David Thompson
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June 14, 2016

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Rafi

My sister took a course on Chinese literature. It didn't have many Scandinavian authors.

Jeff Guinn

Speaking of indoctrination and unquestioned faith: Presenting One of the Most Humiliating Academic Mistakes Ever.

A few readers may remember a study published in 2012 that proclaimed conservatives were more inclined towards “psychoticism,” including authoritarianism. Liberals, by contrast, were more inclined towards “neuroticism” and “social desirability.”

To be clear, I think the vast majority of studies that purport to describe the competing psychological profiles of conservatives and liberals are just so much junk. But when it comes to science, junk always gets a hearing if it pushes preferred narratives, so I distinctly remember the crowing from certain quarters about the now-proven deficiency of the conservative mind.

Wait. What?

The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.

MEMHOLE! STAT!

abacab

Re. Ed West (I believe I went to school with him, actually) - he repeats the myth about nazism being an extreme form of reaction, whereas it is quite explicitly a form of revolutionary, nationalistic, non-marxist socialism. That only found favour in conservative circles because it was seen as the only effective way to oppose communism, which was worse.

Rob

"that the students are, they say, left “ill-prepared… even to engage with critical theory.”"

They are too young and stupid to realise this is a GOOD thing.

Jonathan

Re:Ed West on classroom indoctrination and the whitewashing of leftist history.

We've had the excellent BBC series - 'The Nazis- A Warning from History', but not, for some strange reason, the equivalent series warning about the dangers of Communism.

Anna

its most recent A-level Government and Politics syllabus... defined conservatism as “fear of diversity” and support for “social and state authoritarianism.” Conservatism views people as “limited, dependent and security-seeking creatures” and supports “resurgent nationalism… insularity and xenophobia.”

Gramsci would be proud.

David

Gramsci would be proud.

I can’t help thinking that A-level politics might be improved by replacing bizarre definitions of conservatism with an afternoon or two on Mr Gramsci and his totalitarian fantasies.

PiperPaul

Hey, isn't "Critical Theory" just a bunch of self-loathing assertions claiming that western society is crap?

R. Sherman

From the Williamson link:

Jennifer Hughes of the Montgomery County, Md., Department of Permitting Services: “It wasn’t that we were the big hand of county government trying to come down and squash anything. . . . We were attempting to do what a government is charged with doing, which is protecting communities and protecting the safety of people.” Which is to say: We cannot let these people raise money for children with cancer — somebody might get sick!

Actually, I don't think that Ms. Hughes and her ilk's behavior is based upon purely altruistic motives to protect the welfare of the people. If that were so, she'd attempt to regulate the lemonade given away to 20 toddlers at a backyard birthday party, not to mention the hot dogs and potato salad. No, the real issue is that "government" exists to preclude anyone being able to escape it by making a living. The regulations exist not to protect, but to create a barrier for entry so that the politically-connected can maintain their monopolies using the government's guys with guns as the enforcers.

R. Sherman

Regarding the Yale English department, it's somewhat stunning to see the self-proclaimed "best and brightest" demanding to remain mired in ignorance. Have they actually read any of the authors they oppose? And N.B. they don't merely wish to have alternatives to the Major English poets. The want the course abolished thereby precluding anyone else from obtaining the complete education in English literature. See also, this which seems related.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Actually, I don't think that Ms. Hughes and her ilk's behavior is based upon purely altruistic motives to protect the welfare of the people. If that were so, she'd attempt to regulate the lemonade given away to 20 toddlers at a backyard birthday party, not to mention the hot dogs and potato salad.

They just haven't fully gotten there yet. Hot dogs, potato salad, backyard barbeques.

Of course nothing about Hughes and her ilk's behavior is altruistic as much as it is about control and, to paraphrase Mencken, the nagging thought that somewhere someone might be having non-approved fun.

Liz

Angry Studies and “critical theory” are, to borrow a phrase, the lowest difficulty setting on campus.

