Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Woke America Runs on Ignorance

 

Woke world is a simple, black-and-white, never-never land of good and evil, oppressors and oppressed. But everything is simple until you know something about it. Binary morality can rarely endure the light of knowledge and understanding.

In a recent column, George Will writes about “our lumpen intelligentsia”:

An admirable intelligentsia, inoculated by education against fashions and fads, would make thoughtful distinctions arising from historically informed empathy. It would be society’s ballast against mob mentalities. Instead, much of America’s intelligentsia has become a mob.

Seeking to impose on others the conformity it enforces in its ranks, articulate only in a boilerplate of ritualized cant, today’s lumpen intelligentsia consists of persons for whom a little learning is delightful. They consider themselves educated because they are credentialed, stamped with the approval of institutions of higher education that gave them three things: a smattering of historical information just sufficient to make the past seem depraved; a vocabulary of indignation about the failure of all previous historic actors… to match the virtues of the lumpen intelligentsia; and the belief that America’s grossest injustice is the insufficient obeisance accorded to this intelligentsia.

Today’s cancel culture — erasing history, ending careers — is inflicted by people experiencing an orgy of positive feelings about themselves as they negate others…

The cancellers need just enough learning to know, vaguely, that there was a Lincoln who lived when Americans, sunk in primitivism, thought they were confronted with vexing constitutional constraints and moral ambiguities. The cancel culture depends on not having so much learning that it spoils the statue-toppling fun: Too much learning might immobilize the topplers with doubts about how they would have behaved in the contexts in which the statues’ subjects lived.

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  1. Arahant Member

    Richard Fulmer: a smattering of historical information just sufficient to make the past seem depraved;

    Get enough learning about history, and one finds out just how depraved things really were. But, as he says, it makes people realize that maybe everything isn’t so black-and-white.

    • #1
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:04 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: a smattering of historical information just sufficient to make the past seem depraved;

    Get enough learning about history, and one finds out just how depraved things really were. But, as he says, it makes people realize that maybe everything isn’t so black-and-white.

    Things are almost never black-and-white. There are always trade-offs. Plans don’t oft go awry, they always do, unless they are small and verifiable. “Dream no small dreams” is a good maxim, but so is the one about not biting off more than you can chew.

    • #2
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:21 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The study of history is not proof against the mob when the history taught is curated by a professorship as dedicatedly atheistic as Will himself. The narrative will be woven from select facts to abolish the foundational Judeo-Christian principles that produced what virtue and prosperity civilization has enjoyed. That people are ends and never means, of equal and precious value before the eyes of the almighty Creator of the universe.

    These cancelers and rioters and their enablers in public office are firm in their disbelief in God and the Devil, the stuff of children’s stories they say. They have reserved their recognized authority and their acknowledgment of divinity to themselves, each saying to themselves “I am God.” Saddening the Lord and tickling the Evil One to no end. 

    Stalin taught history. Mao taught history. History without the Truth is just one more faithless prostitute working the streets.

    George Will is part of the problem.

    • #3
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:58 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    History without the Truth is just one more faithless prostitute working the streets.

    If that is original to you, it’s brilliant.

    • #4
    • July 10, 2020, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    George, as part of the elite, naturally thinks his class is the both the problem and solution. So narcissistic! The weakness of America has always been the elites getting too much power. The correcting mechanism has always been a well-informed populace. The masses didn’t have elite educations, but they knew the Bible and they knew patriotism. But the elites grew in power and dis-educated the masses, which were the check on the elites. The plebs are the key and it will take a lot of work to re-educate the masses.

    • #5
    • July 10, 2020, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    History without the Truth is just one more faithless prostitute working the streets.

    If that is original to you, it’s brilliant.

    It is original with me and so almost certainly not, but thank you.

    • #6
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Jules PA Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    History without the Truth is just one more faithless prostitute working the streets.

    If that is original to you, it’s brilliant.

    Dare I use that in the re-educatiin I will likely face at work. 

    Fir the woke such thought is worthy of the death penalty. I think. 

    • #7
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    The study of history is not proof against the mob when the history taught is curated by a professorship as dedicatedly atheistic as Will himself.

