David Benfell, Ph.D. Profile picture
Cancelled Post-Disciplinary, Vegetarian Ecofeminist (#vegan since 2008) Scholar: Ph.D. in Human Science (@SaybrookU, 2016). Cat lover but can't stand dogs.
Feb 16, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read
1/9 In a little more than a month, I'll start looking for another place to live for a few reasons. One place I know I won't be looking is in @Pittsburgh. The roads aren't maintained and don't get plowed, firefighters are begging on the streets. 2/9 But the mayor, @BillPeduto, yammers about bicycles (@Pittsburgh is generally much too hilly for bicycling and I see very few people even on the electric bicycles that are available all around Oakland) and his corporate connections.
Feb 1, 2021 11 tweets 3 min read
1/11 A real problem is the notion that there is something called 'objectivity.' This is a myth. There is no theory--not a single one--of truth that withstands scrutiny. We don't know what truth is and can never know. 2/11 Qualitative scholars, including critical theorists, acknowledge their own social locations relative to the subjects at hand, empowering readers to ferret out not so much bias as the perspective from which authors perceive their topics. It's a necessary honesty.
Nov 9, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
1/4 A difference on the Left between those who could hold their nose and vote for @JoeBiden and those who could not may lie in the @DemoSocialists' substitution of the movement (think "means") for achievement (the "end" as social and environmental justice). 2/4 If you see the movement itself as an achievement, you're likely to settle for an incremental approach that may take decades or centuries to achieve a desired end.
Sep 6, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
1/4 So another part of my human science program, one I don't focus on is activism. We're supposed to be "scholar activists."

I'm just a scholar. 2/4 But the activism part emphasizes disruptive nonviolence. Supposedly, this is not complicity.

The approach yields incremental change. Achingly slowly.

I object that this is inadequate for the #ClimateCrisis and when people are getting killed.
Jul 27, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
1/4 I don't know how much of a "hidden" pro-@realDonaldTrump vote there may be that the surveys are missing.

I am convinced there is almost no enthusiasm for @JoeBiden and that a lot of folks might not turn out to vote for him. This obviously suits @TheDemocrats just fine. 2/4 The real issue here is that the #Election2020 will absolutely fail to address serious problems in the U.S. The constitutional oligarchy is simply incapable of responding to a dire need for change.

Voting will not solve this problem.
Jul 16, 2020 6 tweets 4 min read
1/6 Yes, we should not be #slutshaming #HopeHicks.

But there are always questions to be asked and not just about her and not just about @MonicaLewinsky. 2/6 @MonicaLewinsky insists her relationship with @BillClinton was consensual.

But any critical theorist is going to raise at least an eyebrow at the power relationship between the president of the U.S. and an intern.
Jul 16, 2020 8 tweets 8 min read
1/8 Okay, so we see here that @HeerJeet really, really, really hates @ProjectLincoln because @danpfeiffer really isn't all that favorable towards them either. But I like the article too. 2/8 One thing I found interesting is that @danpfeiffer perceives daylight between @ProjectLincoln and #neoconservatism, even if many #NeverTrumpers are #neoconservatives and #NeverTrump was a #neoconservative project.
Jul 15, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
1/9 So I might have mentioned that about one or two quarters after I started my Master's program, it was taken over by hard, solipsistic, post-modernists. 2/9 Solipsism, by the way, is the idea that you can only be sure of what's in your own head. The physical world is abstract, represented through the senses, and knowable only to an uncertain degree. It isn't wrong, but it isn't very useful as a life philosophy.
Jul 11, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
1/5 I never understood how allowing a civilization to be destroyed through some grievous calamity "saves" or "protects" it. To me, that contradiction is right at the heart of this. #PrimeDirective 2/5 But let's treat that as an extreme case. The alternative also assumes a cultural superiority on the part of the exploring civilization. #PrimeDirective
May 8, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
To state the obvious, in real terms, this translates to many people being unable to pay rent, pay mortgages, pay credit card bills, pay utility bills over a long haul. 1/4 They're not going to be able to catch up on those bills when the bans on evictions and utility shutoffs expire. And they won't be buying much so producers face curtailed markets. This, in turn, means more homeless people and more layoffs as businesses continue to go under. 2/4