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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Diversity?

Commencement speakers have been bowing out left and right this year:
Haverford College on Tuesday joined a growing list of schools to lose commencement speakers to protests from the left, when Robert J. Birgeneau, a former chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, withdrew from this weekend’s event. [...] 
Mr. Birgeneau bowed out a day after Smith College said that Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, had withdrawn from its commencement because of protests. Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, said this month she would not deliver the address at Rutgers University after the invitation drew objections. Last month, Brandeis University rescinded an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist, over her criticism of Islam.
In other academic news, in early May, Lennart Bengtsson, a Swedish climate scientist and meteorologist, joined the advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a group skeptical of catastrophic climate change.  Bengtsson was unable to withstand the vitriol that came his way as a result of his new association. Regarding this he wrote:
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expect[ed] such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. 
I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology.
He sounds like a bit of a wimp to me, but still, his situation is also possibly indicative of the intolerance of opposing views that exists all over the world, both on the left and right, especially in the academic world.

This all reminds me of the following riddle:
Question: What's the opposite of diversity? 
Answer: University.

68 comments:

erp said...

Good one Bret. One I hadn't heard before.

Bret said...

I wish I could take credit, but I didn't make it up. I can't remember where I read it which is why I didn't provide a link like I should've.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

A very thoughtful post indeed.

I wonder if this is all part of a pattern, of a path to oblivion the University system is marching on to. Maybe I will retire watching the end of Academy, and of my profession too.

Peter said...

"I am the very model of a climate change authority,
I make a pleasant living making panic your priority,
I've five degrees and seven books and stardom on The Lehrer Report,
Al Gore has sought my help in suing New York State in federal court."

"I'm known for modest speech and a near-bashful personality,
But I will tear and eat the flesh of sceptics who dare challenge me,
The UN quotes me often when I vent my spleen at Uncle Sam,
Though I can slam New Zealand just as well when I'm caught in a jam."

"I jump from pictures big to small in prose my fans mistake for verse,
I counsel against babies as they only make the problem worse,
But when the childless heed and look to me in hope of modest praise,
I chide them that they way they flush is bound to shorten all our days."

"One day I found myself competing for a grant against some peers,
With solemn diffidence they warned we'd all be gone in fifty years,
I feared that they would win and leave me broke and naked at the post...
So I used PowerPoint to show in forty years we'd all be toast!"

"I calibrate the hour of doom with care to keep the tension crests,
I usually opine it will arrive the day my pension vests,
Much later and the world will say it's nothing but a bunch of bunk,
But too soon and they'll all say 'What the heck' and just get very drunk."

"When I was young I was a nerd who knew the types of clouds by name,
My Mom assumed the weather on the local news would be my fame,
But now when People features me, they write "It's plain for all to see,
He is the very model of a climate change authority!"

erp said...

Bravo Peter!

Annoying Old Guy said...

It's just another example of how the forces of oppression are almost all on the "progressive" side these days. Dissent was patriotic when a Republican was in in the White House, now it is intolerable. It's much bigger than academia, which is simply at the front of the line.

Meanwhile, the Jewish exodus from France ramps up. Diversity!

erp said...

Jewish mamas didn't make no dumb bunnies. Once burned, twice shy.

Barry Meislin said...

Still, universities are good for some things. Many things, even, as long as they can resist politicization.

Though I suppose that eventually, the PC Inquisition may get around to burning even those at the stake.

In the meantime:
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/28/tech/innovation/the-artificial-leaf-power-solar-electricity/index.html?iref=obnetwork

erp said...

Barry, I've seen that experiment before and if it works as advertised, wouldn't some enterprising capitalist have sought to develop a prototype?

I've spent my life in academe and to put it bluntly, I don't believe much of what they say.

Watch what they do for a better grasp of the situation. Believe me like most lefties, they adore money and the fact that the process hasn't been exploited makes me suspicious that it's a bit more complicated than this story reveals.

Bret said...

erp,

Oh, it's possible, it takes a while to commercialize things. There's nothing wrong with research not always leading to useful results. If it did, it wouldn't really be research, it'd be development.

I was bemused by "produce two incredibly powerful fuels" since last I looked, oxygen isn't a fuel and I wouldn't classify either as incredible.

erp said...

Bret, my older son is a theoretical physicist, so I am very familiar with the concept of research and pondering for fun, not necessarily, profit, the polar opposite of his brother who sees things quite the opposite.

