Interesting to me: campus free speech again, Illinois river flooding, geese, etc.

I am not 100 percent recovered from my recent illness and my heel is not ready for hard training either, though 4.2 miles with Ms. Vickie (“quick hike” pace) felt good.

The Illinois river has receded but one can see clearly that the goose loop was partially underwater; note the navigation buoy washed up on the grass.

Try to blow up this photo: the white goose in this photo actually has a “Canadian” neck.

And Ms. Vickie clowning a bit.

I had to fight off temptation to do more miles on my own; that is a good sign. But I am still slightly fatigued and almost fell asleep during the play Bonnie and Clyde. Well…it was community theater with many family members in the audience. The Bonnie character wasn’t the traditional Bonnie but has a wonderful singing voice (the play is a musical).

Issues: campus free speech, AGAIN. I am interested because I am a college professor. And this tweet thread that I’ve linked to does a good job at explaining that college is not making students more resistant to free speech than other students their age, that the number of incidents has to be viewed in context (there are many colleges and universities) and that the critics of some of the reported actions aren’t themselves the best advocates for free speech.

Now that being said, I will still criticize actions that I don’t care for, even if said actions aren’t of epidemic proportions, may not be representative of students on the whole, and may not be the fault of their education.

And yeah, I suppose that one easy way to raise my hackles is to intimate that somehow, you are qualified to censor (by direct policy of shouting down) what I want to hear. You aren’t. That applies to SJWs and religious nutters alike.


March 12, 2018 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking | , , , | Leave a comment

Campus free speech

Here are two somewhat different takes on the matter:

Why Evolution is True

Lawyers, Guns and Money.

My thoughts on the matter:

1. The First Amendment applies to what the government does and really doesn’t apply to, say a private school (say, a religious school can withdraw an invitation to, say, Richard Dawkins). And, of course, the First Amendment does not guarantee a polite, friendly audience.

2. But there is still the principle of free speech on a college campus, and just because the government doesn’t guarantee something does not mean that I can’t advocate for an enforceable policy toward official outside speakers.

3. And again, I am talking about speakers that were invited on campus to speak at a voluntary event, in say, a specific room. I am NOT talking about people being entitled to a polite audience in a public square:

4. Now about a speaker that an official, sanctioned campus group invited to speak at their gathering: of course, other groups are free to ridicule the group from inviting that speaker (say, the biology club inviting a creationist) or to persuade them to make a different invitation, so long as it is done in a legal manner.

5. But once the speaker has been invited, people really don’t have some moral right to show up and shout the speaker down or disrupt the speech. Seriously: who are YOU to tell me what is fit for me to hear? People go to the talk to listen to the invited speaker, not to listen to the uninvited people; they are not entitled to a captive audience. They are free, of course, to hold their own counter event. And you want to talk about being offensive: who are THEY to tell me what I am allowed to listen to?

6. I find the liberal campus snowflakes to be very annoying and while I think that the schools tolerating their antics is actually hurting them in the long run (do you want these easily triggered snowflakes representing YOU in court? I don’t! I’d rather have someone that can make a sound case on my behalf!) But, to be brutally honest, right wing political correctness has much more money and power behind it; for example, a super rich donor can influence who a school hires, what they research (think: climate science, etc.).

So I don’t want to over stress left wing misbehavior (which is real, harmful, and embarrassing) because right wing misbehavior can cause far more damage in the long run. I realize that might not be true in other countries, but it appears to be true in the US. There seems to be an “paradigm” of “hey, if he is rich, he really must know it all”; I feel that extreme wealth is an overvalued credential.

March 10, 2018 Posted by | education, free speech, social/political | | Leave a comment