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Monday, March 25, 2013

Education and the pretense of excellence

This is an example of why the much-ballyhooed predominance of women in education is not translating to meaningful real world success and why the disappearance of men from higher education is not tantamount to either their replacement by women or an inevitable decline into technological stagnation:
My best students were guys who weren't really paying attention in class, they were doing the stuff on their own, and called me only for help. They were ahead of the program. I was ok with putting zero grades (F-) to the ones who didn't care about learning the stuff. My take: if you can't do this stuff, you ain't gonna be making money with it on the real world, so why do you want a grade on it? Go do something else.

Nonetheless I got the “best teacher award” from the students four times in a row.

So. A couple of women protested and wanted to pass my course, on the basis that they had been attending to class and had done most of the assignments. Were they able to do the stuff? No. But they wanted recognition for their efforts. I got pushed by the directive board so I gave an A+ to everyone.
That's some quality black-knighting there. It's based on agreeing and amplifying. If pushed to delink genuine achievement and grades, then delink it entirely, don't permit the retention of a convincing appearance of a nonexistent link. Education that recognizes efforts rather than results is not education, it is selling paper.

Remember, fraud is always based on deceit. Exposing the deceit to all and sundry is very nearly as effective as preventing the fraud from taking place.  And it is important to expose it, because allowing false excellence to be substituted for the real thing can have significant consequences, as the UK is discovering to its detriment.
The country’s top woman civil servant is clinging to her £180,000-a-year job after being accused by MPs of a 'catastrophic failure of leadership' on securing Britain's borders. Lin Homer's disastrous tenure in charge of the UK Border Agency lead to a huge backlog of hundreds of thousands of immigration cases. But astonishingly she emerged unscathed and was rewarded with promotion through the civil service and is now in charge of HM Revenue and Customs. The powerful home affairs committee today said they were ‘astounded’ she was considered suitable for the job of collecting the nation’s taxes.
It is hardly astonishing that the UK's top woman civil servant wasn't held accountable for her catastrophic failure, given the Prime Minister's mandate to promote women at all costs.  As was the case in the class that Yohami mentioned, Lin Homer was rewarded with bonuses and promoted for her effort rather than her results... and now she is in charge of the nation's tax revenues.

Labels:

168 Comments:

Blogger El Borak March 25, 2013 9:07 AM  

Well, the good news is that if she's as good as bringing revenue in as she was at keeping illegals out, Britain just might be able to replace Cyprus as Europe's preferred tax haven.

Blogger James Dixon March 25, 2013 9:14 AM  

> ...and now she is in charge of the nation's tax revenues.

What could possibly go wrong? :(

Anonymous VryeDenker March 25, 2013 9:15 AM  

"Well, the good news is that if she's as good as bringing revenue in as she was at keeping illegals out, Britain just might be able to replace Cyprus as Europe's preferred tax haven."

Quite. But alas! there is something about collecting Other People's Money, or OPM (pronounced "Opium"), that brings out the diligence and efficiency in the otherwise most deadbeat of government employees.

Blogger Shimshon March 25, 2013 9:34 AM  

Having the incompetent in charge of taxes is a bad thing?

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 9:35 AM  

Way back in the 90s I ran into this in college... I may know the material upside down and backwards... smoke the tests and the finals... but I didn't come to class... the girls who went to class religiously but never got better than a c or d on everything... somehow showed up with As and Bs figuring into the GPA... and those of us who actually knew the stuff and smoked the tests... were lucking to get Ds.

Some professors went so far as to say... "Come to all my classes... you'll get a good grade. Skip more than two... you fail. Period. I don't care how you do on the tests."

I dropped those courses. Obviously.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein March 25, 2013 9:39 AM  

OT:
http://m.kltv.com/autojuice?targetUrl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.kltv.com%2fstory%2f21779393%2fvirus-vial-missing-from-galveston-lab

Note to the Texas Ilk:
Prolly not a good day to hang out with Stu Redman and the guys at Hap's Texaco....
*coughs*

Anonymous BlackJack March 25, 2013 9:40 AM  

Nate: the girls who went to class religiously but never got better than a c or d on everything... somehow showed up with As and Bs figuring into the GPA

Can't have them dropping out and taking their daddies' money with them.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 9:44 AM  

From TBG's article:

The University of Texas Medical Branch said Saturday that there was no breach in the security its Galveston National Laboratory and no indication of wrongdoing. Officials suspect the missing vial containing the Guanarito virus was destroyed during the lab's cleaning process but the investigation continues.

Move along. Nothing to see here. The train is fine.

Anonymous dh March 25, 2013 9:47 AM  

I dropped those courses. Obviously.

You got it. These professors have a serious ego trip on forcing compliance with errata which do not have any effect on learning.

I had a similar problem; I had one line of classes where I had already had a good deal of commercial and a tiny little bit of academic success (one published article in a scholarly journal). The professor was hell bent on punishing me because my view of the matter was less technically orthodox than he preferred [the field, parallel computing, is widely divergent on theories of how it should/does work in practice, for different sets of problems]. I suspected at the time he designed certain problems intended to force me into an ideological chasm, so he could fail me. I hope he realized that I was not dogmatic about technology.

In the end I was "this close" to being expelled when I organized roughly 75% of the section into writing detailed, length, negative critiques and tanking his rating. Not ironically, the only ones I could not recruit where the ladies who had not yet quite failed out of the program.

Anonymous A March 25, 2013 9:48 AM  

Nate: for the love of all that is holy, limit your use of ellipses to one (1) per post.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 9:52 AM  

Item:

"after being accused by MPs of a 'catastrophic failure of leadership' on securing Britain's borders. Lin Homer's disastrous tenure in charge of the UK Border Agency lead to a huge backlog of hundreds of thousands of immigration cases"

To which VD responds:

"This is an example of why the much-ballyhooed predominance of women in education is not translating to meaningful real world success"

Au contraire, she had spectacular real-world success. She was doing exactly as she was bid. This woman does not report to the people of Britain; she reports, indirectly, to the people charged with destroying Britain from within. From the linked article:

"The pool comprises migrants who arrived legally but cannot now be found after their work or study visas expired. ...Ministers were repeatedly not given accurate data on immigration levels... among a fresh run of scandals was the revelation that nearly 400 of the 1,000 foreign prisoners were told they could stay in Britain and dozens remained untraced. ...At this rate it will take 24 years to clear the backlog which still stands at the size of the population of Iceland.’ Also within the backlog are 3,980 foreign criminals who cannot be deported and have been released on bail by the courts."

Of course, the real purpose of her job was and is, to undermine and subvert white identity and white demographics within a white nation, and she succeeded well beyond expectations. She will receive the J. Julius Jewstein Award for Inducing Goyish Auto-Genocide... posthumously, of course, just as her people will be posthumous. Who knows, she may even get a citation in Tel Aviv as a "Righteous Gentile".

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 9:58 AM  

A... blow me...

Anonymous Daniel March 25, 2013 10:03 AM  

A
Nate: for the love of all that is holy, limit your use of ellipses to one (1) per post.

Careful there, or he'll break up his one ellipsis into three periods, and his stuff will end up reading like a telegram.

"Way back in the 90s I ran into this in college STOP I may know the material upside down and backwards STOP smoke the tests and the finals STOP but I didn't come to class..."

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 10:08 AM  

Daniel STOP That is a brilliant tactic STOP I will consider it STOP in the future STOP

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 10:11 AM  

Hey, guys, what's wrong with doing a visual impression of William Shatner, huh?

Blogger Markku March 25, 2013 10:16 AM  

Over here, at least on university level, lecture attendance is not allowed to factor into the grade, except in language courses. The formula based on which the grade is determined (factor A x test score + factor B x practical work score + factor C x average of weekly exercise score) must be told to the students at the first lecture. After that, you don't need to attend any lectures if you don't feel like it.

De facto standard for the formula is also that you can still get the maximum grade if you don't do any weekly exercises at all but get a perfect score in the test.

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 10:22 AM  

"Hey, guys, what's wrong with doing a visual impression of William Shatner, huh?"

e... xactly.

Anonymous Viking March 25, 2013 10:28 AM  

I worked with a woman much like this in an IT shop several years back. She had a 4 year degree in Computer Information Systems. I have never had to high an expectation for someone fresh out of college with a degree much less a computer degree from a business school rather than an actual computer science degree from a tech/engi/sci school. But she took it to a whole new level. She couldn't do anything except get help from other people and take credit for it. So they did the only thing they could with her. They "promoted" her into project management. If your just going to get people to do your job then "that" might as well be your job. Funny that Project Manager is the only job with Manager in the title that is not actually classified in most companies as an actual manager.

Anonymous Stickwick March 25, 2013 10:30 AM  

My best students were guys who weren't really paying attention in class, they were doing the stuff on their own, and called me only for help.

One thing that becomes obvious after teaching physics labs for a while is that females tend to be process-oriented while males tend to be goal-oriented. For males, if something doesn't further the goal, it's just busywork. My competent male students got things done, sometimes in an unorthodox way, but in the end they demonstrated mastery of the material -- and they got full marks. A significant number of female students, however, at the end of a lab or on an assignment wanted full marks in spite of the fact that they demonstrably did not understand the material. I was astonished the first time I heard what would become a common plea after getting a bad grade: But I did all of the work! Don't I get full points for effort? To them, jumping through the hoops was sufficient and actual knowledge was incidental. The only thing that worked to connect grades with mastery in their minds was when I asked them, would you rather have a life-saving operation by a doctor who got A's for effort or by one who got A's for knowing the material? Then you watch the lightbulb come on.

Related: Some of the female students gave up rather easily when they didn't understand how to make an experiment work. Again, I was astonished by their response to a challenge -- feigned helplessness and whining. Not every female student did this, but only the female students did this. They'd struggle a bit, get frustrated, sit there with an unhappy expression, and then eventually call me over. I'd ask them to identify the problem, then I'd ask a few guiding questions and offer a hint. They'd just stare at the equipment and whine, "But I don't get it!" When I told them to work on it some more, some of them -- now keep in mind this is university, with ostensibly adult students ready for the big time -- would utter a petulant sigh, slump in their seats, and fix a supremely PO'd expression on their faces that said "WHY WON'T YOU FIX IT FOR ME?!" They must've experienced success with this tactic in the past, but it didn't work with me. I'd walk away and let them figure it out. Most of them would get it together and finish the experiment, but boy were they irked with me. I often paid for it in the end with bad evaluations from these students. A few of them actually wrote on my evals that I didn't know the material, because I refused to just give them the answers. This sort of retaliation is why a lot of profs don't take a hard line with students.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein March 25, 2013 10:33 AM  

It's … a… good day for… … chili, yes?

Anonymous The other skeptic March 25, 2013 10:37 AM  

But it's for the children!

Anonymous TheExpat March 25, 2013 10:40 AM  

Hence the term, "feminist merit badge"

Anonymous . March 25, 2013 10:40 AM  

Related: Some of the female students gave up rather easily when they didn't understand how to make an experiment work. Again, I was astonished by their response to a challenge -- feigned helplessness and whining.

I see this at work all the time. Usually they want some beta male sucker to pick up the slack -- and so he does.

The helplessness isn't always feigned. As often as not, they really ARE incapable of doing the job.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 10:40 AM  

"Over here, at least on university level, lecture attendance is not allowed to factor into the grade, except in language courses."

Yeah, the adult system. People here really went to places where the grades were determined by exams, and attendance? I mean, I understand why that would make sense for STEM classes I suppose, but anything else... where I come from, the grade is determined by a) whether the term paper is interesting, original, well researched and properly informed, and b) conversations during office hours where you simply talk like grown-ups about the subject, and demonstrate that you aren't a retard. I think maybe twice in my college career, I was subjected to the indignity of an "exam" in anything where math or a foreign language wasn't involved. In a seminar, attendance is sort of necessary by definition, but in a lecture course...? Why would I need to go to a lecture to hear what the professor said, when the same professor's book was assigned so I already know exactly what he thinks about the matter? I mean, we did mostly go to the lectures as a matter of courtesy, so long as we weren't busy doing something more interesting (which was often the case), but to make it a determinant of a grade...?

Anonymous The other skeptic March 25, 2013 10:40 AM  

Chairman Keith Vaz hit out at 'incompetent' Mrs Homer receiving £20,000 in bonuses despite leaving the UKBA in a 'worst position' than when she started.

Seems like there is a lot of incompetence going around, if you know what I mean. (Someone should have spotted the error before I did.)

Anonymous Daniel March 25, 2013 10:45 AM  

Old Timey Nate has nearly unlimited potential to irritate/amuse. Works for me.

Re: Schooling - I had a semester devoted half-time to mandatory multi-cult idiocy: two sociology courses, European democracy, and some daft certification that I can't even remember. For the two sociology courses, I wrote papers on: How the study of sociology provided cover for perverted college professors, how the nazis benefited society, and why the most effective genocide was the result of developed systems for educating people. Aced them all because my bibliographies were formatted correctly.

For European democracy, every paper I wrote was on what a bad idea it was to have democracy in Europe and how monarchs shouldn't have been so soft on the eggheads. I aced those because my bibliographies were impeccable.

My take away? Bibliographies. The hilarious thing is that my bibliographies, while appropriate to my off-the-wall topics, simply happened to be things I was reading at the time. I just kept a list of stuff I head read, and if I thought it made a point, I referred to it.

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 10:46 AM  

ok... time for a tale... Old Timers.. you may have heard it before... if so... I apologize.

My brother (JACIII) works at a large manufacturing facility. At the time of this tale he was a mechanic. He worked with a rather subversive old fart named Rusty. One of the more infuriating aspects of being a mechanic at this particular plant was the turn over in the engineering department. Lots of wet-behind-the-ears engineers just out of college were hired to supervise these mechanics. Generally speaking these mechanics were charged with keeping 100 year old machines running. The engineers were charged with attempting to make these 100 year old machines produce more... which... means breaking them. So there was an adversarial relationship.

Engineer: I need you to X to machine Y.
Mechanic: We did that last year and it broke and it took us 2 weeks to fix it.
Engineer: My calculations say it will work. just do it.
Mechanic: The real world says it won't.

Sometimes the engineers were right... sometimes the mechanics were right... like I said... it was an adversarial relationship.

So this new grad right out of UK gets hired and the first thing SHE does... is strut in and demand to "inspect" the toolboxes of all the mechanics.

See she has to prove she's got authority don't you know. Can't have these good ol' boys thinking they can push around a girl.

Anyway Rusty shows her his toolbox... and she says, "What is all this trash in here? These are toolboxes not garbage cans."

Confused... Rusty looked to see what she was talking about.. and then said, "I'm not cleaning it up. Screw you. Write me up."

She fumed... and did indeed write him up.

A few days later the engineer was fired.

She had written Rusty up for keeping broken washers in his tool box and refusing to throw them away.

Broken Washers.. must be what they call them at UK. Everyone else calls them lock washers.

Anonymous zen0 March 25, 2013 10:46 AM  

“Maybe I'd never see him again... maybe he'd gone for good... swallowed up, body and soul, in the kind of stories you hear about... Ah, it's an awful thing... and being young doesn't help any... when you notice for the first time... the way you lose people as you go along ... the buddies you'll never see again... never again... when you notice that they've disappeared like dreams... that it's all over... finished... that you too will get lost someday... a long way off but inevitably... in the awful torrent of things and people... of the days and shapes... that pass... that never stop...
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Death on the Installment Plan 1936

Anonymous Stickwick March 25, 2013 10:52 AM  

The helplessness isn't always feigned. As often as not, they really ARE incapable of doing the job.

True, some of them were actually incompetent. The interesting difference, however, is that the few male students who were incompetent still tried. They'd sit there for hours trying to make the thing work, and refused to give up until the deadline. The only male student of mine who ever gave up was one who had his girlfriend as his lab partner. Even after I offered them a rather obvious hint on how to make the experiment work, they both said "nah" and walked out with a zero.

Anonymous A March 25, 2013 10:55 AM  

Why would I need to go to a lecture to hear what the professor said, when the same professor's book was assigned so I already know exactly what he thinks about the matter?

The bext profs don't just vomit forth what's in the assigned reading, and thus the lecture has additional value.

Anonymous Daniel March 25, 2013 10:55 AM  

Oh, I forgot a good one - How Joe Frazier caused Muhammed Ali to invent time travel during the Thrilla in Manila and accidentally caused Einstein to correctly predict Mercury's position in Earth's night sky once it came around the sun, based on relativity.

That one had a bibliography about six pages long. I'm certain the "A" paper went completely unread, and that the professor knew exactly what I was getting away with and could not have cared less.

Anonymous dh March 25, 2013 10:58 AM  

The interesting difference, however, is that the few male students who were incompetent still tried.

There is a natural advantage to the hard sciences, which is variations on "You can't lie to...X". You can't lie to the compiler, you can't lie to newton (well, at normal scale anyways.. on Earth).

Imagine the 'soft' (i.e. not) sciences. Imagine what you have to put up with if you are trying to be rigorous in that program.

There is an insidious thing going on, which is some colleges and universities offering BA degrees in the formerly hard sciences. A BA in CS.

