Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:28 pm

Greetings dhammafriend,
dhammafriend wrote:
Paul wrote:Has anyone actually said or thought such things, or are you merely projecting upon others in bad faith here based upon the colour of their skin? If so, isn't that racist?

Am I and others guilty of some atrocity because your mind has fabricated these thoughts?
Ladies and gents. I rest my case.
Without even responding to these serious questions? I guess that's your prerogative.

Dhammafriend - I don't believe there is a single person here at this forum who is favour of, or who wants to see any form of discrimination take place against any person here at the forum, or in the world at large. Similarly, I don't believe there is a single person who wouldn't want the world to be a place of less suffering. Now, if you take these assumptions as the starting point of a discussion to improve the forum or the world at large, then I would happily join you at the virtual table of discussion to work WITH you on such issues. When however, your opening statement is to effectively lash out at people, not for what they have done individually as people, but for the colour of their skin, don't you see that you are simply setting yourself up in opposition AGAINST those people you have decided to singlehandedly tar with the same brush? People whom, I believe, are both against discrimination and who would like to reduce the suffering of others.

I don't believe your caricature of the white perspective bears any relation to how members of this forum see the situation, and it certainly doesn't reflect mine. Holding onto it and seeing the situation through the lens of identity politics and cultural appropriation appears only to bring you dukkha and alienate those who are actually your allies and potential allies in the quest to end discrimination and unequal treatment of people.

I am not aware of any wrong I have ever done to you personally, but if I have, please let me know and I will readily apologize and make amends. I will not however be shamed or guilted into apologizing for the actions of people who are not me, simply because you might decide to group me in with them based on attributes of colour, race or nationality.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:31 pm

Greetings Cittasanto,

Thank you for your logical and reasonable posts. As you say, "saying something doesn't make it true" and "if you want to share your views, you should expect them challenged, rejected, and agreed with, not because of the colour of your skin but rather on the merit the views have."

:clap:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:51 pm

Greetings,

From This Professor Was Fired for Saying ‘F*ck No’ in Class
A confluence of factors has created the current environment. Certainly, part of what’s at work is the emergence of a very crude sort of identity politics that valorizes knee-jerk offense taking. As Shira Tarrant, a professor in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach, says, “Ways of communicating on Twitter, or takedown culture, are infusing the classroom.”

More significant, however, is the pusillanimity of campus bureaucrats who are terrified of lawsuits, particularly in the wake of the Department of Education’s Title IX investigations into campus handling of sexual assault. Ange-Marie Hancock, a professor of political science and gender studies at the University of Southern California and author of Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics, observes that attacks on academic free speech are not just coming from the left. She points to Steven Salaita, whose job offer at University of Illinois was withdrawn due to tweets that were hostile to Israel, and Shannon Gibney, a tenured African-American English professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College who was reprimanded for creating a “hostile learning environment” for white men.

Colleges and universities, says Hancock, are “increasing not run by faculty or former faculty. They’re run by professional administrators who have a customer service or client service attitude towards students, as opposed to an educational attitude.” Indeed, according to the Delta Cost Project, an American Institutes for Research program that studies the rising price of higher education, at most four years colleges and universities, the average number of faculty and staff per administrator declined by around 40 percent between 1990 and 2012.

Buchanan attributes her firing, in part, to a disjunction between the values of the administrators and those of the professoriate. Starting about ten years ago, she says, “We noticed that every new administrator that came to LSU had the discourse and language of a business person. So, for example, my dean calls himself the CEO of his organization.”

“That never used to happen. We were the academy,” Buchanan continues, “Their whole discourse has shifted to this business discourse. To me that explains the lack of faculty of governance, because corporations aren’t governed by their employees, and it also explains to me this policing of behaviors.”

Thus there’s a symbiosis between student demands for emotional safety and the risk-aversion of bloated bureaucracies. The students may be inspired by radical ideas, says Michael Bérubé, a literature professor and director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State, but “they wind up playing into the hands of a faceless and possibly pernicious bureaucracy.” The kind, for example, that orders investigations of feminist professors for writing inflammatory essays, or fires people for saying “f*ck.”
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:37 am

Greetings,

Dr. Everett Piper is back with some recommended on-topic viewing...

https://twitter.com/dreverettpiper/stat ... 4958973953

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by coucholder » Mon May 01, 2017 4:55 am

To this thread,

I've noticed lately it's become fashionable to mock the idea of safe spaces, and I'm disheartened to see the same thing South Park mined for one of their patented single-joke episodes is being lauded here by a community of spiritual disciples who should be stressing understanding and compassion. I'd like to point out that African-American student unions and LGBT and women's student centers are, themselves, safe spaces, are have been, for example, all African-American universities. Their purpose is and has always been this: these are groups of people who get harassed on a regular basis. Additionally, their harassment has and in many ways still is perpetuated by certain ideas that enjoy a privileged hegemony in society, having emerged, in the past, as justifications for the most brutal violence and now being used to intellectualize daily bigotry. These safe spaces were created so that these students could have a safe space in which to learn, free from having to constantly justify and defend their own existence against a society stacking the deck against them.

