Saturday, February 06, 2016

Carolina Drops Another Road Game

On the bright--or, rather, no longer horrifically lightless--side, Paige seems to be back.
But the really depressing thing is that, with the possible exception of merely covering the spread against a terrible BC team, the Heels have looked pretty mediocre for about the last six games. For awhile it looked like we were really good but slumping badly... I'm really not sure that I can honestly say that that's what it looks like anymore...

Women Fighting ISIS

B. A. M. F.s
I love these pix. Somebody find out how to contribute directly to these people. 
Damn. These are my new heroes.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Neuroscience and Free Will are Rethinking Their Divorce

Good idea, IMO...

PC Denialism: Political Correctness Is Just Niceness!

And I guess Fascism is just making the trains run on time...

The Strange (Test) Case Of Anna Stubblefield: The "Social Justice" World-View in Practice?

So there's this...
Does this tell us anything about the (misnomer alert) "social justice" crowd? Stubblefield is an outlier, of course...and such cases can't be relied upon to tell us much about the fat part of the curve... But what about the reaction to her case from the PC / SJW crowd and its penumbra of sympathizers in e.g. the arts? That is...what about this?:
A crowd of friends — mostly fellow travelers in the field of disability studies — watched the hearing from the gallery. A three-person documentary film crew gathered tape from the jury box. “I’m interested in this as a love story,” the director told me later. (Since publishing my article, I have also heard from playwrights, poets and producers. The other day, I met for tea with a composer, who described his plan to render Anna’s story as an opera, with the court transcript as his libretto.)
One uber-crackpot doesn't tell us anything, really. But the fact that that uber-crackpot apparently has a gaggle of sympathizers/supporters... What about that? Here's one of their own, using utterly discredited pseudoscience...oh...sorry...rather, a method "rejected by the mainstream scientific community" commit the ultimate crime in their eyes: rape. Rejecting science is fairly commonplace on the far left... Defending accused rapists, however, is not.
   Obviously I'm in no position to make such impressionistic judgments. My plausibility metric is all skewed to hell when it comes to the nutty left. But I'll just throw it out as food for thought. I rant and rave, you decide...

Mizzou Protesters Support Melissa "I Need Some Muscle" Click

Not good.

The New Religion of Anti-Racism Can Turn Disagreement into Heresy

   Can I get an 'amen'?
   God Bless HeterodoxAcademy.
   The link above is a kind of summary of John McWhorter's piece here.
McWhorter and HA are interested in the same kind of phenomenon I've been griping about (most recently here). It'd also gesture at the generalized point: the academic/cultural/intellectual/internet left has begun to react to dissent with respect to purely factual, non-moral issues as if such dissent constituted obviously outright and uncontroversial immorality/evil. Like others, I think that PC is basically a cult--or at least it's extremely cult-like. And calling it quasi-religious is also illuminating and near the truth.
   Of course McWhorter's words will only have any impact with the left--if they do--because he's black. If he were white, he'd be Chaitified: oh look another something something white guy something something privilege something something. (Of course that's a facet of the choice everyone faces when wondering whether they ought to join the PC cult: which side do you trust? The side that gives fairly clear arguments and thinks that race and sex are irrelevant to the evaluation of reasoning? Or the side that obfuscates with a truckload of post-post-modern gobbledygook at ever turn and thinks that the value of your reasoning is determined by the color of your skin and configuration of your genitals? Having thus clearly and dispassionately articulated the options...I leave it up to you...cough...cough...)

Mizzou Suspends Melissa "I Need Some Muscle Over Here" Click

Seems like the only sensible course of action to me.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

PC Denialism: Hellerstein, "The Phoney Debate About Political Correctness"

   This is pretty bad, and many of the standard sophistries are here, plus at least one new on in the form of a laughable study alleging to show benefits of thinking about PC. If you weren't worried about it before, you should be worried about it after discovering that anyone, anywhere, would take such a patently dopey experiment seriously...
   At least Hellerstein does admit--grudgingly, I'd say, and only briefly, before rushing back to the the denialism project--that there are some problems originating on the PC left. That's progress, I suppose, and she deserves props for that.
   No time to go through this all now, but I'll just gesture at some stuff. She notes one important anecdote about paleo-PC that was apparently made up. That's important information because the case was's not all that important...  The more important question is: what about all the non-made-up cases, of which there are many, many examples. Then there's her trip to American University. She asks students whether they're worried about PC, and they say no! So there! Then they proceed to show that they're PCs themselves by promptly talking about the need for suppression of "hate speech," the allegedly oppressive campus environment, etc.  This is like asking a bunch of people whether they're worried about American conservatives going nuts, reporting that none of them were...and then noting that what they're really concerned about is BENGHAZIBENGHAZIBENGHAZI!!!111. Only an author very deeply committed to defending the view in question would fail to notice this very obvious point.
   The left--leftier liberals and illiberal leftists--really, really, really want to convince people that there is no problem here. They're wrong about that, and, IMO, each new sophistical effort to pretend there's no problem shows just how unobjective and untrustworthy the left is about this topic.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

John Cleese: When People Can't Control Their Own Emotions They Have to Control Someone Else's Behavior

   This is worth a listen, though I'm not convinced he's really on the right point here. I'm not convinced he's not, either.
   But, you PC...

