David Thompson
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February 16, 2016

Comments

Anna

The idea of a bunch of PhDs in astronomy having to publicly confess their sinful [male] “privilege” at the opening session of a radio astronomy research conference is shockingly indicative of ideological totalitarianism.

They're not even trying to hide it now.

David

They’re not even trying to hide it now.

Well, once you can compel people to behave as if they were guilty, or as if they were insane, as is the case in academia, the pretence doesn’t have to be convincing. In fact, the victim’s dissonance and disbelief can be used against them. As Theodore Dalrymple pointed out,

Political correctness is Communist propaganda writ small. In my study of Communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of Communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect, and is intended to.

And so when astronomy PhDs are obliged to publicly confess their imaginary “privilege,” regardless of mere facts and logic, and regardless of how their lives actually are, the effect is to erode their probity and sense of realism, to make them dishonest. And therefore compromised.

dan

Where did the PhDs confess their privilege? Did I skip over that in her video?

David

Where did the PhDs confess their privilege? Did I skip over that in her video?

Fiamengo mentions the annual conference of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Australia (about 7 minutes in).

Rafi

On Twitter, Franklin has been attempting a civil debate with the authoritarians in question.

Waste of time. They don't want to listen or learn anything.

David

They don’t want to listen or learn anything.

No, not really. But then, if they allowed new information in, even a moment of doubt, they might have to forego all that lovely scolding and pretentious indignation. All that unearned superiority, all those excuses for being obnoxious. And that is what it’s about. And if you’re debating someone whose position is fundamentally disingenuous, they won’t thank you for reminding them of how dishonest they are.

I think the moral of the story is that unless you have a third party to watch what happens, it’s very nearly pointless to attempt a meaningful exchange with people who use the term “social justice” often and unironically. Or who describe themselves as a “community organizer | educator | creative worker.” Or who say that disagreeing with them is “oppressive.” Or who think that racial variations in haemoglobin disorders are proof of society’s “racial violence.”

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Christians and Jews [should therefore] demand that young leftists renounce science, medicine and transportation.

Given their penchant for junk science such as AGW and "green" stuff on general, rejection of things like vaccines but touting of such rubbish as vaginal steaming, and general pimping of idiocy like self-driving coal powered cars, I think they are well on their way already.

pst314

" 'I don’t think I’m as revolutionary as Galileo, but I don’t think I’m not as revolutionary as Galileo.' That was the insufferable Jaden Smith talking to GQ last fall. Son of actor Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, the 17-year-old Jaden went on at length about his personal philosophy of learning and life...he announced that he is going to go underground. 'It'll be kind of like Banksy. But in a different way. More of a social impact. Helping people. But through art installations. It'll be like, 'This just happened that helped a bunch of people over here. We don’t know who did it, but these symbols and things were left around, so we can only guess that it’s Jaden and the squad.' You know what I’m saying? So I’m just dedicating my whole life to helping the world.' "

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/226856/

R. Sherman

. . .touting of such rubbish as vaginal steaming. . .

I don't know what "vaginal steaming" is, but I'm strangely content to remain ignorant in that regard.

David

Helping people. But through art installations.

Oh my.

R. Sherman

Wait. Is this it?

svh

"Drink was probably involved."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-35579159

TomJ

This is a couple of years old now, but has only just been brought to my attention; an oldie, but a goodie: http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/the-economics-of-political-correctness

David

an oldie, but a goodie

The Kristian Niemietz piece is spot on. It explains why the left’s piety is so competitive, so farcical, and why it can never end. There must always be someone to scold, something to fret about ostentatiously. And so we end up with Guardian columnists agonising about the menace posed by heteronormative cupcakes and insufficiently considerate spellcheck software.

And fretting about how “blokey barbecue chat” is “oppressively penetrating.

David

An illustration of the identity politics poker.

