based on a fact, though sometimes things are fact and undebatable. **** the Illuminati conspiracy theory, it's just a ploy for people on Youtube to get excited over. Go to University.
Thanks, but what if the information provided isn't wholelly representative of the scenario? Then you can only argue about the info you've been provided with...unless you do your own research (you clearly would) but then would that not render the teaching part of university useless?

Sorry, this may seem odd, but I am indeed questioning the substance of even the best universities when they are in the western world and as such may be geared towards a certain narrative - not always the right one. I want to be provided with facts as far as is possible, not 'facts' in the eyes of England, the UK or the west as a whole. What would be the point of that? Fed lies disguised as facts to fit an agenda?
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I'm_Unsafe.
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(Original post by morris743)
Thanks, but what if the information provided isn't wholelly representative of the scenario? Then you can only argue about the info you've been provided with...unless you do your own research (you clearly would) but then would that not render the teaching part of university useless?

Sorry, this may seem odd, but I am indeed questioning the substance of even the best universities when they are in the western world and as such may be geared towards a certain narrative - not always the right one. I want to be provided with facts as far as is possible, not 'facts' in the eyes of England, the UK or the west as a whole. What would be the point of that? Fed lies disguised as facts to fit an agenda?
You cannot escape bias, if you have ever studied history you will know this. All universities will have a western bias. Oh, and what is the 'right narrative' really? If you go to America, or Russia or wherever the hell you like, they will have their own agenda. People don't tell 'lies' at university, they tell you things they believe to be true. And if you can't handle distinguishing for yourself the different arguments, doing your own research and coming to a conclusion based on your own personal opinion, rather than what a teacher has told you, you will struggle at university.
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morris743
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(Original post by I'm_Unsafe.)
People don't tell 'lies' at university, they tell you things they believe to be true. And if you can't handle distinguishing for yourself the different arguments, doing your own research and coming to a conclusion based on your own personal opinion, rather than what a teacher has told you, you will struggle at university.
Thanks for the post, I am only stating my worst case fear here. Apologies for not wanting to walk in blind like the majority seem to do.

I understand what you're saying, but then what is the point of the core lectures, if the actual solving goes on away from there? This could be done out of uni through books and the internet, no?
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I'm_Unsafe.
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(Original post by morris743)
Thanks for the post, I am only stating my worst case fear here. Apologies for not wanting to walk in blind like the majority seem to do.

I understand what you're saying, but then what is the point of the core lectures, if the actual solving goes on away from there? This could be done out of uni through books and the internet, no?
I'm not criticising you, just wanted to make sure you know that higher education is an entirely different ball game to secondary. Maybe less so with science-based subjects in which a certain amount of 'fact' can be accepted.

I had the same discussion with my housemate yesterday about learning through the internet being equal to that of a degree. The point of the core lectures is to introduce you to key themes and issues, the lecturer gives you a taste of how an academic/scholar will consider and develop a thesis/idea, you're (usually) not obliged to agree with them but they help you to learn to develop your own ideas in a more orderly,logical, systematic way. It's about honing your ability to think and express yourself. Generally speaking, tutors will say that they would rather have you argue a completely contrary point of view, assuming you have legitimate reasons for doing so and legitimate evidence, than simply another regurgitation of something you have read/heard.

Of course, people don't have to do a degree to change the world/change beliefs of the world but university is a very good place in so far as it is a place that allows one to focus exclusively for, say, 5 days of the week on intellectual issues that are separate from the everyday distractions like money, work and family commitments.
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nexttime
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(Original post by morris743)
This could be done out of uni through books and the internet, no?
Arguably yes. There is a case for offering degrees to anyone that can pass the exams, rather than making it compulsory to attend an institution for 3 years.

What unis actually provide is more than just lectures though. They look after your welfare, provide an environment with other like-minded people, provide other facilities (including vital access to journals where the primary evidence you need is), and give you access to experts who will express their evidence-based views. (The best students will not assume this somehow equates to 'truth'). In the case of the tutorial system, these experts are more able to also comment on your views or allow you to question theirs.

In reality, university is just a facility to make education easier for you. Unfortunately, you have to attend one to get a degree though, and as others have pointed out, trying to somehow avoid bias is a fruitless task.
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morris743
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(Original post by nexttime)
Arguably yes. There is a case for offering degrees to anyone that can pass the exams, rather than making it compulsory to attend an institution for 3 years.

