David Thompson
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July 11, 2011

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Min

I want to divorce the man I love and he wants to divorce me... We do not wish to separate – simply to end our seven-year marriage… We are both fed up with being part of the hetero-husband-and-wife brigade that is accorded so much status and privilege.

Only.
In.
The.
Guardian.

Smorfia48

"The spectre of racism and sexism haunts these supposedly neutral attempts to measure intelligence"

I'm willing to bet the spectre of racism and sexism haunts everything Ms Power disapproves of.


"On the basis of this assumption, superior knowledge ceases to be a necessary qualification of the teacher"

That may well fly in the Angry Victim Studies faculty, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that if Ms Power ever needed eye surgery, her first choice of surgeon wouldn't be a guy who'd been 'taught' by a professor no more knowledgable on the subject than his first year students.


"In principle then, there is no reason why a teacher is smarter than his or her student'

An ungentlemanly sort might say that judging by Ms Power's not exactly bright expression in the article photograph, there's a particularly high chance of this being true in her classes. Not me, of course.


"or why educators shouldn’t be able to learn alongside pupils in a shared ignorance"

Therefore the distinction between teacher and student is a false one (a social construct, if you will) as the teacher is no more qualified to teach, and gains just as much benefit from, the class as the rest of the attendees. It follows that there's no justification for any individual to be assigned the title of teacher, nor picking up a paycheque for attending class while everyone else is paying for the privilege. Remind us again what you do for a living, would you, Ms Powers?


"The equality of intelligence is a concept at once philosophical and political"

If not based in science, observable reality or common sense.


"if everyone is equally intelligent, then why should we put up with being told how to think, or what to think about"

This sentence just came from a leftist member of faculty. You can insert your own punchline.


"by those with a vested interest in maintaining the hierarchies of the status quo?"

Um, you're a senior lecturer. You're part of the 'hierarchies of the status quo'. And your entire article is an excercise in telling people what to think (and if they disagree, they're racist and sexist). What your article unwittingly does is declare that your title and position is bogus, you have no justification in getting paid for what you do and that, as a high ranking member in the 'hierarchies of the status quo', people should resist your attempts at force feeding them your dogmas. And as it takes an especially dull witted individual to shoot themselves in the foot this catastrophically, you've pretty much undermined your thesis of equal intelligence while you're at it.

mojo

More "Wishes ARE Fishes!" claptrap from the usual suspects.

Jonathan

Delightful pretentiousness here. Note especially the comparison to Communist China

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/11/news-of-the-world-media-shift

Henry

It always seemed to me that one of the biggest problems with measuring 'intelligence' is that the word really doesn't mean very much. Is intelligence the same thing as problem solving? Surely not. Is it the ability to concentrate on an issue for hours at a time? Doesn't seem to cover it to me...

Is it a single overall innate ability? Or are there particular defined talents in many areas, so that if Zuckerman or Perlman had tried to be painters or Biologists, they'd be unknowns, but happened on the violin? This way, you could be an excellent linguist, but no good at maths

I know people come up with artificially constructed definitions from time to time. I think the word just represents an intuitive (and correct) idea that some people have more and better grey matter than others

This is one of the reasons why intelligence becomes so contentious. Add to this the fact that several scientists, including such a brilliant man as Francis Crick (who should have known better) posited the idea of some races being more naturally intelligent than others. To "well-intentioned Guardian readers" - when they hear it - this seems like precisely the fascist thinking they fear the most. They can't separate the word 'intelligence' in their minds from mass-sterilization and guff about 'racial superiority' that you might hear from a BNP pub-bore - oh and there are tenuous links to Empire there they can get frightened about too.

Soon they see any attempt to measure 'intelligence' as being tarred with the same Nazi/Impirialist brush and grasp at any evidence or line of argument that suggests we are all equal. But in schools some kids are going to need to be taught at a faster rate than others, or they will get bored and lose momentum.

Perhaps competition to prove you're smarter than the next fellow is another of the things that motivates boys that educationalists are trying to ban.

Trimegistus

"Intelligence" is coming to mean "agrees with liberals."

David

Henry,

Yes, there are issues of definition and whether ability in one area necessarily transfers to another. But what interests me is the denial of a self-evident phenomenon, usually for ideological reasons, and often by people who deny the attribute that gave them the means and platform with which to deny it.

“To ‘well-intentioned Guardian readers’... this seems like precisely the fascist thinking they fear the most.”

I don’t usually think of Guardian readers as particularly averse to fascistic or quasi-fascistic ideas. Often, quite the opposite. For instance, George Monbiot - not exactly a great fan of individual autonomy - is today suggesting that the state should have much greater control over the media.


Jonathan,

“We are in a strange interregnum of titillation between cultural hegemonies.”

Hand me the blow darts.

WTP

“We are in a strange interregnum of titillation between cultural hegemonies.”

Yeah, that is where I stopped. I couldn't determine if that article was meant to be taken seriously or as some sort of sarcasm. I need to use my gray matter for work this afternoon and feared reading any further would sap those cells. Perhaps it’s meant to be a good laugh? Let me know and I’ll take it up over a couple shots of Jameson.

Jonathan

I particularly love the way he pute the word "liberal" (as in "liberal West") in quotes. Presumably if you undergo enough intellectual contortion you'll see that the society we live in has not one jot more freedom than that of a brutal dictatorship. I guess this is because all the nasty little chavs are enslaved to the gossip in the tabloid media. It's absolutely on a par with the worst excesses of Communist China, because Will Self says so. If you can't see it you just haven't used your intellect hard enough to suppress any wisdom / realism / common sense that might be putting you off-message.

Abby

Or, “if you expose our student indoctrination policy we will punish you.”

Orwell meets Kafka.

svh

I don’t usually think of Guardian readers as particularly averse to fascistic or quasi-fascistic ideas. Often, quite the opposite.

Re George Monbiot...

"I would like to state this plainly, George: you seriously think that the people who should control what is published about our politicians should be our politicians?"

http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/2011/07/who-should-control-press-madness-of.html

David

“I would like to state this plainly, George: you seriously think that the people who should control what is published about our politicians should be our politicians?”

Heh. Quite.

It’s pure essence of Monbiot – i.e., confused, dogmatic and totalitarian. First we learn that the “primary task” of journalists is “to hold power to account.” (Not, say, to report the news in an accurate manner. Or even, as Tim suggests, to fill in space between the adverts.) Then we learn that the way to “hold power to account” is to surrender enormous power to the state, because if politicians controlled the media, everything would be fine.

There are times when mocking these people on an out-of-the-way blog – doing whatever small damage to their credibility – feels like an almost noble task.

Almost.

rjmadden

There are times when mocking these people on an out-of-the-way blog – doing whatever small damage to their credibility – feels like an almost noble task.

It is. And it makes us laugh. Keep it up.

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