Anonymous dh March 25, 2013 11:00 AM  

The bext profs don't just vomit forth what's in the assigned reading, and thus the lecture has additional value.

Generally False. I suppose it could be in some cutting edge field.

But we all know the professor has taught the same course the same way for the last 25 semesters.

Blogger JDC March 25, 2013 11:00 AM  

In my old profession I did a lot of hiring of Speech, Occupational and Physical therapists (300+ over 5 years) for various positions in hospitals and nursing homes. We always asked for resume's, and I rarely read them, except to see where they went to school out of curiosity and to verify their license status.

This is anecdotal, but I can remember that most of the women's resume's had their grade-point clearly listed for both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. I remember laughing internally, because that fact was absolutely irrelevant, in my estimation, to their ability to do the job.

4.0 ≠ successful therapist. This was something my fellow female VP's in the company never understood. For them, it was the first thing they looked at.

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 11:01 AM  

"There is an insidious thing going on, which is some colleges and universities offering BA degrees in the formerly hard sciences. A BA in CS."

The fad in the late 90s was to replace complex math problems... with essays about the math problems.

This really happened.

Anonymous The Next to Last Samurai March 25, 2013 11:01 AM  

"... if something doesn't further the goal, it's just busywork.". Not just for males. There are plenty of women who are also annoyed by useless busywork. We've just learned to keep quiet about it because those who do not appear to embrace busywork and pointless meetings get left behind when promotion time comes, probably because the organization needs someone to do the actual work while everyone else's time is taken up with busywork and pointless meetings.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 11:08 AM  

"The best profs don't just vomit forth what's in the assigned reading, and thus the lecture has additional value."

In a seminar, yes; in a lecture course, well... why do you think, after going to a few lectures, many of us realized it was merely optional?

The best professors are consumed in their own research, and that's why you go and talk to them during office hours: to demonstrate you know what's going on, and to find out what they think _lately_. Oh, and also, for the pleasures of adult intellectual discourse, not some stupid hierarchical thing.

Anonymous A March 25, 2013 11:16 AM  

Generally False. I suppose it could be in some cutting edge field.

I did have history and poli sci profs who did this. Not common, though.

The late Harold Rood was a fine example. If you didn't attend his lectures, you missed the classic experience of a poli sci prof demonstrating, in class, the proper techniques for use of the bayonet.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 11:16 AM  

I remember taking this one lecture course, about a rather sticky controversial political subject, taught by a world-reknowned scholar on the topic. His lectures were informative, but sort of bland and neutral. (I could after all just read his book.) When I talked to him during [mandatory] office hours, though, he lit up and came to life, and became voluble and original, and offered his personal, considered opinions on the subject... which was rather different from what he put across during the lectures. I didn't ask him why he wasn't lecturing further away from the Line on the matter: we both knew why.

Anonymous ladditionstop@gmail.com March 25, 2013 11:24 AM  

@Nate

spring washers? bah, I can top that (probably)

I personally know a Welsh woman 'engineer' who was tasked with sorting out a load of electrical fuses. She threw away the short circuit ones.

Good old Laura, I bet she's still there 20 odd years later, unless she was promoted out of technical areas (for the best TBH), or had a couple of babbies (okay, she was reasonably attractive). Whether she was competent, or NOT, she certainly did add a '+1' to the female gender count in the engineering department - that is commonly seen as pulling your weight as an employee in engineering companies big enough to bear the overhead of incompetents / incompetence.

Anonymous A March 25, 2013 11:24 AM  

Once you have tenure, there is no reason not to say whatever the hell you want. Geez, get some balls already...

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 11:25 AM  

I think the issue is one of forcing diversity rather than letting diversity express itself naturally by removing institutional barriers.

In fact the lack of women here or there will never be considered part of a cultural lack of competence or interest, unless it's mine, of course - then it most certainly will be. It is my own incompetence and moral failure as a human white male together with my innate male interest in making sure women never succeed.

I lose coming and I lose going. Not a lot left over when the game's been rigged so I am always wrong.

Take the idea of failure due to the value systems of different sub-cultures. Always make sure it is only my value system that is capable of failure.

Ya gotcher racial-gender doublethink. Thank you. Black crime? Not that value system - mine. Not enough women at PyCon? Me again. Ghettos in London? No, not that one - over here - it's me! Pakastanis are just unlucky and would rule the world if not for my racism.

Anonymous Inane Rambler March 25, 2013 11:31 AM  

Daniel, those ideas are excellent. I mean I will never do those particular topics, but I will endeavor to piss college profs off.

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 11:36 AM  

I just remembered a woman in one of my photo classes actually started crying right in front of us all because she couldn't understand the relation between f.stops and depth-of-field.

An anecdote but one I've never seen a guy do. I've seen guys bit in the face, arrested by secret police in foreign countries and assaulted in attempted robberies not cry.

Most notably myself. hahahah.

Wimmens, learn to laugh at the dangers of f.stops cuz the world's full of naughtiness and nightmares about gifs vs. jpegs that will haunt your dreams and cause you to wake up screaming in the night.

Plus there's hairy caterpillars. You never know what one of those sons of bitches might do. They might take away your conceal-carry or force you into a frontline combat unit.

Conclusion: the world is not your oyster, although it often covets it.

Blogger Joe A. March 25, 2013 11:37 AM  

But... but Mandela said education is the most powerful tool in the world for change. Well hell, I guess that may apply here... for worse.

OT: Any advice on what to hypothetically study at a two-year tech school?

Anonymous DrTorch March 25, 2013 11:39 AM  

Speaking of immigration in Britain,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298553/A-mega-mosque-suburb-90-cent-white-30-years-ago-polite-apartheid-dividing-Britain.html


"A mega mosque in a suburb that was 90 per cent white 30 years ago and the polite apartheid dividing Britain
David Goodhart argues that a new patriotism can unite our nation again"

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 11:47 AM  

"I personally know a Welsh woman 'engineer' who was tasked with sorting out a load of electrical fuses. She threw away the short circuit ones."

/facepalm

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 11:48 AM  

"OT: Any advice on what to hypothetically study at a two-year tech school?"

get your overhead and underwater welding certs...

or a pilots license... especially helicopter.

Anonymous Stickwick March 25, 2013 11:56 AM  

Once you have tenure, there is no reason not to say whatever the hell you want.

A false and naive presumption.

Anonymous A March 25, 2013 11:56 AM  

I have seen women cry, at work, for the shameful reason that they couldn't do their jobs.

And it worked!

The manager (damned white-knighting old Boomer) assigned her work to someone else and gave her something easier to do. No penalty for incompetence.

Anonymous A March 25, 2013 11:57 AM  

Once you have tenure, there is no reason not to say whatever the hell you want.

A false and naive presumption.


False that it is false, for the simple reason that I know tenured profs who DO say whatever the hell they want.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 11:58 AM  

"Once you have tenure, there is no reason not to say whatever the hell you want. Geez, get some balls already..."

Well it's not my problem, since I don't live in the academic world. But I would imagine, that after all, you still have to live amongst your colleagues, and you still have to be able to do your work without obstruction somehow. Some people I reckon can handle being a one-man lonely human outpost of reality amidst a sea of lies, and others, maybe, are weaker than all that.

Anonymous Athor Pel March 25, 2013 12:09 PM  

I took the easy route in college, history and geography, both BA degrees not BS. I even got a graduate degree in geography, MA not MS.

I knew I was swimming in the kiddy pool so to speak academically. But I figured that even in the liberal arts that to be admitted to graduate school meant you had something on the ball.

Imagine my surprise when sitting in a graduate level history of geography class and hearing a question from one of the other students that proved they had no fundamental understanding of the material and not just the material in that class but a severe lack of understanding of the discipline. I don't remember the question, just that I was astounded at the depth of ignorance and stupidity on display.

The question was asked in complete sincerity. She was asking a question that would shame me to utter and she thought she was being thoughtful and erudite.

It was then I realized that yes, they will let stupid people into graduate school as long as they have the grades.

Anonymous Inane Rambler March 25, 2013 12:11 PM  

James May: "I just remembered a woman in one of my photo classes actually started crying right in front of us all because she couldn't understand the relation between f.stops and depth-of-field."

Haha, she has nothing on my former (and last ever) crush from my Oneitis days.

Anonymous Inane Rambler March 25, 2013 12:12 PM  

Whoops, should of added this:

Mandela was actually very right. Education does matter. The future of the state depends on it.

Anonymous Stickwick March 25, 2013 12:15 PM  

False that it is false, for the simple reason that I know tenured profs who DO say whatever the hell they want.

