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Googler

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« on: June 11, 2006, 01:12:54 AM »
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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 05:11:11 PM »
And we all know that facts have a liberal bias...

Alamo

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 05:27:57 PM »
From what I've heard, I like the guy, and it sounds like he was good at getting things done.  But there's more to his ouster than him being a victim of liberalism.  The article itself says that he was a major stem cell research supporter, an issue notoriously popular with liberals.  I think it was more his stirring of controversy, his brusque manner and his unwillingness to flatter all of his colleagues that sent him packing.
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2006, 05:37:59 PM »
When you are in charge of one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world you need to think before you speak. Its not as though the "innate differences" between men and women hasn't been studied ad nausium for decades. Their being studied is not offensive, but when someone in a position of power starts suggesting that he feels that these innate differences are effect women in academia then we have a problem. I agree with Bonkers. This man isn't as victim of radical liberalism. This is a guy who is a victim of his own poor judgement.

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2006, 06:22:11 PM »
Heh, the marvelous writings of Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Is it any surprise that their opinions are hosted on a site that attempts to sell Ann Coulter books on the main page?

The issue is in dispute, as even Williams noted in his article. There are differences, but are they the result of genetics (innate/natural) or acculturation (extrinisic/learned)? Also there is debate about whether the differences are statistically significant, beyond the difference between individuals. If its overall IQ we are talking about then keep in mind that based on the number of people tested since IQ tests were devised, women have a slightly higher IQ than men. Nonetheless, many studies show men being more intelligent at certain age levels and tasks. The point is that this is not only a highly debated issue, but also a hot topic since he essentially telling 50% of his faculty and students that they are naturally dumber than the other half. Rather he is right or wrong is less important than the fact that he isn't making a solid example for the natural intelligence of men through his lack of common sense and prudence.

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2006, 06:41:00 PM »
Rather he is or is not saying that, he is recognizing the that there is validity to the argument. Hell he specifically mentioned it in his speech.

Quote
"And here, you can get a fair distance, it seems to me, looking at a relatively simple hypothesis. It does appear that on many, many different human attributes-height, weight, propensity for criminality, overall IQ, mathematical ability, scientific ability-there is relatively clear evidence that whatever the difference in means-which can be debated-there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population."

Granted this is only one possibility he discusses, but the subtle assertion is present throughout the speech. I highly doubt he actually means that women are outright less intelligent then men for genetic reasons, but for a good portion of his speech he sure sounds like it. Again this gets back to the point that this man is a victim of being a poor leader and making public comments that an 8 year old could have predicted would piss off his faculty and students. And rather Williams considers a signficant portion of Harvard students and faculty to be "children" is irrelevant because I doubt many of them would have made Summers' foolish mistake.

J D

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2006, 06:49:56 PM »
And we all know that facts have a liberal bias...

What facts?  That he said that we should study whether or not there is a genetic difference between men and women that affects math and science ability? 

Considering the fact that he was standing in a whole room full of counter-examples, I think it was pretty silly even to make the suggestion.

But I would agree that the reaction to his statements, which I note were couched with numerous caveats (e.g., this isn't what I personally think, I'm just throwing it out there to spark discussion, etc.), was just bathetic.  The account of the one scientist who reported she felt nauseous (apparently because of the misogyny fumes or something) and had to leave  the room did more to validate wrong-headed gender stereotypes, in my opinion, than Summers' stupid comments ever could have.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2006, 07:01:49 PM »
I did say a significant portion and, as the original CNN link that you posted states, a "poll conducted by the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, 57 percent of 424 undergraduate students said Summers should not resign". I would still say around 40% is a significant portion of the student body.

Now I grant that there is evidence on both sides of the debate, but that still doesn't make it prudent for Summers to make this assertion. You want to know why it is reasonable only for him to take the politically correct side? Well, look at what it got him. Anyone could have seen this coming from his comments. But if you want more than that then suffice to say that it is untactful, presumptuous, and generally improper. It isn't political correctness to exercise discretion in a speech. Discussion that is fit for the board room isn't necessarily fit for a convocation. Just as you don't ask someone their salary or talk business at the dinner the table, you don't make these kinds of assertions in a public forum. Put simply, if you equate common social graces to liberalism then fine. That's a mantle I think they'll happily bear. However, I think tact is something that should be fairly universal and it should certainly be exercised by people in positions of power and attention.

The fact of the matter is that a fairly liberal President at one of the most traditionally conservative academic institutions in America was forced to resign because he allowed himself to become far to contraversial. If you honestly believe that this is some sort of sign of liberal bias in academia then we're gonna be spending a lot of time (and pry have a decent amount of fun) dragging this thread out.

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 07:30:57 PM »
Rather you want to say more to me or not is entirely up to you. However, my answer to your question isn't circular. You asked merely asked why it was only reasonable for him to be politically correct and I replied because of the consequence it would bring. I think consequentialism is an acceptable measure of reasonableness. If you meant to ask, why he deserved the consequences for his lack of (what you call) political correctness then my answer would have been circular. But to answer that question I did spend a small amount of time touting the values of social grace so I think I answered that question as well.

Now I never said that he "deserved" anything. I'm not particularly interested in morally calculating his actions and the reactions it brought. What I have been saying is that he effed up and he should have known better. Its apparent that he did based upon his back-peddling and apologizing after he was criticized. Rather or not that should have been enough is also of little importance to me. What is important is that he was forced to reason because he made an amateur mistake and that is reasonable. Or if you'd rather use the terms you are putting in my mouth then he deserved to be pushed out because he made comments that were stupid, but it they weren't stupid because he got pushed out. Instead they were stupid because he should have known they would get him pushed out. So he was pushed out because he was too stupid to realize the consequence of his actions... not circular.

Now for the "liberal bias" issue, no I don't believe in the "liberal bias" in academia. I think its simply another one of the rights' paranoid fantasies and scape-goats like the "liberal media" and "liberal assault on religion". Seeing as one of the points you have brought up is that perhaps difference may be innate instead of caused, then isn't it feasible that there are more liberals in academia simply because smarter people tend to be liberal? Now, I don't actually believe that but can't you see that its essentially the same point and Summers had come out and said that then I doubt most of his defenders would be siding with him. In all seriousness though, even if you believe in some sort of "liberal bias in academia" then I still feel that this not the place to find it.

KUHerb32

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Re: Another victim of radical liberalism
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 07:43:32 PM »
And we all know that facts have a liberal bias...

What facts?  That he said that we should study whether or not there is a genetic difference between men and women that affects math and science ability? 

Considering the fact that he was standing in a whole room full of counter-examples, I think it was pretty silly even to make the suggestion.

But I would agree that the reaction to his statements, which I note were couched with numerous caveats (e.g., this isn't what I personally think, I'm just throwing it out there to spark discussion, etc.), was just bathetic.  The account of the one scientist who reported she felt nauseous (apparently because of the misogyny fumes or something) and had to leave  the room did more to validate wrong-headed gender stereotypes, in my opinion, than Summers' stupid comments ever could have.

Ahh, I see.  So the fact that there are successful women in the room proves that women, AS A WHOLE, have equal math and science aptitutde? 

Remember the LSAT flaws, "Applying what's true of the parts to the whole" and "Generalizing based on a sample that may not be representative?"  

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php?topic=65040.msg1448431;topicseen#new

Apparently you don't.