Category Archives: Academia

Sitting Ducks: Second UChicago Student Slaughtered in Six Months While Liberal Admin Boosts the War on Cops, by Revolver

That many University of Chicago academics refuse to acknowledge the crime wave engulfing Chicago gives new meaning to the term “ivory tower.” From Revolver at revolver.news:

The latest tragic victim of Chicago’s third-world crime surge is a young Computer Science major at the University of Chicago. His name was Max Lewis, and he had his whole life ahead of him until a stray bullet barreled through his neck while he was riding Chicago Metro’s Green Line, just blocks from former President Obama’s Hyde Park Home. From the Daily Mail:

A 20-year-old University of Chicago student was killed by a stray bullet while riding in a subway train on his way home from his prestigious summer internship at an investment firm in a downtown neighborhood.

Max Lewis, a rising junior at the university, was seated on a CTA Green Line train at around 6.30pm on July 1 when the bullet flew through a window and struck him in the back of the neck.

According to the description of a GoFundMe campaign, the train was stopped at the 51st Street/Washington Park station at the time of the shooting.

Lewis was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was taken off life support on the Fourth of July.

Slain UChicago student Max Lewis

Chicago has already seen nearly 400 murders in 2021. There were 20 Windy City murders over the Fourth of July weekend alone, and that’s not even counting the killing of Lewis, who was shot on Thursday.

Remarkably, Lewis isn’t even the first UChicago student to be murdered this year. In January, spree killer Jason Nightengale murdered Ph.D student Yiran Fan along with four others in a spree that stretched from the South Side up to Evanston.

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Almost Overnight, Standards of Color-Blind Merit Tumble Across American Society, by Richard Bernstein

Do you want to be operated on by a doctor whose primary qualification to get into med school was that he or she filled some quota? From Richard Bernstein at realclearinvestigations.com:

A broad revolution is underway in the United States as traditional standards used to measure achievement and provide opportunity are being rejected by schools, corporations, and governments in favor of quotas based on race and gender.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
With Vice President Kamala Harris looking on, Biden uses his pen to signal an end to the nation’s long held principle of equal treatment for all.

On taking office, President Biden signaled that the nation’s long-held principle of equality for all had come to an end, signing executive orders to advance racial equity “across the Federal Government” — equity referring to the idea that merely treating everybody the same is not enough, and that an equal outcome for all people has to be the goal.

Over the last few months, many Ivy League and flagship state universities have moved away from a seemingly neutral measure long used to assess applicants – standardized test scores – to give minorities a better shot at admissions.

In May, Hewlett-Packard, the technology company with 50,000 employees worldwide, decreed that by 2030 half of its leadership positions and more than 30% of its technicians and engineers have to be women and that the number of minorities should “meet or exceed” their representation in the tech industry workforce.

That same month, United Airlines announced that half of the 5,000 pilots it would train at its proprietary flight school between now and 2030 will be women or people of color, with scholarships provided by United and JPMorgan Chase helping with tuition. There was nothing in the United announcement showing that there were enough qualified blacks and women in the pipeline so that a black/female quota of 2,500 new pilots could be filled, and nothing about what the company would do if there weren’t enough qualified candidates.

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Doug Casey on Why Most People Outsource Their Thinking to “The Experts”

Many people don’t even have any thinking to outsource. They just want to be told what to do. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

the experts

International Man: Thanks to the internet and modern technology, the average person can now access information on almost any topic with relative ease.

But it seems people are doing less critical thinking than ever.

Why do you think that is the case?

Doug Casey: Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to critical thinking. It’s paradoxical that something so associated with knowledge and research is often at odds with wisdom. I think that’s partly because today’s technology offers instant answers—no thought required. You can go to Google, and an answer is at your fingertips. It doesn’t require research or thought—the answer just appears. It subtly obviates the need for contemplation.

