For example: When universities no longer want you to know controversial ideas, you have a problem.
Jerry Coyne: “It would be the ruination of American society, turning into an Orwellian nightmare.” Fact is, Darwin’s people imposed this on the rest of us for a long time. It’s good if they are beginning to see, however dimly, the problem.
Malicious envy was always out there but before social media it could rarely assemble so large a mob. But that’s a challenge, not a prophecy. We ID types can help fend them off. We are used to fighting Cancel Culture.
Torres makes quite clear that, to get on at Salon, you’d have to be a stiletto Stalinist. The new atheists have the advantage of at least being interesting people.
Hey, we’ve always given them that. And who cares about Salon anyhow?
Soave: “The AHA gave Humanist of the Year awards to the author and activist Alice Walker—who promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories—and also to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood who promoted eugenics and white supremacy. Sanger’s legacy is so complicated that her own organization is currently disowning her.” Apparently, Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker, also AHA award winners, have written an open letter, asking the AHA to reverse course.
ON Boghossian: A lifelong liberal and critic of former President Donald Trump, Boghossian believes describing people as left or right is losing utility. It’s those who demand you think a certain way who are on one side, while those who do not are on the other.
Egnor: “Notably, Swamidass completely leaves out the one criterion that is the cornerstone of accreditation of educational institutions: outcome metrics… don’t know (and Swamidass has nothing to say about it) how students from Christian colleges compare, but is it well established that homeschooled kids (who are disproportionately taught by conservative Christian families) score almost 100 points higher on the SAT and score correspondingly higher on the ACT than the national average.” Okay, but no one sponsoring the war on math is concerned about outcomes because educators have the power to jimmy marks to reward whatever they want to reward and then pass the problem on to others who must then do the same.
One key effect of Cancel Culture is the elimination of competition by citing grounds that are irrelevant to performance. As Klinghoffer puts it, employers “will wish to know if they are about to take aboard a creationist in a science-related field. For example, a pediatric nurse oncologist, caring for little kids with cancer, while believing that the world is under 10,000 years old.” Someone with “Correct” views on the age of Earth will be deemed more acceptable even with fewer gifts in pediatric nursing. It’s a recipe for Virtuous underperformance.
Klinghoffer: Hedin’s persecutor, Jerry Coyne, “was a prominent academic, enjoying maximum career safety at the University of Chicago. Let’s be honest: between the two, there was no contest. Coyne could move against Hedin without fear, and he did. On the other hand, Hedin’s career was on the line, and both knew it.” Sounds like Darwinism as she is spoke.
The funny thing is that Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne , who spearheaded getting Hedin’s course cancelled, is often heard wittering these days about people he approves of — or doesn’t disapprove of — getting Cancelled. And it’s not likely he will ever get the significance of the role he played in starting the ball rolling.
Pedro Domingos: In my confrontation with the AI cancel crowd, I was particularly helped by the fact that several of the ringleaders are (or call themselves) professional AI ethicists. Some of them are even well-known within their field. When they serially engaged in childish and unethical behavior in full view of their colleagues, they did my job for me.
West: “Unlike most political jurisdictions in the United States, Seattle expressly forbids discrimination on the basis of “political ideology.” Seattle defines political ideology expansively” Big Tech, take heed.
Let’s hope it continues to work for Abbot. A couple of difficulties: 1) It’s not clear that Cancel Culture is an academic community, as opposed to a mob running an academic racket. 2) Many Cancelers will interpret efforts to be nice as evidence of weakness, more or less as wolves do. But so long as the strategy really works, go with it.
It turns out to be as Orwellian as you might expect. One of Roose’s experts calls it a “truth commission.”
We don’t want to get into the politics of that as such. Keep reading till you get to the punch line.