'A large, public research university in Detroit has done away with its graduation requirement that all students must take a math class to earn a diploma. Meanwhile, its faculty have called for the creation of a new “diversity” course.'

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/27830/

Maths is hard.

Hedgehog

In a petition to the English Department, Yale undergraduates declare that a required two-semester seminar on Major English Poets is a danger to their well-being.

I actually support these children's, shall we say, tantrum. Wait, hear me out. There is a certain logic in the request. Yale has dumbed down their admission criteria, at least for some people, and these people are now saying, in effect, "You lured us in here and admitted us notwithstanding our manifest lack of qualifications. By doing this, you have shown that qualifications are entirely subjective. So on what basis do you now want us to consider writers such as Shakespeare and Chaucer and the like?"

Yale has put itself into this position and they are getting hoist on their own petard.

Jonathan

Somewhat on topic:- apparently @Real_PeerReview has been deleted due to threats to expose the tweeter - evidently it was an Academic exposing the follies of his colleagues.

David

Low academic standards seemed to be especially accepted in the fields of “critical race theory” and feminism,

[ Clutches face, swoons. ]

Sam Duncan

“limited, dependent and security-seeking creatures”

I don't think I've ever read a more concise summation of the Leftist view of people in my life. “You need help. You need it so much, that if we weren't here to make sure the state gave it to you, you'd be in real trouble. But don't worry, we'll take care of everything. From cradle to grave.”

Spiny Norman

It seems to me that the subjects of the Ed West link and Jeff Guinn's link are suffering from the same malady.

Spiny Norman

I should clarify: the subjects of the quoted bits.

Spiny Norman

By the way, there's a commenter at the Spectator link called "Telemachus" who is either the most delusional fool I've encountered in ages, or a satirist on the level of Godfrey Elfwick. A check of his Disqus profile makes me lean towards "delusional", but I honestly cannot tell.

R. Sherman

Spiny, if "Telemachus" is spouting his/her own beliefs, I would add the word "frightening" to "delusional." Note this gem from the comments:

Those who stand in the way of the drive to a egalitarian society must be removed.

Given the recent physical attacks on people simply for supporting a particular candidate or attempting to listen to a college lecturer, such sentiments don't seem to be particularly out of the ordinary. Which brings me back to the word, "frightening." One deluded person is a nuisance. A lot of them is a murderous mob.

SumDumGuy

RE: Telemachus

I'm thinking troll.

Henry

Oh I've encountered this Telemachus character, I'm sorry to say..

By the way, there's been another terrorist attack that was nothing to do with Islam! (thank God for that, eh?) In France again. Our friends across the channel are having a great time at the moment :(

Fred the Fourth

On the lemonade thing, there was a telling bit on NPR a year or so ago here in California.
Some government agent was holding forth on the wonders of a new bit of law, to wit that CA gov regulatory agencies were now required to have online all their forms, for easier access by citizenry. His chosen example went like this: "Suppose you want to start a hair-cutting shop. Now, the 12 CA agencies you have to send info to or get approval from have all their forms online."
My brain did a quick rewind, and sure enough he had said, proudly, that in CA there are indeed 12 state agencies you must deal with to cut hair commercially. And this number is ignoring, of course, the federal, city, and county agencies.
Astounding.
(The other day I was in a Costco, and idly counted the government mandated postings in their "business operating license" display box near the front door. There were 39. Sure, Costco is big and handles a wide variety of merchandise, some of it even potentially hazardous, but 39? and that was just the pile they were required to post in public.)

R. Sherman

@Fred,

Per this study (the full pdf is worth one's time, BTW), the cost of compliance with federal regulations alone is $10,000 per employee. Add in state regulations, especially in states like California or New York, and it's a wonder the economy manages to totter along at all.

Spiny Norman

Fred,

If that Costco is in California, those 39 are only the ones they are required to post.

Allan

I've got to stop coming here. I either get in trouble at work for sniggering or vomiting with rage.

