March 9, 2012

"I reserved the phrase 'contraceptive sponges' very clearly and specifically..."

"... for people who demand subsidies without offering any reasons beyond the fact that they’d prefer to be subsidized. In other words, the targets of this phrase are people who have not actually stated any views on the matter at hand, namely how do we know when a subsidy is justified."

University of Rochester Professor Steven Landsburg schooling Joel Seligman, the president of that university, on the meaning of free speech and vigorous debate.

Via Instapundit, who suspects that Seligman intended to chill "the speech of faculty who are less eminent than Steven Landsburg."

And Professor Jacobson says: "Why did the President of the University feel the need to get involved? Is he the thought policeman? Sure, the President of the University is entitled to an opinion, but it’s clear that he was trying to tamp down a dissenting view using the power of his presidency."

Jacobson also embeds a video the University of Rochester admissions department and asks: "Will President Seligman accept responsibility and apologize for Univ. of Rochester not celebrating diversity in this video?" Ha. I watched the video before reading that question, and what I said out loud was: "Apparently, they don't have enough male students at that school." That video is desperately projecting maleness. It's all white too, which I think is mostly Jacobson's point, but the exaggerated masculinity is funny in connection with the current controversy, which is about protecting women from the feeling disrespected.

28 comments:

Peter said...

Is he spongeworthy?

bagoh20 said...

As a male, I would immediately pass Rochester based on that video alone.

Girls are right at the top of expectations for college, and apparently they ain't got none.

I really wish we would move beyond this rap thing. It's really getting old. It all sounds the same, and seems to always be derivative of a derivative of a reference to something in the 90's. The main message seems to be I can rap too, which is lame.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would heartedly suggest reading all of Prof. Landsburg's posts on this subject, that you can get to from Ann's posts here. I found four of them, and they do a pretty good job at ridiculing Fluke's argument, which essentially breaks down to that she wants the good (contraceptives), that they are expensive, so, she wants someone else to pay for them. And, pretty much every argument in support of why her desires should be subsidized by others quickly break down logically.

Bruce Hayden said...

Girls are right at the top of expectations for college, and apparently they ain't got none.

Gotta have some - maybe they all showed up to protest his class, but there were definitely some there. And, realistically, guys probably wouldn't have shown up either to protest, if there hadn't been a sufficiently large population of women to impress.

I really wish we would move beyond this rap thing. It's really getting old.

I agree. Somehow a bunch of (probably middle class) white guys pretending to be inner city black guys just looks a bit weird to me.

And, as a result of that, I am not sure if they are intelligently marketing themselves with this video. The sex and race diversity problem is one aspect. But, another is that the video has a gritty sort of reality to it, that is unlikely to attract all that many kids from places that are not so gritty, such as middle America. Yes, it probably works for kids from NYC, Chicago, Boston, and environs, but not as much for kids from anywhere else.

Rusty said...

Girls are right at the top of expectations for college, and apparently they ain't got none.

Gotta have some - maybe they all showed up to protest his class, but there were definitely some there.


They shoulda took off their tops in protest. Like the hot Ukrainian girls do. I don't know what they're protesting, but I support them what ever it is.
Boobies speak louder than words.

Mike said...

With all due respect to President Seligman (and that's not a heck of lot of respect that's due him), and even with a passing apology to our host--American Academia has done its dead level best to make itself irrelevant to live as it is lived. Secure in their little liberal cocoon, unmoved by what they see around them, except as it might impact their supply of Brie, bullshit and a middling good Burgundy, they sail on. I would suggest (being a member of the Flat Earth Society so far as they care concerned) that I wouldn't give a tinker's damn if they simply sailed on over the edge of the world--and dropped off. Not much of a loss there.

Mike said...

Oops, sorry about that. America Academia didn't teach me to proofread. That's "irrelevant to Life as it is lived" in my last post.

edutcher said...

Attacking the entitlement culture.

What a concept!

Should have done it when we were all in high school.

cubanbob said...

the only thing the university president's statement has demonstrated is diversity is good provided it stays within the party's parameters.

William said...

Check the parameters of tolerance re Landsburg and Derek Bell. You can have opinions that are substantially more radical than your peers, but only if your radicalism tilts left. In that case, such opinions are considered thought provoking and protected by the first amendment. Landsburg advances an opinion that many share, and his language is not inflamnatory. The language and tactics used to silence him seem far more inappropriate than his opinions.

Pogo said...

The university system celebrates the diversity of opinion between socialism and communism.

Otherwise, shut the hell up.

Freder Frederson said...

"but it’s clear that he was trying to tamp down a dissenting view using the power of his presidency."

