Thursday, September 28, 2023

It's Probably Time For This Great Classic Again Right About Now

The Postpostmodern Progressive Left in Yet Another Nutshell: Steve Schmidt, Postmodern Hermeneuticist

When you adopt the method of free-form literary interpretation, anything can mean anything:

 It's really the lunatic philosophy/epistemology underlying this madness that concerns me most. This isn't just some isolated instance--this is how the left reasons now. It's no longer isolated to the weaker regions of the humanities and social sciences. It's seeped in so deep as to have infected formerly-not-so-crazy people like Schmidt. One of the leading ideas that has driven the academic left mad is that "everything is a text." Worse is the idea that all reasoning can be conducted in the manner of bad poetry interpretation: a free-form rummaging through vague hints of suggestions of implications, looking for bits and pieces and fragments of thoughts that you can string together into some vaguely suggestive hogwash of a pseudo-conclusion that you wanted to "prove" from the get-go. Add leftist politics--which doesn't really have to be added, because it's basically inseparable from this nonsense--and you get what we see today. Six months??? You know who else took six months to do something once???? HITLER
   As loony as Trump is, he is, by far, less insane than these people. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

(Two) High School Students Unhappy that Climate Totalitarianism Isn't Total Enough--Not Discussed in Every Class (and Every T.V. Show)

A hundred years from now, this could serve as a very short introduction to early-21st-century climate hysteria.
   And, of course, there's the pretense that this is some widespread phenomenon...but no data is given beyond citing two disgruntled schoolgirls.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Nico Perrino: Right-Wing Activist Christopher Rufo Became the Thing He Claims to Hate

Rufo has definitely slipped toward the Dark Side of late.
   As for the "Stop Woke" act--though this can't be said of Perrion or FIRE, it's funny how the academic left suddenly started caring about free speech and open inquiry...
   What that act and many similar acts aims at stopping is indoctrination. And that's good--and consistent with the First Amendment. They've gone about it the wrong way--though their not generally as bad as the academic left wants you to believe. Their argument is basically: You must permit us to continue the unbridled brainwashing students and professors because the new laws that attempt to prohibit us from doing so could, possibly, if interpreted as uncharitably as possible, prevent us from teaching about some ideas central to our ideology at all...
   Of course, if the academic left would stop the blatant abuse of universities, this would be an issue. They could easily stop the "STOP WOKE" (God how I hate cutesy names for legislation) act by eliminating the need for it. They are like criminals arguing that the police should not be able to hinder their crime spree in any respect because doing so might possibly interfere with their rights. 
   Nevertheless, it is important that we not become like the progressive left. And Rufo lost me to some extent when he basically agreed with the ridiculous leftist mantra that all education is political. To the extent that that's even an intelligible claim, it isn't true. To try to win the battle by adopting strategies that constitute losing the war...not a great idea.

Monday, September 25, 2023

DEI Madness at the USAF Academy, With Comments on DEI Totalitarianism

Part of the problem with DEI is that it is one tentacle of the totalitarian progressive-left octopus. The more modest and limited a policy, the weaker the arguments in support of it can be. The more ambitious and unlimited a policy, the heavier the burden of proof its advocates must carry--and the greater its potential for harm. And the more resistant we should be to its implementation.
   My view is that the problem isn't so much DEI as it is the postpostmodern, politically correct progressive left. That position is antiliberal, antirationalist, and totalitarian. DEI--a rather bad idea to begin with--could be spun in a less-destructive direction if implemented by more liberal and rational institutions, or by a more liberal and reasonable faction. It might even have some good effects if applied modestly, at the margins.
   But DEI is now little more than an efficient tool for institutionalizing the insane ideas of the contemporary--totalitarian--left.
   As such, it is no surprise that DEI itself has become totalitarian. What might have been an at least moderately reasonable idea if implemented modestly has, instead, become a set of ideas that are being forced into every corner of institutions. That's certainly true of my institution, and, as the piece linked to above makes clear, it's happening at USAFA. And those two institutions are in no way unrepresentative in this respect. 
   DEI is now being imposed on students in many of their classes, by the para-faculty of "student affairs," by other students and student organizations--from, in short, every direction. It is now often represented as the most important end of universities. That's to say: many leftists now openly (or not-so-openly) say that advancing DEI / "social justice" / "antiracism" etc. are the real aims of universities. Even good ideas would become bad if implemented in that way. 
   Today's left is irrational and destructive both because of its illiberal, irrationalist ideas and because it is religiously dedicated to the project of converting the unbeliever via rhetorical and institutional force--including what is, in effect, brainwashing. 
   In my view, DEI must be destroyed. At this point, there is no reforming it. Any promise by progressives to salvage it will be a smokescreen. Any weapon we leave them will be used against us, because their weapons are mere means. Taking away DEI is a virtually necessary, but by no means sufficient, step toward prying control of our institutions away from the illiberal, antirationalist left.

Trump Leads by 10, Biden's Numbers in the Dumpster

The 10-point lead is an outlier, and I don't believe it. 
A second Trump term would not exactly be good news...but by this point in my life I suppose I should be used to supporting the lesser available evil.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

The Biden Administration is Now Flying Illegal Aliens Directly from Venezuela to The U.S. and Giving Them Automatic Work Visas

You really can't make this stuff up.

Ibram Kendi's "Center for Antiracist Research" at BU is a Scam

Which isn't a surprise.
What's a surprise is that it's collapsing.
The left props up such scams--e.g. BLM--as long as possible. For an enterprise like this to collapse, it's got to be really exceptionally, transparently scammy.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

NDG Morphed Into Bill Nye "The Science" Guy So Gradually I Didn't Even Notice

A shorter version of the previously-posted Triggernometry episode.
NDG's performance is shameful.
As one of the comments pithily puts it: a scientist asking "Why do you care [to know]" is like a doctor asking "Why do you want to be healthy."

Friday, September 22, 2023

RCOR Poll: Bad News re: Free Speech, and Some Good

Republicans, men, and olds are mostly committed to free speech...though less than I'd like. 
Democrats are a wreck. Women are wobbly. The kids are not alright.
Republican voters (74%) and independents (61%) believe speech should be legal “under any circumstances, while Democrats are almost evenly divided. A bare majority of Democrats (53%) say speech should be legal under any circumstances, while 47% say it should be legal “only under certain circumstances.”
Nearly one-third of Democratic voters (34%) say Americans have “too much freedom.” This compared to 14.6% of Republicans. Republicans were most likely to say Americans have too little freedom (46%), while only 22% of Democrats feel that way. Independents were in the middle in both categories.
Although majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree the news media should be able to report stories they believe are in the national interest, this consensus shifts when it comes to social media censorship. A majority of Democrats (52%) approve of the government censoring social media content under the rubric of protecting national security. Among Republicans and independents, this percentage is only one-third.
Poll respondents were read this statement: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Only 31% of Democratic voters “strongly agreed” with that sentiment, compared to 51% of Republicans.
Fully three-fourths of Democrats believe government has a responsibility to limit “hateful” social media posts, while Republicans are more split, with 50% believing the government has a responsibility to restrict hateful posts. (Independents, once again, are in the middle.)
Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to favor stifling the free speech rights of political extremists. Also, Republicans don’t vary by the group: Only about half of GOP voters favor censorship — whether asked about the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, or the Communist Party. [My emphases]
One encouraging finding: Republican opposition to censorship seems principle-based and content neutral (whereas Dems tend to favor censoring speakers based on the content and political valence of their message). 
   One of the most surprisingly things about the bizarre political shakeup of the last...uh...five to forty (?) years is the parties' switching valence on this issue. Back in the day, it was Dems championing free speech, and Pubs pushing for nutty things like anti-flag-burning legislation, prayer in schools, and mandatory Pledge of Allegiance...