David Thompson
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December 12, 2017

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David

skittle shitting unicorns

Band name.

One day we’re going to have to actually start rehearsing.

Spiny Norman

Dammit, champ! How about a warning first!

postimg.org

(Yeah, it was pretty funny, though.)

False Profiteer

Thanks, Tim. Though I may have to rescind that after listening...

Mags

"educator"

https://twitter.com/edwest/status/940883973462548480

Richard

I used to drive to Wellesley about once a week to eat in a Thai restaurant. Pretty good food half a flight down from the sidewalk. There are not many tables and the place was rarely full but a majority of the guests were groups of women, 30s to 50s, talking in low voices. I commonly received haughty and/or disapproving looks as I entered and as I sat and ate and read my book. Maybe they thought that I shouldn't order beer in Wellesley.

I was wondering what New York City would look like if built by people who un-rigorously designed buildings, tunnels, and bridges. Sounds like utopia. In the literal sense.

Watcher

I think the best band name for one that played in pubs and clubs was:
"Free Beer"

WKrebs

@R. Sherman

Competence will always rise to the top. Bridges, roads, sewer treatment plants, aircraft still need to be built and built well.

The career of Trofim Lysenko would be a counter-example to your assertion.

Computers must be programmed and algorithms don't give a damn about the racial make-up or sexual proclivities of those writing them.

IIRC, in the 1950s the Soviet's were also strongly opposed to cybenetics, based on similar considerations.

Watcher

I worked in an Arts College that decided that STEM was wholly inadequate without its contribution of 'Art'. Thus they were pushing a new acronym: STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. They truly believed that they were the only ones that could make the boring old STEM stuff presentable and meaningful to the public, a bit like planning to put their Steve Jobs to teaming up with the Steve Wozniaks of the science-based world to make wonderful products that could not be done without them. Having been awarded a STEM degree myself, it was ludicrous how much they overestimated their contribution, especially when STEM undergraduates are actually not chosen on their lack of artistic ability, they just have more interest in science. Admittedly they are generally not as artistic as a devoted Arts student, but great engineers and technologists also believe in beauty and functionality combined. I guess it would be not a complete surprise that I was made redundant within a year of their decision.

I think this push of liberal arts into STEM fields is to try to cash in the reputation of STEM and obtain greater employment after graduation in a sea of useless liberal arts graduates, in addition to attempting to bring down the mostly conservative STEM faculties and turn them into bastions of Marxist revolutionaries.

WKrebs

@WTP

Hence the problem is with the administrators who do not tell the clowns to return to their circuses. They are the ones that need to be hounded out of office.

Heather Heyring and Bret Weinstein, late of Evergreen State College, also make this point in their detailed account of the eruptions at Evergreen this Spring.
See http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/bonfire-of-the-academies-two-professors-on-how-leftist-intolerance-is-killing-higher-education/article/2642973.

PiperPaul

"I think this push of liberal arts into STEM fields is to try to cash in the reputation of STEM"

This gets posted here fairly often:

.

fnord

I wonder whether Dr. Riley has thought this through. Does she really thank that her students' potential employers are going to jump on board with eliminating rigour in Purdue's programs and competence among its graduates?

========
Pray tell, what leads you to assume she gives a rat's behind for the future of her students? Or at least that proportion of students that posess personal plumbing or a skin tint that she would consider problematical.

bgates

I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

Ooh, it looks like you've found the rare and valuable White Privilege Checklist, 1987 Edition.

f I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege

It must be heartbreaking for all those black authors who submit pieces on white privilege to New Statesman or Mother Jones, only to get the two word rejection letter, No n*ggers.

I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen

I wonder if she's taken advantage of that fearlessness to spend lots of time in Mattapan or Roxbury.

Tim Newman

I submit exhibits A thru ZZZZZZZZ the bridges, sewer treatment plants, and aircraft of not just the USSR/Russia

I've worked with a lot of Russian engineers, Kazakhs too. They're not exactly up to speed on social justice as a modern lefty would understand it.

David

“educator”

I do sometimes wonder what it must be like to be trapped in a head like that. To either mouth these things sincerely, in a kind of vain and malevolent paranoia, or to feel obliged to pretend to believe them, and then signal them desperately, in public, in order to conform. Because you’re that kind of person. Either way, it’s a form of madness.

Nikw211

I do sometimes wonder what it must be like to be trapped in a head like that

Based on his 'Meet Kevin Allred' page, I cannot decide whether Allred is a fraud, a hypocrite or merely a common-or-garden buffoon.

For instance, talking about himself in the third person, here Allred says:

    He believes knowledge should be accessible to everyone--not just gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower--and that education should always also be fun.

It is quite apparent from this statement that he therefore believes most people - the mainstream of society if you will - do not already have access to knowledge; I assume this is only possible on the grounds that by 'knowledge' he means the very specialised kind of 'knowledge' of which he is in possession, one that - quite perversely - is a type of knowledge that can only be validated by precisely the prestige status of the 'ivory tower' he presents himself as being in opposition to. The only possible way in which he could make 'knowledge ... accessible to everyone', therefore, is through his becoming one of the 'gatekeepers' he is supposedly disparaging. And so like many others who share his political views his issue is not so much with the system itself but with the apparent injustice that does not see total control of that system placed in his hands.

In the very next paragraph, he then states that:

    Kevin's mission is to ... confront, question, and attempt to undo mainstream Amerika's racist and heterosexist status quo

So let me get this straight - he is somehow claiming that 'knowledge should be accessible to everyone' and that 'education should always also be fun' while at the same time pledging himself to the dismantling of 'mainstream Amerika's racist and heterosexist status quo'?

Assuming that the 'mainstream' of US society includes many (or even the majority) of those who do not currently have access to 'knowledge', and who he has therefore made it his mission to enlighten, in what sense (and for whom) could this project of his possibly be 'fun'? When has being harangued by a zealout to confess your allegedly 'racist and heterosexist' sins ever been fun for anyone?

Perhaps Allred is a fraud and a hypocrite and a common-or-garden buffoon rolled into one?

Because, for sure, if that rattlebag of contradictions is an attempt to deceive his readers, then he is clearly a fraud; if it is there to deceive himself, then he is obviously a hypocrite; and if he has no idea as to what he is actually saying then he is no better than a village idiot.

David

I cannot decide whether Allred is a fraud, a hypocrite or merely a common-or-garden buffoon.

Whichever it may be, it’s hard to miss the adolescent tone of the thing. The air of posturing, and of possibly trying to convince himself that his chosen path was the right one, befitting his destiny as a bringer of light, and not a series of terrible mistakes. And looking at the publicity photo, I wonder exactly how long Mr Allred plans to be a teenager. And this made me laugh:

Kevin holds a B.S and M.A. in American Studies and M.Phil in Women’s and Gender Studies. He has worked as a call-centre operator,

Oh, come on. I’m only human.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

When has being harangued by a zealout to confess your allegedly 'racist and heterosexist' sins ever been fun for anyone?

Oh come on now, I am sure his appearance at the U.S. Consulate in Cape Town, South Africa, was not only fun, but his facilitation of, "...conversations around the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class through pop culture analysis and storytelling...", about Beyonce have done wonders for solving the problems of KwaZulu-Natal and of the white farmers in the Free State.

He has worked as a call-centre operator...

The question is whether his pathology qualified him for the job, or the job reinforced his pathology.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Meanwhile, while Allred was "teaching" his drivel about Miss Autotune, in The Great White North this is what is in the textbook of the for which class Lindsay Shepherd was a TA.

Yes, college kids being taught second grade stuff.

David

Yes, college kids being taught second grade stuff.

During my lifetime, the average IQ of university students, and lecturers, seems to have dropped quite significantly.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

During my lifetime, the average IQ of university students, and lecturers, seems to have dropped quite significantly.

Yes, but the therapy llamas make up for it.

R. Sherman

@WKrebs

Again, my point is that within a large enough system, competence will ultimately win. Sure Lysenko was a bigwig in the 1930s but the reason for that was political. When enough harvests turned to crap, his methods were tossed aside in favor of what worked. It just took longer than otherwise, because he had the NKVD backing him up and counter researchers sent to Siberia.

Which brings us to the real issue: where there is freedom to choose, people always choose competence.

WTP

Just more of the “setting themselves up to be victims” process that i spoke of earlier, I’m sure...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserk_llama_syndrome

David

Berserk llama syndrome

If that’s not a band name, I don’t know what is.

Governor Squid

Having been awarded a STEM degree myself, it was ludicrous how much they overestimated their contribution.... I guess it would be not a complete surprise that I was made redundant within a year of their decision.

I had a similar experience earlier this year, with a School Board and a Superintendent who were very gung-ho on their district's new STEAM initiative. They made the mistake of hosting an open house for the community to come and celebrate this Brave New Paradigm, and the worse mistake of holding it during an evening when I was not otherwise engaged. A few of the innocent queries I directed their way included:
-- "So you're saying you believe that the scientists and engineers who develop novel devices and new ways of seeing the universe lack creativity?"
-- "In your experience, which is more common: scientists who paint and play music, or graphic designers who do differential equations?"
-- "So you honestly believe that the person who designs the new widget inside the box and the person who designs the label on the box deserve equal credit for their achievements?"

As in Watcher's case, I was quickly informed that my contributions were no longer needed. Thank Dog I don't have kids in the district any more.

WTP

where there is freedom to choose, people always choose competence.

Not to beat a dead horse on this, especially since we mostly agree, in such extreme conditions, it's not the people who are doing the ultimate choosing. Unless you are counting Darwin. Lots of people gotta die first and they're not always the ones who deserve the early exit. Like me on one of their bridges or airplanes or whatevs. See Vajont Dam.

Fred the Fourth

He believes knowledge should be accessible to everyone--not just gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower

"If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library." - Frank Zappa

(to which one lady wag responded "Where's the college library?")

Fred the Fourth

As it happens, I spend a fair bit of time on campus at UC Berkeley. I am happy to report that, despite the ever-present banners, posters, and Sproul Plaza political hectorers, that the student I work with are uniformly talented, curious, diligent, serious people.
Also, of course, I'm impressed by them because they appear to listen to my sage advice (Free! and worth every penny!).
They are also mostly Engineering, Science, or B-School types, so it's just possible that there's some problematic fringe elements I don't interact with.

WTP

They are also mostly Engineering, Science, or B-School types

Here's a test. Leave a MAGA hat laying in some not quite obscure corner of your office. Let us know what happens.

WTP

-- "So you're saying you believe that the scientists and engineers who develop novel devices and new ways of seeing the universe lack creativity?"
-- "In your experience, which is more common: scientists who paint and play music, or graphic designers who do differential equations?"
-- "So you honestly believe that the person who designs the new widget inside the box and the person who designs the label on the box deserve equal credit for their achievements?"

Bingo. This idea that technical people are ignorant and incapable of appreciating beauty and the arts and thus are lacking in creativity really starches my shorts. Meanwhile so many artsy types can't change a damn tire.

David

Speaking of lecturers’ IQs, I’m sure you all remember this mistress of nuance.

Governor Squid

She will receive $240,000, which includes payment for her final wages and attorney fees, as part of a settlement for a tort claim she filed against the school for discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Hostile work environment? I'm finding it hard to picture how this lovely creature who spends her days screaming "all you white mothafuckas will never assimilate my black queer artist ass!" could ever find herself in a hostile work environment. Yea verily, my gob, it is smacked.

Chester Draws

She will receive $240,000, which includes payment for her final wages and attorney fees

I suspect the College will think this cheap.

She was likely already likely costing more than that, between her wages (she was paid a wage, not a salary?) and the potential reduced income as people avoid the college.

The interesting thing to watch will be if she can ever get a decent job again. It's not a CV I would want to be hawking around.

Spiny Norman

part of a settlement for a tort claim she filed against the school for discrimination and a hostile work environment.

A hostile work environment she created... and it was hard work, too! She poured all her (cold) heart and (shriveled) soul into it. How dare they take that away from her!

Fred the Fourth

WTP: Leave a MAGA hat laying in some not quite obscure corner of your office. Let us know what happens.
I never ever talk politics.
I also am in the extremely strong position of not having an office and not getting paid so I have pretty much sweet f*** all to lose if someone gets a burr in their knickers.

bgates

I also am in the extremely strong position of not having an office and not getting paid

If I could not be Alexander, I would be Fred the Fourth.

Hal

Dr Riley is the author of the little-read tome Engineering and Social Justice, which she describes as “an attempt to explain the lack of emphasis on social justice in engineering.”

“Exactly!” said the Chair of Indefinite Studies. “I myself have been working on my Theory of Anything for 15 years! The amount of thought that has gone into it is astonishing! Those 67 pages have been hard won, I can tell you!”

“And I’ve seen some of those Braseneck papers,” said Ridcully. “They’ve got titles like ‘Diothumatic Aspects of Cheese in Mice’, or possibly it was mice in cheese. Or maybe chess.”

“And what was it about?” said the Dean.

“Oh, I don’t think it was for reading. It was for having written,” said the Archchancellor.

---Terry Pratchett, A collegiate casting-out of devilish devices

Fred the Fourth

bgates: Perhaps not. I think my tastes for single malts (sadly I had to give up that vice) and skiing don't fit well with that quote. Also, I never got exiled for coin-clipping.

David

I cannot decide whether Allred is a fraud, a hypocrite or merely a common-or-garden buffoon.

According to Mr Allred, he’s one of the countless people “fighting for our lives under Trump.”

PiperPaul

Wait - Allred, like Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Blum?

And like all red?

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