    George Will, like historian Will Durant, is atheist but, like Durant, he believes that religion is necessary. Societies, both men have observed, fail when citizens lose their faith. Oddly, the fact that religion is necessary and that atheism doesn’t “work” didn’t cause either man to reconsider his atheism. I suppose that that indicates a certain hubris: “I don’t need to believe in ancient myths to live a moral life, but the masses do.”

    • #8
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. RightAngles Member

    We have already allowed our school system to churn out too many Americans who have been indoctrinated rather than educated, and I don’t know how we come back from it at this point. We have to try, though. But how do you even have a discussion with people who see things from a point of view so different as to be inter-planetary? Take a look at this comment I came across on Reddit:

     

     

    • #9
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Jules PA Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    I suppose that that indicates a certain hubris: “I don’t need to believe in ancient myths to live a moral life, but the masses do.”

    Good for thee, but not for me. 

    The faithful hoe the row, and the takers enjoy the fruits.

    I mean, don’t really see how that is different than the dynamic on a southern cotton plantation, with different actors. I’m surprised George Will is that shallow.

     

    • #10
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Jules PA Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    We have already allowed our school system to churn out too many Americans who have been indoctrinated rather than educated, and I don’t know how we come back from it at this point. We have to try, though. But how do you even have a discussion with people who see things from a point of view so different as to be inter-planetary? Take a look at this comment I came across on Reddit:

     

     

    We know Hitler and Slavery are bad, because we saw what they did to people.

    All the more reason to have them, and keep them as examples. 

    Isn’t that the purpose of mantra “Never Forget?”

    • #11
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Woke America Runs on Ignorance and Malice:

    Here’s are excerpts from the abstract to the paper, Signaling Virtuous Victimhood as Indicators of Dark Triad Personalities, published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:

    … the virtuous victim signal can facilitate nonreciprocal resource transfer from others to the signaler.

    … individuals with Dark Triad traits—Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy—more frequently signal virtuous victimhood

    … a specific dimension of Machiavellianism—amoral manipulation—and a form of narcissism that reflects a person’s belief in their superior prosociality predict more frequent virtuous victim signaling.

    • #12
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:54 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Goldgeller Member

    Cancel culture is hard to define but I think we can feel it. To that extent, I agree it exists and is a problem on college campuses. Basically you get a really small group of people who get upset about something and manage to stay upset for a long time, and the much larger group of people find it easier to give in. The other problem is that there are a more people than there should be that don’t support free speech, even if (and this may be old) the plurality of all groups do support it. 

    That being said when he writes this: “Instead, much of America’s intelligentsia has become a mob.”

    “Much” is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting because I just don’t buy his argument. Who is actually doing this? To the extent that it’s vague it is true. I think if anything, most people take stuff for granted if it isn’t their area. It gets harder when someone says “well read this article rebutting it.” Well if it isn’t your area, do you care? You’ll also weigh the probability that what you know is false as compared to simply being an alternative framing of something you don’t care about. So I can see how people can get “woke” even if it is not because they are taught or indoctrinated. The thing that gets students mad is that there tend not to be right answers outside of the hard sciences. They want to be indoctrinated so they can make their flash cards and pass the test and it doesn’t work like that.

     

    • #13
    • July 10, 2020, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Stina Member

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    They want to be indoctrinated so they can make their flash cards and pass the test and it doesn’t work like that.

    And yet they reject the hard sciences with True and False answers because they can’t do it?

    I don’t think this is right.

    I do think the odd parenting decisions of a generation that refused to teach their young children a moral framework and simply let the kids pick their own when they grew up is backfiring.

    Black and white thinking is proper for young minds learning a value system. It is wholly unsuited to maturing minds learning discernment.

    These millenials foisting this on us are exercising an immature moral value system by using institutions reserved for adults with mature processing of moral right and wrong.

    • #14
    • July 10, 2020, at 9:19 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Goldgeller Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    They want to be indoctrinated so they can make their flash cards and pass the test and it doesn’t work like that.

    And yet they reject the hard sciences with True and False answers because they can’t do it?

    I don’t think this is right.

    I do think the odd parenting decisions of a generation that refused to teach their young children a moral framework and simply let the kids pick their own when they grew up is backfiring.

    Black and white thinking is proper for young minds learning a value system. It is wholly unsuited to maturing minds learning discernment.

    These millenials foisting this on us are exercising an immature moral value system by using institutions reserved for adults with mature processing of moral right and wrong.

