Link of the Day

Professor Glenn Loury’s response to Brown University’s wokester sloganeering is beautiful and important. Do read.

I read the letter 5 times because this professor is what we should all aspire to be. Not only in the substance of the letter but in the beautiful way he expresses himself.

44 thoughts on “Link of the Day”

  1. Indeed, a beautiful letter. But to be fair, many administrators write this drivel because faculty and students demand it. There was a recent petition going around Twitter from Caltech faculty to the administration that their initial obligatory BLM statement is not strong enough. Faculty was petitioning for a stronger statement with action items such as implicit bias training for everyone.

    I kid you not. And grown men and women, who I know to be otherwise intelligent, were signing this petition.

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    1. Absolutely, 100%. Faculty members are begging for it. And the scary thing is that they have somehow managed to convince themselves that they are doing something good. It’s very disturbing. These are the people who say their goal is to teach critical thinking.

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    1. He’s black. We aren’t at the point yet where a bunch of rich white students demand the firing of a black professor for being wrong on black issues. I hope.

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  2. I have become desperate to hear intelligent criticism like that. It is less and less frequent. There is so much noise these days, coming from every political directions.

    And beautifully written too.

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  3. “Change from what to what, exactly?” I think that this simple question is key, and speaks volume about the weakness of protest movements in the last 20? 30? years.

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    1. Exactly. That’s why the demands are always so…. weird.

      “Abolish greed!” was popular during#Occupy. “Defund police!” is trending now. The first was simply childish. The second is pro-austerity. We are going from bad to worse.

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  4. Thread of the day:

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    1. Man. This is why I keep saying: this is about austerity. This is neoliberal austerity. We have almost the entirety of the left out there demanding more austerity. It’s Kafkaesque.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “this is about austerity. This is neoliberal austerity”

        Not from what I see. The proposal is to shift money from the police to social workers and other SJW type occupations, not to stop spending. It’s government budget, reverse Robin Hood, class warfare; take from lower/working classes who staff the police and give to middle class ‘progressive’ university graduates.

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        1. That money is going to end up in the pocket of the content-developers who will provide endless anti-bias trainings. And regular people will have to hire private security services in addition to taxes.

          Nobody is going to stop spending or lower taxes, of course. That’s not the point of austerity. The point is to transfer more taxpayer money directly to Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, etc.

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          1. // That’s not the point of austerity. The point is to transfer more taxpayer money directly to Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, etc.

            May you define again what austerity means, please? I thought it meant less government spending on citizens since workers have been losing power in the new global marketplace.

            Since austerity seems to be a worldwide phenomenon in Western countries such as EU members and USA, can it truly be summarized as transferring money to Microsoft? Why would governments want to help Amazon and co. become even richer?

            I know we have been discussing austerity at length here, but I feel confused / forgot. Is there a short explanation that is easy to remember and understand?

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            1. It’s definitely less spending on citizens. Instead, there’s a gigantic outsourcing of everything that has to do with the welfare apparatus (of which things like police and ICE in the US are a huge part) to private actors. And the citizens still pay as much and more on taxes.

              Why it’s done, that’s a big question. As you can see there are multitudes of people in the US right now clamoring for it. I don’t understand their motivation other than it’s some sort of a herd instinct. One smart, self-serving bastard threw out a slogan and they are running around and repeating it.

              I don’t have another explanation. These are people who are demanding that the government spend less on them. It’s insane. As insane as academics demanding more humiliating, time-consuming bias trainings. Who can explain what motivates these people?

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              1. But people in EU are not clamoring for it. There have been protests in France, Brexit, Greek citizens also probably don’t wish for more austerity.

                Some actors win worldwide. Despite reading a book on neoliberalism, I still don’t get how it works.

                The Russian blogger I linked above talks about the conflict between different kinds of financial elites. Don’t know whether he is right or sounds completely crazy to you, but he offers a theory here:

                Гуталиновая революция
                https://el-murid.livejournal.com/4482534.html

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              2. I’m sorry but seriously? Am I the right person to read about how the Ukrainian revolution is a plot of evil globalists? :-))

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              3. // Am I the right person to read about how the Ukrainian revolution is a plot of evil globalists?

                No. I thought about that but still wondered whether not connected to Ukraine parts had any merit.

                So, you think it’s all Putinoid propaganda, even parts not connected to Ukraine?

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              4. The whole point of the piece is to degrade the Ukrainian revolution. It starts with it and ends with it. That’s the only idea he’s trying to transmit.

