By Ilya Yashin
You work hard. You shell out an exorbitant tuition. You are entitled to feel good about every aspect of yourself. And for that, you need a customized education that focuses on you. This is why, starting in spring 2016, the Youniversity of Pittsburgh will offer the following courses that will marshal carefully picked evidence to nourish your self-esteem:
- Literature and You. Over the centuries of literature, there is nothing, no matter how dumb, prejudiced, or wrong, that hasn’t been written by someone whose works are still around. In this class you will learn to find literary quotes from respectable-sounding authors to support any of your current opinions, arguments, or decisions. Who would dare to argue with the great thinker you’re quoting? Besides accumulating an arsenal of quotes to make any nonsense sound intellectual, you will learn to show your peers and elders how well-read you are and get the adoration you deserve.
- Ethics and You. There are so many complicated ethical issues, with sound arguments on each side…which one of them is right? The one you already hold, of course! No matter what you’ve come to believe and how, in this class you will find a sophisticated ethical argument supporting your stance with fancy language. Why learn something that makes you feel bad about yourself when you can find a philosophical way to feel good about yourself, especially when you are right?! Say goodbye to doing wrong and feeling guilty!
- History and You. There is enough in history to depress anyone…but who wants that? You don’t pay tuition and work so hard to be sad! In this class you will cherry-pick historical facts and points of view to construct a historical narrative that makes you feel good about the group of your choice — be it national, racial, religious, or any other — and that supports any agenda you want to push. Since we can’t ever know the whole truth, you will learn to find the partial truth that makes you feel good.
- Quantum Physics and You. Do you hold some kind of New-Age-esque mystic beliefs about Life, Consciousness, and the Nature of the Universe but have trouble defending them to yourself or others? Now you have quantum physics on your side — what can be more concrete and irrefutable?! In this class you will learn the weird but true aspects of quantum physics in terms broad enough to allow you to use them as proof for anything weird but inspiring you might want to believe. Non-locality and wavefunction collapse, wave-particle duality and the uncertainty principle — quantum physics has enough easily misinterpreted oddities for you to convince yourself that your mystic beliefs are scientific, not a hodgepodge of vaguely spiritual mumbo-jumbo!
- Health Science and You. Worried that your lifestyle may be unhealthy but don’t want to change it? There are health studies to rid you of your worries. In this class you will sift through thousands of studies of varying quality to find enough to convince yourself that you are (and always have been) making healthy choices, no matter what they are. After all, choices are healthy only if they make you feel good about yourself!