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Thread: Political Correctness Gone Mad

  1. #31
    Hall of Fame Member Shri's Avatar
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    This is why working from home is a great concept.
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    Doesn't work as it exists now though.. It is an excuse for the boss to give me a call after i reach home to just 'log in and check if there is an update' or some such.. I liked the separation of work and home
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Whinging about "political correctness" basically means you think being an arsehole is more important than having common decency.
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    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post


    Isn't stuff like this covered by GIMH's initial point though? The fact that some politician used the victim card to rail against whatever political correctness means to him doesn't make what's happening to people like Peterson and Weinstein any less insane. It's similar to how the ridiculous nature of some lines of attack from SJW's doesn't mean there are no racists/race issues out there. It's just throwing out a different baby/bathwater.
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shri View Post
    This is why working from home is a great concept.
    Well, yeah, but not when you've got a kid under the age of about 5 I'd say.

    Now, I can work from home a couple of days a week and the kids can come in from school, get their **** sorted for the next day and be here leaving me be (generally...). We don't have to put on family/afterschool clubs as much. But younger kids can't just be left to it.
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  7. #37
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Isn't stuff like this covered by GIMH's initial point though? The fact that some politician used the victim card to rail against whatever political correctness means to him doesn't make what's happening to people like Peterson and Weinstein any less insane. It's similar to how the ridiculous nature of some lines of attack from SJW's doesn't mean there are no racists/race issues out there. It's just throwing out a different baby/bathwater.
    No, of course, but I'm assuming that this is the general political-correctness-discussion thread and thought it was relevant + funny
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  8. #38
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Isn't stuff like this covered by GIMH's initial point though? The fact that some politician used the victim card to rail against whatever political correctness means to him doesn't make what's happening to people like Peterson and Weinstein any less insane. It's similar to how the ridiculous nature of some lines of attack from SJW's doesn't mean there are no racists/race issues out there. It's just throwing out a different baby/bathwater.
    I think there are two different things that are both called 'political correctness'. One is the blackballing of academics whose research contradicts the political agenda of students. Obviously I completely disagree with it. But I find it hard to get worked up about it it's so hilariously self-defeating. Nobody cared at all about these guys until protesters started trying to suppress them. It would be incredible for my career if I was no-platformed. I could sell myself as The Economic Historian Liberals Don't Want You To Read (aka the Niall Ferguson career path). Thousands would buy my book, never read it, and display it on their coffee table to signal their edginess. I'd be like Piketty for conservatives.

    The other thing, which most people mean when they say 'political correctness', is the social stigma against using certain words. I'm a wishy-washy centrist on it. If you're stubbornly refusing to stop using the n-word you're an arsehole, but if you're calling out a 90-year-old for saying 'coloured', you're also an arsehole.
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  9. #39
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    I think there are two different things that are both called 'political correctness'. One is the blackballing of academics whose research contradicts the political agenda of students. Obviously I completely disagree with it. But I find it hard to get worked up about it it's so hilariously self-defeating. Nobody cared at all about these guys until protesters started trying to suppress them. It would be incredible for my career if I was no-platformed. I could sell myself as The Economic Historian Liberals Don't Want You To Read (aka the Niall Ferguson career path). Thousands would buy my book, never read it, and display it on their coffee table to signal their edginess. I'd be like Piketty for conservatives.

    The other thing, which most people mean when they say 'political correctness', is the social stigma against using certain words. I'm a wishy-washy centrist on it. If you're stubbornly refusing to stop using the n-word you're an arsehole, but if you're calling out a 90-year-old for saying 'coloured', you're also an arsehole.
    While I think this is a fair summation of both sides of the phenomena, I think this kind of misses the forest for the trees.

    First and foremost that while becoming "the Economic Historian Liberals Don't Want You To Read" might set you up for some material wealth you'd be relegated from what most of society would class as the intellectual heart of our societies (academia). Sure you'd be a hero on the Rogan/Crowder/Rubin youtube circuit but the odds of you being hired by a university in the current climate seem pretty slim. I think it remains to be seen how that will play out, but there's certainly a pretty high risk that the impact of your work will be minimized long term because it's only consumed by the "edgy". I see it as the intellectual equivalent of an EPL standard footballer taking obscene amounts of money to play in China or the Middle East. Sure you're rich, but you're not really relevant.

    The only way that changes is if the university ceases to be the center of knowledge for human civilization. I actually think there's a fair chance of that happening, but you have to ask do we actually want that? Do the student's actions in these cases delay or hasten a theoretical decline in the relevance of the university?

    Secondly I think it's not that long before this kind of stuff is enforced physically. The Weinstein situation certainly seems like it went close. Is becoming rich the way you describe worth having to go out in public with a security detail?

    EDIT: This is quite aside from the fuel it gives for the recruitment messages of actual racists/supremacists.
    Last edited by Ausage; 14-06-2017 at 05:11 AM.
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  10. #40
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    While I think this is a fair summation of both sides of the phenomena, I think this kind of misses the forest for the trees.

    First and foremost that while becoming "the Economic Historian Liberals Don't Want You To Read" might set you up for some material wealth you'd be relegated from what most of society would class as the intellectual heart of our societies (academia). Sure you'd be a hero on the Rogan/Crowder/Rubin youtube circuit but the odds of you being hired by a university in the current climate seem pretty slim. I think it remains to be seen how that will play out, but there's certainly a pretty high risk that the impact of your work will be minimized long term because it's only consumed by the "edgy". I see it as the intellectual equivalent of an EPL standard footballer taking obscene amounts of money to play in China or the Middle East. Sure you're rich, but you're not really relevant.
    I'm really loving this thought experiment.

    I suspect that getting a job would be much, much easier. The market for liberal professors is absolutely saturated, but the market for conservative professors is fairly untapped. I suspect demand for an education respected in conservative circles is about to go through the roof. Chicago is making a big play for the always-lucrative conservative buck, and getting serious media coverage for it: http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/25/university-of-chicago-sends-the-acceptance-letter-every-college-should/
    .

    I don't really know if I would be excluded from intellectual society in the sense you describe. I work in a business school, and business schools already have loads of conservatives. I'd be excluded from a lot of history departments, but my work is probably already too right-wing for those. A lot of people doing my kind of work are now in Econ departments when 15-20 years ago it would have been done in liberal arts schools.

    Maybe that's the answer to your question. The center of knowledge won't shift from universities to somewhere else, it'll just shift from one area of academia to another- different departments, different universities.


    Secondly I think it's not that long before this kind of stuff is enforced physically. The Weinstein situation certainly seems like it went close. Is becoming rich the way you describe worth having to go out in public with a security detail?

    EDIT: This is quite aside from the fuel it gives for the recruitment messages of actual racists/supremacists.
    The violence right now isn't really at a level where it would start to scare me. The equation would change if someone was killed or seriously injured, but I don't really share your impression that it's all about to horribly boil over.

    I don't think I'm temperamentally suited to being a hate figure though, so it might not be worth it anyway.
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  11. #41
    International Captain Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    I'm really loving this thought experiment.

    I suspect that getting a job would be much, much easier. The market for liberal professors is absolutely saturated, but the market for conservative professors is fairly untapped. I suspect demand for an education respected in conservative circles is about to go through the roof. Chicago is making a big play for the always-lucrative conservative buck, and getting serious media coverage for it: University Of Chicago Sends The Acceptance Letter Every College Should.

    I don't really know if I would be excluded from intellectual society in the sense you describe. I work in a business school, and business schools already have loads of conservatives. I'd be excluded from a lot of history departments, but my work is probably already too right-wing for those. A lot of people doing my kind of work are now in Econ departments when 15-20 years ago it would have been done in liberal arts schools.

    Maybe that's the answer to your question. The center of knowledge won't shift from universities to somewhere else, it'll just shift from one area of academia to another- different departments, different universities.
    Doesn't the bold tie into the reasons you're unlikely to ever be no-platformed? The people who are in danger of having the mob set on them are the ones in disciplines that wouldn't welcome someone branded as a hate figure.

    I agree with the overall point regarding markets. Any seismic shift on the position of the university as society's premier knowledge institution will likely be just as attributable to the absurdity of charging kids tens of thousands of dollars for knowledge that's freely available online. Accreditation will be an issue and it's only a matter of time before someone makes that inexpensive for disciplines that require it, but the rest? Relegated to the internet where we struggle to make sense of even the most basic facts, let alone things like the keys to the human condition or whether the elites are soul sucking vampires who want to drag humanity to take the place of a being struggling to rise up from a lower dimension.
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  12. #42
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Doesn't the bold tie into the reasons you're unlikely to ever be no-platformed? The people who are in danger of having the mob set on them are the ones in disciplines that wouldn't welcome someone branded as a hate figure.
    Ehh, maybe. There are directions I could plausibly branch into that would risk stepping on some toes. Gregory Clark has major hate-figure potential.

    I agree with the overall point regarding markets. Any seismic shift on the position of the university as society's premier knowledge institution will likely be just as attributable to the absurdity of charging kids tens of thousands of dollars for knowledge that's freely available online. Accreditation will be an issue and it's only a matter of time before someone makes that inexpensive for disciplines that require it, but the rest? Relegated to the internet where we struggle to make sense of even the most basic facts, let alone things like the keys to the human condition or whether the elites are soul sucking vampires who want to drag humanity to take the place of a being struggling to rise up from a lower dimension.
    Yeah it's pretty absurd. University is getting less and less about learning and more about signalling to the world that you're clever.

    I'd say it's in a bubble but it's hard to see how it would burst exactly. There would need to be a cheaper, reliable way to signal your cleverness, and I can't think of one. Online courses won't do it. They're too easy to cheat at.
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    What the **** is 'no-platforming'? SI Units only, pls. Agree on the bubble being unlikely to burst any time soon, uni is pretty easy to cheat at these days but online courses are exponentially easier. What's really becoming the way in which you prove your credibility is stuff like presentation skills, public speaking and networks are becoming a bigger factor I've noticed. Forget speaking intelligently, if you're able to get up in front of people and speak specifically about your given topic, you're ahead. If you can also speak intelligently, you're getting the job. If you're bringing collaborations and nice people with you, keys to the building. Of course they've always been big but in a world where it's so easy to fake quals...

    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    I think there are two different things that are both called 'political correctness'. One is the blackballing of academics whose research contradicts the political agenda of students. Obviously I completely disagree with it. But I find it hard to get worked up about it it's so hilariously self-defeating. Nobody cared at all about these guys until protesters started trying to suppress them.
    Yup but I'd guess that's why they're bashing him, even if they sincerely believe in the cause. Assuming he's tenured, he's in a position of power at the uni so basically untouchable, calling for him to lose his job won't hurt him but will definitely help them draw attention so he's an attractive target to go yell at. Problem is, whilst they're busy baying for blood, they're burning bridges with a bloke who was and probably still is an ally.

    In other words, they need to grow up a bit and I'm guessing that's why he's reacting so calmly to all this. Good teachers will try to make this a, y'know, teachable moment. This'll all go away soon. Sucks he has to go through it at all, of course.

    (Would totally buy your book, ftr)
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 14-06-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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  14. #44
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    The problem with the phrase "political correctness" is really just a lack of specificity in its use. That's always been an issue really, most people who talk about "political correctness" are just worried about being judged for being racist or whatever, but over-sensitivity is a legitimate issue that causes dumb problems. The euphemism treadmill is a good example of the silliness of "political correctness", where a term comes into use because it's a more sensitive version of a previous, insensitive term, and as people use the new term more, it too becomes insensitive. See terms like "idiot", "moron" etc getting replaced with two longer words beginning with S and R that apparently I can't use on this forum, which basically shows the point, in turn getting replaced with "special needs" etc, which is both pointless and gradually dilutes the actual usefulness of the terms, since special needs includes not only people with low cognitive function but also like... people who are deaf or only have one arm. But that's not new really, and it doesn't have particularly nasty consequences in most cases, though I do think it's important not to be so sensitive to offence that people can't have functional conversations about issues that are worth talking about. Like people being afraid to discuss race or gender identity at all for fear of using the wrong term.

    What concerns me more is basically just changing values across different political factions. Politics is cyclical I guess and there's a push and pull to every long-term debate, but I definitely feel like I've seen a noticeable shift between "free expression" being a left/liberal value to being a more complex or even a slightly conservative one during my lifetime. I had a conversation recently with some younger, leftist activist type people about this who basically agreed that when they hear someone talk about "free speech" they think that person is a right-winger by default, which is the exact opposite response I'd have had say 15 years ago. That's a value that actually matters I think, and I'm eager for the left to acknowledge that speech isn't violence, and reaffirm a commitment to people's right to hold controversial views, protest in confrontational ways etc. Violence also isn't speech of course, which thankfully is still something I think the vast majority of people on the left realise. But it goes both ways.

    Overall it's a bizarre scenario to feel like quoting John Stuart Mill on the right to hold dissenting views makes me a conservative.
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Great post. Fantastic stuff.
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