You didn't say professors can't say whatever they want, you said there is no reason not to say whatever you want after tenure. That's provably false, as there are plenty of reasons, not least of which is promotion. You don't just get tenure and that's the end of it. There are different levels of tenured professorship (i.e. associate professor, full professor, endowed professor), standing in the department, scholarly reputation, access to resources, collaboration opportunities, plum teaching assignments, and the list goes on. Some tenured profs keep their mouths shut because they also want to avoid harassment and alienation. You have no idea how potentially hostile the academic environment can be even if you have tenure. That you know professors who are willing to accept the consequences doesn't mean there aren't good reasons not to say whatever you want after tenure.

Anonymous CLK March 25, 2013 12:19 PM  

With all the money that one spends on classes it seems silly not to attend all the time. Not all the material that is learned in a technical/engineering class is on the test so the ability to "smoke the test" does not mean you got all the material and learned what you needed.

Blogger JDC March 25, 2013 12:23 PM  

Quote: That you know professors who are willing to accept the consequences doesn't mean there aren't good reasons not to say whatever you want after tenure.

Amen to that sister. I recently stuck my neck out, at the behest of a superior, and I'm still dealing with the consequences. I accept them, and expected them - but...one can receive only so many letters, calls and emails charging racism, bigotry, self-righteousness and ignorance before it begins to weigh down the soul.

Anonymous L'addition March 25, 2013 12:28 PM  

@Nate

with the utmost charity, one can point out that she _did_ sort the good fuses from the bad (if you have to quibble - she was just going to throw out the good ones). it's not all bad...

she had lovely brown eyes, lovely curly hair and more than competent breasts

what kind of man would be unreasonable enough to demand competence as well?

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 12:39 PM  

If you ever go to the SHOT convention you will see that lots of the companies actually have ex-SEALs that they hire... and sort of parade around. The SEALS don't really do anything. They stand around and sort of lend badass cred to the company just by being there.

Seems to me that female engineers should be the same. Hire hot ones.. and let them sort of class up the place by standing around and looking hot. If they pretend to talk the talk... even better.

Blogger ashepherd March 25, 2013 12:47 PM  

Reminds me of something that happened years ago at a major university. A department book-keeper was caught after embezzling enormous sums of money to feed her twenty-something son's drug habit. Turns out the department head had no grasp of financial accountability nor did the University care. They just moved her to another position. Of course it was just free tax money to them so why bother?

Anonymous Laddition March 25, 2013 12:48 PM  

@Nate

"class up the place" & "talk the talk" - how can I put it delicately?

howzabout; "her accent was an acquired taste, one not normally correlated positively with an active intelligence"?

So, whatever she talked about, it lacked gravitas, unlike...did I mention the breasts?

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 12:51 PM  

"With all the money that one spends on classes it seems silly not to attend all the time."

First of all (I except STEM students from this, since they generally have a different set of priorities and a different M.O.), one does not necessarily spend "all that money" simply to attend classes; one spends it in order to be in the company of people with a certain sort of strong intellectual predisposition; and much, maybe most, of the learning takes place outside the classroom. And much or most of it comes from the other students, not from the lecturers.

As an undergrad my lecture-attendance record was pretty spotty because I was often otherwise occupied, but I made a point of attending office hours, and having dinner with my professors whenever I could. (Believe it or not, for certain tutorials, having lunch and dinner with the instructors several times, and even going drinking with them, was practically mandatory. It's a better way to converse.) Second of all, given the culture of academia at present, one could plausibly be well-advised in the name of academic excellence to pro-actively skip many of the lecturers and simply avail one's self of a good library and a few years of relative solitude in which to use it.

"Not all the material that is learned in a technical/engineering class is on the test so the ability to "smoke the test" does not mean you got all the material and learned what you needed."

True in life as well. I recall on two separate occasions I submitted papers for classes which, technically speaking, had almost nothing to do with the literal subject of the course (and these were classes where the paper was pretty much the grade), but which, on deeper inspection, revealed a fuller understanding of the topic under consideration than if I had just skipped through the hoops with citations. Both times I got highest honors for the class, without citing a single prominent scholar in the field.

Goes to show ya
What a
Moon can do!
Moonlight on Vermont...
-- The sainted Don

Blogger Travis Kurtz March 25, 2013 1:00 PM  

"Education that recognizes efforts rather than results is not education."

Can't wait to use this line during my next IEP meeting that I'll have to attend.

Anonymous Clay March 25, 2013 1:01 PM  

Fuck you, Yankee.

Anonymous Stingray March 25, 2013 1:07 PM  

Can't wait to use this line during my next IEP meeting that I'll have to attend.

Having attended way too many of these, all I have to say is, good luck with that. Those things are a nightmare.

Blogger Markku March 25, 2013 1:14 PM  

scoobius dubious:

I remember taking this one lecture course, about a rather sticky controversial political subject, taught by a world-reknowned scholar


Watch your hypercorrection, it's renowned.

...yes, I have some hot-button spelling errors.

Anonymous Clay March 25, 2013 1:14 PM  

I apologize to all the Ilksters for my crudeness & vulgarity.

As far as "Laddiston" goes, I will still stay "F" you, and go staight to Hell. You just pushed a button.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 25, 2013 1:16 PM  

The bext profs don't just vomit forth what's in the assigned reading, and thus the lecture has additional value.

Some do, some don't, but it's a self-correcting problem one way or the other. A prof who give lectures that are interesting and valuable to his best students will have his best students regularly attending without grading them on their attendance.


Anonymous Clay March 25, 2013 1:17 PM  

Dammit, you quit too, Markuu:)

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 1:22 PM  

Clay.. I wouldn't assume he was referring to a southern accent. I assumed he was talking about the whole ditsy valley girl thing.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 1:23 PM  

"Watch your hypercorrection, it's renowned."

Oh go piss on a pile of flaming dog skulls (;-) : if I use it, then that means it's already correct, and it's correct precisely because _I_ use it. Not just anybody, mind you, lest you get ideas that subjectivity of meaning/usage is infinitely elastic; no, I'm arguing from authority -- I mean my own good self. My usage is correct because I say so.

La langue humaine, c'est une chose tout-a-fait funny.

See what I did there?


Anonymous Other Josh March 25, 2013 1:25 PM  

I graduated in 2001, but my experience in college maybe was somewhat skewed because I was in engineering. All my professors were engineers. It was truly a performance-based evaluation of students. Attendance counted nothing for your grade.

Out of 42 mechanical engineers in my class, only 2 were females. Perhaps I experienced what college used to be like in a bygone era.

Blogger Markku March 25, 2013 1:27 PM  

Ah, the linguistics school of thought that says that a native speaker cannot, by definition, make an error. Always wanted to shoot the bastards, and I didn't even have any contacts with the department.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 25, 2013 1:29 PM  

On the subject of accents, I've met people with an accent that said "I'm from the South" and I've met other people with an accent that said "I'm an illiterate dumbass from the South." Likewise, I've met people with an accent that said "I'm from New England" and I've met other people with accents that said "I'm a conceited twit from New England too stupid to know how stupid I am."

I imagine there are similar differences with Welch accents too.

Every region has it's dumbasses, and if you pay attention, an awful lot of them do speak slightly differently than other folks from the same region.

Anonymous Clay March 25, 2013 1:30 PM  

Nate, in the job I have, assuming is deadly.

I was just messing with the Finn's head, and it gives me pleausure to pretend I can do so.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 1:31 PM  

As far as "Laddiston" goes, I will still stay "F" you, and go staight to Hell. You just pushed a button.

Oh miGAW. You, like, just totally chewed him out for, like, nothing. That's like, so totally whatever, y'know?

As IF.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 1:32 PM  

"the linguistics school of thought that says that a native speaker cannot, by definition, make an error."

I didn't say a native speaker. I said, a master speaker.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 1:33 PM  

I didn't say a native speaker. I said, a master speaker.

In before fishing pun.

Blogger Markku March 25, 2013 1:34 PM  

Clay, you should take drunk commenting lessons from the master: Jamie.

Anonymous Heh March 25, 2013 1:34 PM  

Seems to me that female engineers should be the same. Hire hot ones.. and let them sort of class up the place by standing around and looking hot. If they pretend to talk the talk... even better.

Best to hire at least two, so that if they "talk the talk" they can do so with each other and not distract the guys who are doing the real work with inconsequential female chatter.

Anonymous Claaaaaaaaaaaay March 25, 2013 1:34 PM  

Too many "u"'s Anybody in the world want to bitch about that!

I'm kidding, peoples.

Blogger Markku March 25, 2013 1:36 PM  

And too few K's. Mnemonic: Think KKK, and then recall that I don't have a klan. At least not yet.

Anonymous Gen. Kong March 25, 2013 1:36 PM  

VD observes:
It is hardly astonishing that the UK's top woman civil servant wasn't held accountable for her catastrophic failure, given the Prime Minister's mandate to promote women at all costs. As was the case in the class that Yohami mentioned, Lin Homer was rewarded with bonuses and promoted for her effort rather than her results... and now she is in charge of the nation's tax revenues.

