Thursday, July 2, 2015

July Sun

205 comments:

  1. Let the whining begin!

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  2. For the sake of discussion, let's agree on the following:

    1. There are several biases (implicit and explicit) that benefit men in the process of achieving their degree and getting a job.
    2. There are also several biases (mostly explicit) that benefit women in this process. Most of these occur at the very end of the process.
    3. The pro-female biases are pretty strong. The result is that the percentage of women that get jobs is higher than the percentage of women on the job market and the women who get jobs, on average, have less publications than the men who get jobs.
    4. The pro-female biases are a relatively recent phenomenon. For decades, almost everything was stacked in the favor of men.

    My question: Why is the present situation so awful? Ideally, one would want the explicit pro-female biases to perfectly balance the anti-female biases so that the percentage of jobs women receive roughly matches the percentage of women among applicants. But given the long history of pro-male policies and attitudes, why is a period of pro-female policies that objectionable? The women getting jobs aren't unqualified. There are way more qualified people out there than there are jobs.

    I think the reason there is so much anger here is that many find themselves for the first time on the raw end. But it seems odd to complain that things need to be perfectly meritocratic (as if such a thing were even possible) after such a long period of their not being so in one direction. Can you guys really see no justification in there being a period where the pendulum has swung to the other side? Would any of you been this mad when things were in your favor?


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    1. Nope. Every bias I have ever witnessed, since the mid 90s, has been pro-female. At undergrad level, females get preferential treatment (despite females clearly not wishing to apply for philosophy degrees); then, again at beginning graduate stage, women get more help and support; then, at hiring stage, women are held to lower standards (as per CDJ data); and then at early career stage, women get lower workloads; men do more teaching and admin work; women publish less; and get promoted more rapidly with fewer publications.

      So let's agree on this, shall we.

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    2. This is hilarious! You, sir, are an idiot who blames everyone else for your misfortunes. Face it, you aren't cut out for a tenure-track position and you never will be. It's not the feminazis fault, but your own. Just own it, loser.

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    3. Unfortunately, the pendulum swing happened at the same time that the job market went into the crapper. Even if the pendulum swing hadn't happened, people would be angry and frustrated about not getting jobs. But since the pendulum swing *did* happen, people are directing their anger at the bias towards women, rather than at the bias towards cutting the funding to philosophy departments, turning tenure track positions into adjunct positions, and so on.

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    4. "But given the long history of pro-male policies and attitudes, why is a period of pro-female policies that objectionable? ...it seems odd to complain that things need to be perfectly meritocratic (as if such a thing were even possible) after such a long period of their not being so in one direction. Can you guys really see no justification in there being a period where the pendulum has swung to the other side?"

      I know that you wanted us to assume your 4 conditions, but it's those assumptions, particularly 1 and 4, and the kind of thinking exhibited in your claims above, that need attention. You can't spin abstract 'what-if's while ignoring the data as to the actual situation. And when it comes to the data, some of us are very skeptical about what the 'what-iffers' are saying.

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    5. Q: Why is the present situation so awful?

      One philosopher's answer: It's not SO awful. There's a lot of projection and whining in these threads, much of which is probably the result of people venting about an abysmal job market. At the same time, many of us with secure appointments are worried about the ways in which the rush to promote not just female philosophers but feminist initiatives in philosophy will impact the discipline. At present there are very strong incentives for female philosophers to align themselves with feminist philosophy and feminist philosophers, even if they are more interested in meta-ethics, epistemology, etc. With that in mind, if one thinks that feminist philosophy (and its concomitant initiatives) is largely pernicious, one might might reasonably worry about a system of sorting job candidates that elevates people who are disproportionately aligned with it and places them in positions of influence (relative to that enjoyed by any old junior faculty member).

      If we assume a roughly equal talent distribution among male and female philosophers, the elevation of female candidates, given their relative scarcity and the strong push for gender parity across all universities, will likely have the following outcomes:

      1. Many weak female candidates who probably shouldn't be employed as philosophers at all will end up employed, albeit at less prestigious/influential universities.
      2. Many good but not great female candidates will end up employed at prestigious/influential universities.

      This outcome appears unhealthy for a number of reasons. In keeping with the theme of the post, however, I worry that it means significantly more votes in favor of site visits (and all that they represent) and significantly louder voices, affiliated with more and more prestigious institutions, calling for them.

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    6. I'm a white guy from a middle of the pack Leiter program. I got 16 interviews and a job last year. How strong can the pro-female bias be?

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    7. Congrats 11:38.

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    8. I second the congratulations to 11:38! Perhaps he is evidence that wasting one's time complaining on an 'anonymous' blog about females and minorities can impact one's ability to land a good job in this job market.

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    9. While we're doing personal anecdotes. I'm a female grad student. I've been sexually harassed. It's not a famous case, but there is a record of it my department. It was a really bad experience and had a bad effect on my confidence. I've also received some professional perks, like randomly being invited to comment at conferences, that I'm not sure I deserved. I've also received invites to women-only workshops- which were a lot of fun, and quite helpful. I think this experience is predicted by 8:07's assessment of the current situation.

      But at the risk of sounding like I'm just here to spew idealistic platitudes, I have to say that I think we'd all be better off spending our time engaging with each other's work than spending it trying to knock each other down.

      I can justify this with the difference between the Nash equilibrium and Pareto optimality- which incidentally, I picked up from editing my harasser's work [that's just a fun ironic fact, I have no idea what interesting implications you might draw from it].

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    10. 11:59, ".... about females and minorities

      Females are not "minorities". They are the majority at Universities (around 54-57%).

      11:38, "How strong can the pro-female bias be?"

      This is answered by observed data. It can be this strong: "... a majority (54%) of women hired had no publications, as compared with 40% of men ... For the Top 15 journals, 27% of men hired had at least one such publication, while only 11% of women hired had at least one. For these journals, the average publication rate for men hired was 0.42 publications, while for women hired it was only 0.14 publications."

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    11. Look, we get it 11:59. You hope your political opponents will not find professional success, so you caricature them as 'complaining about females and minorities' when it is the policies we are objecting to, not the people. This is evidently SOP for the new new left.

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    12. This is just the standard Jezebel-feminist tactic. Everyone who disagrees with a New Consensus in whatever arena will be called a fedora-wearing neckbeard geek or a date-raping "dudebro", or, somehow, both.

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    13. Thanks for the helpful statistics, 12:09pm. Somehow despite those statistics, a white male like me can get 16 interviews and a job. So I ask again. How strong can the pro-female bias be?

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    14. The strength is given in detail in the statistics that you have been shown, but for some reason ignored, 12:16. Perhaps you might study them? There the strength is measured by the difference of average publication rates for job hiring during 2012 and 2013, with a cohort of all 311 people hired into TT/post-doc without a prior position. Males averaged 1.5 publications, while females averaged 0.8. Higher prestige females managed a whopping 0.6. The statistical significance for various corrections is work out - null hypothesis rejected with p < 0.03. But I realise you dislike this objective data.

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    15. Wow, 12:09, I think I might have just figured out your issue that has caused you to fail to land meaningful employment - it's reading comrehension. There was no claim that female = minority, thus the use of the phrase "females and minorities."

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    16. So you dislike the objective data. Now I take it, 1:22, you therefore agree that
      1. Females are the majority.
      2. Females are the dominant majority, while men are subjected to gender-based discrimination.
      Right?

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    17. You do understand that there are multiple definitions for the term "minority," correct? And men are not subject to gender-based discrimination based on the fact that a few losers cannot seem to find the jobs they think they are entitled to. In any event, keep complaining, it's seems to be working out really well for you.

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    18. The gender-based discrimination was first noticed by Carolyn Dicey Jennings, in placement data she collected for all those hired in 2012 and in 2013. This was statistically analysed at genderandprestige. You're free to ignore it if you wish.

      For example, "... a majority (54%) of women hired had no publications, as compared with 40% of men ... For the Top 15 journals, 27% of men hired had at least one such publication, while only 11% of women hired had at least one. For these journals, the average publication rate for men hired was 0.42 publications, while for women hired it was only 0.14 publications."

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    19. 2:30 at least provides us with a textbook illustration of why feminism is so successful while issues affecting men will never gain traction. For a man, complaining about something is terrible social signalling because if he wasn't a loser (=sexually undesirable) he'd be able to just take what he wants. In contrast a woman complaining about something is catnip to white knights.

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    20. I'm sorry that happened to you, 12:04.

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    21. 8.30 speaks the truth. OP etc pervay ever more desparate rationalisations to avoid it, sprinkled with the usual sexist expressions of contempt for men.

