Higher education

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Alan Sokal, Call Your Office

Featured image Our weekly feature about academic absurdities is drawn usually from the social sciences and humanities, because that’s where you find the most politicized work and the most tolerance for complete gibberish and nonsense. This would never happen in the hard sciences, right? Right? From The Guardian: Nonsense paper written by iOS autocomplete accepted for conference By Elle Hunt A nonsensical academic paper on nuclear physics written only by iOS autocomplete »

Tom Hayden, RIP

Featured image The news this morning of the passing of the radical activist Tom Hayden, at age 76, summons to mind something I’ve been wanting to go over for a while now: that the “New Left” of the 1960s almost makes sense compared to the advance edge of the left today. And that’s a scary thought, given that the New Left of the 1960s was born out of a rejection of the »

Liberal Jews teach their kids to deal with anti-Semitism on liberal campuses

Featured image Recently I learned that my Jewish congregation is providing training for college age congregants on how to deal with anti-Semitism on campus. That’s how bad things have gotten. I wonder whether the sad irony of the situation has registered with the congregation, the vast majority of whose members are leftists. Anti-Semitism is so rampant at America’s colleges and universities that teenage Jews need special training before entering this bastion of »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Skorting the Truth?

Featured image Back when the abomination of “Casual Friday” was degrading the professional workplace, I remember there was lively debate about whether “skorts” (would you believe there’s no Wikipedia entry for “skorts”?) met the guidelines for acceptable casual wear. Never fear, academia is here, 20 years late, offering this gem of analysis appearing in the journal Cultural Studies: Sporting a Skort: The Biopolitics of Materiality M. Katie Flanagan, Florida State University Abstract This »

From the education apocalypse

Featured image It’s not possible to satirize the reign of political correctness on campus. Today’s satire is tomorrow’s diktat. John Leo takes note of the latest dispatch from the education apocalypse at Princeton and mischievously gets in the spirit: One of the feminists who used to write angry letters to the editor in the 1960s about sexist words such as “fireman,” “chairman,” and “mankind” has apparently come to power at Princeton and »

Judge finds Brown failed to give due process to student accused of sexual assualt

Featured image William Smith, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, has ruled in favor of a Brown University student who was suspended for two years for an alleged sexual assault. Judge Smith ruled that the student did not receive due process. The judge found several defects in the procedures by which Brown tossed the student. For one thing, Brown told the student he would »

Under investigation [With Comment By John]

Featured image As rioters and looters went on the rampage in Charlotte on Wednesday evening, WBTV News reported live via Twitter that “protesters” (my quotes, not WBTV’s) on I277 were “stopping traffic and surrounding vehicles. AVOID.” Glenn Reynolds retweeted the item and commented: “Run them down.” Falling into the category of “What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d,” I found that cathartic. The powers-that-be at Twitter, however, were having none »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Fake Peer Reviews

Featured image I’m guessing that the number of Power Line readers who take in the academic series Lectures in Computer Science doesn’t approach zero, but is zero, so we might put it in scientific notation this way: PLR(N=0)~0. In which case you would have missed this gem: Your Paper has been Accepted, Rejected, or Whatever: Automatic Generation of Scientific Paper Reviews Alberto Bartoli, Andrea De Lorenzo, Eric Medvet , Fabiano Tarlao Abstract Peer review is widely viewed »

Don’t Click on this

Featured image No matter how much trouble they stir up or get themselves into, left-wing moonbats always land on their feet. Thus the recent landing of Melissa Click at Gonzaga University in Spokane, fresh off her firing from Mizzou for her widely viewed thuggish behavior. How did she do it? Her landing apparently does not have great local support in town or among Gonzaga alumni. The Spokesman-Review reports here. KREM2 reports here »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Political Indigestion

Featured image I had to miss the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), which just wrapped up in Philadelphia. Among other things, it deprived me of taking in important advancements in political knowledge such as this: Digestion as Political Practice in Marx, Nietzsche, and Whitman. Tripp Rebrovick, Johns Hopkins University In Event: The Bios: Food, Bodies, Life Itself Sat, September 3, 2:00 to 3:30pm, PCC, 108-B Abstract This paper »

University of Chicago to students: no safe spaces here

Featured image To me, the University of Chicago has always represented the gold standard in academic rigor and excellence in American academia. Having never attended this institution, or even visited it, I don’t know whether it deserves to be thought of this way. But my encounters with many a graduate of the University, including some fairly recent ones, has done nothing to disturb my impression, which dates back to the Saul Bellow-Allan »

And Now For Something Completely Different

Featured image As longtime readers of Power Line know, I spent the 2013-14 academic year as an inmate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which actually was a splendid time because it is so easy to torment liberals. As I explained in my account of the year in National Review last year, “I loved to tell liberal audiences that conservatives wholly approve of the Boulder greenbelt because it makes the quarantine »

How the GOP feeds the PC beast

Featured image John Fund reports that congressional Republicans increased the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights with a very generous budget increase last year. Fund takes up the matter in the NR column “How Republicans feed the beast of political correctness.” OCR is perhaps the most left-wing office in the federal bureaucracy. Bankrolling it that way Congress did was an egregious error (for which they were rewarded with the transgender guidance). »

Name/rename this

Featured image In a recent dispatch from the cultural revolution on campus, the Office of the President of Yale University has posted the following announcement: Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming In recent years, and with increasing intensity during the past year, a wide-ranging conversation has taken place at Yale and elsewhere about the role of naming and renaming in acknowledging and confronting our history. Although decisions at Yale and other universities »

U. of Houston student leader punished for “All Lives Matter” post

Featured image Rohini Sethi is the student body Vice President at the University of Houston. After the assassination of five Dallas police officers at a Black Lives Matter inspired rally, she wrote on Facebook: “Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter.” Sethi quickly deleted the comment, but it nonetheless generated outrage. In response, Sethi issued a statement in which she called her comment “inappropriate.” She said it was an emotional response to the tragic »

God and clown at Yale

Featured image If you’re trying to understand the madness that has overtaken university campuses, Yale presents an important case study. My daughter Eliana takes a look at Yale’s ordeal in the current NR article “This is not a debate.” It’s a reported piece that seems to me to give readers the information necessary to understand the case for themselves. For me the article has a personal component. Eliana takes the story back »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image In an opinion issued this morning, Justice Kennedy joined the Supreme Court’s four liberals to uphold the University of Texas’s “affirmative action” program in the Fisher case. This is the case’s second trip to the Court. It won’t be coming back. The Court’s opinion today is posted here. The Court’s 2013 opinion in Fisher I (as the Court refers to it) is posted here. I think today’s result is disappointing, »