Wednesday, January 31, 2018


I am willing to believe that most college professors are merely liberal, and not flat-out dangerous crazies. I do wonder where the point comes that the responsible ones do not just try to be good examples, or make reasonable statements, but to outright condemn those who encourage violence, directly or indirectly.

I see two difficulties.  I suspect that absent a significant unity across departments at a single university, most faculty does not have much influence outside their own field, and it is entire fields which seem to have gone mad, so we cannot expect any serious condemnation from those.  Secondly, administrators seem to be a large part of the problem, and they are differently-answerable. Professional pride of trying to discern truth and teach independent thought and problem solving are not really part of their job description.  They may have these things in their value system, but they aren't required.  What is required for deans of this or that is to defend particular ideas or groups of students.

Oh. No. Wait. Social workers and other mental health professionals have crazy and dangerous ideas that they make public and I don't do a damned thing about that. Never mind.


RichardJohnson said...

Until those liberal professors stand up to the neo-totalitarians (Antifa..Middlebury shouters..), the assumption will be that at the least they had no objections to what the neo-totalitarians do. I have observed very little evidence of professors standing up to the neo-totalitarians.

Yes, administrators are a large part of the problem. Give them an office, and they will find something to do to justify occupying that office. We need to cut university administrations in half. With the growth of computer technology in the last 50 years, one would have hoped that a lot of administrative tasks could now be reduced to a keyboard stroke or two, enabling reduction in administrative staff. Instead, administrative staff has ballooned.

Ironically, I will close with a song from that old Commie, Pete Seeger.Which Side Are You On?

gongtao said...

I would like to hear more about the crazy and dangerous ideas of other mental health providers, could you expand on this, or direct me to past posts that address it?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

gongtao - as it is upwards of 5000 posts, I think it would be better if I summarised. I think I might go for a more complete post sometime soon. thank you for leading me to that idea. The short summary is that they are the sort of liberals who don't do arithmetic very well or know how to ask the right questions about statistics. There is good information over the last decade that interrupting someone when they are close to suicide can "break the spell" and reduces completed suicides. All well and good. Then they pull up a statistic that 80% of all suicides saw their PCP within the last month. From this they conclude that we should be out there having conferences, putting up posters, forming checklists, and otherwise advocating that PCP's should be asking about suicide and being "alert to the signs," because that would reduce suicide. Except we don't know that to be true. Interruption 20 days before suicide is not at all like interruption 20 minutes before suicide. It just sounds like it might be true, and is instantly believed. So now your PCP is going to be put under pressure to ask you about suicide, and guns in the home, and a lot of other intrusive stuff that you didn't hire your doctor for.

Multiply that by a hundred other Good Ideas that we build into the system, so that every admission and discharge have lengthy checklists of things you have to cover. The actual good ones get swamped in all the "Hey, I'll bet..." interventions. They are quite comfortable with making everyone do things which they think are good for them, which is why they quickly get involved with recycling, wellness, going green, and anti-smoking campaigns, though these have little to do with their core mission.

Next, they are nasty and insulting about people they disagree with, though they usually express that with snark and condescension rather than anger. (Because they see themselves as nice people.) When they think there is no one but liberals around, some remarkable things come out of their mouth. Yet they don't see themselves as divisive - it's always the other guys, the haters and bigots who are the problem. They are deeply bothered by people who own guns - they are just sure it all leads to more violence somehow. Dangerous kindness.

Sorry I was not specific, but I hope you get a flavor of what I mean

gongtao said...


gongtao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deevs said...

You say you don't do a thing about the crazy ideas associated with your profession. My question is what, if anything, would you do to try to address that? I don't mean this as any sort of condemnation of you, by the way. Just curious if you've had thoughts on how you might do something about these crazy ideas.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Great question Deevs. I believe I have tried multiple strategies, none of which have worked very well. I have been openly challenging (never rude, but sometimes a bit indignant and irritating), both in one-sentence comebacks and more extended pushback. I have taken people aside later. I have identified others in the room to talk to later. I have just swallowed it, especially when it has been the medical directors. I've been Socratic, I've suggested readings (sometimes slyly). I've been humorous - that's probably my most common response - and I have tried to be light, or dry, or wry even when I am offended and fear my cheeks might redden. In the last decade, I am likely to chuckle and say "well, there are other points of view on that," be encouraging when people say less-liberal things "So you're basically a liberal, but more and more lefties make you crazy," or make fun of myself as cover, "I'm a little to the right of Genghis Khan." Mostly I just raise an eyebrow and let it slide now.

I don't know if it work


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