Main thought is I’d rather have just about anyone else on the planet write about viewpoint diversity in academia, but maybe I’ll be surprised.
Even though I trust their motives are pure (from their perspectives) bad stuff has resulted when this guy and his ilk started training their particular sights on academia. Talking about this in a keynote tomorrow for the SIU-Carbondale school of education.
I also touch on it in Chapter 11 of Sustainable. Resilient. Free. Many of those who claim to be trying to uphold the values of the academy are serving to tear down the institutions, rather than build them up, and it's primarily in the interest of preserving status quo power.
Maybe I should see "with the effect of preserving status quo power" instead of "in the interest of" because that's fairer to their intent, but the bad results are clear to me. See also: Coddling the American Mind.
Getting sloppy. Forgot to link to Sustainable. Resilient. Free.m which explains how it's the center left/right that has paved the way for the decline in trust in higher ed, rather than propaganda outfits like TPUSA.…
TPUSA and their ilk are doing more active damage now, but they wouldn't be able to get so much traction without seemingly fair-minded types making sure we know how messed up things are in the old academy.

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More from @biblioracle

7 Apr
Huh. Major figures in @HdxAcademy participating in a discussion on the potential "menace" of education schools. Is that the kind of framing of a debate that fits with the ethos of the organization? "Menace"?
If I may, sharing some of the precepts of the @HdxAcademy way. Precept 2: Be Intellectually Charitable. Perhaps by casting your fellow academics as a "menace?"
How about precept 4: Be Intellectually Humble. Can someone from @HdxAcademy, maybe @JonHaidt himself explain to me how the framing of this discussion demonstrates intellectual humility? Don't compare anyone to Stalin, but a "menace" because it's generic maybe, is ok?
Read 6 tweets
29 Mar
This piece on Harper's Magazine is frustratingly "cute" or maybe "coy" is a better way in a way that feels deliberate, but to me reads as a failure to actually get the full story.…
It mixes color and anecdotes that on the one hand are meant to make us think, "What a weird and quirky place funded by the noblesse oblige of a cultured heir to a massive fortune." On the other hand it's a portrait of a massively dysfunctional and exploitive workplace.
Maybe this is the prerogative of a media reporter/columnist working a beat broadly, as opposed to e reporter chasing a story, but I found the whole thing odd.
Read 25 tweets
5 Mar
Thinking about nostalgia for childhood books, but also the need to move forward, does anyone else remember the "Great Brain" series? I remember loving them as a kid. I was going to write a column recommending them to today's reader, but then I read one and decided better.
For one, the book has outright anti-Mormon sentiment that reads like bigotry to me. The author, John D. Fitzgerald moved to Utah and lived as a non-Mormon among Mormons, and had some resentments, but it's not a sentiment I can stand behind.
Many of the problem in the Great Brain are also settled by actual fighting where "haymakers" are thrown, and it's pleasurable to see the bad guys get their comeuppance, like when Jack Reacher takes care of business, but these are kids books.
Read 5 tweets
5 Mar
If an ultra-sophisticated language algorithm can pass a college writing assignment, that's a sign of a problem, but it's not necessarily a problem with the AI, or the assignment. h/t to @BryanAlexander for the tip on the original article.…
When @BryanAlexander sent me the original article, I thought I would have a very different take, that I would be either skeptical of the AI or critical of the nature of the assignments. Neither turned out to be true.
The AI (GPT-3) is pretty freaking amazing, like how Deep Blue was amazing when it beat Kasparov. Language AI couldn't do what GPT-3 does until GPT-3 did it. The seemingly impossible is suddenly possible.
Read 5 tweets
5 Mar
Thorough and interesting discussion of what higher ed is facing at this moment, and I don't say that just because it discussed my book in some detail.…
I'm classified as one of the "utopians," which is fair enough, though I'd call myself a realist in that within the article's taxonomy, the utopians are the ones who advocate for the necessity of structural change to shift the status quo.
The author thinks that the most important reform institutions should pursue is a focus on delivering quality and meaningful instruction. That's at the core of my argument. I attack the structures of the institution because of how they stand in the way of that.
Read 13 tweets
2 Mar
You know, come to think of it, my friend and co-author @kevinguilfoile had our book, "My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook of George W. Bush" "cancelled" because of politics back in 2001. Hear me out.…
The book was a rather gentle parody of GW Bush, released right around the inauguration in 2001. It sold reasonably well, was a #1 Washington Post best seller, a campus best seller, and was a nice little success story.
After 9/11, every single remaining copy, 10's of thousands of them, were returned from bookstores to the publishers because it was decided, sensibly, that the public appetite for a parody of the president in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on American soil was limited.
Read 7 tweets

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