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Postmodern Academic Verbiage: "Curate"

From commenter Jack D:

An important concept in the New Economy is “curation”. A desirable cheese shop, wine store, sock store, olive oil store, etc. doesn’t just put a random bunch of stuff on the shelf like some Wal-Mart and expect you to figure out what you really like. Rather they present you with a “curated collection” of socks, oils, etc. so that there are not any wrong choices – you get to chose from a few carefully chosen winners who will not disappoint you. The hard work has been done for you and you shouldn’t mind paying a few more pennies for the privilege.

Likewise, the modern university is supposed to present you, the student, with a curated collection of diverse students. There are blacks and Hispanics but not those violent ghetto types who will give you a fierce hangover like some rotgut bourbon. This is why Pablo “They” Gomez was so disappointing – Berkeley Hispanics aren’t supposed to be the kind who stab you. Likewise, this is where all the “Mattress Girl” anger comes from. The University has failed in its mission. You were supposed to be presented with a “curated” collection of men who would know that no means no (or that sometimes even yes means no under certain conditions) and they have failed in their curating mission. The admissions committee has failed to blackball a cad – what kind of country club is this?

 
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  1. I do think the word is useful, though, if I were to apply it to prospective college students, I would focus on the reality that colleges, in order to survive, need happy, stable alumni who don’t want to see it firebombed and its burnt out ruins displayed as a warning to future generations.

    So, if I were to curate students, I would try to swing the genders closer to parity. Which means trying to get more men to come to the college. I think is was like 60/40 when I went, and it has only gotten worse in most places. The more women; the more hook-up culture.

    Get rid of the commies, make sure students graduate capable of work, and generally make an effort to get them married- possibly even while they are there.

    Thus you keep a college strong through the generations. But they aren’t doing that, and many of them are big piles of assets waiting to be taken, like the monasteries in England were- and those monasteries had a better reputation.

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  2. Seems like the ideal way to select the leaders of the future. University system working as intended.

    Read More
  3. Likewise, the modern university is supposed to present you, the student, with a curated collection of diverse students.

    This makes sense if you view each university as offering a certain culture or type of community, as opposed to merely instruction. That’s why quotas are not necessarily sinister. Asian kids with perfect SAT scores may want admissions to be based solely on stats, regardless of whether you end up with a student body that is 50% Asian or more. That would be fine if universities were just selling seats in lecture halls, like seats in a movie theater. But universities are selling something much broader than that, a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week experience in which you’re more or less isolated with the rest of your class. Each university is trying to create an experience, and for most of them, that experience is not consistent with large proportions or vanishingly small proportions of Asians (or, to go back in time, Jews).

    (Where the vision of the desired experience comes from is another matter.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    It is important to note the difference between private and state-run institutions. And even further between undergrad and graduate/professional.

    The "experience" is something that only a minority of the population will ever have. We have no need for this luxury in the land-grant institutions.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Clark, so how does a "...curated collection of diverse students" work in HBCUs.
    , @David Davenport
    That’s why quotas are not necessarily sinister.

    No, those quotas ( or quotae ) are definitely sinister.

    Mr. Rottenwestwood's "curated experience" is another euphemism for multi-kulti indoctrination and dumbing down of academia..
  4. Jack D’s a terrific, sometimes brilliant, commenter, but I think there’s a simpler, better, explanation for the campus craziness.

    The relatively small, but loud, cadre of “students” who act this way, whether it’s the violent “antifa” or “mattress girl” or the editors of the goofy student newspaper, do so because a) they get a buzz from acting this way; b) it gives them a niche where they can feel at home; and c) it’s kind of expected of them.

    With regard to a), they aren’t really accomplishing anything of world historical importance, i.e. overthrowing the Tsar, or fighting Gilded Age Plutocratic abuse of workers or ending institutionalized racial segregation. No, they’re just getting an adrenalin fix that most of their classmates get at the football games or the frat parties. It’s kind of fun to get together with like-minded people and chant and sing feel outraged about something. If stuff gets broken all the better.