Something I've always found curious regarding diversity. Visually speaking, Chinese means short and a sort of pale yellow or brownish. Japanese means about the same. African means tall and black. Indian means brown as does Indonesian. American, Australian, Canadian and British? Could be anything right? Yet somehow we're still the xenophobes who're pushing a monoculture.

Also awesome to note many of those countries scratch their heads at the dumbassery we come up with. Have a look at the Japanese reaction to scarjo as the lead for ghost in the shell for a good laugh.

Nate Whilk

Re the Yalies hyperventilating about English lit, I provide this from Theodore Dalrymple. Someone spoke to him surreptitiously in Pyongyang, N. Korea.

"'I am a student at the Foreign Languages Institute. Reading Dickens and Shakespeare is the greatest, the only pleasure of my life.'"

http://www.city-journal.org/html/11_4_oh_to_be.html

Fred the Fourth

R. Sherman: After I retired from engineering, I was a program manager for various technical product developments. As the years went by I realized that MOST of my time was now being spent dealing with the increasing load of regulatory compliance. Now, I can't blame the US for all this, after all I had to buy from and ship to pretty much the whole world, and believe me, the rest of the world has some pretty fine ideas of their own about how to regulate things (Brazil, I'm looking at you...)
It got to be too much, so I quit doing it.
Spiny: I think I noted that. I'm sure there are many offices in the Costco corp. devoted to nothing but compliance and the paperwork thereof. And yes, CA is its own special kind of hell.

Hal

"'I am a student at the Foreign Languages Institute. Reading Dickens and Shakespeare is the greatest, the only pleasure of my life.'"

. . . and as far as doing a casual stroll, several backflips, and a couple of cartwheels through the English language, there is definitely also the diaries of James Hacker from when he was an MP and then Prime Minister, volumes One and Two . . . And I'd say also a bit of Clive James . . .

David

Re the Yalies hyperventilating about English lit, I provide this from Theodore Dalrymple. Someone spoke to him surreptitiously in Pyongyang, N. Korea.

From the Dalrymple piece:

The kind of historiography expressed in this satirical passage has become virtually standard in the various branches (feminist, black, gay, and so on) of academic resentment studies, in which history is nothing but the backward projection of current grievances, real or imagined, used to justify and inflame resentment… The object of such historiography is to disconnect everyone from a real sense of a living past and a living culture. Indeed, the underlying theme uniting the two great dystopias of the twentieth century [Huxley’s and Orwell’s] is the need to preserve a sense of history and cultural tradition if life is to be bearable.

Sounds about right. As Heather Mac Donald and others have noted, those wishing to “decolonise” English literature (and many other subjects) seem unable to comprehend the purpose of the education they’ve chosen, its aspiration to universality beyond contrived identity groups, and often regard history as something to tut about and denounce as insufficiently in keeping with their own narrow, modish conceits. As exemplified by the Columbia undergraduate, a young black woman, who complained, rather indignantly, “Why did I have to listen in music humanities to this Mozart?” Apparently, listening to the music of this Mozart “upholds the premises of white supremacy and racism.” “Who is this Mozart,” she asked, “this Haydn, these superior white men?”

All while evidently determined not to find out.

And as noted here, despite the students’ bluster and delusions of heroism, the self-imagined radicals are pushing at an open door, and are merely the credulous foot soldiers, the dupes, of their own lecturers, whose arrogant mediocrity they ‘radically’ regurgitate, and whose fiefdom they reinforce.

Lancastrian Oik

I'm pretty much convinced that the posts of "telemachus" are meant to be read ironically. That username is just slightly too clever for his apparently doltish outpourings to be taken seriously. It took quite a while for the penny to drop, however.

"Fabian Solutions" (now believed to be operating under the workname "Girl Power" over at Guido Fawkes' gaff) is, on the other hand, deadly serious and scarily reminiscent of the slippery little fish who once splashed about in these otherwise invigorating waters (I always thought the free towels were a nice touch, by the way).

David

I always thought the free towels were a nice touch, by the way

You thought they were free?

Oh dear.

Fred the Fourth

Mr. Thompson:
It has come to the attention of this office that the DavidThompson Corporation, of which you are majority stockholder, may have one or more sources of income not previously reported to this office.
To avoid enforcement action by this office, you must provide, no later than 6/15/2116, the following accounting items:
1) Exact terms of the so-called "credit notes" referred to supra.
2) Number of the above issued, and details of recipients, including an essay on each of their causes of dissatisfaction with the producs of DavidThompson Corporation.
3) Cash flow analysis of the so-called "towels" business segment
3.1) Justification for referring to the "towels" business as "Totally Legitimate Businessmen's Club and Spa"
4) Current balance sheet
5) Two (2) shrubberies
Your cooperation is anticipated in this matter.
(s) F Drinkwater, Snr. Audtr. Emrts., O.Stick, PhD., USMC (Ret.)

PiperPaul

Don't tell Fred about the Guild of Evil. Or the cake.

Hedgehog

Or the henchlesbians.

Fred the Fourth

(sound of impatient toe-tapping.)
(Thinking: Oh, c'mon, these guys can hint at better bribes that THOSE, surely.)
(Glances at watch...)
(and I don't even want to think about what I'm gonna have to do if one of them says "And don't call me Shirley!")

Fred the Fourth

(Though I DO have a bit of a thing for lesbians bringing cake...)

David

I was really nervous to get up here because there’s a lot of white people in the crowd… I thought I’d take a moment to list out some facts that many of you probably don’t know because you’re white.

When an identitarian narcissist fails to read the crowd.

John D

I thought I’d take a moment to list out some facts that many of you probably don’t know because you’re white.

"Melecio was flanked by two other activists — one of whom is a Mizzou administrator and coordinator of the campus's multicultural center."

The racist lefties at Mizzou double down on stupid.

David

The racist lefties at Mizzou double down on stupid.

Yes, the total failure of self-awareness is quite stunning. Our Black Lives Matter activist, Ms Tiffany Melecio, bemoans how discussions about race are often unproductive – she’s “tired of the black and white dichotomy that happens every time we talk about race.” And she says this mere seconds – seconds - after making the gathering all about her and her magical brownness, and after repeatedly insulting every white person in the audience. Because apparently all white people are dangerous and scary, and of course ignorant. Unlike her.

Jonathan

When an identitarian narcissist fails to read the crowd.

To paraphrase: " Screw those dead men in Orlando, this is all about ME!"

Rob

“Who is this Mozart,” she asked, “this Haydn, these superior white men?”

They are superior white men, dear. Now shut up and listen for the first time in your life.

jones

“Who is this Mozart,” she asked, “this Haydn, these superior white men?”

They are superior white men, dear. Now shut up and listen for the first time in your life."

http://fredoneverything.org/are-white-men-gods-ii-getting-the-facts-straight/

Captain Nemo

“Who is this Mozart,” she asked, “this Haydn, these superior white men?”

Oh, they're no one of importance, dear. Not compared to yourself, anyway. Just dead white men who made the sublime Jessye Norman and Wynton Marsalis, two African-Americans, household names around the world.

Hal

Accuracy in labeling . . . .

David

Fixed.

dicentra

Is that a REAL Dilbert or a fake?

Last I read Adams's blog (and it was YEARS ago) he was an obnoxious lefty.

dicentra

Low academic standards seemed to be especially accepted in the fields of “critical race theory” and feminism,

I dispute the use of "standards" and "academic" in the same sentence as "critical race theory" and "feminism."

Standard category error, is what.

SumDumGuy

To avoid enforcement action by this office, you must provide, no later than 6/15/2116, the following accounting items:

Well at least you have plenty of time to gather the required documents.

