Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Russians reveal how many Russian soldiers were killed and maimed in action in Ukraine.

The linked article also reveals the amounts that the families of the dead soldiers received in return for pretending that their dead sons and husbands never existed.

These are, of course, just the regular troops. There are also crowds of Russian “patriots” who have been coming to Ukraine to kill. These are the ones who are the first to be killed because they have no military training.

Trigger Warnings and the Post-work Society

Another good professor falls prey to the insanity of trigger warnings.

Soon, I will have to create a club for the last remaining practitioners of the belief that college is a place of work and not a place of consumption.

I was brought up to believe that school is work. Not a place where you come to purchase qualifications that will prepare you for work but actual work. I always expected my professors to treat me as (young, inexperienced, largely ignorant but still) a colleague, an equal. And they did that, for which I am grateful.

The workplace is changing, however. Instead of a place where all of us come to develop personally, intellectually and professionally, it has become a space where the lucky few manage to peddle their foibles and weirdnesses while everyone else watches them on TV, simultaneously fearing and aspiring to their lifestyle.

College prepares students for the post-work mentality by telling them that the public space is dead. It has been colonized by sloppy, unschooled, gushing emotions to the extent that everything is now located within the realm of the private.

Political activism has been substituted by feel-good hashtagging, and Trump is leading in the polls as a result of offering emotional release instead of inviting voters to engage intellectually. If the classroom has been turned into a place where we are directed to emote before we even try to learn anything, why  would the voting booth  be any different?

And only the few old farts like myself are grumpily refusing to participate in the collective Emote-fest and insist that it might not be a bad idea to preserve a tiny little space that will not be fully occupied by irrationality.

Outsiders

It drives me up a wall when people eagerly bring up somebody’s lack of experience in politics as their best qualification for the role of president. Is there any other profession where potential customers value inexperience and lack of knowledge?

“I found this great dentist. She’s a total outsider to the field of dentistry, never went to any of those dentistry schools because how elitist is that? No, she’s one of us, regular folks. Never treated a tooth in her life. I’m having her do my root canal tomorrow.”

“This new plumber I hired is the best. Has zero knowledge of plumbing. He’s actually a professor of Spanish literature, so other plumbers perceive him as a total outsider. Now that he’s a plumber, he’ll really revolutionize the field of plumbing. How long has it been since we’ve had a plumber who is terrified of plumbing tools and hates water pipes?”

Connecting with Me

A friend from Africa came over and tried to get in touch. Unfortunately, he used all the methods of connecting that are guaranteed to fail:

1. Facebook – I only go there once every six months out of a misplaced sense of guilt.

2. Skype – I only go there to see my analyst and never read the IMs.

3. Phone – I don’t have voice mail and never pick up if I don’t recognize the number.

These additional methods are just as useless:

4. Email – unless it’s the university email, I only read it once a month or less.

5. Work voice mail – haven’t checked it since August of 2009.

People, if you want to connect with me, don’t rely on these outlandish methods. Simply leave me a message on the blog alerting me to your need to get in touch. I’m always available through the blog.