Welcome to Liberal Arts Blog — I’m Michael Moore-Jones, a New Zealander and final-year student at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. I’ve previously studied at Yale University and ten other academic institutions in six countries.
Liberal Arts Blog is my real education. It’s a record of how education happens somewhere in the gap between our time in formal education and everything else we read and do in our lives. It’s the kind of thing I wish I’d had in high school, or in college—a curated record of how education can matter to our lives, if we understand it properly.
In my second to last year of high school I started a website called They Don’t Teach You This In School. Frustrated by how everything I was learning was useful only in the classroom, and was not going to help me in my life, I wanted to collect the experiences and advice of those who were wise, and to make this knowledge accessible to all. That, it seemed to me, was the real point of an education: learning how to live a meaningful life by hearing others’ wisdom. While the website didn’t work out in the end, I’ve long since thought that there should be a space online to explore what a real education is. A space not to dictate what it should be, but to have a conversation about what a meaningful education in the twenty-first century should encompass. Now in my final year of college, I’ve decided to have a go at it, picking up here where my formal education leaves off.
The “liberal arts” come the closest to describing what I hope this blog can be. The term has been diminished of late, as colleges and universities have confused their missions, but a liberal education always stood for what Michael Oakeshott called an “adventure in human self-understanding.” This blog is an attempt at that.