You make it read as if this boob bureaucrat being in charge of tax collection for the UK-okrug is somehow a bad thing. The sooner the regime there implodes and falls into utter chaos, the greater the chance (albeit still a slim one) that native Brits will awaken and start to shake off the vampire-squids who presently rule over them with Orwellian boots forever stamping in their faces - the typical pattern of a so-called "democracy". Neither incompetence or corruption is the enemy. I say elevate Lin Homer to Chancellor of the Exchequer and Archbishop of Canterbury in addition. Worse is better.

Anonymous Clay March 25, 2013 1:41 PM  

Sorry, Marku...see? I left one off.......I'm cleaning my blinds, and washing clothes.

Excuse me if I make an error.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 1:48 PM  

"In before fishing pun."

Tomorrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit, and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young and tender, and, for your love I would be loath to foil him, as I must for my own honor if he come in. Therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment...
--As You Like It

Blogger tz March 25, 2013 2:01 PM  

The UK is an island and she can't keep illegals out. That takes exceptional talent. And putting such an idiot in charge of the taxing authority is bad how? I do hope in this case "Women ruin everything".

At the link to the article, they fixed it by requiring a dumbed down course anyone can pass. That was happening 25 years ago, so apparently the pods are claiming the last few islands of excellence in a sea of something for which mediocrity is far to high to grasp.

Anonymous L'addition March 25, 2013 2:02 PM  

@Clay

not a breast kind-a-guy, huh? my bad.

it's not my fault that all accents were not created equal. I had to come to terms with that, perhaps you should try? or whatever...

Anonymous L'addition March 25, 2013 2:07 PM  

@tz

you can relax on immigration, Cameroid is on the case. As soon as they round up enough unicorns to patrol the coast, problem solved. But! oh look! the new strict measures are unravelling on the very day that he thunk them up. Who will rid of this turbulant priest?

Anonymous dh March 25, 2013 2:14 PM  

If you ever go to the SHOT convention you will see that lots of the companies actually have ex-SEALs that they hire... and sort of parade around. The SEALS don't really do anything. They stand around and sort of lend badass cred to the company just by being there.
I've always wondered about this. I went to one similiar conference that had an ex-Delta on their team. Turns out he's actually very media friendly and had written many books. A complete trophy only. A little disappointing...

Anonymous Jack Amok March 25, 2013 2:16 PM  

Interesting a subthread on accents broke out in a post about the Pretense of Excellence.

Ever notice how some people adopt a manner of speaking that they think is conveying something about them but ends up conveying the exact opposite to folks who can see through pretenses? Examples abound:

-"Received Ebonics" where the speakers try to sound intelligent and educated by using fancy five dollar words, but end up sounding retarded because they use them incorrectly.

-The "Good Ol' Boy" southron stereotype Bill Clinton liked to use to imply you could trust him but instead was part of what earned him the nickname Slick Willie.

-The dense nonsense of PoMo discourse that tries to pass itself off as near god-like levels of penetrating insight but instead comes across as ignorant conformity to lazy to actually understand the subject.

-Possibly even the annoying Val-Speak upturn in intonation that turns every sentence into a question is meant to make the girl sound observant of and engaged in her surroundings but instead makes her sound like a complete dolt without a coherent thought in her head.


We do have some pretty effective BS detectors, if we choose to use them.

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 2:22 PM  

"I've always wondered about this. I went to one similiar conference that had an ex-Delta on their team. Turns out he's actually very media friendly and had written many books. A complete trophy only. A little disappointing..."

Its bizarre. They even introduce them like trophies... "Hey I'm Sarah.. marketing director here at Tactical Solutions... and this our Seal.. Tim."

Bizarre... and a little creepy.

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 2:27 PM  

"Oh miGAW. You, like, just totally chewed him out for, like, nothing. That's like, so totally whatever, y'know?

As IF."

Any chance we can get you to put on those scrunch legging things... and hot pink halter top... and we will need some really big hair. And also... can I call you Heather?

Anonymous Rex Little March 25, 2013 2:38 PM  

That's some quality black-knighting there.

There goes Vox, being all raciss again. That should be African-American-knighting.

Anonymous L'addition March 25, 2013 2:41 PM  

@Jack

there's also the case that some people just speak with the ambient accent of the location and time they grew up. No pretense required. Then other people hear it and assign themselves a relative social / intellectual station of their own choosing. I don't have an RP accent but neither do I have a scouse one. Why many Americans assign English accents high status is pretty surprising to me - trust me, we have plenty of stupid accents and people to match. It seems that the dumb ones don't get on t'telly as much.

As you say; don't switch off the BS detector just because the other has a posh accent. Certainly don't vote for them, that's how Cammeroid got in, and Blair.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 2:55 PM  

Any chance we can get you to put on those scrunch legging things... and hot pink halter top... and we will need some really big hair.

Sure thing. Here you go.

And also... can I call you Heather?

You can, but that doesn't mean I'll answer.

Blogger Nate March 25, 2013 3:09 PM  

Nice.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 25, 2013 3:14 PM  

"Any chance we can get you to put on those scrunch legging things... and hot pink halter top... and we will need some really big hair."

In recent times, I think that whole gig has been mastered (except for the pink top) by the chick who plays the captured wildling on Game of Thrones. It's been a while since I've seen anybody who's quite so good at the Sidelong Glance. That gal knows how to work it!

"Why many Americans assign English accents high status is pretty surprising to me - trust me, we have plenty of stupid accents and people to match."

It's not so much that we think they're high-status (except in the cases where you can hear that they actually are that), it's just that we like the slightly exotic flavor, and the enhanced musicality (we have our own musicality in our accents, but with the exception of Southern and Noo Yawk types, it's kind of subtle), and also a sort of subconscious connection to an Old World of dukes and princes and what-not, the exact thing that we explicitly renounced -- and wouldn't want to bring back, but still find alluring in a heritage sort of way. Hell, Americans thought that the way Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer spoke was interesting, and we had no illusions that it was high class.

Of course, you should savor it while it lasts... the rising class of "New Americans" from greasy mestizo backgrounds, speaking ugly naco Spanish, won't give two shitty tacos about your Anglo accents, and you won't even have them any more, either.... you weaklings will all be speaking Arabic or Urdu and bowing your pale digusting arses to Mecca, the moment Saint Paul's is turned into a mosque. Which it will. Unless you wake the fuck up.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 3:19 PM  

Nice.

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school, they tell that she's uncool
Cause she's still preoccupied with 1985

Blogger ray March 25, 2013 3:23 PM  

I recently stuck my neck out, at the behest of a superior, and I'm still dealing with the consequences. I accept them, and expected them - but...one can receive only so many letters, calls and emails charging racism, bigotry, self-righteousness and ignorance before it begins to weigh down the soul.



yep, easy to write a blog-post advising OTHERS to "black knight" their workplaces, schools, etc

but feminist/diversity amerika closed those options off many decades ago, and anybody working and attending college during the Eighties and Nineties knows what happens to males who file complaints about their treatment

having tenure will not protect you from the constant state of war you will find yourself in after speaking the truth (or filing a complaint) in any u.s. institutional setting

you'll be singled-out and taught a lesson about what happens to "whiners" and The Group will make your life as miserable as possible (in fully deniable, passive-aggressive ways)

monkeywrenching the Sistem is an excellent idea, but it isnt a new idea, nor is it novel for a male to attempt to game the Sistem by turning its iniquitous "discrimination" and "harrassment" regulations back onto the fascists

they anticipated that reaction a long time ago, and if you attempt it, they will use their wrenches on the monkey, while the other "men" in the work-environment or academic institutions quietly sidle away

Anonymous Jack Amok March 25, 2013 3:54 PM  

L'add, I think it's more than just the ambient locale. There's always a range of folks in a locale, and people will subconsciously try to emulate the ones they think are the most worth emulating. Dipwits pick the wrong role models and start emulating the fakes and phonies, but being dipwits, can't hide the underlying truth and end up adopting the markers that require the least effort and thereby tip their hands. It's like people who think the A+ on the transcript is the important thing, rather than the knowledge gained during the class.

Course, I'm taking a rather broad view of "accent" and including not just the pronunciation of phonemes but word choice, pacing, grammar, intonation and body language too. There's the twang that is associated with mannerisms that say "he's emulating decent folks" and the twang that is assocated with mannerisms that say "he's too dumb to know morons aren't cool."





Anonymous JT March 25, 2013 4:58 PM  

I think education is wonderful. I think our education system is a racket.

