Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education: an article by William Deresiewicz about how universities should exist to make minds, not careers | The American Scholar

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

One of the great errors of an elite education, then, is that it teaches you to think that measures of intelligence and academic achievement are measures of value in some moral or metaphysical sense. But they’re not. Graduates of elite schools are not more valuable than stupid people, or talentless people, or even lazy people. Their pain does not hurt more. Their souls do not weigh more. If I were religious, I would say, God does not love them more. The political implications should be clear. As John Ruskin told an older elite, grabbing what you can get isn’t any less wicked when you grab it with the power of your brains than with the power of your fists. “Work must always be,” Ruskin says, “and captains of work must always be….[But] there is a wide difference between being captains…of work, and taking the profits of it.”

Tired of being insulted

I've grown tired of being insulted by people who assume that I agree with them.

Tired of being demeaned by people who don't think contrary opinions are only held by "evil" people.

Tired of watching complicated issues being reduced to arguments that fit in a tweet or on a bumper sticker.

New York's recent passing of a Gay Marriage proposal has been causing me to grind my teeth as both sides fire snarky barbs across the internet on Twitter.

Between the Evil Homosexuals and the Evil Christians I don't know if there's anyone left to talk to.  Is there any room for a person who thinks that people should be allowed to be happy, to have comparable rights to comfort their loved ones, but who understands the pain of having a sacrament defiled?

Am I evil because I don't think that a 2700 page health care bill with more loopholes than a stitching class is the right way to reform health care?  Am I evil because I resent the constant encroachment of government into my choices?

Apparently, because I've been told that I'm evil and heartless for holding that opinion.  I'd be open to having my mind changed if every discussion didn't start with my intelligence being demeaned.

Am I a racist because objective facts tell me that there are dangerous places to go?  Detroit is considered a "black" city, and has one of the highest crime rates in the nation.  If I were black, I don't think I'd hitch my identity to the city until it became a place I could be proud of.  Pride should be something you have "because of," not "in spite of."

I'm not specifically religious, nor am I against religion.  Nonetheless, because of that I've been accused of hating God.  I've also been accused of being anti-atheist.  I suppose it's more proof that "with us or against us" is a sentiment held on both sides of the aisle.

And of course the running joke with the one person who understands that is that I'm a "fence sitting libertarian."  So at least there's one person I can talk to.

I am who I am, and if I'm a majority of one, so be it.  Just don't expect me to sit here and listen to your vile vilification, don't expect me to agree with your demonization of people I don't agree with, and don't assume that because I don't hold your viewpoint I hold the diametrically opposed view.

Screw you and your pigeonhole.  If you're not capable of seeing outside your little world of boxes that's not my problem.  I'm only atypical from your point of view, and until you can understand that you can not understand me.

It's more important for me to respect myself than to respect your opinion of me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Petard, hoisted by

The group hopes that Huffington will “do the right thing” and agree to their requests. However, Lasarow wrote that he would be unsurprised if “like the corporate titans of the American Right… Ms Huffington, whom I am certain has a good heart and only the best intentions, were to assume the obvious position: Who needs these people anyway?”

The thing that really amuses me of that even when the problem has nothing to do with the Right, they can't help taking that swipe.

Monday, February 7, 2011

AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million | Geek Gestalt - CNET News

Sounds more like AOL is buying Arianna Huffington to run their content. Next to the DailyKOS I can't think of a more partisan site, but time will tell.

AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million | Geek Gestalt - CNET News: "In a shocking post-Super Bowl announcement, AOL said tonight it has agreed to pay $315 million for the Huffington Post and form a new media powerhouse by combining the content of both organizations.
The resulting new outfit, which will be headed by HuffPo co-founder Arianna Huffington, will be called Huffington Post Media Group and feature all the content from previous AOL acquisitions including Engadget and TechCrunch."


Oh, this is good:



Bryant said Lacy was trying to intimidate Cox and his neighbors and suppress their rights to petition government officials.

“No one signed it as an engineer,” Bryant said. “They simply put together their feelings and their information. When we can’t do that without fear of potential criminal prosecution, that takes away our rights.”

A spokesman for Perdue said the governor, a Democrat, had pledged to take politics out of transportation planning. . . .

Transportation Secretary Gene Conti, a Perdue appointee, said the DOT has used residents’ feedback to change the Falls of Neuse project. He endorsed Lacy’s request for an investigation.


It's pretty obvious to me what happened here.

A bunch of talented and intelligent people put together some recommendations in the best format they could manage, and the guy in charge of the DOT engineers, who had no engineering knowledge himself, panicked when he couldn't intelligently answer their questions. "Quick, call the police! Somebody is about to make me look like the tool I am!"

Friday, February 4, 2011


Throughout my life I've come to a point where I intended to make a modest, or even major advance. In many of those cases something would happen that caused me to pull back, retreat, and conserve my resources.

It occurs to me that I've been going about this the wrong way. I am beginning to think that instead of throttling back I should try pushing forward, and seeing where determination and cunning take me.

I'll let you know how it works out this time.