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“I don’t recommend that you take drugs, but . . . “

Well, now that I’m telling stories . . . When reading “Defenders of the Truth”, I came across the name of Stephen Chorover–he was one of the left-wing anti-sociobiology people. As a freshman at MIT, I took introductory psychology (9.00, I believe it was), and Chorover was one of the two professors. He would give these really vague lectures–the only thing I remember was when he told us about his experiences with mescaline. He said something like, “I don’t recommend that you take drugs, but the only way you’ll know what it’s like is to try it.” Seemed like a real burned-out 60’s type. (The course was co-taught, and the other prof was a young guy named Jeremy Wolfe, who was a dynamic lecturer but unfortunately spent all his time talking about perception, mostly vision, which might be interesting but certatinly wasn’t why a college freshman is taking psychology.) The course also had a weekly evening meeting that was in a room too small for us all to fit in, because, they told us, “we know you won’t show up anyway.” Another great message to send to the freshmen . . .

(I really shouldn’t go around mocking college instructors since I know I have my own flaws. In the first semester of teaching, one of the students came up to me at the end of the semester and said, “Don’t worry, Prof. Gelman. You’ll do a better job teaching next time.”)

Anyway, it was just funny to see Chorover’s name in print after so many years. Also, Steven Pinker gave a guest lecture in that intro psych class of ours, but that was before he became political.

2 Comments

  1. paulse says:

    MIT…

  2. Andrew says:

    P.S. While looking up Jeremy Wolfe, I happened to notice this. I'm glad to see that at least one student likes that psych class…