Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bringing "special snowflakes" down to earth

An associate professor of law at Faulkner University, Alabama, lays down the law to his incoming class of millennial students.

Before I can teach you how to reason, I must first teach you how to rid yourself of unreason. For many of you have not yet been educated. You have been dis-educated. To put it bluntly, you have been indoctrinated. Before you learn how to think you must first learn how to stop unthinking.

Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky. Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult.

Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.”

Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful.

We will have to pull out all of the weeds in your mind as we come across them. Unfortunately, your mind is full of weeds, and this will be a very painful experience. But it is strictly necessary if anything useful, good, and fruitful is to be planted in your head.

. . .

So, here are three ground rules for the rest of the semester.

1.  The only “ism” I ever want to come out your mouth is a syllogism. If I catch you using an “ism” or its analogous “ist” — racist, classist, etc. — then you will not be permitted to continue speaking until you have first identified which “ism” you are guilty of at that very moment. You are not allowed to fault others for being biased or privileged until you have first identified and examined your own biases and privileges.
2.  If I catch you this semester using the words “fair,” “diversity,” or “equality,” or a variation on those terms, and you do not stop immediately to explain what you mean, you will lose your privilege to express any further opinions in class until you first demonstrate that you understand three things about the view that you are criticizing.
3.  If you ever begin a statement with the words “I feel,” before continuing you must cluck like a chicken or make some other suitable animal sound.

There's much more at the link.  Highly educational, sometimes giggle-worthy, and recommended reading.

I think the good professor's students are very fortunate.  They'll come out of his course with the ability to think, rather than feel, and rationally analyze, rather than emote, about the problems of the world.  Far too few millennials appear to have that ability . . . yet they're the ones who, in due course, will run our society.  Heaven help us!



Peripatetic Engineer said...

I had a similar course. it was called "Logic 101". The best thing I learned were the common fallacies and how to identify them.

Retired Spook said...

The Darlin' Daughter once told someone that the best thing she ever learned from me was how to think. Not what to think, but HOW.

I think that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.

Aesop said...

Salutary, but probably futile.
He's standing at the shore yelling at the tide, and trying to undo in one semester 12-20 years of indoctrination in Concentrated Silliness. Or at best, he is literally the boy walking along the shore throwing the starfish back into the water one at a time in the popular story.

It's entertaining to those of us that learned thinking decades earlier than a semester in college, (in exactly the way John Houseman's Professor Kingsfield character was in the movie The Paper Chase was forty years ago) and who have a lifetime of practice at it, but it would probably take an entire undergraduate career plus a graduate degree of his approach to ultimately bear any lasting fruit.

When entire colleges take that approach, starting with weeding out most of the snowflakes in the first place for unsuitability for attendance, then their degrees will approach the value academia wants to charge for attending them.

Any college or university offering any sort of diversity/gender/victim/entitlement "studies" program has already self-selected for silliness, and only graduate studies that refuse to even accept such degrees as prerequisites for an actual post-graduate degree have any bare hope of making a dent in the moronity that comprises the American college field of education.

And he's too soft.
Every "I feel" statement, as well as requiring clucking by the offender, should be a permanent 1% course final grade reduction, with no forgiveness possible, with mandatory daily participation. When, after 30 such class days, passing becomes a statistical impossibility for a certain percentage of each class, stupid will actually leave a mark, and those forced to drop on their own lacking merits will understand why stupid has to hurt like a hot stove before it teaches.

Old NFO said...

Good luck to him, and the first complaint/lawsuit will be filed in three... two...

Mad Jack said...

He's tap dancing on land mines. Those little snowflakes won't tolerate change easily and it's only a matter of time before some little precious darling files a complaint against him for harassment of some kind or another. Then the feeding frenzy will start.

undomesticatedfeline said...

This was a good read. Thanks for sharing, Sir.

Andrew said...

My wife worked as an adjunct teacher at a decently ranked state college and was told flat-out that if a teacher or professor tried to actually 'fail' a student, the student's state legistlaturist would see that the teacher/professor would not be hired for the next semester, no matter what.

Yes, upper education is that bad, mostly in the liberal arts but it is creeping into the STEM side.

Reg T said...

Yes, back in 1967, during senior year, I took a course called "Critical Analysis". Excellent, and as has already been mentioned, being taught _how_ to think is so much more important that what to think. This was at a high school in New York, believe it or not. Back in those days, there were still many teachers who forced us to think, to reason things out, rather than telling us _what_ to think.

I saw a great poster with a photo of Sam Elliot, dressed as a cowboy. He (supposedly) said, "When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. All of the pain is felt by others.

The same thing happens when you are stupid."