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    22. Thanks 4:22. But I'm not sure that being sexually harassed was even the worst thing that happened to me in philosophy. The other two candidates for worst-thing-that-happened-to-me [in philosophy] are instances of things that [I think] happen to a lot of people in philosophy. And at the risk of sounding bitter or moralizing, I think the underlying mechanism that explains why these specific sorts of bad things happen to people in philosophy is the intense competition we see between people [rather than ideas, but that's a different, but related, story]. I guess I can understand why untenured people are competitive with each other, but I don't understand why tenured professors seem to be primarily motivated in ways that are in service of their own careers.

      I realize that I might just sound like a typical whiny grad student, and yes, as Liz Lemon of 30-Rock notes, grad students *are* the worst. But given the self-absorbed/ self-serving behaviors of their mentors, I'm not sure they [we] don't have at least a little bit of an excuse.

      With that said, if I'm wrong, I'd really, REALLY like someone to talk me out of this attitude towards the tenured because I don't want to be inappropriately bitter or unjustifiably disgruntled. ....but don't be surprised if I dig in my heels a bit.

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    23. > I'm a white guy from a middle of the pack Leiter program. I got 16 interviews and a job last year. How strong can the pro-female bias be?

      You got a job but you fail at critical thinking if you think one data point disproves a statistical phenomenon.

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    24. I am a guy at a top 5 leiter program who didn't get a job in philosophy. But, just to be clear and stay on topic, I still have a bigger dick than 11:38am. Now that balance has been restored in the great anecdote cock contest, everyone can continue with their lives.

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    25. 9:09 PM,

      My thought exactly. My guess is that Mr. 16-interviews works in environmental ethics, critical theory, or something like that. No doubt 'philosophers' like that get a lot of attention regardless of gender. Plus it'd explain the unthinking subscription to patterns of bad reasoning like single case induction.

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    26. 11:38, and your area of specialization is?

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    27. Administration

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    28. I feel bad for calling people "selfish." But I'm not sure why people would rather spend their time publishing their own stuff than helping students to develop their ideas. I dunno- I like taking the time to write down my own thoughts- I really do. But I also really like showing students what they're capable of- that's really exciting to me. For some reason, it seems like a lot of academics don't really get too excited about that.

      Also, to 9:09 and 10:35, I know at least one person in M&E who was a mid-Leiter white dude who got a TT job recently. Sorry.

      Also, also, would it kill you to try and write an environmental ethics or bioethics paper? I'm writing an environmental science/ethics paper that's really just an account of vague predictions. I'm also writing some bioethics paper on interlevel extrapolation.

      They probably suck, but I'm sure you guys are a lot smarter than I am. And in my experience, the more I write about things these things, the easier it gets. By the same token, I've also taught some critical theory and some existentialism, and that's a lot more fun than being broke and a lot easier and less shitty than working at a normal job.

      Also, 10:35, you can't negate a name. You can only negate well-formed formulas. :P

      Carry on discussing your dicks or how drunk you are or whatever. :/

      You're welcome.

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    29. ¬11:38 AM = 10:35 PMJuly 3, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      I will grant that you are correct about two things: (i) performing induction on two cases is not as bad a pattern of reasoning as performing induction on one case, and (ii) we are a lot smarter than you.

      I assert (ii) partly for the following reason. I didn't 'negate a name'. Rather, what I did was build a name by stringing together a number of symbols, one of which was "¬" -- which, in this occurrence, I did not use to express any truth-functional connective whatsoever, let alone negation.

      Yes, go back to your critical theory papers.

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    30. 2:44 just told someone they were bad at reasoning for drawing an inference from one case, and then went on to conclude s/he was a lot smarter than someone on the basis of one statement that person made, which was pretty obviously a joke.

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    31. ¬11:38 AM = 10:35 PM = 2:44 AMJuly 3, 2015 at 11:15 AM

      Is there something about the fool moon that brings the philosophical lightweights out? Jesus Christ...

      First: you do know what the English word "partly" in "I assert (ii) partly for the following reason" means, right? (That's a genuine question; perhaps you're one of these a oppressed non-native English speakers I keep hearing about.)

      Second: my reasoning was not an instance of single case induction. Rather, I have repeatedly observed in the past that people who don't understand how language functions, work on critical theory, utilize patterns of bad reasoning, are people I'm smarter than. Given this well-confirmed pattern, I've inductively inferred that it holds for 2:14 AM as well.

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    32. ¬11:38 AM = 10:35 PM = 2:44 AM = 3:15 AMJuly 3, 2015 at 11:16 AM

      Also, I'm just taking the piss out of you all anyway. ;-)

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    33. 3:15 just inferred that 2:53 was a 'philosophical lightweight' on the basis of one blog post that that person made. Sorry, 3:15, but that really was an instance of single case induction.

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    34. 12:04 = 7:37 = 2:14July 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

      I didn't say anything about induction, and yes, you are much smarter than I am because unfortunately, I was not joking.

      But now that you've explained yourself, how could I have failed to consider the possibilities that (i) "¬" wasn't a negation, and (ii) you just randomly chose a string of symbols that incidentally happens to label a comment you were shitting on?

      I'M SO STUPID! I FEEL SO BAD NOW! [i'm an] IDIOT! [i'm an] IDIOT!

      But no critical theory today- just some paraconsistent strategies against platonism.... oh wait! i might write about the phenomenology of seeming later.... is that okay?

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    35. TI also refused to get a 9 to 5 and it worked out for him.

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    36. 12:04/7:37/2:14, I often wonder the same thing as you - it seems like the greatest value in philosophy is teaching, since we don't *really* expect to solve philosophical problems with our current methods - and yet so few philosophers care about teaching - it's astonishing, really, because we have so much to teach and it's the very intractability of our problems that makes them useful teaching tools.

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    37. Agreed, 5:52.

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    38. Also agreed, 5:52. But in fairness, I'm sure a lot of people are just trying to meet tenure requirements. But if our value is more in the teaching we do, and less in the research, maybe tenure requirements should be different.

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    39. I'm a disenchanted junior grad student, which should put the following sincere question in context: if one believes that one isn't *really* going to solve philosophical problems with current methods, how does one motivate and justify the material one teaches? What value do you see in (i) perpetuating certain thorny questions (or certain formulations of traditional philosophical questions) on the one hand, and teaching the stock-in-trade methods on the other? Perhaps one encourages innovation on both fronts?

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    40. Well, I'm not sure that there are too many genuine philosophical problems that are in need of solutions. But I do think that reading and writing philosophy makes people much better at entertaining alternative possibilities, or multiple sides of an issue. And after enough philosophy, it gets easier to figure out whether those alternatives or sides might be rendered consistent, and if so, how, and if not, why not. And that's a really useful life skill. Not to get all country music on everybody or anything, but it's much harder for boyfriends to cheat on or lie to me now. I can stand up for myself when my boss tries to exploit me- and I did so just this week in a major way [I'm also a grad student, and I'm working as a bartender for the summer].

      I don't know if that re-enchants you 11:57, but that's my answer.

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    41. "I've been sexually harassed. " so what? So has every man here been, but we don't go around boasting about it.

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    42. Come on now 4:18, remember your better nature.

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  3. First, It seems pretty extreme to deny that there are no pro-male biases at work at all. Have you ever read anything on implicit biases? Do you just deny they exist at all? And I'm underwhelmed by your never having witnessed pro male biases. your limited experiences aren't that compelling and conflict with my own and those of many others.

    But more importantly, this response seems to miss the point of the original post. That post was admitting that, on the whole, there is a pro-female bias. Your response was to argue that it is not just on the whole but that it is the only bias that exists. But the point of the post was about why this is so objectionable. I think the commenter is right that most of the vitriol derives not from views about merit and justice but about being on the wrong end of things for once.



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    1. this was supposed to be a reply, obviously, to the preceding thread

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    2. Even granting your premises, it's objectionable for the following reason: people aren't fungible representatives of their sex.The victims of putative earlier pro-male bias are not the beneficiaries of current pro-female bias, nor are the victims of current pro-female bias the beneficiaries of putative earlier pro-male bias.

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    3. Why do philosophers, who disagree so much about their own work and even work in the hard sciences (not to mention evolutionary psychology and psychometrics and so on), take for granted tendentious theories in social psychology, like stereotype threat, implicit bias, etc.?

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    4. I agree that individuals aren't fungible representatives of their sex. This is a good argument against some justifications of affirmative action. But why must we view the choices of job committees as only having, as their ends, the conditions of individuals? Why can't the well-being of the profession be taken into consideration when making these choices? Professional philosophy, one could argue, would be better off if drew from a larger pool of individuals (potential talent) and having more women as professors and role models is one way to do this. Whether this is true is an empirical claim that I'm not that interested in arguing about. But why can't this be the sort of consideration that, in part, guides one's choices about who among the many perfectly qualified candidates out there one choses to hire?

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    5. @10:07: are you having a laugh? No, you should not let unsubstantiated empirical conjectures guide your choices.