    Sorry @cm I’m not clear what the disagreement is. Students want things made simple for them and they get frustrated when they aren’t. This dynamic exists in most departments except the hard sciences (including math), where there are basically right and wrong answers.

    • #15
    • July 10, 2020, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    The study of history is not proof against the mob when the history taught is curated by a professorship as dedicatedly atheistic as Will himself.

    George Will, like historian Will Durant, is atheist but, like Durant, he believes that religion is necessary. Societies, both men have observed, fail when citizens lose their faith. Oddly, the fact that religion is necessary and that atheism doesn’t “work” didn’t cause either man to reconsider his atheism. I suppose that that indicates a certain hubris: “I don’t need to believe in ancient myths to live a moral life, but the masses do.”

    Yes. Very sad for them and their work.

    • #16
    • July 10, 2020, at 10:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    The study of history is not proof against the mob when the history taught is curated by a professorship as dedicatedly atheistic as Will himself.

    George Will, like historian Will Durant, is atheist but, like Durant, he believes that religion is necessary. Societies, both men have observed, fail when citizens lose their faith. Oddly, the fact that religion is necessary and that atheism doesn’t “work” didn’t cause either man to reconsider his atheism. I suppose that that indicates a certain hubris: “I don’t need to believe in ancient myths to live a moral life, but the masses do.”

    Yes. Very sad for them and their work.

    Durant had some great lines, though. The first one speaks to today:

    • Tradition is the memory of the race. Insanity is the loss of memory.
    • To the Greeks, a barbarian was man content to believe without reason and to live without liberty.
    • The basic lesson of history is that man is essentially what he has been all through history and he changes his habits, but he does not change his instincts.
    • Competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life.
    • Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.
    • Naturally, you would expect that the educated would inherit the Earth. The fertile inherit the Earth…it teaches the law of biology that you have to breed as well as breathe.
    • Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace.
    • No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for these are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history.
    • The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are philosophers and saints.
    • The first condition of freedom is its limitation; make it absolute and it dies in chaos.
    • The state has our instincts without our restraints.
    • Science is neutral: it will kill for us as readily as it will heal, and will destroy for us more readily than it can build.
    • Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks.
    • #17
    • July 10, 2020, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for these are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history.

    But actually, since the 18th Century, these customs and institutions are too often the blunders of yesterday’s revolutionaries which a nine year old could improve on.

    But I like the last one. Would that it could all be on the banks. But that is for the next Age.

    • #18
    • July 10, 2020, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    The study of history is not proof against the mob when the history taught is curated by a professorship as dedicatedly atheistic as Will himself. The narrative will be woven from select facts to abolish the foundational Judeo-Christian principles that produced what virtue and prosperity civilization has enjoyed. That people are ends and never means, of equal and precious value before the eyes of the almighty Creator of the universe.

    These cancelers and rioters and their enablers in public office are firm in their disbelief in God and the Devil, the stuff of children’s stories they say. They have reserved their recognized authority and their acknowledgment of divinity to themselves, each saying to themselves “I am God.” Saddening the Lord and tickling the Evil One to no end.

    Stalin taught history. Mao taught history. History without the Truth is just one more faithless prostitute working the streets.

    George Will is part of the problem.

    I think you’ve just put your finger on why I have had a growing disdain for Wlll’s writing. I had not recognized it.

    • #19
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Ralphie Member

    Stina (View Comment):
    I do think the odd parenting decisions of a generation that refused to teach their young children a moral framework and simply let the kids pick their own when they grew up is backfiring.

    I agree. What I saw among a lot of my children’s freinds’ parents was a concern for the temporal; the right clothes, school, to be seen as open minded and a cool parent. Then, the most important aspect of raising children; to help them with the eternal growth of their soul, was an afterthought of ” when they grow up they can decide what to believe”, was good enough. The temporal is actually a pretty poor place to put your faith.

    • #20
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Stina Member

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Sorry @cm I’m not clear what the disagreement is. Students want things made simple for them and they get frustrated when they aren’t. This dynamic exists in most departments except the hard sciences (including math), where there are basically right and wrong answers.

    It doesn’t ring true because for me, the whole reason I went to math was because there was a right and wrong answer. All the other subjects (at least at the time) were subjective and dependent on either (A) your reasoning skills or (B) fellating your professor’s ego.