Anonymous DaveD March 25, 2013 4:59 PM  

" Education that recognizes efforts rather than results is not education, it is selling paper."

Welcome to American education at all levels from k-master's degree. In fact, teachers are TRAINED to take into account effort while being told not to. Trust me, I'm a month away from graduating with my degree in Education. I don't think I'll last long in my new career.

DD

Blogger Yohami March 25, 2013 5:35 PM  

Effort should be recognized, it just shouldnt have a number on it. Results are results. If you did try your best, you should have a cake and a drink and a good night sleep so you can try again. You still get an F-

Blogger Magister Wood March 25, 2013 5:56 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Magister Wood March 25, 2013 5:59 PM  

I have students try to finagle a higher grade by playing the "I tried hard" card. I laugh and tell them in the real world you don't get rewarded for trying hard, but for accomplishing. As my old Parris Island DI used to say: "Shit in one hand and try in the other, and tell me which one weighs the most."

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 6:19 PM  

Education is worthless if you don't have the brains to parse the information, aside from the strictly vocational aspect.

Still, Nazis made nice fighter planes but couldn't solve the immense riddle of not murdering people in death camps.

Nazi Germany is, surprise, the quintessential evil that comes from identity politics. What leftist SF authors can you think of off hand who share that intellectual space?

Hmmmmm... let's see. White = wrong, black = right, gay = right, etc.

Be careful what you wish for sheep - the sheep are the first to go.

Anonymous JT March 25, 2013 6:59 PM  

I don't think there is a one size fits all to this matter. I do believe that effort should be rewarded, just not in those avenues of study where they are most definite answers. There are ways of allowing creative thinking into hard science, and what the schools teach to these are a whole lot of things which are old and dated information, they eventually start to teach the most relevant scientific technique and theory, but not until later. Before that it's more like a practical history lesson. Math and physics are different categories. There isn't much room for improvement on integral calculus or creativity on the pull of gravity.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 25, 2013 8:03 PM  

Still, Nazis made nice fighter planes but couldn't solve the immense riddle of not murdering people in death camps.

Neither could the British during The Second Boer war where they killed 27,000 women and 24,000 children, it is claimed.

BTW, the number 6M has been recycled several times, by all appearances.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 25, 2013 8:05 PM  

I would not be surprised if White Afrikaaners are laughing at the British now.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 25, 2013 8:45 PM  

Anon said:

Who would be surprised to learn that, at some point in history, Brits protected and saved the sorry asses of your dufus ancestors, you ditzy ingrate? (Never mind that you are full of crap.)

You seem to have an emotional attachment to the notion of the virtuous British.

I suggest that everyone here can see just who is full of crap.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 8:47 PM  

Why you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 9:07 PM  

What?

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 9:17 PM  

Our anonymous insult comic likes the word "ditzy" a bit too much, James.

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 9:52 PM  

This stuff can get in your head.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Royal-Crown-Hair-Dressing-5-oz/10533412

I advise caution.

Anonymous Anonymous March 25, 2013 10:28 PM  

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Deleting my comments won't alter the fact that you are a creep.

Anonymous Anonymous March 25, 2013 10:33 PM  

Sigyn, you're as slimy as slimy low-lifes get.

Anonymous TLM March 25, 2013 10:42 PM  

Nate
Having UK miss the NCAA tournament and then get beat in the 1st round of the NIT was nothing but pure awesomeness! You should hear those pathetic sad sack fans in Lexington with their rationalization hamsters, they put the women to shame.

Blogger Markku March 25, 2013 10:44 PM  

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Deleting my comments won't alter the fact that you are a creep.

Even though people of your disposition eventually get banned if that's all they have to offer, it usually takes pretty long. In this case it's only because you use that name.

Anonymous Anonagain March 25, 2013 10:47 PM  

It's becoming like Chicago around here. I wish Vox would enforce his own blog rules and keep the Anonymous garbage off the threads. No tolerance. Just delete them.

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 10:54 PM  

I wish my husband were here. He's the king of insult fights.

Anonymous DaveD March 25, 2013 11:12 PM  

I agree, it should be recognized. The problem is that we are indirectly encouraged to use effort as an excuse to bump up the grades of the slow kids because school is "rigged against them". It's also expected that certain races/classes will be given more credit for trying than others.

DD

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 11:16 PM  

They're angry cuz I'm pulling for Ahmed or Jemisin to win the Nebula. It'd be like giving it to a young Louis Farrakhan. It's just be confirmation bias.

Predictably, their Master Obama's cult, Trinity United Church and Rev. Wright, actually did give its highest honor to Farrakhan.

Any lightbulbs going off and dots connecting when it comes to mainstreaming hate speech until it's cool and edgy "art" and the politics of "justice?"

This is why liberals love Godwin's Law so much. It's an easy out when comparisons get uncomfortable. And they certainly do.

Go Nebula! Tomorrow belongs to you.

Anonymous James May March 25, 2013 11:19 PM  

Yaaaay!!!! Nebula!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Mg6Gfh9Co

Anonymous Sigyn March 25, 2013 11:27 PM  

Who the hell is Jemisin and why, if she is so powerful and influential, did I never hear of her before you started talking about her?

Is she part of the shadow government or the Illuminati or something?

Anonymous James May March 26, 2013 12:28 AM  

If you're not a member of the SF community, you probably haven't heard of her. But being nominated for Nebulas as the next racial-justice darling is upping her profile. I love SF and hate to see it infiltrated by racial bigots with the help of useful idiots like John Scalzi, the president of the SFWA body which gives out Nebulas.

Quotes like "Because the 'fantasy' most EF (epic fantasy) delivers is of white male power & centrality, as much as dragons" do not endear her to me.

Taken alone, it is nothing, but she never shuts up about white people. All things being equal, what are the chances white people are going to come up on the short end of the moral stick 100% of the time? It's hate speech, pure and simple.

Here are some Jemisin quotes from an essay I'm writing calling out the SFWA for its supporting racial bigotry.

"The Dark Lord is really bad, we know this. Because he’s dark. Well, did you do something to him? Doesn’t matter, he’s dark. That’s why he’s bad and that’s why you’ve got to go kill him. That kind of thinking I inherently do not trust.”

Jemisin thinks Tolkien's a racist. A more accurate question when it comes to her is "who's not?"

"Heinlein’s work is one of the reasons why SFF has spent years calling itself progressive, and utterly refusing to listen to complaints about the racism embedded in the genre’s bones. After I read that book (Farnham's Freehold) I realized two things: a) that Heinlein was racist as fuck, and b) most of science fiction fandom was too…”

"Let me make something clear: I talk about race, gender, and other issues of social justice because I have to."

AND HERE'S THE IRONIC ONE THAT ANSWERS PART OF YOUR QUESTION.

"in the 1960s Martin Luther King, Jr. understood full well how much power SFF has to influence the public consciousness."

"The viciousness of the racism on my posts about Epic Fantasy is still going strong. This is why we need to keep buying books with POC (People of color) in them Apparently racists find that EXTREMELY FUCKING THREATENING. So, go team POC in Fantasy!"

Then there a second nominee, Saladin Ahmed, who also thinks whites can't help being racist.

"Frank Miller's a racist moron who draws well."

Miller's crime is that he's angry over 9/11. Ahmed also wrote an article for your friend and mine, Salon, titled "Is Games of Thrones Too White?"

And please don't throw strawmen BS at me about exaggerating her power and influence as if defending principle isn't as cool as "Glee" or paranoid - I'm exaggerating nothing, but it is what it is.

Jeminsin and Ahmed don't like me based on my skin color - that's pretty obvious. Well, I say eff them too. They're just another Adria Richards.

I don't have any problem saying David Duke's a fuck or neo-Nazis or KKK either. These people would never say that about Rev. Wright, Al Sharpton or Farrakhan. That's cuz they're heroes for them, and that's where we part ways.

They don't like it - tough. Let 'em shut up about whites already.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 12:58 AM  

"Ahmed also wrote an article for your friend and mine, Salon, titled "Is Game of Thrones Too White?"

Not white enough, if you ask me.

Nothing can EVER be "too" white.

The show is well done, strictly on craft terms, and it has some good, fun characters, and from time to time it's genuinely interesting (mostly it's more entertaining than actually interesting, but that has its place). But one of the great pleasures it provides is a much-needed vacation from Vibrancy: I turn on Game of Thrones and I get to see white people, speaking in their lovely ancient musical white accents, doing all sorts of white-people stuff: forging armor and fighting with swords and riding horses and jousting and jesting and plotting and conspiring and counter-conspiring and birthing dragons and so on. What a relief!

Then I go back outside and I have to look at all the depressing, stupid, yammering, shit-colored third world filth we've let into our country -- enough so that it's no longer even a country.

Is Game of Thrones too white? Would that the rest of the country were as white.


Anonymous James May March 26, 2013 1:31 AM  

Give the SFWA a ring. Change just a few of those words around and you'll get a Nebula nomination. Or the KKK. Save the trouble of an edit.

Anonymous scooby has been eating too many snacks March 26, 2013 1:49 AM  

"Then I go back outside and I have to look at all the depressing, stupid, yammering, shit-colored third world filth we've let into our country -- enough so that it's no longer even a country."

Obviously you have not been paying attention lately. But, you and your ilk will go by the way of the dinosaur and floppy disks.


"The roughly 20 million adult U.S.-born children of these immigrants are substantially better off than immigrants on several measures of socio-economic progress, said the Pew study, based on the latest U.S. Census data.

More second-generation immigrants - half of whom are Hispanics and Asian-Americans - are college graduates and have higher incomes. Second-generationers' median household income is $58,000, compared to $46,000 for immigrants. More are homeowners and fewer - 11% versus 18% - live in poverty."


http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/07/immigrants-in-america-the-second-generation-story/

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 2:41 AM  

Now be a good sport
and play fair, Markku.

I did not make you
look stupid. You made
a fool out of yourself.

In fact, I was admiring
your agility; talking out
of your ass while you had
your foot in your mouth.

LOL They make it so easy.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 3:03 AM  

"LOL They make it so easy."

Make _what_, exactly, so easy? To say "you are a poopy-head!" and then run away? I'm puzzled about what you think is so easy; and I can already imagine your response: That's right, of course you are puzzled! Because you are a poopy-head!

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 3:21 AM  

"The roughly 20 million adult U.S.-born children of these immigrants are substantially better off than immigrants on several measures of socio-economic progress"

You are missing the essence of the argument. Unsurprisingly. Whether you are disingenuous, or merely stupid and filled with hatred, is hard to say, but my suspicion would be, as usual: both. The Mongols who happened to be the sons of the Mongols who had invaded, sacked and burned most of Asia were also "substantially better off" than their plundering rapist fathers. The Turks who invaded Anatolia and sacked Constantinople were "substantially better off" than the Greeks who had actually built the place, who were sacked and raped and plundered. I don't think that means that the Greeks, or the Chinese or the Persians or the Arabs or the Kievan Rus, forfeited their right to be deeply, deeply annoyed by the sudden aggrandizement of others at their expense.

And after the Turks took Constantinople, and after the Mongols burned Baghdad and its libraries, tell me: what were the great contributions of Turks and Mongols to the betterment of humanity? I can tell you what the great contributions of white people have been to humanity. I could talk for days about it, until you ran away in tears, like an ignorant shit-colored pussy.

"But, you and your ilk will go by the way of the dinosaur and floppy disks."

Here we see your sneering racial hatred on open display. Thank you; thank you very much, for dropping the mask. White people need to know exactly what the intentions are, of the monkey-people who came begging to their shores as pathetic greasy whining supplicants, and who they were foolish enough to admit and treat well. God made the dinosaur, and white people made the floppy disks. What did shit-colored immigrant monkey-people make? Besides, of course, more shit-monkeys, at white taxpayer expense. And even if the monkeys came up with the occasional random innovation, what do I care? White people would have thought of it anyway. It's not a reason to burn down our own house, to benefit vile hate-filled shit-monkeys like you, who only dream of our destruction.

Go fuck yourself. But of course, the day is coming when you'll be fucked by others than yourself; and roundly, and deservedly. And no nice white people will any longer have pity on your traitorous ass.

"Just you try it on." -- Joyce, Ulysses

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 3:22 AM  

scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 12:58 AM

I'm with Scooby doo on that one. They came from shitholes of their own making, and now they're turning this country into a shithole like the shithole that they came from, presumably just to feel more at home. Socioeconomics have nothing to do with it, you silly brainless twit. Inherently, the ones of native American ancestry are dumpy slobs, who would still be living in a stone age if Caucasian Spanish Conquistadors had not graciously raised their standards of living for them. Why do you think that they're called peons? Because they're classy? But hey, welcome them with open arms, you dumbass. That's your prerogative. Ain't America grand? Let's see if it still is in 30 years after fools like you, Obama, Clinton, Holder and your daffy ilk keep screwing with it.

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 3:34 AM  

@ 3:03 am - Ah, a classic case of Arrested Development; an adult with the mind of a bratty, two-year-old child. (Well, it's either that, or she is senile.)

We'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Can't imagine, though, why her husband went to bed without her, can you?

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 3:51 AM  

"Can't imagine, though, why her husband went to bed without her, can you?"

Well you're still up, as it were, and spewing jizz all over your keyboard.

It's an international blog, you realize. No, maybe you don't, it'd be giving you too much credit. I'm not even sure what time zone that time stamp represents. But it's certainly not my time zone.

In any case, pfft, more name-calling. You can't even figure out how to properly place the commas in "bratty, two-year-old child."

I'll leave you to yourself: the worst of all possible punishments.

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 4:02 AM  

Trust me, Scooby. Nobody misses what you call your "essence".

A moment of silence now to pity your husband.

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 4:04 AM  

RIP, Mr. Dubious, wherever you are.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 4:10 AM  

Nice Jimmy Durante ref, if nothing else.

And I do mean, Nothing else.

Your insults don't interest me, and certainly don't touch a nerve (you couldn't find my nerves if I gave you a Chinese map), because you've put nothing behind them. Back them with something, and then maybe we can fight in a way that might interest me. But right now... pfft, nuffin.

And I do mean, Nuffin.



Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 4:13 AM  

@ 3:51 am - Pretty hoity toity with your GED, aren't you? THAT from a GED recipient, who can't even put together a grammatically correct sentence of more than three words. Case closed.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 4:20 AM  

I'll tell you a little story about the art of insulting people: if you're not careful, maybe you just might learn something, as Bill Cosby once hoped...

I grew up in a street-fightin', blue-collar, hard-ass part of town. One time I saw this overgrown Sicilian kid picking on this little scrawny kid. After a few tentative jabs, which the scrawny kid was too small to parry, we got this:

SCRAWNY KID: Aw, go on home, and go watch your father hit your mommy.
SICILIAN BULLY: [BURSTS INTO TEARS, RUNS AWAY CRYING]

He ran away because it was true, and he knew it was true, and he knew that Scrawny Kid, and everybody else, knew it was true.

You have yet to land a punch that's true.

Huh. And your kind is always braying about how smart and edumacated yez are.

But I watch your kind every day. Guess what I conclude about yez.



Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 4:23 AM  

"Pretty hoity toity with your GED, aren't you?"

See, this is why I'm merely amused by you, not actually insulted by you. You couldn't figure out how to truly insult me if you took a year's sabbatical to do it.

You haven't assessed your target with any sort of accuracy. You have no idea in the world who, or what, you're talking to.

Keep going. Please. I want this on record.

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 4:30 AM  

@ 4:10 am - Chinese map? You're confusing your nerves with your varicose veins, sweety.

Um, explain to me again why I should give a rat's ass if I interest you? I missed that one.

Creepy, though, how you keep stalking me lasciviously. Spooky even.

Anonymous Iblis Minching March 26, 2013 4:35 AM  

The IP's from Royal Oak, Michigan.

Anonymous Iblis Minching March 26, 2013 4:39 AM  

Specifically the Beirut Palace Restaurant.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 4:42 AM  

"Creepy, though, how you keep stalking me lasciviously."

You're easy, O. -- Sir Stephen

You're confused by a reference to a Chinese map? You've never seen an acupuncture map of the human body? And you go straight to easy digs like "sweety"? Nikulturny.

I'm going to put you a question, and I want you to answer it directly and forthrightly, without any evasions. We are trying to determine whether you are a human being or not; and evading the question will not sit well in the determination.

Here it is. I said, earlier:

"You have no idea in the world who, or what, you're talking to."

Identify the most salient rhetorical device I employed in that sentence, and explain why I used it. It's a simple test of whether or not you can understand the full impact of what's being said to you. If you can name the device, preferably in Latin, well them's extra points. But if you can't even identify it, I'm done with you.

Clock starts now.

Go, bitch!

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 4:45 AM  

@ 4:35 - Really? I figured that
she was in Brooklyn or Queens.

BTW, creep, nobody likes a snitch.

Anonymous Iblis Minching March 26, 2013 5:00 AM  

How'd you like me to send you a Google Street View of where you are right now? LLoLLLoolLLLooolll

Anonymous Iblis Minching March 26, 2013 5:01 AM  

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&gbv=2&q=south+main+st.+and+e+11+mile+road&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8824cf426fa797f1:0x636108e7d1782185,E+11+Mile+Rd+%26+S+Main+St,+Royal+Oak,+MI+48067&ei=_V1RUZb6MMqp7AbUl4HIBQ&ved=0CBgQ8gEoADAA

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:04 AM  

Clock's still a-tickin', Anono-bitch.

