In which the University of Chicago becomes Evergreen State College

I can’t even. . . . 

More information is here.

44 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “A Committment to Diversity in the Biological Sciences”

    Biodiversity?

    • Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Diverse realities, more like.

  2. barael
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “Implicit Bias, What we know”

    Somehow I get the feeling they’re not going to dwell much on the recent studies highlighting just how scientifically weak the results of IB research are.

    (http://www.chronicle.com/article/Can-We-Really-Measure-Implicit/238807)

    • Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      That workshop should last about 37 seconds:
      What do we know?
      * At best, it detects in-group/out-group bias;
      *But who really knows, because the methodology of the tests are crap, and the whole thing’s unfalsifiable.

  3. Jeff Rankin
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It’s a “thinkshop”. My eyes just rolled out of my head. Not a workshop, seminar, or presentation. And I wonder how interested they are in people actually thinking?

  4. Jeff Rankin
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Oh, “gender expression” – LOL. Often called “fashion” by wrong-thinkers.

  5. Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Honestly maybe I’ve lost my mind, but since when have laudable idea like diversity, and inclusion become synonymous with what is going on at Evergreen? Sure they use the term “safe space” here, but there is nothing wrong with safe spaces except in their bastardized form. I’m serious I’d like an answer? I’m as quick as anyone to criticize, ridicule, or laugh at SJWs, but I still support social justice? Is that no longer en vogue?

    • Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      It’s not that the idea of diversity is somehow wrong, because I agree that we should foster it and give people equal rights and opportunities regardless of ethnic group, religion, politics, and so on. It’s that universities are now pushing specific ideologies on students in these sessions, which aren’t discussions but indoctrinations. I’m the first to tout inclusion and stuff, but the term “allies” for instance, means that you share a specific ideology, and if you’re not you’re an enemy. It’s not equal rights that bother me, as I’m fully in favor of them, it’s the indoctrination into the use of language, proper speech and behavior, and the way to be a good “ally” that bothers me. That stuff leads to the Evergreen mentality, as Bret Weinstein has noted. He blames faculty indoctrination, not the students, for what happened at his school. This kind of stuff creates divisiveness and identity politics, and really, I don’t see that we need that here.

      We’ve been doing pretty well at the U of C, and I don’t want purity tests applied here, nor the idea that we need the idea of “allies” versus “enemies”, or “safe spaces.”

      • Darren Garrison
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Yes, I used to roll my eyes at claims by the Religious Right and political far right that colleges were dangerous places “indoctrinating” students. But it looks like they are becoming more correct on this every passing day.

    • fizziks
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      “there is nothing wrong with safe spaces except in their bastardized form”

      Lolwut! The very concept of a “safe” space where a university student should not ever have to encounter an opposing or dissenting viewpoint, and the notion that such viewpoints can make one uncomfortable and that such discomfort is to be avoided in the first place, is an abomination and completely contrary to the idea and purpose of higher education.

      What’s wrong with you?

    • GBJames
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I’ll pile on here, too, regarding “safe spaces”.

      What’s the difference between a “safe space” and any other public space where one should expect to not be assaulted? Shouldn’t all space be safe space for everyone equally?

      The problem with the very concept of “safe space” is that it infantilizes selected groups of adults, implying that they are incapable of serving public spaces like everyone else.

      • Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        “I’ll pile on here, too, regarding “safe spaces”.”

        You’re both referring to the bastardized version of which I spoke. the original intent, and the intent of most people who use the term today, is a space where LGBTQ people can discuss amongst themselves the problems they share, and strategies for dealing with them without ridicule, and judgement. The intent wasn’t and still isn’t, except in rare cases that draw the wrath of anti-sjws, to have a place to permanently hide from bigotry.

        • Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          Do you have any data that creating or designating “safe spaces” is much more common for LGBTQ people than for any other purpose? If not, then you had no business asserting your opinion as if was data. I could claim, based on my anecdotal experiences, that LBGTQ safe spaces for discussion on campuses are in the minority, as I’ve seen them for many other “causes”.

        • Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          I wanted to add, that at the end of every episode of the “Atheist Experience” podcast they invite atheists, and atheist friendly people to join them for the after show meetup at a local restaurant, that meetup essentially amounts to a safe space. Should they be berated, ridiculed and insulted as snowflakes for doing so?

          • Posted June 27, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            Okay, you’ve hit the nadir. I’ve heard the ends of those shows, and they invite atheists and “atheist friendly people” to dinner at a restaurant. It’s like a dinner for any club or group. There is no declaration that it’s a “safe dinner”or that any topics are off limits. Your equation of a dinner for atheists with a “safe space” on a college campus is ridiculous. I’m tired up putting up with such empty arguments.

          • jay
            Posted June 27, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Even if these are atheist specific events, they are simple and self organized. They don’t expect the world to be blocked off to make a safe space. People of all sorts can self organize.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          “a space where LGBTQ people can discuss amongst themselves the problems they share”

          I think you’re referring to a meeting room. Why do LGBTQ people need a special term for a meeting room?

