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The Ending of the Liberal Interregnum

gal The above talk is from Alice Dreger, author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice. I don’t know Dreger personally, but she seems like a brave and courageous person. In the broadest strokes there’s very little where we disagree. Yes, our politics, and many of our specific beliefs, diverge, but we generally at least hold to the ideal of truth.

There is one section of her talk where Dreger waxes eloquently about the Enlightenment, and freedom of thought, which caught my attention. We have always missed the mark, but at there was a point where in Western intellectual culture the idea that freedom of thought and striving toward truth was at least the paramount method and goal. I am not so sure that is the case today.

When Dreger pointed approvingly on Twitter to University of Chicago’s statement on “safe spaces,” I told her that most of my liberal Twitter follows were enthusiastically sharing this piece, UChicago’s anti-safe spaces letter isn’t about academic freedom. It’s about power. The piece makes some coherent points, but mostly it is self-congratulatory intellectual masturbation. At a certain point the cultural Left no longer made any pretense to being liberal, and transformed themselves into “progressives.” They have taken Marcuse’s thesis in Repressive Tolerance to heart.

75812 Though I hope that Dreger and her fellow travelers succeed in rolling back the clock, I suspect that the battle here is lost. She points out, correctly, that the total politicization of academia will destroy its existence as a producer of truth in any independent and objective manner. More concretely, she suggests it is likely that conservatives will simply start to defund and direct higher education even more stridently than they do now, because they will correctly see higher education as purely a tool toward the politics of their antagonists. I happen to be a conservative, and one who is pessimistic about the persistence of a public liberal space for ideas that offend. If progressives give up on liberalism of ideas, and it seems that many are (the most famous defenders of the old ideals are people from earlier generations, such as Nadine Strossen and Wendy Kaminer, with Dreger being a young example), I can’t see those of us in the broadly libertarian wing of conservatism making the last stand alone.

Honestly, I don’t want any of my children learning “liberal arts” from the high priests of the post-colonial cult. In the near future the last resistance on the Left to the ascendency of identity politics will probably be extinguished, as the old guard retires and dies naturally. The battle will be lost. Conservatives who value learning, and intellectual discourse, need to regroup. Currently there is a populist moood in conservatism that has been cresting for a generation. But the wave of identity politics is likely to swallow the campus Left with its intellectual nihilism. Instead of expanding outward it is almost certain that academia will start cannibalizing itself in internecine conflict when all the old enemies have been vanquished.

Let the private universities, such as Oberlin, wallow in their identity politics contradictions. Dreger already points to the path we will probably have to take: gut the public universities even more than we have. Leave STEM and some professional schools intact, and transform them for all practical purposes into technical universities. All the other disciplines? Some private universities, the playgrounds of the rich and successful, will continue to be traditionalist in maintaining “liberal arts,” which properly parrot the latest post-colonial cant. But much learning will be privatized, and knowledge will spread through segregated “safe spaces.” Those of us who read and think will continue to read and think, like we always have. We just won’t have institutional backing, because there’s not going to be a societal consensus for such support.

I hope I’m wrong.

 
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  1. That would be a return to form for the public universities. Back to the days when they were land grant colleges designed to help with agriculture and mining, and provide various skilled personnel (such as engineers and surveyors). The modern version will involve a lot of partnerships with private companies.

    The piece makes some coherent points, but mostly it is self-congratulatory intellectual masturbation.

    Gannon’s weakest on the “public speakers” point, stronger on trigger warnings (not called “content warnings” even though that’s what they are). I mostly wasn’t impressed by the University of Chicago letter, which felt like grandstanding given that the college isn’t about to either ban safe spaces like various student clubs and associations, nor go after professors for offering trigger warnings on their courses. Which leaves, what, that they won’t cancel controversial speakers having booked them? That’s good and praiseworthy, at least.

    Perhaps it’s reassuring for conservative parents paying the University of Chicago’s high tuition rates, though.

    More concretely, she suggests it is likely that conservatives will simply start to defund and direct higher education even more stridently than they do now, because they will correctly see higher education as purely a tool toward the politics of their antagonists.

    I believe that the Republican Party variant of US conservatives were going to do that anyways, whether or not they thought the university was a den of leftists.

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  2. Razib, you wrote:

    Leave STEM and some professional schools intact, and transform them for all practical purposes into technical universities.

    Well… as someone with a Ph.D. in pure physics from Stanford (theoretical elementary-particle physics, 1983), I have to say that I have found physics to be just as politicized as the humanities and social sciences. I won’t go into my own experiences, but anyone interested in the problems should look over Peter Woit’s “Not Even Wrong” blog (I do not necessarily endorse everything Peter writes, but he provides lots of interesting examples).

    It’s also worth reading Leo Szilard’s wickedly witty satire, “The Mark Gable Foundation,” about the dangers of a centrally-controlled research system based on peer review.

    I have no magic solution, and I have always like the classical ideal (no longer a reality) of the university. Perhaps the best to be hoped for is a diversity of organizational models for research.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

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    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    Ironically, arch-string theorist Lubos Motl accepts the anti-pc HBD (he even shows up in Steve Sailer's blogroll), while my impression is that his bête noire Peter Woit (with whom I agree that string theory is 'not even wrong'), to the extent that even he thinks about HBD, does not. I find myself splitting the difference of accepting HBD and rejecting string theory.
  3. Blast, I hit my edit window. It does not appear that the University of Chicago is planning to cancel an explicit safe space program they have for LGBT folks.

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  4. Most college attendees don’t particularly care that much about creating new knowledge anyway. If what you say were to happen, one of the biggest side effects would be children of the middle class might not be pushed into going into debt pursuing useless degrees.

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  5. A possible linguistic index of changing ideals: go on Google Ngram and check out “empowerment.” The word is pretty much non-existent before 1970 and rises sharply on a logistic curve after that. “Freedom” and “liberation” on the other hand decline after the 1970s. I think the rise of “empowerment” talk reflects the rise of a pop Left Foucaultian/Nietzschean view that “truth” and “liberty” are only masks worn by privilege. In reality there is only the Will to Power, and what matters is “Which side are you on?”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Doug Jones
    "Empower" overtakes "liberate" on Google Ngrams in 1997.
  6. knowledge will spread through segregated “safe spaces.
    —-
    Possibly a return to secret societies and most advanced knowledge not being broadcast to the general educated public, but to only to trusted disciples and comrades.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    How do we know that is not what we have already?
  7. I’ve long believed the defunding of the Texas supercollider in 1993 was as a pivotal event. The search for truth of Galileo et al. was devalued from a self-justified pursuit to just another budgetary mouth to feed. At one hearing a skeptical congressman asked what possible good knowing the secrets of the universe would do for his constituents. Sapere aude indeed.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    going from the Space Program to Safe Space Programs ... progress indeed
    , @cthulhu
    The main reason the SSC was cancelled was because Bill Clinton, trying to look like a centrist deficit cutter, saw it as a way to bitch-slap reliably Republican Texas. Many Democrats from reliably Democratic states - Illinois and New York in particular - were happy to go along, because the proposed locations in their states weren't chosen for the SSC. Pure pork-barrel politics, helped along slightly by myopic scientists who could only see the SSC funding as food for their pet projects (which they never got; SSC budgets were not redeployed to other science efforts).
  8. @ogunsiron
    knowledge will spread through segregated “safe spaces.
    ----
    Possibly a return to secret societies and most advanced knowledge not being broadcast to the general educated public, but to only to trusted disciples and comrades.

    How do we know that is not what we have already?

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

  9. Remember that so much learning begins in the home, and is modeled and reinforced there. My parents valued Western Civ, among other topics, and now my kids do. In this era of infotainment and electronic device distraction, parental effort takes on new urgency and precedence.

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  10. @iffen
    How do we know that is not what we have already?

    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we’d be here in 2016, i’d have been skeptical, and sad. but that’s where we are. it’s getting worse, not better :-( and it’s not about tenure or money. it’s about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they’d be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn’t put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so “we” have to capture and crush; it’s only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn’t matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn’t need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples’ livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i’m an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they’ll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they’ll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career….

    Read More
    • Agree: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @iffen
    I associate freedom of thought with a liberal democracy.

    Very reluctantly I am coming to understand that in the modern world it is just too heavy of a lift for liberal democracy to provide us the way “forward.” To the extent that freedom of thought and conscience are interdependent with the political system it does seem like both are in failure mode.

