"May the Fourth be with you" »« "the wisdom of Nixon…" <shudder>

Comments

  1. says

    Well, that’s two out of your three strikes.

    Just a suggestion: if you’re just trying to be sarcastic, which doesn’t play well without more knowledge of your position, it’s probably not a good idea to make a bit of sarcasm as your introduction to the other commenters.

    If you’re not being sarcastic, I’m afraid your career here will be short and painful.

  2. loreo says

    The very next article listed is about how fewer than 20% of public school teachers are nonwhite.

    But yeah, white privilege isn’t a thing, sure.

    P.S. You can just see the grin that must have been on this smug little bastard’s face when he typed “Weltanschauung”.

  3. The Mellow Monkey says

    There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. “Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors, descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone, and aims laser-like at my pinkish-peach complexion, my maleness, and the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung.

    Excuse me. I appear to have rolled my eyes into the next state.

  4. Kevin Kehres says

    Will we have a new record? The shortest posting career in the history of Pharyngula…time will tell.

  5. says

    PZ:

    I don’t really need to say anything more, do I?

    No.

    Paul Bell:

    That guy is spot on.

    What’s the problem?

    Oy. Look, I’m gonna be nice (for now) and provide you with some educational material. Please, educate yourself.

    The Male Privilege Checklist
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/

    White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

    Excellent explanation of privilege
    https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/

    Here’s a whole lot more: http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Sexism_Education_101_Link_Dump

    Now, if you decide to play clueless ass who is the great defender of white male privilege, I can’t help you. Y’know, if you’re going to lower yourself into the shark tank arse first…

  6. says

    MM @ 6:

    Excuse me. I appear to have rolled my eyes into the next state.

    If mine had rolled any harder, my spine would have snapped.

  7. says

    I’m not going to waste my time reading a load of PC nonsense Inaji.

    I’m quite happy with my education, and don’t require educating by the likes of yourself.

  8. loreo says

    Being young and ignorant is one thing, but when you realize that he could survive a history major at An Ivy League School with his oppressor attitude perfectly intact…

    /sigh

  9. zenlike says

    This is the last part of the article.

    I have checked my privilege. And I apologize for nothing.

    And that’s as wrong as it could be:

    1/ He hasn’t checked his privilege at all. In fact, he doesn’t seem to understand the phrase, or the concept of privilege, at all
    2/ Nobody asks for apologies. Again, this guy clearly doesn’t understand what it’s all about.

    And this article is ‘spot on’ according to Paul.

  10. leni says

    From the end of the article:

    My appearance certainly doesn’t tell the whole story…

    No, just a predictable part of it.

    That is all.

  11. loreo says

    “I’m quite happy with my education…”

    I bet you are. Must be nice when every teacher tells you that people like you deserve to run the world.

    My education was a stew of racism, sexism, heteronormativity, misanthropic god bothering, cis gender normativity, taught by lazy thinkers who called obedience maturity.

    But, you know, it’s PC nonsense to pay attention to people who are different.

  12. says

    Paul Bell:

    I’m not going to waste my time reading a load of PC nonsense Inaji.

    I’m quite happy with my education, and don’t require educating by the likes of yourself.

    Well, it’s lovely you’ve managed to educate yourself on every subject, and every facet of of every subject. You must be an incredibly renowned polymath, please, point us to your magnificent pontifications upon every subject.

    You’ve outed yourself as a fucking idiot, declaring “PC!” without looking at anything. Interesting notion of education you have.

  13. says

    @11
    Paul Bell

    I’m not going to waste my time reading a load of PC nonsense Inaji.

    I’m quite happy with my education, and don’t require educating by the likes of yourself.

    I’m not sure there is anything to do with this one. Blatantly admits to not caring at all about even knowing what the fuck they are talking about.

  14. says

    Brian @ 19:

    Blatantly admits to not caring at all about even knowing what the fuck they are talking about.

    And yet takes the time to ask (twice) what the problem may be. We have here an oblivious, willfully ignorant, valiant defender of white male privilege. Tedious, boring, and unteachable.

  15. says

    @20
    Paul Bell

    heteronormativity @17 – that’s a good one.

    in what way, paul? please do share.

    in what way is loreo’s claim that there was heteronormativity in their education a “good one”?

    please give some specifics.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    Lesseenow…

    Cliven Bundy – check.
    Donald Sterling – check.
    Vox Day – check.
    Paul Ryan – check.
    Tal Fortgang – check.

    Yep, no problem at all to line up a Bingo card full of dumb-racist white men of early 2014 without even calling up the False Noise reserve. (And Paul Bell for a spare!)

  17. unclefrogy says

    I did I really tried to read his article but when he went to the argument of “I’m not white I’m a jew whose family had to flee the nazis” I could not go much further.

    uncle frogy

  18. says

    Paul Bell:

    heteronormativity @17 – that’s a good one.

    Do you know what heteronormativity means? Do you understand the impact of it on societies? Do you understand the impact of it on individuals? Do you understand that fucking idiots like you are the primary problem when it comes to all the obstacles and ugly attitudes those under the GLBTIA umbrella face?

  19. says

    @21
    Inaji

    And yet takes the time to ask (twice) what the problem may be.

    I know…is Paul trying to make himself look silly?

  20. says

    PZ:

    If all he can is is spit out sneering one-liners, I’m gonna call this one-trick pony done and boot him.

    Works for me.

  21. leni says

    I’m quite happy with my education, and don’t require educating by the likes of yourself.

    I’m happy with my education too, mostly (ok I have some complaints, but I’d still do it again). That doesn’t mean I think I know everything, or that people who disagree with me don’t have anything to teach me.

    Also, “the likes of yourself”? I am a horrible writer and that still that made me lol. Sounds like someone who just landed on their fainting couch after “accidentally” clutching their pearls too tightly.

  22. says

    OK, I’m done with Paul Bell.

    Getting back to Tal Fortgang for a second; that was quite a screed he put together. I’m not sure if he seems to quite know/be aware of the topic. Initially, I thought the kid was asshat, but it may be he’s just naive. Although, I’m not ruling out #1..

  23. says

    Oh my goodness, did the young prince get thrown into a world where not everybody is prepared to bow to his brilliance, where people have the gall to inform him that his starting point was 50 yards ahead of theirs so he doesn’t get to be all that smug?
    I’m wondering how many times he’s been told to dress modestly so the girls in class can concentrate?
    Or that he shouldn’t wear a hoodie because people might be afraid of him and shoot him.
    I’m wondering how many times Paul Bell has heard the phrase “when you have a boyfriend” as he grew up.

  24. loreo says

    “heteronormativity @17 – that’s a good one.”

    Hahaha, yeah, it’s a pretty good chuckle when I look back on it.

    The freewheeling joy of youth turning brittle and cracking when I realized that my masturbation fantasies were enough to send me to a place of torture for eternity if I didn’t confess these immensely private thoughts to a celibate man three times my age in a secluded setting, if I didn’t let him tell me that my joy was wrong and evil, comedy CLASSIC. Up there with the pie fight from The Great Race.

    Seriously though. You’re a cruel bastard. Shut up.

  25. says

    @ Paul Bell

    The point of the comments is to engage in dialogue. Please enlighten us with your superior knowlege.

  26. says

    Leni @ 29:

    Also, “the likes of yourself”? I am a horrible writer and that still that made me lol. Sounds like someone who just landed on their fainting couch after “accidentally” clutching their pearls too tightly.

    I was amused by that myself. Unless Mr. Bell has been here before under a different nym, I’m fairly sure he doesn’t have anything to base that on, outside of attempting to be superior and failing miserably.

  27. plainenglish says

    Groan-stuff…. I was brought up to believe that I was guilty and privileged because God let me be alive at all, born with a babblical, evil, fallen nature. I perpetually felt guilty and privileged because there were always myriad, very public examples of folks in far more dire straits than my own and I was reminded of that… I kind of wish sometimes that I could have been like this young freshman… oh, wait: I was like him, was Tal Fortgang for about fifteen minutes in my sixteenth year. My sigh in reading about this man is mostly that he shows no insight into his interesting history of flight and oppression. He is stupid and proud. It does not look good…. my forecast is very boring weather on the horizon and more blaming falling from the sky, near Princeton… a Paul Bell smog has descended….. I knew it, I knew it….

  28. duce7999 says

    Come on, Paul. If you whine and cry long enough you might get published in Time, give us all what fer!

  29. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    [OT]
    This is the first time I notice you’re using donotlink.com, PZ. I love it, it solves the problem of linking to source without giving them views or adding to their ranking nicely.

  30. anuran says

    OT/Thought pharyngulites would be amused…

    For the past couple days I’ve been seeing ads for The Puritan Hard Drive on this site. 160Gig of Puritan, Reformed Church, Reformed Baptist, Presbyterian, Calvinist and Covenanter material.

  31. Owlmirror says

    I don’t really need to say anything more, do I?

    While some languages do not use articles, English grammar rules, should you choose to follow them, would prescribe that you write article “a” between “he’s” and “privileged”.

    /deliberate error introduced to bring down Bierce-Hartman-McKean-Skitt Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation

  32. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Paul Bell –

    How very tolerant of you Mr. Myers ! (Hypocrite).

    Jesus wept.

  33. duce7999 says

    Poe-tentialy full of shit. Poe-lease Poe-litely explain your Poe-sition, Poe-aul.

  34. says

    I read the first line of Tal Fortgang’s column and thought “privileged right-winger”. Ha! Can smell a Republican from a mile away: random Obama negative references (including misquoted ones like “you didn’t build that!”), and the usual “they’re punishing us for our success” rant.

  35. says

    That title “Why I’ll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege” is such nonsense. It might as well be “I will not do push-ups for my Mcdonalds Happy meals” did anyone actually ask you to “apologize” for your privilege?

