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October 2017

Elsewhere (252)

For Hallowe’en, three strange tales from academia. 

Further to recent comments, Toni Airaksinen marvels at a bedlamite educator

A sociology professor at the City University of New York recently argued in an extensive series of tweets that “the white-nuclear family” perpetuates racism. Jessie Daniels, a self-described “expert on race,” began by declaring that, “What I’ve learned is that the white-nuclear family is one of the most powerful forces supporting white supremacy. I mean, if you’re a white person who says they’re engaged in dismantling white supremacy but… you’re forming a white family [and] reproducing white children that ‘you want the best for’ - how is that helping [and] not part of the problem?”

Apparently, the stable family structure is a “fact to be lamented,” and stable white families should be discouraged from existing.  

And again, on associate professor of sociology, and fellow bedlamite, Lisa Wade

A feminist professor at Occidental College recently argued that men must renounce their masculinity and “denounce anyone who chooses to identify with it.” Calling masculinity a “dangerous idea,” Wade argues that, “The problem is not toxic masculinity; it’s that masculinity is toxic,” adding that masculinity is “simply not compatible with liberty and justice for all.” Wade concludes her essay by urging people to “call masculinity out as a hazardous ideology and denounce anyone who chooses to identify with it,” saying that doing so is crucial for “gender revolution.”

We must “attack masculinity directly,” says this educator of the young.

And further to this item here, via dicentra, J Oliver Conroy on the new intersectional morony

When [panellist and author, Kmele Foster] started explaining the methodological research behind his claim, the audience [of students] exploded. “Facts?! Facts?! Don’t tell me about facts!” one person screamed. Foster tried to finish as five or six people shouted at him. “Do facts matter?” Foster asked, and repeated it several times in mounting frustration. The resounding, devastating answer was no, facts do not matter

As usual, feel free to add your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments. Oh, and sleep well

Elsewhere (251)

Myron Magnet on ‘progressive’ policy versus the skills of city living: 

Civility — the art of living in a city — is not innate. We have to learn to stand in line and take our turn, not to blast music from our apartment or car, not to block the sidewalk or market aisle, not to yell on our cell phones, not to litter, not to monopolise public spaces with our “expressive” behaviour, not to bother or offend others unnecessarily. We no longer teach civility in schools: instead of the “citizenship” that my generation learned, we impart “social justice,” which teaches grievance and resentment of others; and city officials, with an Obama edict’s backing, have hamstrung school discipline, fostering misbehaviour. In college, we don’t teach free and civil discussion, tolerance of intellectual differences, or respect for learning, but only a kid’s right to resent microaggressions and silence politically incorrect speech as “violence.” The result will not be urbanity.

And further to this item here, Professor Charles H F Davis returns to the public eye

A University of Southern California professor says he stands behind his tweets that… call for whiteness to be “destroyed,” and the promotion of violence against the “white supremacist heterosexist patriarchy.”

“White supremacist heterosexist patriarchy needs to get the violence it imparts,” says the professor, who invokes “black rage” as a self-validating phenomenon, a kind of moral mic-drop, as if anger were synonymous with righteousness. “Whiteness and white supremacy,” he adds, “must be, by any and all means, destroyed.” This bold, if adolescent, proclamation is followed, belatedly, by a denial of cultivating racial acrimony, and an assurance that “whiteness,” which the professor despises and wishes to see “eradicated,” is “neither synonymous with nor exclusive to white people.” Which I’m sure is a great comfort to any melanin-deficient students in the professor’s proximity, and whose concerns regarding such language are dismissed as “white fragility.” Readers may wish to ponder how such assurances can be squared with the professor’s chosen Twitter banner, or his endorsement via Twitter of sentiments such as these.

Added: Somewhat relevant.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Friday Ephemera

Man plays saxophone without a saxophone. || The eternal battle of wits. || Boo. || I bring you art. || Birmingham. || GIF juxtapositions. || Designer cat furniture by Okawa Kagu. || Where priests get their clothes. || I question the practicality. || Invaders from the future. || Indelicate phrasing. (h/t, Julia) || Also somewhat unfortunate. || An Islamic scholar speaks: “The Earth is fixed and does not move. This is in keeping with the Quranic text, and it makes sense as well.” || Trees that wouldn’t die. || Atlas of the underworld. || Things to come. || Organ pipes. || Assorted paper wigs. A tad ostentatious. || Vanity. || Varieties of sushi. And yes, since you ask, there will be a test. || Hubris and nemesis. || A sense of proportion. || And finally, children can be surprising, and in all sorts of ways.

Remember The Good Times

Via sH2 and lifted from the comments, Debra Heine has news of a fearless and sure-fire political strategy

Over 4,000 Facebook users in the Boston area have RSVP’d to attend the event they’re calling “Scream helplessly at the sky on the anniversary of the election.” Another 33,000 have expressed interest in attending the event… The organisers say in a Facebook post: “Come express your anger at the current state of democracy, and scream helplessly at the sky!”