    With regard to b), the 15-35% (it’s hard to estimate) who get into this stuff do it in lieu football games, frat parties, and beer funnels, etc. Just like you have “jocks,” and STEM nerds you have the “political people.” You didn’t used to, but nowadays (unfortunately) you’re starting to see this type more and more in high school (See Stanford’s #blacklivesmatter kid). They will typically edit the high school student newspaper (as opposed to edit the yearbook).

    I hardly need to explain c): 85% of the liberal arts faculty used to belong to this clique.

    I’m sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness. I don’t want to take them too seriously as I regard them as little more than thrill-seeking twerps. On the other hand, they are definitely stifling free speech, and we’re starting to see their intolerant nuttiness bleed onto the editorial pages of supposedly “prestige” newspapers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Maj. Kong

    I’m sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness.
     
    There is a country called Cuba. If you want Marxism, you can go there. And not come back.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Patrick, and please note that campus radicals often go on to positions of prominence, as in Bill Ayers , Bernadette Dorn and others.
    , @dr kill
    Dear Sir or Madam. Your repeated reference to frat parties, and the obvious insinuate inferred, leads me to believe you haven't followed fraternity fortunes at major Northern universities. My undergraduate Alma Mater, The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, is treating fraternities like buffalo hunters treated bison in the 1880's. One would think that the fine folks running PSU would have their hands full (so to speak) with the fallout of the Paterno/Sandusky/Curley/Schultz/Spanier law suits and trials, but amazingly enough, they still have time to exterminate the traditional Greek system. Can the Department of the Interior please designate the survivors as critically endangered? Is a safe place to party with fellow cis- normatives such a threat to current thinking? My goodness, how did we ever live to grow up without the Spaniers and Barrons of the world on duty protecting us from anti-social behavior.
    Slightly O/T-- PSU sends me a shitload of pleas for funds, It's like they don't read the mail or listen to the phone calls I have made the past ten years. Spanier, Schultz and Curley are suddenly finished with the PA justice system, and not a peep from the U in any correspondence. I imagine most people don't know it's all finally over, except for financial breach suits by Spanier against PSU and v.v.
    , @dcthrowback
    just the threat of a little physical bullying in the boys' case or a shunning in the girls' cases kept those folks in line in the 70s through 90s.
  5. @Clark Westwood

    Likewise, the modern university is supposed to present you, the student, with a curated collection of diverse students.
     
    This makes sense if you view each university as offering a certain culture or type of community, as opposed to merely instruction. That's why quotas are not necessarily sinister. Asian kids with perfect SAT scores may want admissions to be based solely on stats, regardless of whether you end up with a student body that is 50% Asian or more. That would be fine if universities were just selling seats in lecture halls, like seats in a movie theater. But universities are selling something much broader than that, a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week experience in which you're more or less isolated with the rest of your class. Each university is trying to create an experience, and for most of them, that experience is not consistent with large proportions or vanishingly small proportions of Asians (or, to go back in time, Jews).

    (Where the vision of the desired experience comes from is another matter.)

    It is important to note the difference between private and state-run institutions. And even further between undergrad and graduate/professional.

    The “experience” is something that only a minority of the population will ever have. We have no need for this luxury in the land-grant institutions.

    Read More
  6. Mattress Girl Emma Sulkowicz was a bit more complicated than that, wasn’t she? Not so much a naive girl as a bunny boiler.

    Read More
    • Agree: JohnnyGeo
    • Replies: @Forbes
    I've dated my share of insane women--Mattress Girl Emma is pretty typical of the crazy ones. She raised the stakes as high as should could, because she could--at no cost or risk to her well-being. Plus the cultural zeitgeist today's kids grow up with is that whatever befalls you, it's always someone else's fault--and making "them" pay is the ultimate reward.
  7. @Patrick in SC
    Jack D's a terrific, sometimes brilliant, commenter, but I think there's a simpler, better, explanation for the campus craziness.

    The relatively small, but loud, cadre of "students" who act this way, whether it's the violent "antifa" or "mattress girl" or the editors of the goofy student newspaper, do so because a) they get a buzz from acting this way; b) it gives them a niche where they can feel at home; and c) it's kind of expected of them.

    With regard to a), they aren't really accomplishing anything of world historical importance, i.e. overthrowing the Tsar, or fighting Gilded Age Plutocratic abuse of workers or ending institutionalized racial segregation. No, they're just getting an adrenalin fix that most of their classmates get at the football games or the frat parties. It's kind of fun to get together with like-minded people and chant and sing feel outraged about something. If stuff gets broken all the better.

    With regard to b), the 15-35% (it's hard to estimate) who get into this stuff do it in lieu football games, frat parties, and beer funnels, etc. Just like you have "jocks," and STEM nerds you have the "political people." You didn't used to, but nowadays (unfortunately) you're starting to see this type more and more in high school (See Stanford's #blacklivesmatter kid). They will typically edit the high school student newspaper (as opposed to edit the yearbook).

    I hardly need to explain c): 85% of the liberal arts faculty used to belong to this clique.

    I'm sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness. I don't want to take them too seriously as I regard them as little more than thrill-seeking twerps. On the other hand, they are definitely stifling free speech, and we're starting to see their intolerant nuttiness bleed onto the editorial pages of supposedly "prestige" newspapers.

    I’m sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness.

    There is a country called Cuba. If you want Marxism, you can go there. And not come back.

    Read More
  8. Great observation by Jack D.

    A pioneer in the curation field, it seems to me, was Martha Stewart. She saw that she could commodify her refined taste, and get wealthy selling her recommendations for products, food, style, etc., to well-heeled yuppies terrified of being exposed as vulgarians. Her tagline, “It’s a good thing,” was brilliant in its simplicity, assuring her audience that a given product would be exactly what a person of refinement would select and display.

    I guess you could even say Stewart interrogated the world of material products to curate the tasteful and dethrone the hegemony of the crappy. (Or something like that.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Curation in the academic world seemed to me to be abdication of standards. Just provide a selection and let the kids pick and choose. It is one thing to broaden horizons with electives and quite another to water down degrees until there is little substance remaining. Academic curation [sic] combined with student debt is peonage on the installment plan, with more expensive textbooks.
  9. @Clark Westwood

    Likewise, the modern university is supposed to present you, the student, with a curated collection of diverse students.
     
    This makes sense if you view each university as offering a certain culture or type of community, as opposed to merely instruction. That's why quotas are not necessarily sinister. Asian kids with perfect SAT scores may want admissions to be based solely on stats, regardless of whether you end up with a student body that is 50% Asian or more. That would be fine if universities were just selling seats in lecture halls, like seats in a movie theater. But universities are selling something much broader than that, a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week experience in which you're more or less isolated with the rest of your class. Each university is trying to create an experience, and for most of them, that experience is not consistent with large proportions or vanishingly small proportions of Asians (or, to go back in time, Jews).

    (Where the vision of the desired experience comes from is another matter.)

    Clark, so how does a “…curated collection of diverse students” work in HBCUs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clark Westwood

    Clark, so how does a “…curated collection of diverse students” work in HBCUs.
     
    I don't know if HBCUs are selling that kind of experience, but if they are, I would imagine that a “…curated collection of diverse students” would be a flip of what typical universities do -- largely black, with a minority of "safe" liberal whites, Asians, and Latin-Americans.
  10. @Patrick in SC
    Jack D's a terrific, sometimes brilliant, commenter, but I think there's a simpler, better, explanation for the campus craziness.

    The relatively small, but loud, cadre of "students" who act this way, whether it's the violent "antifa" or "mattress girl" or the editors of the goofy student newspaper, do so because a) they get a buzz from acting this way; b) it gives them a niche where they can feel at home; and c) it's kind of expected of them.

    With regard to a), they aren't really accomplishing anything of world historical importance, i.e. overthrowing the Tsar, or fighting Gilded Age Plutocratic abuse of workers or ending institutionalized racial segregation. No, they're just getting an adrenalin fix that most of their classmates get at the football games or the frat parties. It's kind of fun to get together with like-minded people and chant and sing feel outraged about something. If stuff gets broken all the better.

    With regard to b), the 15-35% (it's hard to estimate) who get into this stuff do it in lieu football games, frat parties, and beer funnels, etc. Just like you have "jocks," and STEM nerds you have the "political people." You didn't used to, but nowadays (unfortunately) you're starting to see this type more and more in high school (See Stanford's #blacklivesmatter kid). They will typically edit the high school student newspaper (as opposed to edit the yearbook).