Let’s first define what critical thinking is. I’d say it’s the process of questioning the validity of the assumptions and the accuracy of the data for everything. A critical thinker never assumes or takes anything for granted.

We can’t always be sure what the quality of a googled answer is, but most people assume it’s honest and correct. However, considering the nature of the people who run Google, Wikipedia, and websites of that nature, I prefer to assume that the quality of many answers is low.

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The Descent Into (Utter) Madness, by Stephen Karganovic

ProperThought is framed by ProperLanguage. From Stephen Karganovic at strategic-culture.org:

The assault on language is an integral component of the unrelenting warfare being waged for the conquest and control of the mind, Stephen Karganovic writes.

Little wonder that here and there sanity nostalgia is gripping the Western world, at least those isolated portions of it that are not internalising the sinister “new normal.” But it is seemingly to no avail. All commanding positions are firmly in the hands of lunatics, who are determined to turn a once great and exemplary civilisation into an asylum.

As George Orwell has taught us, language manipulation is at the frontline (yes, I have just broken one of the cardinal rules of his “Politics and the English Language,” but not his final injunction to “break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous”) of politicised mind-bending. The sort of language we are permitted to use circumscribes the thinking that we shall be allowed to engage in. The assault on language is, therefore, an integral component of the unrelenting warfare being waged for the conquest and control of the mind. Word elimination and reassignment of meaning, as Orwell also presciently noted, are essential elements of the campaign to reformat the mind and eventually to subjugate it.

A breath-taking example of how this process works was recently unveiled by the thoroughly brain-washed students of the once prestigious Brandeis University who, this time without prompting from their faculty elders and betters, voted to ban from their campus such odious words and phrases as “picnic” and “you guys,” for being “oppressive”. “Picnic” is prohibited because it allegedly evokes the lynching of Blacks.

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Losing the plot on COVID, by Dan Rabil

The Covid-19 response in most countries has been one bad, counterproductive idea after another. From Dan Rabil at americanthinker.com:

What happens when a population of introverts, hypochondriacs, and obsessive-compulsives is continuously bombarded with messages to seclude and disinfect themselves, for fear that COVID-19 prickle-balls lurk everywhere, waiting to attack?

What happens is that emotionally damaged people start driving bad politics and bad policy.

“Fifteen days to flatten the curve.”  That phrase is surely now banned by corporate media, for it reminds us how the supposedly acute health threat of March 2020 was repeatedly re-packaged to keep populations off-balance and out of business not for 15 days, but for 15 months. 

Never in modern times has a health issue been so flagrantly politicized, nor wielded as a club, as the Wuhan virus has been.  Outside a few rational locales, almost every nation drank the COVID Kool-Aid, competing to see who could enforce the stupidest rules.

Naturally, academia would lead the way: 

Among Americans aged 15–24, a total of 587 died of COVID in 2020, according to the CDC, representing about 0.16%, or about 1 in 642, of COVID deaths.  If you are young, you have essentially no chance of dying of COVID.  The low youth mortality impact from COVID was known by April 2020.

Yet many universities now require these low-risk young people to inject the experimental vaccine or be banished from campus.  Did you already catch the WuFlu and have antibodies?  Too bad.  The great pulsating brains of academia cannot differentiate.

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The Higher Education Bubble Has Popped, by Rikki Schlott

Covid-19 and remote learning at high-priced colleges may have been the last straw. Many prospective students and their parents are asking if they are going to get anything out of higher education remotely approaching its cost. From Rikki Schlott at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

The higher education bubble has been rapidly inflating, threatening to pop at any moment. Over the past several decades, our culture has tipped the scales from praising and valuing education to downright socially mandating it. As a result, enrollment has skyrocketed to levels never before seen.

While broadening access to higher education is, of course, an ideal to strive for, we’re doing a cultural disservice to young generations by stigmatizing alternative options such as trade school. Increasingly, students feel as though they must get a degree to get a halfway decent job—or even just for the sake of social acceptance.

As a result, more and more students are phoning it in with degrees in increasingly bizarre and niche fields. These curricula equip them with a handle on abstract theory rather than tangible professional skills. After all, how many scholars of gender studies are actually sustaining themselves outside of the higher-ed bubble?

The status quo, which posits that a college degree is a de facto necessity, has enabled the higher education bubble to inflate … and inflate … and inflate even more.

In the past 20 years, tuition at private universities has jumped by 144 percent, out-of-state public tuition by 165 percent, and in-state public costs by 212 percent.

That is until the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise—and especially blindsided the higher education establishment.

Suddenly, students were forced to attend Zoom University from home, and many schools were so out of touch that they charged their pupils full tuition for remote learning.

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“Just Blind Chance”: The Rising Call For “Random Selection” For College Admissions, by Jonathan Turley

It seems like every week a new “woke” idea surpasses in stupidity all previous stupid “woke” ideas. Here’s the latest, from Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.com:

Random selection is not generally an approach that most people opt for in the selection of doctors or even restaurants or a movie. However, it appears to be the new model for some in higher education. Former Barnard College mathematics professor Cathy O’Neil has written a column calling for “random selection” of all college graduates to guarantee racial diversity. It is ever so simple: “Never mind optional standardized tests. If you show interest, your name goes in a big hat.” She is not the only one arguing for blind or random admissions.

Recently, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced that the entire system will no longer base admissions on standardized tests — joining a “test-blind” admissions movement nationally. Others have denounced standardized testing as vehicles for white supremacy. Education officials like Alison Collins, vice president of the San Francisco Board of Education, have declared meritocracy itself to be racist. There is a growing criticism that the problem with higher education is that it relies on merit rather than status as the driving criteria for admissions.

O’Neil and others are arguing not just for blind but actually random selection to achieve true diversity. O’Neil argues that it would also “take the pressure off students to conform to the prevailing definition of the ideal candidate” and allow them “to be kids again, smoking pot and getting laid in between reading Dostoyevsky and writing bad poetry.”

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Stop Trusting the Experts! by Bruce Abramson

There’s nothing more overrated in American life than degrees, especially those from so-called elite institutions. From Bruce Abramson at realclearpolitics.com:

 
Stop Trusting the Experts!
(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)

Every now and then, I’m lucky enough to meet someone who “follows the science.” I count on such folks to teach me some science that I do not yet know. Being scientifically literate, I like to start by asking them some basic questions:

How are key data terms defined? How are data collected and reported? What theories guided the design of the models that process the raw data? What studies validated the models? How sensitive are the models to variations in inputs? How well do the models perform using historical data? Do the models have a track record at prediction — and if so, how well have they done? What alternative hypotheses were considered? How were the hypotheses tested?

Anyone surprised by such questions can’t plausibly claim to understand the science, much less to follow it. Most likely, they’ve confused “the science” with a selected scientist, a claimed scientific consensus, or the scientific establishment. Or, worse, partisan politics masquerading as science.

The confusion stems from a common misconception — an improper line many people draw between scientists working for corporations and scientists working for universities or government agencies. While most people understand that corporate scientists tend to support positions that serve corporate interests, many have been fooled into believing that academic and government scientists serve objective scientific truth.

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Academia And The Tragedy of The Smart Kids, by Paul Rosenberg

Education is supposed to stimulate and expand minds, not stifle them, particularly not the brightest minds. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

 

There are a lot of very bright people ensconced in academia, and that’s a tragic thing, for them and for us all. Academia, you see, abuses and limits their talents.

To put it simply and directly, academia has sequestered and drained many of the best minds of our era. Academics know this and complain about it among themselves, they just don’t see any alternative. (The 21st century status quo rests upon people seeing no alternative.)

For every famous academic there are hundreds of others, laboring for unimpressive rewards and a very narrow slice of recognition.