    Thanks for the pep talk. :)
    , @Roger Sweeny
    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they’ll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds...

    That sounds a lot like Taleb in his, "The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dominance of the Stubborn Minority."

    http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/minority.pdf
    , @syonredux

    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private
     
    Yeah. I'm in the Humanities, not the hard sciences, but I've had close colleagues say heretical things to me behind closed doors, things that they would fervently denounce if someone were to say them publicly.

    For example, one colleague admitted to me that Black American Lit was something of a joke , that there simply weren't enough great Black authors to justify its existence as a discipline.
    , @Twinkie

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so “we” have to capture and crush; it’s only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn’t matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.
     
    It's this realization, not just about the academy, but the major institutions of our society in general, that has made me become melancholic and withdrawn from the world in the last decade or so. I subscribe to old school Christian gentlemanliness, of fair play, and magnanimity to the defeated, at least toward my fellow Americans (I have a different view about foreign enemies, they who are not of our tribe).

    I am now of the view that our domestic conflict is a much more existential threat than any posed by our foreign rivals.

    As for the privatization of learning, we are already there. Many conservatives, traditionalists, and the religious who do not wish their children to be indoctrinated by the Establishment "progressivism" home school. Humanities and social sciences are a lost cause at most universities, and I support your call to turn public universities into technical and scientific institutes. For those who are interested in a truly conscientious liberal arts learning at the universiy level, they can turn to schools such as Thomas Aquinas College or University of Dallas. These Catholic institutions still offer the traditional liberal arts programs with an excellent grounding in Western canon, including the products of the Enlightenment. Students there actually engage in rigorous and challenging discussions and debates in classrooms without the fear of offending the all-too-easily offended. No "safe space." (In part, schools such as TAC can do this because it accepts neither government nor Church money - it's independent and does what the school believes will benefit the students regardless of politics or ideology.)
    , @candid_observer
    The countervailing point is that the rise of the Internet enables anonymity, and this anonymity makes the exposure of truth far easier than in the past.

    I'd say that this has already proved to be true on many of the most forbidden subjects, such as the links between race and socially important traits.
    , @Maus
    Razib is unfortunately all too correct about the social value of Truth. And he has experienced this more concretely than most of us. Pilate bellowed "What is truth?" And shortly thereafter Razib was no longer a NYT writer, a great loss to a wider audience of science enthusiasts curious about genetics.
    This power dynamic is why so many of us have to comment anonymously. Real consequences are at stake for truth speakers.
  11. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @martin
    I've long believed the defunding of the Texas supercollider in 1993 was as a pivotal event. The search for truth of Galileo et al. was devalued from a self-justified pursuit to just another budgetary mouth to feed. At one hearing a skeptical congressman asked what possible good knowing the secrets of the universe would do for his constituents. Sapere aude indeed.

    going from the Space Program to Safe Space Programs … progress indeed

    Read More
  12. I the last weeks I have read quite a lot about Scholasticism. Correct if I am wrong, maybe I just don’t see the point or lack the education to appreciate it, but I was surprised how dull thinking and science is when it is constrained by religious dogmas. It was a disheartening thought that people engaged in this for hundred of years, probably rather intelligent people, too.
    So seen from this perspective it is sadly possible that science again gets under the chokehold of some other cult.
    By the way I have also recently had some contact to post-colonial university lecturers. What is striking about them is the very superficial way they think, I don´t think what they do makes any sense contentwise, but even h o w they do it is not impressive. My guess is that when you refuse an empirical approach – instead putting everything into a moral framework – your thinking automatically gets trivial.

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  13. @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

    I associate freedom of thought with a liberal democracy.

    Very reluctantly I am coming to understand that in the modern world it is just too heavy of a lift for liberal democracy to provide us the way “forward.” To the extent that freedom of thought and conscience are interdependent with the political system it does seem like both are in failure mode.

    Thanks for the pep talk. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    yep, i think it's a package deal. those of us who can see the future coming need to prep ourselves to make it into the oligarchy. only there will liberty remain and retain.
  14. There are twists and turns, but we do approach the truth, even if slowly and tortuously. I think you are too pessimistic. This is the great age of direct-to-home knowledge dissemination. No Kommissariat will be able to sell snake oil forever.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    it'll be incommensurable ghettos. in fields without direct impact outside of science one can make up stuff without consequence. all that restricts us is decency, conscience, and a genuine love of the truth. what if you have none of these? even in statistical science you can row up the river for decades.
  15. Really good post, thanks.

    Allan Bloom thought he was describing his present — turns out it was more of a prescient forecast. Guess he’d see today’s atmosphere as the logical endpoint of already existing trends. (Btw, I love his caricaturization in Bellow’s Ravelstein.)

    I think some people are underestimating how dire the situation can become. Razib’s tone is rightly troubled. It’s difficult to write about this without sounding a bit loony, like talking about “vibes” and such, but there are real costs that go beyond the tangible ones (career destruction, mitigated technical progress, etc.) For certain types of intelligent/curious people it just sucks spiritually to live in that sort of world.

    Otoh, secret societies sound pretty fun. ;-)

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    • Replies: @iffen
    For certain types

    That would be the ones that actually have a spirit, right?
    , @Razib Khan
    For certain types of intelligent/curious people it just sucks spiritually to live in that sort of world.

    to some extent the past few centuries have been on our terms. the enlightenment is overdone and overvalorized, but it was a thing. but it's an old faith going into decline.

    people need to accept that the future is arranged around corporate units. that naked power will dictate relations between those corporate units.
  16. @sprfls
    Really good post, thanks.

    Allan Bloom thought he was describing his present -- turns out it was more of a prescient forecast. Guess he'd see today's atmosphere as the logical endpoint of already existing trends. (Btw, I love his caricaturization in Bellow's Ravelstein.)

    I think some people are underestimating how dire the situation can become. Razib's tone is rightly troubled. It's difficult to write about this without sounding a bit loony, like talking about "vibes" and such, but there are real costs that go beyond the tangible ones (career destruction, mitigated technical progress, etc.) For certain types of intelligent/curious people it just sucks spiritually to live in that sort of world.

    Otoh, secret societies sound pretty fun. ;-)

    For certain types

    That would be the ones that actually have a spirit, right?

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  17. @iffen
    I associate freedom of thought with a liberal democracy.

    Very reluctantly I am coming to understand that in the modern world it is just too heavy of a lift for liberal democracy to provide us the way “forward.” To the extent that freedom of thought and conscience are interdependent with the political system it does seem like both are in failure mode.

    Thanks for the pep talk. :)

    yep, i think it’s a package deal. those of us who can see the future coming need to prep ourselves to make it into the oligarchy. only there will liberty remain and retain.

    Read More
  18. @omarali50
    There are twists and turns, but we do approach the truth, even if slowly and tortuously. I think you are too pessimistic. This is the great age of direct-to-home knowledge dissemination. No Kommissariat will be able to sell snake oil forever.

    it’ll be incommensurable ghettos. in fields without direct impact outside of science one can make up stuff without consequence. all that restricts us is decency, conscience, and a genuine love of the truth. what if you have none of these? even in statistical science you can row up the river for decades.

    Read More
    • Replies: @omarali50
    My thought is that many (maybe even most) people do in fact have some decency, conscience and genuine love of truth. It is easy to be trapped within a ridiculously false framework if that is the dominant mode of thought and nobody is saying otherwise (see someone like Peter Abelard, clearly a lover of truth and knowledge, blessed with a high IQ and the motivation and discipline to study and write, yet for all his originality and intelligence, what comes out is still Catholic Christian theology), but it is impossible to imagine a future where all this postcolonial crap is as overwhelmingly dominant and unchallenged as Catholicism was in 12th century Europe. Even within academia, it is by no means the only story out there. It is not society that will entirely succumb to this crap, it is small islands of nonsense within society.
    On the other hand, the damage will not be trivial. A critical mass of such memes exists and they will no doubt circulate well beyond the swamps of critical studies and postmodern nonsense generators in liberal academia. Shit happens. But shit may not prevail.
    Or at least, I hope that is the case.
  19. @sprfls
    Really good post, thanks.

    Allan Bloom thought he was describing his present -- turns out it was more of a prescient forecast. Guess he'd see today's atmosphere as the logical endpoint of already existing trends. (Btw, I love his caricaturization in Bellow's Ravelstein.)

