January 24, 2005

Misc. Essays from previous blog

A good perspective on what is occuring intellectually at Yale

Criticizing such academic endeavors, however, has somehow become equivalent to criticizing the specific ethnic and racial identities of the students and scholars. A very recent example is the conflict between Harvard University professor and renowned African-American scholar Cornell West and Harvard's President Larry Summers. When Summers questioned the quality of West's contribution to the academic life of the university after West spent much of his time there producing a third-rate rap CD and advising Bill Bradley's and Al Sharpton's campaigns, Jesse Jackson and other black leaders threatened a boycott of Harvard and demanded a conference on racial sensitivity to be held on campus. Apparently, criticizing Cornell West's professional behavior was equivalent to attacking the black identity. If Larry Summers criticized a white professor for such behavior, however, no one would have accused him of attacking that professor's whiteness.

This is becoming dangerously close to, "believing in your own bullshit, when your bullshit was supposed to fool the idiots".

Because there is no way Jesse Jackson is doing this other than for political and economic power. A shakedown in other words. Yet so many people go right on supporting this dude and tactics like this, in universities and politics. I have to wonder, if you live a lie all your life, when do you start to believe in it? Has Jesse Jackson started believing in the inviolability of his "blackness" or does he still realize that it is just a gimmick?

History, philosophy, and even the social sciences, have also degenerated into small impenetrable camps. Marxists, feminists, and Freudians all propose non-falsifiable theories to advance their pet idea and their careers. No observation could disprove their theories. How do you prove to a feminist that a skyscraper isn't built as a phallic symbol? You can offer arguments about the cost of real estate and advances in building technology, but since it is impossible to get complete knowledge of the architect's subconscious motivations, there is no way to prove that the building wasn't built as a phallic symbol. If a Marxist begins with the principle that the rich don't reveal their true motivations, but are instead always merely advancing the interest of the bourgeoisie, no amount of evidence can disprove this claim since it is physically impossible for me to know the capitalist's true motivations. Ideas such as Marxism and radical feminism cannot be scrutinized and must be accepted as true. How convenient.

A Yale education, once intended to make its graduates more cosmopolitan, has become a mere instrument for self-confirmation.

Now this, is a rather perspective section. Because it talks about how Marxism and etc, are structured in a way that does not allow it to be proved wrong. The basic axioms cannot be proven, yet the only way to prove logical axioms right or wrong is through empiricial means or some cross indexing of logical functions.

It is a free rider. Like pacifism, it only works and can only be believed in, if there are non-pacifists. Therefore, people only believe in Marxism if the Soviet Union doesn't dominate EVERYTHING. There are more marxists in the US and Britain than there is in the former Soviet Bloc I would guess.