I know this because I’ve been skating around the edges of academia for a long time. I’ve never been a member of the club, but I’ve known and loved people on the inside, over multiple decades.

Smart kids are drawn to academia because it promises them a life of the mind, while being properly supported and respected. That appeals to them and especially to those who were abused for being smart.

What happens then, however, is that they are made to work stupidly hard and long to find a slot in some academic structure. It’s abuse, in my view.

Entry into the precious slot, however, isn’t really based upon ability or hard work: it’s based upon servicing the lord of that structure. Academia, you see, is feudal. Most academics, certainly the young ones, are little more than serfs. And if they want to get ahead, they must be very careful to serve the theories and whims of their lords.

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Saving Civilization, by Robert Gore

sydney_opera_house_-_dec_2008

Savagery or civilization?

Imagine you had been picked as a juror for the Derek Chauvin trial. Before you hear a shred of evidence, you very well might make a decision most people would not only admit was the better part of valor, but that harmonized perfectly with prevailing morality.

Your pretrial verdict? Guilty. There had been threats since Chauvin was charged with second and third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter that acquittals would provoke rampaging riots. After the riots last summer, no one could doubt the threats’ credibility. A guilty verdict on all counts could avoid injuries, deaths, and billions of dollars in property damage. Against those consequences, what do the rights or the life of a policeman matter? You’re predetermined verdict is for the greater good.

Even if such considerations never entered your head, you’d need extraordinary courage and independence to impartially hear the evidence and if you thought it warranted, vote for acquittal. You’d have to withstand pressure from your fellow jurors. You’d run the risk that your personal information was leaked by some mainstream or social media scumbag and mostly peaceful thugs showed up at your door. You might be canceled out of a job, your business network, and your social circle. Your privacy would be obliterated and reputation ruined in the wilting glare of nonstop publicity and odium. Politicians and other public figures would denounce you.

The chance that one such person would land on the jury was remote, the chance of twelve nonexistent. Under the inverted standard of justice that prevailed, the outcome was always going to be dictated not by the facts of the case, reasoned consideration of the evidence, deliberation, and the applicable law, but by “social considerations,” which is a polite way of saying the mob.

The mob hailed the verdict as justice. It’s the same justice as John Gotti’s three acquittals after his goons intimidated jurors. Chauvin was guilty unless proven innocent beyond a “reasonable” doubt as defined by the mob. In the same vein, the policeman who shot and killed Ashley Babbitt at the Capitol is not guilty—without a trial—because that’s what the mob demanded. Such blatant contradiction is mob justice.

A morality that confers “rights” on mobs and strips those of an individual is the morality of savages. Maxine Waters is a savage, but so too are the members of the Minneapolis City Council who agreed to pay George Floyd’s estate $27 million before Chauvin’s trial had begun, the judge who recognized the prejudicial unfairness of Waters’ inflammatory statements but passed the buck for doing anything about it to the appellate courts, and the political, media, and celebrity jackals from Joe Biden on down who’ve been howling for Chauvin’s conviction since Floyd’s death.

Whatever the justifications they cite for their pre-verdict demands, they are implicitly insisting that Chauvin’s rights are of no consequence. When the “rights” of some outweigh the rights of one, anything goes. There are people who call for reducing the world’s population to 500 million, which implies a genocide of over 7 billion. That such people are on university faculties rather than denounced and shunned as advocates of mass murder shows just how far the barbarism of collectivist justification has advanced, even when the collective embraced is a fraction of the number of individuals whose lives are to be canceled!

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Service and sacrifice are the watchwords of government, the ultimate mob. Who’s served and who’s sacrificed? There has never been a government that has not arrogated to itself the privilege of using force and fraud to strip individuals of their production, their property, their rights, their liberty, and ultimately, their lives. That privilege is governments’ defining essence and is the privilege that has always threatened humanity. The rationales and rhetoric are invariably collective: the demands of the mob supersede individual rights and individual justice.

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