    It’s one of those rants where the person never really lays out specifically what they are responding to. He doesn’t give an example or anything. It’s a common way to argue against a straw position.

  36. says

    Well, Paul, it all comes clear. Hammy is possessed of superior knowlege as well. Sorry to question the high and mighty.

  37. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Paul Bell sites Ken Hamm as an authority. And he claims he is happy with his (lack of) education.

    Please, keep your blindfold on and continue yelling “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!”

    It is a good look for you.

  38. hillaryrettig says

    I’m actually glad this got published. I told my nephew and niece that any Ivy or top college would be ok EXCEPT Princeton and Dartmouth.

    I hope many people read this (and that ahole sexist mama’s comments to unmarried women) and avoid Princeton like the plague. I hope Princeton’s admissions people are having coniptions.

    PS – ““Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. “” *SEVERAL TIMES.* He must be a peach.

  39. carlie says

    For the sake of anyone who doesn’t already know (AHEM PAUL BELL), “privilege” does not mean that he, as an individual, had a charmed life. It does not mean that he is necessarily in a particular economic class, or had a particular background. What it means is that, no matter where he is on the ladder of success, no matter what his own personal history is, no matter how hard he worked to be in the position he is now, the color of his skin and the sex that he is has granted him a slightly easier time of it than he would have had if he had been in the exact same situation but a woman or an ethnic minority. No matter what he has gone through to get where he is, it would have been worse if he wasn’t a white male. That is what privilege means.

  40. see_the_galaxy says

    Stuff like this derives some rhetorical force from the fact that some whites seem to hear “check your privilege” as “you’re white, so you suck”.
    An important part of conservatism is to make sure this misunderstanding happens again and again; it’s a very useful part of keeping racism alive.

  41. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The company you keep…

    Tal Fortgang is a freshman from New Rochelle, NY. He plans to major in either History or Politics. He can be reached at [...]. This piece originally appeared on The Princeton Tory.

    (bolding mine)

    I skimmed two articles there, and counted enough instances of casual sexism, homophobia, support for nationalism, some tentative libertarianism and general douchness to last me at least the whole week.

  42. hillaryrettig says

    Some kids don’t want to be taught, but this article also reflects badly on Princeton itself, if a kid could go through 4 years of a liberal arts education and emerge so blindered, it makes you wonder.

  43. gog says

    @Paul Bell

    How very tolerant of you Mr. Myers ! (Hypocrite).

    Now, I’m not certain whether you’re some sort of self-congratulatory troll feeling oh-so-pleased that you managed to set us off by being an unapologetic sexist pig, but I’ll bite. We don’t have to tolerate your bigotry. We don’t have roll out the red fucking carpet for little men that so transparently pretend that they’re being oppressed by women.

    Also, I think you should ask for a refund on that education of yours; it seems to have failed you.

  44. anteprepro says

    Paul Bell is too stupid to survive here and yet is just clever enough to be a coy, BORING, kind of stupid. A ban would be the merciful thing, for all parties, imho.

  45. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    On, Carlie, now you are denying Tal Fortgang his story. Know who else does this? Fascists!

    (I wish my last statement was hyperbole.)

    Nice, short easy to read and easy to understand summation. I have to remember the wording here.

  46. =8)-DX says

    Dude has never checked his privilege, not once. What he should do is not apologise, but rather feel deep shame at his own proud ignorance, then shut up and listen. I do it all the time, it helps.

  47. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Where I live, and in my day education was free.

    It would be too easy to make a joke about how you got what you paid for. But it is obvious the problem was not with your teachers. Your sneering ignorance was self induced.

  48. says

    @Paul Bell 58

    Do you have anything else to bring to the party? ’cause, like, you’re either going to be verbally torn to bits or just banned for being a boorish troll soon. So if you actually *care* (snerk) about whatever it is you’re here for, you’d, like… stop being a moron?

  49. says

    @ 59 – Well that’s one thing we can agree on. I find you chippy women and their supporters rather dull.

    I was led to believe this place was exciting even if full of hideous liberals.

    I’m off to watch Fargo for now, for something more worthwhile.

  50. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    [OT]
    If there ever was a right time to ignore the troll, it’s this. There are no arguments to respond to anyway.

  51. carlie says

    Oh, he’s got to be putting us on. Nobody could actually be that pretentious. It has to hurt his facial muscles to sneer so broadly.

  52. anteprepro says

    Oh the fucking article.

    First, the whines:

    “Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. …..

    a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world…..

    for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive….

    And then he “refutes” the idea of privilege by invoking immigrant grandparents from war-torn countries can calling things like racism and sexism “conspiratorial”. (Also mentioning that he and his family are Jewish yet seemingly unaware that the bad shit he has deal with has to do with antisemitism, which is ALSO related to privilege! [In this case, it is an area that his family LACKED privilege and suffered for it])

    And finally, Tal in a nutshell

    Those who came before us suffered for the sake of giving us a better life. When we similarly sacrifice for our descendents by caring for the planet, it’s called “environmentalism,” and is applauded. But when we do it by passing along property and a set of values, it’s called “privilege.” (And when we do it by raising questions about our crippling national debt, we’re called Tea Party radicals.)

    Sure, Tal is privileged. Only because his parents and grandparents sacrificed to make it that way. Therefore, Tal’s privilege is a good thing and he knows about suffering and his right-wing politics are unassailable and quit your whining and conspiracy theorizing, minorities!!!

  53. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    .. or you could just keep playing. I’ll think of it as ignoring the other troll, the one that is the topic of the post. (after all, that whiny post could work well as a trollish screed on some forum if it didn’t get picked up by Time)

  54. anteprepro says

    I find you chippy women and their supporters rather dull.

    Okay, Paul should definitely be banned. Obvious sexist troll is obvious and sexist.

  55. says

    As for the article PZ posted, I literally read the first sentence, rolled my eyes so hard that I burst several blood vessels, and closed the window. I could immediately see the kind of apologetics, “woe is me” and “minorities are the *real* racists here!” arguments he would trot out and I don’t feel like vomiting up my lunch just now.

  56. says

    But when we do it by passing along property and a set of values, it’s called “privilege.”

    Notice how he neatly conflates passing on your values with passing on property. The former is not automatically a manifestation of privilege; the latter most definitely is. It’s extremely easy to see how getting, you know, stuff from your parents and grandparents when other people don’t gives you advantages over them.

    BTW, hillaryrettig #56 – I believe he is a freshman. So, no 4 years of education for him.

  57. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    “Chippy women”? If you are so fucking anti-PC, say what you fucking mean, you mealy mouthed assclam.

  58. says

    Janine @ 75:

    “Chippy women”? If you are so fucking anti-PC, say what you fucking mean, you mealy mouthed assclam.

    Chippy [woman] is Britslang for prostitute or slut.

  59. carlie says

    “Chippy women”? If you are so fucking anti-PC, say what you fucking mean, you mealy mouthed assclam.

    Janine, he is too much of a gentleman to use that kind of language in front of us ladies. He can think that we’re dumb c*ts, but he has far too much upper-class manners to say it directly. He’d much rather insinuate it so that he can feel superior thinking that we won’t get it.

  60. anteprepro says

    I imagine Tal wrote this essay on the deck of a yacht, smoking a Cuban cigar, and having Jeeves feed him caviar-stuffed lobster while he masturbated to himself in a mirror. I imagine that Tal hired Tim Curry to read the final draft out loud to him and Tal had him re-read it at least fifteen more times, each time requesting “I need more sneering and condescension!”. I imagine that Tal would totally let a black person use the downstairs toilet in his flat, as long as that person didn’t disturb the monogrammed towels.

  61. says

    Tal Fortgang’s article echoes of thoughts and comments that we’ve heard thousands of times before so in the end, I pretty much yawn at it. The bigger travesty, if you ask me, is the fact that somehow Time magazine gave him a platform to say it. How and why did this ridiculously naive young man get his voice heard by the editors of the magazine?

    (And undoubtedly there’s privilege there, so there’s hope that the very existence of this article undercuts its own thesis…)

  62. says

    Anteprepro @ 79:

    I imagine Tal wrote this essay on the deck of a yacht, smoking a Cuban cigar, and having Jeeves feed him caviar-stuffed lobster while he masturbated to himself in a mirror. I imagine that Tal hired Tim Curry to read the final draft out loud to him and Tal had him re-read it at least fifteen more times, each time requesting “I need more sneering and condescension!”. I imagine that Tal would totally let a black person use the downstairs toilet in his flat, as long as that person didn’t disturb the monogrammed towels.

    I have no doubt Tal wishes so, and aspires to such a life, which of course, wouldn’t be privileged at all. No sir.

  63. says

    Ken Ham was right about you people.

    While I am perfectly capable of ignoring self-important twits like “Paul Bell” and getting on with my fabulous life, the Ken Ham comment is quite inspiring. Anyone who thinks Ken Ham can say correct things is wonderfully deluded, unless he means to confine Ham to “the sky is blue (sometimes)” and similar truisms. He clearly had little to contribute here, except perhaps a bit of chum for a brief feeding frenzy.

  64. Al Dente says

    I suspect Tal made sneering comments about affirmative action or Title IX sports or the like and was told to check his privilege. So now he’s whining about a concept he doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand because he, a white male cis heterosexual student at an Ivy League university, doesn’t see how he’s privileged.

  65. says

    I do not know where they get this apology idea from. I’ve never seen anyone demand that people who benefit from privilege apologise for it, or really do much more than be aware of it, and acknowledge it as a factor. But even the suggestion that this exists makes many of them bristle with anger.

