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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Who needs truth?

A seriously converged professor attempts to square the circle by claiming that social justice warriors are the true defenders of free speech and open debate:
Do universities still educate their students or does political correctness hinder genuine intellectual development?

The political polarization that has divided the nation escalated last year on many campuses. Evergreen State in Washington witnessed a virtual campus takeover by left-wing student activists, leading to the departure of two prominent professors. NYU’s Jonathan Haidt argues that the leftist turn on campus, especially as expressed in the “social justice” orientation of the humanities and social sciences, poses as great a danger to society as the hyper-partisan politics of Fox News.

To Haidt’s point, a scandal erupted in the fall in Canada when Lindsay Shepherd, a graduate teaching assistant for an introductory communications course at Wilfrid Laurier University, played a video clip in which Jordan Peterson, a controversial professor, declared his refusal to address trans students by their preferred gender-neutral pronouns. Shepherd claims she was showing the video neutrally, just to start a debate about grammar usage, but she was reprimanded by her supervisors in a now-infamous meeting that she recorded and released to the media.

One prominent commentator, while decrying the seeming censorship evinced by Shepherd’s ordeal, likened Peterson’s challenge to current campus orthodoxies to the skepticism practiced by Socrates — just the kind of thing that should lead to increased knowledge. Indeed, many now insist that healthy skepticism and free inquiry, the supposed heart of the Socratic method and what Haidt labels the “disinterested pursuit of truth,” are in dire need of a revival in the academy.

I’m not so sure.

In fact, in important ways the social justice approach — which emphasizes the dynamics of power and oppression — that many fear has taken over the humanities and social sciences at its best is actually an improvement over the “disinterested pursuit of truth” and more in line with the Socratic method. In fact, rather than constituting an attack on knowledge, the social justice lens reflects new ideas generated by academic disciplines and experts within them, and generally encourages expanding our knowledge and opening up subjects to new perspectives, much like Socrates advocated.
Translation: we'll write fiction, call it definitive, and you'll like it, you outmoded relics with your outdated affection for "truth", "history", and "science".

George Orwell would not have been even remotely surprised. SJW Konvergenzsprache is real-world Newspeak. And this namedropping appeal to "Socratic dialectic" is pure pseudodialectical rhetoric from the Aristotelian perspective.

As the old Italian admiral told me, in the end, it always comes down to Aristotle vs Plato.

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83 Comments:

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 11, 2018 5:10 AM  

Converge the universities and you converge the institutions which include, but is not limited to, K-12 education.

Anonymous Simplytimothy January 11, 2018 5:34 AM  

The truth is interesting; lies are boring. This woman is boring.

Blogger SciVo January 11, 2018 5:36 AM  

When the taxpayers finally get fed up and stop funding universities' War on Western Civ, the legacy media will lie and call it "anti-intellectualism".

Blogger Ceerilan January 11, 2018 5:38 AM  

The question of whether or not SJW's would be the guarantors of truth after they crush all opposition is an interesting one. Luckily, there is a real world related philosophy from which to judge: Communism. In Russia, not only were people persecuted based on who they are, they were also persecuted based on what they said. Entire fields of science were taboo because they did not fit the official communist policy. History forgot about individual people groups whose nations were entirely within the Soviet Union, while at the same time nations who were partially within the SU (such as Moldova) suddenly had ancient and distinct cultures from their parent countries (such as Romania).

Yes. Let's have this conversation.

Anonymous I'm Not a Fascist. But My Sons Are. January 11, 2018 5:41 AM  

Socrates, Aristotle, Plato... pffft. Who are these 'dead, white men'?

Blogger bobby January 11, 2018 5:43 AM  

" . . . generally encourages expanding our knowledge and opening up subjects to new perspectives . . . "

Because if they ban talking about all of that icky right-wing stuff, you'll have more time for real learning!

Blogger Lovekraft January 11, 2018 5:45 AM  

Or Hegel vs Schopenhauer.

Peterson warned us of the slippery slope (which is about ten miles long by this point) of allowing the cultural marxists to impose this new thought/language weapon, and it became demonstrated in the 'Laurier Incident.'

There is no way to really pin down this type of 'intellectual' since they adopt critical theory/moral relativism. They have invested their mental energies finding ways to get out of accountability and holding a firm position. Such a waste.

Blogger dtungsten January 11, 2018 5:47 AM  

All I hear that professor saying is, "four legs good, two legs baaaaad!"

Blogger Doug Cranmer January 11, 2018 5:47 AM  

Christ. He writes at my level if I'm making an attempt. And I'm mid-wit level at a stretch.

He just makes us look bad.

Blogger Thucydides January 11, 2018 5:48 AM  

Vizzini: Let me put it this way: Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?
Man in Black: Yes.
Vizzini: Morons.

Blogger Brett baker January 11, 2018 5:57 AM  

I notice the guy in the article isn't from the University of the Republic of Congo.

Blogger Brett baker January 11, 2018 5:57 AM  

I notice the guy in the article isn't from the University of the Republic of Congo.

Blogger tublecane January 11, 2018 6:20 AM  

"generally encourages expanding our knowledge and opening up subjects to new perspectives"

No it doesn't. That's the point.

