There are three young men affiliated with our household. Two are training in a practical health field and the other one puts up drywalls. All three will have degrees, hopefully, soon. And I’m advising all three to not go any further. The PhD system is becoming a refuge of the less bright — the very bright know that they don’t need those credentials. The modern university is woke, and anything woke lacks utility.
When I was a kid only the nerds went to university — it was a sheltered workshop for the very bright. Postgraduate study was rare. And there was far more collegiality, because the career demographics looked like a column, not the current triangle. Among other things, this means that the very bright and unconventional thinkers don’t get through the system.
“I think the question we have to always ask is: how many people should we be training? My intuition is you want the gates to be very tight. One of my friends is a professor in the Stanford Economics department. The way he describes it to me is that they have about 30 graduate students starting PhDs in economics at Stanford every year. It’s 6-8 years to get a PhD. At the end of the first year, the faculty has an implicit ranking of the students, where they sort of agree who the top 3-4 are. The ranking never changes. The top 3-4 are able to get a good position in academia. The others not so much. We’re pretending to be kind to people when we’re actually being cruel.Peter Thiel, Stanford Econ.
…It’s the supply and demand of labor – if there are going to be good positions in academia where you can have a reasonable life, it’s not a monastic vow of poverty that you’re taking to be an academic… if you’re going to have that, you don’t want this sort of Malthusian struggle. You have 10 graduate students in a chemistry lab, where you have to have a fist fight for a Bunsen burner or a beaker, and if somebody says one politically incorrect thing, you can happily throw them off of the overcrowded bus. The bus is still overcrowded with 9 people on it. That’s what’s unhealthy.
The one thing that the woke university does — and has done all my life — is support progressive activists. They work for the student papers, then the unions, then leftist parties, with a deviation into street protests, violent ones included. Until recently, this has been a safe, well remunerated, career path. But if the right wing activists are now being injured, the left wing will soon find themselves being hurt.
The underreported incident marks a new chapter in the return of armed left-wing terrorism to the United States. It also triggered a flash of memory in my mind: I had crossed paths with Van Spronsen in December, when a group of rifle-carrying antifa militiamen tried to prevent me from filming their protest outside Seattle City Hall.Andy Ngo, NY Post.
Little did I know then that I would soon have a more immediate encounter with antifa violence. Two weeks ago, I was left hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage after a mob of mask-clad rioters beat and robbed me while I was covering a demonstration in downtown Portland, Ore. The attack, claimed by Rose City Antifa, was caught on videos that went viral online.
As shocking as my unprovoked beating was, I’m hardly the first to be cruelly beaten by antifa. I have been covering antifa since the days after the 2016 election, when Portlanders woke up to find that downtown had been ravaged by black-clad vandals and arsonists overnight. Since then, the militants have repeatedly brutalized the city’s population. They have learned from experience that city government and police lack the political will to protect citizens.
Though known for their hallmark masks and black uniforms, antifa isn’t a formal, centralized group. Its “members” operate as a loose grouping of militant Marxists and anarchists drawn from various autonomous far-left groups. Political violence is a feature, not a bug, of antifa, which believes itself to be in an existential struggle with latter-day fascism.
The worst part is how prominent media figures and politicians glamorize and even promote antifa as a movement for a just cause. CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon have defended antifa on-air. Chuck Todd invited antifa ideologue Mark Bray on “Meet the Press” to explain why antifa’s political violence is “ethical.”
Keith Ellison gleefully posted — and recently deleted — a selfie of himself holding Bray’s antifa handbook. Rep. Maxine Waters met hard-left political operative Joseph Alcoff in 2016. Alcoff is currently facing felony charges for his alleged involvement in an antifa mob beating of two Marines in Philadelphia.
That last choice of targets — Marines — was no accident. Antifa operates by a very broad definition of “fascists.” By antifa’s telling, fascists include mainstream conservatives and even centrist journalists who dare criticize them. But they save most of their hatred for US law enforcement and military service members.
What this is doing is making a group of people that it is perfectly OK to hate. To revile. To harrass, to threaten, to violate. In the name, always, of diversity, of tolerance, of love. The local faculty of peace studies is correct about identifying the ‘other’ — damning the fashionable deplorables while using precisely the same tactics.
While there have been many expressions of solidarity in recent days saying that white supremacist ideology has no place in our society, it is also important to recognise that, sadly, white supremacist ideology is far from unknown in New Zealand. Colonial massacres have been committed in these islands, and collective wounds remain unhealed to this day. White supremacist organisations have existed for years, and continue to exist in New Zealand. Questions will have to be answered about whether we failed to acknowledge the full extent of the threat they represent, to people of colour, and to the very fabric of our society.National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago.
So, while we welcome the government’s proposal to ban semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, we believe it does not go far enough in recognising the underlying factors that gave rise to last Friday’s attacks. The Christchurch shooter walked among us, unspotted, and we have yet to fully understand how he was able to do so. Peace and conflict research shows that the willingness to commit violence does not emerge in a vacuum – we learn from others about who does and doesn’t deserve to be protected. We learn from others who is part of ‘us’ and who we see as ‘other’. We cannot only reduce the availability of weapons, we must also confront any ideologies in our society that claim violence against a group of people is justified.
I await their confrontation of antifa. Matt Briggs comments.
Wanting more power for of-colors has become the thing. But just think. No one ever argued that we ought to make each and every American institution “look like America” when America was ninety-some percent people of-no-color. What the guilty conscience of-non-colors wanted, and did, was to make room for the of-colors, to give them a disproportionate share of unearned power so that the happy of-no-colors would learn the of-colors were just like them.Matt Briggs
Now any move an of-no-color makes that is not outwardly in favor of of-colors is decried as “racist.” Being of-no-color is by definition to be racist. Even sitting passively is “racist”. Systemic racism, to be exact.
Systemic racism, the vestiges of of-no-color culture, will still be the rallying cry to squabble over the remaining spoils even after all of-no-colors are gone or pushed to remote colonies.
This will not end well. One of the sons is looking for a rural job: none of them want to live where the crowds are. Do likewise.