Jonathan

Re: This story

LoL'd at this Graphic:

Tim Newman

Slightly O/T, but came across this on FB this morning, posted by a friend of a friend who is a hardcore feminist on the subject of men:

We owe you nothing. Not our bodies, or our time, or looking a certain way, acting a certain way, or even an explanation or response. All anybody owes any other person is basic respect and kindness. And when one side oversteps those boundaries, you don't even deserve that, though you will probably get it, because we live in a world where anybody who doesn't have the upper hand is forced to de-escalate every situation for their own safety.

I am really thankful that I have surrounded myself with men that are not like that. And I'm fucking furious that I even feel the need to type that sentence.

If you've ever insulted a woman for not being who you want them to be, instead of taking the time to wrap your brain around who they actually are, and that that person does not exist to validate you, please just unfriend me. I'm so done with this shit.

What's the betting that her idea of "basic respect and kindness" is somewhat different to that of normal people, and this is the root cause of half her troubles? Plus, supposing somebody actually did "take the time to wrap their brain around who they actually are" and found an obnoxious, ill-mannered, self-obsessed harridan?

David

What’s the betting that her idea of “basic respect and kindness” is somewhat different to that of normal people, and this is the root cause of half her troubles?

I can’t speak to the particulars above, and of course some men are indeed bastards. But on the other hand, feminism does attract a very high concentration of narcissists, termagants and women with generally obnoxious personalities. There’s also the not uncommon trait of being needlessly obnoxious in order to signal radicalism, and thereby in-group status.

I’ve noticed quite a few feminists whose captious, chippy attitude and hair-trigger indignation aggravated otherwise genial people, thus leading to payment in kind and more low-level hostility than might otherwise be expected. This disaffection is then very often seized upon as proof of misogyny or some patriarchal conspiracy, when in fact it may just be a reaction to one individual being a complete and utter bitch.

Tim Newman

There’s also the not uncommon trait of being needlessly obnoxious in order to signal radicalism, and thereby in-group status.

That, and I think that so many of them live in a bubble that they don't realize quite how obnoxious they're being in the company of ordinary people.

dicentra

What's the betting that her idea of "basic respect and kindness" is somewhat different to that of normal people… ?

This Instapundit meme might provide a clue: "Why are [left-wing enclaves] such cesspits of [things they routinely decry]?"

Fred the Fourth

dicentra: Adams was an obnoxious leftie...

Amusingly, I was just talking to a Cambridge, MA resident (female, MIT grad in engineering) who described Adams as a "terrible sexist" (from reading his blog, I assume).

I've met him a few times on business, and politics mostly didn't come up. The only thing I heard him remark was something to the effect that he was unhappy with both the Dem and GOP (likely) nominees - hardly an objectionable sentiment, to me. In our actual business, he seems a pretty normal guy.

Tim Newman

Well, I did wonder if "basic respect" would be afforded to anyone who, for example, said they vote Republican. But I suspect this "basic respect and kindness" is only granted to those who agree with them on their pet topics.

Fred the Fourth

"I was really nervous to get up here because there’s a lot of white people in the crowd… I thought I’d take a moment to list out some facts that many of you probably don’t know because you’re white."

I think it's perfectly reasonable to be nervous about getting up uninvited in front of a crowd when planning to immediately insult the majority of them. But stupid to do it.

She accuses the whites in the crowd of ignorance. Ignorance, my dear, can be cured, but Stupid Is Forever.

David

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be nervous about getting up uninvited in front of a crowd when planning to immediately insult the majority of them.

Heh. I fear you’re crediting Ms Melecio with a self-awareness she doesn’t seem to possess. The dynamic is interesting, though, and not at all uncommon among such people. It’s a mix of staggering vanity – the grieving of other people is somehow all about her and therefore an opportunity to scold those who displease her, say, for being too white – and it’s a chance to classify and balkanise the audience, and thereby fragment it, pitting one group against another in some eternal crab bucket nightmare.

It’s the logic of cultural Marxism, and little good can come of it.

jones

"What's the betting that her idea of "basic respect and kindness" is somewhat different to that of normal people"

"Respect me" ...."or else".....

Interesting though how whichever permutation of "respect" one uses always seems to be wrong.

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