    I think some people are underestimating how dire the situation can become. Razib's tone is rightly troubled. It's difficult to write about this without sounding a bit loony, like talking about "vibes" and such, but there are real costs that go beyond the tangible ones (career destruction, mitigated technical progress, etc.) For certain types of intelligent/curious people it just sucks spiritually to live in that sort of world.

    Otoh, secret societies sound pretty fun. ;-)

    For certain types of intelligent/curious people it just sucks spiritually to live in that sort of world.

    to some extent the past few centuries have been on our terms. the enlightenment is overdone and overvalorized, but it was a thing. but it’s an old faith going into decline.

    people need to accept that the future is arranged around corporate units. that naked power will dictate relations between those corporate units.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Could you elaborate on that? What kind of corporate units?
  20. @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they’ll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds…

    That sounds a lot like Taleb in his, “The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dominance of the Stubborn Minority.”

    http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/minority.pdf

    Read More
  21. @Doug Jones
    A possible linguistic index of changing ideals: go on Google Ngram and check out "empowerment." The word is pretty much non-existent before 1970 and rises sharply on a logistic curve after that. "Freedom" and "liberation" on the other hand decline after the 1970s. I think the rise of "empowerment" talk reflects the rise of a pop Left Foucaultian/Nietzschean view that "truth" and "liberty" are only masks worn by privilege. In reality there is only the Will to Power, and what matters is "Which side are you on?"

    “Empower” overtakes “liberate” on Google Ngrams in 1997.

    Read More
  22. There are alternatives, such as changing academic culture from the top. Defunding is one thing, but there is also purging and government control. That sounds heavy handed, but it does work in many countries. Turkey just purged thousands of academics, and there hasn’t been much of a backlash, so it is doable.

    In China for example, the government oversees how universities are run through a special liaison, and keeps a leash on academics who would lead the institution down a similar path to western progressivism. One could argue that this system is authoritarian, and it is, but there are more liberties (and focus on actual intellectualism) in Chinese universities than western ones, where leftist beliefs permeate almost everything.

    For American conservatives, academic reform needs to be made into a popular topic, similar to gay marriage or abortion. Doing so puts it on the agenda for the next right-wing president, who can use his executive power to cut the head off the snake even if campus culture is against it.

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  23. @Razib Khan
    For certain types of intelligent/curious people it just sucks spiritually to live in that sort of world.

    to some extent the past few centuries have been on our terms. the enlightenment is overdone and overvalorized, but it was a thing. but it's an old faith going into decline.

    people need to accept that the future is arranged around corporate units. that naked power will dictate relations between those corporate units.

    Could you elaborate on that? What kind of corporate units?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren't been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won't today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

  24. @Razib Khan
    it'll be incommensurable ghettos. in fields without direct impact outside of science one can make up stuff without consequence. all that restricts us is decency, conscience, and a genuine love of the truth. what if you have none of these? even in statistical science you can row up the river for decades.

    My thought is that many (maybe even most) people do in fact have some decency, conscience and genuine love of truth. It is easy to be trapped within a ridiculously false framework if that is the dominant mode of thought and nobody is saying otherwise (see someone like Peter Abelard, clearly a lover of truth and knowledge, blessed with a high IQ and the motivation and discipline to study and write, yet for all his originality and intelligence, what comes out is still Catholic Christian theology), but it is impossible to imagine a future where all this postcolonial crap is as overwhelmingly dominant and unchallenged as Catholicism was in 12th century Europe. Even within academia, it is by no means the only story out there. It is not society that will entirely succumb to this crap, it is small islands of nonsense within society.
    On the other hand, the damage will not be trivial. A critical mass of such memes exists and they will no doubt circulate well beyond the swamps of critical studies and postmodern nonsense generators in liberal academia. Shit happens. But shit may not prevail.
    Or at least, I hope that is the case.

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  25. @German_reader
    Could you elaborate on that? What kind of corporate units?

    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren’t been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won’t today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    Ok, thanks for the explanation. So basically it will be identity politics for the masses while a plutocratic overclass calls the shots, and only a few enlightened ones pursue true knowledge.
    Sounds depressing, but unfortunately quite likely.
    , @iffen
    weren’t been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won’t today

    The bitterest fruit of all time.
    , @Yudi
    "my goal is try to get embedded in that class."

    I find this a confusing goal if you are heterodox in your thinking. The global, Western-led upper class is often the most aggressive in pushing PC orthodoxy onto the "ignorant rubes." What makes you think they'd spare you if you went out of line, even if you were influential enough to be one of them?
    , @ogunsiron
    Any opinion on the outlook for ethno-religions among the elites and among the non elite humans ?
    , @vinteuil
    "...there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class."

    If you actually meant that, you wouldn't have published it, for all to see.

    No. Your goal is to tell truth and shame the devil.
  26. @Razib Khan
    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren't been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won't today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

    Ok, thanks for the explanation. So basically it will be identity politics for the masses while a plutocratic overclass calls the shots, and only a few enlightened ones pursue true knowledge.
    Sounds depressing, but unfortunately quite likely.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    You will have a long wait for nation states to become obsolete.
  27. @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private

    Yeah. I’m in the Humanities, not the hard sciences, but I’ve had close colleagues say heretical things to me behind closed doors, things that they would fervently denounce if someone were to say them publicly.

    For example, one colleague admitted to me that Black American Lit was something of a joke , that there simply weren’t enough great Black authors to justify its existence as a discipline.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Black American Lit

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning. It’s when we start replacing The Canon with 101 iterations of the black female angst of discovering one has black hair that it goes off the tracks.
  28. Japan has already started doing that. Defund the universities, close down humanities departments and focus on STEM with private industry money.

    Read More
  29. @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so “we” have to capture and crush; it’s only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn’t matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    It’s this realization, not just about the academy, but the major institutions of our society in general, that has made me become melancholic and withdrawn from the world in the last decade or so. I subscribe to old school Christian gentlemanliness, of fair play, and magnanimity to the defeated, at least toward my fellow Americans (I have a different view about foreign enemies, they who are not of our tribe).

    I am now of the view that our domestic conflict is a much more existential threat than any posed by our foreign rivals.

    As for the privatization of learning, we are already there. Many conservatives, traditionalists, and the religious who do not wish their children to be indoctrinated by the Establishment “progressivism” home school. Humanities and social sciences are a lost cause at most universities, and I support your call to turn public universities into technical and scientific institutes. For those who are interested in a truly conscientious liberal arts learning at the universiy level, they can turn to schools such as Thomas Aquinas College or University of Dallas. These Catholic institutions still offer the traditional liberal arts programs with an excellent grounding in Western canon, including the products of the Enlightenment. Students there actually engage in rigorous and challenging discussions and debates in classrooms without the fear of offending the all-too-easily offended. No “safe space.” (In part, schools such as TAC can do this because it accepts neither government nor Church money – it’s independent and does what the school believes will benefit the students regardless of politics or ideology.)

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  30. @syonredux

    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private
     
    Yeah. I'm in the Humanities, not the hard sciences, but I've had close colleagues say heretical things to me behind closed doors, things that they would fervently denounce if someone were to say them publicly.

    For example, one colleague admitted to me that Black American Lit was something of a joke , that there simply weren't enough great Black authors to justify its existence as a discipline.

    Black American Lit

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning. It’s when we start replacing The Canon with 101 iterations of the black female angst of discovering one has black hair that it goes off the tracks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning.
     
    He was old school. To his way of thinking, greatness alone justifies literary study. Hence, his distaste for things like courses devoted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mexican-American Lit, The Kardashians, etc.

    I really can't say that I disagree. I'm under a lot of pressure to include as many Black authors as I can in the courses that I teach, and it's tough finding Black writers who are actually any good.
  31. @Razib Khan
    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren't been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won't today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

    weren’t been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won’t today

    The bitterest fruit of all time.

    Read More
  32. @iffen
    Black American Lit

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning. It’s when we start replacing The Canon with 101 iterations of the black female angst of discovering one has black hair that it goes off the tracks.

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning.

    He was old school. To his way of thinking, greatness alone justifies literary study. Hence, his distaste for things like courses devoted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mexican-American Lit, The Kardashians, etc.