  66. anteprepro says

    The interesting thing: Tal’s article also takes a jab at “You didn’t build that”.
    There actually is a very similar principle involved in that speech and in the idea of privilege: The idea that no man is an island and that someone who is successful did so not due to their own individual merit, but based on work and infrastructure and information (and so on) provided by other people. The point is to acknowledge that reality ain’t Atlas Fucking Shrugged and people, even successful people, depend on other people. And the important downside to keep in mind: some people get a raw fucking deal out of that situation and that dependence. Some people are used to make other people succeed and benefit little to none from the deal. If you are not keeping that in mind, you don’t know shit. If you are still imagining that the just world fallacy ain’t a fallacy, still imagining that success comes to the deserving and failure comes to those who don’t deserve success, then you are blind. That could be due to privilege, due to political blindness, due to religious indoctrination, whatever. But you are simply not paying fucking attention to how the world actually works.

  67. says

    also:

    Those who came before us suffered for the sake of giving us a better life. When we similarly sacrifice for our descendents by caring for the planet, it’s called “environmentalism,” and is applauded. But when we do it by passing along property and a set of values, it’s called “privilege.”

    So many things wrong here. The planet is something we ALL share (though some people live in more exposed/affected conditions than others). And calling some luxury that you have that others do not “privilege” is actually accurate, it’s kinda what the word means. So why is the word “But” randomly dropped in there? He thinks he has a point, and there are all kinds of hints that he is TRYING to imply something, but he isn’t presenting any logic here.

  68. says

    So THIS is what conservatives think is good defense against the existence of white privilege. I have heard privilege described as being born on second base and thinking you hit a double. This jerk *knows* he was born on second, but thinks he *deserves* to be treated like he hit a double because his parents and grandparents hit a double. Wow. This is proof that the right really does not give a damn about individual merit or equal opportunity, they really do believe that those born better off deserve their special status solely because of who their ancestors were.

  69. Al Dente says

    timothycarter @88

    This is proof that the right really does not give a damn about individual merit or equal opportunity, they really do believe that those born better off deserve their special status solely because of who their ancestors were.

    Tal thinks of himself as an aristocrat.

  70. Desert Son, OM says

    Jim Phynn at #80:

    How and why did this ridiculously naive young man get his voice heard by the editors of the magazine?

    Conservative youth writes an almost guaranteed controversial piece in an age when increasingly diverse media are drawing revenue and readership away from traditional print sources no matter how long established?

    “Money!
    Get away.
    Get a good job with more pay and you’re o.k.
    Money!
    It’s a gas.
    Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
    New car, caviar, four star daydream,
    Think I’ll buy me a football team.”
    -Pink Floyd, “Money,” 1973

    Still learning,

    Robert

  71. ekwhite says

    Back on topic, it is really sad that Tal Fortag doesn’t appreciate the privilege that his parents and grandparents worked so hard to give him. My father only had an eighth grade education, but he and my mother made sure that all three of their children had a college education. My grandfather rode the rails during the depression, and then worked in a cotton mill for the rest of his life.

    Of course I was lucky enough to be white and male, so despite being poor, I had some advantages. Tal Fortag also had the advantage of growing up in a wealthy suburb, but he isn’t even thankful for that. He seems to confuse the hard work and suffering his parents and grandparents went through for hard work and suffering *he* went through. That is the textbook definition of unchecked privilege.

  72. says

    Desert Son @ 90:

    -Pink Floyd, “Money,” 1973

    I was all happy, listening to Ulali, now I have to go find Dark Side of the Moon. ;)

  73. ekwhite says

    Ooops. I should have written Tal Fortgang. *blushes at own stupidity*

  74. anteprepro says

    Oh. My. Non-Existent. God.

    So, I followed the link to where this article of Tal’s was posted originally: “The Princeton Tory”. It is described as a “journal of conservative and moderate thought”.

    Here’s some douchewankery from some other articles

    Human rights are unassailable things, which is why liberals love justifying the next progressive social experiment as simply fulfilling some newly discovered right. So next time your friend accuses you of heartlessly denying something so fundamental as a right, be sure he is not actually talking about a privilege we would like to be able to afford everyone but realistically cannot, such as a college education, or a fundamental human institution in which not everyone can partake, such as matrimony or parenthood, or a concept meaningless in itself which he may use to justify nearly any objectionable behavior, such as privacy

    [Note in the following quote: "friend" is "liberal you are arguing with".]

    But whatever the specific context, you may be assured that your friends will commit the same offense when invoking the social construct; namely, while the topic-at-hand may in fact be a theory about how society is formed and relates to itself (i.e. a social construct), in spite of the fact that many social constructs may actually be quite positive things, your friend will always use the term in a manner suggesting that, simply because something might be a social construct, it is a prison built by the oppressive past and must be destroyed. The belief that it is possible for a woman to live a fruitful life as a homemaker, for example, he will label a social construct, expecting this to be enough to prove its malice—never mind that a social construct would put women in the workplace, as well. As with the slippery slope, your liberal friends will think that, simply by throwing out the term “social construct,” they magically end the argument—don’t let them get away with this.

    You may be taken aback the first time you are faced with this embarrassment-to-rhetoric, simply because it is typically trotted out with such oblique confidence and naïveté. The Arbitrary Handrail Fallacy, as we have dubbed it, consists in denying the validity of any argument simply because it is centered upon the reductio ad absurdum. Odds are, you will face this challenge when you are debating marriage, and point out, in your horribly homophobic way, that, if marriage is redefined as an emotional union rather than a conjugal one, there doesn’t seem to be any principled reason for, say, denying marriage to polygamous groupings as well as gay couples. The challenge will be quick: “Oh please, that’s just a slippery slope,” they’ll say, as if labeling the rhetoric invalidates it. Of course, the reduction to the absurd is a completely legitimate mode of argument. Every position is founded on certain principles or assumptions, and this form of rhetoric takes aim at faulty foundations by illustrating that, when carried to their logical ends, your friend’s principles lead to positions or beliefs that cannot be held by any rational person, and thus must be discarded. But your opponents will often think instead that, in employing the reduction to the absurd, you are accusing them of actually holding the absurd beliefs at which their assumptions must arrive, or that you are attempting to guarantee some extremist vision of the future which even their most unbridled progressive thinking has failed to foresee. They should realize this is not what you’re doing, however. You aren’t accusing them of supporting polyamory or guaranteeing that, if gay marriage is legalized everywhere, polyamory will follow; rather you are simply attacking their original assumption about the nature of marriage by pointing out where it logically leads.

    In debates over controversial social issues, liberals often invoke a version of what philosophers call the harm principle. It goes like this: Adults should be legally permitted to do whatever they desire provided that they do not harm themselves or any other parties without the consent of all parties involved. The harm principle justified practices such as euthanasia, pornography, prostitution, drug use, and the like, because these involve only adults and do not seem to cause any non-consensual harms. And while it is a relatively novel concept, having only originated in the mid-nineteenth century, the harm principle is accepted today by most people—including many professed conservatives—as self-evident. But these people are wrong to accept it, because far from being self-evident, the harm principle, which undergirds most contemporary liberal ethics, proves quite implausible under close examination….

    (1) A film director is working on a gruesome scene that depicts the torture and subsequent execution of a man. In order to make the scene as realistic as possible, he finds a suicidal and masochistic adult who is willing to actually undergo both torture and execution. Both the film director and the adult consent to the plan of the former, and the adult is tortured and killed on the set.

    (2) A man carrying a syringe and several vials of heroin and other similar substances approaches a friend and asks to be injected with the liquid in the vials. The man explains to his friend that, for reasons of his own, he wishes to become addicted to these substances for life but is too nervous to perform the injections himself. He further requests that his friend continue to inject him with the substances throughout his life so that he may never be productive to society again. The friend agrees and consensually executes the man’s plan.

    (3) A cannibal places an advertisement on the Internet requesting an adult who is willing to be slaughtered and then eaten. An adult contacts the cannibal and consents to the request. The cannibal and the adult meet in person, and the adult is killed and consumed.

    Sophisticated Conservatives sure are obsessed with absurd, implausible scenarios.

  75. says

    or a fundamental human institution in which not everyone can partake, such as matrimony

    A fundamental human institution, in which those pesky not-quite humans can’t partake. Nice.

  76. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Well, to be fair, you have to realize that profoundly mediocre people like Tal Fortgang would have no hope of the luxury to which he is accustomed were the playing field remotely level. That must be scary for the poor little guy, knowing all of those people who he thinks are lesser by virtue of their birth, class or other circumstance are just a hair away from letting him sink to where his actual accomplishments would keep him. And maybe he is in fact as utterly insufferable as all of those people who keep telling him to consider some honest self-examination keep indicating.

  77. futurechemist says

    I read the article and am leaning more towards him being a naive ~18 year old. Most disappointing was how much attention he gives to the discrimination his family received because they were Jewish, while not acknowledging that other kinds of discrimination can come into play for other people. Why is it so tricky a concept that a single person can benefit from 1 type of privilege while being hurt by another type of privilege?

    From what I know of it (and someone else can correct me if I’m mistaken), he’s from New Rochelle, which is a fairly rich town in Westchester County, NY. Which means that he may have had a relatively sheltered upbringing. I say that as someone who was raised in a fairly white, upper middle class, suburb and didn’t really encounter diversity until I got to college.

  78. Desert Son, OM says

    Inaji at #92:

    I was all happy, listening to Ulali

    And now I’m off to cycle the digital music player to “Mahk Jchi” :)

    Still learning,

    Robert

  79. anteprepro says

    futurechemist:

    Most disappointing was how much attention he gives to the discrimination his family received because they were Jewish, while not acknowledging that other kinds of discrimination can come into play for other people.

    Honestly, from what he wrote, I’m not quite sure if he even considers the stuff his family had to deal with “discrimination”! He just considers it a “struggle” or a “sacrifice”, something to overcome. It’s something that he conveniently doesn’t have to overcome and this obviously shouldn’t be suspected to affect his perspective of the world at all! Basically, he seems to speak of War and Concentration Camps as if they were acts of nature or something, and that they are just obstacles you have to deal with and if you can’t succeed while dealing with those obstacles, then too bad so sad, guess you aren’t as Super Duper as MY family.

  80. says

    @94
    anteprepro

    Trigger warning, but it appears that #3 about the cannibal is a thing that has happened.

    That diatribe about the “harm principle” seems to assume that such a principle is the very foundation of the morality (rather than a heuristic for common scenarios), that their presented scenarios do not violate it, and also that no other principles/considerations come into play. Also, they simply present the scenarios assuming people will see them to be reducto ad absurdum, without exactly detailing how the principle of harm has actually led to a failed result.

  81. carlie says

    futurechemist – I do not blame any sheltered 19 year old for the fact that they have been sheltered and might be completely ignorant of the world around them, so long as they are trying to keep an open mind and grapple with it and figure out what that means they need to change about their worldview.

    However, I absolutely blame a national magazine for giving such an uneducated, sheltered viewpoint a national stage as if it is an opinion that is worth anyone’s time to read.

  82. anteprepro says

    brainpansky

    Also, they simply present the scenarios assuming people will see them to be reducto ad absurdum, without exactly detailing how the principle of harm has actually led to a failed result.

    This was the key thing that irritated me, actually. These supposedly smart philosophical folkz can’t understand that morality being complex isn’t proof that any given moral principle is inherently faulty (as much as, you know, incomplete).

    Conservatism and philosophy do not mix.

  83. colnago80 says

    One has to laugh at those who complain about affirmative action and then completely ignore legacy admissions. A perfect example of legacy admissions is George W. Bush, who got into Yale as an undergraduate because his father was a Yale graduate (and member of Skull and Bones to boot). If his name was Sam Schlepperman instead of G. W. Bush, he would not have gotten an interview at Yale, based on his SAT scores and high school grades, much less admission.

  84. says

    @102

    Conservatism and philosophy do not mix.

    Ya pretty much.

    Just to continue some thinking about those rather stomach turning scenarios:

    In all three scenarios, the activity is final and irreversible. As such, they may not be able to qualify as “consent”. Consent requires that the person can change their mind at any point, and recover their future freedom. Torture until death makes this unlikely, as after a certain point their life may be beyond saving.

    Also, I’m not sure if I could find a link for this, but people who have attempted suicide have talked about ways that mental issues also disqualify consent to the particular motivations they distort, maybe similar to drugs or alcohol. I’m not sure exactly how it all went, or how applicable it is to all of these cases, but it might be.

    Next, the horror people feel while reading those might be skipping away from the topic of morality, and on to the topic of how the consent can be verified for legal purposes. Though at a certain point I’m not sure there is a distinction between what is moral and what can be verified legally. If you are introducing ambiguity into the legal system, the harm that causes to people other than yourself is something you are at fault for. And so here too the scenarios may simply fail to follow from the harm principle, as actual harm could be shown to result in society.

  85. smrnda says

    Fuck.

    I’m female, a lesbian, I’m disabled and Jewish as well (well, an atheist Jew but ethnically one) and I still check my privilege sometimes, because having parents with advanced degrees can be a huge advantage in life. So if I can check my privilege, what’s this jackasses excuse?

    On the implausible scenarios – morality based on harm is such a sound and reasonable proposition that you have to go digging for something extreme which is probably not happening at all in order to find a ‘hole’ to poke on it.

    The guy also doesn’t seem to understand the whole notion of a social construct, probably because he doesn’t bother to pay any attention. Some good things are social constructs – rights, for example.

  86. Alan Boyle says

    To quote from that reduction ad absurdum piece, I think the closest they got to a reasonable statement was their example of the clearly outrageous consequence:

    there doesn’t seem to be any principled reason for, say, denying marriage to polygamous groupings as well as gay couples

    Absolutely, but we’ve a long, long road ahead of us before society is likely to openly acknowledge non-monogamous relationships as equally valid, never mind build up a social and legal framework in which they can thrive. We can start by tackling the widespread casual dismissal of bisexuality, and go from there, perhaps?

  87. hoosierx says

    When did Time start publishing an annual White Privilege Wahmbulance issue?

  88. gmacs says

    I’m not going to waste my time reading a load of PC nonsense Inaji.

    Well, you dropped the phrase “PC”, so we know you’re a lesser troll (low level, common, stupid deflection). But you also show in there that you are unwilling to read some thing after asking “what’s the problem?”. So, you clearly didn’t mean your question.

    I’m quite happy with my education, and don’t require educating by the likes of yourself.

    Well, we can tell where you stand on anyone who challenges your status by your use of the phrase “likes of yourself”. You goddamn know that you are privileged, and you think you fucking deserve it. Otherwise you would have the fucking intellectual integrity to look up what people are talking about.

    If you’re so goddamned interested in watching angry Minnesotans, then I’ll give you an angry Minnesotan:

    I am so goddamned tired of people from my same background (Caucasian, male, middle-class heterosexuals) bitching and moaning that they might actually have to work as hard as everyone else does. I know for a fact that I have done better in life than people I have seen working harder and putting in more effort than me.

    I can see quite clearly the advantage I have gotten from my skin, my dick, and my parents’ bank account. How many black people do you think have lazily gone through a job interview and been hired on the spot as a pharmacy technician? I have done that. I have gotten jobs through my parents’ and family friends’ connections. I have never had to worry about being judged as a criminal. I can’t even imagine what it must like to get pulled over by a cop and have to actually worry that I might get arrested or searched.

    I’ve also never had people assume I was upset because “it was that time of the month”. I have however, heard about all the shit my mom had to put up with in a male dominated field. I’ve seen female friends of mine get treated like shit in their private lives, and have their input ignored in their professional lives because of their sex. I’ve also watched my gay friends go through the pain of being rejected by their significant others’ families.

    In short, my life has been a motherfucking breeze, and I am well-the-fuck aware of it. If you think “reverse racism” or affirmative action are any worse than the actual systemic discrimination against minorities, you are either woefully unaware or unacceptably ignorant.

  89. naturalcynic says

    Anybody want to bet on when young Tal first read Atlas Shrugged?

  90. Jackie the wacky says

    Well, to be fair, you have to realize that profoundly mediocre people like Tal Fortgang would have no hope of the luxury to which he is accustomed were the playing field remotely level. That must be scary for the poor little guy,

    Every time I hear some right wing jackass say there is no such thing as privilege and then I see another old, white, male, Christian, heterosexual, cis-gender male senator or judge say evolution is a lie, abortion is murder and climate change is a hoax I want to metaphorically rub the denialist’s nose in him. People that stupid do not get in positions of power for any other reason. Yes, people like Tal are scared of having to compete on a level playing field. The only reason his assholishness is given any attention at all is because of his privilege.

  91. anteprepro says

    smrdna: To clarify, the social construct part was a different article. My 94 was sloppy and I probably should have made it clear to begin with. The first three quotes in that comment are all from one article about Bad Librul Arguments. The last one was from another article specifically about “the harm principle”.

    Hoosier X:

    When did Time start publishing an annual White Privilege Wahmbulance issue? </blockquote cite?

    Every issue is Time's White Privilege issue.

    Also: It started publishing a regular Waaaahmbulance edition in 1986. Before that, it was called the WHAM!bulance edition.

  92. gmacs says

    For fuckssake! How hard is it to admit privilege.

    I am fully aware that if I were not a white, middle-class male, I would not have fared nearly so well as I have in life. I got through college on my grandparents’ money and my parents’ credit.

    See? Not so hard.

  93. Lithified Detritus says

    OK, along so with Huffpo & Salon, it looks like we can chuck Time, as well. I’m worried about Slate, too, on the “bait & switch” issue.

  94. anteprepro says

    naturalcynic

    Anybody want to bet on when young Tal first read Atlas Shrugged?

    “I am Rand.
    Rand I am.”

    That Rand-I-am!
    That Rand-I-am!
    I do not like
    That Rand I am!”

    “Do you like
    state-free lands?”

    “I do not like them,
    Rand-I-am.
    I do not like
    state-free lands”

    “Would you like them
    here or there?”

    “I would not like them
    here or there.
    I would not like them
    anywhere.
    I do not like
    your state-free lands
    I do not like them,
    Rand-I-am”

    “Would you like them
    for the fun?
    Would you like them
    with a gun?

    “I do not like them
    for the fun.
    I do not like them
    with a gun.
    I do not like them
    here or there.
    I do not like them
    anywhere.
    I do not like your state-free lands.
    It’s messed up shit you got there, Rand.”

    “Would you like them
    for the greed?
    Would you like them
    for the weed?”

    “Not for the greed.
    Not for the weed.
    Not for the fun.
    Not with a gun.
    I would not like them here or there.
    I would not like them anywhere.
    I do not like your state-free lands.
    Anarchy ain’t playtime, Mrs. Rand.”

    “Would you? Could you?
    In a mansion?
    Let the peons burn
    And just keep dancin?”

    “I would not, could not,
    In a mansion”

    “You may like them.
    You will see.
    You might like them
    On a crime spree”

    “I would not, could not on a crime spree!
    Not in a mansion! Just let me be!
    I do not like them for the greed.
    I do not like them for the weed.
    I do not like them for the fun.
    I do not like them with a gun.
    I do not like them here or there.
    I do not like them anywhere.
    I do not like your state-free lands.”

    “A train! A train!
    A train! A train!
    Could you, would you, on a train?”

    “I would not, could not, on a train”

    “Say! In the dark? Here in the dark!
    Would you, could you, in the dark?”

    “I would not, could not, in the dark”

    “Would you, could you, on cocaine?”

    “I would not, could not, on cocaine.
    Not in the dark, not on a train.
    Not for a lark, not in the park.
    I do not like them, Rand, you see.
    Not in my House. Not bringing smallpox.
    Not selling police . Not showing on Fox.
    I will not have them here or there.
    I do not like them anywhere!”

    “You do not like
    a state-free land?”

    “I do not like them, Rand-I-Am”

    “You do not like them
    SO you say.
    Try them! Try them!
    And you may.
    Try them and you may I say.”

    “Rand! If you will let me be, I will try them.
    You will see….

    Say!
    I like a state-free land!
    I do! I like them, Rand-I-Am!
    And I would love them from a yacht.
    I would love them with
    I will snort some free cocaine.
    I will ride my super trains.
    I will enjoy our plague of smallpox.
    I will always watch the news of Fox.
    I will start a fun crime spree.
    I will claim that mansion, just you see.
    I will do it for the greed.
    I will smoke my tax-free weed.
    I will do it for the fun!
    And I will do it, with my gun.

    I will have them here and there.
    I will have them EVERYWHERE!

    I do so like
    this state-free land.
    Thank you,
    Thank you,
    Rand-I-Am”

  95. oualawouzou says

    I discovered privilege the day I, an 18 year old white heterosexual middle-class male, was walking alongside a black girl who was the target of a drive-by “Fucking nigger!”

    I’d wager our (nominally) educated friend lived a somewhat sheltered life that shielded him of such little human experiences.

  96. says

    The truth is, though, that I have been exceptionally privileged in my life, albeit not in the way any detractors [sic] would have it.
    It has been my distinct privilege that my grandparents came to America. First, that there was a place at all that would take them from the ruins of Europe. And second, that such a place was one where they could legally enter, learn the language, and acclimate to a society that ultimately allowed them to flourish.

    One place they probably wouldn’t have entered or flourished during much of the twentieth century, though, was Princeton. As described in Jerome Karabel’s The Chosen, the application process Fortgang went through originally took form in part to keep out Jewish kids (Jewish men, I should say – women weren’t admitted until 1969). But I’m sure the WASPy legacy guys from the feeder prep schools benefited not at all from their privilege, just like kids from rich families today don’t benefit from educational-preparatory opportunities that allow them to succeed in “merit”-based competition.

  97. samihawkins says

    I will never, ever, understand what’s so fucking difficult to grasp about the concept of privilege. Even when I was still convinced I was a straight cis white male I had no problem admitting that came with tons of advantages. I never worried about being pulled over and searched on flimsy pretexts because a cop thought I had a suspicious skin tone, if I were raped nobody would lecture me about how I was asking for it with those tight shorts, nobody would ever assume I’m a diseased pervert and/or pedophile, and nobody would ever argue I deserved to be murdered if I have sex with somebody and don’t reveal my deepest darkest most shameful secret first.

    Keep in mind I grew up in rural Texas, about as far from ‘liberal indoctrination’ as you can get. I didn’t need someone to explain the concept of privilege to me, I never even knew about that word until my late teens, I just looked at the world around me and noticed all the incredibly obvious evidence that some groups were treated less fairly by society than others.

  98. alexanderz says

    Mandatory Onion reference (video).

    BTW, did you know that our dear friend Tal Fortgang is feeling a bit of a backlash? Yes, he does. For one thing, he was forced to close his Twitter account. Luckily Google has a cache. Did you know he’s a Scalia groupie? Shocking, I know.

    brianpansky #100:
    There even was a song about it. Look for Rammstein’s Mein Teil.

  99. says

    It’s very interesting how some very privileged people understand the one dimension on which they’re on the losing side of privilege not as a source of experience through which they can gain understanding of how privilege works and sympathy with others in structurally similar positions but as a weapon to use against those exposing and fighting the system.

  100. alexanderz says

    It’s gets better! He’s a hardcore settler who has spent a year in Yeshivat Har Etzion. Not in Mercaz HaRav Kook where the serious elite is brought up, but in a settler-safari sort of location. One specifically designed for quick indoctrination of American Jews. And for their sweet sweet cash.

  101. daft says

    When do these people think straight, white, male privilege dissapeared? It must have been some time after slavery was abolished, women got the vote and homosexuallity was decriminalised. But when exactly did this obvious and extreme privilege become insignificant?

  102. mdking671 says

    I’m a long-time reader here. Perhaps, more accurately, a lurker since I haven’t joined in before this. So, I was a little taken aback by the vitriolic reaction. When this guy Paul disagreed with the party line he was immediately castigated, nay bullied, and then thrown out like so much irrelevant trash. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

  103. samihawkins says

    #124:

    You just reminded me about my last argument about sexism, particularly the question of why we’ve never had a female president. I had a guy seriously claiming that yeah of course women were discriminated in the ‘old days’, he never gave a date for exactly when that time ended, but ‘now’, again he was vague as to when this period began, it’s just because no women want the job.

    This would be a stupid claim under normal circumstances, but this was on a politics message board sandwiched between two threads speculating about Hillary’s 2016 campaign.

  104. anteprepro says

    Thanks for the praise, y’all! I was worried that it would be frowned upon due to the comment the screen-length.

    mdking671:

    So, I was a little taken aback by the vitriolic reaction. When this guy Paul disagreed with the party line he was immediately castigated, nay bullied, and then thrown out like so much irrelevant trash. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    Ummmm, how long have you been reading/lurking, may I ask? And may I also ask:

    -Are you familiar with trolling tactics?
    -Do you know under what contexts “PC”/”political correctness” is brought up by people with “differing opinions”, as you put it?
    -Did you look up what “chippy” means?

    Paul is certainly not the worst example of anything we’ve had on this blog. But he certainly wasn’t looking to actually engage anyone either.

  105. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Being published in Time is pretty much all the insult I think this clueless young man needs for the moment. Being lauded by Time is like receiving the endorsement of Fox News save that, worse than nobody giving a shit by the next issue, nobody even remembers you existed.

    Life will likely deal with him, very roughly but far more deservedly than those he belittles as less worthy than his privileged self, soon enough. He’ll need more than one lesson, it seems, and he’ll get more than one lesson.

    Oh, and what an uninteresting asshole that Paul Bell was. Would that I could be there to take photos of when life kicks him in his surprised ass.

  106. Al Dente says

    mdking671 @125

    Paul made the first two posts on this thread which were identical except one uses the word “guy” and the other used the word “bloke” to refer to Fortgang. Both posts said Fortgang “was right on” and asked “What’s the problem.” In the next post PZ warned Paul that if he wasn’t being sarcastic then his “career here will be short and painful.” Paul replied that he wasn’t being sarcastic. As PZ predicted, Paul’s career here was short and painful.

    Paul didn’t disagree with the party line. He asked for information and when given links refused to look at “a load of PC nonsense.” In short, Paul was trolling and was given the welcome every troll deserves.

    But your concern for Paul is noted.

  107. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    imthegenieicandoanything:

    Being lauded by Time is like receiving the endorsement of Fox News save that, worse than nobody giving a shit by the next issue, nobody even remembers you existed.

    It’s sad, really. I can remember when Time seemed like the least right-wing of the newsweeklies, with USN & WR at the other end, and Newsweek somewhere in the middle. I guess nowadays all the media is so right-wing that there’s no distinguishing between them. Approach the speed of light closely enough and all the energy goes into increasing your mass-holishness.

  108. says

    #83 Al Dente

    I suspect Tal made sneering comments about affirmative action or Title IX sports or the like and was told to check his privilege.

    I wondered the same thing myself. The problem with Tal’s screed is that I can not tell the context in which people asked him to “check his privilege.” He interprets this as discounting all his hard work. Without knowing the context we can not evaluate his grievance.

    “But they can’t be telling me that everything I’ve done with my life can be credited to the racist patriarchy holding my hand throughout my years of education and eventually guiding me into Princeton. ” Well, maybe they’re not and this interpretation of the phrase “check your privilege” goes to the most extreme negative place possible.

    I also noticed he fails to realize the lack of economic opportunity that existed in times past. He tells the story of his holocaust survivor grandparents coming to the U.S. “penniless.” I wonder how much help and how many customers for his grandfather’s business came from a prosperous Jewish community in New York City? He mentions they sent their kids to “A Jewish Day School.” How much do you want to bet they had low or no tuition? I wonder if he asserts that blacks were not prosperous enough to do the same results from some sort of failing on their part? It’s rather unlikely he even realizes that when his grandparents arrived in the U.S. blacks found themselves kicked out of jobs very openly for the purpose of making those jobs available for returning WWII veterans.

    He waxes polemic about the wonderfulness of coming to the United States. He evidently does not know that many people from war-torn areas of Africa, Asia and Central/South America the U.S. did not let in.

    One more point: Since when is passing along property to ones children a “sacrifice?” This does not even make sense. Sally Strange #74 noted this already but really, this WTF is the elephant in the room. How can he fail to realize this is a prime example of unearned privilege? He’s trying to cash in on his grandparents suffering and hard work.

    @ Carlie #53

    it would have been worse if he wasn’t a white male. That is what privilege means.

    Yes. Yes. Yes. And again, we can only speculate as to what led people to ask him to check his privilege. I also wonder about the editors at Time as this is the obvious question. No one thought to ask him to re-write his “essay” to answer it?

  109. ChasCPeterson says

    Fuck TIME magazine.
    This Forstang kid, he’s just a dipshit freshman who doesn’t know shit about shit but thinks he’s all that for using the word “Weltanschauung”. He wants to claim his grandparents’ struggles as his own when in reality he grew up in New Rochelle, and $20 sez the North side*, which ‘kipedia sez “is ranked in Forbes Magazines list of the ‘500 most expensive zip-codes’ in the country. According to the list, the average household income was $199,061 and the average home price was over $752,000.”
    So far he’s obviously majoring in Not Getting It and studying hard. He might learn. Might.

    But TIME magazine? No excuse. They suck. Fuck ‘em.

    *(I could be wrong about that, but on the other hand $20 is 2 hours of work for me these days…thanks, Home Depot!)

  110. anteprepro says

    Chas:

    He wants to claim his grandparents’ struggles as his own when in reality he grew up in New Rochelle, and $20 sez the North side*, which ‘kipedia sez “is ranked in Forbes Magazines list of the ’500 most expensive zip-codes’ in the country. According to the list, the average household income was $199,061 and the average home price was over $752,000.”

    *blinks*

    Holy crap.

  111. Blanche Quizno says

    “(and that ahole sexist mama’s comments to unmarried women)”

    Where?

  112. anteprepro says

    Blanche Quizno: Quick googling leads me to believe that hillaryrettig is referring to this.

    (I had thought before Googling that they had invited Phyllis Schlafly to speak at the school or something!)

  113. says

    @125
    mdking671

    I’m a long-time reader here. Perhaps, more accurately, a lurker since I haven’t joined in before this. So, I was a little taken aback by the vitriolic reaction. When this guy Paul disagreed with the party line he was immediately castigated, nay bullied, and then thrown out like so much irrelevant trash. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    lol. Paul destroyed himself. Starting with questions and simply refusing to read the answer. He even added this “from the likes of you” snipe, after being spoken to nicely. He only plunged downhill from there. That he received a harsh response for his own hostility and disengenous behavior is not bullying on our part.

  114. mickll says

    “Furthermore, I condemn them for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth.”

    This is the nub of his gripe, merely suggesting that America isn’t a fairyland meritocracy where inherited power, wealth and privilege don’t exist is sacrilegious!

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    There’s no problem with dissenting opinions, but you do need to evidence them, and respond rationally. Paul didn’t do either. Paul expressed attitude, not arguments.

  116. Blanche Quizno says

    “You may be taken aback the first time you are faced with this embarrassment-to-rhetoric, simply because it is typically trotted out with such oblique confidence and naïveté.”

    These two asshats’ self-righteous, pained bleats both embarrass me and leave me taken aback. Unless Paul Bell and that Taj WhatsHisNose are the very same douche.

    With regard to polyamory, I heard an interesting interview some years back on talk radio – in Utah, of all places. The analysis was that monogamy is the greatest contributor to a peaceful society that there is, fundamentally. See, if you allow multiple marriage, you’re going to get a few stellar (or at least very rich) guys who get ALL the marriageable women. There will be none left for Regular Joes. We CAN disregard polyandry, because such a thing is extremely uncommon, even where it is allowed. I think it’s a reproductive thing – if you have one woman with 10 men, how many babies will this group produce in a given year (barring twins/triplets/etc.)? But if you have one man with TEN women, well, that’s a completely different story! One baby in a year vs. ten! And given that the rigors of pregnancy and raising an infant, which fall disproportionately upon the women, tend to be somewhat incapacitating (even today, in those notorious FLDS polygamy situations, the brutal and misogynist patriarchs held the women captive by threatening their children), and men are typically bigger and stronger anyhow, it’s easy to see how group marriage situations have tended to gravitate toward one man with many women.

    But if you have a few men monopolizing all the women, the rest of the men will be discontented and frustrated, and much more likely to revolt. Thus, by mandating couples-only marriages, this would create the most contentment and equity within society, with regard to this one very important aspect of life.

  117. Blanche Quizno says

    115’s anteprepro seussalicious masterpiece was missing two words:

    “And I would love them from a yacht.
    I would love them with some pot

    See?

  118. says

    @naturalcynic #109

    Anybody want to bet on when young Tal first read Atlas Shrugged?

    I’m going to guess never, since I firmly believe that most Randians never read the source material. Seems like a common practice among the religious.

  119. Blanche Quizno says

    @135 anteprepro – Thanks! That MUST be it! I remember that dour frumptastic get-in-the-kitchen-girls article. Ugh.

    I couldn’t figure out what to search for. There’s just *so much* of that kind of crap floating around…

  120. Blanche Quizno says

    ” nobody would ever argue I deserved to be murdered if I have sex with somebody and don’t reveal my deepest darkest most shameful secret first.”

    Oh dear. I think I’ve been doin it rong all these years! Is this a specific “deepest darkest most shameful secret”, or is it any/all of them? I would really think that such a confession might really “ruin the mood”, if you know what I mean. And how am I to choose which is the “deepest darkest most shameful secret” of them all? There are so many, after all!!

  121. says

    @mdking671 #125:

    I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    Except you didn’t. And hey, no “bullying”. That’s what happen when your comment amounts to more than, “Why you mad, bro?” Unlike Paul’s.

  122. Blanche Quizno says

    @ mdking671,

    The OP up top is about an article that has some serious problems – it was posted here to illuminate and examine these problems.

    If you don’t believe the article in question is problematic, then this is not a discussion you – or Paul – need(s) to join. If a group of people wants to discuss something that isn’t your cup of asparagus, you go somewhere where something that you personally find more interesting is going on, right?

    Obviously, several people agreed not only about the article’s problems, but found these problems illustrative of attitudes that are damaging, even poisonous, to society as a whole. Again, if you don’t agree, this is not the discussion for you, as what you want to discuss is different from what everybody else wants to discuss. IF you wish to join in on the actual discussion in progress, that’s one thing. That’s fine. But if you simply want to halt the discussion or condemn the people having it because you don’t agree with the premise that the article’s problems highlight a huge problem in society today, then surely it comes as no surprise that you won’t be welcomed, the same way Paul wasn’t welcomed.

    If you think people are being unreasonable, present your evidence that demonstrates they are in the wrong. If you don’t have such evidence, that’s probably reason to suspect that your opinion is flawed.

    When someone is adamant that “affirmative action” is an unfair rules-bending that must be jettisoned in the interest of post-racial equality and colorblindness and unfair advantage to the undeserving or whatever, BUT IN THE SAME SENTENCE you do NOT add “…and the legacy system, where the children of alumni are given preferential access on the basis of their relatives, needs to likewise go, as it’s more of the same unfairness”, then don’t expect anyone to take you seriously. By omitting the acknowledgment that the “legacy” system is simply privileged “affirmative action” for the sole purpose of benefiting those already most privileged in society, you are sending the metamessage that “affirmative action” is wrong because “THOSE people” don’t belong there in the first place. Without equally condemning the “legacy” system, you betray your racist and classist bias. Which, coincidentally, is exactly the problem we were discussing.

  123. footface says

    So, having read Paul’s comments, I can only assume Ken Ham’s warning about Pharyngula was, “If you go there and shit in a thread, insult other commenters, dismiss the points they raise, and refuse to consider the arguments of those you are purportedly engaging with, people will think you’re an asshole.”

    Hey, I agree with this Ken Ham fellow.

  124. says

    mdking671 @125:

    I’m a long-time reader here. Perhaps, more accurately, a lurker since I haven’t joined in before this. So, I was a little taken aback by the vitriolic reaction. When this guy Paul disagreed with the party line he was immediately castigated, nay bullied, and then thrown out like so much irrelevant trash. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    You were taken aback by the vitriol because someone didn’t agree with the party line? Do you have any idea the amount of asses who come here and say the exact same thing? If you’ve been lurking and reading, you’ve certainly been doing it wrong.

    Please, find any comment where Paul Bell actually presented a disagreement or an argument, I’ll wait. I was polite enough to answer his question, with very helpful material, which, if one is interested, provides one hell of a lot of information, explanation, and education. So, what did I get in return? Sneers, condescension, and told I was a chippy woman. Chippy, as I pointed out upthread, means prostitute or slut. So, you decide to come out of the lurking closet to defend Paul Bell? I find that very interesting indeed.

  125. says

    So, you decide to come out of the lurking closet to defend Paul Bell? I find that very interesting indeed.

    And then disappear, never to comment again, it seems. Somehow I do not feel much loss.

    I know there are good posts that start with “I’m a long time lurker” but I always read a beginning like that with some trepidation. All to often it is clearly a lie, or the person has not been reading for comprehension.

  126. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Stuff like this derives some rhetorical force from the fact that some whites seem to hear “check your privilege” as “you’re white, so you suck”.
    An important part of conservatism is to make sure this misunderstanding happens again and again; it’s a very useful part of keeping racism alive.

    To be fair, my observation is that the social justice community has, in large part, only recently and haphazardly started to break a long streak of ducking into that particular punch.

    Exhibit A: the choice of “privilege,” a word with well-established prior connotations that translate into “YOU’RE A SPOILED BRAT!” on anything less than an actively charitable reading, to convey

    no matter where he is on the ladder of success, no matter what his own personal history is, no matter how hard he worked to be in the position he is now, the color of his skin and the sex that he is has granted him a slightly easier time of it than he would have had if he had been in the exact same situation but a woman or an ethnic minority.

  127. Louis says

    Inaji,

    While, yes, “chippy” can have the meaning you describe, I’ve genuinely not heard it used that way for the majority of my life. I think it’s an antiquated usage. The far more common UK use is in reference to having a “chip on your shoulder”. I might be wrong in my translation of douche to English, but I’d err on that latter usage. Not that, you know, that’s any better. “Chippy women” chimes with the whining stain’s complaints about PC better than it does some random accusation of sluttery.

    So my money is on your kindness, linking information, disagreement and any data or argument you might have being dismissed because of some claimed (falsely) chip on your shoulder, you terrible woman person you, rather than the fact that, obviously, you women are all massive, massive, sluts. There, isn’t that better? Or it might be both. A twofer. But I wouldn’t credit the fuckwit with your level of erudition.

