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January 18, 2006

Follow-Up To Students Taping Marxist/Radical Profs At UCLA

Laura's already covered this.

I'll just say I don't see what the problem is. For the leftist mantra of "chilling effect," I have another catchphrase they're fond of: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

And how about, "Integrity means doing the same as you would while being watched and not being watched."

If these flakes are convinced of the rightness of their ideas, why are they so afraid to have the rest of the world know the sermons they're a-preachin'? Isn't that just getting the Good Word out?

I feel a little bad for this naive soul, though:

In another course at UCLA having nothing to do with politics, I wrote an academically excellent, thoroughly researched paper, knowing that I was probably taking a position opposite to one held by a professor, but naively hoping that he would recognize the quality of my effort. Wrong. I received a mediocre grade. In yet another course, having learned from that experience, I deliberately adopted a liberal point of view in writing an extensive paper, simply parroting back what I knew the professor believed. Frankly, my paper was intellectually shallow. Nonetheless, I received an extremely high grade for the paper and the course.

Sure, I learned things from both experiences. The main thing I learned was how to "toe the line" -- how to say whatever the person holding the Power of the Grade wanted to hear. This is actually a useful skill for the real world.

I'm sure that Gina Cobb is a bright woman -- hey, she's got a blog, so she has to be, I figure -- but let me ask her this: What the fucking fuck were you thinking?

Really. College, law school, grad school, whatever school -- when you're talking about something that's going to be graded, tell them what they want to hear. Simple principle: When you're agreeing with someone, you "fill in" the various logical and evidentiary gaps with stuff in your own head. (Or, if you don't know how to fill in the gaps specifically, you fill them in with hypothetical logical connections and evidence which you're sure exists somewhere, because, hey, you're sure this position is right, so the logic and evidence must support it, right?)

When you read something you don't agree with, your critical faculties are much more engaged, and lapses in logic and gaps in evidence are suddenly glaring errors you just can't take your eyes away from. Or, more importantly, your red marker.

College and grad schools are great places to learn and challenge dogma and all that jazz. Just not in a blue book.

I know some readers out there are in college and grad school. Please, please, for the love of everything holy, tell the idiots what they want to hear.

I promise-- you don't have to believe a bit of it.

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posted by Ace at 08:59 PM

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