"much like Socrates advocated"

You can't have name-dropping do all the work in your argument. Even ancient name-dropping, with the highest credentials imaginable. (I assume Socrates to these people was a homo who inspired Plato to found the first university. Without which they'd be stranded in regular jobs like the rest of us.)

Blogger Stilicho January 11, 2018 6:24 AM  

@Brett give it a few years... and noticing will be a capital crime.

Anonymous Rocklea January 11, 2018 6:27 AM  

Socrates corrupted the youth too. I'm not against free hemlock for the humanities and social sciences.

Blogger tublecane January 11, 2018 6:27 AM  

Remember Herbert Marcuse's "repressive tolerance?" That's the model for these people. It's oxymoronic, and therefore meaningless. But there is a sense attached to it of swaying back and forth between tolerance and repression. Not according to whimsy, but according to what side of Who/Whom? the subject of repression or tolerance falls upon.

That talk about openness and new perspectives, that's for them. They tolerate eachother, so how can you say they're intolerant? Not tolerating you doesn't count, because you're

This swaying was built into the Enlightenment way back. They feared tolerating Catholics, for instance, because if they had they're way we'd all be bowing to "their king in the pointy hat what sits on his throne in Rome." That was the Who/Whom? of it back then, see.

Yet they persisted in talking about tolerance, much like the babble on about other impossible things like equality.

Blogger tublecane January 11, 2018 6:32 AM  

@3-That's a great trick the intellectual class plays. You can't attack them without attacking Intellect itself . Even if they're all morons or crazy people. They have credentials, and are "experts within" academic disciplines (such as intersectional lesbian crocodile studies). Just ask them; they'll waste no time in telling you.

OpenID aew51183 January 11, 2018 6:32 AM  

Keep in mind the readership of WaPo.
Now... I actually ventured to the article (with ad blockers on of course) and the commenters are absolutely not buying this. They lit this guy up and sent him down in flames.

At this point the only thing preventing a landslide election against the left across the west is convincing the general public censorship and street violence vastly out-prioritizes quibbles over welfare programs or tax policy.

In other words: antics like Evergreen and the open science-denial being deployed against people like Jordan B Peterson need as much sunlight as possible.

To that end: people like Tucker Carlson are doing god's work exposing this to normies, and Bannon's ousting will likely be a blessing in keeping these guys out of power provided the right closes their community organizing gaps.

The only optics required for a 2018 midterm blowout in most states is to field sane common-sense to contrast against the nutters the left is elevating.

Anonymous MIG January 11, 2018 6:38 AM  

As Blanche Dubois said: I don’t want realism; I want magic.

Anonymous Rabid Ratel January 11, 2018 6:53 AM  

Rocklea wrote:Socrates corrupted the youth too. I'm not against free hemlock for the humanities and social sciences.

A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote: IDK if Vox has a different avenue besides his bog,

Well, there's his problem. He looked at your bog.


That hemlock is a good way of populating the SDL's new bog with bodies ..err I mean readers.

It might even keep some of the VFMs calm.

Blogger Longtime Lurker January 11, 2018 6:54 AM  

@15: "repressive tolerance"

As history teaches, sooner or later, practitioners of repressive tolerance always attract hateful love.

Word games are fun.

OpenID widlast January 11, 2018 6:59 AM  

Well, that was interesting. That professor is TRULY delusional.The sad thing is that I would surmise that there are quite a few more just like him.

Blogger rws January 11, 2018 7:01 AM  

@3 SciVo

If you're going to quote Glenn Reynolds you should at least credit him.

Blogger McChuck January 11, 2018 7:13 AM  

It's interesting that it keeps coming back to Plato v/ Aristotle. It's almost like they represent two fundamentally different schools of philosophy, each worthy of learning about. The desire to remake the world accord to our imagination, set against the desire to learn how the world really works. Artists versus engineers, if you will, or priests versus scientists.

Blogger Bern January 11, 2018 7:13 AM  

Yes,tublecane, I count five instances of the word "expert" in this short post by the author. Why? What is an expert in the case at hand? How does one get to be an expert? Do expert pronouncements preempt all others? Is it the case that the author, an associate prof of classics and ancient history who teaches about rape, war, imperialism, slavery and racism, has exclusive privilege to define rape or to judge what is a just war?
He says that experts in the humanities, SJW's, provide different perspectives and lens to education, and that truth depends upon these. Doesn't difference in perspective imply more than one lens through which to view the question?
The prof says that the SJW lens "reflects new ideas generated by academic disciplines and experts within them ...opening up subjects to new perspectives, much like Socrates advocated." Is this what was happening at Evergreen State when left-wing activists took over the campus? Is this the Socratic method in action?

Anonymous I'm Not a Fascist. But My Sons Are. January 11, 2018 7:20 AM  

The substance is now to be found in the style, y'all. Because expert.

Blogger wreckage January 11, 2018 7:29 AM  

The admiral was right.
Plato is ultimately about smashing square pegs into round holes on the basis that round is the Ideal Form of the square. Aristotle's Intelligible Form is the non-destructive philosophy.

Anonymous I'm Not a Fascist. But My Sons Are. January 11, 2018 7:41 AM  

Paging Jürgen Habermas...

Blogger The Kurgan January 11, 2018 7:58 AM  

... and reality. Let's not forget our antiquated attachment to hard-core, brick-in-your-face REALITY.

In fact, talking to any SJW for any time at all makes me generally want to reach out for that humble item of dwelling construction, with a fervent desire of introducing it into the SJWs cranial cavity.

Blogger Duke Norfolk January 11, 2018 7:59 AM  

Holy crap these people are pure evil. People of the Lie, indeed.

This will not end well.

Blogger Duke Norfolk January 11, 2018 8:03 AM  

Too many people on the right still think that eventually these people will be overwhelmed by the truth and will acknowledge their errors, etc.

Not a chance. They will, of course, double down all - the - way - down.

Just as with the Global Warming cult (among other delusions). Of course there is considerable overlap here (almost perfectly so).

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 11, 2018 8:12 AM  

Speaking of climate change (hey, you brought it up) my little part of what should be the frozen north is already up into the fifties today, and Moscow is back to sub-freezing temps (though hardly Siberian).

If you actually look at what's happening you'll see that the weather is going crazy.

Anonymous Rocklea January 11, 2018 8:48 AM  

"If you actually look at what's happening you'll see that the weather is going crazy."

Somebody switched off the light and turned up the cosmic rays. Luckily, today I identify as a brain in a tank, so it's not likely to effect me....

Anonymous ogunsiron January 11, 2018 8:48 AM  

The same guy, Matthew Sears, wrote at the end of 2017 that he had started our as a conservative, that he had turned into a full blow intersectional communist and that he didn't deserve any praise for doing the minimum.

"Now I say "black lives matter"; "I believe women"; "I don't get to debate the existence of others"; "free speech absolutism benefits the already powerful"; "marginalised students have already seen more of the real world than I ever will". That's my paradigm shift. 10/10"

Blogger tuberman January 11, 2018 8:48 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger seeingsights January 11, 2018 9:22 AM  

Tublecane mentioned Marcuse's "repressive tolerance". Lefties today go by "tolerant repression." --using repressive means for alleged tolerance of groups. Forcing religious people to bake a wedding cake for gays. Social media prohibiting freedom of speech.

Anonymous I'm Not a Fascist. But My Sons Are. January 11, 2018 9:23 AM  

I regularly teach about controversial and offensive topics, including rape, war, imperialism, slavery and racism, but I never simply present “both sides” neutrally and without the context necessary for students to grapple with such issues fairly and meaningfully.

As such, "the context" supersedes all other considerations, which is thoroughly Marxian. He who controls the context...

They aren't even trying to bring-up good rhetors anymore, academicians. We can know this because one brings-up a good rhetor by eliminating as much context as it possible and forcing the pupil to defend the 'indefensible' from every possible angle (thus refining the pupil's ability to think critically).

The best Humanities profs I ever had, I never had any idea what they, themselves, actually believed about anything.

Blogger Robert Divinity January 11, 2018 9:36 AM  

18:


The only optics required for a 2018 midterm blowout in most states is to field sane common-sense to contrast against the nutters the left is elevating.


As recently as 15 or 20 years ago this was true. Cultural Marxism now has compromised intellectualism to such a degree Higher Truth trumps objective reality. Mindless shame works.

31:

Absolutely. Appeal to reason is useless with these types. Their deception and violence work, so take note. We probably have entered the modern Dark Ages and only the attendant cyclical catastrophes will change minds. The truth will out, but that can take centuries. Enclaves of truth will persist but be under constant assault in the interim. Preserve them and cherish them.

Anonymous Blastmaster January 11, 2018 9:37 AM  

Failed 60s leftist revolutionaries were open about beginning what they called the long march through the institutions.They continue to attack what has worked in the West.

Blogger tuberman January 11, 2018 9:44 AM  

Jordan Peterson is so mild, and I still consider him a mild Left leaning academic, is under constant attack for being another Hitler.

Ha, ha, ha. Insanity has reached such a level. Climate change weirdos, and Flat Earthers, people who steal from the taxpayers by hiring illegals calling themselves the "Real Conservatives," all need to be dealt with soon. Oh yeah, raids on 7-11s for illegals...so cool... fun stuff. Tons of freaks being exposed.

Blogger SciVo January 11, 2018 9:54 AM  

rws wrote:@3 SciVo

If you're going to quote Glenn Reynolds you should at least credit him.


I'm being clear and saying that what he calls "this nonsense" is a War on Western Civ, that those who will call it "anti-intellectualism" are the legacy media, and that it will be a lie. I'm obviously riffing off of Instapundit (and I guess I could've mentioned that), but while I considered crediting Glenn Reynolds, I chose not to because I also didn't want to blame him for my particular phrasing, as I'm not psychic and don't actually know if he would agree with the particulars. Probably?

Blogger SciVo January 11, 2018 9:56 AM  

"It" being the retraction of public funding of post-secondary education.

Blogger SciVo January 11, 2018 9:59 AM  

Stupid vague antecedents. The first "it" is the retraction of public funding of post-secondary education, and the second "it" is the legacy media's inevitable claim that the first "it" is due anti-intellectualism.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 11, 2018 10:04 AM  

The twitter kerfluffle is interesting in this vein. I love the guy named Singh and his use of the term "redneck" oh how I would love to give him some tolerance to the face and head area.