    I really can’t say that I disagree. I’m under a lot of pressure to include as many Black authors as I can in the courses that I teach, and it’s tough finding Black writers who are actually any good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    greatness alone justifies literary study

    How do you determine what is great if you don't study the entire field?

    I can't see placing Mexican-American Lit into the same category as pop culture.
    , @Larry, San Francisco
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is one of the greatest post WWII American novels.
    , @Peter Lund
    How good is "Invisible Man"?

    Edit: oops, already asked. Let me ask a different question, then.

    Where are the black anti-apartheid writers? Are any of them any good?

  33. @syonredux

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning.
     
    He was old school. To his way of thinking, greatness alone justifies literary study. Hence, his distaste for things like courses devoted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mexican-American Lit, The Kardashians, etc.

    I really can't say that I disagree. I'm under a lot of pressure to include as many Black authors as I can in the courses that I teach, and it's tough finding Black writers who are actually any good.

    greatness alone justifies literary study

    How do you determine what is great if you don’t study the entire field?

    I can’t see placing Mexican-American Lit into the same category as pop culture.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    greatness alone justifies literary study

    How do you determine what is great if you don’t study the entire field?
     
    I have studied the entire field of English Lit. I've read all of the "great" Black authors. They are mediocre and derivative. Take Toni Morrison, say. Nothing more than second-rate Faulkner in blackface.

    I can’t see placing Mexican-American Lit into the same category as pop culture.
     
    I can.Rather amazingly, it actually makes Black Lit look good in comparison.
  34. @iffen
    greatness alone justifies literary study

    How do you determine what is great if you don't study the entire field?

    I can't see placing Mexican-American Lit into the same category as pop culture.

    greatness alone justifies literary study

    How do you determine what is great if you don’t study the entire field?

    I have studied the entire field of English Lit. I’ve read all of the “great” Black authors. They are mediocre and derivative. Take Toni Morrison, say. Nothing more than second-rate Faulkner in blackface.

    I can’t see placing Mexican-American Lit into the same category as pop culture.

    I can.Rather amazingly, it actually makes Black Lit look good in comparison.

    Read More
  35. every now and then i give my dad a taste of a gnxp red pill sampler and he asks: “Do you ever feel like you’re battling all of society on these issues?” and i say “yeah, but so does everyone else!” Everyone has their own truth and doesn’t really care about much else. Try and convince an anti-Monsanto person that there isn’t a honey bee conspiracy goin’ down.
    on the flip side, i’ve seen reddit evolve over the past 7 years i’ve been on it and i use it as a barometer for how insane the Left is. my gut feeling is that they’re less insane than they used to be. there really are quite a few people out there that know exactly what’s up and the rest are somewhat near them. if you check the most upvoted comments now it’s more informed and more measured than in the past so that is encouraging to me.
    on the whole, though, i think we’ve lost. i guess when you only have to specialize in one skill to be employed in whatever field you choose then the rest is negotiable. like Ben Carson: the only thing he can’t afford to be wrong about is brain surgery and he’s achieved exactly that!

    to be fair – i work among SJWs mixed with older religious conservatives and i don’t feel like i can have an honest conversation with any of them. they all have taboo topics.

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  36. A good, though troubling, post. I do wonder, however, if everyone on the wrong side of the orthodoxy divide in any society at any time hasn’t thought the same. “Surely people must realize how stupid the reigning wisdom is! Surely they must come around soon! Else, all is lost,” must be common feelings. I don’t say this to mock you, because I often have the same longing.

    Your most unsettling point is the acquiescence of the young–young people seem to care little about liberty, and much about not being offensive. But things must have felt similar during the 1960′s, when the Old Left was challenged by the New Left, with the young going along with the latter. I have often felt that, if in 20 years SJW is not mocked with the same vigor that hippies were in the 1980′s, then we will know we have a serious problem on our hands.

    Another way of looking at the situation is that, in this country’s long history as a relatively open society, there have been ebbs and flows in general social tolerance, as in many other things. Probably the most intense period in which power was more important than truth was the lead-up to the Civil War. I recall reading a letter by William T. Sherman before the War, when he was living in the South, in which he said that he dare not mention to anyone there that he came from a Northern state. And he was someone who cared little for politics and had little antipathy toward slavery. Obviously, in retrospect one side of this conflict was much more in the wrong than the other, but we often forget how pro-disunion some abolitionists were. And there have been other ugly periods, such as the Red Scares.

    So far, social permissiveness has come roaring back after these crackdowns, but that isn’t inevitable. Maybe openness was a symptom more than a cause of America’s rise to power, and as it declines, so will freedom of conscience.

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  37. I see that you are of the “We Are Doomed” school of conservatism (which I agree is the only kind of conservatism worthy of the name).

    Are your particular fears concerning the truths of human nature discovered by genetics and how they’re being suppressed or misrepresented by the media? My own interests have gone off into political science, ethics and economics recently, and I find there’s a wealth of heterodox information out there for those who are interested. Stuff that certainly not well-received by TPTB. But I also expect that economics is less expensive than genetics and so less dependent on finding donors willing to fund heterodox views.

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  38. @syonredux

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning.
     
    He was old school. To his way of thinking, greatness alone justifies literary study. Hence, his distaste for things like courses devoted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mexican-American Lit, The Kardashians, etc.

    I really can't say that I disagree. I'm under a lot of pressure to include as many Black authors as I can in the courses that I teach, and it's tough finding Black writers who are actually any good.

    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is one of the greatest post WWII American novels.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is one of the greatest post WWII American novels.
     
    It's OK. Better, at least, than Toni Morrison's Beloved.And much better than Wright's Native Son.
  39. @Larry, San Francisco
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is one of the greatest post WWII American novels.

    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is one of the greatest post WWII American novels.

    It’s OK. Better, at least, than Toni Morrison’s Beloved.And much better than Wright’s Native Son.

    Read More
  40. @syonredux

    There is nothing wrong with studying the works of black authors as a distinct genre, especially considering that blacks have composed a signification part of our citizenry from the beginning.
     
    He was old school. To his way of thinking, greatness alone justifies literary study. Hence, his distaste for things like courses devoted to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mexican-American Lit, The Kardashians, etc.

    I really can't say that I disagree. I'm under a lot of pressure to include as many Black authors as I can in the courses that I teach, and it's tough finding Black writers who are actually any good.

    How good is “Invisible Man”?

    Edit: oops, already asked. Let me ask a different question, then.

    Where are the black anti-apartheid writers? Are any of them any good?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Where are the black anti-apartheid writers? Are any of them any good?
     
    Of the ones that I've read, no, they're not very good. It's Richard Wright level agit-prop.
  41. I think a basic mistake is to see the “PC” movement as an intellectual endeavor. I see it as a religious movement. IIRC it is Voltaire who said ” If God didn’t exist Man would invent him”. With the fall of main-stream Protestantism there was a religious void. PC filled that void. And it does have Primitive Christian-like aspects.
    I am not an intellectual-historian. But there seems a close connection between the post-Reformation notion of an individual relationship with God and the Enlightenment notion of free thought. And they have fallen together.
    The reason for the fall? The mainstay of modern capitalism is continued consumerism. And that in turn demands commercial advertising. And that demands not individual choice, but carefully guided behavior. With strong undercurrents of success in social situations as being the only important goal. And the ability for humans to remain strongly connected is improved by the cell phone.
    Maybe we have been indoctrinated by the Enlightenment to believe that individual behavior is the norm. But from microbes on up there is also cooperative behavior. And the rules for individual and social behaviors are different. PC behavior just may be the next step in our evolution

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  42. @Razib Khan
    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren't been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won't today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

    “my goal is try to get embedded in that class.”

    I find this a confusing goal if you are heterodox in your thinking. The global, Western-led upper class is often the most aggressive in pushing PC orthodoxy onto the “ignorant rubes.” What makes you think they’d spare you if you went out of line, even if you were influential enough to be one of them?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    they're frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you're fucked. it's about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.
    , @iffen
    Razib is going undercover. He's going in so that he will be in place to help those of us on the outside. Right Razib? Right?
  43. @Yudi
    "my goal is try to get embedded in that class."