PC Totalitarianism About Sex: The USC "Consent Carnival"

Wanna lose the urge to make out with somebody quickly and efficiently?
Here ya go

LSE Students To Discuss Motion to Ban Free Speech Society

Apparently it only takes one students to make such a motion...rather hard to tell what's going on there...but it may not really be all that bad.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Cathy Young: The Totalitarian Doctrine Of Social Justice Warriors

Sympathy for the Devil: Is There A Decent Case for "Trigger Warnings" in College Classes?

   So...I've gotten so bent out of shape about the PCs that I haven't even been trying to give them their best case. They're a bad bunch...but they can't be wrong about everythingNobody is wrong about everything... Even the Nazis were environmentalists... They're damned irritating, and they advocate all sorts of crazy, evil's not my fault! YOU KNOW HOW HATEABLE THEY ARE!!!!
   Be that as it there a decent case to be made for "trigger warnings"? thing about the PCs is that they have some terrible, infernal knack for generating the dumbest-sounding, most irritating terminology known to man... I should be reasonable enough to ignore that...but I'm not...  So yeah, "trigger warning" (like e.g. "microaggression", "rape culture," "check your privilege," etc.) is just damn stupid, even just qua word. But it's silly to worry much about that. The question is:
   Is there a good case for warning students when you're going to discuss questions that are disturbing?
   Prima facie...why not? It's quick, it's easy... It's really no skin off the professor's...uh...nose? Teeth? What the hell is that figure of speech anyway? Where's the skin supposed to come from? Nose, right?  Teeth is a different thing...
   Now...don't give me all that yeah but this just plays into the hands of the crazy lefties because it won't just be that, it'll also be this.... I want to ignore slippery-slope problems for the time being. Is there anything really, intrinsically wrong with warning students that you're just about about talk about something that some of them might find extremely disturbing?

President of Oberlin Rejects List of Student Demands

Marvin Krislov is my hero.
   In case you've forgotten which tediously fantastical list of demands was the Oberlin one, here ya go. I think my favorite "demand" is the one for more "female-identifying" instrumentalists in the jazz department...but there are a lot to choose from...

Monday, February 01, 2016

Feel the Cruzmentum

On the bright side, Trumpo lost...

Hillary and Bernie still neck-and-neck.

Carolina's Doldrums Continue; Heels Fall to Louisville 65-71

   Wow. The Heels just do not look good. They didn't look good when they ascended to #1/#2, and they still don't look good.
   Marcus is either still in, or barely starting to crawl out of, the mother of all slumps. Berry was 1-10. Hicks was 2-8. We've been missing almost every 3 we take...but tonight we added an enormous number of missed layups to that. We really did not look good.
   On the bright side, we actually had a chance to tie, and might very well have if we'd gotten a good bounce here or there. And Jackson was something like 6-9. So maybe he's emerging from his slump...
   I love this team...but man they've gotten frustrating to  watch.

Mandatory "Diversity" Indoctrination at Mizzou

   It's astonishing to me how far this sort of thing is going.
   I'm going to go ahead and assume that these things are not all bad, that some good points will be made, that some people will learn things, and that we collectively might be better off if everybody thought at least a little bit about this sort of thing.
   However. If CR's account is right, then there seems to be a fairly large measure of leftist/PC indoctrination in the session. Deploying the massively confused concept "cultural appropriation" at all would, by itself, already send the thing down an ideological track. The problem here is not that such issues are discussed. The problem is that: (a) a very specific far-left perspective is being advocated rather than discussed; (b) that perspective is being taught as if it were uncontroversial and obviously true; (c) there is, almost certainly, no attention to criticism of the perspective; and, of course, (d): it's mandatory. This sort of extreme political bias wouldn't be ok even in an elective class...much less a mandatory session for all students.
   If public universities were, say, forcing students to attend pro-free-market or pro-small-government indoctrination camp, the academic left would explode.  If public university students were being forced to attend pro-religion workshops, where where controversial religious concepts and perspectives were being presupposed (e.g.: is such-and-such a thing sinful?)...well...there's no way to finish that sentence, because it's almost unimaginable that such a thing would happen at an American public university.
   This really is an outrage. There might be a decent idea somewhere in it...but there's just too much bad. If, during orientation, a school wants to tell students something like the following, I think that's not only ok, but good:
 "Hey, look, there are going to be a lot of people here who are going to be, superficially speaking, very different than those you're used to. They're going to look different, think different, act different, dress different, talk different, accept different things, have sex with different people...all sorts of stuff. You need to realize that that a university is a pretty cosmopolitan place, and you are going to have to get used to it. Do not hassle people just for being different. That doesn't mean that you have to believe what they believe, or do what they do, or think it's ok, or think that it's off-limits for reasonable discussion. But no hassling. Here endeth the lesson."
   But mandatory left-wing indoctrination sessions...that just isn't ok. No one should stand for that. (If, indeed, that's what's happening at Mizzou. CampusReform is a pretty good source of info, but it does have an agenda.)

The Riddler (at Night Falls, A Storm Rolls In

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mizzou Prof Melissa "I Need Some Muscle Over Here" Click Sentenced To 20 Hours Of Community Service

I dunno what a fair sentence would be.
At least it's something.

Hillary's E-Mails: Maybe Not So Bad?

At take it with a grain of salt, I suppose...