In which a white, male, leftwing Guardian columnist defends a white, gay, male, leftwing activist from baseless accusations of racism and being insufficiently leftwing. Said white, male, leftwing Guardian columnist is then denounced for being a white male by a white, female activist who wants to show everyone how much more leftwing she is. How dare he, a mere white male, have an opinion on racism?

The matter is finally settled by a sensible black chap.

Here, via Damian.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Wait. Is this it?

Alas, no. This is.

Liz

The matter is finally settled by a sensible black chap.

Brilliant. :-)

David

Brilliant.

It does rather capture the essence of the pantomime. Incidentally, the, um, lady in question is a regular of Laurie Penny’s Twitter circle and is perhaps most famous for making sourdough with her own infected vaginal yeast.

sH2

"Black lives matter."

http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/15/marine-allegedly-assaulted-mid-burger-at-mcdonalds-as-gang-yelled-do-you-believe-black-lives-matter/

rabbit

Debatg on twtr like debatg by telegraph.

rabbit

The Great Kimono Outrage is particularly strange.

The Japanese have appropriated western culture, and in particular western apparel, wholesale. Business suits, blue jeans, skirts, blouses, and so on are everywhere, all of which originated in Europe and North America.

So how do the SJW's defend these double standards? By claiming that it's about power. It's fine for oppressors to adopt oppressor culture, but not the other way around.

But even this doesn't stand up, for who can claim that Japanese are oppressed by westerners? Certainly not the Japanese, who would likely be insulted by the suggestion.

Nikw211

From Franklin’s Among the Cultural Authoritarians - my emphasis:

    … noted novelist and MIT professor Junot Díaz, who was in the audience with a group of students. He elaborated on an assertion that Wang made in brief that while "white supremacist" has a “folkloric" connotation of white guys with white hoods, it in fact has become "commonly accepted" that it refers to systemic and cultural problems beyond any individual. "You could get rid of every white person in the world and still have white supremacy”, he said.

This is just so sublimely ridiculous that it falls outside the range of my emotional spectrum to even properly express the sensation I’m experiencing while reading it.

So far, it seems that something between “I can’t even” and "Rolling On the Floor Laughing My Ass Off” are able to do it justice ...

Timbo

Making sourdough bread with her own infected vaginal yeast.

I made the mistake of clicking on the link and now am in the process of trying to keep it to dry heaves.

sH2

as their cover-up unravelled, self-described progressives and feminists indignantly insisted that the cover-up had been the correct call.

Just how screwed up do you have to be...?

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/02/16/member-of-german-left-youth-party-apologizes-to-refugees-on-facebook-after-alleged-sexual-assault-by-migrant/

dicentra

In other news Stephen Fry has Had It with Twitter for all the right reasons, and Yet Another Conservative Sci-Fi Author is Sent To Room 101.

Larry Correia welcomes him to the club.

David

In the strange mental landscape of Dr Melissa Click, being caught on camera again – this time obstructing traffic and shrieking gratuitous abuse at a police officer – is apparently unfair and jeopardises “academic freedom.”

I wonder. At what point in her life does she plan to grow up?

David

Somewhat related, this:

It is imperative to note that everything [African-American Studies professor, Imani] Perry claimed before the video came out is simply not true. What happened to her had nothing to do with her race and everything to do with her driving 20 or more miles over the speed limit while her license was suspended and she had warrants out for her arrest.

And when a chippy, race-hustling lecturer in Grievance Studies uses race as an excuse for her own misbehaviour, repeatedly lying about events despite footage to the contrary, what do you think her students are likely to have learned in class?

David

Ben Sixsmith ponders the perverse counsel of Laurie Penny:

Here, in a piece titled “Maybe you should just be single” one finds strange, resentful generalisations and unmerited claims to victimhood… Penny universalises both the bad and good aspects of her experiences in a manner one can only call irrational.

He’s more charitable than I’d be.

Jonathan

..the perverse counsel of Laurie Penny

Horror movie title spotted.