What unis actually provide is more than just lectures though. They look after your welfare, provide an environment with other like-minded people, provide other facilities (including vital access to journals where the primary evidence you need is), and give you access to experts who will express their evidence-based views. (The best students will not assume this somehow equates to 'truth'). In the case of Oxbridge, these experts can also comment on your views or allow you to question theirs.

In reality, university is just a facility to make education easier for you. Unfortunately, you have to attend one to get a degree though, and as others have pointed out, trying to somehow avoid bias is a fruitless task.
Many thanks for being so honest and helpful This is really what I already knew, but that is me all over - I have to be absolutely sure of what I'm getting myself into and don't always trust my own (initial) judgement
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morris743
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(Original post by I'm_Unsafe.)
I'm not criticising you, just wanted to make sure you know that higher education is an entirely different ball game to secondary. Maybe less so with science-based subjects in which a certain amount of 'fact' can be accepted.

I had the same discussion with my housemate yesterday about learning through the internet being equal to that of a degree. The point of the core lectures is to introduce you to key themes and issues, the lecturer gives you a taste of how an academic/scholar will consider and develop a thesis/idea, you're (usually) not obliged to agree with them but they help you to learn to develop your own ideas in a more orderly,logical, systematic way. It's about honing your ability to think and express yourself. Generally speaking, tutors will say that they would rather have you argue a completely contrary point of view, assuming you have legitimate reasons for doing so and legitimate evidence, than simply another regurgitation of something you have read/heard.

Of course, people don't have to do a degree to change the world/change beliefs of the world but university is a very good place in so far as it is a place that allows one to focus exclusively for, say, 5 days of the week on intellectual issues that are separate from the everyday distractions like money, work and family commitments.
Thank You
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Craghyrax
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Er, the first thing that you learn when you do any social science or humanity is that academia is intrinsically biased :lolwut: Most of us are just not as perfectionistic as you, though, and manage to get round this rather than throwing the towel in and writing off all inquiry as doomed. Reflexivity is one method that academics use to tackle the problem. You're not going to find any institution or human being on the planet that isn't filled with ordinary prejudices and biases. And any teacher will have a view of which sources/theories/methods and so on are the best. But hopefully you're not just a passive sponge that soaks up whatever anybody tells you, and you're capable of drawing your own conclusions.

And no I'm not going to try and talk you into applying to Cambridge or Oxford. They're not exactly lacking in demand, and if you're too picky for them then I don't see why some more open person wouldn't be a more grateful recipient :p:
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JoMo1
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The whole point of a humanities degree is to teach it to yourself. Your opinions and knowledge aren't formed by what you're taught, you do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

At Oxbridge lectures are there to give you an outline and an idea of the important areas of a subject, and the kind of things you might want to look into. You then go off and form your own ideas, form them into an essay and give it to your tutor, who then proceeds to tell you why everything you just said is wrong. They're not telling you it's wrong because it disagrees with their ideas of the truth, but because it's just rubbish. The tutors aren't there to give you your ideas, or present you with a biased view of the truth. The tutors are there to talk about ideas and make you better at thinking for yourself.

For example, the Magdalen Vice-President/Philosophy Big dog is famous for his propensity to sit in a tute and present a seemingly flawless and irrefutable argument for a particular point of view. He then sits there for a minute or 2 and then gives an equally irrefutable argument for the exact opposite point. He's not trying to prove to anyone that something is correct, he's just forcing you to be smarter.

University is about getting good at learning, not necessarily about learning itself, you just have to practice the learning to get good at it.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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In addition to what's already been said, the whole point of the tutorial/supervision system is to create dialogue. It's far easier to debate/question/have banter about what you're being told, especially if you, your tutor and your tutorial partner(s) are coming at things with different ideas and different interests :yes:
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Peterpop
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(Original post by NapoleonDynamite)
when you study a subject like Politics or History, you're always going to approach it from different angles, analysing and not always taking it for face value. That is neutrality, it allows you to form your own opinion based on a fact, though sometimes things are fact and undebatable. **** the Illuminati conspiracy theory, it's just a ploy for people on Youtube to get excited over. Go to University.
luminati is a conspiracy theory, but consider this, it COULD be true how do you know that it isnt, i will agree that going to university is a good idea, but i'm sure that 99% of oxbridge students won't get approached by the illuminati.
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morris743
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Thanks all
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ChronicApathetic
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To be honest, when I was at Cambridge, it used to bug me how often illuminati members sneakily approached you on nights out when you were just trying to have a drink with some friends.
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