Oh really, how is that so. Did Seligman's statement threaten, or even imply, some kind of disciplinary act against Landsburg? Did he even ask Landsburg to retract his statement?

The answer to all the above questions is an unequivocal
"no"


I'm sure Landsburg is jealous that Reynolds can get away with advocating genocide without his university president calling him out on it, but I guess Tennessee is more "tolerant"

Chip S. said...

In 2007 the AAUP issued a manifesto called Freedom in the Classroom, which pushed back against charges of indoctrination by (presumptively lefty) professors. It stated in part:

It follows that if an instructor has formed an opinion on a controversial question in adherence to scholarly standards of professional care, it is as much an exercise of academic freedom to test those opinions before students as it is to present them to the public at large.

I added to boldface to emphasize the AAUP's presumption that there was an unquestioned right to "test...opinions" before the public at large.

So where's the AAUP statement backing Landsburg and condemning Seligman?

Pogo said...

"Did Seligman's statement threaten, or even imply, some kind of disciplinary act against Landsburg?"

His meesage was not intended for the tenured Landsburg, but "to encourage the others".

Freder Frederson said...

His meesage was not intended for the tenured Landsburg, but "to encourage the others".

How so? Believing something doesn't make it true.

Pogo said...

"How so?"

Don't be disingenuous, Freder.

If you are untenured and the President of the University says X is the way we think, then X is the way you think.

If you want to stay there.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

It amazes me that these self appointed institutions of gathered "intellectuals" are populated by complete hypocritical morons. They can't even wrap their heads around the Professor Landsburg's libertarian stance to freely exchange any idea. Ann, I don't know how you to it. Doesn't UW and Madison feel like you sailing on a ship of fools?

Freder Frederson said...

If you are untenured and the President of the University says X is the way we think, then X is the way you think.

God, you really are a sheep aren't you. Do you really think university professors are capable of instilling such fear in their professional employees?

Freder Frederson said...

It amazes me that these self appointed institutions of gathered "intellectuals" are populated by complete hypocritical morons.

It amazes me that you hypocritical morons think that the only speech allowed is that which supports your opinion.

Pogo said...

"Do you really think university professors are capable of instilling such fear in their professional employees?"

Yes, they are.

Strange as it seems, people are so frightened of being jobless that they will do just what their leader demands.

Most leftists don't understand people very well at all, much less organizational behavior.

That is in fact the heart of all that is wrong with leftism.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crimso said...

"Do you really think university professors are capable of instilling such fear in their professional employees?"

Being of that world, I know firsthand that they are. Tenure permits you to voice an opinion without fear of retribution. The great irony of the system is that in order to get tenure, it is well-understood by those pursuing it that you had best not voice any opinions (this goes down to the level of surprisingly trivial intradepartmental matters).

Dark Eden said...

"What kind of philosophy do you teach here?"

"Oh we teach both kinds. Socialism AND Marxism."

Chip S. said...

Go easy on poor Frederson, who is obviously unaware of how universities work.

Any tenure case is reviewed at several layers of university administration. Not only does a president make the final decision, but along the way critical decisions are made by a dean and a provost. The deans are hired and fired by the provost, and the provost is hired and fired by the president.

There's your channel of influence, and it isn't particularly obscure.

CWJ said...

Sorry Freder.

You must be insincere. I find it impossible to believe you really believe what you write. Seligman didn't simply disagree with Landsburg's opinions he was "outraged" by them. He didn't simply pick up the phone to call Lands burg to share his opinion, or write on a blog. No he expressed his outrage in an official document from the office of the president. Anyone who doesn't see this as the intimidation it is is foolish indeed.

I can see you in a minor role in a mobster movie where in response to the line; " Nice place ya got here Freder, shame if something happened to it", you'd say "Gosh, he really cares about my success."

Tarzan said...

A lot of colleges are trying, subtly or otherwise, to recruit more men, or so I have heard. In the era of father-optional parenting, us boys have taken a nose dive in the old scholastics department.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, man. There is no way the actual U of R population looks anything like that. (There was one girl, and she didn't get to rap.)

Ann, other people have asked the question before (I think), but why on earth would anyone think that suggesting your campus was practically a girl-free zone would boost male enrollment? Apart from boys wanting a very specific kind of environment (e.g. VMI's cohort), I'd think the presence of women would be feature, not bug.

And not only are there no Black kids and only one girl in the video, but there are also no Asian kids. Yeah, right. (Never mind the academic departments; there's also the Eastman School of Music, part of U of R.)

WV: aulti shavend. Hmmm.

MadisonMan said...

there's also the Eastman School of Music

At least Eastman was mentioned.

May they should have rapped Yo, there are girls here too.