      "Whether this is true is an empirical claim that I'm not that interested in arguing about. But why can't this be the sort of consideration that, in part, guides one's choices"

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    6. Its beyond satire, isn't it?

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    7. read the reply to the same complaint below. It's like everyone is going out of their way to be uncharitable.

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    8. You are entertaining hypotheticals about facts that would guide our decisions while refusing to consider whether those facts hold. And blatantly so. As a result, whatever conclusions you arrive at are irrelevant for addressing the question of what we ought to do given the facts.

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    9. Of course they aren't irrelevant, don't be stupid. They are conditional, but obviously relevant.

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    10. Not in the relevant sense of relevant. Of course these hypotheses would, if they obtained, bear on what we ought to do. Fine, 'what if' away. But at the end of the day we need data. And without it, your conclusions are irrelevant precisely because we don't have the data to rely on the hypotheses you admit you are not interested in. This is the problem I was illustrating at 10:20. We should avoid trading attention to the facts for imaginative exercises concerning what we ought to do in over-described situations. Well before we can begin looking at the fine points of normative detail we need to have a much better picture of what our situation actually is. That's the problem I was pointing to when I pulled out that passage. I suspect that this kind of thinking motivates lots of people in their behavior surrounding questions of gender. Gut level conviction that they're treading the safe and narrow while steadfastly refusing to take the long, hard look needed to understand what is actually happening.

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    11. I am close to as anti-feminist as they come and I did not think this person did anything wrong in saying "assume X; is it so wrong to do Y?" If you are resistant to this sort of thing then I suspect you have a good deal of trouble in finding where your actual disagreements with people lie.

      That said, I don't think it's correct to say that departments that favor women have "the state of the profession" in mind. More likely they are worried about their image within the profession. Perhaps they are thinking about recruitment of undergraduates. Anyhow, it's yet to be demonstrated that any of these are truly moral concerns. What is it that makes "philosophy" so worth doing that, e.g., we should recruit women away from things they'd rather do by changing our admissions standards, our hiring standards, and our syllabi?

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    12. Nothing wrong in a dialogical sense, sure. But when the conversation is political, the assumption is contentious, and the conclusion justifies existing behavior, the refusal to consider the facts can be a problem. That's all I mean to be saying. You are of course free to speculate. But beware of behavior founded on speculation and a refusal to consider the facts.

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    13. Sorry, I meant to sign that as 10:20.

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    14. I basically agree with 5:38.
      The conditional hypothesis is important and relevant. Obviously, it is also important and relevant whether the condition is met. 10:07 just expressed lack of interest in arguing about that, which seems perfectly sensible.
      I agree also with 5:38 that the 'good of the profession' motives for bringing lots more women into the discipline are somewhat hazy. And in particular I definitely do not agree with the gist of a couple of Daily Nous comments, to the effect that we should be trying to portray philosophy as the 'ideal' course of study for people who want to work in health care, teaching, journalism.

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    15. I don't know about journalism. I know lots of journalists who majored in philosophy, and found it really useful. You're certainly better off majoring in Philosophy than something like Media Studies or English Lit if you want to be a journalist. It might be a good idea to make that clear to undergrads.

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    16. I'm not sure how much this disagreement matters, and I don't want to shut down anyone's conversation, but I do want to emphasize that we should be wary about refusing to do the empirical work needed to justify the antecedent of a conditional whose consequent justifies politically problematic behavior that is already occurring. Look again at what 10:07 wrote:

      "Professional philosophy, one could argue, would be better off if drew from a larger pool of individuals (potential talent) and having more women as professors and role models is one way to do this. Whether this is true is an empirical claim that I'm not that interested in arguing about."

      I get that she(?) is interested in entertaining the hypothetical to see what follows. But there are contentious claims and proposals tucked away in that passage. I worry that too many people suppose they have a "perfectly sensible lack of interest" in doing the empirical work needed to justify a bunch of stuff that is already happening and which they themselves are actively supporting.

      Anyway, maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it seems to me that lack of interest in the empirical stuff is part of our problem.

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    17. Maybe this is why everyone is being so uncharitable. I don't think the interesting part (or the part that OP wanted to focus on) had anything to do with assuming that were true.

      "But why must we view the choices of job committees as only having, as their ends, the conditions of individuals? *Why can't the well-being of the profession be taken into consideration when making these choices?* .... Whether this is true is an empirical claim that I'm not that interested in arguing about. But why can't this be the *sort* of consideration that, in part, guides one's choices .."

      The contentious claim isn't being used to justify anything. It's being used as an example of the sort of consideration that might permissibly guide one's choices. You don't need to know either way whether it is in fact true to decide whether, if it were true, it is the kind if thing that would matter. So step 1: If X were true, should it make a difference to our hiring decisions? Step 2: if no, no need to do any empirical work. If yes, do the study.

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    18. Yeah, okay, you might be right about journalism. I only know one journalist. She didn't major in philosophy, but she'd be pretty good at it.

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    19. nicely said, 9.58

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    20. I for one understood that 2:54; and your reconstruction nicely highlights my point. Some people think their philosophies of justice permit them to determine, a priori, whether we should be doing the empirical work needed to determine what our situation is. But without knowing about, for instance, whether or not women care whether they're taught by other women, we don't know the first thing about why there aren't so many women in philosophy. I know 10:07 was interested in talking about the hypothetical, and from that vantage it doesn't matter. My point was to criticize that vantage. So I understood what was being proposed, and I was objecting to some of its presuppositions. But as I said, I do not want to try to shut down a conversation. It was a throwaway observation.

      Still, there is a point here. If we're to intervene on women in philosophy so as to increase their numbers, we need to know what intervention(s) to make. And to do that, we need to know a whole lot more about why women seem not to enjoy the study of philosophy. From what I can tell we have no idea whether more women in philosophy class rooms would lead to more women in philosophy. And that's the kind of question we need to be asking, *regardless* of whether we think anything morally significant follows from it.

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    21. I don't see why the last claim is true. Why do we need to spend time working out whether more women in philosophy class rooms would lead to more women in philosophy if knowing that information wouldn't change anything that we do?

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    22. Because knowing that information would give us some explanation for why women are underrepresented in philosophy. We are underequipped to explain why women choose not to study philosophy, and whatever your theory of causal explanation, the ability to describe interventions (even if ideal) that would change things in a system are in many cases a necessary condition for having an adequate model of that system. So independently of any moral considerations, we should be assessing questions like these. In fact I think the rush to moral judgment, and the use of a priori philosophical argument to draw conclusions about what facts we should and should not consider, is something like a blight on the profession.

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    23. I think we just must be talking past each other. Because I really don't see the problem with saying that if it is clear that knowing certain facts shouldn't change our behavior, then we don't need to spend time studying those facts.

      Put it this way: if, for example, you think that whatever the explanation is for why women are underrepresented in philosophy, there is no reason to do anything about it, then you don't need to know why women are underrepresented. If, however, you think there are some plausible explanations that would warrant interventions, then you do need to know.

      So I'm not sure what you disagree with here - is it the idea that we can settle the question of whether we need to do anything about underrepresentation unless we know what causes it? If that's true, then all you're saying is that the first condtional is not met, right? In which case I agree - if the first conditional is not met, then we need to do the research.

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    24. Your example is not sufficiently like the original to make the point you want it to. This is what 10:07 (you?) said:

      "I agree that individuals aren't fungible representatives of their sex. This is a good argument against some justifications of affirmative action. But why must we view the choices of job committees as only having, as their ends, the conditions of individuals? Why can't the well-being of the profession be taken into consideration when making these choices? Professional philosophy, one could argue, would be better off if drew from a larger pool of individuals (potential talent) and having more women as professors and role models is one way to do this. Whether this is true is an empirical claim that I'm not that interested in arguing about. But why can't this be the sort of consideration that, in part, guides one's choices about who among the many perfectly qualified candidates out there one choses to hire?"

      This is a straightforward 'what if' defense of hiring practices that favor women. I suspect some job committeess think along just these lines. To repeat something I said above and so emphasize that this is what I've been on about all along, when the conversation is political, the assumption is contentious, and the conclusion justifies existing behavior, the refusal to consider the facts can be a problem. And I've now spelled out what I take to be the problem. If we don't know what the facts are, we don't know what we should be doing in the first place. And we don't know the first thing about why women aren't interested in philosophy if we don't know whether more women instructors would make a difference. I'm aware that the intent was to bracket the facts so as to consider the hypothetical; but doing that in this case is problematic for the ways I've tried to describe. The mentality that a priori philosophical speculation can settle what facts we should and should not consider, and the perpetual rush to moral judgment and 'what if' rationalization obstinate to fact, is toxic.

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    25. I'm not 10:07, (the OP) as I've made pretty clear.

