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Universities, from merit to mediocrity


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2 hours ago, WestCanMan said:

Google: Trump says he is being wiretapped, you'll find thousands of articles calling him a liar.

More like calling him an idiot. He wasn't wiretapped.

 

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Society is in a total war over facts and spin.  Virtually every aspect of society that has any influence is infected by it.  Many (not all) want to push their own agenda, to control the narrative.  We

No cites for most of this, and the single cite is misrepresented by you in your summary.  My thoughts are that alt right hysteria is a thriving cottage industry.

I think that CNN has become just as bad as FOX.  We can blame both networks all we want, but the very sad part is that since they are corporate media, they very clearly are operating on a profit motiv

14 minutes ago, Argus said:

 ...Second, despite the fact almost all university funding comes from government

 

No...government funding for "Canada's 150 public universities and degree-granting institutions" looks to be about 50%...."Governments are the single biggest source of revenue, accounting for $13.4 billion or 49.1% of all revenues in 2015/2016".

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/170713/dq170713c-eng.htm

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Argus said:

More like calling him an idiot. He wasn't wiretapped.

"Wiretapped" is old terminology that people like Trump and Biden and the people of their generation would use/understand, but the effect is exactly the same. 

people weren't laughing at his use of an archaic term, they were laughing at the accusation because they thought that Obama was beyond reproach. 

How did this quote age? https://time.com/4535623/president-obama-donald-trump-stop-whining-transcript/

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OBAMA: And if he got the most votes, then it would be my expectation of Hillary Clinton to offer a gracious concession speech and pledge to work with him in order to make sure that the American people benefit from an effective government.

And it would be my job to welcome Mr. Trump, regardless of what he’s said about me or my differences with him on my opinions, and escort him over to the Capitol, in which there would be a peaceful transfer of power.

That’s what Americans do. That’s why America is already great. One way of weakening America, making it less great, is if you start betraying those basic American traditions that have been bipartisan, and have helped to hold together this democracy now for well over two centuries.

 

1) Hillary spent 3 years pretending the vote was rigged, and Obama popped out of his mansion to incite rioting, looting, arson, beatings and murder. 

2) Remembering back to how Obama was a master bloviator, and comparing him to Bumblin' Biden, freaks me out just a little. Obama was able to string 25 sentences in 4 paragraphs together perfectly, using words that Biden couldn't even read from a teleprompter, without forgetting the question asked of him or where he was in the process of answering it. Biden can't even say "I will beat Donald Trump" without screwing up.  

 

This is all off-topic btw. 

This thread is about how useless universities are becoming, not Trump/Obama. 

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1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

No...government funding for "Canada's 150 public universities and degree-granting institutions" looks to be about 50%...."Governments are the single biggest source of revenue, accounting for $13.4 billion or 49.1% of all revenues in 2015/2016".

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/170713/dq170713c-eng.htm

Even the tuition fees are often paid for by government, either through grants or loans. If government said it would no longer provide grants or loans for something like Gender Studies, not many of those would survive.

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Just now, Argus said:

Even the tuition fees are often paid for by government, either through grants or loans. If government said it would no longer provide grants or loans for something like Gender Studies, not many of those would survive.

 

Still doesn't get you to "almost all"...private funds, donations, endowments etc.   Furthermore, university boards still have a "fiduciary duty" despite any academic independence.

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1 hour ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Still doesn't get you to "almost all"...private funds, donations, endowments etc.   Furthermore, university boards still have a "fiduciary duty" despite any academic independence.

Tuition fees are over 28%, but no information on your cite about how much, just the statement:

Not included in institutional revenues are other forms of direct assistance to students that are not administered through the institutions, such as government contributions to Registered Education Savings Plans, tuition tax credits or some federal and provincial student financial aid programs.

government payments are 49%

Sponsored research adds 19% but most of that is government too.

You are being a pedant.

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21 minutes ago, Argus said:

government payments are 49%

Sponsored research adds 19% but most of that is government too.

You are being a pedant.

 

Sponsored research is included in government funding.

No need for your usual exaggerations...just state the facts please.

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On 9/11/2020 at 3:25 PM, Argus said:

Because we've lost control of our universities. First, is this idea of tenure. What other profession allows you to stay in place even if your employer hates you and you're screwing up and making them look bad? Second, despite the fact almost all university funding comes from government we allow them to set their own rules for admission, for discipline, for what types of things are taught and in what way they are taught with no input from elected government. The universities have perpetuated the idea this would be sacrosanct, an interference in academic freedom.

But in truth, there is little real academic freedom.Universities have become cozy little communities of leftist ideologues and only those who are of the same groupthink get hired. These people are overpaid, and most have little likelihood of obtaining a job in the private sector which would pay them anything remotely like what they get at universities (that includes the legions of bureaucrats and administrators). The tenured professors often only teach one or two classes a year too. Leaving the rest to TAs.