    I find this a confusing goal if you are heterodox in your thinking. The global, Western-led upper class is often the most aggressive in pushing PC orthodoxy onto the "ignorant rubes." What makes you think they'd spare you if you went out of line, even if you were influential enough to be one of them?

    they’re frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you’re fucked. it’s about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    I imagine Donald Sterling had some really tough months in 2014 when he for some weeks was the favorite public villain, because of some remarks in a private phone call. It would be really interesting to know in which way his life changed after that, whether there are many things he can´t do now which he did before. At least he seems still to be a billionaire.
    , @syonredux

    they’re frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you’re fucked. it’s about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.
     
    Yeah. When I was in graduate school I made some comments in a seminar dealing with the Victorian novel. My comments (which were entirely about Tess of the d'Urbervilles, not rape in the real world) were interpreted as indicating that I condoned rape. I was confronted the next day by a phalanx of feminist grad students who demanded that I explain myself. Not wanting to earn the ire of the senior faculty members who supported these ladies, I swiftly recanted my previous statements.
    , @Talha
    Hey Razib,

    the rules are different if you are part of the elite.
     
    Yeah, but man, when that elite goes down, they tend to go down pretty hard - guillotine-time!

    Zanj rebellion for those who want a really old-school example.

    Otherwise...looking forward to the return of guilds! The tend towards the Dune universe may happen in my lifetime!

    On a more serious note, what you say about the dismantling of institutional learning is interesting. I know in Islamic scholarship, it is often the ones who are off-the-grid, so to speak, that have the highest credibility. Cases in point; the late Shaykh Ramadan Bouti (ra) of Syria who was the de-facto Mufti of the Levant without ever having held that title. Another, the great Mauritanian sage, Murabit al-Hajj (db) who teaches to this day (at around 111+ years - nobody knows his real age - he made Hajj on foot from West Africa when the Ottomans were still in charge) who is a breathing university and could potentially rival all the Maliki ulema in Qarawiyyin by himself - and lives out here:
    http://malikifiqhqa.com/uncategorized/the-desert-university-the-school-of-al-murabit-al-hajj/

    You don't need an official logo or letterhead to have your knowledge recognized - people searching for the truth in any field will know it for what it is...eventually ;)

    Peace.

    , @g2k
    It seems like academia is a very broad church. My experience of grad school was an identity politics free environment. This was an upper middling university in the UK Midlands doing mathematics. Profs engaging in sexual impropriety was unthinkable as they generally wanted nothing to do with anyone outside of their immediate family. Profs were mainly emigree Russians, Germans, Chinese and a few English. Cohort was about 50% Chinese, a lot of Nigerian Igbos (they really really dislike Islam) and the rest made up of assorted Europeans and a few middle easterners, not many Anglos. Towards the end, everyone was made to attend unconscious bias talks though.
  44. @Yudi
    "my goal is try to get embedded in that class."

    I find this a confusing goal if you are heterodox in your thinking. The global, Western-led upper class is often the most aggressive in pushing PC orthodoxy onto the "ignorant rubes." What makes you think they'd spare you if you went out of line, even if you were influential enough to be one of them?

    Razib is going undercover. He’s going in so that he will be in place to help those of us on the outside. Right Razib? Right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    lolz.
    , @omarali50
    There is no need to go undercover. The secret protects itself. It can only be understood by those capable of understanding it. It can hide in plain sight.
    Or at least, that is what my sufi master used to say :)
    , @Stephan Brun
    Multiple people are. Learn some trading and save up some money for it and you can be one, too. Money brings an awful lot of power. Enough to bring down a king, if need be. John Lackland wasn't safe from the barons, after all.

    We might be able to make a competitor for the current university system. If we ground it in proper science, it should keep the roaches out, too. And their cries that it doesn't work in their disciplines we shouldn't listen to. It's what let them in in the first place. There are a couple of philosophers who support us in this, too. Late Hume, early Popper, Haack, and of course the virtue ethicists.
    , @MEH 0910
    Razib, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
  45. @PhysicistDave
    Razib, you wrote:

    Leave STEM and some professional schools intact, and transform them for all practical purposes into technical universities.
     
    Well... as someone with a Ph.D. in pure physics from Stanford (theoretical elementary-particle physics, 1983), I have to say that I have found physics to be just as politicized as the humanities and social sciences. I won't go into my own experiences, but anyone interested in the problems should look over Peter Woit's "Not Even Wrong" blog (I do not necessarily endorse everything Peter writes, but he provides lots of interesting examples).

    It's also worth reading Leo Szilard's wickedly witty satire, "The Mark Gable Foundation," about the dangers of a centrally-controlled research system based on peer review.

    I have no magic solution, and I have always like the classical ideal (no longer a reality) of the university. Perhaps the best to be hoped for is a diversity of organizational models for research.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    Ironically, arch-string theorist Lubos Motl accepts the anti-pc HBD (he even shows up in Steve Sailer’s blogroll), while my impression is that his bête noire Peter Woit (with whom I agree that string theory is ‘not even wrong’), to the extent that even he thinks about HBD, does not. I find myself splitting the difference of accepting HBD and rejecting string theory.

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  46. Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’

    Washington (CNN) — Donald Trump’s new campaign manager said “rape would not exist” if women and men had equal physical capabilities in a television appearance that has been resurfaced by critics who say Trump has a problem with women.

    Kellyanne Conway, who was installed as Trump’s campaign manager earlier this month, made the remarks during a panel discussion on PBS’ “To the Contrary” in January 2013.

    “If we were physiologically — not mentally, emotionally, professionally — equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist,” Conway said. “You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off.”

    The panel of women had been discussing women in the military and gender equality in combat. Conway brought up the analogy unprompted, using it as part of a statement about women’s physical capabilities in relation to men’s.

    Later in the show, she went on to discuss the use of sexual assault as a weapon of war as a downside of women on the front lines.

    The remarks were resurfaced by an anti-Trump super PAC, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, who called the comments evidence that the Trump campaign doesn’t understand “acceptable political views.”

    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/why-men-should-never-hit-women/

    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/men-are-stronger-than-women-on-average/

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/throwing-down-the-gauntlet/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    I know this is off topic, but:

    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’
     
    Apparently, Ms. Conway has never heard of what happens in prisons...there will always be a strength disparity, even between the same gender and between adults and children of either gender.

    Peace.
    , @ogunsiron
    The remarks were resurfaced by an anti-Trump super PAC, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, who called the comments evidence that the Trump campaign doesn’t understand “acceptable political views.”
    -----
    Yeah, never mind that what she said is more or less commonsense. Who cares about that ? I'm not that old but already one of the great disappointments of my life is that truth matters so much less than I would have ever imagined.
  47. @Razib Khan
    they're frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you're fucked. it's about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    I imagine Donald Sterling had some really tough months in 2014 when he for some weeks was the favorite public villain, because of some remarks in a private phone call. It would be really interesting to know in which way his life changed after that, whether there are many things he can´t do now which he did before. At least he seems still to be a billionaire.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Sterling always seemed to be a step ahead of the process and was looking for a way to cash out, and reconcile with Shelly to maximize their joint value. He appears to be beyond shame, and is the poster child for No Bad Publicity.

    The big Ballmer checkbook appeared on cue.
  48. @Razib Khan
    they're frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you're fucked. it's about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    they’re frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you’re fucked. it’s about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    Yeah. When I was in graduate school I made some comments in a seminar dealing with the Victorian novel. My comments (which were entirely about Tess of the d’Urbervilles, not rape in the real world) were interpreted as indicating that I condoned rape. I was confronted the next day by a phalanx of feminist grad students who demanded that I explain myself. Not wanting to earn the ire of the senior faculty members who supported these ladies, I swiftly recanted my previous statements.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Consider a sabbatical year in England to refresh the memories all the way around. You go back to the home turf, have a pint, and get to deal with the next generation of PC lunacy that will find its way to the US.
  49. @Peter Lund
    How good is "Invisible Man"?

    Edit: oops, already asked. Let me ask a different question, then.

    Where are the black anti-apartheid writers? Are any of them any good?

    Where are the black anti-apartheid writers? Are any of them any good?

    Of the ones that I’ve read, no, they’re not very good. It’s Richard Wright level agit-prop.

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  50. I think it’s foolish to expect universities to each live up to a standard of truth seeking, and instead we should envision higher education as an economic commodity. If we’re paying top dollar for our education, why not have a diverse range of universities to choose from which openly state their goals? Some will advertise safe spaces, while others will advertise complete and open discourse. Students will self sort based on their values and we’ll see which schools thrive and which schools fail.