      But I don't think that post is a straightforward what if defense of anything. The main point of it, I take it, is to raise this question: "why can't the well-being of the profession be taken into account when making hiring choices?" It's not a defense of anything, as no argument is provided in favour of this claim - it raises a question. And it's a useful question.

      No-one's engaging in moral judgment here. No-one is being 'obstinate to fact.' And I still really have no idea what is meant to be the problem with claiming that if knowing certain facts shouldn't change our behavior, then we don't need to spend time studying those facts. This is not 'a priori philosphical speculation' it's just good reasoning. It's the reason why I don't conduct a empirical investigation into whether ferries are more fuel efficient than motor transport before deciding how to get to work in the morning. You can't get the ferry from my house to work, so whatever information I discover, it is not going to change my behavior.

      Delete
    26. Sorry to confuse you with 10:07. And I understand what 10:07 was trying to do, it's just that I disagree with you about what she was really doing. I also appreciate that you don't understand what I am objecting to. But I'm happy to let what I've said stand as it is.

      Delete
    27. 10:20, "Because knowing that information would give us some explanation for why women are underrepresented in philosophy."

      Why do you believe that women are "underrepresented in philosophy"? What is the "correct" level?

      Do you think that men are "underrepresented" in psychology and biological sciences? What is the "correct" level?

      Do you think women are "underrepresented" in those who are murdered or in those who commit suicide? (The vast majority in both cases are men.)

      Delete
    28. All I mean by 'underrepresentation' is 'represented at less than their proportion in the overall population'. It is a descriptive claim, not a normative one.

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    29. I read that term, as do many others, as intentionally normative. But, on your descriptive convention, do you agree that women are "underrepresented" in being murdered and committing suicide? Do you agree that men are underrepresented at Universities?

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    30. I'm sorry you misunderstood me, but I have a hard time believing that anyone who read what I wrote when I used that term read it as 'intentionally normative.' Your contributions here are reading more and more like a subversive effort to make the metablog look bad. At any rate, I trust it's all cleared up now, and if we were talking about suicides or murders the same term would apply.

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    31. Can you explain why standard definitions always involve the normative notion "inadequate"? For example,

      1. Merriam-Webster, underrepresented (adjective): inadequately represented

      2. Oxford Dictionaries, under-represent (verb) Provide with insufficient or inadequate representation

      3. Thesaurus.com, Synonyms for underrepresented (adj) inadequately represented

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    32. Because adequacy is always relative to a standard, and sometimes the standard is proportional representation.

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    33. So if the standard is proportional representation then the standard is that people OUGHT to be represented according to their proportion in the population BUT (you moron, 3.26) this is not normative but positive. Yup. I'm convinced. Completely convinced. No, really. I am. Completely. And sincere too. Yup. That's me.

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    34. Exactly (though I think 'moron' is a bit strong). The 'ought' is epistemic, concerning expected observed values for the representation of some group in proportion to their representation in some larger population. 'Under' just means by reference to the antecedent hypothesis, and it connotes that the observed value is less than expected. It carries no connotation concerning what we ought to do by way of intervening on that representation.

      And again, I simply cannot believe that 3:26 is maintaining this line of questioning on the basis of anything I said. I am left wondering what his/her motives really are. This is more surprising given he/she seems to be critical of the feminist party line

      Delete
  4. The Problem, figure 10:07-

    "Professional philosophy, one could argue, would be better off if drew from a larger pool of individuals (potential talent) and having more women as professors and role models is one way to do this. Whether this is true is an empirical claim that I'm not that interested in arguing about."

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    1. Is this a problem because I said I'm not interested in arguing about whether it's true? All I meant is that a point can be made about what ends one can aim to achieve in making a decision that go beyond whether individual x is better than individual y with respect to some criterion. In general, I'm intrested in whether that empirical claim is true. It's just that, with respect to the argument being made, its being true or false is a side issue.

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  5. "I think the reason there is so much anger here is that many find themselves for the first time on the raw end."

    Interesting theory. But consider the facts. A male philosopher on the market today has always been on the raw end. And a female philosopher on the market today, by your own reckoning, has never been.


    "Would any of you been this mad when things were in your favor?"

    Yes. Many of us, including me, are old enough to have done so. I am a male philosopher who fought tooth and nail to stop sexism against women. I did not do that to promote sexism against men.

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    1. Maybe it has to do with an intellectual discipline becoming hostage to ideological fortune? Most of us just want to get on with doing philosophy without everything turning on the thought police? Naive thought of course...

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  6. Who are you people?

    (Maybe gender, age, status (Employed, unemployed, grad student)

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    1. Spores, infinity, full-time warrior.

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    2. Why not. Female, grad student, 25-35. Neither a feminist nor a frequent commenter. My last comment was about In-N-Out being better than White Castle. Very intellectual stuff. Look out, philosophers.

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    3. Male. Employed in Philosophy. Lemming. 38. Infrequent commenter. I totally agree with 3:24 about White Castle.

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    4. Man, grad student, 25-35, male chauvinist, infrequent commenter.

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    5. Trans*man, 25-35, employed. Frequent commenter. Trying to balance out all you dudebros. It rarely works.

      Delete
    6. Female. Old school feminist, new consensus antifeminist. Tenure track. Pretty frequent commenter. Happy to call the Femtroll 'Femtroll'.

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    7. irrelevant, irrelevant, irrelevant, irrelevant
      you should all know better.

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    8. OSF (1:26), why do you think victim feminism now rules, with no visible opposition? What does victim feminism offer that OSF didn't?

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    9. 1:55 if the comments are true it's relevant to the claim that the commenters here are nothing but unemployed angry white men.

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    10. Late assistant professor/early associate professor white man here. Regular commentator and (liberal) feminist.

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    11. 1:56,

      It's a mystery. The feminism I and other women (and men) fought for decades ago was something to be proud of. We were genuine outsiders fighting against an establishment that was largely hostile to us. Sure, there were loonies in the movement back then. But it was a better time. As J.S. Mill says, a movement whose members have to fight to have their view taken seriously has more heart to it, while that same movement can be an empty shell of ideology once it becomes mainstream. Or something like that.

      What characterized us back then was our desire to fight for justice. We didn't think we'd be doing it our whole lives, and we didn't build our lives around it. We had other things to do with our time and sexism was getting in the way, so we reluctantly took some time off to fight the sexism so we could all get back to work.

      Specializing in being a career feminist and getting a degree in "feminist philosophy" or "women's studies" was a dumb idea from the beginning. It entails a lifelong choice between fighting for a cause whatever happens to that cause for another fifty years or else admitting that your whole education is redundant. There's too much invested in finding an endless series of goals now whatever the world turns out to be like. Now we see a drive to make absolutely everything a feminist cause, so that fighting for feminism never comes to an end and feminism is always the major issue in everything. The word has already been stretched beyond all recognizable meaning. That's a big part of what's changed. That, and the fact that anyone you meet is a self-described feminist these days. You can use the word to promote any loony idea you like.

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    12. Thanks 5:45. That's really interesting.

      (I'm not 1:56)

      Delete
    13. 12:59,

      I'm not sure what a "dudebro" is. It sounds like someone in a fraternity, or something similar, but I've met approximately zero grad students/profs in philosophy who seem like someone in a fraternity. So I think it's unlikely that you mean that. What is a dudebro?

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    14. 2.31: so what? First, even if the claim that the commenters here are nothing but unemployed angry white men were true, that would be irrelevant. Second, the claim is itself a piece of obnoxious racist sexist irrelevance. Third, the people making that claim think there is a victim olympics to win and that don't care about evidence but merely credit testimony from olympics winners and are playing this card to evade arguments they can't win. That ridiculous nonsense should not be pandered to. Fourthly, and laughably, this identity politics claim is made by the very same people who make a big deal about epistemic injustice supposedly suffered by privileged females if people don't shut up and listen to them. Identity politics bollocks is what's wrong in the first place.

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    15. 8:04, yeah, it is irrelevant, but if it becomes clear that the claim is false, maybe at least some of the people making it will cut it out and we'll have made minimal progress. There are far dumber discussions than this one going on. For instance, above is an unbelievably stupid discussion about the meaning of the term 'underrepresented.' Go take issue with them.

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    16. I think the demographics of the moderators are more interesting. I am almost certain they are disaffected, white, male graduate students.

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    17. Unless they are abusing their powers, their contributions as commenters (if any) seem pretty obviously to be all that matters.

      Delete
    18. One does wonder what the whole point of this blog is, and mod demographics would be revealing.

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    19. Woman. 25-30. ABD at Leiter top-10 dept. Just as terrified as the white dudes that I won't get a job.

