“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This Is Violently Wrong on about Five Levels

Justice Roberts (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), hearing arguments about whether or not to keep the University of Texas's affirmative action program:

"What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?" he asked Gregory Garre, the attorney representing the University of Texas.

Wow. That's irrelevant. And horrible. Universities are tasked with creating a fairer world and we have decided that ending racism would be good. Jesus it has so not got to do with entertaining or informing white people in a physics class.

And the idea that physics is set, and that physics as a discipline has nothing to do with race. He should attend the job interview training sessions run by the psych department here at Rice. I was the ranking humanist in the room last time it happened, and needed to point out some stuff to some of the science teachers, like maybe there's a reason why “I just don't understand why men are always the best candidates and always get the job” (actual quotation by actual chemistry professor) isn't correct or cool.

The worst part of the sentence: it's an enthymeme that is oblique to the issue, like a sort of double enthymeme. A maze next to a maze. You get lost in the maze trying to figure out what the heck is being said and how the heck to answer it, and you're totally thrown off.

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