    Then again, I think the problem with this scenario is that most universities need to keep both the hard sciences (lean truth) and the humanities (lean feels) satisfied. When you try to appease everyone, your stated goals can be an incoherent mishmash and you end up appeasing no one. Perhaps field segregation is the only option?

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  51. @MEH 0910
    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, 'rape would not exist'

    Washington (CNN) — Donald Trump's new campaign manager said "rape would not exist" if women and men had equal physical capabilities in a television appearance that has been resurfaced by critics who say Trump has a problem with women.

    Kellyanne Conway, who was installed as Trump's campaign manager earlier this month, made the remarks during a panel discussion on PBS' "To the Contrary" in January 2013.

    "If we were physiologically -- not mentally, emotionally, professionally -- equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist," Conway said. "You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off."

    The panel of women had been discussing women in the military and gender equality in combat. Conway brought up the analogy unprompted, using it as part of a statement about women's physical capabilities in relation to men's.

    Later in the show, she went on to discuss the use of sexual assault as a weapon of war as a downside of women on the front lines.
     

    The remarks were resurfaced by an anti-Trump super PAC, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, who called the comments evidence that the Trump campaign doesn't understand "acceptable political views."
     
    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/why-men-should-never-hit-women/
    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/men-are-stronger-than-women-on-average/
    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/throwing-down-the-gauntlet/

    I know this is off topic, but:

    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’

    Apparently, Ms. Conway has never heard of what happens in prisons…there will always be a strength disparity, even between the same gender and between adults and children of either gender.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I know this is off topic, but:

    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’

    Apparently, Ms. Conway has never heard of what happens in prisons…there will always be a strength disparity, even between the same gender and between adults and children of either gender.
     
    Sure, she's being hyperbolic. But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms, I'm pretty sure that we would see a rather steep decline in hetero rape rates.
  52. @Talha
    I know this is off topic, but:

    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’
     
    Apparently, Ms. Conway has never heard of what happens in prisons...there will always be a strength disparity, even between the same gender and between adults and children of either gender.

    Peace.

    I know this is off topic, but:

    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’

    Apparently, Ms. Conway has never heard of what happens in prisons…there will always be a strength disparity, even between the same gender and between adults and children of either gender.

    Sure, she’s being hyperbolic. But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms, I’m pretty sure that we would see a rather steep decline in hetero rape rates.

    Read More
    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @Talha
    Now you bring up a very interesting topic:

    But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms
     
    Can that possibly be done without the complete loss of the feminine body type? I compare my arm to that of my wife's - I'm no huge guy (maybe I can pull off 12+ pull ups on a really, really good day) but my arm is like twice her size. Would a man want to rape a female that looks like a man? That in itself would have a deterrent effect, no?

    Sorry Razib, last post on this off-topic issue.

    Peace.
  53. @Razib Khan
    they're frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you're fucked. it's about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    Hey Razib,

    the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    Yeah, but man, when that elite goes down, they tend to go down pretty hard – guillotine-time!

    Zanj rebellion for those who want a really old-school example.

    Otherwise…looking forward to the return of guilds! The tend towards the Dune universe may happen in my lifetime!

    On a more serious note, what you say about the dismantling of institutional learning is interesting. I know in Islamic scholarship, it is often the ones who are off-the-grid, so to speak, that have the highest credibility. Cases in point; the late Shaykh Ramadan Bouti (ra) of Syria who was the de-facto Mufti of the Levant without ever having held that title. Another, the great Mauritanian sage, Murabit al-Hajj (db) who teaches to this day (at around 111+ years – nobody knows his real age – he made Hajj on foot from West Africa when the Ottomans were still in charge) who is a breathing university and could potentially rival all the Maliki ulema in Qarawiyyin by himself – and lives out here:

    http://malikifiqhqa.com/uncategorized/the-desert-university-the-school-of-al-murabit-al-hajj/

    You don’t need an official logo or letterhead to have your knowledge recognized – people searching for the truth in any field will know it for what it is…eventually ;)

    Peace.

    Read More
  54. @Razib Khan
    they're frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you're fucked. it's about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.

    It seems like academia is a very broad church. My experience of grad school was an identity politics free environment. This was an upper middling university in the UK Midlands doing mathematics. Profs engaging in sexual impropriety was unthinkable as they generally wanted nothing to do with anyone outside of their immediate family. Profs were mainly emigree Russians, Germans, Chinese and a few English. Cohort was about 50% Chinese, a lot of Nigerian Igbos (they really really dislike Islam) and the rest made up of assorted Europeans and a few middle easterners, not many Anglos. Towards the end, everyone was made to attend unconscious bias talks though.

    Read More
  55. @syonredux

    I know this is off topic, but:

    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, ‘rape would not exist’

    Apparently, Ms. Conway has never heard of what happens in prisons…there will always be a strength disparity, even between the same gender and between adults and children of either gender.
     
    Sure, she's being hyperbolic. But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms, I'm pretty sure that we would see a rather steep decline in hetero rape rates.

    Now you bring up a very interesting topic:

    But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms

    Can that possibly be done without the complete loss of the feminine body type? I compare my arm to that of my wife’s – I’m no huge guy (maybe I can pull off 12+ pull ups on a really, really good day) but my arm is like twice her size. Would a man want to rape a female that looks like a man? That in itself would have a deterrent effect, no?

    Sorry Razib, last post on this off-topic issue.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Now you bring up a very interesting topic:

    But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms

    Can that possibly be done without the complete loss of the feminine body type?
     
    My instinct is to say no. If female strength norms were raised to male levels, I would think that that would mean that females would have to have male levels of musculature. And male physical frames (thicker, more robust bones, wider shoulders, etc)

    Would a man want to rape a female that looks like a man? That in itself would have a deterrent effect, no?
     
    Yeah, one imagines that bulging muscles and masculine skeletons would be a pretty big turn-off for the majority of men.
  56. @Talha
    Now you bring up a very interesting topic:

    But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms
     
    Can that possibly be done without the complete loss of the feminine body type? I compare my arm to that of my wife's - I'm no huge guy (maybe I can pull off 12+ pull ups on a really, really good day) but my arm is like twice her size. Would a man want to rape a female that looks like a man? That in itself would have a deterrent effect, no?

    Sorry Razib, last post on this off-topic issue.

    Peace.

    Now you bring up a very interesting topic:

    But if female strength norms were somehow made identical to male norms

    Can that possibly be done without the complete loss of the feminine body type?

    My instinct is to say no. If female strength norms were raised to male levels, I would think that that would mean that females would have to have male levels of musculature. And male physical frames (thicker, more robust bones, wider shoulders, etc)

    Would a man want to rape a female that looks like a man? That in itself would have a deterrent effect, no?

    Yeah, one imagines that bulging muscles and masculine skeletons would be a pretty big turn-off for the majority of men.

    Read More
  57. @Erik Sieven
    I imagine Donald Sterling had some really tough months in 2014 when he for some weeks was the favorite public villain, because of some remarks in a private phone call. It would be really interesting to know in which way his life changed after that, whether there are many things he can´t do now which he did before. At least he seems still to be a billionaire.

    Sterling always seemed to be a step ahead of the process and was looking for a way to cash out, and reconcile with Shelly to maximize their joint value. He appears to be beyond shame, and is the poster child for No Bad Publicity.

    The big Ballmer checkbook appeared on cue.

    Read More
  58. @syonredux

    they’re frank in their private salons. also, class identity and money can insulate you from a lot of the crap you are talking about. look at all the sexual harassment cases in academia. senior profs can get away with rape in some cases, but if you are a grad student and an accusation is made because you emailed someone inappropriately, you’re fucked. it’s about power. the rules are different if you are part of the elite.
     
    Yeah. When I was in graduate school I made some comments in a seminar dealing with the Victorian novel. My comments (which were entirely about Tess of the d'Urbervilles, not rape in the real world) were interpreted as indicating that I condoned rape. I was confronted the next day by a phalanx of feminist grad students who demanded that I explain myself. Not wanting to earn the ire of the senior faculty members who supported these ladies, I swiftly recanted my previous statements.

    Consider a sabbatical year in England to refresh the memories all the way around. You go back to the home turf, have a pint, and get to deal with the next generation of PC lunacy that will find its way to the US.

    Read More
  59. @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

    The countervailing point is that the rise of the Internet enables anonymity, and this anonymity makes the exposure of truth far easier than in the past.

    I’d say that this has already proved to be true on many of the most forbidden subjects, such as the links between race and socially important traits.

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  60. @iffen
    Razib is going undercover. He's going in so that he will be in place to help those of us on the outside. Right Razib? Right?

    lolz.

    Read More
  61. @German_reader
    Ok, thanks for the explanation. So basically it will be identity politics for the masses while a plutocratic overclass calls the shots, and only a few enlightened ones pursue true knowledge.
    Sounds depressing, but unfortunately quite likely.

    You will have a long wait for nation states to become obsolete.

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  62. @MEH 0910
    Kellyanne Conway: If women, men had equal strength, 'rape would not exist'

    Washington (CNN) — Donald Trump's new campaign manager said "rape would not exist" if women and men had equal physical capabilities in a television appearance that has been resurfaced by critics who say Trump has a problem with women.

    Kellyanne Conway, who was installed as Trump's campaign manager earlier this month, made the remarks during a panel discussion on PBS' "To the Contrary" in January 2013.

    "If we were physiologically -- not mentally, emotionally, professionally -- equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist," Conway said. "You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off."

    The panel of women had been discussing women in the military and gender equality in combat. Conway brought up the analogy unprompted, using it as part of a statement about women's physical capabilities in relation to men's.

    Later in the show, she went on to discuss the use of sexual assault as a weapon of war as a downside of women on the front lines.
     

    The remarks were resurfaced by an anti-Trump super PAC, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, who called the comments evidence that the Trump campaign doesn't understand "acceptable political views."
     
    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/why-men-should-never-hit-women/
    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/men-are-stronger-than-women-on-average/
    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/throwing-down-the-gauntlet/

    The remarks were resurfaced by an anti-Trump super PAC, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, who called the comments evidence that the Trump campaign doesn’t understand “acceptable political views.”
    —–
    Yeah, never mind that what she said is more or less commonsense. Who cares about that ? I’m not that old but already one of the great disappointments of my life is that truth matters so much less than I would have ever imagined.

    Read More
  63. @Razib Khan
    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren't been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won't today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

    Any opinion on the outlook for ethno-religions among the elites and among the non elite humans ?

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  64. I am an alumnus of the University of Chicago, and I was happy to read their statement, but not so happy that I will resume donating money to them.

    There at least two reasons for that. One is that the institution did an enormous amount to promote the career of Obama. Further it is sponsoring the erection of the required memorial to Obama’s already enormous ego. Any money I give them will go to defray the cost of that abomination.

    Second, the letter, to the contrary notwithstanding, they killed off their liberal arts curriculum years ago. When I attended the school in a previous millennium we were required to take two years worth of courses, like Western Civilization where we had to read really dense books by DWEMs. those courses were all abolished and replaced by garbage like the politics of hip hop (sadly, that is not a joke).

    Generalizing to the entire system, encomia to the liberal arts are wasted breath. The truth is that the time servers and academic empire builders who now comprise our college faculties, are not in any way learned, nor are they able to teach anything outside of their disciplinary silos. They have no liberal arts learning, and have no idea that they are ignorant, nor any idea of the things that they are ignorant of. You may want a liberal arts education, but you can’t get it, because there is no one who can teach it.

    The entire purpose of undergraduate education in the United States in 2016 is simply to indoctrinate students in political correctness. All the students are taught is multiculturalism and how to use their hurt feelings as a bludgeon. Their mantras are “the debate is over!”, “racist!”, and “shut up!”. When they hear something they disagree with they run to their safety zones, curl up with their security blankets, and suck their thumbs.

    Further, the faculties are worthless. Ph.Ds in the politics of hip-hop and gender roles in modern science fiction. Carefully selected for their race, sex, sexual preferences, and left wing politics. They can no more teach humanities than they can teach higher mathematics.

    Henry VIII knew what to do with institutions like the modern American University. We should follow his example.

    We should abolish the college’s tax exemptions, tax their endowments, require them to admit students by lottery, abolish tenure, abolish accreditation, abolish federal student loans and grants, fire at least 80% of the administrators and cut the salaries of the survivors dramatically. Burn the buildings down, plow them under, and sow the land with salt.

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  65. A similar question has arisen in India on Liberal Dens’ funding. This became pertinent during a JNU episode where an apparently anti-India protest got into national news and set the much of outrage – counter-outrage industry rolling. While the headlines focused on applicability/desirability of sedition charges, the wider question circulating in social media seemed to be on why taxpayers need to fund these adventures. Arguments were strengthened by lack (real or imagined) of much contribution in businesses or academia, beyond echo chambers. This was counter-posed with a virtual monopoly in genuine seditious activities in India and Nepal, where violent Leftist separatist movement leaderships are largely manned by JNU alumni. A near-total lack of diversity in views at institute leadership and faculty ensured a total break-down in communication with outer, and some will say real, world. As an example, the lone conservative voice in faculty, Makarand Paranjape, was lampooned, then viciously attacked and failing all that largely ignored. The end-result of this has been lower public support for investment beyond STEM disciplines in India, which has not really shown in academic brilliance or swam in grant floods in first place.

    P.S.: Regarding the real world, the 30-year old leader of protest is PhD candidate in African studies, yet to visit Africa once and has not begun work on thesis in 3 years of PhD as yet. Campus is infested alumni lingering on for free hostel accomodation and artificially cheap food prices (50 cents), unable to find any application for their studies outside.

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  66. @iffen
    Razib is going undercover. He's going in so that he will be in place to help those of us on the outside. Right Razib? Right?

    There is no need to go undercover. The secret protects itself. It can only be understood by those capable of understanding it. It can hide in plain sight.
    Or at least, that is what my sufi master used to say :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yudi
    For example, I've come to believe that the argument "even if we're not all the same, fairness and decency dictate that we treat all people as well as possible," which has appeared in Joe Henrich's book and elsewhere, is a tell. It's both good in and of itself and indicates that the speaker is at least cautiously accepting of some HBD ideas.
  67. @omarali50
    There is no need to go undercover. The secret protects itself. It can only be understood by those capable of understanding it. It can hide in plain sight.
    Or at least, that is what my sufi master used to say :)

    For example, I’ve come to believe that the argument “even if we’re not all the same, fairness and decency dictate that we treat all people as well as possible,” which has appeared in Joe Henrich’s book and elsewhere, is a tell. It’s both good in and of itself and indicates that the speaker is at least cautiously accepting of some HBD ideas.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    @Yudi and @omarali50

    I think this Leviathan could be fought with an open conspiracy held together by a dash of esoterica.
  68. @iffen
    Razib is going undercover. He's going in so that he will be in place to help those of us on the outside. Right Razib? Right?

    Multiple people are. Learn some trading and save up some money for it and you can be one, too. Money brings an awful lot of power. Enough to bring down a king, if need be. John Lackland wasn’t safe from the barons, after all.

    We might be able to make a competitor for the current university system. If we ground it in proper science, it should keep the roaches out, too. And their cries that it doesn’t work in their disciplines we shouldn’t listen to. It’s what let them in in the first place. There are a couple of philosophers who support us in this, too. Late Hume, early Popper, Haack, and of course the virtue ethicists.

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  69. @Yudi
    For example, I've come to believe that the argument "even if we're not all the same, fairness and decency dictate that we treat all people as well as possible," which has appeared in Joe Henrich's book and elsewhere, is a tell. It's both good in and of itself and indicates that the speaker is at least cautiously accepting of some HBD ideas.

    and

    I think this Leviathan could be fought with an open conspiracy held together by a dash of esoterica.

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  70. @iffen
    Razib is going undercover. He's going in so that he will be in place to help those of us on the outside. Right Razib? Right?

    Razib, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    The elite always fractures at some point. That's when they turn to the rabble for support and that is our chance to break out the guillotines.