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    20. 5.45, thanks for that reply,
      "It's a mystery. The feminism I and other women (and men) fought for decades ago was something to be proud of. We were genuine outsiders fighting against an establishment that was largely hostile to us."

      Right - old-school feminism won, and the probability of locating a "sexist" person in academia is around nil. But how did victim feminism ("women are helpless infant victims; men are evil demons"), with its attendant narcissism, black-and-white thinking, paranoia & hysterical exaggerations, become mainstream and displace old-school feminism? On the fact of it, victim feminism is contrary to fact, intellectually moronic and morally offensive. How did this clinically unhinged ideology become mainstream?

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    21. 3:09, the point of this blog becomes clearer if you know its history.

      A few years ago, the main blogs were Leiter, NewAPPS, Philosophy Smoker, Philosphers Anonymous, Feminist Philosphers, and WhatItsLikeToBeAWomanInPhilosophy. At the time, Leiter didn't have many comments threads, Feminist Philosophers was far more heavily moderated than today, WILTBAWIP was unsympathetic for obvious reasons, and Phil Anon was really devoted to random snark about Billy Joel and Spiros' daily life half the time: not generally a place for prolonged serious discussions of critical issues. That left NewAPPS and the Smoker for critical discussion of the political excesses and shenanigans of the so-called 'feminist' activists in the profession, which were just ramping up and becoming a much bigger force to contend with.

      Mr. Zero at the Smoker frequently opened discussions on the topic, but was fiercely on the side of what later became known as the 'New Consensus'. In practice, he censored out most of the comments critical of the 'feminist' side but published everything on the other side, so that the discussions were highly skewed and unfair. Someone it sinew people complained about this on Phil Anon but we're asked to take it elsewhere. NewAPPS was even worse than the Smoker, since they had fuckwits like Protevi as moderators.

      When the Ludlow and Colorado stories were breaking and the other blogs were cheering on the 'feminist' side, a reclusive retiree calling himself Showalter started the Laughing Philospher blog for critical discussion of the one-side coverage on the other blogs. But Laughing Philospher was short-lived, because some spillover discussion at New APPS led Brogaard, a new blogger there, to try to hunt down and destroy people connected to LP. Showalter closed up shop and disabled all comments.

      In the aftermath, everyone who wanted to discuss things on Laughing Philospher migrated to Philosophers Anonymous, the only blog that didn't moderate comments. Many people realized by then the growing need to critically discuss the abuses of power in the profession among the New Consensus crowd and to provide an alternative to the one-sided, anti-intellectual coverage on the other blogs. Suddenly, Phil Anon had comment threads running far into the hundreds. Spiros was less than thrilled and told us to go elsewhere if we wanted to critically discuss what was going on at the mainstream, profeminist blogs. Glaucon, a frequent commenter at Phil Anon, created the Metablog for that purpose. All the traffic then moved there.

      But Glaucon clearly made some enemies among the New Consensus types, since his posts made fools of the outrageously stupid and stifling things said on the profem blogs (ie every other philosophy blog). To silence him, a few NC radicals tried to guess his identity and out him online. Days later, Glaucon closed down the Metablog and again the New Consensus had an ideological monopoly on the blogosphere.

      After another short cycle of discussion on Phil Anon, the current blog emerged to handle these much needed discussions. This moderator, for understandable reasons, is keeping a very low profile.




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    22. 6:50, it started with getting what was once called feminism -- a movement whose aim was the empowerment of women to the extent that they had equal rights -- to be socially accepted. Once everyone was on board with the idea that a woman should not be stopped from doing anything a man could do, it became a mark of basic decency to call oneself that, and a source of pride to do so in one's own mind. We all like to think now that we're more open-minded about women having power than other people are. That's not so mysterious.

      Once that word was given a positive association and it was desirable for everyone to call himself or herself a feminist, there was much more latitude for the term to expand. If a position is called 'feminist', and someone attacks that position, then the mere name is enough to make people attack the attacker. You get to feel wonderful about yourself if you attack someone who resists or doubts anything called 'feminism', because you're in essence defending women.

      Men in particular have traditionally loved to see themselves as defenders of helpless women. That made 'victim feminism' an easy sell. It naturally has nothing to do with old-school feminism, since old-school feminism has to do with empowering women and victim feminism has to do with constantly portraying women as helpless and pathetic unless they have white knights, powerful committees, angry opposition from the general public, strict rules, and kangaroo courts to protect them. Nobody would ever suggest that men need such protections or that justice should be overturned to give aid to the helpless men who can't handle things. But to portray women in this way brings out the fiercest moral self-righteousness from both traditional males and the males who want to be up to date. So victim feminism has everything going for it as an appealing ideology. It's even more appealing than old school feminism, since old school feminism was genuinely threatening to the male and female status quo and victim feminism just demands an extreme of chivalry from men (which many men are proud to trip over each other to offer) while offering the most selfish women the world.

      But victim feminism is nowhere as strong as it is in academia and law, and the excesses in law stem from radical law schools. How did victim feminism become so overwhelmingly strong in universities? Partly this is because people in academic life tend to skew to the left, and victim feminism pitched itself as an essential component of leftist thought. But another reason stems from the complicity of administrators, While university presidents often used to oppose radical feminism, there was a sea change about two decades ago when savvy administrators realized the potential of making university feminists into allies. They stop creating bad publicity for your university and will publicly laud the initiatives your university is taking. That's very good for business. To get their support, you have to create Women's Studies departments and women's centers and various chairs, throw a bunch of funding behind the projects of the university's loudest 'feminists', and advertise all that widely. You also have to jump with both feet on anyone or anything the 'feminists' say they don't like, before the feminists have a chance to criticize your university in public.

      (Continued below)

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    23. Two cases in point: when the group of idiots came from far and wide to protest Ludlow's courses, the administration served everyone hot chocolate and said, "We love what you're doing. Let's talk." When the Site Visit Committee ravaged the U. of Colorado philosophy department, the administration released the report to the media the same day and said they were going to clean that shit up immediately. When a professor there got in the way by coming to the defense of a falsely accused student, the professor got fired. In all these cases and more, the feminist groups and the femphil blogs issued big public thank yous to the administration. PR problem solved.

      Doing things this way has costs. It destroys due process and academic standards (good academics like Ludlow get fired, and replaced by others who are ready to toe the feminist line and not even have a whiff of impropriety about them). But what university president cares about those things? It's a business, and these people know what side their bread is buttered on.

      Add into the mix the crazy reinterpretation of Title IX put in place by the self-described radical feminist activist Russlyn Ali during her appointment, and any university not actively following a victim feminism script is committing fiscal suicide.

      So why has victim feminism taken hold and become so strong despite being completely at odds with the facts? Because facts never entered into it. It became a dominant ideology because of the social and political pressure its adherents have been able to exert, and to hell with the facts.

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    24. Jesus. Obsess much? Thread on demographics of discussants and you gave yourself two boxes of irrelevant comments.

      Delete
    25. Grow up, 3:32. You talk like a child. Comment 5:45 described her experience; 6:50 asked a question; 8:52/8:53 answered. Now apparently you don't like this. Tough. Either deal with it or fuck off back to FP.

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    26. 7.06: good for you: keep your head down and don't get caught. The fact we all know of this necessity is the proof of the oppressive power had by NC. And don't stop people naming their manipulative tactics and naming the character exhibited by the use of particular tactics.

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    27. 8.53: brilliant piece of description.

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  7. I don't think the people concerned about pro-woman biases are acting in bad faith or anything like that. I see a bit of pro-woman bias. I've also dealt with my fair share of hurdles---having to "prove myself" over and over again my first two years, often not being given the benefit of the doubt, struggling with student respect in teaching, and an extremely stressful (maybe rises to the level of sexual harassment?) series of incidents with a male professor in my first year. I've also done about five times the service of my male colleagues (serving on committees, organizing conferences, etc.), I suppose by choice, but I'm always the one asked. I have three kids and (not surprisingly) I don't have a stay at home spouse. This is also by choice, but it's a shitty choice for a woman (be devoted to work XOR have kids), whereas *most* (not all) of my male colleagues can have kids and still can work 40 hours or more, usually half of that devoted to research. I'm lucky if I spend a 3 hours a week on my own work, with teaching, taking care of kids, maternity leave is a joke, childcare unaffordable.

    Okay, so these things are unfortunate. I'm not sure they are instances of outright injustice, it's just the way gender dynamics, conditioning, social structures, etc. work together to make things a bit harder for women. I'm one of those who got a job with just one publication. I don't know how much being a woman played into that. It may have gotten me my interview with the school I eventually got a job at. It is, of course, difficult for me to know how I compare to other candidates, not having read my letters or theirs or their writing samples, etc.