Blogger tz January 11, 2018 10:16 AM  

Every battle is truth v.s. lies.
Christ v.s. the Pharisees or the Devil.
Engineering v.s. imagining.
Entrepreneurship v.s. bureaucracy.

This is why SJW convergence is so toxic. It is a view that is not merely wrong, as any dialectic could correct - reason and evidence, but imaginary, an illusion, a collective hallucination, that you can't penetrate, you must awaken them first.

The Matrix - the pleasant daydream where sin is righteousness. The real world isn't pretty, just real. The only error in the movie is everyone should get the guaranteed basic income (it doesn't have to come from anywhere). No one gets sick (since they are really quarantned in a vat of goo dreaming it).

No matter how many times it is proven socialism does't work - either the nationalist or internationalist, people gravitate toward it. But the elite too, with their "free trade" which is merely regulatory arbitrage, and other people suffer - both there with workplace injury and polllution, and here with people losing jobs - while they make money in finance and get cheap stuff.

Even Stefan Molyneux has seen that only some things work. Islam creates something barbaric but a stable culture, and Christendom does too. I'd add the Chinese and Japanese introspective cultures. But only Christendom gave us liberty and science and the other blessings. It is irrationally hated because it was successful (think Scazi's hatred of Vox just for having more visitors - maybe Scalzi should write more interesting posts?).

One of the books Nehelen is reading and is in trouble for even shows the Judaeo v.s. Christian split. Jews determine truth by consensus. Democratically. That is why the Pharisees couldn't see Jesus as Messiah, they collectively determined their truth. Christianity, and it may have taken centuries, uses reason and evidence. Aristotle. But do so because Jesus is the truth incarnate, so to discover truth is to discover Christ (and to mistake it is to find the father of lies).

(Most) Atheists normally just have smug pride in proclaiming "God doesn't exist", then deny everything else rationally provable through argument or empirically verifiable. Even though statism is stupid and impoverishing, they need it to impose their secularism because they have no reason or evidence.

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 11, 2018 10:22 AM  

@42  As long as a post-secondary certificate is required as a qualifier for most decent jobs, the unis are going to have us by the short hairs whether they get public money or not.  What we need is a repeal of Griggs and repudiation of the entire concept of "disparate impact".

OT:  Blogger still hates Pale Moon in FF compatibility mode and won't post comments.

Anonymous I'm Not a Fascist. But My Sons Are. January 11, 2018 10:32 AM  

I love the guy named Singh and his use of the term "redneck" oh how I would love to give him some tolerance to the face and head area.

The Southern, white male -- the man that has had more stolen from him and his history re-written like no other -- is the last person that anyone, anywhere, in any context whatsoever, can poke fun at with a perfectly clear conscience and completely free of any fear of reprisal.

Until there's a Southerner in the room.

Anonymous Ryan January 11, 2018 11:05 AM  

Interesting. My good friend had about the same thing to say, "all philosophy is just a conversation between Plato and Aristotle." Forms and particulars. You don't get past that.

Anonymous BBGKB January 11, 2018 11:10 AM  

All I hear that professor saying is, "four legs good, two legs baaaaad!"

All the (((FAKE-NEWS) reporting of the Miss Trans America murder buries the lede that it was it's husband who did it.

Speaking of climate change (hey, you brought it up)

Less than 60 days until climate change kills kids
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/washington-governor-warns-we-have-just-59-days-to-save-our-children-from-global-warming_01102018

Anonymous Avalanche January 11, 2018 11:18 AM  

"new ideas generated by academic disciplines and experts within them,"

Like "math and science are racist"?! Like "because africans 'recognize' witch doctors, therefore WESTERN MEDICINE should"?!? And "rapping" about a wholly unrelated topic leads to "winning" a debate?!?

ACK! Someone shoot that guy with a tranquilizer dart and put him in a cage!

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 11, 2018 11:18 AM  

Mr. Rational wrote:What we need is a repeal of Griggs and repudiation of the entire concept of "disparate impact".

Indeed. From your lips to Trumps ears. Repealing Griggs would have more long term impact on the culture war than any amount of fiddling with the tax code.

Anonymous Avalanche January 11, 2018 11:39 AM  

Thread winner: All I hear that professor saying is, "four legs good, two legs baaaaad!"

Close second: That hemlock is a good way of populating the SDL's new bog with bodies ..err I mean readers. It might even keep some of the VFMs calm.

Anonymous Bass Drone January 11, 2018 11:48 AM  

At a local college:
Library Lecture: Privilege In/Privilege Out

What: Library “Brown Bag Lecture:” Privilege In/Privilege Out

When: Jan. 16, 12:30 – 1:30

Where:

Do algorithms equal privilege? “Privilege In/Privilege Out” explores how information organization, search engines, and algorithms sustain privilege and perpetuate inequality.

Join Library Director ThingONE and Computer Science Instructor ThingTWO for a lecture and discussion about how privilege is sustained through the organization of information, as well as how we search for and retrieve it through search engines like Google.

How can we influence this issue? Let’s start talking about it. And feel free to bring your lunch!