    Razib can be our Marcus Manlius Capitolinus.
    , @Talha
    He will if you are loyal to Baron Razib of House HarKhanen!
  71. Roger Scruton in a diary piece in the Spectator

    I know of only one solution to leftist takeovers, and that is to start again. The decent parliamentarians in the Labour party should take note of this. When we set up the underground university in Prague, we composed a curriculum entirely of classics on a budget of £50,000 a year. We the teachers, and they the students, were volunteers; our shared concern was knowledge, not ideology; conversation, not conscription. Once the state takes over, however, and its vast resources are made available to people otherwise incapable of earning a penny, the fakes and the frauds muscle in. Chanting gobbledegook from Deleuze confers an air of erudition on even the most second-rate intellect, and since in most humanities departments teaching is no longer required and the only tests are political, there is no answer to those desperate students except to start something new. That is what we are doing at the University of Buckingham.

    Incidentally, he has just been knighted for services to education (establishment of underground universities in the Soviet Block), so it is Sir Roger Scruton.

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    • Replies: @ogunsiron
    quoting Roger Scruton :
    there is no answer to those desperate students except to start something new. That is what we are doing at the University of Buckingham.
    ----
    Unless one doesn't mind starting anew again and again, one needs some kind of mechanism to keep the rot out. That implies some degree of illiberalism. That implies exclusion, imo.
  72. @MEH 0910
    Razib, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

    The elite always fractures at some point. That’s when they turn to the rabble for support and that is our chance to break out the guillotines.

    Razib can be our Marcus Manlius Capitolinus.

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  73. @MEH 0910
    Razib, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

    He will if you are loyal to Baron Razib of House HarKhanen!

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  74. Dreger waxes eloquently about the Enlightenment, and freedom of thought, which caught my attention.

    The Enlightenment ideas were well known in Germany, but Germany was in a sandwich of enemies on the north European plain. The Enlightenment ideas that took hold in Germany were those ones useful in the situation Germany was in. For any state foreign policy considerations are decisive, and the US elite were started down the path to being aggressively equalitarian, because the Soviets were making hay with racial segregation. IConsidering the worldwide impression that Christian fundamentalists run US interventionism against Muslims the elite see a need to for a anti religious outlook.

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  75. @wijjy
    Roger Scruton in a diary piece in the Spectator

    I know of only one solution to leftist takeovers, and that is to start again. The decent parliamentarians in the Labour party should take note of this. When we set up the underground university in Prague, we composed a curriculum entirely of classics on a budget of £50,000 a year. We the teachers, and they the students, were volunteers; our shared concern was knowledge, not ideology; conversation, not conscription. Once the state takes over, however, and its vast resources are made available to people otherwise incapable of earning a penny, the fakes and the frauds muscle in. Chanting gobbledegook from Deleuze confers an air of erudition on even the most second-rate intellect, and since in most humanities departments teaching is no longer required and the only tests are political, there is no answer to those desperate students except to start something new. That is what we are doing at the University of Buckingham.
     
    Incidentally, he has just been knighted for services to education (establishment of underground universities in the Soviet Block), so it is Sir Roger Scruton.

    quoting Roger Scruton :
    there is no answer to those desperate students except to start something new. That is what we are doing at the University of Buckingham.
    —-
    Unless one doesn’t mind starting anew again and again, one needs some kind of mechanism to keep the rot out. That implies some degree of illiberalism. That implies exclusion, imo.

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  76. @Razib Khan
    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren't been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won't today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)

    “…there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.”

    If you actually meant that, you wouldn’t have published it, for all to see.

    No. Your goal is to tell truth and shame the devil.

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  77. @Razib Khan
    it already is partly. some of my geneticist friends are appalled that i speak openly about some things. some of them are admiring of my boldness. none of them will speak in public though, whatever they may say in private (except for the ones who will excoriate me now and then).

    if you had asked me in 2005 if we'd be here in 2016, i'd have been skeptical, and sad. but that's where we are. it's getting worse, not better :-( and it's not about tenure or money. it's about social sanction and approval. so two sad conclusions:

    1) truth can only move in hidden channels now if it conflicts with power. no one gives a shit if you appeal to truth, they know that it is not intrinsic value except in the serve of status and power. i admire heterodox academy, but part of me wonders if they'd be better served by being stealth and just creating a secret society that doesn't put the academy on notice that some people know that reality is different from the official narratives.

    2) the post-modernists are right to a first approximation, everything is power. so "we" have to capture and crush; it's only victory or defeat. the odds are irrelevant. i put we in quotes because it doesn't matter who you are, the game is on, whether you think you are a player or not.

    open data and crowd-sourcing means that a whole ecosystem of knowledge can emerge that doesn't need to be nakedly exposed and put peoples' livelihoods and reputations at risk from the kommissars.

    some of my friends have argued this for a long time and i resisted because i'm an liberal in the old sense. but reality is reality, and the fact is that no one wants the truth, and they'll destroy you to deny it.

    for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they'll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career....

    Razib is unfortunately all too correct about the social value of Truth. And he has experienced this more concretely than most of us. Pilate bellowed “What is truth?” And shortly thereafter Razib was no longer a NYT writer, a great loss to a wider audience of science enthusiasts curious about genetics.
    This power dynamic is why so many of us have to comment anonymously. Real consequences are at stake for truth speakers.

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    • Replies: @vinteuil
    RK is all too correct about pretty much everything. Which is why I found this post of his one of the most depressing things I've ever read.

    It's like Cicero, in a moment of despair, thinking of abandoning the Republic and going over to Caesar.

    But he's told too much truth, and shamed too many devils, ever to be forgiven by..."that class."
  78. @Maus
    Razib is unfortunately all too correct about the social value of Truth. And he has experienced this more concretely than most of us. Pilate bellowed "What is truth?" And shortly thereafter Razib was no longer a NYT writer, a great loss to a wider audience of science enthusiasts curious about genetics.
    This power dynamic is why so many of us have to comment anonymously. Real consequences are at stake for truth speakers.

    RK is all too correct about pretty much everything. Which is why I found this post of his one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read.

    It’s like Cicero, in a moment of despair, thinking of abandoning the Republic and going over to Caesar.

    But he’s told too much truth, and shamed too many devils, ever to be forgiven by…”that class.”

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  79. Dreger’s talk was quite good. I think Razib Khan is at the very least deluded about “libertarians” being scarce in US society & in & around academia. In fact I have on numerous occasions come across folks who are uneducated (broadly meaning simply not well read) who with great pride declare themselves to be libertarians. It is practically fashionable to be libertarian nowadays…

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  80. Great Q & A, too. Mind you. Razib Khan is right. The university system in the USA will degenerate towards where the money goes. This will mean the destruction of the humanities & the existence of a facade of pluralism on campus plus the sort of fragmentation that he predicts. The only exceptions may be some of the Ivy League schools whose endowments are very large.

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  81. “for every alice dreger there are 1,000 who support her. but they’ll stand aside while the 100 tear her to shreds, and talk sadly amongst themselves about what happened to her career….”

    That is precisely the nub.

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  82. Dear Razib,
    gotta disagree with you this time.
    The asylum of knowledge that you speak about would, perhaps, be welcome in a number of places in Eastern Europe; while your physical person might, in those very countries, face harassment in the street beacause of skin colour. So it seems you’re taking for granted some of the gifts of PC-ism…
    Another note:
    In a few interpersonal conflicts that I once tried to mediate (and failed), I noticed a recurring bias: everyone seemed to perceive ther opponent as bigger and stronger than themselves, and ahead of themselves in whatever race they were running. Their course of action, therefore, was to hit a litle harder than necessary. And so the conflict escalated… ‘cause everyone hit a little harder.
    My friends in the U.S. are nearly all liberal-leaning, and from their viewpoint, conservatives seem bigger and stronger… this post of yours convinced me that those feelings are mutual. Perhaps NYT also hit a litle harder than necessary, in your case. Fear is the key to the Black Lodge, is it not?

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  83. @martin
    I've long believed the defunding of the Texas supercollider in 1993 was as a pivotal event. The search for truth of Galileo et al. was devalued from a self-justified pursuit to just another budgetary mouth to feed. At one hearing a skeptical congressman asked what possible good knowing the secrets of the universe would do for his constituents. Sapere aude indeed.

    The main reason the SSC was cancelled was because Bill Clinton, trying to look like a centrist deficit cutter, saw it as a way to bitch-slap reliably Republican Texas. Many Democrats from reliably Democratic states – Illinois and New York in particular – were happy to go along, because the proposed locations in their states weren’t chosen for the SSC. Pure pork-barrel politics, helped along slightly by myopic scientists who could only see the SSC funding as food for their pet projects (which they never got; SSC budgets were not redeployed to other science efforts).

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