Category Archives: academics behaving badly

A postmodern holiday: recent nonsense from the humanities

Reader Loren sent me this video (with an introduction by Noam Chomsky) on some of the shenanigans of postmodern nonsense (yes, I know that not all of the humanities or “science studies” is riddled with this stuff). A lot of the material presented comes from the Twi**er site New Real Peer Review, which is worth […]

David Sloan Wilson: There is a god, and it’s the “superorganism” of insect colonies and group-selected humans

David Sloan Wilson is known as an ardent promoter of group selection, the evolutionary idea that the unit of selection is not the gene or individual, but groups of individuals whose differential extinction and reproduction (group “splitting”) can give rise to traits that are maladaptive within groups, like purely altruistic behavior. (E. O. Wilson, not […]

The unbearable whiteness of pumpkins: more po-mo lunacy

CONTENT WARNING: THE PAPER I’M ABOUT TO DISCUSS IS NOT A JOKE (OR AT LEAST NOT AN INTENTIONAL JOKE) In the attempts of the Regressive Left to make everything part of identity politics, and to instill in all The Privileged an unspeakable sense of guilt, no object or behavior is off limits. And so, as Halloween […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Here are some photos taken by reader James Blilie’s 12-year-old son Jamie, using a Canon Powershot SX530 HX camera. All were photographed in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  James’s captions are indented, but young Jamie gets the photo credits. A nest of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), including the nestlings gaping at the approach of Mom or […]

College Follies of the Day. Part 2. Florida professor forbids students from describing the U.S. as a “melting pot”

About a year ago the Daily Beast wrote a piece called “The University of Californa’s Insane Speech Police,” which described UC President Janet Napolitano’s “invitation” for deans and department heads in the UC system to attend a seminar on suppressing free speech “fostering inclusive excellence”. These seminars were held at 9 of the 10 University of […]

University of Wisconsin bans innocuous paintings of Native Americans

The University of Wisconsin is into big-time censorship these days, and its latest Pecksniffian episode is particularly ludicrous. As reported by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), a branch of the University at Stoutt (UWS) has ordered two paintings removed from public view because they depict “interactions between white traders and First Nations people” and could […]

Cowardly University of Cape Town panics, disinvites speaker who published the Danish “Mohammed” cartoons

Last year writer and broadcaster Kenan Malik was invited to the University of Cape Town in South Africa to deliver the T. B. Davie Memorial Lecture, an annual talk devoted to “academic and human freedom.” Malik’s talk, “Free speech in an age of identity politics,” was a spirited defense of untrammeled free speech, and included passages like […]

Fancy academics discuss campus unrest: Harvard Law school prof says that the Enlightenment created white supremacy

Here we have a discussion, a “HigherEd Leaders Forum,” organized by The New York Times. The précis: College campuses are struggling to balance respectful discussions about race and diversity with holding open conversations on controversial topics. Nicholas Christakis of Yale University, Annette Gordon-Reed of Harvard Law School and Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College, are […]

Bullied by Yale students, Erika and Nicholas Christakis resign their residential posts

In October of last year, Erika Christakis, child development expert and associate master of the Silliman residential college at Yale University, sent an email to students in response to a dean’s email about a big fracas involving “inappropriate” Halloween costumes. Christakis discussed the difficulties of determining whether costumes were potentially offensive and warned about the dangers […]

FIRE announces ten worst American universities for freedom of speech

Even a blind pig can find an acorn, and even PuffHo occasionally publishes something worth reading. In this case it’s Greg Lukianoff’s list of “The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2016.” Lukianoff is head of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an estimable group that tries to preserve freedom of expression on […]