SDN

nikw211, I used to laugh at them too. Until I realized two things:

1. They are willing to kill or have killed anyone who disagrees with them.

2. The only way to prevent #1 is to kill them first. Tyrannies don't stop until they are stopped.

Joan

I wonder. At what point in her life does she plan to grow up?

Not going to happen. Not growing up is why she's there.

David

Not going to happen. Not growing up is why she’s there.

Yes, I think you’re right. Unshiftable immaturity does seem to be a standard feature of Clown Quarter academics. That said, someone who cares should take her by the elbows, shake her quite firmly and say, “Stop manufacturing drama. You are no longer a stroppy teenager. You’re a forty-five year old woman. Act like it.”

If that doesn’t work, sudden unemployment might help her rethink her choices.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

These silly women. Oh, my. How they long to be part of the In-Crowd who laughed at them in high school.

R. Sherman

...someone who cares should take her by the elbows, shake her quite firmly...

Actually, it's starting to happen. The humanities faculty at Mizzou is beginning to realize that its livelihood comes from two places: the state legislature in appropriations and parental checkbooks from people, many of whom are alumni who are dismayed by recent shenanigans and who therefore don't wish to fund the lunacy. My admittedly anecdotal evidence for this is the admission by a remarkably honest Mizzou Arts & Science student manning a telephone solicitation phone bank for alumni contributions that she'd received an earful from pissed-off alumni instead pledges of monetary support. The admission came when I informed her the university would receive no further money from me, so long as Melissa Click remained employed.

David

Actually, it’s starting to happen.

I do hope so. It’s the only way this kind of institutional psychodrama will be pushed back. Given the fees involved, I shouldn’t think many parents would be thrilled to have their children taught by a middle-aged delinquent who spends her time enabling and encouraging crowd hysteria, threatening students, obstructing traffic, obstructing police officers and screaming abuse at them, and who then feigns victimhood because she was filmed doing it, repeatedly.

And however ludicrous it is, such behaviour is part of a more general mindset, common among the type. Illustrated by the belief that you can physically impose yourself on others – by summoning a mob (“some muscle”) or obstructing traffic, entirely without consequence, and while imagining that any physical response at all, however mild and lawful, is some kind of cosmic outrage and a basis for martyrdom.

It’s the moral universe of a spoiled child.

Tim Newman

He’s more charitable than I’d be.

Me too. From Penny's article:

Plenty of them were perfectly happy to sleep with me, but after a little while, when I became a real person to them, when it became more than just sex, they turned mean or walked away.

Yeah. That's why those stuffy old matrons of yesteryear advised their daughters *not* to put out for men who were not likely to stick around post-coitus. Perhaps they were onto something?

Deborah

Sadly, the silly women that refuse to grow up are not found only in academia. Having hit the mid-century mark myself I can tell you that the women of my peer group, of a leftist bent, are some of the most ridiculous people that I know. Despite having life long friendships with some I have had no choice but to cast them off, as they are intolerable.

It seems to me that these women, having gained all that they sought had absolutely no idea how to handle that which they demanded. Now my middle-aged lefty peers are looking back on lives not well-lived; broken marriages and families are their hallmark. These women are lonely and financially barely making it, yet are still unable to make the connection between their crappy lives and their crappy choices. It does not end well for the Melissa Clicks of this world.

David

It does not end well for the Melissa Clicks of this world.

There does seem to be quite a bit of unnecessary, self-inflicted drama, and a certain… rhetorical slipperiness.

If you can bear the long, mostly tedious interview video linked upthread, you’ll see Dr Click is being less than entirely honest. About halfway through, our supposedly penitent academic is confronted with some of the thuggish tactics used by her activist associates, at which point she claims quite emphatically not to be an activist herself, as if sensing that a more truthful response might seem incompatible with her status as a supposedly professional and unbiased educator.