    Either way, PZ’s Ebil Hippokrytikul Bannerisation ™ of the One Line Wanker has clearly infringed on his Gawd Given Man Right™ to post anywhere on the Internet and never have to read anything or engage with anyone meaningfully. For shame, librulZ!

    My eyes. They have done rollethed.

    Louis

  128. carlie says

    Azkyroth – what other word would you use to describe it? Racial advantage? It’s the same problem we have with “evolution”. I agree that part of the problem is that the term isn’t explained well enough by everyone, and is often used as shorthand in situations where people wouldn’t get it, but I don’t know what substitution would be as useful.

  129. opposablethumbs says

    mdking671

    I’m a long-time reader here. Perhaps, more accurately, a lurker since I haven’t joined in before this. So, I was a little taken aback by the vitriolic reaction. When this guy Paul disagreed with the party line he was immediately castigated, nay bullied, and then thrown out like so much irrelevant trash. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    Others have already pointed out where you are factually wrong (Paul didn’t proffer a single argument about anything whatsoever, only sneering and insults from the off), but I just thought I’d mention – once upon a time, several years ago when I first started lurking, I wondered about this. But I kept on reading and actually looking to see what kinds of things would get a commenter stomped, and why. Occasionally I still think there is sometimes too hair-calibrated a trigger, BUT I have realised that actually, yes, in the overwhelming majority of cases people here have simply become very adept, due to long exposure, at telling the trolls and the deliberate time-wasters (and let’s face it, Paul came in waving a big fucking flag saying “I Am A Sexist Racist Libertarian Shit-for-brains!” – are you saying you didn’t notice that?). And once you’ve had sexist crap thrown at you a hundred thousand times, why the fuck should anyone bend over backwards to sweetly and humbly offer an education to the hundred-thousand-and-first arsehole to come along spluttering the usual slimy put-downs? Not to mention the fact that first of all, Inaji very courteously offered Paul a few relevant links. And did you notice Paul’s reaction to that courtesy, hmm?
    Seriously, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you actually meant what you said because I once thought something comparable – but that was before I’d seen some of the hundred thousand slime-by shootings-off-at-the-keyboard for myself. If you really are a long-time lurker, I’m … somewhat surprised you haven’t noticed this – and that you apparently haven’t noticed that when someone comes along with an actual argument, even a vile one, the argument gets addressed. So what was Paul’s argument then? Apart from spittle and gibbering in faux-upperclass tones?

  130. mdking671 says

    Allow me a moment to explain my perceived righteous indignation. My initial comment was driven by the fact that Paul’s comments were the first two in the section and PZ came down on him immediately with both feet. I thought maybe I had nodded off and missed something because it seemed an awfully severe reaction. That was it. The words that Paul used to subsequently condemn himself showed that perhaps PZ was correct in seeing this turkey for what he was. Maybe Paul had a reputation here that I was unaware of. Maybe there was something else going on here behind the scenes. But, after reading the first three entries in the comment section, all I could think was “Wow”. Then Paul drove nails in his own coffin and readers took me to task for defending his right to speak. I’ve seen the error in my ways.

  131. says

    @mdking671

    Allow me a moment to explain my perceived righteous indignation. My initial comment was driven by the fact that Paul’s comments were the first two in the section and PZ came down on him immediately with both feet. I thought maybe I had nodded off and missed something because it seemed an awfully severe reaction. That was it. The words that Paul used to subsequently condemn himself showed that perhaps PZ was correct in seeing this turkey for what he was. Maybe Paul had a reputation here that I was unaware of. Maybe there was something else going on here behind the scenes. But, after reading the first three entries in the comment section, all I could think was “Wow”. Then Paul drove nails in his own coffin and readers took me to task for defending his right to speak. I’ve seen the error in my ways.

    and what did his two posts say?

  132. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mdking671, it’s not dissent per se, but how one expresses that dissent. If the dissent is by argument and evidence, it is tolerated by all. When the dissent is by jeers, name-calling, and attitude that borders upon or is bullying alone against an idea, that is squelched quickly.

    The MRA contingent saw to that, as it was all they had to offer, essentially bully us into submission by jeers and attitude rather than present an evidenced case. The signs of the same were in the intial post by Paul. Paul’s dismissal of the presented evidence without looking said it all.

  133. jameshanley says

    I don’t really need to say anything more, do I?

    Yes, actually you do. There was more to his essaythan you represent. Is the essay wholly defensible? No, certainly not. Was there more to it than you indicated here Yes.

  134. Maureen Brian says

    mdking671,

    To prove Nerd’s point – waves to Nerd! – running in parallel with this thread on the same blog, same timesscale, is a discussion in which one person is arguing against evolution. Some of what he is saying is totally off the wall. The last I looked the argument was about what Chapters 1 & 2 of Genesis actually say. We have already had several rounds of whether what it says is in any way relevant to modern biology. And this has been going on for days.

    People are engaging with him, discussing the individual points and factoids he raises, going over things again with him. And the moral of this story is? Well, if you have points to make and arguments to raise the the Horde here will stop and try to help you to understand, where you seem to be misled, or go through things again to help you – many times.

    All the passing commenter has to do is stay reasonably polite and not resort to discriminatory slurs or throw information back in the face of someone who offers it. As for being able to spot a troll or an MRA at several hundred metres, well, we’ve had practice. Years of it.

  135. mdking671 says

    OK, one last note and then I’ll watch other topics:

    Regarding Tashiliciously’s response (#155), it appeared to me that Paul had read the Time column and was saying “I read it and I don’t see anything wrong with it.” Maybe I should have looked deeper into his psyche, but I was taking the words at face value. Apparently PZ is a bit more insightful because the guy eventually showed me his true colors. No pun intended.

    Time to kick back and read other stuff.

  136. says

    Get over the persecution of the past!

    …Except me. My past is tragic and important.

    I mean being about to say his grandparents suffered while dismissing other past suffering IS privilege.

  137. gardengnome says

    It’s a shame this fellows grandfather isn’t still around. If he were, and fitted the description given, I feel he might be the one to have put this little sod in his place.

    I think we’ll hear more of him in years to come.

  138. carlie says

    mdking671 – What Paul’s first comment was missing was the reasoning – he didn’t find anything wrong with it because… There was no because there. It was simply a declarative statement that was obviously in opposition to the point in the OP, but just dropped in for no reason and with no apparent goal of trying to convince anyone else he was right. It was, in short, pointless. No, it was more negative than pointless, because he didn’t even phrase it as “I don’t get what’s being said here, can someone explain?”, it was “What’s the problem”, a breezy kind of attack dismissal.

  139. says

    someone upthread, quoting that “princeton tory” rag:

    Human rights are unassailable things, which is why liberals love justifying the next progressive social experiment as simply fulfilling some newly discovered right. So next time your friend accuses you of heartlessly denying something so fundamental as a right, be sure he is not actually talking about [...] a concept meaningless in itself which he may use to justify nearly any objectionable behavior, such as privacy

    1)when did right-wingers start hating on privacy? Is it because of abortion & the end of anti-sodomy laws?

    2)From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    huh, what do you know, privacy appears to be a real, true, and certified human right (but then, the UN is probably full of liberals anyway and therefore it doesn’t count)

  140. carlie says

    jadehawk – conservatives think that the UN is a tool of Satan designed to have one world governmental rule over everyone, so no, it totally doesn’t count.

  141. says

    Regarding Tashiliciously’s response (#155), it appeared to me that Paul had read the Time column and was saying “I read it and I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

    is English your first language?
    I’m not trying to be an ass, but to a proficient English speaker, “what’s your problem” does not convey the message “I don’t see anything wrong with it”; “what’s your problem” is a synonym for “what is wrong with you”.

  142. mdking671 says

    If you were trying to NOT be an ass, you were astoundingly unsuccessful.

  143. says

    If you were trying to NOT be an ass, you were astoundingly unsuccessful.

    Whoa there doggy, get off’n your horse here. We gots plenty of non-native english speakers coming here, and sometimes the nuance of the languages get lost.

    Jadehawk has a very good point about the sentence though.

  144. Maureen Brian says

    I’m with Jadehawk here. The two word phrase “your problem” clearly indicates that first Paul Bell considers that there is something defective about the way PZ understood the original article and/or that he should not embarrass manly blokes™ by drawing attention to the many aspects of that article and its very publication which are offensive to the majority.

    And now we have you, mdking671, throwing a wobbly and showing that you, too, are just as unable to discern meaning from words as Paul Bell was.

  145. throwaway says

    Yeah, the “what’s your problem?” is shorthand for “mine is the only valid opinion.” It’s not so much a question as it is a statement. “What’s the problem?” could have been interpreted charitably but it is still a declarative masked as an interrogative, synonymously it would be “there is something wrong with your reasoning.” Those two clues were enough to let PZ know, and a whole lot of other long-time lurkers know, that this Paul Bell cat wasn’t interested in dialogue, just being contrarian and belittling those who do not agree with him. This was ascertained through nothing more than inductive reasoning and prior experience. It was not a condemnation of any and all dissent. An actual lurker would know that.

  146. says

    mdking671:

    If you were trying to NOT be an ass, you were astoundingly unsuccessful.

    If you were referring to Jadehawk, no, she didn’t come across as an ass. As someone who speaks more than one language, she was simply seeking a possible reason for your complete misunderstanding of Paul Bell’s question.

    Seems to me you’re looking for reasons to be upsetty here.

    Also, as a longtime lurker and reader, I’m sure you’re familiar with the commenting rules, right? It’s considered a courtesy here to address who you are replying to with their nym a/o comment number, or at the very bloody least, a quote so people will know who you’re responding to.

    If you’re unaware of how to quote people, use: <blockquote>Place Text Here</blockquote>

    There’s another rule of sorts here, called the first rule of holes. It means “stop digging”. You’re digging. You might try actually engaging with people, that tends to have more success. So far, people have been very nice, trying to explain things to you. Keep the first rule of holes in mind, eh?