          The intent, I think, of the term “safe space” is to imply that everywhere else is unsafe. If that is the case, then security should be called. There should be no “unsafe spaces”. There is no “un-bastardized” version, IMO.

        • fizziks
          Posted June 27, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Now we’ve got a No True Scotsman of safe spaces!

        • Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          I think that just underlines the point about the absurdity of “safe spaces”. Any group of people having a private discussion deserve to be allowed to do so without harassment from other people that don’t like them anywhere. Retreating into safe spaces is a defeat.

          On the other hand ideas should never be exempt from ridicule and judgement especially if they are really bad ideas like expelling white students and staff from campus for a day. Safe spaces are not good places to discuss ideas because valid criticisms get shut out along with the invalid ones.

          • Craw
            Posted June 27, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            Exactly. The space is “safe” from ideas. That’s their purpose: a designated area where ideas may not be expressed. (Usually with coloring books and Paddingto Bear.)

        • Taz
          Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          a space where LGBTQ people can discuss amongst themselves the problems they share, and strategies for dealing with them without ridicule, and judgement

          So basically anywhere on campus?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I agree – I don’t think this is particularly pernicious. There’s no sectarian diktats about keeping your hands down by your sides at all times, that kind of thing. A certain number of SJW activists are harmless, and well-intentioned.

      There is so much of SJW stuff that I loathe, but more and more when I visit some specifically anti-SJW liberal sites I feel like a Daily Mail reader getting his fill of outrage at immigrants and scroungers. It makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable.
      And it’s a doubling down on our part that’s happened at the exact point at which the emphasis should, in my opinion, be shifting away from campus idiots towards criticism of the Trump-right. Which is boring, and less enjoyable, but there it is.

      And the fact that the Huffington Post and other illiberal-left places are laying into the orange micro-dexter 24/7 doesn’t mean that genuine liberals should leave it to them to criticise Trump.
      Leaving it to the illiberal-left does actual harm to the anti-Trump cause, in that their hypocrisy and obnoxiousness and deep intellectual confusion about things like race and gender hand PR victories to Trump supporters on a daily basis. I’d go as far as to say that the illiberal-left is not interested in actual political change, because if they were they would have some feel for what is tactically stupid and alienating to the people who should be their allies. And since they’re not interested in actual change, or compromise, or reaching out, or any of the things that are factors in real world politics, it’s fatal to leave the anti-Trump argument to them. They will continue to fuck it up because it’s all pantomime politics to them; a kind of fun, tribal game they play, where they get to judge the impure with complete intellectual impunity.

      But overall, taking in the big picture, it feels like _everybody_ has doubled down on the tactics that they were using before the election. My kind of liberal is spending even more time going after the illiberal left, the illiberal left is spending even more time promoting sectarian identity politics, the right is spending even more time looking in the other direction every time Donald Trump comes up and dedicating their entire editorial output to a relatively inconsequential bunch of obnoxious, toxic student activists. This is not good. It feels like the preparatory calm before some grand battle, with all the soldiers sorting themselves into their different sides and a few intelligent, wily rhetoricians standing at the head of each crowd, yelling their ideologically-tailored speeches down loudhailers while the sky turns to shite overhead.

      • fizziks
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        An important consideration here is the relevant scope of debate within academia or within the intellectual class.

        There is basically no constituency within academia or the intellectual class for Trumpism. There is no need to debate or expound upon the demerits of his travel ban, or his cuts to NSF funding, or his denial of climate change, or his idiotic tweets, or a million other things, because there is no other side. Nobody serious is expounding upon their merits. We are all in agreement.

        In contrast, there is a HUGE constituency within academia and the intellectual class for notions that many readers of this blog consider to be from the ‘regressive left’ and/or postmodernism and/or epistemic relativism, etc. These things -do- need to be debated and criticized within academia and the intellectual circles because there are actually many people, including many powerful and influential people within these circles, promoting them.

    • jay
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Diversity, when it occurs naturally because of open opportunities , is fine.

      When diversity is the GOAL, rather than the by product, it’s simply a distortion It’s valueless, actually can be a negative value if capricious rules are employed to make the numbers come out ‘correct.’

      It’s kind of like the cargo cults of the Pacific. People, having experienced the resources arriving during the war, built wooden ‘airports’ in the assumption that would bring in planes and resources.

      [Funny how people use the biological analogy, in many biological systems the strength of diversity is conflict, where the best adapted wins and others lose.]

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        I see nothing wrong with a university setting policy to encourage (though not to mandate) diversity — especially given that it was long university policy to prohibit diversity by excluding specific segments of the population (and by limiting others, like Catholics and Jews, through quota systems). Those policies created the ultimate affirmative-action program for the traditionally privileged, one that held sway in this country for hundreds of years.