“This administration has attacked everything about what it means to be American,” Johanna Schulman, an activist and one of the organisers of the event, told Newsweek. “Who wouldn’t feel helpless every day? Coming together reminds us that we are not alone, that we are part of an enormous community of activists who are motivated and angry, whose actions can make a difference.” […]

In Philadelphia, 538 people also plan to “scream helplessly at the sky” to mark Trump’s one-year anniversary as seen in a similar Facebook post. More than 3,000 people are “interested” in attending the event… The event is hosted by Philadelphia United for Progress, which describes itself as a “grassroots, feminist, intersectional group of passionate Philadelphia progressives.” People who are unable to attend are encouraged to “scream in solidarity” in their own backyards.

Presumably, this is the latest and most deadly phase of the “true insurgence” we were previously warned about. Admittedly, that curling-into-a-ball-and-weeping business didn’t alter the course of history, and the whole get-a-really-bad-tattoo-that-you’re-going-to-regret-two-weeks-later thing didn’t pan out either; but this time, this time, the very heavens will tremble.

You Mustn’t Stop The Hysteria

In other academic news, it turns out that if you dare to punish students who use coercive mob tactics to threaten and intimidate non-leftist speakers and those who wish to hear them, then you are creating “an unsafe and threatening environment” for students who want to use threatening and coercive physical tactics. And also you’re racist, which rather goes without saying. Apparently, any hint of consequences for thuggish and censorious behaviour merely affirms “white supremacy” and will “suppress and criminalise” students whose own attempts to suppress veer towards the criminal. 

This, we’re told, is “unfair.”

The thinker of these deep thoughts, Charles H F Davis, a professor of education at the University of Southern California and the director of USC’s Race and Equity Centre, is aghast at the prospect of students being suspended if found to have repeatedly engaged in violence or disorderly conduct with the intention of suppressing debate. The professor also accuses Ben Shapiro, a speaker who’s been on the receiving end of student thuggery, of advancing “racist rhetoric,” while omitting any evidence to support this claim. We are, however, informed that this unspecified “hate speech” is “a form of violence itself.” To which, presumably, any actual violence – say, by leftist students exulting in mob force – is merely a form of payback. Physically coercive tactics are, says Professor Davis, employed only in desperation by “those… willing to labour in the name of justice” and whose “very minds, bodies and spirits” depend on these lively and vigorous forms of expression, which are “clearly a demand for greater racial equity and inclusion.”

Readers are invited to find justice in this short but somewhat instructive video here, filmed during Mr Shapiro’s visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in November last year, and in which a lone female journalist experiences first-hand the bottomless compassion of these brave student labourers.

Such is academia’s Clown Quarter, where the best and the brightest are nowhere to be seen.

Continue reading "You Mustn’t Stop The Hysteria" »

The Educators of Tomorrow

Lifted from the comments, University of Pennsylvania teaching assistant Stephanie McKellop signals her wokeness to lesser beings

But only if she has to.

That’s this lady here. The one whose areas of expertise include “race, gender and the body,” “self-marriage” and, wait for it, “racial blame.” And who announces, rather proudly, “The classroom is the place YOU get to control the social setting.” A mixed blessing, I suspect. 


From the pages of Inside Higher Ed

Stephanie McKellop, a graduate teaching assistant in history, says she is under attack by fringe-right groups for using progressive stacking in her classes and then tweeting about it. Worse, she says, the university is cowing to such groups instead of supporting her. She’s claimed on social media that her classes were cancelled this week and she may be asked to leave her programme.

According to sociology professor Jesse Daniels, a supporter of Ms McKellop, the negative public response – which included a spectrum of students, educators and parents, of various hues and orientations - is “ripped from the playbook of the far right.” So if you object to overt racism in the classroom, racism framed as piety, then there’s something suspect about you, something marginal. Ms McKellop prefers to dismiss her critics as “white nationalists” and, inevitably, “Nazis.” Readers may wish to ponder how any students who object to this “progressive stacking” policy – i.e., blatant, self-satisfied racial discrimination – will also be designated, and subsequently treated.

Friday Ephemera

Be prepared. (h/t, Damian) || Electrodeposition and other chemical reactions. || That time in 1972 when a quarter of a million hippies attended a festival sited on swamp land, with lots of bad acid, and only six toilets. || Marie Curie and her x-ray vehicles. || Marvel goes Afro-futurist. || Impress your houseguests with a towel elephant. || Why penguins’ feet don’t freeze. || Jordan Peterson on the temptations of activism. || Short trip. || This is one of these. || Drawing logos from memory is harder than you might think. (h/t, Coudal) || Giant robot duel. || This. || Today’s word is socialist. || Today’s other word is woke. || The punchline cometh. || It came out of their toilet. || And finally, via Obnoxio, let’s play a guessing game: Is this the work of toddlers, or college students racking up debt?

There Are Witches In The Library

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a conservative student at a small, low-key meeting of College Republicans in a space you’ve booked in advance, in the campus library, when suddenly a crowd of indignant leftists force their way in and start shouting and behaving hysterically, and randomly calling you names, and who then blame you for the disruption that they themselves are causing.

Because, and I quote, “Your existence is a disturbance.”  

Elsewhere (250)

Heather Mac Donald on “diversity” voodoo’s encroachment on science and technology: 

Columbia’s vice provost for faculty diversity and inclusion regurgitates another classic of diversity boilerplate to justify this enormous waste of funds. “The reality is that you can’t really achieve excellence without diversity. It requires diverse thought to solve complex problems,” says vice provost Dennis Mitchell. Mitchell’s statement is ludicrous on multiple fronts. Aside from the fact that the one thing never sought in the academic diversity hustle is “diverse thought,” do Mitchell and his compatriots in the diversity industry believe that females and underrepresented minorities solve analytical problems differently from males, whites, and Asians? 

Somewhat related, this. It’s remarkable just how readily all of this “diversity” and wokeness boils down to a mental image of a teacher turning to one of his students and saying, “You, the brown boy. What’s the negro perspective on this engineering problem?”

See also this, added via the comments. 

Arthur Sakamoto on what happens when you challenge the racial assumptions entrenched in sociology departments: 

People are afraid to critique this paradigm [of “white privilege” and systemic racism] because it’s so ideologically popular. Privately, some people have told me that [by challenging it,] I’m, quote, “suicidal.” […] I’ll be frank with you — I’ve been submitting to the American Sociological Review on Asian Americans for the past 25 years and apparently there’s no data good enough to convince the reviewers that Asian Americans have reached parity with respect to white people. Every single one gets rejected. What happens is, when the paper doesn’t conform to the conventional wisdom [of “white privilege”], the methodological standards are raised. But if you argue that there is discrimination, then the methodological standards are relaxed

Continue reading "Elsewhere (250)" »

Friday Ephemera

This is exactly how I do it. (h/t, Holborn) || A problem you’ll want to have: To span or to stack? (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || Universal Paperclips is a game. Think of it as a test of endurance. (Remember this?) || Tiny paper plants. || Peepers. || Plucking. || The baby panda is a creature of great elegance. || Personality test. Use code 92556379. || An interview with Adam Perkins, author of The Welfare Trait. || Camp on water. || Catch. || Abandoned orphanage. || Ambling starfish. (h/t, Matthew) || Fan mail of note. (h/t, Tim) || A little Mercury. || Streets of Amsterdam, circa 1890. || Stampede of tumbleweed. || Danish treetop walk. || Tolstoy’s cooking tips. || He sells Slinkies. || Glass ruler, $30. || The great phone-box graveyard. (h/t, Simen) || And finally, he does this better than you do.

The Doing Of Voodoo

Heather Mac Donald on “diversity” pseudoscience

Few academic ideas have been as eagerly absorbed into public discourse in recent years as “implicit bias.” Embraced by a president, a would-be president, and the nation’s top law-enforcement official, the implicit-bias conceit has launched a movement to remove the concept of individual agency from the law and spawned a multi-million-dollar consulting industry. The statistical basis on which it rests is now crumbling, but don’t expect its influence to wane anytime soon… The need to plumb the unconscious to explain ongoing racial gaps arises for one reason: it is taboo in universities and mainstream society to acknowledge inter-group differences in interests, abilities, cultural values, or family structure that might produce socioeconomic disparities.

Needless to say, the Implicit Association Test, while very much in fashion, is wildly inconsistent in its results and utterly fails to predict actual behaviour, the latter a detail belatedly and reluctantly admitted by the originators of the conceit, whose methodology – one might say cheating – is quite laughable.  

If the IAT were valid, a high implicit-bias score would predict discriminatory behaviour, as [test creators Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji] asserted from the start. It turns out, however, that IAT scores have almost no connection to what ludicrously counts as “discriminatory behaviour” in IAT research — trivial nuances of body language during a mock interview in a college psychology laboratory, say, or a hypothetical choice to donate to children in Colombian, rather than South African, slums.

When the peddlers of a test, an alleged curative for unconscious racism, count practically any kind of behaviour, including the random positioning of a chair, as proof of “discrimination” and unjust inclinations, alarm bells should ring, quite loudly. This is the realm of “diversity” Scientology, and the kinds of leverage in play may well attract people whose own motives are not entirely benign.

And then of course there’s this:

Greenwald and his co-authors had counted opposite behaviours as validating the IAT. If test subjects scored high on implicit bias via the IAT but demonstrated better behaviour toward out-group members (such as blacks) than toward in-group members, that was a validation of the IAT on the theory that the subjects were overcompensating for their implicit bias. But studies that found a correlation between a high implicit-bias score and discriminatory behaviour toward out-group members also validated the IAT. In other words: heads, I win; tails, I win.

Do read the whole thing. It’s quite long, but there’s lots to chew on.

Very much related, Jordan Peterson here. From this longer video

Via Herb Deutsch.