Thursday, June 22, 2023

"It’s time for some game theory"
In order to maintain free speech, liberalism proposes a norm of reciprocity: it’s in everyone’s interest to defend free speech for their enemies so that their enemies will defend free speech for them.

"Carl Beijer" doesn't know the history of what he's attacking any more than of what he's defending. He thinks politics is about talking to your friends, not about convincing strangers that they should agree with you. He defends the dictatorship of the pure like a moralizing high school student from the American suburbs.  

"Public reason" has become "private reason"  
again, and again
John Quiggin, 2008: "Sunstein argues that the echo chamber effect tends to reinforce existing views and produce a poisonous partisan divide. It seems to me that exactly the opposite is true. "


I always thought Sunstein's point was obvious, especially for any culture founded on individualist liberalism. It's that culture that's given us Facebook and surveillance capitalism and personalized marketing, the virtual store where the displays are changed and items moved to the front to fit your last purchases. Newsfeeds work the same way, reinforcing biases, from narrowcasting to microcasting to the narcissism where the world is reduced to a mirror.

Twitter changed its algorithm years ago, forcing you to choose between replying to a tweet and quoting it, limiting the exposure of either your followers or those of the person you're replying to. Up to that point a reply appeared on both timelines.

Ryan Cooper 

Have you ever argued with a conservative? They won't learn anything no matter what I say or where I say it. Whatever I say is wrong by definition. 

Amia Srinivasan gives the game away
A graduate student once complained to me and my co-convenor that we had not put a content warning on Catharine MacKinnon’s ‘Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State’, even though we had at the start of the course issued a blanket policy that permitted students to skip any class meeting, without explanation – which we had done in recognition that the reading for the seminar was emotionally demanding. Another student, an undergraduate, told me she didn’t want to read MacKinnon’s work because she had heard (from her brother) that MacKinnon was a ‘TERF’ (she is not). A student asked me why I thought it was worthwhile to discuss in a lecture what sort of metaphysics of gender was required to vindicate the identities of trans women as women and trans men as men, given that he (a trans man) already knew that he was a man.

"a blanket policy that permitted students to skip any class meeting, without explanation – which we had done in recognition that the reading for the seminar was emotionally demanding", like a medical student exempted from class because she can't stand the sight of blood.

"...given that he (a trans man) already knew that he was a man", just like Beijer and Cooper and the rest know that they're a leftists. And no one and nothing should ever be allowed to challenge that. 

Srinivasan has a tag.

When it rains in pours. Fraser McDonald, in the same issue of the LRB 

It’s​ not uncommon for a student to come to my office to tell me they’re not happy with their exam mark. ‘Perhaps you just made a mistake?’ one suggested to me last year. 

"Get the fuck out of my office."

The academy is conservative and authoritarian. That's its strength and weakness. It should be hard to get a governmentally recognized license, and it should be easy to say it's not worth it. These idiots dumb down everything. 

At the University of Edinburgh, where I teach, changes pushed through the Senate will allow students to get degrees ‘on aggregate’ (based on work marked to date) but with a greater number of missing course credits than would previously have been permitted. The same is true across the sector. It’s not unusual for students to graduate with missing coursework – the affordance is called ‘special circumstances’. But universities have now turned this occasional act of compassion into a handy workaround to benefit employers. ‘Special circumstances’ are being redefined, it seems, to apply to the university’s crisis rather than the student’s.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active."

Leaders and followers. Hustlers and customers. Who do you blame, the con man or the rube?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment moderation is enabled.