I am gobsmacked -- who knew that algorithms can be so evil? Why are institutions which are so full of Democratic, progressive voters so full of bad algorithms?!

This problem with search engines explains, of course, why Google is so biased against conservative sources, doesn't it?

Blogger Thomas Henderson January 11, 2018 11:50 AM  

The desire to remake the world accord to our imagination, set against the desire to learn how the world really works. Artists versus engineers, if you will, or priests versus scientists.

The two approaches, Plato and Aristotle, were brought together in Christianity, particularly in the symbol of Christ reconciling all things to himself. The incarnation is about the abstract meeting the concrete, heaven meeting earth, in the person of Jesus who is both shepherd and lamb, high priest and sacrifice, fully God and fully Man, the ultimate judge and the ultimate condemned. The answer to Tertullian's question, "what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens?" turned out to be everything.

Today's academics forget to their peril the Christian origin of the University which has given the world both artists and engineers, priests and scientists. Wisdom can only be discovered in the pursuit of Truth, which is ultimate reality, which finds its locus in a Person, the one who St. Thomas declares Lord and God and who Pontius Pilate says, ECCE HOMO, "Behold the Man." Truth however is not subjective but objective, found in the contingent yet eternal, fully abstract and fully concrete.

As tz alludes to above, Christian truth is about reason and evidence, even more specifically the LOGOS, which stands before the consensus. Without the LOGOS, truth is no longer about definition but descends into the political, so that one can get into trouble by calling someone he instead of xe.

The idiocy begins in the apostasy.

Anonymous Avalanche January 11, 2018 11:51 AM  

@38 We probably have entered the modern Dark Ages and only the attendant cyclical catastrophes will change minds. The truth will out, but that can take centuries.

Nope, not centuries: ~12 years. (Actually way less than 12 years!)

We’re heading into a massive Solar Minimum; right on the schedule predicted by the THREE solar cycles that Sol is heir to; that have been cycling for millions of years. All three cycles are "coming due" together this cycle and/or the next (I forget which it is). The (actual) science suggests at least a Dalton Solar Minimum level; the (legit, actual science) fear is a Maunder Minimum level! Solar Min.'s ALSO seem related to (cause?) a massive up-tick in large earthquakes and heavy volcanic activity all across the globe. (Again, actual science...)

Vox Day says he expects the (racial) 'dissolution' of the U.S.A. to hit around 2030. That ties in WAY too well with the (actual) science, which suggests we will hit the 'nadir' of the next Ice Age in 2030-2031. They're forecasting Chicago weather in Atlanta. So agriculture will crash! Starvation is will be massive. (Look! One of the Four Riders.)

Anonymous Luke W. January 11, 2018 11:56 AM  

One should think twice before attending a college that does not interpret a statement like this as a resignation from the writer.

Anonymous Avalanche January 11, 2018 11:58 AM  

@53 I am gobsmacked -- who knew that algorithms can be so evil?

Why, Johan Kalsi knew!! Have you not yet read?!

https://www.amazon.com/Corrosion-Corroding-Empire-Book-1-ebook/dp/B06XFQ24QC/ref=sr_1_1


And Nick Cole:

https://www.amazon.com/CTRL-ALT-Revolt-Nick-Cole-ebook/dp/B01BKWKBCS/ref=sr_1_3

(Huh, Nick Cole is not a Castalia author? Who knew!? "Kersplebedeb Publishing"?!)

Blogger Johnny January 11, 2018 12:05 PM  

Addressing the Solar Minimum, in the past weather pattern changes would produce local crop failures which would produce famines. That in turn was often deadly for the established leadership.

Currently we are so productive that I doubt a reduction in crop yield would make a lot of difference for us. The main thing I suppose would be higher food costs which would not be helpful. And we could scale back the ethanol thing, producing more crop for human consumption.

What could get heavy duty are the populations that depend on our exports. Let me guess what the headline might be: Food Production Down, Central African Women and Children Hit the Hardest.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 11, 2018 12:17 PM  

Johnny wrote:Currently we are so productive that I doubt a reduction in crop yield would make a lot of difference for us. The main thing I suppose would be higher food costs which would not be helpful. And we could scale back the ethanol thing, producing more crop for human consumption.

What could get heavy duty are the populations that depend on our exports. Let me guess what the headline might be: Food Production Down, Central African Women and Children Hit the Hardest.


Yes, high food prices in the US mean we export famine, rather than exporting food.

OpenID widlast January 11, 2018 12:18 PM  

Join Library Director ThingONE and Computer Science Instructor ThingTWO for a lecture and discussion about how stupidity is sustained through academia, as well as how we search for and retrieve it through search engines like Google.

fixed it for them

Anonymous Tipsy January 11, 2018 12:25 PM  

Who needs truth is the theme of the 20th century philosopher Josef Pieper's essay "Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power (1974)", who related Plato's struggle with mendacious sophists. His point is summed up, essentially, by these two paragraphs:

"And precisely this is one of the lessons recognized by Plato through his own experience with the sophists of his time, a lesson he sets before us as well. This lesson, in a nutshell, says: the abuse of political power is fundamentally connected with the sophistic abuse of the word, indeed, finds in it the fertile soil in which to hide and grow and get ready, so much so that the latent potential of the totalitarian poison can be ascertained, as it were, by observing the symptom of the public abuse of language. The degradation, too, of man through man, alarmingly evident in the acts of physical violence committed by all tyrannies has its beginning, certainly much less alarmingly, at that almost imperceptible moment when the word loses its dignity.

The dignity of the word, to be sure consists in this: through the word is accomplished what no other means can accomplish, namely, communication based on reality. Once again it becomes evident that both areas, as has to be expected are connected: the relationship based on mere power, and thus the most miserable decay of human interaction, stands in direct proportion to the most devastating breakdown in orientation toward reality."

Blogger Amy January 11, 2018 12:35 PM  

Socrates? Plato? Aristotle?

Morons!

Blogger Christopher Chantrill January 11, 2018 12:38 PM  

As opposed to the SJWs I rather prefer the notion that the left is in a last ditch effort to prove that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything really is power, after all.

It certainly not the free association and exchange of the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years. Oh no, not that.

Anonymous Blastmaster January 11, 2018 12:41 PM  

Inconceivable!

Blogger DonReynolds January 11, 2018 12:42 PM  

"In fact, rather than constituting an attack on knowledge, the social justice lens reflects new ideas generated by academic disciplines and experts within them, and generally encourages expanding our knowledge and opening up subjects to new perspectives, much like Socrates advocated."

Banning comments by non-conformists is NOT a new idea. Burning books and tearing down statues is not a new idea. Beating the Hell out of people who do not agree and forcing others from their job or position....is not a new idea. I have yet to see a new idea from the social justice distracted. It is a mania that will result in civil war in this country and that war will wipe them completely out.

I seriously question why anyone would allow these people to refer to themselves as "social justice". There is certainly nothing social about it and there is no justice in a tiny minority of crossdressing trannies forcing a university professor to resign, simply for refusing to address them with the wrong pronoun. There is no justice, only revenge. It is not in the least bit social, because so few are in the least bit interested. So we should call it what it really is....pop revenge, the anger of the mites and bedbugs.

Anonymous Blastmaster January 11, 2018 12:50 PM  

Yes! Yesterday it was Sunny here and today is cloudy with snow. I believe that is a first for Wisconsin. Crazy indeed.

Blogger Lance E January 11, 2018 12:53 PM  

Real science doesn't have a "lens". That's... kind of the whole point.

He actually admits he views everything in the context of Social Justice - and does so unironically and apparently without shame. The academy is dead.

Blogger DonReynolds January 11, 2018 12:56 PM  

@55 Avalanche
"@38 We probably have entered the modern Dark Ages and only the attendant cyclical catastrophes will change minds. The truth will out, but that can take centuries.

Nope, not centuries: ~12 years. (Actually way less than 12 years!)"

It has already started.

One of the longest of the cycles is the Swedish Sjoberg cycle of 800 years...which is 300 years of rapid urbanization followed by 500 years of Dark Ages. The last period of rapid urbanization began about 1750 and we are already seeing depopulation of the major cities. It is not something that happens in a day, but increasingly building until a dramatic event makes it a flood.

Blogger weka January 11, 2018 1:29 PM  

@48
Interesting. My good friend had about the same thing to say, "all philosophy is just a conversation between Plato and Aristotle." Forms and particulars. You don't get past that.

My reading of the archived WaPo article is that we have a sophist wearing classical studies as a skinsuit. He is interested in defending the morals of this nanosecond,

So he lies. Socrates, he claims, is not interested in the truth. He was. So was Diogenes: they wanted to hold their own lives (and the civic life they were part of) up for examination to see if it was true, honourable, just and beautiful.

The Sophists want to defend what currently is. They do not care if it is a lie. They would have defended Mao or Franco or Pinochet. They say they have the truth, when all they have is tactics.

Plato and Aristotle both sought truth. The Sophists opposed both. We are dealing with the modern sophists, and their useful idiots are the social justice warriors.

Anonymous Hoppes #9 January 11, 2018 1:34 PM  

You mean they are Sophist Justice Warriors?

Blogger tublecane January 11, 2018 2:25 PM  

@50-"And 'rapping' about a wholly unrelated topic leads to 'winning' a debate?!?"

I saw a documentary on the debating world, I think at the high school level, which truly shocked me. Not that I had a high opinion of our educational system, but I didn't know parts of it were so blatantly barbarous.

It wasn't so much the black kids who advanced through a tournament by launching into impromptu slam poetry about how unjust and racist the debating tournament was. Deference to black kids is like the sun rising in the east.

No, what got to me was the object of black ire: the white kids from wealthier schools. They'd truck in pushing dollies stacked with totes full of research, then speed-read through material they had compiled in gross mockery of "debate." Which carried no rhetorical value whatsoever, because it was almost impossible for any of it to sink into an audience's head except by accident.

When did high school debates turn into feats of research-cramming? It's like giving writing awards based on who has the most footnotes. There's no point to reading out loud like that, unless you're auditioning to be the new voice of Micro-machines. Which makes a mockery of the idea of debate.

Except that there was a section where the teams faced off head to head extemporaniously. The speed-reading portion was prelude. This section is where the black kids shone, because they could overwhelm with their shouting and speaking in unison.

Anonymous rienzi January 11, 2018 4:22 PM  

"I regularly teach about controversial and offensive topics, including rape, war, imperialism, slavery and racism, but I never simply present “both sides” neutrally and without the context necessary for students to grapple with such issues fairly and meaningfully."

Were such a course, defending the positive sides of rape, war, imperialism, slavery, and racism ever offered, it would probably be the the popular course in the history of the university. The administration could probably charge double or triple the normal tuition. Scalpers could sell seats for the lectures.

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 11, 2018 4:51 PM  

Avalanche wrote:They're forecasting Chicago weather in Atlanta.
Right this instant Tulsa is having Chicago weather, while I'm having North Carolina weather the best part of 1000 miles northward.  There is an enormous tongue of arctic air stretching down from Montana and the Dakotas to the Texas-Mexico border, and I'm on the far side of the front between it and the equally-massive tongue of tropical air just to its east.

That front is going to pass me overnight, plunging temperatures by 30 F in a matter of hours.  The weather is going crazy, and it's all because we've de-stabliized the stabilizers by altering the heat-flows that drove them.

Johnny wrote:Currently we are so productive that I doubt a reduction in crop yield would make a lot of difference for us.
It'll make a big difference for the Arabs.  The whole Arab spring was driven by high grain prices which originated in lower USA crops.

The main thing I suppose would be higher food costs which would not be helpful.
Especially not in Africa.  The impact on the European immivasion would be epic.

And we could scale back the ethanol thing, producing more crop for human consumption.
Good luck with that.  When grain prices were soaring last time, livestock farmers pleaded with the EPA to cut the requirement for ethanol in gasoline to reduce the impact on them.  The EPA refused.  Apparently the US EPA puts a higher priority on thirsty US SUVs than on hungry Africans and Arabs.  (And of course, on keeping grain farmers happy and firmly behind the EPA.)

Blogger James January 11, 2018 5:16 PM  

rienzi wrote:
Were such a course, defending the positive sides of rape, war, imperialism, slavery, and racism ever offered, it would probably be the the popular course in the history of the university. The administration could probably charge double or triple the normal tuition. Scalpers could sell seats for the lectures.



Not to mention the action on the side, betting who could whip whose ass.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 11, 2018 5:31 PM  

As we are reminded every time we laugh at a global warming conference being called of on account of blizzard WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE.

We have barely 150 years of accurate weather data for most of North America. You have no idea of what normal weather for most of the places you reference, only a short interval of known to be atypical weather.

High grain prices that drove the Arab Spring were the result of diverting a substantial part of the US corn crop to biofuel production, an economic boondoggle driven by the Global Warming lie.

Of course, these will mean nothing to you, you're a true believer. You're less able to question your dogma than the most rabid Jehovah's witnesses or Mormons I've known.

Anonymous Simplytimothy January 11, 2018 6:24 PM  

So this professor is asking us to participate in tyranny by abandoning truth.

Count me out

Blogger LP9 January 11, 2018 7:16 PM  

I used to say, "bring back major mental health in patient long term centers." Something like that after 2015 in 2017 I now view colleges as the mental health wards depending upon its locale and degree of sickness.

Blogger Robert Divinity January 11, 2018 7:43 PM  

@55, 68

It has already started.

The "it" has started but it's probably a long slog back to restoration. The Ukraine had boatloads of grain and couldn't keep it.

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 11, 2018 8:21 PM  

Widely Headgash wrote:We have barely 150 years of accurate weather data for most of North America. You have no idea of what normal weather for most of the places you reference, only a short interval of known to be atypical weather.
<rolls eyes>  Jeeze louise, you clown.  Have you ever heard of tree-ring data?  Bore-hole temperature measurements for recent climate?  Fossil pollen?  The evidence on lake levels and such by which we even know of things like the Younger Dryas?

You just Fucking Love Science until it tells you something you don't want to hear, then it's all fraud.

High grain prices that drove the Arab Spring were the result of diverting a substantial part of the US corn crop to biofuel production, an economic boondoggle driven by the Global Warming lie.
Wrong again.  The corn-ethanol boondoggle came out of the 1970's oil price shocks and the push to reduce air pollution with "oxygenated fuels", especially after the MTBE fiasco (1979 WaPo article; the IPCC was created in 1988).  It is a failure at displacing fossil fuels (it created more CO2 emissions than oil for quite some time, and even now it's barely a wash) BUT it did replace some imported oil with domestic corn fertilized, mashed and distilled with domestic natural gas.  It wasn't designed to succeed.  It was designed to benefit the lobbies behind it.  It's no wonder that every candidate who came out of the Iowa caucuses with a win put their full backing behind Big Corn.  And so ironic that you're posting your ahistorical BS in a discussion titled "Who needs truth?"

If you had the brains you think your god gave a turnip, you'd fix this problem at the source:  grossly inadequate grain reserves which allow wild year-to-year price swings which threaten to bankrupt farmers.  We used to have this problem in hand.  You ought to remember how that was done.  You're too dim to do so.

Of course, these will mean nothing to you, you're a true believer.
RJWs Always Project.

@77 The rise of helicopter-parented snowflakes does suggest that, doesn't it?

We're just going to have to clean the whole mess out.  Maybe some of the younger victims can be fixed with measures like paddling them when they act out.  As for the SJW "academics", there is no treatment let alone a cure.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 11, 2018 8:40 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Have you ever heard of tree-ring data?  Bore-hole temperature measurements for recent climate?  Fossil pollen?  The evidence on lake levels and such by which we even know of things like the Younger Dryas?
I said accurate weather data. Tree rings don't gibve you weather data. Tree rings tell you deviation from optimal conditions for a particular species, but they don't tell you the vector. Climate true believers like you never take into account the effect water supply, growing season length, available light, insect damage, etc have on tree rings and believe that a single tree in arctic Siberia can give you a useful data point.

Biofuels owe their continued support to the "Alternative Energy" lobby that explicitly and ostentatiously bases its support on CO2 emissions. And certainly the enormous expansion of their production over the last 15 yeas is based entirely on this bogus argument. The CO2 content of biofuels is considered not to count because it's all originally atmospheric CO2. Whether their production actually produces more fossil CO2 emissions than they replace is besides the point, and about 3 steps farther than the average Global Warming supporter is able to think.

I do note that "Lowered harvests due to Global Warmening are turning the world into a war zone" suddenly disappeared from your argument.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf January 11, 2018 10:38 PM  

RE: "And this namedropping appeal to "Socratic dialectic" is pure pseudodialectical rhetoric from the Aristotelian perspective."

Would anyone care to clarify this last statement? It wasn't clear to me the connection with the SJW's gibberish and how Aristole would perceive the same argument? Aristotle somewaht developed Logic to deal with sophists like that arse-hat.

As an aside, Bertrand Russel often suggested in his undergraduate lectures (can be viewed online) to think of the Platonic vs Aristolean POV when approaching a new philosophy. It always seemed to me Plato was included towards deduction (mathmatically inclinded) while Aristotle was more inductive (though he did discover/invent many of the rules of deductive logic). I've always thought of Aristotle as an empiricist at heart.

Blogger Thucydides January 12, 2018 12:33 AM  

@80
Great smackdown, and pretty much on point on each and every issue. One thing "biofuel" people don't like to take about is the big favourite, corn based ethanol, actually consumes more fossil fuel energy than you ever get out of it. Calculating this properly needs to take into account the petrochemicals needed to grow modern corn (fertilizers and pesticides), the fuel for the tractors and combines, as well as the trucks and trains taking the corn to distilleries, and then all the natural gas used to fire these giant ethanol plants. Then, of course, it is loaded onto tanker trucks and trains and brought to refineries to make E-80 or whatever blends (which have lower energy content than straight regular gas).

And the biggest threat of all to agriculture is global cooling AKA the Little Ice Age. Funny how climate alarmists don't want to talk about the Sun, and especially the continuing decrease in solar activity......

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 12, 2018 12:36 PM  

Widely Headgash wrote:Tree rings don't gibve you weather data.
Oxygen isotope ratios do.  Species mix, pollen counts and other things provide corroborating data; none of these data points are ever used in isolation.

Climate true believers like you never take into account the effect water supply, growing season length, available light, insect damage, etc have on tree rings
Talk-radiobots never take into account that all of that has to be taken into account and determines the error bars on each of the things being calculated.

But why am I bothering to explain this to you?  You think gasohol was invented by climate scientists, despite iron-clad evidence to the contrary and your own experience living through that era.  You're a slave to the propaganda despite disproof seen with your own eyes.  You cannot learn.

Biofuels owe their continued support to the "Alternative Energy" lobby that explicitly and ostentatiously bases its support on CO2 emissions. And certainly the enormous expansion of their production over the last 15 yeas is based entirely on this bogus argument.
How many times have I told you that it's propaganda on both sides?  Big Green is a front for Big Gas.  There are times when the masks slip, though; "... for all these big utility-scale power plants, whether it's wind or solar, everybody is looking at gas as the supplementary fuel; the plants that we're building, the wind plants and the solar plants, are GAS plants!" — RFK Jr.

Corn ethanol is fertilized with ammonia made from natural gas, mashed with natural gas and distilled with natural gas.  1 BTU of ethanol represents roughly 1 BTU of natural gas.  Big Gas loves corn ethanol as much as Big Corn does.

about 3 steps farther than the average Global Warming supporter is able to think.
We're on a blog whose owner reminds us that MPAI, with the added irony that you keep proving you're one of them by your refusal to throw off faulty ideas even given proof that they're wrong, and have adopted faulty ideas despite your own personal history showing you they were wrong.  But they're shibboleths of the herd, so you follow them.  You are a herd animal.

A sane and rational being looks behind the propaganda.  The climate scientists are not pushing biofuels, or any other proposal of Big Green/Big Gas/CultMarx.  They're pushing nuclear, which Big Green is trying to kill (and succeeding so far).

But that's about 3 steps farther than you are able to think, and you prize herd-acceptance above truth.  You're pathetic.

I do note that "Lowered harvests due to Global Warmening are turning the world into a war zone" suddenly disappeared from your argument.
Unlike people who must mouth shibboleths to maintain their social position, I do not like repeating myself all the time.

@82  Everything above about herd animals applies to you too.

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