:-)

Bret said...

erp,

Research is not (necessarily) pondering for fun. Even those hypotheses that are falsified move the body of knowledge forward and potentially make other discoveries possible.

erp said...

I know Bret, but I must be allowed my little jokes. He's actually had a few hits with his research, but the problem is he lives in France, not exactly on the cutting edge ...

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

You never told me the subfield your son is in.

I know you like to deride France, but believe me, that's a pretty good player in the Physics world.

erp said...

Clovis: I don't deride the French. I despise their anti-Semitic behavior during the second world war particularly their handing over the Jewish orphans to the nazis in Lyon. They don't seem to have changed their stripes as the few Jews left in France are feeling the heat again.

As for my son's subfield, it's something obscure that I can't remember and France may be a player compared to Brazil, but not compared to the U.S.

Clovis e Adri said...

Well, I don't blame your son for not trying to reach you better...

erp said...

Clovis, your last comment is more obscure than most. You don't blame my son for not trying to reach me better? I have no idea what that means.

Do you have nothing to say about French collaborating with the nazis? Or how about present day anti-Semitism?

Think it's one of my biases that Jews are leaving France?

Clovis e Adri said...

I assume if you don't know what your own son does for life, at some point either you gave up trying to understand or he gave up trying to explain.

On your other three questions, I will play an AOG on you and give quite short answers: 1) No; 2) No; 3) Yes.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

For (3), you could scroll up for a link to documentation on the subject.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

I am aware of that link, I've read it.

It displays some relatively small numbers of immigrations and concludes from it much more than granted.

If I had to bet, I would say the primary diver for that pattern is the hiking of taxes of the present French govt. It is the Gerard Depardieu effect.

erp said...

... Clovis, you mean the rich Jews are leaving and taking their ill gotten gains with them. Excellent analysis worthy of Harry.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

The rich, whatever the race or creed they identify with, are "leaving".

Just like Depardieu, they are in fact only formally leaving, since by changing their country address they can change their tax bill. Yet, as they are all still citizens, they continue living in the country all the same.

It is a classic effect of tax hikes, witnessed in many countries before. But it leaves your preferred Narrative in the rain, so much better to have a victim story here, right? And you complain about the "race baiters", how ironic.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

Maybe someone should just ask those Jews who are leaving what they think.

erp said...

Ya know sometimes I even surprise myself with my prescience. Clovis: it is very difficult to hide innate anti-Semitism, especially when it's coupled with class envy.

Oh, and don't worry about that hundred bucks I suggested you send to my favorite charity when you lost the bet I couldn't name a film I'd seen about your part of world. I sent it in your name and added that you were a poor physics teacher living in Brasilia who couldn't spare any of his own money for the needy, but who continually admonishes those of us who prefer to spend our own money on causes we support rather than having it confiscated by the race baiters and the rest of the rich left wing elites to put in their own pockets and the pockets of their crony capitalist collaborators.


BTW, do you think the rich Jews in Germany didn't leave when they could because they couldn't take their gilt with them, so loving their money more than their families, it was their own fault they were sent to the gas chambers instead of living in luxury in South America?

Bret said...

aog wrote: "Maybe someone should just ask those Jews who are leaving what they think."

But, aog. You can never trust us dirty Jews to be honest. It must be about money! :-)

More seriously, there are probably many factors for the increased emigration and money is no doubt one of them. The increased emigration is correlated with higher tax rates. However, it's also correlated with increased antisemitism:

France sees ‘shocking surge’ in anti-Semitic violence

French Jewish Leader: “The Number of Anti-Semitic Acts Has Exploded”

Anti-Semitism Skyrocketing in France

So I expect that antisemitism is at least a factor.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

Following your own link, there it is a one case, one single family explicitly declaring it is leaving due to some uneasiness.

Do you have a link on the other 5.000 leaving this year?

The link also mentions: "Paris Orthodox Rabbi Mendel Azimov is also unfazed by the departures. “I can’t say this is a general community alert,” he said. “There are half a million Jews in France and I don’t see everybody moving out.”"

I guess Erp will call that Rabbi an innate anti-semitic too.


Erp,

---
[...] when you lost the bet I couldn't name a film I'd seen about your part of world.
---
I know you are no good with maps, but Zorro was filmed in Mexico. That's not my part of the world, it is not even the same continent.

Anyway, I am glad you have given your money to some charity. But I hope you are joking that you did so in my name, that would be called down here a fraud, and it is a civil crime.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
So I expect that antisemitism is at least a factor.
---

And that's a possible factor I did not deny.

I carefully devised my initial claim as "I would say the primary driver for that pattern is the hiking of taxes". That does not deny second, third, etc, drivers to explain the data.

So far, the emmigration is correlated both to tax hikes and alledged anti-semitic acts. If I elect the former as my main guess, does that make me a rabid anti-Jew?

erp said...

Clovis: South of the border means just that whether the film was made in Mexico or in Hollywood matters not and yes the donation was made in your name, but luckily we don't have an extradition treaty with Brazil, so I guess I won't have to worry about being arrested and sent to Rio.

... what can you possibly know about my ability with maps?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Actually, we do have an extradiditon treaty with the US, but it does not cover the case when the criminal has natural citizenship (i.e. he was born) in the country he is hiding. So there are Brazilians living here, but searched for in the US, that won't be extradicted, and vice-versa.

I can't fathom why you made a donation in my name, what were you thinking Erp? Can I at least know to which charity am I donating?

And please, be careful before judging people you know nothing about. To portray me as someone "who couldn't spare any of his own money for the needy" is well beyond your knowledge.

erp said...

Rest easy, your reputation as a philanthropist is secure. No names or country of origin was used and it was to a local group that feeds the poor.

You have made your theory of charity clear, to wit it should be governmental, not private and nowhere in your comments have you indicated that you give of your own resources to help others. What other conclusion is logical?

BTW considering France's long history of anti-Semitism, why are you so ardent in defending them against charges and suggesting that those who are leaving are "alleged" victims?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I have never given any "theory of charity" here, but I do understand your imagination is a fertile one. You could as well conclude that I have no need to brag about any charity action, but then I wouldn't be the socialist Juggernaut you say I am.

And I have no need to defend France from whatever charges you have, I've only mentioned they are not, by far, a weak place to do Physics. Their tradition goes a long way, and they did have a role to foster Science in your own country, back in the days your scientists, like Benjamin Franklin, were shunned by your old British Masters.

erp said...

Your comments made clear that you support government welfare. That's what I mean by public charity.

Scientific research in France is a topic far outside my area of interest since they aren't confiscating my funds.

Anti-Semitism is IMO disgusting and it baffles me that so many American Jews support lefties when the left, especially, the intellectual left, are the most rabid anti-Semites. I have had this conversation with many friends over decades and their answer is they fear fundamental Christians more. Makes no sense to me.


Bret said...

Clovis: "If I elect the former as my main guess, does that make me a rabid anti-Jew?"

You've been commenting here long enough that I'd be quite surprised if you were a "rabid anti-Jew."

On the other hand, given that the main stereotypical Jewish characteristic is greed (eg. "cheap Jew"), if someone saw that one comment of yours in isolation, they might easily assume you were antisemitic.

I've seen article after article that talks about jews emigrating because of security risks and fear. Why do you "guess" that money is the number one reason?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,


I am baffled by the double standard. Given the cold blood with which racism towards blacks is treated here, I would expect no less with respect to Jews. Curisouly, no one accused me of being anti-Depardieu, when I included him in the same comments.

If we were to take a few comments in this blog in isolation, particularly the ones regarding affirmative action, the previous situation of blacks, etc, there is no shortage of people who would indict our bloggers here as racists.

To the extent that Skipper, for example, turned into a passionate defender of absolute care before calling someone a racist. Hey Skipper, where are you to ponder on this case?

Anyone else - AOG, Harry? - can tell me if they agree with Erp and Bret: does my comment above points to anti-semitism?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

To answer your question:

---
Why do you "guess" that money is the number one reason?
---
That's simple. Because money is the number one reason for almost all situations of collective human behavior. Please notice I say "human" as in every Homo Sapiens out there, independent of which name someone else decided to label him (black, white, jew, rich, poor, whatever).

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Anti-Semitism is IMO disgusting [...]
---
Yes, Erp, anti-semitism is disgusting. Every form of racism is, but I am not sure you agree with that.

Contrary to you, I actually know in person what anti-semitism feels like. And that's one more reason I think you should use the term with much more care than you do.

During the process of my tenure in my present University position, I had very, very difficult situations provoked by anti-semitism.

I am no Jew by blood, but I am of academic Jew descendance. And I do not mean by that the many physicist Jews I so much admire. I mean simply that my PhD advisor was a Jew.

An influential person in the department I am, of Arab ancestry, tried very hard to make my life miserable and take away my position, and the reason was only one: I had too many Jew connections. Yes, I have people who explicitly heard that from him. So, one of the episodes in my professional life that most gave me pain was purely anti-semitic motivated.

I walk the walk Erp, and I take very seriously an accusation such as the one you did. So I will explicitly ask you to retract it, please.

erp said...

Clovis:

Bret stated that he didn't believe you were anti-Semitic.

Depardieu stated categorically that he was leaving because of taxes. He said nothing about anti-Semitism, so why would he be included with Jews who said categorically that they were leaving because they were afraid.

I ask again, why did you refer in your comment above to those quoted in the article as alleged victims? Apparently you don't believe there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in France and opine there must be other reasons, most likely money.

I'll reserve making a decision about whether or not you are anti-Semitic when you answer my question.

Racism? It's all the left has left.

Money? I vehemently disagree that money is the number one reason for almost all situations of collective human behavior.

erp said...

I'll retract it when you answer my question above.

Practically every good friend I've ever had was Jewish and most of the kids in my classes at school were Jewish, so I am very well aware of casual slurs as well as deep hatreds. Strange as it may seem in today's world, I also knew a lot of Moslems, Albanian friends of my parents and their kids. Then there was absolutely no difference among all of us. They came to socials at our church (there was no mosque that I knew of) and there was none of the nonsense of divide and conquer that goes on now.

erp said...

You know Clovis, I just re-read your comment and I'm getting a little tired of your throwing around racist. I disagree vehemently with the way the left has treated blacks and others in the lowest economic levels because of all the reasons I've stated and restated.

Welfare and things like affirmative action have done more harm than slavery and/or Jim Crow because it has taken away people's humanity and left them hopeless and infantilized. You may disagree and believe they are better off because they are showered with credit cards and Obama phones. However, the proof is in the pudding and the pudding has curdled and is inedible, so show me the proof people are better off now that multiple trillions (remember a trillion is a thousand billion and a billion is a thousand million) dollars has been spent on their behalf.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Because money is the number one reason for almost all situations of collective human behavior."

I'm a little skeptical that that's true, but OK, I can believe you think that, though that's a fundamentally conservative belief.

Clovis wrote: "I am baffled by the double standard.

Being of jewish ancestry, not black, I don't see any double standard. Nothing to see here, moving right along ... :-)

I've been called racist so many times that I don't take it seriously anymore. Besides, statistically, everybody's a racist where it really counts.

Clovis wrote: "...no one accused me of being anti-Depardieu..."

Everybody is anti-Depardieu so that goes without saying!

Clovis wrote: "[Hey Skipper] turned into a passionate defender of absolute care before calling someone a racist. "

I'm not so picky as Hey Skipper, because I think "racist" has pretty much lost its meaning here in the U.S., but I didn't call you a racist or an antisemite, so I'm not sure why he'd need to comment.

Clovis asks: "...does my comment above points to anti-semitism?"

The comment struck me as antisemitic when I first read it. Doesn't mean that it necessarily is or "points to" anything. And I specifically wrote that 'I'd be quite surprised if you were a "rabid anti-Jew."' It struck me that way for the following reasons:

1. The linked article primarily mentioned antisemitism, fear and security as the primary motivator for the exodus.

2. Being greedy is the primary stereotype of jews.

3. Your statement fit the stereotype and neither provided evidence as to why you thought the motivator was money nor provided evidence as to why the fear and security motivators hypothesized by the article were wrong.

If you feel that I've accused you of antisemitism, then I apologize.

Bret said...

Oops. And to add to the above:

4. Europe, including France (Vichy), did cause the deaths of many millions of jews so there's an explanation for the fear of escalating antisemitism.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I ask again, why did you refer in your comment above to those quoted in the article as alleged victims?
---

So in order to retract one false accusation, you want me to answer to another false accusation. I don't know why I lose my time answering you, Erp, but please scroll up and point to me where have I stated those cases portrayed in the article were "alleged" victims...

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
I've been called racist so many times that I don't take it seriously anymore. Besides, statistically, everybody's a racist where it really counts.
---
I've never been called racist, so I do take it seriouly. Furthermore, in the country I live in, few people are "racist where it really counts", inter-racial marriage is common to the limit of barely being noticed anymore.


---
If you feel that I've accused you of antisemitism, then I apologize.
---
Thanks, but I did not feel you accused me of intrinsic antisemitism. Yet, I do feel puzzled that my comment struck you as antisemitic. So let's see your points for that...


---
1. The linked article primarily mentioned antisemitism, fear and security as the primary motivator for the exodus.
---
Not really. The linked article primarily *argued for* ansemitism being the primary motivator, without ever giving enough evidence for that. It did cite concrete particular cases of anti-semitism, but only as anecdotal evidence, never making any real link with emmigration statistics.

For example, they cited attacks motivated by anti-semitism that were more than 10 years old. Whereas the recent emmigration wave is not even 2 years old. What correlation is stronger in time in this case, my taxes guess or the anti-seimitic cases he cited?


---
2. Being greedy is the primary stereotype of jews.
---
Maybe for you, not for me. No one paid me more coffees than my PhD advisor, our discussions were many times accompanied by a good espresso, in some nice place nearby our institute, always paid by him.


---
3. Your statement fit the stereotype and neither provided evidence as to why you thought the motivator was money nor provided evidence as to why the fear and security motivators hypothesized by the article were wrong.
---
Interestingly, you take interpretations based on what I did not say, instead of what I actually said.

I already made clear the article did not provide enough statistics to defend the fear hypothesis. I also made clear my opinion on money and collective behavior. So I will finish with two further thoughts that shape my guess:

1) We will naturally have a selection bias in this kind of news. The ones emmigrating due to anti-semitism feelings will usually loudly declare their motivations. OTOH, the ones changing addresses due to taxes considerations, even more if they intend to spend some time still in France, will naturally keep quiet. So unless we have access to far more data, this is a case where anecdotal evidence must be generalized with care.

2) I happen to know France. In fact, I've spent more time there than in the US. I saw that most of the anti-semitism comes from communities of immigrants from Muslim countries, which happens to be quite ostracized in French society - a lot more than Latinos are in the US, for example. So I can easily believe their large and increasing numbers, together with conditions that are conducive of perpetuating ignorance (poor, uneducated, etc), can lead to more antisemitic incidents. Yet, those groups have little, if any, representation in French society, politics and economy, to the extent that I do not buy the overall climate in France is getting so bad nowadays for Jews. It can be more dangerous near those neighborhoods, that's for sure. But then there is no shortage of dangerous neighborhoods in the US too, and I do not see you guys complaining of Jews moving to Israel because South Los Angeles is so perilous.


And lastly...

---
4. Europe, including France (Vichy), did cause the deaths of many millions of jews so there's an explanation for the fear of escalating antisemitism.
---
Anyone with a minimum of experience in Europe knows it is a very different world nowadays.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...inter-racial marriage is common to the limit of barely being noticed anymore."

I wonder if the range in colors is as wide in Brazil as it is in the US. For example, in that link you shared, there was, ahem, a lot of skin to see and it didn't look like you have as many really white and really black people as we have.

My daughter doesn't apparently share my "romantic racism". Here is a prom night photo with her. She's the one in the red dress and her prom date is the young man on the far left (her right).

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Yet, I do feel puzzled that my comment struck you as antisemitic."

Sorry, but the comment did strike me that way. While your arguments are plausible (I don't necessarily agree with all of them) as to why it *logically* should not have struck me that way, it still did, and I think that it struck me that way for the reasons I listed, right or wrong. (I say "I think" for the reasons listed because the whole concept is at least partly emotional, so I don't really, really know absolutely for sure.

Not a big deal really. As you point out, many statements made by me and other folks in the comments can be and have been interpreted as racist. Any time someone such as myself questions the efficacy of programs for the poor, affirmative action, crime statistics, etc., it's inherent that some statements will come across as racist. When I engage in debate on such subjects on more left leaning forums, I get called racist all the time. Who knows, maybe I am. The word has completely lost its meaning to me so I don't much care. There are a LOT worse things in the world than being racist, whatever it means.

erp said...

Why are you so touchy when I didn't call you anti-Semitic, I said I was reserving judgment.

You however have called me a liar and a racist and delusional and demented and I haven't bothered asking for a retraction because those accusations are ridiculous. My observations about welfare aren't directed at blacks, they apply to the system of buying votes by bribing people with goodies and taking away their humanity. The fact that blacks had a different experience than those who came here of their own free will changes nothing about my basic point.

Being called a liar is equally ridiculous. I've had a very long and varied life. Living in various parts of the country among very different people. You didn't experience my life. You weren't even born during two-thirds of it, yet you feel no compunction in calling me a liar.