What? Can't think uv nuffin'?

Think HARDER, bitch.

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 5:06 AM  

@ 4:42 a.m. - LOL.
I reiterate, LOL.
All that I read
there was further
proof that you're
loopy. Alas, Elvira,
Mistress Of The Dark
you're not. (sigh) I
am soo disillusioned.

Why do I suspect that
Scooby's husband runs
on batteries and she
keeps him in a drawer?

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 5:10 AM  

Well, TTFN. It's been average.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:16 AM  

Anono-bitch concedes defeat.

Hic clausula est.

Write it up, minstrels and troubadors!

G'night. (If it really IS night, where youse are.)

As Mister Joyce himself might have put it...

.





Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 5:20 AM  

Tsk, tsk, I won. You lost. Too bad.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:33 AM  

Wait, I'm confused. I'm just a poor old lonely woman with nothing but a GED and a vibrator, have I understood you correctly? And yet I asked you a question and you refused to reply to it, and now you proclaim yourself the victor? Like what, in a Charlie Sheen sort of winning?

I do believe I asked you a question, bitch.

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 5:41 AM  

If you learned nothing else tonight, you should have learned that saying that it's so ain't going to make it so, and it ain't going to make you any smarter, and it ain't going to make you feel better about yourself either.

Both of us know that, at the end of the day when all is said and done, you'll still be struggling to compensate for the fact that you feel insecure, inferior, inadequate and stupid.

Fat, drunk and stupid are no way to go through life, sweety.

But thanks for playing, and thanks for taking the bait, errrrow, hook, line and sinker evry time.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:44 AM  

"If you learned nothing else tonight, you should have learned that saying that it's so ain't going to make it so"

The rest is silence. -- some Danish prince nobody's ever heard of

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 5:47 AM  

No hard feelings? LOL

(Smirking smugly here)

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:48 AM  

Oh, and I forgot to add...

Nekulturny.

(Transliteration can be SUCH a bitch.)

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:49 AM  

"No hard feelings?"

No ability to read past a third-grade level?

Anonymous Anonymous March 26, 2013 5:50 AM  

I'll let you have the last word. We all know that you will anyway.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 5:56 AM  

"(Smirking smugly here)"

Well, 'smugly' is the first word you've used accurately about yourself since all this started. Goodo for that, at least.

"I'll let you have the last word. We all know that you will anyway."

Bitchy submissive bitch is bitchy.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 6:16 AM  

MEMO TO LAB RESEARCHERS:

This particular organism, known functionally for lack of a worse term as "Anonymous," has a high tendency to pound its chest, flail its limbs, and assert its dominance, to what good end we may not be sure; however, unlike most other primates which share this behavior, "Anonymous" has no strength or intelligence with which to back its claims.

The specimen is hereby submitted to the Fellows for further study.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 26, 2013 7:29 AM  

Oh God, it's another day
And your stomach's feeling like a blown-up balloon
You should never have eaten that greasy food
The doctor told you that chile was bad for your blood
And you're standing at the chemist in boots
Coughing up your guts like you're at deaths door
And all this for a packet of Do-Do's
And the assistant gives you a wink and you turn bright redIt's at time like this that you wish you were dead
And you take the whole packet and you feel like you've drunk
A bottle of bleach and you tell yourself
"Never, never again, not until next week anyway"
And you were never one for holding drink
And you stagger off to the toilet
And you throw up like it was Christmas
And you miss the bowl and you hit your shoes
And there's no paper towels, what else can go wrong for you
It's a choice between a cab fare home and a packet of cigarettes
So you choose and the money sticks in the machine
And the manager says
"Tough shit, drink up and leave"

Read more: SOFT CELL - IT'S A MUG'S GAME LYRICS

Oh God, it's another disease
And you just got rid of the last
You were beginning to feel okay
And the friends you gave it to were speaking to you again
And you find yourself having sex in the back of the car
And the girl underneath doesn't care who you are
And you're nearly there and she still doesn't care
And her chewing gum is getting stuck in your hair
And there's something wrong
Something that you forgot
Oh shit, you've forgotten the rubber
And you don't want a kid
Well, deny it was you, oh Christ, if your dad finds out
Then he'll make you stay in and do your homework
And cut your hair and wear your school uniform out in the street
What a fate worse than death
Oh well, he can't hit you, you can hit him back
And play your records so loud
All the ones that he especially hates
Deep Purple in Rock,
Led Zeppelin II
Well, even you hate those
Well, on second thoughts
I think I'll leave home and go and live in America
Because they earn more money there
And you can get away with murder, yeah!!!!!
Oh, this is a mugs game
I can't wait until I'm twenty one
And I can tell them all to sod off
YEAH!!

Blogger James Dixon March 26, 2013 10:14 AM  

> Nekulturny.

OK. My wife may have known that one, but I didn't. Fortuantely, unlike Tad, I'm on speaking terms with Google. Thanks for the new word, Scoobius.

Anonymous scooby has been eating too many snacks March 26, 2013 7:18 PM  

Come on, Scoob, use that Mensa mind to refute the evidence contained in my source regarding the positive contributions of "mud people".


“I don't think that means that the Greeks, or the Chinese or the Persians or the Arabs or the Kievan Rus, forfeited their right to be deeply, deeply annoyed by the sudden aggrandizement of others at their expense.”

These groups were thoroughly smashed by a superior opponent. You ought to know, as you've clearly have been on the receiving end.


“And after the Turks took Constantinople, and after the Mongols burned Baghdad and its libraries, tell me: what were the great contributions of Turks and Mongols to the betterment of humanity?”

The primary factor for the Mongols obliterating Baghdad was militaristic; the caliph refused to pay tribute. As punishment for his indolence, the Mongols raped, pillaged, and plundered...right up your alley.

Regarding Mongol contributions, they built temples and monasteries, recruited and employed Confucian scholars as advisors, funded advances in medicine and astronomy, and constructed roads and postal stations. Perhaps most importantly, the Mongol Empire ushered in an era of frequent and extended contacts between East and West; they neither discouraged nor impeded relations with foreigners and expedited travel of European merchants, craftsman, and envoys within their domain. Thus, it could be reasonable to conclude that the Mongol invasions indirectly led to Europe's "Age of Exploration" in the 15th century.


"What did shit-colored immigrant monkey-people make? Besides, of course, more shit-monkeys, at white taxpayer expense."

Roy Cohn loathed his homosexuality, similar to your utter disdain for your own olive skin and old country habits. Nay, you are not white, but an invader, an anchor baby no less, the spawn of first generation immigrants.

Anonymous scoobius dubious March 27, 2013 2:16 PM  

"Regarding Mongol contributions, they built temples and monasteries, recruited and employed Confucian scholars as advisors"

So, am I to understand that nothing like this was happening before the Mongols showed up and murdered everybody? There were no temples and no Confucian scholars prior to the advent of Temujin? Diversity is grand, innit.

"the Mongol Empire ushered in an era of frequent and extended contacts between East and West"

You're an imbecile. Where do you think those Roman ladies in the time of Caesar Augustus got those silk outfits that Horace and Juvenal larfed about? "Ushered in an era?" Well isn't that grand. That "era", my friend, had been going on for centuries prior.

That's just for starters. I'm not going to get _really_ stuck into you and make you cry, because honestly, who has the time.

Anonymous Scooby has been eating too many snacks March 27, 2013 9:28 PM  

Jughead, you inquired, "tell me: what were the great contributions of Turks and Mongols to the betterment of humanity?"

I provided specific examples of the cultural and technological advancements of Mongols, regardless of whether those contributions came before or after Temujin or before or after the slaughter of Baghdad, which was a military foray on the part of the Mongols. Just because similar endeavors had taken place does not minimize their achievements or render them impotent.


""Ushered in an era?" Well isn't that grand."

Historians give to Temujin credit with re-establishing the Silk Road and bringing it under a cohesive political environment, which facilitated trade and ensured the spread of ideas between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Do you disagree with this assessment? How? Why?

And, yes, this is a test.


"That "era", my friend, had been going on for centuries prior."

The Roman Empire ceased to exist by 500 A.D. Some historians theorize that Germanic tribes and other "barbarians" preserved and transformed Roman governmental, cultural, and commercial institutions during their conquests.

Write a 10 page thesis paper refuting the work of those historians, complete with sources. And, yes, this is a test!


"I'm not going to get _really_ stuck into you and make you cry, because honestly, who has the time."

Spoken like a rabbit, or a gamma. Take you pick.

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