Sense and Sensibility



Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Rose says:

    Your wife sounds like a fine woman. I was just making the lesson plan for my intro philosophy class in the fall, and I was writing a new what-I-hope-you-take-away-from-this-class, and that was pretty much it.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      Pass out the Democratic Party platform and take the rest of the semester off.


    • Avatar Scott says:

      And don’t forget to tell your class that it is illegal to criticize Barry. Maybe you can give them extra credit for working for the local Dem party.Report

      • Avatar trizzlor says:

        This is just rude spite. And of all the posts to choose…Report

      • Avatar Murali says:

        That’s just vicious, Scott. Just because Rose tends the liberal side of the isle (if she in fact does) why would you think that as a philosophy lecturer, she would just tell her students what to think, let alone toe the democratic party line? Its not even funny.Report

      • Avatar Rose says:

        In reality, I am a political pragmatist who is temperamentally conservative but with no philosophical opposition to government interference. In practice, it usually makes me a moderate-to-conservative Democrat. I also adhere to a strict policy of not telling my students where I side on any issue, and I pretty much never discuss current politics.

        I was actually just talking about this with some other philosophy instructors recently. I worry that we scare conservative or religious students off by starting off intro phil with arguments for and against God. Conservative students often come in feeling so defensive, as if we must be out to get them, and I try hard to ensure that they don’t feel marginalized.

        But recently I made a promise that I would agree with all ridiculous guesses made by commenters about what my life is like (previously, it has been ventured that I am not a mother and that I like to make fun of, and I swear this was the word, “cripples.”)

        So, in that spirit:

        Yes, yes. You are right. The first day of class is spent handing out syllabi and informing students of their firm entrenchment in the superstructure. As the semester goes on, I mark any defense of the pro-life view (or should I say, the “anti-woman” view?) with a big red X. Same with any statement of patriotism or defense of the existence of God or defense of a possible just war. When discussing external world skepticism, I make sure to inform them that our lack of direct epistemological access to anything beyond our sense-data is a clear indication that they should support universal Head Start. When discussing the distinction between correlation and causation, I show how this leads to the necessity of supporting Nancy Pelosi in all her means and ends. Come November, there is a quiz on the correct filling out of a ballot. Of course, there is no capital-T truth, and I exhort them to believe in relativism in all things: ethical, aesthetic, damn it, even ontological!Report

  2. Avatar Will H. says:

    That is one funny link.
    Still laughing.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m trying to remember an election where I was less pessimistic, less uninterested in the results. At least in my circle of friends I hear almost no one talking politics because I think they are equally disenchanted with our public officials.


    I think I have crossed some line from idealistic youth to grumpy old man.Report

  4. “If you don’t have a solid reason for supporting something, you just feel it’s right in your gut, just say so, but admit that that’s the case instead of getting angry or changing the subject, but I’d suggest that you dig a little deeper and question your own motivations for taking that stance, as I will with mine. ”

    I should probably try to learn from this.Report

  5. Word. I find social media (and by extension, most comment sections) to be uniquely susceptible to inadvertent misunderstanding. I say stuff online that I wouldn’t DARE say to someone’s face. Perhaps it’s the mediated confrontation—screens and wires and many bytes separating interlocutors—or perhaps it’s the absence of facial/body cues, but people go to DefCon 1 extra fast online.Report

    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

      Conor, you’ve said nothing that would get you dead on a barroom floor, exemplary by prevailing standards. Word up, indeed. I don’t ask for much, and you’re an embarrassment of riches.Report