Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Overlap

"Journalists Attack the Powerless, Then Self-Victimize to Bar Criticisms of Themselves" (Greenwald).

This is from the letter I linked to the other day:  "Criticism of Ideas Is Not Harassment" (Boghossian) (my emphasis in red):

"By claiming that criticism of published ideas and pedagogical models is harassment, and by creating institutional mechanisms that erect barriers to wholly appropriate critique, entire lines of scholarship become exempt from scrutiny. The academic process depends on having the freedom not only to state ideas but also to criticize other ideas. Limiting criticism in academia is tantamount to telling potters they can make all the clay pots they want so long as they never use clay. This is particularly disturbing because the claims in question — almost always about race, gender, and sexual orientation — are presented as knowledge and then used to influence public policy. 

It is worth noting that criticism is framed as harassment only by academicians working in certain domains of thought that are in Critical Theory’s orbit. Civil engineers are not claiming that criticism of truss bridge design is harassment. Physicists are not claiming they’re being persecuted when their contributions to quantum theory are criticized. Philosophers are not claiming victimization when their arguments about free will are scrutinized. Claiming criticism is harassment occurs when a discipline’s North Star is not Truth, but ideology.

The internal rationale for calling criticism “harassment” is as simple as it is absurd: because these Critical Theories are believed to proceed from one’s “social position” as an occupant of some “identity category,” the person and her ideas are treated as though they overlap. They do not. Thinking they do is a dangerous mistake for anyone to make, not least institutions that are nominally devoted to Truth. The backbone of rational thought is separating people from ideas to protect the dignity of the former while being free to criticize the latter."

and:
"There’s a dual irony in Ruth’s accusations. First, if there’s an institutionalized rule that criticism of academic work is harassment, how would Critical Theory, which is entirely predicated on criticizing existing systems, have emerged? It would not have. The ability to criticize has enabled the existence of disciplines in which my colleagues work, and from which they have framed criticism as harassment. Second, Ruth is doing to Gilley and me exactly what she claims we are doing to our colleagues — criticizing us. The only difference is, she takes aim at us, while we take aim at ideas."
The part in red leads us down a deeper hole. The modern 'philosophers' are rejecting, whether they realize it or not, the cartesian fundamental principle of Western thought, which is that the world is an objective reality which we can study given our sensory and cognitive skills as human beings.  Critical Race Theory rejects the idea that the thinker is objectively separate from the theory.  They are living the race theory, which cannot and should not be separated from the theorist.  Tackling the theory is tackling the theorist.  There really isn't an answer to this gulf in thinking, and all I can say is that the traditional theories involving testable hypotheses have been tremendously successful in the real world.  The complete subjectivity of Critical Race Theory really limits its usefulness, and I expect it will soon be forgotten.

On the other hand, the 'journalists' after Greenwald are just pampered snowflakes who are, ironically, trying to bully away any valid criticism of their vapid products.  Of course, they are particularly salty with Greenwald because of his effective eviscerations of Russiagate.
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