But to the Left, they are not only kindred spirits, they are the birthplace of their belief systems, and the place where those leftist beliefs are nurtured and grown. Universities are the nurseries for Leftist ideologues. Any attempt at reforming them would draw howls of outrage throughout academia, politics, media and the arts. And few governments, even the conservative ones, have been willing to risk it.

I agree on most of this.  The thing I would disagree is that tenure is actually good and vital because it means you can't fire a prof for saying things that the university or students find "offensive".  The purpose of tenure is to protect the freedom of inquiry among academics from outside pressure.

We can be 100% sure that many tenured profs would have been fired already for the non-PC things they've done.  What we see instead is tenured profs being removed from committees and Dean positions etc, which are not protected and are the only punishment universities can levy on tenured profs.

You make a great point about public funding.  I wouldn't care as much if these were privately funded institutions, but as publicly funded institutions of academic learning it amounts to government-funded propaganda.  You can be sure if universities pushed a largely rightwing agenda the uproar would be tremendous from the public and governments would do something about the funding.  We saw what happened with Canada Summer Jobs grants.

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University to remove seventy year old mural of WW2 veterans and those who lost their lives because -- it's not diverse.

(WJAR) — A mural painted nearly 70 years ago at the University of Rhode Island is set to be taken down.

This, after staff said students complained about a lack of diversity in the picture.

“I have received complaints about the murals that portray a very homogeneous population predominately the persons painted and depicted on the wall are predominantly white and that does not represent who our institution is today,” said Collins. “Some of our students have even shared with us they didn’t feel comfortable sitting in that space.”

https://turnto10.com/news/local/nearly-70-year-old-murals-taken-down-at-uri-for-lack-of-diversity

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This is a UK study, but references US studies with similar results. I find no reason to believe similar results would not be found in Canada. It basically shows that academics actively discriminate against other academics who have different political views in awarding jobs and grants, and even in being willing to sit beside them. This is more pronounced on the Left than the Right because the Left outnumbers the right many times over in academia.  And not appears to be getting worse, as older academics were less likely to feel antipathy for those from the other side of the spectrum than younger academics.

The share of academics who lean left is between 71 and 83 percent across the first six columns, with just 4–16 percent conservative. The share of faculty who openly admit they would discriminate against a right-leaning grant application ranges between 18 and 35 percent, depending in part on variations in the number of response categories. Our UK data are well within this range. In all studies, a majority or near-majority of right-leaning academics experience a hostile climate for their beliefs in their workplace. To claim otherwise, without evidence, is pure fantasy.

Let’s take a closer look at my recent survey of North American social science and humanities (SSH) academics which replicated the Policy Exchange/YouGov questions. As an opt-in survey, it has less of a claim to representativeness, but its findings comport with those of other studies. The concealed method shows that 42 percent of this sample of North American SSH academics would discriminate against a Trump supporter for a job, slightly above the 37 percent of active UK SSH academics that our Policy Exchange study revealed would discriminate against a Leaver for a job. Nineteen percent of the North American sample openly admit they would discriminate against a right-leaning grant application, not far off the 24 per cent of active UK SSH academics that said they would do so.

78 percent of Trump-supporting SSH academics in North America said they experienced a hostile climate for their beliefs, higher than the still-substantial 50 percent for Leave-supporters we uncovered for the UK. Finally, just 15 percent of North American academics said a Trump supporter would be comfortable expressing this belief to a colleague while 88 percent felt a Biden supporter would. This 15–88 ratio compares to a somewhat more modest 30–86 ratio among UK SSH academics for an equivalent question about whether Leavers and Remainers would feel comfortable expressing their beliefs to colleagues. While anti-conservative discrimination and hostility appear somewhat higher in North America, the broad trends reinforce those we find for the UK.

https://quillette.com/2020/09/01/the-denial-of-cancel-culture/

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5 hours ago, Argus said:

This is a UK study, but references US studies with similar results. I find no reason to believe similar results would not be found in Canada. It basically shows that academics actively discriminate against other academics who have different political views in awarding jobs and grants, and even in being willing to sit beside them.

 

Cancel culture existed before Trump, so the "North American" data does not seem to control for his recent emergence as a symbol for the "right" (deserved or not) and skews the results.   Also, many universities in the U.S. compete for and conduct government funded research for defence programs and other "military industrial complex" activities that attract technical and engineering applicants regardless of political leanings.  There is no equivalent in Canada as R&D investment remains relatively low.

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Then there is this...academics fighting the trend for their own.

 

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A Laurentian University professor in Sudbury, Ont. has signed a petition to have her colleague reinstated after what she calls 'a clumsy and badly written' Tweet.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/laurentian-university-cancel-culture-tweet-racism-1.5720609

 

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Society is in a total war over facts and spin.  Virtually every aspect of society that has any influence is infected by it.  Many (not all) want to push their own agenda, to control the narrative.  We are bombarded by propoganda throughout much of our day.  This has been the case for a long, long time, but it seems to keep intensifying.  We live in an age where science has even become politicized over ie: climate change.

None of us have been immune to it.  Film, TV, news, message boards, twitter, academics, elementary/high school, religion, parental upbringing.  You are brainwashed.  We now get to choose more of the brainwashing we consume based on whatever confirms our biases.  Do not tell me all the facts, just tell me what I want to hear.

Most people are such selfish delusional a-holes that they will argue against the BS spewed by the side they dislike while drinking up and defending the BS of the side they prefer.  You are a soldier in this war, whether you know it or not.

 

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13 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

Society is in a total war over facts and spin.  Virtually every aspect of society that has any influence is infected by it.  Many (not all) want to push their own agenda, to control the narrative.  We are bombarded by propoganda throughout much of our day.  This has been the case for a long, long time, but it seems to keep intensifying.  

None of us have been immune to it.  

It really just makes me want to withdraw, but I don't think that's a solution.   I do my level best to remove my own bias, but I'm only human.  It's disheartening to be looking for accuracy, and have so much noise to deal with.  I spend lots of time reminding myself that even people I think are stupid as fck, probably aren't.

Its not a good feeling to consider that everything I believe today is wrong; it reminds me of how I felt in a relationship in which I was gaslighted.  No wonder people run from that feeling, deeper into their own rabbit hole.  

But another side of me, a more removed part, is fascinated by this apparent devolution of society, wonder where it will lead, and even whether older people in the 1960s felt the same as women's rights and African-American rights and openly sexual behavior changed the culture.

Should have gone to university and studied history I think.

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14 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

Society is in a total war over facts and spin.  Virtually every aspect of society that has any influence is infected by it.  Many (not all) want to push their own agenda, to control the narrative.  We are bombarded by propoganda throughout much of our day.  This has been the case for a long, long time, but it seems to keep intensifying.  We live in an age where science has even become politicized over ie: climate change.

None of us have been immune to it.  Film, TV, news, message boards, twitter, academics, elementary/high school, religion, parental upbringing.  You are brainwashed.  We now get to choose more of the brainwashing we consume based on whatever confirms our biases.  Do not tell me all the facts, just tell me what I want to hear.

Most people are such selfish delusional a-holes that they will argue against the BS spewed by the side they dislike while drinking up and defending the BS of the side they prefer. 

 

It seems like the war on campus is over and the fascists have won. 

Brilliant, honest & insightful people like Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro are banned from a lot of campuses and they literally need protection to show up on most others. There have been riots and arson on college campuses just to stop conservative voices from being heard, and faculty members have promoted & taken part in that violent fascism.

I think I heard somewhere that MBW(dt) is an actual degree at Berkeley now - Master of Basket Weaving (domestic terrorism). 

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You are a soldier in this war, whether you know it or not.

There are soldiers in this war, and there are useful idiots. 

You know that you're an actual solder if you don't have your own ammo constantly blowing up in your face. 

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11 hours ago, dialamah said:

It really just makes me want to withdraw, but I don't think that's a solution.   I do my level best to remove my own bias, but I'm only human. 

What a great post, i think all of same things you mentioned.

I think the best thing that we can do is be aware it, & of our own biases.  If we're aware of it, we won't be easily fooled.  A pundit pushing a view based on half the facts or lies is no different than a car salesman or banker trying to sell us a product but not telling us the whole truth.  We need to read to read the fine print, & do our research.  We can be passive lemmings, or engaged & aware of what's happening around us.

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It's disheartening to be looking for accuracy, and have so much noise to deal with.  I spend lots of time reminding myself that even people I think are stupid as fck, probably aren't.

Putting our head in the sand is much less effort.  The cost/benefit analysis is for each of us to decide.  I have some friends who are dumb but they're also really happy people, they don't care about politics.  They believe in God, & angels, & that everything happens for a reason, & cynicism hasn't beaten them down.  For them it's worth it.  I wish I still had the romance of those things from my youth.

We only have a certain amount of hours in the day.  Worrying about these things & posting on forums can be a waste of time if we do it too much. When I was a child & didn't care about politics I was happy.  Other people worried about that stuff for me, laws still got passed, I just lived my happy little life. But I also had my parents to fight for me. Now I have to fight for myself.  I can defend myself against the banker trying to rip me off, but in politics I'm only 1 vote, and it won't be missed much if I stay home.

The other "stupid" people I disagree with politically, I try to empathize with them, & to assume good intentions.  Someone pro-life isn't trying to control women, they're trying to save the life of innocent babies.  Someone pro-choice isn't trying to murder babies, they just want control over their life and bodies.

 

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