Category Archives: academic freedom

McWhorter on the chilling of academia

This new article in The Atlantic by John McWhorter (who will never be allowed to write for any organ with “New York” in the title) also deals with cancel culture, as did an earlier post today, but concentrates on the chilling effect it has on academics. Although I no longer teach, I’d be very careful […]

A hard case to make a good law: the ideological impurity of David Starkey

The original saying I paraphrase above, from Oliver Wendell Holmes, is “hard cases make bad law”, meaning you shouldn’t erect general principles based on extreme cases. But in this instance, regarding the defenestration of scholars who say things unpalatable to their peers, or odious things in general, these are the hard cases that should be […]

The Kalven Report of 1967, supposedly ensuring the political neutrality of the University of Chicago

In 1967, President George Beadle of the University of Chicago (a Nobel-winning geneticist and also an avowed atheist) convened a committee whose charge was to “prepare a statement on the University’s role in social and political action.” This was the result of many people calling for the University to take positions on political issues like […]

True facts about the male ostrich’s mating dance

Several readers sent me this new video by Ze Frank, which is shorter than his other videos and also has unique music (Ze Frank wrote  the music, too).  I had no idea that ostriches mate this way, and it’s interesting to contemplate what the female is looking for here when she’s “choosing”. (I don’t think […]

New School exonerates professor investigated for using the “n-word” while teaching James Baldwin

As I reported last week, New School literature professor Laurie Sheck got investigated by her school after using the “n-word” in a discussion about James Baldwin. In particular, she was discussing why, although Baldwin said the phrase “I am not your nigger” on the Dick Cavett show, a 2016 documentary about his life changed the […]

New School Professor under investigation for saying “n-word” as used by James Baldwin

There is no word more offensive in American discourse than the “n-word”, and I hesitate to even write what it stands for, although I used to. It is, of course, horribly racist, though I have no problem writing “kike” or “spick” or any other number of racial slurs. So be it; I won’t use the […]

Intelligent Design advocates finally sneak God back into their “science”

  The video below, in which Intelligent Design creationist Stephen Meyer explains ID to conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro, accomplishes two things—beyond demonstrating that Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, continues, despite withering criticism from scientists, to bang on about supposedly unevolvable “complex specified information” and the Cambrian Explosion […]

Is Lindsay Shepherd still in trouble?

Most of you know know about Lindsay Shepherd, the graduate student at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) who was threatened by her advisor and her University for showing a short clip in class of Jordan Peterson’s views on using different pronouns for different genders.  Her university has apologized, as has her advisor, but it created a […]