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      1. And Rowling not only isn’t apologizing and backing down, she’s pointedly telling her critics that they’re idiots. Good for her!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. She’s extremely rare in that. Everybody else rolls over and begs forgiveness immediately. Even rich and famous people. Stephen King, for instance, has been absolutely pathetic after he got hounded.

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  5. JKR is not alone. Emma Watson, who played the role of Harry Potter’s best female friend in the movies, has received criticism too:

    // Emma Watson Slammed on Twitter for Her ‘Tone-Deaf’ Instagram Posts
    June 03, 2020

    A self-proclaimed feminist, the 30-year-old has been very vocal about Women’s Rights and issues such as Gender Equality and Time’s Up. While Watson is known primarily for her acting skills, she also has received a ton of fame and recognition for her activism. She has often utilized her social media channels like Twitter and Instagram to speak out against worldwide injustices.

    Recently, however, Watson’s role as an activist has been called into question. Fans and critics alike have noted that she has not spoken out against the flagrant racism that Black people in America are facing or police brutality. Instead, she’s remained silent on both Twitter and Instagram despite countless people demanding that she speak out. Contrastingly, she’s spoken up about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the form of retweets and Instagram posts multiple times.

    Update: Citing that she was holding off on posting until after Blackout Tuesday was over in the U.K., Emma Watson has now posted additional Instagram posts and committed to using her Twitter and Instagram profiles to share resources that have helped her navigate the issue of racism.

    https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/emma-watson-twitter-slammed-instagram-posts.html/

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  6. He imagines that violence and reason do not go together and have not done so to establish this country. That’s a basic error and a cliché. If things were solved by “conversation” they would have been solved some time ago, and remember, all of this is about police violence and police murders.

    I appreciate his pointing out that administrators are not “leaders,” faculty are, and I share the view. However, faculty organizations can also put out statements, and if faculty want to fulfill their responsibility to lead, that’s the kind of thing they’ve got to do.

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    1. “all of this is about police violence and police murders”

      And the data shows that this is not the problem it’s being made out to be. The increasing militarization of the police is a problem but won’t be solved by disbanding the police or supporting looters or by attention whores kneeling to black people (how can they stand that particular degrading spectacle?)

      But, not my problem – it’s for people in the US to solve. Let me know how it all works out….

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      1. // attention whores kneeling to black people

        Kneeling is passé:

        Photo: protesters in North Carolina literally wash the feet of BLM activists

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        1. “North Carolina literally wash the feet of BLM activists”

          You know…. if Americans want to debase themselves that way (and I’m sure anyone at a university will be compelled to do so…. so that’s something for those here from American universities to look forward to) then fine. Whatever, but why is this an urgent issue in places like Japan and Ireland?

          This doesn’t happen by accident, it’s being manipulated by people behind the scenes who will use it to fleece the working class (including many African Americans) and anyone who encourages it is a fool or evil (no other option comes to mind).

          https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/protesters-gather-outside-us-embassy-in-dublin-over-george-floyd-death-1.4272826

          https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/06/05/national/dos-donts-protesting-in-japan/#.Xt1KYuoq6Uk

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          1. “if Americans want to debase themselves that way”

            You know, regarding debasement, I’ve been wondering what black BLM activists feel as their feet are being washed. How can they not feel debased by it themselves? I would if, for instance, Germans who murdered 6 million Jews a short time ago decided to do something similar.

            Another question is how activists, who seem to enjoy others degrading themselves, fail to understand they are hurting their declared cause, unless it’s not really about the cause for them.

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            1. “wondering what black BLM activists feel as their feet are being washed”

              I would want to crawl in a hole and die if someone wanted to wash my feet to make up for their sins in public with photographers around….

              “activists, who seem to enjoy others degrading themselves”

              Nomenklatura – watching others degrade themselves is most of the reason they joined the party in the first place…

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              1. My biggest historical grievance is against Russians, of course. If any Russian people wanted to kneel in front of me or was my feet to expiate their sins, I’d hate them with a burning passion because this is humiliating and disgusting. It’s also a mockery of Christianity but nobody cares if some religions are insulted.

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          2. It’s a currently fashionable thing to do, so people whose personal brands include doing trendy things are all participating.

            I thought universities were particularly crazy until I found out the kind of thing that successful entrepreneurs were posting in their social media. A trend is a trend.

            But that austerity will be the response to all this is a given. As I said from the start.

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        2. “literally wash the feet of BLM activists”

          And so, I wonder if we can’t explain this as a kind of ‘sacrament’ in the new SJW religion: a slapstick replay of the Christian rite of foot-washing on Great and Holy Thursday aka Maundy Thursday.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maundy_Thursday

          “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”

          Liked by 1 person

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