WHY THEY CAN'T WRITE & THE WRITER'S PRACTICE, both on sale everywhere. Soon: SUSTAINABLE. RESILIENT. FREE: THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION.
Oct 7, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
I did some thinking about how the goal of Yale law students to make the institution more equitable may be impossible given the vectors of power and prestige. insidehighered.com/blogs/just-vis…
Dahlia Lithwick and Susan Matthews report on the inside tensions at Yale Law, how advancement means currying favor and compromising ethics. slate.com/news-and-polit…
Sep 28, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Yesterday reinforces something I think we've all suspected, no matter what happens wit Mueller, Republicans will not hold Trump accountable. To do so is to cede their own power and they're not capable of acting with such honor. They're corrupt, top to bottom.
When Flake, Murkowski, Collins vote for Kavanaugh and explain how difficult and tortured the decision was, they're simply lying. These are people incapable of acting on principle. The only recourse is for Democrats to gain power in one or both legislative branches.
Sep 27, 2018 • 10 tweets • 1 min read
This is the speech of a man who is going down and will lash out with every last bit of his entitled sorry ass. This is what a right wing hothouse flower blossoms into. Good riddance.
Cripes, he's the perfect distillation of right wing victimology wrapped up in an aging preppy package. If this guy is the best conservatives can do they are well and truly fucked.
Sep 27, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
I'm a big fan of Michael Lewis' writing, but it's pretty transparent that when it comes to Trump stuff, this extract from his forthcoming book has one, maybe two sources, Chris Christie and Steve Bannon, and it may only be Christie. theguardian.com/news/2018/sep/…
Lewis' has always been more storyteller than journalist, becoming a vessel to convey the individual truths of the subjects he's discussing, and the audience understands the limits, but this piece is different. It's not the Chris Christie story. It's framed as a journalistic.
Sep 27, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Interesting story. Yale Law students rising up to call bullshit on the power and privilege perpetuated by their professors and institution. Is it a blip or will this bring lasting change? nytimes.com/2018/09/26/nyr…
Story makes it clear this isn't just about Kavanaugh. The Yale Law students recognize that a system where advancement is tied to personal privilege, like Amy Chua taking a shine to you, should be inconsistent with the stated institutional values.
Sep 27, 2018 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
Perhaps @NYTimesOpinion could explain how the highlighted passage (screenshot) from today's @BretStephensNYT column isn't deliberately misleading given the Times previous clarification about @JaneMayerNYer reporting on Ms. Ramierez's story.
The clear implication by @BretStephensNYT is that the Times reporting refutes the reporting done by @RonanFarrow and @JaneMayerNYer, but this is untrue. The Times reporting is simply incomplete. To use this as a knock against Ms. Ramierez's credibility is perpetuating a lie.
Sep 26, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Supportive letter for Amy Chua makes clear she knew of Judge Kozinski's behavior ("he's a scumbag") and did nothing other than warn her students away. Sterling ethics.
J.D. Vance's letter is also an illustration of how the "elite" meritocracy perpetuates itself by admitting a small handful of those from lower status into their exclusive club. The new members then become the most fervent defenders. The meritocracy works and I'm proof!
Sep 25, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
The letter is another example of the "elite" rallying around one of their own without consideration for the underlying ethics and morals. Also see, Amy Chua's backing of Kavanaugh, and the high profile academics reflexively rallying around Avital Ronell.
I like the work of a lot of the writers who have signed the letter, but this behavior is purely tribal, a collective protection racket for their own privileged status. My advice, shrug it off, focus on the institutional values as the NYRB did when they acted to remove Buruma.
Sep 24, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Throwing the towel on trying to write a blog post about the center-left academic/thought leader "meritocracy" which is eager to cry "tribalism" over the behavior of others without recognizing it in themselves. Too many things to say for one post.
Suffice it to say when someone who claims to be a liberal warns of the dangers of identity politics and tribalism, underneath (perhaps even subconsciously) is an impulse to protect their privileged role as gatekeepers. This doesn't make them bad people, but must note the irony.
Sep 20, 2018 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld have an outsized role in feeding Yale law students into prestigious federal clerkships, and are also troubled by the threat of tribalism. It seems like those warning about the threat of tribalism never recognize their own tribes. theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
Chua and Rubenfeld are members of the most influential tribe in the country, (along with Brett Kavanaugh) a tribe that spends a lot of time worrying about other tribes. See also Haidt & Lukanoff's "The Coddling of the American Mind."
Sep 20, 2018 • 17 tweets • 4 min read
So It looks like the whole damn thing is rotten to its core with lots of powerful, privileged people protecting each other from scrutiny or punishment. Of course we all know this has been going on, but it's rare that it's exposed quite this openly.
What's interesting is how mundane all this is to the people inside the privileged spaces. This is just how things work for them, powerful men who get to prey upon women to varying degrees, with women who are granted admittance to that club willing to be some of the enforcers.
Sep 19, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Powerful, candid reflection from @TheTattooedProf on the struggles of completing the long project. I think a lot of us have been there. ✊ thetattooedprof.com/2018/09/17/an-…
One thing to note from Kevin's piece is how much he's been working, particularly that teaching load. From my own experience, the only thing that's allowed me to finish a long project is to jettison some existing work to gain more time and focus. And sometimes that isn't possible.
Sep 18, 2018 • 21 tweets • 5 min read
Writing this post caused me to do a lot of simultaneous reflection about my own approaches to teaching writing, what I wish for students, what I've often denied them, and the risks of changing. /thread. insidehighered.com/blogs/just-vis…
I started the post with a different purpose, using it as an edition of my column for @ChiTribBooks which caps out at 600 words. I realized pretty quickly that whatever I had to say, it wasn't going to fit there, so I decided to just keep going.
Sep 17, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
These guys are starting to remind me of how little kids change their minds daily about what they want to be when they grow up. In the end I think they all just want to be astronauts, like me when I was 10. cnbc.com/2018/02/12/fly…
Like is Sebastian Thrun capable of sticking long enough to make it work? He's like a cat chasing a laser pointer.
Sep 15, 2018 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
I'm writing about Haidt and Lukianoff's "The Coddling of the American Mind" and it's interesting how many disconnects there are between their thesis and their evidence. They started with a problem - speech being threatened on campus - and went looking for causes.
The causes ultimately aggregate into what they call "safetyism' where children have been overprotected by parents seeking to prevent them from being harmed, physically, psychologically, etc They believe this overprotection results in students who lack resilience and fear conflict
Sep 15, 2018 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
It's very frustrating to see Greg Lukianoff share his own experience with depression and the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy and then not recognize the role trigger warnings can play in furthering the aims of CBT. chronicle.com/article/How-Co…
A trigger warning isn't a command to turn away from potential trauma, but is merely a head's up, a preparation. This is entirely consistent with the practice of CBT. To frame it as somehow damaging to student mental health is simply false.
Sep 15, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Chotiner has created a genre where he identifies a subject with high confidence in their argument, and then removes blocks of the argument like a Jenga game in front of the subject, until the argument collapses. Real tension in how the subject responds to revelation in real time.
This is a subtle, but significant, bias rooted in reporters accepting characterizations from Trump officials uncritically. Trump isn't a "visual learner" (there is no such thing). He refuses to read anything. This is spin in the guise of reporting. washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
Just this week we've seen how Trump is willfully untethered from reality with his comments on the Puerto Rico casualty toll. That's a terrible problem when it comes to managing the work of the government like disaster relief. Presenting Trump as a "learner" distorts the truth.
Sep 11, 2018 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
Not in a position to relocate and my career trajectory is on the upswing, so seeking a full-time TT professoring gig would potentially be a step back, but browsing ads makes me realize I'd have no chance at a job anyway because of mismatch between my CV and hiring criteria.
I have two rhet/comp books coming out, one with a UP, but my degree is an MFA in creative writing, and I've never published peer reviewed research in comp. As a creative writer, I've published a novel and collection of short stories, but my recent pubs are more comp focused.
Sep 10, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
This is presented as a heartwarming story, but I've got some bones to pick with how it hides some truths. postandcourier.com/news/he-defend…
The mayor is described as not being a bigot despite broadcasting obvious bigotry. That he was willing to be educated as to how wrong he was doesn't mean he wasn't a bigot.
Sep 10, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Even if I knew nothing of the underlying disagreement (and I actually know very little), I could tell this is a week argument simply by analyzing the rhetoric. insidehighered.com/views/2018/09/…
"Defamation" is a specific legal term used in an obviously inflammatory way without evidence. "Slur" has similar probs. He also impugns motives where he has no knowledge or evidence to back up his claim. The affirming of a "good scholarly reputation" is also clearly not germain.