When I was growing up, I learned math and how to read and write in programs designed in such a way that I could be trained gradually in these things, that I wouldn't be thrust out into a world that demanded my very survival be dependent on these skills. Now my life does depend on these skills, but, to learn them and to hone them, I was given space in which I was safe to practice and fail and try again and learn from mistakes. Likewise, even as an adult, I am provided with space in which I am safe to be trained in order to properly do my job for my employer, even if I am already coming in with skills I learned and hone elsewhere (and yes, in spaces that were safe for it). And I see parallels between this and the paths we take as Buddhists. People who oppose safe spaces say that they are "infantilizing," but we wouldn't demand that those who are ordained become engaged in worldly affairs simply because they should be "able to handle" the world beyond the temple or the retreat. Among the rules our ordained are expected to observe are rules against going to see shows and handling currency. Now, I understand the latter of my two examples is given some leeway in this day and age, but my point stands that these rules exist to provide the ordained with a space in which they are safe to focus on their training. So perhaps they "should" be able to "handle" the worldly things you and I encounter every day, but do we not honor them for renouncing the world and retreating into a life of pure spiritual focus?

Students should be challenged and exposed to new ideas, but there are some who think that among the valid ideas by which these students should be challenged are questions as to their very right to exist, as to the validity of their own experiences. Yes, it would be quite noble, downright heroic for students to meet all such challenges courageously, but how can we, as Buddhists, demand this of students with no compassion, with no regard to how utterly exhausting meeting such challenges can be because, even once those hateful "ideas" are met and overcome and discredited, those who advance those ideas will never stop advancing them? Even now, decades after the end of segregation, there are groups of people pushing for black to be separated from white. When is a Black student entitled to a learning environment wherein he doesn't have to keep disproving racism? In what world is prejudice and bigotry even worthy of open debate? In what fantasy utopia do racists and fascists and misogynists and homophobes and transphobes ever admit to being wrong and then respectfully concede to the opposing point of view? If all such groups really did approach society in good faith toward other groups, these debates would be valid, but that's not what happens in real life.

Students deserve safe spaces because they deserve to be safe while learning. These mockeries of the idea of safe spaces are disgusting caricatures that, while perhaps not being advanced by anyone intending to be bigoted, are drawing from ideological language developed by people who absolutely do intend to be bigoted. We are not animals; we do not throw our cubs off the side of the mountain and raise only those strong enough to climb back up to the den. We are not Spartans or eugenicists or social-Darwinists, either. The truth can be difficult to hear, but safe spaces have never been about escaping the truth. Rather, the very fact that they implicitly assert the truth of the validity of the experiences of marginalized groups is why they're being challenged concurrently with the rise of an emboldened quasi-fascist constituency in the West.

P.S. - Also, the "triggered" joke refers to triggering panic attacks as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So every time we ridicule triggers (which is something I think is more suited to the pedigreed intellects of 4chan than to Buddhists), we're essentially ridiculing survivors of abuse and of war. I live in a town with a lot of veterans, and I happen to know they don't appreciate the popular characterization of "Triggered!" at all.
natthi me saraṇaṃ aññaṃ
buddho me saraṇaṃ varaṃ
etena sacca-vajjena
hotu me jayamaṅgalaṃ


A socialist is just someone who is unable to get over his or her astonishment that most people who have lived and died have spent lives of wretched, fruitless, unremitting toil. Terry Eagleton, Ideology: An Introduction.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist. Hélder Câmara, Essential Writings.

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 01, 2017 6:06 am

Thanks coucholder,

Personally, I think the alt-right rants about safe spaces, triggering, SJW, etc are so silly that I don't take seriously anyone who uses such facile insults.

As an educator, it is clear to me that safe spaces are a key aspect of learning. I challenge my students, but don't harass or belittle them. They need a supportive environment to flourish.

And, of course, as you say, monasteries, retreats, and discussion forums such as this one, are (or should be) safe spaces, free from name calling or harassment.

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by Buddha Vacana » Mon May 01, 2017 7:05 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks coucholder,

Personally, I think the alt-right rants about safe spaces, triggering, SJW, etc are so silly that I don't take seriously anyone who uses such facile insults.

As an educator, it is clear to me that safe spaces are a key aspect of learning. I challenge my students, but don't harass or belittle them. They need a supportive environment to flourish.

And, of course, as you say, monasteries, retreats, and discussion forums such as this one, are (or should be) safe spaces, free from name calling or harassment.

:heart:
Mike
sadhu sadhu sadhu
:bow:
:tongue:

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:58 am

Greetings,

Dr. Everett Piper is still doing the rounds, and here's his latest article in the New York Post...

How to make sure your kid doesn’t go to Snowflake U.
As a father of two young men, I am alarmed by the endless protests and outrage on both private and public university campuses today. Institutions like UC Berkeley and others have failed to correctly handle situations where pandemonium occurs and have been forced to cave in to countless demands of self-righteous radicals who seem to be much more interested in ideological fascism than intellectual freedom. If you are like me, you want to prevent your children from ever being influenced by such nonsense and make sure they attend a college that values the pursuit of truth and an open and robust debate.

So how can you tell if your child is going to a Snowflake U? Here are the telltale signs to look out for...
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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