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Indoctrination and intolerance win at Harvard
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thomas Sowell highlights the tragedy propagated by the resignation of Lawrence Summers from his position of president of Harvard. It is just another indicator of the problems faced by students in the academic world today:
Despite incessant repetition of the word "diversity" in academe, the tragic fact is that the academic world is one of the most intolerant places in America when it comes to diversity of ideas. Even the president of Harvard dare not step out of line.

Parents pay the kind of money on which whole families could live, in order to have their children "educated" at elite academic institutions, hearing only one side of a whole range of issues — race and sex being just two.

Even if every conclusion with which students are indoctrinated were true, unless those students develop their own ability to weigh opposing arguments, these conclusions will become obsolete as new issues arise in the years ahead. These "educated" people will have developed no ability to analyze opposing sides of issues.

Students are getting half an education at inflated prices and learning only how to label, dismiss and demonize ideas that differ from what they have been led to believe. Their "educated" ignorance is a danger to the future of this country.
Anytime a student is exposed to only half the story there's an obvious problem. That problem is compounded when that student isn't taught how to think or reason and encouraged to do so. The problem is even further compounded when the institution of higher learning won't tolerate dissenting ideas. When that happens, there is no marketplace of ideas. There is only approved dogma.

Unless students are encouraged to seek and weigh the arguments of the opposing side or to reach their own conclusions based on the opposing arguments and facts they are presented or dig up themselves, they can never be truly "educated".

Instead, what they endure is indoctrination. And they are ill served and ill prepared for the world outside academia.

Unfortunately, given the reaction by much of the faculty to remarks by Lawrence Summers, that is the culture from which he is withdrawing. Intolerance and indoctrination win the battle for Harvard.
 
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As emotionally gratifying as it might be to paint Summers as a martyr in the struggle against PC, I’m more inclined to agree with Matt Yglesgias (not something I get to say often!) that internal bureaucratic politics motivated this more than anything else. And I say this as someone who was in Summers’ corner during the most recent flap over his remarks concerning women in science. Summers has been in a longstanding feud with the faculty of arts and sciences for reasons that have little to do with his contraversial comments, although those were undoubtedly a welcome cudgel for his internal opponents to batter him with.
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://conjecturesandrefutations.net
Now if only I’d typed ’Yglesias’ right...
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://conjecturesandrefutations.net
Yeah, I think this is a lot more about the internal politics of Harvard, rather than the PC stuff. The "political correctness strikes again!" stuff is just a convenient right wing bugaboo — easy, but shallow.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I must have missed something. I don’t recall saying it had anything to do with "political correctness strikes again". Instead I made a more general point about what students face in many niversities today.

Instead I was remarking about the atmosphere of intolerance toward dissenting ideas which exists in many universities and how that actually fosters a culture of indoctrination instead of learning. I simply noted that Summer’s resignation was an indicator of that culture at work and that was a pity.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
from what ive been reading the student newspaper conducted a survey about summers and students supported him something like 3-1 i think. Alan Dersherwitz (i think) called this a coup d’etat by the Arts and Sciences dept. The right wing sites I’ve read have said this, but focus on the flack he took for the male/female difference remarks he made.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
I don’t recall saying it had anything to do with "political correctness strikes again".
Following directly on a remark about Summers resignation, this...
Intolerance and indoctrination win the battle for Harvard.
....sounds like a reference to that.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Intolerance and indoctrination aren’t dependent on "political correctness" for their existence.

I’m talking generally about only hearing one side of any story and not allowing the other to be heard or considered. Obviously political correctness is a contributor. But it isn’t the only contributor - try Bob Jones University, for instance or any Madras.

That’s intolerance.

Thus, when you are purposely given part of the story but denied the other that’s indoctrination.



 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Instead, what they endure is indoctrination. And they are ill served and ill prepared for the world outside academia.
Hmmm.... The President of the United States? Harvard grad.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States? Harvard Grad.

The Majority Leader of the United States Senate? Harvard Grad.

So the leaders of the three branches of the federal government? All Harvard grads. All conservatives too.

It always strikes me as bizarre when wingers suggest that schools such as Harvard are so left of center, so intolerant, that they are doing their students a disservice. Meanwhile, these same schools somehow manage to churn out conservative after conservatives who rise to the highest levels of government. (Alito and Thomas - two other flaming radicals - are Yale graduates.) Something tells me that Harvard students are doing just fine, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the "indoctrination" they have to endure.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The President of the United States? Harvard grad.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States? Harvard Grad.

The Majority Leader of the United States Senate? Harvard Grad.

So the leaders of the three branches of the federal government? All Harvard grads. All conservatives too.
None graduates of Harvard College. It was specifically the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who voted "no confidence". The Law and Business schools were not involved.

Try to read a little more closely next time.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
D, you’re wasting your breath on mk. He won’t admit he’s made a mistake, no matter how much proof you offer him.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
It’s not Steverino who gets it wrong, it is his "sources."
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Steverino,

Normally I would agree with you. This, however, was Fish, Barrel, BANG!!
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
None graduates of Harvard College. It was specifically the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who voted "no confidence". The Law and Business schools were not involved.

Try to read a little more closely next time.
Summers was the president of Harvard UNIVERSITY, not just Harvard College. Moreover, the "no confidence" vote is non-binding, hence, the undergraduate faculty had no power to discharge him. That power is in the hands of the Harvard Corporation. Finally, I was responding to McQ’s post, which asserts the following:
Intolerance and indoctrination win the battle for Harvard.
If McQ meant to narrow his criticism to Harvard College, I imagine he would have said "Harvard College."

And if you didn’t think the law school had problems with Summers, well, then, you would do well to take your own advice. From the NYT - 8/28/03:

"Summers has announced that he will extend the tenure review process. Previously, the university president’s power to review — and perhaps veto — tenure decisions applied to only the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a few other schools. The law school, which has made a series of what Summers calls ’’idiosyncratic choices’’ in the awarding of tenure, has put up the most resistance to this extension of presidential power. Summers has already trampled on several proposed appointments to the college, which of course only increases apprehension elsewhere."

From the same article:
"[Harvard Law School professor] Martha Minow said [regarding changes to the tenure practices], ’’I think a lot of people think it’s a bad idea,’’ though she personally is waiting to see whether Summers exercises the judiciousness and restraint he has promised. She and her colleagues may also not agree that they have accepted, as Summers told me they have, ’’some of the concerns about inbredness, political correctness, lack of intellectual energy that were seen on the outside.’’
So the law school put up the most resistance to his ideas, but the law school had nothing to do with him leaving.

Right.




 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Oh yes - Fish, Barrel, Bang!
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I actually think Sowell’s article makes his point very well. He tells half the story and indoctrinates us a little more in the right wing meme about the dangers of the liberal academics.
 
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
"... this is a lot more about the internal politics of Harvard, rather than the PC stuff."

What’s the difference?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
What’s the difference?
One’s a convenient and dismissive hand-wave and the other is a real problem.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Yeah, the Law School "put up the most resistance to" THIS idea; not his ideaS. This implies that the objection was to a particular idea and not his entire approach.

Anywayz, nice try changing the subject by whipping out a 2 1/2 year old fossil again. The struggles between the Law School and the President are not what precipitated Summers’ leaving. It was the unbridled friction with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the "colledge" (to quote Cotton Mather). Therefore your citation of Bush (Business), Roberts (Law) and Frist (Medicine) are irrelevant.

Yes. Fish, Barrel, BANG!!
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
It’s not Steverino who gets it wrong, it is his "sources."
You still haven’t shown me a single link where I said all (or any, for that matter) liberals here subscribe to Daily Kos. Nor have you shown me a single conservative who has said that all non-Jewish Europeans are anti-Semitic. (Your self-admitted best example fell well short of the mark.)

As for me, I quoted a source who had it wrong. Even used blockquote for it. So, yes, the source was wrong...and I was wrong for using it.

But you are too much of a coward to admit your own mistakes.

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
Yeah, the Law School "put up the most resistance to" THIS idea; not his ideaS. This implies that the objection was to a particular idea and not his entire approach.
And that idea was what? Ir was about tenure review. You obviously have never been a member of a law school faculty. Tenure review is perhaps the most important political issue there is among law school faculty. I imagine Summers made plenty of enemies.

Nice try though.

Anyway, as I said, McQ said Harvard - not Harvard College. Noticed how you ignored that fact.

Again, nice try though.
As for me, I quoted a source who had it wrong. Even used blockquote for it. So, yes, the source was wrong...and I was wrong for using it.
Kind of like the batterer who blames his wife for getting in the way of his fist.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The President of the United States? Harvard grad.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States? Harvard Grad.

The Majority Leader of the United States Senate? Harvard Grad.


Should be noted that it’s been something like 25 years or more since any of these guys were at Harvard. I think a lot has changed since then.
 
Written By: equitus
URL: http://sdparadigm.blogger.com
MK, when Steverino wrote:

"But you are too much of a coward to admit your own mistakes."
That was an invitation for you to step up and show you’re as good a person as he is. Instead, all you had for a reply to Steverino’s post was:
"Kind of like the batterer who blames his wife for getting in the way of his fist."
Not very impressive.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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