  147. twas brillig (stevem) says

    I can’t resist playing the troll; just to see what the horde reaction will be. So here goes the trollishness:
    mdking671 is just Paul’s sockpuppet to refute his banishment. That’s why mdking671 was a “long time lurker and a first time commenter”, _after_ Paul was banned. Refute that mdking671!!! Ask Ken Ham for advice on how to refute THAT. Ham has all the answers (for a few dollars, nudge, nudge).

  148. carlie says

    Wow, I didn’t even notice he had changed “What’s the problem” to “What’s your problem in the repeat post. Yeah, that’s absolutely confrontational and aggressive. Jadehawk was actually being quite kind in handing you (mkding671) a gift-wrapped excuse for your apparent inability to see why Paul’s statement was problematic – she carefully explained that non-native speakers might not catch that particular nuance, leaving you the possibility of using that as an excuse rather than the more obvious “you’re either completely inept in your own native language” or “you’re being disingenuous by pretending you don’t know what that meant” interpretations.

  149. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, I do hope mdking671 isn’t a sockpuppet for Paul – surely nobody would want to (continue to) identify with Paul’s craven level of egregious douchehattery.

  150. anteprepro says

    mdking, Jadehawk is right about the connotation of “what’s your problem” and you are wrong. Doubling down on tone trolling isn’t going to help your case.

  151. nrdo says

    Hmm, conspicuously absent from the original editorial is any real example of someone discriminating against the author on the basis of whiteness. It seems that the guy has been caught up in the right-wing echo chamber and is arguing against straw men.

    I would say though, that “privilege” is not always the best word for the advantage that white males have because to a lot of people, it implies a specifically social class advantage. If they’re not members of a white “old money” family, they don’t feel like they’re part of the privileged class. Of course, the advantage isn’t always social, it could be anything that’s an accident of birth. I think some people who complain about these things could be brought around to our “liberal” point of view if the conversation somehow brought out the notion of relative advantages.

  152. zenlike says

    Yeah, reading mdking671’s comments which are quite coherent, I don’t think he is a sock for terminal idiot Paul. I think maybe the triggers are wound a bit too tight at this point.

  153. anteprepro says

    (Pretty sure the suggestion of mdking being a sockpuppet for Paul was a joke. It is clearly giving Paul a little too much credit and mdking not quite enough)

  154. AMM says

    Loreo @13:

    Being young and ignorant is one thing, but when you realize that he could survive a history major at An Ivy League School with his oppressor attitude perfectly intact…

    As a graduate of Princeton, I’m afraid I am not at all surprised. Even allowing for the fact that anyone who gets into Princeton (and can afford to go there) is already privileged compared to 99% of the US population, there are a lot of scions of the 1% there and they set the tone of the place.
    .
    Moreover, the University campus and environment (and mentality) are set up to insulate people there, especially students, from the outside world, even from already pretty privileged town. It’s a kind of Brigadoon.
    .
    While it is possible to learn about privilege if you want to, and there is, in fact, a subculture of people who are aware of and concerned about the University’s contribution to maintaining the privileges of the 1%, most students go throught their 4+ years there blissfully unaware of anything outside of their bubble of privilege.
    .
    It’s been several years since I lived there, but my impression is that the culture of privilege has gotten even worse since I left.
    .
    FWIW, back in my day, a bunch of conservatives, mostly from Dartmouth and Yale, started up (and bankrolled) a “conservative” magazine for Princeton, with a Princeton grad as figurehead. I can’t help wondering if the “Princeton Tory” is the same sort of thing. Not that there aren’t plenty of reactionary alumni of all ages (and probably students as well.)

  155. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Regarding the legacy system in higher education: Not being the beneficiary of any “legacy exposure,” my question may be simply naive. Aren’t the families of legacy admissions required, or at least expected, to make substantial donations to a school’s endowment fund? I can’t imagine any institution allowing any legacy admissions without a sizable incentive to do so. It just wouldn’t be American to do otherwise.
    /snark

  156. says

    I’m a long-time reader here. Perhaps, more accurately, a lurker since I haven’t joined in before this. So, I was a little taken aback by the vitriolic reaction. When this guy Paul disagreed with the party line he was immediately castigated, nay bullied, and then thrown out like so much irrelevant trash. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve given this site too much credit. I enjoy reading the blog and the comments, but I’ll certainly keep any differing opinions to myself.

    I do not believe you

  157. says

    Regarding the legacy system in higher education: Not being the beneficiary of any “legacy exposure,” my question may be simply naive. Aren’t the families of legacy admissions required, or at least expected, to make substantial donations to a school’s endowment fund? I can’t imagine any institution allowing any legacy admissions without a sizable incentive to do so. It just wouldn’t be American to do otherwise.
    /snark

    which makes it an even bigger example of priviledge?

  158. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    which makes it an even bigger example of priviledge?

    Precisely.

  159. AMM says

    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor @179

    Aren’t the families of legacy admissions required, or at least expected, to make substantial donations to a school’s endowment fund?

    Not that I’m aware of. If Princeton takes donations into account when reviewing an application, they keep pretty quiet about it. They are up front about giving legacies (children and perhaps other relatives of alumni/-ae) preference, in the form of a second look at the application, but they don’t mention donations.

    It does appear, though, that they give (unacknowledged) preference to the rich and famous.

  160. knowknot says

    159 mdking671

    Regarding Tashiliciously’s response (#155), it appeared to me that Paul had read the Time column and was saying “I read it and I don’t see anything wrong with it.” Maybe I should have looked deeper into his psyche, but I was taking the words at face value. Apparently PZ is a bit more insightful because the guy eventually showed me his true colors. No pun intended.

     
    I know this is a done deal, but it wrankles me a bit… the idea that the curt “I don’t have a problem with it” indicated nothing but what it said, the statement of a need to “look deeper into” a “psyche” to see the intent behind such a statement, and the “apparently PZ is a little more insightful” comment.
     
    By my experience, PZ (or anyone responding similarly in similar circumstances) barely requires the insight of a 6th grader to hear the nail in that comment, and certainly requires no ability to look into a psyche at any depth.
     
    Maybe you come from a place where an unknown, previously uninvolved person enters into a conversation on a topic that been stated and lined out as carrying some concern and weight with some variant of “I don’t have a problem with it,” proceeds from there by saying precisely nothing further, and then waits for others to restate their already stated concern before moving forward… with the sole intent of adding value to the conversation, or being happy with the only obvious response, which would be “oh.”
     
    If clarification in any direction were a such a person’s goal, the reasons that the previously stated concern were unfelt might be stated. If it were felt that there was some importance in refuting unfair concern, some argument might be made. If the concern simply made no sense and some hope of understanding the concern, some statement regarding specific points might be offered.
     
    But, as in similar circumstances on playgrounds and bars everywhere, none of this happened, and, instead, we get a variation of “oh yeah?”
     
    Because leading with “I don’t have a problem with it” is different from saying it after some involvement. When already involved, it’s either agreement, or exasperation, or a statement of some finality. As an opening move it’s “[doubleuppercaseredlineitalic] I [/doubleuppercaseredlineitalic] don’t have a problem with it,” virtually always begging the question “what’s [tinyinsignificantletters] your [/tinyinsignificantletters] problem?”
     
    Perhaps more simply put, the ONLY meaningful factors in such a statement are the “it” (the source material), the “problem” (the stated concern), and the “I,” the latter being the sole argument, which is assumed to be significant in isolation.
     
    In any circles known to me it’s a taunt, and a challenge of one kind or another, none of which are friendly. Even when only intended to “amuse” or “tease.”
     
    I will say this: There have been a handful of times I’ve seen good things come out of people addressing this sort of opening at face value, as you suggest. But in every case this was finessed by a person who knew it was a taunt, and saw another way around, a way to cause an actual conversation to ensue. But it requires a more direct presence, and an ability to work with communication beyond words.
     
    In short, I am fairly comfortable in believing that no one enters into an online thread in such a curt and oppositional manner intending anything other than bait. And in any case, if it actually mattered, some meaningful clarification would be offered following its identification AS bait.
     
    Sorry for rambling on, but sympathy for this sort of crap just makes me twitchy.

  161. Alex the Pretty Good says

    @ mdking671, 154.

    Yeah, time-zone differences made me miss the “practical comment” window, but still on the off-chance mdking671 is still lurking in this thread:

    [...] readers took me to task for defending [Paul's] right to speak.

    There was no need to establish yourself as a Brave Hero defending other people’s right to speak.
    Nobody in the thread came even close to suggesting that Paul doesn’t have a Right To Speak™, let alone that anybody in the thread (and that includes PZ) tried to suppress Paul’s Right To Speak™

    What happened is that Paul lost the privilege (and yes it is a privilege granted to hir when xe registered to comment) to post on this blog when xe broke the rules of this blog. Rules xe agreed to when registering.
    Being booted from a private blog for obnoxious behaviour is not “an attack against ones Freeze Peach™” You see, Paul still has exactly the same Right To Speak™ xe had before registring on this blog.
    What Paul (or anybody, and that includes me and you) doesn’t have and never did have is the right to have other people (in this case Freethoughtblogs) pay good money to maintain a forum (the comments section) so third party individuals can use this infrasturcture to pollute the servers with useless garbage (and if the owners who PAY consider something to be useless garbage, then it is useless garbage).

    If you are so concerned about Paul’s Freeze Peach™ you are of course more than welcome to pay for a server and blogging-software and everything that comes with it to establish a digital “Freeze Peach™ Zone” so Paul can do hir thing there.

  162. damien75 says

    Hello,

    There is something I do not understand in the original article, maybe somebody can inform me.

    Who is that young man referring to byhis “moral superiors”?

    Thank you in advance.