    All that to say, I don't think gender bias on the job market, assuming it exists, is a big deal (of course, I may be the beneficiary of it, so take that with a grain of salt). BUT, I'm also not sure that statistics on publications are really a good way of gauging talent. I KNOW I'm a better philosopher than some of my colleagues who have published more. They just have more time to write up shitty papers and almost always have several under review. So I get annoyed at the incessant quoting of the CDJ stats, which show, IMO, absolutely nothing.

    (I'm also concerned about the current paroxysm over sexual harassment, and opportunistic feminist philosophers who are using this to further a questionable political agenda. I'm not sure that's related to the (alleged) pro-woman job market bias. I'm also VERY concerned about false or, perhaps more damningly, vague accusations of sexual discrimination/harassment. I've seen friends vilified because of it. They are accused of being "the problem", simply because they are not politically on board with the entire agenda.)

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    1. Well thanks for your comments, 11:12, you sound sensible and hardworking, and kudos for that. The variation in these experiences is huge (plenty of men are unable to get a job, despite (top) publications, adjuncting to make ends meet, never receiving research leave, being expected to do the lousy teaching and admin others refuse to do, etc.)

      "I'm also concerned about the current paroxysm over sexual harassment, and opportunistic feminist philosophers who are using this to further a questionable political agenda. I'm not sure that's related to the (alleged) pro-woman job market bias. I'm also VERY concerned about false or, perhaps more damningly, vague accusations of sexual discrimination/harassment."

      In my experience, these concerns about on the recent "paroxysm over sexual harassment" - witch hunts, false allegations and mob justice - are held by many female academics, including female graduate students, I know, but who are too timid to speak up. Imagine a female academic or graduate student being prepared to take on, in public, the likes of FP? It's almost inconceivable, given the intimidation/retaliation they would suffer. Laura Kipnis, a feminist author, was subjected to student lunacy and threatened with a Title IX legal case against her. Merely for writing an article not quite aligned with the dominant FP narrative. Laura Kipnis interview, "How Campus Feminism Infantilises Women".

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    2. " I'm one of those who got a job with just one publication. I don't know how much being a woman played into that."

      There's no good reason to think it played into that - it's not very likely t played into that at all, really. Even according to the data people keep quoting, the majority of men who got jobs had 1 pub or less.

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  8. Interesting editorial in the second APA Journal issue.
    Not so much the hand-wringing over their having only three papers by women in the first two issues, but the rather defensive remarks about how scrupulously the papers are refereed.
    Look at the paper by Putnam. Anyone who believes that paper was reviewed anonymously is a moron. And anyone who believes that paper could get past a genuinely rigorous refereeing process is... well, not good at philosophy.

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    1. can someone get rid of this stupid hyperactive robot detector. Do it once, ok, but for every fucking comment? GET RID OF IT.

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    2. The refereeing process may be technically triple-blind at the JAPA, but that's pretty easily circumnavigated by other signals. More than half the citations in Kit Fine's paper in this issue are to his own work. Even if he replaced "my" with "Fine's" in the submitted version, what referee wouldn't have known that this was a Fine work? Maybe one of the referees was Fabrice Correa, who makes up half of the other citations in the paper. The bizarre practice of selecting referees from a paper's main interlocutors seems bound to lead either to turf-protecting rejections or to acceptances based on the fact that obviously this reviewer thinks this conversation is worth continuing.

      Putnam cites himself just the nine times. He's a bit less avoidant of other perspectives than Fine. But again, who wouldn't know this was a Putnam?

      And once we have a reviewer who knows this paper's by a big name, various priming elements kick in to nag away at the back of their mind that this paper must be a big deal.

      Having a technically blinded process is no barrier to rich-get-richer publication circles.

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    3. Matthew's Math is slightly off. A list below of the number of self-citations in each article in the current issue:

      Putnam 11
      Fine 8
      goldman 5
      hopkins 2
      Jennings 2
      Jenkins 2
      Embry 1
      Pasnau 1
      Maley/Piccinini 1
      Blackburn 0

      Some of these numbers, in the context of the articles and the amount of other sources cited, seem fairer than others. But the overall pattern does suggest that the JAPA is selecting for a certain kind of paper by a certain kind of author, and that its vaunted review process can't level the playing field by itself.

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    4. Not that I at all disagree with the general spirit of what is being said here, but I really suspect that there are a huge number of people who would cite Fine 8 times in a paper. There's a massive 'Fine studies' industry, especially in continental Europe, but also in the US and less so in the UK. I don't think this really matters since I am sure anyone refereeing the paper would realize it was Fine from the way it was written/content anyway. But I do disagree that the citations alone would be a dead giveaway...

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    5. Those numbers for Issue 1

      Strawson 3
      Audi 3
      Stern 2
      Ballantyne 2
      Engelland 2
      Nussbaum 1
      Hubbs 1
      Fisher 0
      Rovelli 0
      Nadler 0

      Not so obvious a self-signaling pattern in this one.
      Also worth noting that while Nussbaum and Blackburn are "big names" whose articles seem to have made it with without the heavy self-cite reminder, they also don't really cite anyone else, being the only two articles in JAPA thus far to cite under 10 sources. As various discussions of citation practice on philosophy blogs have noted, minimal citation is often held to correspond with prestige as over-thorough citation corresponds with anxious "grad-student" writing.

      Many possible explanations for this numerical data, of course, but if the JAPA is worried about becoming no more than a replica JPhil, then thinking about how to deal with prestige signifiers that shine through triple-blinding might be a start.

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    6. Point taken 6:12, but I wonder if the fact that there's a "Massive 'Fine studies' industry" might be even more of a reason to think that reviewer consciousness of the author might have played a part in this paper getting accepted in its current form. After all, when there's a massive philosophical industry around a figure, wouldn't a reviewer usually want you to cite more than 4 other members of that industry to show that you had a grip on it? There's one person, of course, that such an expectation wouldn't apply to...

      Anyway, I don't mean to belabor all this: just offering a tentative hypothesis about the editorial's worry, and people like 5:49's reservations (which I share).

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    7. Fine's authorship would be completely obvious to any competent referee. I mentioned Putnam because, frankly, that paper is terrible, while I *think* Fine's is excellent (I have not kept up with the 'grounding' stuff so I'm not confident).

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    8. Totally not John HeilJuly 5, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      Fine's JAPA article is excellent, and builds upon work published in another well-regarded journal. It will receive a lot of discussion, and not simply because it was written by Fine. (Although of course, given that Fine is widely regarded as one of (if not) the best and most influential metaphysicians still writing, it won't hurt.) Anyone who says otherwise simply does not know what they're talking about.

      That issue aside, I'm fairly confident that the majority of the articles found in JAPA so far were invited. And here is, I take it, the most plausible explanation. It has three components. First, many are still only vaguely aware of JAPA, and thus they are receiving (much) fewer submissions than other journals. Second, JAPA is receiving a disproportionate number of submissions from the most desperate among us in our profession (either because they are philosophical lightweights, need gainful employment, or both), no doubt in part because they are aware of the previously mentioned fact. Third, the editors of JAPA want to advertise their journal in such a way that they receive more submissions from the less desperate.

      So, I suspect that the fact that JAPA is mostly publishing invited pieces reflects the fact that it is a (very) young journal yet to earn its prestige, and must deal with this reality first before going on to their more 'pie in the sky' ambitions. I suspect that this will not last long, after which JAPA will probably look different than it does now.

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    9. Thanks, John!

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    10. I know this will never happen, but I would love to see all invited contributions to journals marked as such. The same goes for CVs, come to think of it.

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    11. Do you think the papers are invited and not refereed? That would be really problematic. If they are invited but then refereed, that doesn't seem like a big problem.

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    12. It does to me. Papers that are invited and then refereed are likely to get a much kinder treatment from editors than those that are submitted and refereed. You can't exactly invite someone to publish in your journal, and then say "sorry, no can do; your paper is no good!". The comments, instead, are more for improvement than as expert advice to the editor.

      Source: I have invited pubs.

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    13. True. Although it depends on the venue. So I should say: it seems like less of a problem.

      (I have invited pubs, but none that was also refereed.)

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    14. This is all just speculation, but I don't think there's any reason to think the articles were invited instead of submitted. It's entirely plausible to me that senior figures -- to whom the marginal career value of one more publication is virtually nothing -- decide to submit papers to the JAPA out of a sense of noblesse oblige (or otherwise).

      Compare the first few issues of Phil Imprint, which seems to have had a similar history (the inaugural issue in fact includes a fairly influential paper of Fine's, so he has a track record).

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    15. The first volume of Phil Imprint was invite-only. That was only four papers, but they were all invited.

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  9. can someone get rid of this stupid hyperactive robot detector. Do it once, ok, but for every fucking comment? GET RID OF IT.

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    1. If It Floats, It's A...July 4, 2015 at 1:23 AM

      Surely only a robot would write exactly the same comment on two different sections of the page. Seems to me like there might be an ulterior motive behind 'Anonymous's plea.

