2016 June 11 Saturday
The Insanity Of Liberal Arts Colleges

This article about Oberlin College gives you a sense of how much humanities have decayed in the United States. The faculty are under attack from their students and neither faculty or students make much sense. The author of the piece takes the students seriously. What the students really need: criticism of their embrace of victimhood and their whining.

Protests continued through the winter. Harvard renamed its “house masters” faculty deans, and changed its law-school seal, which originated as a slaveholder’s coat of arms. Bowdoin students were disciplined for wearing miniature sombreros to a tequila-themed party. The president of Northwestern endorsed “safe spaces,” refuges open only to certain identity groups.

What high school students in America need: information about which colleges are most crazy and which are least crazy. The rational students should cluster in the saner institutions and just avoid the crazies. If those who are obsessed about victimhood, identify politics, and safe spaces go to colleges that only they attend then other students can go to the remaining colleges and get a decent education.

High school students should think seriously about online learning options that are aimed at developing quantitative skills and job skills. If they go for more practical learning they'll also, at the same time, avoid the safe space insanity.

I worry that the cult of victimhood will only grow. People who haven't been wronged will make increasing demands on the rest of us. How to deal with them short of breaking the United States up into a few different countries?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2016 June 11 08:31 PM 

Mercer said at June 12, 2016 9:41 AM:

"rational students should cluster in the saner institutions and just avoid the crazies."

Rational students know that the more selective the school the more valuable the degree is on the job market. Employers assume the Ivy grad is smarter then the state school grad.

The most selective schools also appear to have more identity politics. This is probably because the IQ gap between black/Latino and Asian/white students is the greatest in those schools. People want to believe the poor results of blacks in selective schools are from racism rather then lower intelligence.

"How to deal with them "

Most people go to state colleges. The state legislators should stop paying for diversity programs.

albatross said at June 13, 2016 10:52 AM:

The underlying problem here is confirmation bias. Once you are convinced that there's an undercurrent of hatred/dismissal of your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc., you will never lack for evidence of this hatred or dismissal. Every ambiguous comment, every time a jackass is being his jackass self at your expense, every time some socially clueless dude steps on your toes, it will be more evidence of that hatred. You could be in an environment where everyone was perfectly accepting of every aspect of your identity, and you'd still detect such evidence.

The assumption of hidden or unconscious bad faith on the part of those around you is deeply toxic. It sets up this situation by which people can not only convince themselves of this hidden bad faith, but can also *create* it--because after a few iterations of noticing that some identifiable group is on a hair-trigger to accuse you of bad faith, you'll probably actually start working up a pretty healthy dislike of that group. It also sets up the social dynamics of an endless witch hunt, fortunately with the final consequences being a bunch of people calling you nasty names instead of stringing you up.

chris said at June 14, 2016 3:44 AM:

Trump needs to defund these programs and institute laws and policies that prohibit these ideologies as racist and sexist as they are.

Jim said at June 14, 2016 4:18 AM:

Chris - Yes, if government funding of university departments of social sciences were eliminated a lot of this nonsense would disappear. Most social sciences are about as scientific as astrology. If astrology were supported by government funding, while it would be a waste of money, it would do far less harm that the social sciences do.

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