    I hardly need to explain c): 85% of the liberal arts faculty used to belong to this clique.

    I'm sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness. I don't want to take them too seriously as I regard them as little more than thrill-seeking twerps. On the other hand, they are definitely stifling free speech, and we're starting to see their intolerant nuttiness bleed onto the editorial pages of supposedly "prestige" newspapers.

    Patrick, and please note that campus radicals often go on to positions of prominence, as in Bill Ayers , Bernadette Dorn and others.

    Read More
  11. @Buffalo Joe
    Clark, so how does a "...curated collection of diverse students" work in HBCUs.

    Clark, so how does a “…curated collection of diverse students” work in HBCUs.

    I don’t know if HBCUs are selling that kind of experience, but if they are, I would imagine that a “…curated collection of diverse students” would be a flip of what typical universities do — largely black, with a minority of “safe” liberal whites, Asians, and Latin-Americans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gary in Gramercy
    I doubt that "HBCU's are selling that kind of experience." The whole point of attending an HBCU is to be in as non-diverse a community as possible. Assume, as unlikely as it seems, that Howard, Morehouse or Tuskegee decided to admit "a minority of 'safe' liberal whites, Asians, and Latin-Americans," in anything other than microscopic numbers. Once all the school's highest academic honors (based on "objective" criteria like GPA) started going to whites and Asians, the "community" would decide that even the "safe spaces" weren't safe anymore. The curator would be asked to find a different "collection of diverse students" (how about those Bhutanese-Americans?) or find another job.
  12. @Pericles
    Mattress Girl Emma Sulkowicz was a bit more complicated than that, wasn't she? Not so much a naive girl as a bunny boiler.

    I’ve dated my share of insane women–Mattress Girl Emma is pretty typical of the crazy ones. She raised the stakes as high as should could, because she could–at no cost or risk to her well-being. Plus the cultural zeitgeist today’s kids grow up with is that whatever befalls you, it’s always someone else’s fault–and making “them” pay is the ultimate reward.

    Read More
  13. “Curation” is not a postmodern concept because it implies some things are better than others.

    Read More
  14. @ChrisZ
    Great observation by Jack D.

    A pioneer in the curation field, it seems to me, was Martha Stewart. She saw that she could commodify her refined taste, and get wealthy selling her recommendations for products, food, style, etc., to well-heeled yuppies terrified of being exposed as vulgarians. Her tagline, "It's a good thing," was brilliant in its simplicity, assuring her audience that a given product would be exactly what a person of refinement would select and display.

    I guess you could even say Stewart interrogated the world of material products to curate the tasteful and dethrone the hegemony of the crappy. (Or something like that.)

    Curation in the academic world seemed to me to be abdication of standards. Just provide a selection and let the kids pick and choose. It is one thing to broaden horizons with electives and quite another to water down degrees until there is little substance remaining. Academic curation [sic] combined with student debt is peonage on the installment plan, with more expensive textbooks.

    Read More
  15. @Clark Westwood

    Clark, so how does a “…curated collection of diverse students” work in HBCUs.
     
    I don't know if HBCUs are selling that kind of experience, but if they are, I would imagine that a “…curated collection of diverse students” would be a flip of what typical universities do -- largely black, with a minority of "safe" liberal whites, Asians, and Latin-Americans.

    I doubt that “HBCU’s are selling that kind of experience.” The whole point of attending an HBCU is to be in as non-diverse a community as possible. Assume, as unlikely as it seems, that Howard, Morehouse or Tuskegee decided to admit “a minority of ‘safe’ liberal whites, Asians, and Latin-Americans,” in anything other than microscopic numbers. Once all the school’s highest academic honors (based on “objective” criteria like GPA) started going to whites and Asians, the “community” would decide that even the “safe spaces” weren’t safe anymore. The curator would be asked to find a different “collection of diverse students” (how about those Bhutanese-Americans?) or find another job.

    Read More
  16. @Clark Westwood

    Likewise, the modern university is supposed to present you, the student, with a curated collection of diverse students.
     