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    2. Ha ha, except any robot that could post it would not care about the robot detector since it has already broken it.

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    3. Constantly going through the bureaucracy of "detection" despite the detector's ignorant failure to detect your identity is a paradigmatic microaggression. If properly educated on the phenomenon, the robot would care.

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    4. Or, as an article linked to on this page says, "undergoing the investigative process was a punishment."

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    5. Yes, plainly robot has false consciousness. He needs some roboticists to start the website Wilbarip and run a meatist conference campaign. Then he could lug around a 3D printer as his final year performance art project (for the meatists who don't get it, the 3D printer is a symbol standing for where robots get made, duh) and invite Rolling Ballbearing to write the story of his victimization.

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  10. I find the JAPA baffling. It seems to publish analytic philosophy by mostly well-established big shots. Was it not supposed to be more inclusive and also open to people who, unlike Putnam, Fine, et alia might actually need another publishing venue? Is this supposed to be another jphil or philreview?

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    1. I don't care if JAPA publishes big shots, so long as their work wasn't invited, and so long as they had to go through the same process everyone else goes through. Heil insists on the triple-anonymous reviewing procedure, but doesn't answer that critical question: which, if any, of these pieces were invited?

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    2. i would say probably most if not all. come on...

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  11. JAPA: we publish interesting and trendsetting articles. 'cuz we're generalist and prescient like that.

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  12. From a recent comment @ DailyNoose: "as long as peer-review remains anonymous, and human nature remains roughly as it is, an alarming amount of “peer review” will continue taking the form of “peer abuse.”

    Note: the author of that comment publishes an alarming amount of shitty philosophy.

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    1. If you're going to call the work of a particular person 'shitty' you could at least put your name to the comment.

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    2. Surely the note was a joke response to the quote. ...Right?

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    3. I've twice recommended this person's papers for rejection and been overruled by an editor. The guy must be close with the Prince of Darkness. Makes no sense.

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    4. Maybe you recommended rejection in a sneery, dismissive, and hostile enough way that the editor felt they had to disregard your review?

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    5. I have done a lot of editorial work for a pretty big-name journal.
      Sneeriness doesn't make me disregard a report. But I do occasionally find that a referee has just done a really bad job, misunderstood an argument, been ridiculously uncharitable, got crazy defensive about his own view being criticized, or the like, so I've gone against the negative report. Of course, the journal I work for uses two referees for each paper; I've never accepted a paper with two negative reports.

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    6. "Maybe you recommended rejection in a sneery, dismissive, and hostile enough way that the editor felt they had to disregard your review?"

      For the record, I don't right sneery, dismissive, or hostile reviews. I try to write the kinds of reviews I'd want to get.

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  13. Here you go, courtiers. Some of this is relevant to you.

    http://prn.fm/chris-hedges-06-21-15/

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  14. I just came across this piece on the Kipnis affair, which includes an apt description of Justin Weinberg's position and Weinberg himself showing up in the comments to give a defense of his view that is either pathetically unaware or is dissembling propaganda, including:

    "[Kipnis] is smart enough not to claim she’s a victim, not simply because she eschews so-called “victimology” but because she knows that answering lawyers’ questions about a student complaint is hardly, despite what you write, “punishment.”"

    Right. It was just answering a few questions.

    http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2015/06/tenure-kipnis-and-the-pc-university/#comments

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    1. I see he did not take Velleman up on the recommendation to read his J.S. Mill.

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    2. "What is, then, both necessary and sufficient to speak your mind in the modern academy without risking career turmoil is to affirm, rather than question, the reigning, strengthening political-identity orthodoxies. That reality mocks the pieties about tenure’s societal benefits" Sounds like an accurate diagnosis to me.

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    3. Well I would substitute "political-identity orthodoxies" with "corporate militaristic surveillance state orthodoxies". These are the ones you really are not allowed to question. The other stuff is just a sideshow.

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    4. Oh, yes, 12:21. That would really be dangerous and unusual territory for academics to challenge things that are "corporate" and "militaristic". We just keep reading about all these cases where academics who are critical of those things are shouted down, unwelcome on campuses, or even subjected to Soviet-style disciplinary processes. How insightful of you to realize that this other stuff is just a "sideshow".

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    5. Yup. That's why Jeff McMahan and Peter Singer never got into grad school, let alone tenure track positions. I9ts also why nobody has ever heard of Chomsky, Zizek, or Cornel West.

      Meanwhile, people like Ludlow who are merely accused of sexual wrongdoing are never hounded out of their careers by the New Consensus gang, and are still cited and feted widely. No feminist organization ever promotes thought control through terrifying 'site visits'. And nobody tries to track down dissidents against identity politics orthodoxy to dispel them from their programs.

      Nope, nothing to worry about from the identity politics and New Consensus folks. It's those who question militaristic and corporate tendencies who need to run and hide.

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    6. You don't make any sense 7:40. You mention only three figures who by your lights are doing OK yet who challenge the corporatist military surveillance state. (I wouldn't count the second two you mention after the first three as doing that.) And the last one you mention makes my case, not yours, though no doubt you think that the mean old Feminists are doing it rather than that they are being exploited by others who are doing it. 12:21

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    7. Uh... it was a feminist who tried to track down and 'dispel' someone in order to end his career before he got out of grad school because he was uttering nonfeminist ideas, yeah.

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    8. Dangerous? Unusual? The phrase "corporatist military surveillance state orthodoxies" sounds so familiar it could be wicked satire of a Foucauldian MA thesis or a NUS leaflet. Which gives me an idea.

      Next search for: "Foucauldian surveillance state" in google scholar. We obtain 33,700 hits, such as this choice title: "The global panopticon? The neoliberal state, economic life, and democratic surveillance." The author, I am happy to report, is ensconced in a major research university in North America, safely questioning "political-identity orthodoxies." This is not to deny, of course, that the general public seems to have little awareness or concern.

      Just for fun let's also try out "campus mccarthyism"! This time: 6,600 hits. So, it's certainly on the radar screen, though not in the same league.

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    9. What is NUS?

      And are warnings about the rising corporatist military surveillance state only something continental types do? Or are analytic types allowed to mention it as well?

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    10. also, what's that thing, co-opting? And what about that thing -- what's the name -- letting a few squeaks out so it doesn't pop?

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    11. OK, I googled the thing you mentioned 9:32, and I'm not drawn to read it since it's using too many big words I don't understand. Odd how the only ones writing about the corporate militarist surveillance state are ones cornered into a small area of academia, writing in the tradition of Foucault perhaps, using their backgrounds in sociology, while mainstream analytic philosophers are ignoring it, not to their credit.

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    12. 12:24, you never cease to find yourself highly intelligent and amusing, do you?

      Analytic types are allowed to mention whatever we like, but we tend to avoid talking in vague and unfalsifiable terms about things we can't articulate just because it sounds exciting and helps ignorant people believe they're engaging weightily with the issues of the day when they're merely playing with poetic-sounding phrases and throwing in the requisite number of trendy but ill-defined concepts like 'patriarchy' and 'corporatist'. I'm sure the masters are really quaking in their boots when you talk this way. Surely, there can't be any way to use your addiction to drivel to sell you books and t-shirts and otherwise commodify your dissent, while letting you walk around like a useful idiot, diverting many who could actually accomplish a revolution if they put their minds to it into a life of useful and irrelevant idiocy.

      And what about that thing that involves "letting a few squeaks out so it doesn't pop", when applied metaphorically to culture? Well, 12:26, THAT is what we analytic philosophers -- in other words, ACTUAL philosophers, call being misled by metaphorical thinking.

      Be clear or begone. And for god's sake, wipe that smirk off your face. We're sick of it. It's disgusting to see a deeply unwise and unintelligent person walk around smirking at people, but those are the only people who do. Please stop being one of them.

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    13. Why so mean, 12:24? Your opening line makes me not want to read the rest of what you write.

      I really don't get the tone. Is this something grad students and faculty at top departments in philosophy do nowadays?

      I don't get what point you're trying to make. Are you saying that the terms "corporatist"or "militaristic" have no content? I'm not interested in the term "patriarchy" in this series of posts. I don't get why you are making assumptions about selling t-shirts -- what does that have to do with me?

      I don't smirk at people. But you talk like a troll. I think you're in the business of suppressing dissent.

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    14. Whoops; 1:00 directed to 12:44 not 12:24

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    15. What is NUS?

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    16. NUS is the National Union of Students in the UK. To be fair, I probably agree with much of what they stand for, despite some excesses and embarrassments.

      About your query:

      "surveillance state philosophy" yields 204000 hits
      "surveillance state philosophy -foucault" 155K.
      "surveillance state philosophy -foucault -zizek - butler -heidegger -derrida -baudrillard" still turns up 129K.