    The only subject I can think of that would have benefitted from less critical thinking and more memorization was Biology 101.

    • #21
    • July 10, 2020, at 1:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Goldgeller Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Sorry @cm I’m not clear what the disagreement is. Students want things made simple for them and they get frustrated when they aren’t. This dynamic exists in most departments except the hard sciences (including math), where there are basically right and wrong answers.

    It doesn’t ring true because for me, the whole reason I went to math was because there was a right and wrong answer. All the other subjects (at least at the time) were subjective and dependent on either (A) your reasoning skills or (B) fellating your professor’s ego.

    The only subject I can think of that would have benefitted from less critical thinking and more memorization was Biology 101.

    @cm Maybe we are talking past each other about non-relevant parts. I think so. Because we are in agreement. If not, I’m fine to let it go. I believe that’s the point I made, or was trying to make.

    Outside of those subjects like math and hard sciences– Lets take legal reasoning, and poli-sci classes as my example– the answers to anything interesting (not “definitional”) does require reasoning or saying what the professor wants. Most students tend to have trouble understanding that there is no one theory that’s “correct.” They want there to be a correct one because its easy to study for and reduces uncertainty, and it can be hard for them to get their minds around the fact that it almost certainly isn’t the case in those areas. 

    In any case, thanks for the reply, it helps me going forward.

    • #22
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Henry Castaigne Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    The masses didn’t have elite educations, but they knew the Bible and they knew patriotism. But the elites grew in power and dis-educated the masses, which were the check on the elites. The plebs are the key and it will take a lot of work to re-educate the masses.

    In the Bible, politicians are pretty corrupt and Jesus focuses more on trying to live a decent life away from the government. 

    • #23
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Stad Thatcher

    The left also runs on hatred, envy, and a lust for power to micromanage everyone else’s lives but their own – because they’re perfect, you see . . .

    • #24
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:35 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Henry Castaigne Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Oddly, the fact that religion is necessary and that atheism doesn’t “work” didn’t cause either man to reconsider his atheism. I suppose that that indicates a certain hubris: “I don’t need to believe in ancient myths to live a moral life, but the masses do.”

    It’s not odd at all. Intellectuals are fundamentally different from the masses. Ricochetti are deeply different from regular people. It would be intellectual hubris to pretend that people are similar. Besides, the atheist who knows the value of religion believes in three perfectly compatible things.

    1) People are overwhelmingly religious creatures so they need to have a good religion rather than a bad religion. 

    2) Christian religion makes a good and decent Christian society. 

    3) Christianity while making a positive society is probably not True. 

    It is the the third belief that you quarrel with. Why so? 

    • #25
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Henry Castaigne Member

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Outside of those subjects like math and hard sciences– Lets take legal reasoning, and poli-sci classes as my example– the answers to anything interesting (not “definitional”) does require reasoning or saying what the professor wants. Most students tend to have trouble understanding that there is no one theory that’s “correct.” They want there to be a correct one because its easy to study for and reduces uncertainty, and it can be hard for them to get their minds around the fact that it almost certainly isn’t the case in those areas. 

    Those students are also incredibly boring people to talk to. It’s my experience that most people in political science class aren’t interested in science. 

    • #26
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Goldgeller Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Oddly, the fact that religion is necessary and that atheism doesn’t “work” didn’t cause either man to reconsider his atheism. I suppose that that indicates a certain hubris: “I don’t need to believe in ancient myths to live a moral life, but the masses do.”

    It’s not odd at all. Intellectuals are fundamentally different from the masses. Ricochetti are deeply different from regular people. It would be intellectual hubris to pretend that people are similar. Besides, the atheist who knows the value of religion believes in three perfectly compatible things.

    1) People are overwhelmingly religious creatures so they need to have a good religion rather than a bad religion.

    2) Christian religion makes a good and decent Christian society.

    3) Christianity while making a positive society is probably not True.

    It is the the third belief that you quarrel with. Why so?

