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January 2019

Some Assembly Required

Yes, you’re getting an open thread, in which to share links and then bicker about them. Our first of the year. It’s very exciting. I’ll set the ball rolling with a history of early surgery; a “social justice” educator who seems somewhat unhinged; and via Things, what to do with that 50 square metres of cardboard you have lying around.

Oh, and via Dicentra, a would-be robber has a bad day.

Those hankering for more can avail themselves of the reheated series and greatest hits.

Mama, Just Killed A Man

With expectations of competent spelling:

[Professor Inoue] will lecture about “language standards that just kill our students” by subjecting them to “single standards,” which perpetuate “White language supremacy.”

You see, those composition classes you’re paying for, or that some poor sap is paying for, shouldn’t teach students how to write clearly. Instead, “compassionate” classrooms should be grounded in “dimension-based rubrics” and “labour-based contracts,” which presumably reward the length of time a student spends getting something wrong, repeatedly, irrespective of whether they actually, eventually, get it right; thereby avoiding “white racial habits of language.” It’s the path to “a socially just future,” apparently. And not, as one might suppose, somewhat narrowed hopes of employment. Because an “anti-racist” education, at a university, should ideally leave its beneficiaries sounding uneducated. With mangled conjugation, missing verbs, and saying axe instead of ask.

Professor Inoue has, of course, been mentioned here before.

Very much related, this. In which, fellow “social justice” enthusiast Dr A W Strouse informs us that correcting errors of spelling and basic grammar can “make students feel bewildered, hurt, or angry,” and should therefore be avoided. We’re also told that job applicants who, as graduates, struggle with even elementary spelling, should bristle at any acknowledgement of this shortcoming, telling potential employers - and I quote - “Fuck you.”  

Update, via the comments: 

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Friday Ephemeraren’t

As I’m still finding my feet after the holidays, you’re getting a chance to assemble your own pile of links and oddities in the comments. I’ll set the ball rolling with how to forge your own lock box, because you need to know these things; a brief history of tea; a transplanted peanut allergy; some notable positioning; and the wiring you’ve always wanted

Oh, and today’s words are tuition fees

Elsewhere (286)

Christopher Rufo on excusing habitual crime, in the name of “intersectionality”: 

The latest fad in criminal-justice activism is the concept of “survival crime.” The theory holds that the homeless, the poor, and people of colour commit property crimes and low-level infractions in order to secure their basic survival. Any enforcement of these laws is thus a violation of their basic human rights… Survival-crime theory argues that local governments should decriminalise [property crime, drug possession, and public nuisance] offences because vulnerable individuals have been compelled by social conditions to commit them… Over the past five years, the classification of survival crime has expanded well beyond stealing the proverbial loaf of bread. In California, for instance, Proposition 47 downgraded theft of property valued at less than $950 to a misdemeanour, meaning that the police are unlikely to pursue even habitual shoplifters and thieves. The predictable result: a state-wide rise in petty theft. 

Exempting favoured identity groups from the normal consequences of predatory and antisocial behaviour is the Hot New Fairness, apparently, at least among the enlightened. And if someone steals your phone or laptop, it would be wrong of you to protest, especially if the thief happens to be “of colour” and therefore, obviously, entitled to your stuff. Mugging, it turns out, is a form of “social justice.” We’ve been here before, of course. As when the Harvard-educated sociology professor Crystal Fleming championed the recreational looting of trainers, in bulk, and other fashion items, on grounds that the law-abiding are “hoarding resources.” 

Somewhat related, Heather Mac Donald on school indiscipline and so-called “disparate impact” policies:

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