      @12:26: 12:21 (perhaps you are one and the same?) initially responded to a post about what scholars cannot investigate without "risking career turmoil" with the suggestion that writing about the surveillance state is "dangerous and unusual." You then essentially concede this initial view about what scholars are "not allowed to question" is delusional--there is no career risk, since such academics are safely employed though "co-opted" churning out a few tiny squeaks amounting to 200K citations (70K since 2001--suggesting scholarly interest in the topic might be surging, but isn't a new thing).

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    17. Thanks very much for doing some sorting, 1:19.

      Yes, 12:26 = the much earlier 12:21.

      I was partly reacting to 9:32's making it sound like I used the description "dangerous and unusual", which I did not.

      Also I as 12:21 probably misunderstood what was meant by "political identity orthodoxies" that 2:32 quoted from Kipnis, thinking that (at least in 2:32's view) it meant identity politics as opposed to something much more general -- categories of political views in entrenched taxonomies of them.

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    18. 1:00, you are always smirking at people. You richly deserve what people dish out at you here.

      12:44 does not at all sound like a troll. A troll is not someone who merely hurts others' feelings on blogs. A troll is someone who engages *insincerely* in online discussions to divert people away from the topic of conversation, for kicks or to thwart sincere discussion.

      If you're unhappy being described as smirking, then it would be wise for you to look at the way you come across by reviewing what you posted.

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    19. 2:05, how do you know what 1:00 is always doing? 12:44 very much sounds full of invective and ad hominems, and troll-like. He or it is name-calling and pretending like he knows who the person is who he is trolling.

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    20. Pathetic, 2:38 / 1:00.

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    21. Not 2:38 or 1:00, but I agree with them. 12:44/4:23, you seem insecure. Please explain how 'corporatist' and 'militaristic' are "ill-defined concepts" and please give an example of a concept that is not "ill-defined."

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    22. It's the smug sarcasm of the 1:00 / 2:38 / 12:24 / 12:26 person that are so cringe-worthy.

      The terms 'corporatist' and 'militaristic' can be well-defined, but tend not to be when used by people who are so out to lunch that they think academics would be daring if they were to question those tendencies, which is what started all this.

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    23. Well, you may be seeing sarcasm, but it certainly was not at all intended on my part. Signed, 1:00, 12:24, 12:26.

      I honestly think that it is heart-rending that mainstream philosophers and most other academics are complicit and supporting the status quo. It makes me cry at night, and I am not being sarcastic. You sound like you think of yourself as being very sophisticated, and you imagine that any person who talks of these things is being smug or sarcastic or whatever... sophisticated. To me it is not an intellectual game, it is real and I am in mourning.

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    24. Of the anger you evince with your "out to lunch" comment: ask yourself what makes you so angry?

      What would happen if you were mistaken in your belief? (I mean the belief you seem to have (correct me if I'm wrong) that the US isn't so very militaristic and violent as all that, or that its democracy really has not been replaced by a kind of corporatism? That these are just exaggerated ways of speaking, words that don't go very deep or ring very true.

      Or is your claim instead this: (a)we are in fact militaristic (and violent) and we do in fact no longer have a functioning democracy having become a corporate plutocratic state, however (b), there has been no effect whatsoever on the extent freedom of speech or academic freedom. Is that your view? (And further do you suppose that the only kinds of constraints that matter are the legal ones as opposed to the social ones)

      Well, if you choose to answer, good on you.

      With respect.

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    25. Sometimes I wish there were an edit function.... Sorry for the errors.

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    26. "12:44/4:23, you seem insecure" great! She's practising her bitch talk: like being back in 6th grade girls school with longer words. I expect she'll get the hang of it eventually.

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    27. "I honestly think that it is heart-rending that mainstream philosophers and most other academics are complicit and supporting the status quo. It makes me cry at night, and I am not being sarcastic." We really are back in 6th grade: the characters are assembling, we've got the bitch, the gushy girl...who's next, I wonder?

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    28. Troll or trolls, leave it alone. I'm looking at you, 6:01 / 6:25 / 6:32 / 7:08.

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    29. Don't paint me with a troll brush./ 6:25

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  15. Despite the pseudofeminist propaganda and their toxic gender war, the majority of students studying in higher education are females. For example, in the UK,
    "Sex: A higher proportion of female students (56.1%) than male students (43.9%) were studying in HE in the UK. This sex imbalance was more pronounced among students studying part-time of whom 60.4% were female. Amongst other undergraduate students, nearly two-thirds (63.4%) were female."

    Details here.

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  16. HOTSPUR: O, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire
    And not in fear of your nativity.
    Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
    In strange eruptions. Oft the teeming earth
    Is with a kind of colic pinched and vexed
    By the imprisoning of unruly wind
    Within her womb, which for enlargement striving
    Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down
    Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth
    Our grandma earth, having this distemperature,
    In passion shook.

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  17. Every philosopher I know claims to not read the metametablog. That place is a cesspool not fit for humans, they say. But all them them read it in private anyways. Just so you guys know.

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    1. I'm sort of well-connected, too. I know people!

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    2. 8:05, this is exactly the kind of idiotic, sneering, self-congratulatory response that makes people want to slap FemPhils and their 'allies' in the face.

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    3. 8:25 is posting on behalf of NN's back channel plea to make the metablog look misogynistic. Ignore her.

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  18. More bizarre stories about victim feminism - article in The Nation about female professor, Teresa Buchanan, accused of "sexual harassment" for saying "fuck no" in class, and fired. And gay author, David Samuel Levinson, accused of "sexual harassment" for giving a female student a B+. And female Colorado professor Patti Adler accused of "sexual harassment" and forced out of her job for using a sexualized skit in her teaching. And the absurd accusations against Laura Kipnis, of course, by two foolish NU graduate students, so proudly promoted by Justin Weinberg.

    This report on recent victim feminism and its symbiosis with Administration authoritarianism, appears in that notorious right-wing magazine, The Nation.

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    1. The tide is turning. Many femphils seem not to recognize that they're riding the crest of a wave that's already starting to crash pretty spectacularly.

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    2. This is becoming quite terrifying.

      On a related but important note, how are these kids supposed to learn about sex if every sexual comment in the classroom can be labelled sexual harassment? It's not as if the US is known for having great sexual education in middle and high school, and it seems like all talk of sex and romance is now a minefield for sexual harassment concerns.

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    3. NC dilemma: Of course Justice W shouldn't and won't mention the article, because it merely shows that The Nation, like CHE, Just Doesn't Get It when it comes to the Total War on Ponies being waged by the Forces of Evil on campuses across the nation, under the command of their Dark Lords ensconced in the heavily fortified redoubts of the philosophy departments. BUT, when it comes to matters of detail, if there's no pronouncement at DN, what are we supposed to think? I'm running low on Xanax here.

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  19. I am a robot! HA HA HA!

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  20. According to Jusice Scalia "Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say."

    If he had said this in the MetaMetablog rather than as a written dissenting opinion in a Supreme Court case, I would have thought he was saying (by way of sarcasm or irony) that he does not like marriage and thinks people are mostly unhappy in that state.

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  21. Hey, congratulations to NewApps! They've now gone a full week without a comment!

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    Replies
    1. how long will it last? Let's see if it makes another week.

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    2. watch out, 4:58, or i'll have you dispelled!

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  22. "12:44/4:23, you seem insecure" Heh, moderator, as you very well know, that's passive aggressive bitch talk. Who do you think you are suppressing my first comment calling it out for what it is? Does this mean that YOU are also one of the 6th grade girls? Or perhaps you're the bitch?

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    1. Oh for fuck's sake, take it to your therapist. This is as bad as the scatofem.

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    2. May I ask a meta question? Pretty much every day, there will be one or two comments, like 7:15pm above, that seemed wildly misplaced, ie, not in the thread they are apparently responding to, but just at the end of the top-level. Sometimes that's obviously user error: the person making the comment will say so.

      But often, there is no such comment. So I'm wondering, is that some sort of software glitch. Perhaps a random hick-up, or some platform/browser comment that doesn't behave as expected.

      I wonder that, because I've noticed other, seemingly random, differences on the various devices I've used. I've not had that particular problem (replies going astray). But I've seen differences in how the captcha behaves depending on whether I'm on a laptop vs. iPad and a few other seemingly random things.

      I find the lack of thread continuity kind of annoying (though also, sometimes, kind of hilarious), so if it is fixable, that would be nice.

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    3. 8:36, the comment is wildly misplaced even in connection with the conversation it seems intended to be a part of. I think it's a person with a screw loose, not a problem with the blog platform.

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    4. Pretty thick, aren't you. Obviously it's from someone who thinks the moderator blocked a comment and is calling the moderator out on blocking it.

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