    This makes sense if you view each university as offering a certain culture or type of community, as opposed to merely instruction. That's why quotas are not necessarily sinister. Asian kids with perfect SAT scores may want admissions to be based solely on stats, regardless of whether you end up with a student body that is 50% Asian or more. That would be fine if universities were just selling seats in lecture halls, like seats in a movie theater. But universities are selling something much broader than that, a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week experience in which you're more or less isolated with the rest of your class. Each university is trying to create an experience, and for most of them, that experience is not consistent with large proportions or vanishingly small proportions of Asians (or, to go back in time, Jews).

    (Where the vision of the desired experience comes from is another matter.)

    That’s why quotas are not necessarily sinister.

    No, those quotas ( or quotae ) are definitely sinister.

    Mr. Rottenwestwood’s “curated experience” is another euphemism for multi-kulti indoctrination and dumbing down of academia..

    Read More
  17. “mattress girl” Emma wasn’t pissed off at not finding the right guy to date.

    She was pissed off that, after dating her enough times to get to know what she was like….. he chose to move on to less-mentally-damaged goods.

    Which was also (was it not?) the origin of Haven Monahan. The rape was invented to try to win over a guy who thought he could do better than her.

    Read More
  18. @Patrick in SC
    Jack D's a terrific, sometimes brilliant, commenter, but I think there's a simpler, better, explanation for the campus craziness.

    The relatively small, but loud, cadre of "students" who act this way, whether it's the violent "antifa" or "mattress girl" or the editors of the goofy student newspaper, do so because a) they get a buzz from acting this way; b) it gives them a niche where they can feel at home; and c) it's kind of expected of them.

    With regard to a), they aren't really accomplishing anything of world historical importance, i.e. overthrowing the Tsar, or fighting Gilded Age Plutocratic abuse of workers or ending institutionalized racial segregation. No, they're just getting an adrenalin fix that most of their classmates get at the football games or the frat parties. It's kind of fun to get together with like-minded people and chant and sing feel outraged about something. If stuff gets broken all the better.

    With regard to b), the 15-35% (it's hard to estimate) who get into this stuff do it in lieu football games, frat parties, and beer funnels, etc. Just like you have "jocks," and STEM nerds you have the "political people." You didn't used to, but nowadays (unfortunately) you're starting to see this type more and more in high school (See Stanford's #blacklivesmatter kid). They will typically edit the high school student newspaper (as opposed to edit the yearbook).

    I hardly need to explain c): 85% of the liberal arts faculty used to belong to this clique.

    I'm sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness. I don't want to take them too seriously as I regard them as little more than thrill-seeking twerps. On the other hand, they are definitely stifling free speech, and we're starting to see their intolerant nuttiness bleed onto the editorial pages of supposedly "prestige" newspapers.

    Dear Sir or Madam. Your repeated reference to frat parties, and the obvious insinuate inferred, leads me to believe you haven’t followed fraternity fortunes at major Northern universities. My undergraduate Alma Mater, The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, is treating fraternities like buffalo hunters treated bison in the 1880′s. One would think that the fine folks running PSU would have their hands full (so to speak) with the fallout of the Paterno/Sandusky/Curley/Schultz/Spanier law suits and trials, but amazingly enough, they still have time to exterminate the traditional Greek system. Can the Department of the Interior please designate the survivors as critically endangered? Is a safe place to party with fellow cis- normatives such a threat to current thinking? My goodness, how did we ever live to grow up without the Spaniers and Barrons of the world on duty protecting us from anti-social behavior.
    Slightly O/T– PSU sends me a shitload of pleas for funds, It’s like they don’t read the mail or listen to the phone calls I have made the past ten years. Spanier, Schultz and Curley are suddenly finished with the PA justice system, and not a peep from the U in any correspondence. I imagine most people don’t know it’s all finally over, except for financial breach suits by Spanier against PSU and v.v.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Your observations about those campus fund raisers are probably replicated among alums around the country. They don't seem to grasp that alums might object to the waste and manipulation in so many current programs, and then stop writing checks or sending offspring. That may help pop the little campus echo bubble and bring in some little dose of reality.
  19. In many dimensions things are trending away from curation. Traditional television with careful programming is giving way to Netflix-style buffets of content. News and opinion are much more open and far less curated than in the past. The seasoned editor has in many cases been replaced by “you might also like” algorithms.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TheJester
    It seems that root of the word "curate" is religious. A "curate" is a member of the clergy in charge of a parish ... from the Latin cura or carer of souls. But we get the gist. Like a curate, those who engage in curation offer their listeners such a broad, sifted vision of reality that salvation (whatever the subject) is assured. Why go to church when you can have all of the goodies in life offered by the MSM, game apps, live-streamed TV, the Golden Corral, and your parents?

    It should be obvious to mature adults that having an ever broader range of emotionally and chemically "curated" distractions to keep us from the truth can never be a substitute for the truth. Reality bites; it bites hard. Pay attention! The Millennials, unfortunately, seem addicted to emotional and chemical distractions that were previously more common among tweenies who were confident that mom and dad or those acting in loco parentis would come after them and clean up their messes in life.

    This does not portend well for the future of our country. Curation in education and life, in this sense, just keeps the next generation from growing up ... 30 going on 13, 4o going on 14 ad nauseam, which should need no translation.
  20. @dr kill
    Dear Sir or Madam. Your repeated reference to frat parties, and the obvious insinuate inferred, leads me to believe you haven't followed fraternity fortunes at major Northern universities. My undergraduate Alma Mater, The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, is treating fraternities like buffalo hunters treated bison in the 1880's. One would think that the fine folks running PSU would have their hands full (so to speak) with the fallout of the Paterno/Sandusky/Curley/Schultz/Spanier law suits and trials, but amazingly enough, they still have time to exterminate the traditional Greek system. Can the Department of the Interior please designate the survivors as critically endangered? Is a safe place to party with fellow cis- normatives such a threat to current thinking? My goodness, how did we ever live to grow up without the Spaniers and Barrons of the world on duty protecting us from anti-social behavior.
    Slightly O/T-- PSU sends me a shitload of pleas for funds, It's like they don't read the mail or listen to the phone calls I have made the past ten years. Spanier, Schultz and Curley are suddenly finished with the PA justice system, and not a peep from the U in any correspondence. I imagine most people don't know it's all finally over, except for financial breach suits by Spanier against PSU and v.v.

    Your observations about those campus fund raisers are probably replicated among alums around the country. They don’t seem to grasp that alums might object to the waste and manipulation in so many current programs, and then stop writing checks or sending offspring. That may help pop the little campus echo bubble and bring in some little dose of reality.

    Read More
  21. @gregor
    In many dimensions things are trending away from curation. Traditional television with careful programming is giving way to Netflix-style buffets of content. News and opinion are much more open and far less curated than in the past. The seasoned editor has in many cases been replaced by "you might also like" algorithms.

    It seems that root of the word “curate” is religious. A “curate” is a member of the clergy in charge of a parish … from the Latin cura or carer of souls. But we get the gist. Like a curate, those who engage in curation offer their listeners such a broad, sifted vision of reality that salvation (whatever the subject) is assured. Why go to church when you can have all of the goodies in life offered by the MSM, game apps, live-streamed TV, the Golden Corral, and your parents?

    It should be obvious to mature adults that having an ever broader range of emotionally and chemically “curated” distractions to keep us from the truth can never be a substitute for the truth. Reality bites; it bites hard. Pay attention! The Millennials, unfortunately, seem addicted to emotional and chemical distractions that were previously more common among tweenies who were confident that mom and dad or those acting in loco parentis would come after them and clean up their messes in life.

    This does not portend well for the future of our country. Curation in education and life, in this sense, just keeps the next generation from growing up … 30 going on 13, 4o going on 14 ad nauseam, which should need no translation.

    Read More
  22. @Patrick in SC
    Jack D's a terrific, sometimes brilliant, commenter, but I think there's a simpler, better, explanation for the campus craziness.

    The relatively small, but loud, cadre of "students" who act this way, whether it's the violent "antifa" or "mattress girl" or the editors of the goofy student newspaper, do so because a) they get a buzz from acting this way; b) it gives them a niche where they can feel at home; and c) it's kind of expected of them.

    With regard to a), they aren't really accomplishing anything of world historical importance, i.e. overthrowing the Tsar, or fighting Gilded Age Plutocratic abuse of workers or ending institutionalized racial segregation. No, they're just getting an adrenalin fix that most of their classmates get at the football games or the frat parties. It's kind of fun to get together with like-minded people and chant and sing feel outraged about something. If stuff gets broken all the better.

    With regard to b), the 15-35% (it's hard to estimate) who get into this stuff do it in lieu football games, frat parties, and beer funnels, etc. Just like you have "jocks," and STEM nerds you have the "political people." You didn't used to, but nowadays (unfortunately) you're starting to see this type more and more in high school (See Stanford's #blacklivesmatter kid). They will typically edit the high school student newspaper (as opposed to edit the yearbook).

    I hardly need to explain c): 85% of the liberal arts faculty used to belong to this clique.

    I'm sort of torn about how to react to them and their increasing violence and obnoxiousness. I don't want to take them too seriously as I regard them as little more than thrill-seeking twerps. On the other hand, they are definitely stifling free speech, and we're starting to see their intolerant nuttiness bleed onto the editorial pages of supposedly "prestige" newspapers.

    just the threat of a little physical bullying in the boys’ case or a shunning in the girls’ cases kept those folks in line in the 70s through 90s.

    Read More
  23. Agree with Jack D’s observations. That cheaper, more retail-ish, pop culturey, a la mode sense of curation is what I was referring to originally earlier in the week.

    But “curation” as a bounded concept has older roots than the “New Economy”‘s lucrative misdirection from the fact that nobody wants to invest in a loser even though we are increasingly systematically required to do so.

    (Is this new sense of “curation” a safety valve or a litmus for what libs and progs actually believe?)

    I first saw the term being used in this new way in the early 1980s as financial speculators were using their newmoneyed heft to take over museums that preserved European and American heritage and to redirect their prestige in more, erm, Globalist directions.

    Compare the curation involved in this:

    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/18.110.6/

    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/chip/hd_chip.htm

    …and this…

    http://coffeebeansandbobbypins.com/2016/11/how-to-make-a-curated-cheese-board/

    https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner_party/home/

    Sackler–hope that name rings a bell now.

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  24. This word as it’s applied in various hipster settings is ridiculous. For example, a hotel bar in Las Vegas I just visited offers “curated cocktails.” Isn’t any menu — and, for that matter, any retail assortment — curated by definition?

    Off topic, not really from postmodern academe but hackneyed nonetheless, is the word “amazing.” Every commercial uses the word to characterize the product or service being offered, and you overhear every millennial using it to describe whatever “experience” she’s just had, for example as the caption to an Instagram post. It’s an imprecise word, and seems to be used exclusively by women.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Curate" at least is merely pretentiously genteel and Jane Austenish, while "interrogate" is Gestapo/KGBish.
    , @Steve Sailer
    "Amazing" is used a lot by college admissions staffers: "We have so many amazing applicants!"
  25. @EdwardM
    This word as it's applied in various hipster settings is ridiculous. For example, a hotel bar in Las Vegas I just visited offers "curated cocktails." Isn't any menu -- and, for that matter, any retail assortment -- curated by definition?

    Off topic, not really from postmodern academe but hackneyed nonetheless, is the word "amazing." Every commercial uses the word to characterize the product or service being offered, and you overhear every millennial using it to describe whatever "experience" she's just had, for example as the caption to an Instagram post. It's an imprecise word, and seems to be used exclusively by women.

    “Curate” at least is merely pretentiously genteel and Jane Austenish, while “interrogate” is Gestapo/KGBish.

    Read More
  26. @EdwardM
    This word as it's applied in various hipster settings is ridiculous. For example, a hotel bar in Las Vegas I just visited offers "curated cocktails." Isn't any menu -- and, for that matter, any retail assortment -- curated by definition?

    Off topic, not really from postmodern academe but hackneyed nonetheless, is the word "amazing." Every commercial uses the word to characterize the product or service being offered, and you overhear every millennial using it to describe whatever "experience" she's just had, for example as the caption to an Instagram post. It's an imprecise word, and seems to be used exclusively by women.

    “Amazing” is used a lot by college admissions staffers: “We have so many amazing applicants!”

    Read More

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