And yet despite this claim, she’s managed to insinuate herself into quite a few activist dramas, in which she’s obviously enabling and encouraging the participants and, by her own admission, providing all kinds of moral, organisational and practical support, thereby, one assumes, showing her solidarity. She claims to feel “protective” towards these gangs of screaming idiots who block traffic and who physically intimidate those who fail to enthuse. And cynic that I am, I find it hard to believe that Dr Click would be quite so supportive and hands-on if the activism in question were at odds with her own fashionable leftist conceits.

dicentra ن

You’re a forty-five year old woman. Act like it.

What the hell are you talking about? All of the adult women in her life DO act like that.

David

All of the adult women in her life DO act like that.

Why, it’s almost as if the Clown Quarter of academia were full of people who are dogmatically dysfunctional.

R. Sherman

Sadly, the silly women that refuse to grow up are not found only in academia.

Perhaps it is because I've passed the half-century mark, but I seem to notice more women of my age whose dress, speech and deportment indicate they feel they are in competition with women who are decades younger. (I have no knowledge about their politics, I hasten to add.) I find myself asking, "Whom are you trying to impress?" Death in Venice's Gustav von Aschenbach is not a role model.

mojo

"I wonder. At what point in her life does she plan to grow up?"

But David, it's not a protest unless you scream insults and break things! To show how on-side you are.

R. Sherman

Further to my earlier comment. N.B. this doesn't include the alumni whose offspring will not be attending Mizzou this fall.

Heather

Really a shame about Mizzou. They have recently joined the SEC and the fans that I have met seemed great. I was looking forward to tailgating there when UGA next played them, but who wants to hang around crazy town? PC is the opposite of fun. I will wait a few years when all this nonsense has blown over.

Wildgoose

I'm just reading the Chinese author Cixin Liu's Hugo Award winning novel "The Three Body Problem". It begins during the madness of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and I couldn't help but think that the madness of Political Correctness is the Western equivalent to the Cultural Revolution - only this time with adherents screaming about White Male Privilege and the like instead of Bourgeois Revisionism, whilst competing to be more Politically Correct (proletarian) than those around them.

That aside, I'm really enjoying the book.

Recommended.

jabrwok

I'm a bit late to the game of "post something discussion-worthy", but here's a palate-cleanser for those who are tired of, or disgusted by, the shenanigans of the Politically-correcter-than-thou crowd.

A eulogy to a stupid duck: https://adaptivecurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/to-freedom-and-stupidity/

Rob

"The idea of a bunch of PhDs in astronomy having to publicly confess their sinful [male] “privilege” at the opening session of a radio astronomy research conference is shockingly indicative of ideological totalitarianism."

Why did they do it? Why not just say "fuck off"? What would happen to them? Torture?

Patrick Brown

I've actually got some sympathy for our Laurie on this one. My love life and my mental health always got in each other's way, until I decided about a decade ago that there are worse things than being single and plumped for mental health. I've more or less made my peace with it now, but I still tend, despite my best efforts, to feel a bit sorry for myself around this time of year. If I'd had a column for the New Statesman back then, I'm sure I would have written something that I'd now be mortified by.

pst314

"Tyrannies don't stop until they are stopped."
I cannot help but shake my head in puzzlement at people who think we should be "nice" to totalitarian monsters.

Surreptitious Evil
What would happen to them? Torture?

Blacklisting from future grant applications.

jones

Went to see Mark Steyn at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne last night.

I'm already sold on the man so wasn't enlightened by him BUT I was extremely happy to be in the company of hundreds of very grounded and rounded and even educated people who, heaven forbid, actually had the same wrongthought as me. It truly dawned on me that there is an enormous body of opinion that see all the crap for just what it is.

I am sure now that those who hold the levers of power currently are quite small in number but nevertheless have a disproportionate influence. The more they screw down the pressure-cooker the more sure I am they know they've fucked up with this civilisation but just don't know what else to do.

The mythical backlash is going to be all too real and in the not too distant future.

Watch it all on CNN.....

jones

Would explain Trump......

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