I don't know in what part of France you spent your time, but in the south of France where I spent a lot of time, Moslems are not quite ostracized in French society. The parks, shops and streets are streaming with Moslem men mostly, but there is also a smattering of women in burkas and I don't know what part of the U.S. you spent time in, but Latinos are not ostracized. Those films, TV shows and cartoons you've relied on for material on the U.S. notwithstanding.

The vast preponderance of immigrants when they first arrive in this country (my family included) choose to live in areas where others of their point of origin have settled, e.g., in New York, there's little Italy, Chinatown, Yorkville (Germans), Cubans settled in Miami, etc.

When the melting pot was still in operation, by the second generation most people had moved on to their American lives. Today, when divide and conquer is the byword, perhaps immigrants tend to stay in their enclaves, but in no case is anyone, immigrant or native born, ostracized and any one can, in fact, move around freely and live wherever they wish, Latinos included.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

You have a beautiful daughter. If she had a prom, I guess she is soon going to the University, does she have any idea about what she wants to do?

---
I wonder if the range in colors is as wide in Brazil as it is in the US.
---
The range is as wide, but I guess what you mean is the distribution is different. And you are right, the US has indeed a lot more people in the extremes of color. There are many reasons for that, but it also shows the truth of what I said: miscegenation has been going on here for a while.


---
The word has completely lost its meaning to me so I don't much care. There are a LOT worse things in the world than being racist, whatever it means.
---
You may believe that rationally, but if you really felt like that, I don't think you would have intuitively spotted my affirmation above as anti-semitic. If it gets to your inner moral soul, it probably means you still see racism (particularly one directed against you) as a very bad thing.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Why are you so touchy [...] You however have called me a liar and a racist and delusional and demented and I haven't bothered asking for a retraction because those accusations are ridiculous.
---
It is funny how in the same phrase you say I am being touchy, you get to show how you hold eternal grudges. And yes, you did bother to ask for retractions, which I conceded more than once.

But I understand if, at your age, you can't remember any of that...

erp said...


I don't hold grudges which is why I still respond to you and no, I didn't ask for retractions and can't say I remember that you apologized. I do remember you said you were being ironic, not serious.

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "...does she have any idea about what she wants to do?

Unfortunately, not STEM (Science/Tech/Eng/Math).

Probably Business/Marketing/Management/Psychology. She'll be going to NorthEastern University and her first semester will be in London.

Clovis wrote: "If it gets to your inner moral soul..."

It was mostly the cognitive dissonance that caught my attention (that someone who I was and am nearly certain is NOT antisemitic wrote that particular statement). If I had thought you were likely antisemitic, it wouldn't have caught my attention hardly at all. It wasn't that bad, after all, and I've heard a lot worse.

erp said...

Ah Bret. What a great adventure your daughter is embarking on. May she have all the success and happiness she can imagine.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

NorthEastern University is in Illinois, right? Gee, it looks like she has chosen the thing most opposite in the map from where you are now, she really took your advice on that Liberty thing :-)

Chances are that, in this BMMP area, she may have better prospects of salaries than in STEM, or am I wrong?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I didn't ask for retractions and can't say I remember that you apologized.
---
Gosh, what's the point of apologizing to you if you can't remember it later on?

Interestingly, you do remember the offense, but never the apology. I guess this is a universal truth about humans, but somehow it looks stronger on you. Maybe that's your Albanian genes - ops, is that comment anti-Albanian? Well, if it is, I won't apologize anyway...


Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;



I think that's your observational error, presuming you mean "indifferently" by "cold blood", as opposed to "dispassionately rational". We take all forms of racism seriously. It is those who hear dog whistles we don't take seriously.

Bret said...

NorthEastern is in Boston (NorthWestern is in Illinois). She wouldn't've minded staying in California but she didn't get into any of the schools she applied for here.

I think STEM leads to more opportunities and more stable opportunities. For example, undergrad STEM followed by work experience followed by an MBA I think is a better path than starting undergrad business. In other words, from STEM you can go anywhere, from undergrad business you're more limited.

Nonetheless, I'm pleased that she's doing something that can be made into a career that she can support herself with (as opposed to something like photography which she initially identified as a potential major).

Hey Skipper said...

She'll be going to NorthEastern University and her first semester will be in London.

When? My woman-child is going to Kingston University in London for the upcoming school year.

Maybe some meet-up opportunity there, including The Dabbler crowd.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG & Erp,

---
I think that's your observational error, presuming you mean "indifferently" by "cold blood", as opposed to "dispassionately rational".
---
It was the lack of a rational response that was my complaint, when there is much rationalization when the "target group" is another one you do not identify with.

For all Erp's name calling, I was the only one to actually argue something. She "vehemently disagree that money is the number one reason for almost all situations of collective human behavior", yet she did not bother to argue for anything else.

I wonder if your father migration to America, Erp, has nothing to do with jobs and opportunity (hence money).

I also wonder if you ever asked yourself why so many Latinos take dangerous paths through deserts, or take shady boats to arrive in your Florida, usually living in shadows as illegal aliens in your country (I guess you do not think that's some form of ostracism too). Sure has nothing to do with money.

In most forums out there, to declare that migration patterns are heavily influenced by monetary matters would be a platitude. Here it may lead to racism charges, but apparently only if you apply it to the wrong group.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper,

She'll be there Aug. 20 to Dec. 6. My wife will almost certainly visit her, not sure if I will join. She's thinking thanksgiving week.

erp said...

Clovis:

I already revealed that my parent both came from affluent families in Albania, so they most certainly did not come here for money or a better standard of living. My grandfather brought his sons, 16 and 12, here because boys were being shanghaied by Greeks to fight in their war with the Turks as did most of our relatives. When my father was 30, he returned to marry my mother who was 17. He then returned with her, thanks dad, so I could be born here. The plan was to return to Albania, but Hitler & Mussolini had other plans, so they stayed.

I find it difficult to believe you are a scientist because your comments in ordinary discourse are so illogical.

You make a blanket unsupported statement that, I don't want to bother finding the exact quote, money is the most important motivator in all human, i.e., homo sapiens behavior. I disagree and you condemn me for not expanding on my statement.

Then in a subsequent comment you support that assertion by assuming that all immigrants come here for economic gain alone.

I think freedom is the greater motivator.

Our country was founded by people who chose to leave their comfortable lives in England and sail into the vast unknown, an act so audacious it boggles my mind, for the freedom to practice their religion as they wished.

... and please refresh my mind. What and where are all my name calling?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Thanks for sharing your family history. I pre-judged your family situation, my fault.

And, you are right, Freedom was a great motivator in past migrations, I just don't think it surpasses economic reasons as the main driver nowadays.

On my statement on money, you misread me, as usual. I've said money is the "number one reason for almost all situations of collective human behavior". I take care how I devise my claims. The "almost all" is there to make room to the fact it is not always the main reason, and the "collective human behavior" is the expression you are failing to grasp: I am not saying money explains things at any individual case you may choose to show me wrong, it is only a good explanation when taking a very large sample.

On your difficulty with my logical faculties, I can only reply it is a problem of referential: from your point of view, most things rational must look very illogical indeed. No wonder you son gave up explaining anything at all for you.

erp said...

I assume you are being ironical again.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

I was the only one to actually argue something.

No, Bret and I argued something, with backing evidence on why the Jewish emigration from France is not primarily for monetary reasons. Your evidence seems to consist entirely of your personal views.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
Your evidence seems to consist entirely of your personal views.
---
Is this a new way to call me anti-semitic?

If you are uninformed of the mass of people fleeing France these days, please take a look here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/10390571/france-hollande-taxes-socialist-farrage.html

And here:

http://www.newsweek.com/fall-france-225368

It is not only the super-rich and narcissistic actors.

Now, as I am no racist, I see people as all the same. So when I guess that high numbers of Jews flying out of France may be due to taxes, I am just treating them as everybody else. That's the only point where my "personal view" played a role. The rest is very public evidence, as witnessed above.

Clovis e Adri said...

By the way, if you believe this phenomena is happening only in France, think again:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2013/08/12/thousands-leave-u-s-over-taxes-5-rules-if-youre-tempted/

I guess now I'll be called anti-American too.

erp said...

Clovis, the Forbes link says people want to get away from high taxes. There is no mention of other issues like being persecuted for their Jewishness.

The Jews in France say they want to get away from anti-Semitism because they are afraid.

Why would they lie?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

No one said anyone is lying.

But if you interview half a dozen people leaving, and then extend the result for ten thousand people, you better give me a very good argument for such statistical leap.

erp said...

Clovis: Chalk it up. You lost this one.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

Is this a new way to call me anti-semitic?

No.