        Things like historically black colleges (and the United Negro College Fund) were created not to bestow a special privilege on blacks over whites, but out of desperation to assure that otherwise-excluded students could still obtain a decent education. (Those colleges, and the UNCF, are now open to all races and ethnicities.)

      • BJ
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        It’s just like when people say “everyone must be equal!” Sure, sounds simple enough, but here’s the problem: all you can do is give everyone equal opportunities. For everyone to have equal outcomes, you need to implement full-scale communism, and we know how trying to force everyone to be equal turns out: everybody hates it and a whole lot of people get killed.

    • Kevin
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      For me it’s the advertisement for diversity. I don’t think it’s useful in the long run. I knew black people at Stanford and the majority felt like they were some kind of experiment; not really welcome, but surrounded by explicit diversity participations with the implicit undertones: “you are part of us”. That’s not a solution.

      I recall being a vegan for two years. And everywhere I went, everyone was saying, “What will Kevin eat?”, “How will he manage?”. “He’s special, we need to take care of his food needs.” I did not want the attention, I can deal with my problems myself. I bet, sometimes, it feels like that.

    • Sastra
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      I understand what you’re saying. It’s hard for me to avoid adopting the principle of charity here, assuming upfront that every one of these sessions will be pretty reasonably presented. It’s a live possibility, after all. Otherwise, it might end up I condemned things I don’t condemn, or set myself up for a whopping case of subjective validation. I can always do my screaming after the fact.

      Is that naive? Maybe. In medicine, some previously normal terms and references (like “healing,” “natural,” “herbal,””wellness,” and “energy”) have turned into giant red flags denoting bullshit. The terms and references in this issue and on this poster may already be at the same point. Still, like you, I tend towards caution and wait till I’m bit.

      • scottoest
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Same here. I see some “troubling” possibilities in the titles of at least two of the workshops listed, but the principle of charity compels me not to assume the worst. Especially at a school that has been above-average in defending free speech principles, and treating university like the free arena of ideas it is supposed to be.

        Plus, some voluntary summer workshops are a far cry from the saga at TESC.

      • Mike Paps
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        “I understand what you’re saying. It’s hard for me to avoid adopting the principle of charity here, assuming upfront that every one of these sessions will be pretty reasonably presented. It’s a live possibility, after all.”

        I think my opinion is somewhat motivated by what I see on youtube. Whenever anything has the slightest scent of SJW the anti-SJW’s bring out their pitchforks, What this tends to do is cause a positive feedback mechanism where every possible misdeed is added to the list of misdeeds, whether they qualify or not.

        • BJ
          Posted June 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          So you’re basing your opinions on the fact that Youtubers you don’t like say silly things, instead of what we’ve seen from these ideas when they’re put into action over and over for the last few years? That doesn’t seem to you like a bad way to assess things?

          This seems like yet another argument stemming from your desire to deny your political foes ammunition, rather than facing the reality of a situation. We know these ideas qualify as misdeeds, as we have seen them in action many times. How can one continue to be charitable in the face of repeated evidence that these sorts of things are not what you wish them to be?

  6. DrBeydon
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    A: “I’m going to call you Summer Vacation.”
    B: “Why?”
    A: “No class.”

  7. Merilee
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Aaaaarrrgggh! Stanford, and now Chicago!

    • Kevin
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      It feels ironic, then, that places like Notre Dame actually peacefully protest theocrats like Pence.

  8. Steve Gerrard
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Seems like small potatoes to me. 5 meetings, 6 hours total, spread out over the summer and the campus. Probably small meeting rooms, too. If that is all that’s going on, it doesn’t seem like much to worry about. It’s okay to have a little bit of it.

    • Posted June 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      It always starts small and innocent…

      • Craw
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        And small does not meaning insignificant. There are about 35 trillion cells in a person. Cancer always starts with one cell.

  9. Posted June 27, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Would they mind an (emeritus?) faculty member showing up to see what goes on in these workshops?

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      I was wondering the same thing. 😉

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:51 am | Permalink

        Such a person might be especially interested in this part of the program:

        “A panel discussion will follow with special guest, Dr. Aasim Padela, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine.”

        😉

        • Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          So many of these things look ambivalent. Like that one. The pomos are often like this: they seem to be addressing an interesting topic, and then you read the paper and it is crazy or misinformed or whatever. For example, all the stuff about the “social history of truth” would be nice to be re-done without all the subjectivism.

          • Diane G.
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 3:01 am | Permalink

            You’re much more up on these matters than I am! Rather than investigate them myself I think I’ll just rely on you. 😉

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    When I see the language used in this poster I get annoyed (triggered?)…OMG what if SJW language about triggering actually triggers you? How could there be a safe space for people triggered by safe spaces??

    • Craw
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Some people say you shouldn’t use “trigger” because it is triggering. Cannot make this stuff up.

      Coyne has it right. If it were just some idiotic students it would be one thing. But we see this with faculty. Especially Pomo studies faculty.


%d bloggers like this: