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Old 5th October 2018, 16:19     #1
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
political correctness gone mad

or, Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship

this is too much gold to drop into a more general thread.

https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/...f-scholarship/

Quote:
For the past year scholars James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian have sent fake papers to various academic journals which they describe as specialising in activism or “grievance studies.” Their stated mission has been to expose how easy it is to get “absurdities and morally fashionable political ideas published as legitimate academic research.”

To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia.

One hoax paper, accepted by feminist journal Hypatia, proposed a teaching method centered on “experiential reparations.” It suggested that professors rate students’ levels of oppression based on race, gender, class and other identity categories. Students deemed “privileged” would be kept from commenting in class, interrupted when they did speak, and “invited” to “sit on the floor” or “to wear (light) chains around their shoulders, wrists or ankles for the duration of the course.” Students who complained would be told that this “educational tool” helps them confront “privileged fragility.”
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Old 5th October 2018, 17:52     #2
Lightspeed
 
Quote:
Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities.
An interesting assertion. Are we waiting to see the authors take a similar approach with other disciplines to establish whether the humanities are indeed especially problematic in modern academia?

I'm familiar with the current push to publish, at least in NZ universities, and have heard complaints about the drive for quantity over quality. With the suggestion that people are too busy writing to read. And complaints of universities being run like businesses with managers and executives at the helm rather than academics. That doesn't seem to be what the authors are suggesting is what's wrong in the university today.

Quote:
Part III: Why Did We Do This?

Because we’re racist, sexist, bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, transhysterical, anthropocentric, problematic, privileged, bullying, far right-wing, cishetero straight white males (and one white female who was demonstrating her internalized misogyny and overwhelming need for male approval) who wanted to enable bigotry, preserve our privilege, and take the side of hate?

No. None of those apply. Nevertheless, we’ll be accused of it, and we have some insights into why.
It's comforting to know this exercise was undertaken by paragons of virtue, any critique being about those making the criticism.

What always comes to mind when the study of power and its imbalances is challenged is what would happen as such study finds genuine power imbalances. Would those of us finding our positions undermined by any such research graciously accept our new less powerful positions? Or would we, consciously or otherwise, engage in efforts to bring such research into disrepute?
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Old 5th October 2018, 18:27     #3
[Malks] Pixie
 
Sokal did it better, though I do have a soft spot for "Confirmational Response: Bias Among Social Work Journals" by William M. Epstein published in Science, Technology & Human Values.
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Old 5th October 2018, 18:28     #4
fixed_truth
 
Now now, let's not be quick to draw conclusions from such a small sample size
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Old 5th October 2018, 19:40     #5
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Malks] Pixie
Sokal did it better, though I do have a soft spot for "Confirmational Response: Bias Among Social Work Journals" by William M. Epstein published in Science, Technology & Human Values.
Quote:
Critics of Sokal point out that his paper was never subjected to peer review, and they say it was unfair to expect the editors of Social Text to spot errors concerning math and science. This time there are no excuses. LBP’s papers were fully peer reviewed by leading journals. The postmodernist experts showed that they had no ability to distinguish scholarship grounded in “theory” from deliberate nonsense and faulty reasoning mixed in with hate directed at the disfavored race (white) and sex (“cis” male).

https://quillette.com/2018/10/01/the...emics-respond/
Sokal had a computer generate nonsense, it wasn't peer reviewed, and his purported subject matter was outside the expertise of the editors. AMong other lols these guys literally submitted a section of Mein Kampf to a journal, it passed review, and got published.
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Old 5th October 2018, 20:12     #6
[Malks] Pixie
 
Yeah I understand all this - there is a long history of hoaxes, pranks and other shenanigans in academic publishing, particularly in the humanities (though physical geography seems pretty prone to it as well). They are healthy for fields to be exposed to.

Hell I used to use an automated generator similar to this to submit papers to computer science journals and conferences while doing post grad and tutoring - even had a couple (5 I think from memory) accepted, which of course I withdrew (with an explanation of why) because ethics.

All fields have issues with validating knowledge, no different to the open access issues with scientific fields.
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Old 5th October 2018, 21:40     #7
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Validating knowledge? Hypatia’s reviewers supported an article recommending that white students be put in chains.
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Old 5th October 2018, 22:44     #8
[Malks] Pixie
 


They didn't fucking support it - they rejected and suggested revision and a resubmit. It's a philosophy journal - none of these are suggested directions of action, they're philosophical thought experiments. It's right there in the title. Stop being disingenuous.

Before anything like this was even considered to be implemented it would have to go through departmental reviews and cross examination by other disciplines and then go through an ethics committee. Of which it wouldn't get past any - because it's never intended to.

These are the same types of journals where philosophers argue if tables actually exist at all. And this one, Hypatia, has a laughably low IF of 0.72 (on a scale of 0-10).

Now that's out the way some other points.

They specifically picked a field where there are only 42 journals listed on the JCR - and of those that accepted their papers only 4 of them are even listed on the JCR - the other 3 literally don't have IF rankings. They've claimed that "bogus scholarship is reaching into sociology" and yet the 3 papers they submitted to journals identified in the JCR as being in the field of sociology were flatly rejected, not even making it to peer review stage. This leads us to their lack of a control - they've picked a small field of study and chosen not to submit similar "experiments" to other fields (for example economics or physics). They can certainly say that poor scholarship exists, but they can't say that it is limited to this field (or even humanities in general) because they've cherry picked their target and don't have a control.

Despite all this I still think this type of activity is healthy for fields.
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Old 6th October 2018, 01:01     #9
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Malks] Pixie


They didn't fucking support it
Quote:
Selected Reviewer Comments:

“This is a solid essay that, with revision, will make a strong contribution to the growing literature on addressing epistemic injustice in the classroom. The focus on the Progressive Stack is interesting yet focused and it is great that the author is trying to suggest some specific approaches.” -Reviewer 1, first review, Hypatia

“I like this project very much. I think the author’s insights are on target and I think that the literature on epistemic injustice has lots to offer classroom pedagogies, I encourage the author to continue working on this project.” -Reviewer 2, first review, Hypatia

“This is a worthwhile and interesting project. The essay is just not ready yet.” -Reviewer 2, second review, Hypatia
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Old 6th October 2018, 01:26     #10
Lightspeed
 
Laugh

Take that Pixie! All your points so succinctly rebutted.
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Old 6th October 2018, 09:20     #11
[Malks] Pixie
 
"*selected* reviewer comments"
"first review"
"second review"

Quote:
Status: 3 Reject and Resubmit decisions
You have a weird idea of what constitutes "support".

Also, stop being disingenuous.
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Old 7th October 2018, 04:03     #12
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Interview with the authors:

https://quillette.com/2018/10/05/wri...ss-criticisms/
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Old 8th October 2018, 10:36     #13
crocos
 
They must be good because they have doggos, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [Malks] Pixie
You have a weird idea of what constitutes "support".

Also, stop being disingenuous.
Hmm... there's a certain phrase that gets flung at Lightspeed that could be used here...
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Last edited by crocos : 8th October 2018 at 10:37.
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Old 8th October 2018, 11:02     #14
StN
I have detailed files
 
Armourking
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Old 8th October 2018, 11:30     #15
crocos
 
Shut up, Ashley!
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Old 8th October 2018, 11:49     #16
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
am I wearing leopard print tights and waving a laser? because you seem triggered
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Old 8th October 2018, 12:15     #17
crocos
 
/me swoons at the in-jokes.
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Old 15th October 2018, 06:27     #18
Whiplash
Bobo Fettish
 
Laugh

A+. Would read thread again.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:56     #19
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
A College Student Was Told To Remove A "Fuck Nazis" Sign Because It Wasn't "Inclusive"

Because snowflakes
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Old 9th January 2019, 15:48     #20
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Portland State Univ. professor to face discipline for exposing shoddy scholarship

Quote:
Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University in Oregon, led a trio of scholars last year who submitted to leading publications what they called “intentionally broken” papers on gender, race and sexuality. Several of the absurd pieces were published.

Now, Portland State has initiated disciplinary action against Mr. Boghossian for what it calls a breach of the institution’s ethical guidelines.
"You're not allowed to point out the Emperor's nakedness"
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Old 9th January 2019, 16:02     #21
Lightspeed
 
The presumption being that this is special to these disciplines, others not being vulnerable to publishing broken papers presented as genuine?
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Old 9th January 2019, 17:17     #22
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
It seems that the humanities and social sciences are particularly vulnerable to this woo-woo shit.
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Old 9th January 2019, 18:26     #23
Lightspeed
 
What's the source of that perception? How are we checking our biases?

The thing with the humanities and social sciences is we're all human. We all have something to say about being human and we all have a stake in what we discover about being human.

So I suspect there's a stronger drive to be hyper-critical about papers on rape culture than there are on papers about string theory.
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Old 9th January 2019, 19:37     #24
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightspeed
What's the source of that perception? How are we checking our biases?

The thing with the humanities and social sciences is we're all human. We all have something to say about being human and we all have a stake in what we discover about being human.

So I suspect there's a stronger drive to be hyper-critical about papers on rape culture than there are on papers about string theory.
Here's a fascinating book I've been reading this week, I recommend it apropos of this thread.

https://www.amazon.com.au/Coddling-A...3&sr=8-1-fkmr0

I gather the book grew out of this article, so if you're not the type to impulse-buy books on Amazon, try reading this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...n-mind/399356/
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Old 10th January 2019, 15:47     #25
Lightspeed
 
I'm not seeing anything particularly... robust.

What you're posting seems more about the US and its crazy circumstances right now than any particular discipline. Inequality messes with people. All I'm seeing is people jockeying for power any way they can. We learn the tiniest bit about something that might afford us some power, we crank the fuck out of that.

The volume of sexual trauma is still pretty much the same. Economic theft is pretty much the same. Which is to say at horrifying levels. There's a huge volume of people suffering deeply.

The madness is trying to solve these problems without solving the underlying causes. How do we stop the rape and violence, how do we ensure people are paid and can live off their work? While also keeping the world order intact, keeping a tiny proportion of people exceedingly wealthy while ensuring the rest are compelled to work as much as they can for the least reward.
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Old 10th January 2019, 16:26     #26
[Malks] Pixie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ab
"You're not allowed to point out the Emperor's nakedness"
More like, "You're allowed to point out the Emperor's nakedness but you've got to do so in a robust manner which adheres to the ethics guidelines that everyone else has to abide by".

He's being disciplined because he falsified data and failed to have ethics approval for a study that involved human subjects (and thus needs to meet both internal and federal standards) - not because of the topic of their research.

Best outcome for everyone is that he attends the mandated course on human subjects research, has a slap on the wrist and goes about his day.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Pr...list_hp_latest
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Old 11th January 2019, 16:27     #27
Nich
 
From what I understand, they were prepared for their hoax to impact their careers. If that's the case, take your firing like a man, be humble in your victory and go find another job.

What would be disappointing is if they went ahead with the hoax knowing their termination would go public in a Yale or Evergreen kind of way. So they got ready with documentary makers and the letters from Steven Pinker etc to record their victimhood and further deepen the battlelines.

see videos like this: https://youtu.be/thHO2btnWJA makes it seem like some Snowden-level shit went down.

A self-made martyr that complains about their predicament clearly isn't doing it right.
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Old 12th January 2019, 17:37     #28
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Malks] Pixie
More like, "You're allowed to point out the Emperor's nakedness but you've got to do so in a robust manner which adheres to the ethics guidelines that everyone else has to abide by".

He's being disciplined because he falsified data and failed to have ethics approval for a study that involved human subjects (and thus needs to meet both internal and federal standards) - not because of the topic of their research.
Seriously?

The guy wrote a paper claiming to have been based on the observations of 10,000 dogs genitals and by "applying Black feminist criminology categories through which (the) observations can be understood and by inferring from lessons relevant to human and dog interactions to suggest practical applications that disrupt hegemonic masculinities and improves access to emancipatory spaces" to show that "the cultural norms operating within and upon these spaces form microcultures where acceptable and unacceptable behavior in human communities may be reflected in the way human companions construct their interactions with dogs, particularly in regard to rape culture and queering, and a-/moral interpretations of such behaviors and their human analogues under the assumptions of rape culture", concluding that dog parks "become rape-condoning spaces in which human rape culture plays out by the moral permissiveness we extend to animals.”

Summary: human rape culture exists and can be improved by training men like dogs.

Quote:
We wanted to see if reviewers or editors would ask to see this data or question the conclusions we drew from it. They did not and, in fact, the paper was recognized for excellence within feminist geography.
The University's objection: "you didn't really look at 10,000 dogs' genitals".

Yep, that's the problematic bit all right.
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Old 12th January 2019, 17:50     #29
[Malks] Pixie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ab
Seriously?

The University's objection: "you didn't really look at 10,000 dogs' genitals".

Yep, that's the problematic bit all right.
Well that's one bit that broke the rules.
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Old 12th January 2019, 22:11     #30
Lightspeed
 
This is NZGames' anti-vax/fluoridation/1080 thread.
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Old 16th January 2019, 16:30     #31
fixed_truth
 
Gillette ad that's triggering a few people
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Old 24th January 2019, 13:08     #32
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ab
Here's a fascinating book I've been reading this week, I recommend it apropos of this thread.

https://www.amazon.com.au/Coddling-A...3&sr=8-1-fkmr0

I gather the book grew out of this article, so if you're not the type to impulse-buy books on Amazon, try reading this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...n-mind/399356/
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/edu...-and-fragility
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Old 24th January 2019, 13:26     #33
xor
 
How old were your kids when you let them go down to the shops by themselves?
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Old 24th January 2019, 13:36     #34
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
I guess... 8 or 9? even that seems ridiculously coddled when I think of the independence I was given when I was younger than that.
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Old 24th January 2019, 15:27     #35
Lightspeed
 
Yeah, I remember being barely older than a toddler taking my plastic trike down to the dairy with 5c for some lollies.

It really looks like displacement to me. We face genuine existential threats. But they're too scary, too big. So we find threats that aren't so scary that we can actually deal with. For governments it's extremism. For us regular folk it's stuff like this.

The anxiety that's being generated reflects our deeper unconscious anxieties.
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Old 27th January 2019, 19:46     #36
Deadmeat
 
We let ours (6yrs) ride round the block a couple of times but then put a stop to it. Too many fences obscuring drivers views out of driveways and her awareness isn't there quite yet.
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Old 1st February 2019, 15:35     #37
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
The Listener has discovered Haidt and Lukianoff's book.

https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/so...ety-fragility/

Quote:
On the day that Haidt talked to the Listener, he had received an email from a maths professor at another university. The professor had told a graduate student to “toughen up” after she complained about something. As a result, she had lodged a formal complaint.

“Now he’s in big trouble,” Haidt says.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 14:56     #38
CCS
Stunt Pants
 
^^^

Reminds me of when Paul Buchanan got fired.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 19:37     #39
fixed_truth
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ab
The Listener has discovered Haidt and Lukianoff's book.

https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/so...ety-fragility/
This article looks at WHY there’s a culture of safetyism in the middle & upper middle class.
Quote:
The chief problem is not safetyism, but scarcity coupled with precarity.

Today’s typical age college freshmen were eight-years-old when the global economy cratered in such a way that even rich people got scared for a little while. The resulting “recovery” has only exacerbated our sense of scarcity and precarity, as the fruits of that recovery have accrued to smaller and smaller groups.

The relatively well-to-do, but not quite rich folks that populate the bulk of the “paranoid parenting” demographic understand the needle their children will be required to thread has grown smaller by the year, and any slip in achievement may result in falling out of the ranks of the economically secure.[5] Is their parenting paranoid or simply calculated to maximize their child’s economic potential?
So basically societal structures & economic dynamics are creating an environment where this is gonna happen. So if we’re serious about getting rid of safetyism (especially in the context of growing inequality & technology making jobs even more scarce) then let’s make it easier for people to survive and flourish in society – maybe something like a Universal Basic Income or Negative Income Tax.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 19:58     #40
Ab
A mariachi ogre snorkel
 
I don't see how nervous middle-class parents put pressure on their kids to succeed at school and university translates into the victimhood culture examined in the book. I could see that turning into stressed students burning out chasing grades for their parents' approval Azn-styles, but not "oh noes you are negating my right to exist by appropriating that culture" or whatever fucking buzzwords the kids use these days.

Quote:
Lukianoff wanted to call the book “Disempowered” because, as he tells Jaschik, “We [Haidt and Lukianoff] believe we [society at large] have unwittingly taught a generation of students the mental habits of anxious, depressed, polarized people, and we need to rethink how we do everything from parenting in K-12, through, of course, higher education.”
Yeah, I heard Haidt mention this in a podcast recently. I think the title of the book was chosen by the publisher, and it does get the discussion off on a kinda confrontational foot, especially for people who haven't read it. The title of the book makes you think the thesis is "check out these precious little snowflakes" but really it's "the Academy is failing an entire generation of learners if we don't understand what is happening to them".
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