    A lot of great stuff here. I’ll just jump your point (3). I don’t know. Part of me wants to have trouble with non-true beliefs being “good” for society. I’m sure I’ll end up skipping over a lot of important qualifiers. Let’s just say, on the one hand, non-true beliefs can be beneficial. Beliefs that seeing movement in tall grass indicates some sorta of agency (the wind, the Holy Spirit, a tiger) probably saved a lot of lives (early humans were seeing tigers!) even if it gave birth to bizarre superstitions (no I don’t consider the Holy Spirit to be one of them). At the same time, usually, having true beliefs about the world… seems better than having false ones, even under probabilistic arguments.

    So, under that circumstance, I’d say (3) shouldn’t be framed as an evaluation about the truth of Christianity but the utility of adopting its constraints given the public goods created by others having adopted it. It’s a classic free-rider problem.

    It’s an interesting post and like I said I haven’t had a chance to talk about it in a long long while. 

     

    • #27
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Stina Member

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    They want there to be a correct one because its easy to study for and reduces uncertainty, and it can be hard for them to get their minds around the fact that it almost certainly isn’t the case in those areas

    I think where we are conflicting is that if they really were looking for a pat answer that could be memorized, they’d like math more than they do. As it is, math is a tool of white supremacy.

    So as you formulate it, I disagree on the character assessment of the left. It is probably us quibbling at the edges of what is a bulk of agreement but I’ll leave one more point:

    It is possible that they have chosen these fields to push their own version of right, wrong, and absolute truth because these disciplines can’t ever actually prove them wrong, by their nature. They just provide counter arguments that you can accept or dismiss.

    They avoid math because they can’t manipulate it to get the answer they want to push as the absolute truth.

    • #28
    • July 10, 2020, at 2:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Goldgeller Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    They want there to be a correct one because its easy to study for and reduces uncertainty, and it can be hard for them to get their minds around the fact that it almost certainly isn’t the case in those areas

    I think where we are conflicting is that if they really were looking for a pat answer that could be memorized, they’d like math more than they do. As it is, math is a tool of white supremacy.

    So as you formulate it, I disagree on the character assessment of the left. It is probably us quibbling at the edges of what is a bulk of agreement but I’ll leave one more point:

    It is possible that they have chosen these fields to push their own version of right, wrong, and absolute truth because these disciplines can’t ever actually prove them wrong, by their nature. They just provide counter arguments that you can accept or dismiss.

    They avoid math because they can’t manipulate it to get the answer they want to push as the absolute truth.

    @cm Thanks. I think we are in large agreement. The math part: I just can’t really say. I don’t think I can engage in an argument as to why more students aren’t math majors or the like. I don’t want to impute that to you. But I’ll allow there are plenty of illegitimate reasons why students want to downplay the math and the economics! And I’ll say there are probably too many (sub)disciplines that enable that! I haven’t had anyone say to me or heard anyone around me say math is a tool of white supremacy. I’ve seen that stuff on twitter and it drives me insane.

    My answer won’t be as comprehensive as I’d like. In good social science departments math is valued at high levels. And plenty of undergrads value math (methods). But math is a tool, and I don’t believe a research question should be forced into service for a method. (I love and hate, at the same time, the admonishment to think of your research question as an experiment.) 

    I think you are on to something when you suggest that students who go on to be really “woke” select into their woke degrees. Gender studies probably isn’t compelling unless you already had strong thoughts on patriarchy and “cis-privilege.” 

    • #29
    • July 10, 2020, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Goldgeller Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    Outside of those subjects like math and hard sciences– Lets take legal reasoning, and poli-sci classes as my example– the answers to anything interesting (not “definitional”) does require reasoning or saying what the professor wants. Most students tend to have trouble understanding that there is no one theory that’s “correct.” They want there to be a correct one because its easy to study for and reduces uncertainty, and it can be hard for them to get their minds around the fact that it almost certainly isn’t the case in those areas.

    Those students are also incredibly boring people to talk to. It’s my experience that most people in political science class aren’t interested in science.

    Well… I’m really biased and my sample is biased. We probably have different experiences about the extent to which poli-sci students are interested in science. I think its very bimodal.

    Regarding the statement about talking to students: I’ll be judicial. It isn’t really the student’s job to be interesting to talk to. They should be helped in reaching their own conclusions, even if I don’t believe in them. But they should also understand that the bar for success is set at a high level and you can’t just ignore source material because it doesn’t conform to current “wokisms.” Surprisingly, many students will do this as long as they are pushed on the subject. 

    • #30
    • July 10, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes