Morning Ed: Diversity {2018.02.15.Th}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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127 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Di1: This article strikes me as deeply unfair in its own way. There is nothing about hygge that excludes people of color unless you operate on the problematic assumption that people of color are inherently anti-coziness in their beliefs and behavior. The main problem with Seattle is the intense NIMBY political pressure.

    Di6: The Indo-Anglos seem basically the Indian equivalent of the educated, cosmopolitan, secular-leaning upper middle class that exists all over the world. The type that gets mocked as coastal elites in certain American political circles.

    Di7: The article is high on anecdotes and low on statistics and facts. We know that many of Europe’s immigrant skeptics believe that crime is increasing because the refugee intake. They might be right but they never really provide any data. What I would agree with is that the government authorities seem really unable or unwilling to assuage any reasonable apprehension in the population. They stick to a certain script and do not depart from it for a second. I’m not sure how admirable that is.

    Di8: A problematic issue.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Gotta agree, the Seattle Freeze is a thing, but not something that prevents diversity. NIMBY-ism impacting the ability to develop adequate affordable housing is the problem.

      Kicker is, the Eastside (east of Lake Washington) is incredibly diverse, as long as you aren’t dinging an area for not having a ton of African Americans. Asian, Indian, Hispanic, Middle East, even African (first gen immigrants), but not a lot of AA.Report

      • Kicker is, the Eastside (east of Lake Washington) is incredibly diverse, as long as you aren’t dinging an area for not having a ton of African Americans. Asian, Indian, Hispanic, Middle East, even African (first gen immigrants), but not a lot of AA.

        If I remember the statistics correctly, there are no states in the Census Bureau’s West region where African-Americans are the largest minority group. There are some western states where African-Americans aren’t even the second largest minority group. There are no western states where the percentage of African-Americans in the population is as high as the national average (I think Nevada comes closest).Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

          The Eastside is full of 1st and 2nd gen immigrants. The measure is that something like 30% of the residents don’t speak English at home.Report

          • PD Shaw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            It really depends on the purpose that diversity is being discussed. Generally, when people are talking about diversity as a feature of public policy, they are talking about policies to aid the descendants of slaves to which an historic debt is owed. The West is not diverse in this sense, and in some places have become less diverse than they were a generation ago.

            Another type of diversity, the type the SCOTUS has given the imprimatur of acceptance, is as an enhancement of native experience. The presence of more people from more countries provides social and economic benefits in a global economy, access to larger labor pools, and enhances social experience through new foods and terminology. Seattle and lot of places connected to universities and new technologies have increased this type of diversity. This type of diversity doesn’t help people in Clarksdale, MS, and was never intended to.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        The positives of the diversity of the Eastside is hurt by the immense sprawl, unfortunately. Some great places to eat, though.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse says:

          Sprawl gets a lot harder as you move into the foothills, so we can’t grow to much further east along I-90. Of course, there are lots of river valleys to the north & south that people seem happy to buy houses along…Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Hygge also seems to me to exclude introverts, people whose friends live far away/arent’ that mobile, or work long hours and don’t have time to sit by the fire drinking beer and playing board games.

      I kind of hate the concept of hygge. I also hate how our culture grabs onto things that seem kind of cool in another culture, and then co-opts them and runs them into the ground, and how every huckster out there seems to want to make a buck off of them.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to fillyjonk says:

        Sitting by a fire on a cold day, reading a book appeals to the introverted part of me, fwiw.

        (in contrast, I do not like just sitting out at the beach)Report

      • Kazzy in reply to fillyjonk says:

        “I kind of hate the concept of hygge. I also hate how our culture grabs onto things that seem kind of cool in another culture, and then co-opts them and runs them into the ground, and how every huckster out there seems to want to make a buck off of them.”

        +1. Let’s talk more about this after my yoga class.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Hygge is a Scandanavian word and reflects Seattles Nordic roots. I’m from the area. My mother was Swedish. I learned the phrase “Uff da” and “Var so gut”. The latter is what you would say after drinking some good coffee while sitting by the fire in your sweater your mom knitted for you 50 years ago.

      I grew up with a wood fire in the fireplace every night. At some point, dad switched to a wood-burning stove, which heats more efficiently. Like the piece says, it doesn’t scale.

      I think the Seattle Freeze is related in that Nordics tend to be very reserved emotionally. One is to be calm at all times. There shall be no drama. This didn’t work out all that well for me, having been adopted, I was somewhat more emotional. And for all the reputation of being unemotional, the Germans from my father’s family were considerably warmer, though some of that my have been the influence of my English grandmother.

      I don’t think this has much to do with diversity. I think the Pacific NW does a pretty good job, though that job is hard, and there are of course, problems. It does have to do with privilege, since a wood fire in the fireplace, while really cozy, is something that you can’t do at scale, like, say, in the Bay Area, every night. Maybe once a year at best.Report

    • Peter Moore in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Di1: You seem to be missing his comment that that cozy bungalow and the fire wood for that fire are expensive and thus mainly serve property-rich or high-income folks nowadays. Which tends to mean white people…Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    Di8: I will not that the children of H1-B visa holders who are born in the United States are US citizens and can stay here indefinitely or if still a minor when their parents return home, come back as soon as they want to. There are also more than a few ways for H1-B visas holders, and their spouses and children coming in on an H4, to get status. Their employer can file or them or they can self-petition if they possess extraordinary abilities (this is less daunting than it sounds, a friend of mine got a green card for TV weatherman using this standard). They might also go for asylum or if they overstay and get caught, cancellation of removal. There is always a marriage or other relative based petition possible.

    On a more philosophical level, the world is rapidly moving to a place where national borders do not make sense to many people. There are millions of people across the globe that see themselves as citizens of the world for all sorts of cultural, economic, or political reasons. They could be ultra-wealthy
    international jet-set that finds the limitations set by nation-states bothersome at best or they can be left-leaning working class people that see national boundaries as nothing more than another form of hatred. The movement towards global unity, free trade, and against xenophobia and racism that started after World War II created this. As I pointed out above, the Indo-Anglos of Di6 seem to be the Indian form of the educated, cosmopolitan class.

    The problem is that you also have millions of people that really do believe in the nation-state and the ability of political communities to define themselves and decide who is and who is not a member. They don’t want a borderless world. Via Facebook, I know at least one person who argues that increases in technology means that we can have more smaller and homogeneous nations rather than increasingly diverse big nations. They are flexing their muscles.Report

    • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I think the real issue is how to control it in a way that takes the realities of globalization into account but addresses concerns of people on the losing end of it. A lot of what’s happening now in the US and Europe is the result of failure to put systems in place over the last 30 years. The answer can’t be ‘those who are placed to benefit from a globalized world will be permitted to do so unfettered and those who are not must learn to live with their unfortunate situation’. That’s right up there with ‘Let’s build a wall.’

      It’s not like there aren’t plenty of social democratic and administrative systems we could try.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

        Determining who are the losers of globalization is not easy. Many of the most strident opponents of immigration are wealthy or at least affluent. Genuine losers of globalization can also have some very illegitimate reasons for opposing it.Report

        • pillsy in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I’ve linked to it before, but Rick Perlstein touched on this about a year ago. A lot of time the self-perceived victims of globalization are perhaps not terribly badly off after all.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to pillsy says:

            I was trying to be a bit more judicious in my language but many of the alleged victims of globalization are affluent white people that want to keep people of color out.Report

          • InMD in reply to pillsy says:

            So I guess it’s all good and we should embrace our corporate neo-liberal globalist overlords.Report

            • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

              I wouldn’t say that at all.

              I just think that, because people who are concerned about being on the losing end of it are not, well, on the losing end of it introduces an additional challenge. Specifically: we could mitigate the impact of globalization on economic losers and not make the concerns go away. Given the way some of these things percolate through our politics, it might even make those concerns worse.Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                I agree that it’s a complicated calculation of who is losing and who is winning, and I read that Mother Jones article when it was published. It’s basically the equivalent of the conservative/libertarian trope that we don’t need to care about poor people in America because compared to poor people in x developing country our poor people actually have it pretty good. Which is to say it’s bullshit.

                What globalization unaddressed is doing is creating precarious economic conditions for large numbers of people. The ability to buy cheap consumer goods isn’t in itself going to alleviate that. Nor is a $20k household wage difference all that meaningful between low and unskilled working people (or even higher skilled people) with no safety net when they’re all potentially expendable based on the whims of shareholders. It’s bizarre to me how many progressives have seemingly embraced conservative talking points on this subject.Report

              • InMD in reply to InMD says:

                Edit to clarify: I get the $20k is meaningful to the person who doesn’t have it, and they would take it in a heartbeat. What I mean is it isn’t nearly the great shield for the economic forces in question the author implies it is.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

                I think I accidentally made a much stronger claim than I meant to:

                I just think that, because people who are concerned about being on the losing end of it are not, well, on the losing end of it introduces an additional challenge.

                This should have read:

                I just think that, because people who are concerned about being on the losing end of it are not necessarily, well, on the losing end of it introduces an additional challenge.

                I’m all for ways for softening the various blows that the economy may rain on “losers” due to globalization, and not just globalization. My issue here is that I am pretty damn skeptical that this will be an effective way to assuage the sense of loss that many people feel, whatever it’s rooted in.Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                It isn’t easy. I mentioned upthread the need to find a way to re-open a discussion on the social contract, which needs to involve how we’re going to manage citizenship and movement of labor in a globalised world. I don’t know how to do that. I just don’t think it starts with dismissing the issue because of the existence of worse off people than the median Trump voter.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD says:


              I’ve never been fond of the term but neo-liberal as been abused so much as a sneer that it should be void for vagueness.

              Immigration is complicated. The evidence about what jobs are loss to globalization is mixed. The evidence about whether immigrants drive down low wage jobs even lower is also mixed but more towards the no IIRC.

              But what is absolutely true is that ICE has gone wild and inhumanly so and is looking to deport any one they can for whatever reason.Report

              • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                My use of it was meant to be a bit flip. I’m no apologist for law enforcement. But their various sins and shortcomings aren’t an excuse not to take the immigration issue seriously anymore than police abuse is a reason not to take the prohibition issue seriously. Indeed its the larger policy failure that in many respects is driving whats happening with the law enforcement agencies in question.Report

        • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Yes on all points. That doesn’t mean there doesn’t need to be an actual deal struck. States as we know them aren’t going to just evaporate nor are traditional concepts of citizenship. I know its now fashionable on both left and right to deny the concept of a social contract but thats really what’s being implicated.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I sometimes wonder how many of the so-called losers of globalization are merely people who are not winning quite as well as they imagine they should be?Report

          • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


            I think there are probably times where this is the case but it takes us down this road where economic outcomes are all a bunch of individual morality plays and not complex results of policy choices and incentives, where agency matters but isn’t the whole story. This frustrates me.

            I concede that there is always someone worse off than the exhibit in question, always someone overstating their case for cynical reasons, and always someone unfairly scapegoating others.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            I sometimes wonder how many of the so-called losers of globalization are merely people who are not winning quite as well as they imagine they should be?

            Does it matter? Rich people CONSISTENTLY think they’re not winning quite as well as they should be.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

              If you’re curious, there’s a calculator that allows you to tell if you’re part of the global lower, middle, or upper class here.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Not interested at all. I don’t know why anyone would be, actually.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                I thought it would help hammer home your point that, not only do rich people think they’re not winning quite as well as they should be, they consistently don’t even think that they’re rich in the first place.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                My point was a bit different: that the “not winning enough” metric applies across the board but Oscar used it to discount the complaints of the poor.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

                It’s not clear to me that Oscar is even talking about the poor. One oft observed and remarked-upon phenomenon is that people can be pretty damn rich and still feel poor, due to all of the horrible tricks our horrible brains play on us.Report

              • Maribou in reply to pillsy says:

                Yeah, I really didn’t assume Oscar was talking about the poor either.

                There is a big wealth gap, IME, between say the folks described as having the short end of the health stick in households making less than 22,500 a year, and the folks I am most likely to hear complaining about the personal injustices of globalization. Who are mostly about in the same boat as the rest of “us” fairly well-off folks, relatively speaking.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

                Well, if that’s the case, I’ll take it all back. But I’ve not heard of wealthy or even middle income people complaining about being losers in free trade. Those come pretty exclusively from people working in the trades and similar.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater People working in the trades are rarely poor, particularly in the less-than-22,500-a-year-per-household sense. Like, seriously. I have cousins, uncles, and in-laws who are welders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc etc etc. To a manjack of them, they make more money than I do.

                Also the complainers about outsourcing in the computer industry are the very opposite of few and far between. (I’m not saying they’re wrong to complain! I’m saying they aren’t exactly poor, particularly not in any chronic sense.)Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

                Maribou, tradesmen/manufacturers/craftsmen/etc are, on average, poor. They’re not impoverished. Part of the dynamic in play in these types of discussion is that globalization has set a new baseline in the US of what constitutes “good pay” in these and related industries. But most of it, seems to me, derives from seeing the vst majority of the gains of gloablization being accumulated to the very wealthiest, a constituency of people who perpetually think they’re not winning as well as they should be. Hence my initial comment.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater I still hear a lot more complaining about globalization from computer guys than anyone else.

                And I don’t consider $35-50,000 a year poor, even speaking just of people in this country. (My intuition of the general salary range (actually less than most of my relatives make) – backed by labor bureau statistics.) That’s solidly blue-collar middle income. I make less than that and I consider myself, leaving Jay out of it, to be solidly pink-collar middle income. NOT poor. I’ve been poor and poor is a whole different bundle of wax.

                Most of the folks in that income range and job set that I know about spend very little time complaining about people, period. And on the rare occasions when they do complain about people (usually after a couple of beers), they mostly complain about a) people who spend all their time on the Internet (willing to concede that that particular complaint is deformed by them teasing me), b) rich people in this country but not in a directly about globalization way, more in a rich people are stupid way, and c) their family members who are being dumb. Oh, d) idiot drivers, people in general who are pretending to skills they don’t have, and/or supposedly full-grown adults who don’t know how to do basic things like fix a garbage disposal and aren’t willing to either learn, or pay someone to do it without looking down their noses.

                Complaining about the people who are taking their jobs really doesn’t come up much.

                Now, people in computer tech fields? They complain a lot about the people in other countries who are taking their jobs, the injustice of it, the lowering of standards involved, etc. Or rather, they did about 10 years ago. Now they mostly seem to have different, more interesting computer jobs that pay better, so they don’t complain much.

                I don’t know anyone in manufacturing, but I also don’t equate manufacturing with trades (or being an artisan for that matter).

                If you’d said “manufacturing” or “retail” rather than the trades you would have heard not a peep from me.

                The idea that people in the trades are “poor” is an idea I never hear from people in the trades, though. And I’ve occasionally heard them complain about people saying they’re poor. Enough to have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

                Sure, anything’s possible.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

                @pillsy Has my meaning.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                I was a little disappointed. Was hoping for Methuselah status.

                Or maybe I’m doing it wrong?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Well, probably.

                But I’m always shocked when I am once again forced to remember that around two-thirds of the world gets by on less than $10,000/year.

                And at how many of those in America (almost all?) would be hit pretty dang hard by making things more fair (fsvo “fair”).Report

  3. pillsy says:

    [Di5] At a certain point, isn’t it something of a crisis for conservatism as a political movement and ideology that it can’t compete at all for the attention, interest, and allegiance of college faculty?[1] Not even economists anymore, it seems.

    I’m not saying a lack of viewpoint diversity isn’t bad for debate: I think it is. But at the same time, conservatism as a constellation of ideas and policy preferences seems to have remarkably little to offer scholars,[2] and as a political movement it is (and has long been) hell-bent on vilifying, marginalizing, and antagonizing both college students and college faculty.[3]

    Maybe stop doing that so much.

    [1] Some of this is surely realignment, as upper middle class professionals drift ever Blue-ward, and some of it is sorting.

    [2] Just about thing the GOP offers is tax cuts, and most professors aren’t that rich, the recent GOP tax bill suggests that the GOP actually isn’t much interested in lowering their taxes, and the focus on nuking all sorts of discretionary federal spending (which includes grants) is going to loom large.

    [3] For all that the various conservatives in the article protest that they aren’t alt-right, college conservative groups delight in inviting fucksticks like Milo and Coulter to their campuses, and basking in the outrage.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

      Re: 3

      If the most effective thing a group can do is invite a firebrand in an effort to expose the hypocrisy of the opposition, that group is approaching intellectual bankruptcy.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Yeah. There was a good “open letter” from a Republican UCLA faculty member about this yesterday.

        I don’t even believe that intellectual bankruptcy is the primary issue here [1], but that movement conservatism is increasingly enamored of, and led by, professional dickheads.

        [1] There are plenty of right-of-center people who advocate effectively were viewpoints that are worth pursuing.Report

        • bookdragon in reply to pillsy says:

          That is an excellent letter, with exceptionally apt points.

          The analogy between lefty performance artists who did vulgar disgusting things on stage to ‘shock sensibilities’ and the so-called conservatives who just want to trigger people struck me as spot on. I remember the 80s when ‘liberal’ became the ‘L-word’ that people should have to be ashamed to admit applied to them. I was a college student in the mid-80s and even on a university campus where liberal ideas were far more accepted and promoted that was the an active paradigm. I suspect the same thing is happening now (for similar reasons) to the ‘conservative’ label. It’s not that all conservatives are Milo fans or even Milo-curious, but that the ideas and attitudes associated with him, and the similar if not quite as over-the-top ones associated with a certain strain of Trump supporters, have hopelessly tarnished the word ‘conservative’.

          I don’t know what the solution is, but complaining about it or kvetching about how unfair it is didn’t work particularly well for liberals in 80s and 90s, so it doesn’t seem likely to be a productive response for conservatives today either.Report

          • pillsy in reply to bookdragon says:

            That analogy impressed me as well.

            Twenty years ago, I was an undergraduate at a school that was (and remains) notorious for its loopy left-of-center politics during the first round of the campus culture wars over “political correctness”. And yes, during that time I was exposed to a radical, anti-free speech ideology.

            Specifically, I checked a copy of Robert Bork’s Slouching to Gomorrah out of the library.

            Now, my politics then were “socially liberal and fiscally conservative”, and I was registered as a Republican, but I was also something of an edgelord. And I remember reading that book and coming across a passage where Bork, who is building the case for a degree of government censorship that would make Ross Douthat blanch, condemned Nine Inch Nails [1], which was probably my favorite band at the time.

            And I was delighted! Finally someone was actually offended by the stuff I dug. I no doubt bored many friends to tears going on about my wonderful discovery.

            Now I look back on the incident and feel a little bit silly. But I definitely think there’s a thing that goes on with some people at that age where they just really want to get a rise out of people.

            [1] He offered NIN as an example of depraved hip hop, but still.Report

            • bookdragon in reply to pillsy says:

              I vaguely remember that book. I was a bit older than you – starting a job after finishing my PhD – when it came out, so my response was closer to an eye roll at that fine example of Latter Day Puritan cluelessness.

              “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” still describes me, and means I don’t fit anywhere in our party system. I used to say it meant I split my ticket, but the GOP pretty much abandoned fiscally conservative over a decade ago, so that leaves me with “vote Dem for social issues I care about and on fiscal issues ‘a pox on both your houses’.”Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to bookdragon says:

            I agree, it’s nice to see an adult in the room speak up. Good link, @pillsyReport

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

          I do think it’s a sort of intellectual bankruptcy. Not ideological bankruptcy, mind you – they aren’t out of ideas, they just aren’t educated enough to promote those ideas in a competent fashion, or they’ve traded in the promotion of ideas in favor of the promotion of the spectacle..

          That said, you are right that a lot of the popular conservative leaders are not only dickheads, but they are intellectually bankrupt as well.Report

        • Jason in reply to pillsy says:

          I don’t even believe that intellectual bankruptcy is the primary issue here [1], but that movement conservatism is increasingly enamored of, and led by, professional dickheads.

          This. I’m fairly middle of the road, but I find myself more aligned with left leaning people because of this. Politics shouldn’t be trolling (yeah, maybe there’s always been a degree of that during elections, but the president is an internet troll).Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Hardly suprising – combine the axiom that anyone teaching at a university is a “liberal elite” and therefore whatever they’re teaching is liberalism, with Cleek’s law, and that’s what you get.

        You’re not going to convert anyone to your point of view if it keeps not being your point of view as soon as you convert them to it.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

      I think some of this can really be chalked up to failures of the right.

      I partially link to some of these things to indicate that it’s a problem apart from fairness to the right. It’s something that is probably making the rest of the spectrum less than it could be.

      That said, I don’t believe it’s all on the right. One of the checks I have is looking at the UK. A lot of things we want to say is because of particulars of the GOP applies to the Tories, when a lot of those particulars either don’t apply to them or haven’t applied to them until recently (and in some cases sort of do apply to Labour, in terms of erratic politician behavior).

      But the extent to which the US right actually goes out of its way to alienate people out of its tribe is a problem, and not one matched by the left (yet, anyway), and I’ve is going to need to deal with it if wants cultural influence outside of its tribe.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

        Oh the link was pretty good, and I don’t think it’s all on the right. The Big Sort is almost certainly a major contributor, and I think it generally transcends blame. I also think the increasing adjunctification of higher education doesn’t help either, as increasing economic precarity among students means that they’ll be more likely to skew Democratic. While I think adjunctification does not at all defy blame, it’s not a simple left-right partisan issue.

        And stuff like making insulting asides about Republicans in class really is something professors shouldn’t do [1].

        But usually once you start seeing groups turn against a party at a rate of 5 or 6 to 1, you start hearing about how that’s a problem for that party and they should figure out how to do some outreach. Most of the stuff people say about it is silly and probably futile [2], but there’s a sense that they worry about it.

        [1] And the story about the denial of tenure based, at least in part, on writing for NRO is legit horrifying.

        [2] Frex, I doubt the Democratic Party will make many inroads among white Evangelical Christians as long as it has a pro-choice party platform, and that’s not going away any time soon.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

          I’ve had conversations with conservatives about the African-American vote this reminds me of. Basically, it takes two parties to achieve a skew of 9-to-1.Report

        • pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

          “increasing economic precarity among students”

          Argh that should be “among faculty”. Stupid thinkos I notice more than five minutes after clicking “Post Comment”.Report

          • fillyjonk in reply to pillsy says:

            “increasing economic precarity among faculty”

            *raises hand sadly* (I am already trying to figure out if I can find a tolerable side-hustle for this summer – I was not willing to teach another summer for adjunct pay, but I am wondering if I can make my paycheck stretch with NOTHING coming in. The ideal would be to get some editing work but that’s been thin on the ground of late).

            and in some ways, I’m perhaps more conservative than some on here…Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to pillsy says:

      Professors and universities leaned heavily towards the Republicans and conservatism for most of American history. During the 1950s, anti-intellectualism was adopted as an electoral strategy and our intelligentsia started leaning more to the liberal and leftist side of politics. The stereotypical leftist, radical college professor would make no sense to any American before the Baby Boom. They were really creations of the Counter-Culture.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to pillsy says:

      I’ll offer a contrarian view from the right.

      We don’t think that the “marketplace of ideas” is an appropriate construct for a university; it may be an appropriate political construct for multiple universities in a plural society, but within the university itself, it hinders inquiry.

      So, in a weird way, we think Brown should be Brown, Berkeley Berkeley, and God bless Evergreen State… and so on and so forth.

      Where a lot of the friction over the past 25-yrs or so has come has been over the surrender, abandonment, or hostile takeover of various prominent shared institutions; there’s a sense on the right that the deal has been broken. Where Harvard, Princeton and Yale had faculty that both right and left could cite, those referee institutions are no longer referees. And maybe we ought not look to them as referees… I’m fine with that, but for some that’s a cultural loss, and for other’s the marginalization memo hasn’t reached them yet, and for a third part, the fact that Harvard, Princeton, Yale don’t mean anything to a large segment of the population… that hasn’t fully landed yet either.

      There are structural issues particular to the hiring process in Higher Education that we are all aware of, whether we want to openly admit them or not. Where I disagree a bit with Haidt, and hence the contrarian nature of this post, is that his “Encyclopedic” middle-ground notions of Universtity Enquiry isn’t really a middle ground so much as a mode of inquiry itself. So, I’m fine with him advocating for such, but I think it would be better for Brown to be Brown and to (re-)build our universities to challenge Brown where it needs challenging.

      Unfortunately, we’ve lost a march (through our own fault as much as through the actions of others), so we’re struggling to make up lost ground.Report

      • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

        I don’t know enough about the institutional issues to comment intelligently but what I see from the headlines is more of a cultural battle than a partisan one. There are certain attributes one expects of a person dedicated to intellectual inquiry. One of those things is reliance on research, skepticism, and the scientific method. Those who reject those concepts for various reasons are in large part going to be rejected from or self select out of career paths that rely on it. To take an extreme example, someone who is a young Earth creationist is probably never going to do well in biology or maybe any hard science, and for good reason will never be faculty anywhere credible.

        The problem as I see it, is that the know-nothing strain of conservatism that has come to dominate conservative culture has marginalized conservatism more broadly, to the point that its mere presence in respectable academia has become suspect. This is exacerbated by the fact that colleges themselves and their student bases have ended up on the blue side of the class and demographic divide.

        Now that the conservatives of any stripe are in such a decisive minority, there’s no one to curb the academic left’s excesses, and they’ve busily established their own brand of post modern know nothingism impervious to facts and reality outside of the greenhouse. Still, if conservatives really want to re-establish a foothold, Milo and people like him aren’t going to be the ones to do it.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

          I guess I’d say that the headline battles aren’t the battles and that the whole notion that young earth creationists are stalking the universities is the very definition of a Red Herring and why those battles aren’t the actual battles. 🙂

          Regarding your second point about conservatism and know-nothing conservatism… sure… but what I’ve laid out is a critique of most all conservative opinions on the matter… so whence conservative?

          But yes, regarding Milo nothing I’ve ever written could be construed to see Milo as a guide for a way forward on any matter.Report

          • pillsy in reply to Marchmaine says:

            YECs aren’t, but their prominence in the broader culture war did, I think, contribute to anti-academic sentiment on the right, and anti-right sentiment among academics.Report

          • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

            @pillsy of course said what I was really trying to get at, and did in one sentence what I failed to do in 3 paragraphs. I think the type of conservative whose politics are within a strain of conservatism that is fully consistent with rational inquiry have been done dirty by the populists/Fox News conservatives that run the GOP. The fact that colleges post 1960s are, on balance, blue turf allowed for a purge, and eventually a failure to distinguish between pedagogical and ideological standards.

            If conservatives want back in (and to be clear, I’d like to see them get back in) they need to push for a correction in the movement they identify with. I say the same thing to liberals when it comes to all this intersectionality fanaticism.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

              I guess the place where we’re missing each other is that the University project isn’t first a project for conservatives or liberals. So purifying one or the other political project is neither the proper object of the university nor its students. That it has been captured thus is a big part of what my contrarian argument is pointing towards.

              The one great universities aren’t indoctrination centers, they are affirmation centers… they can no longer distinguish intelligibly between what ought to be taught and what ought not. They have lost their unity, and the key virtue of prudence.

              I’m pointing out the failure of the university, not a way for conservatives to get back in…the goal of the rat is to leave the ship, the ones that are sinking. 🙂Report

        • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

          I’m very slowly making my way through the McIntyre article, but keep getting nerd-sniped by stuff like the argument about theism and the intelligibility of the universe.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Marchmaine says:

        There was a fascinating little bit in the Haidt article you linked from Heterodox Academy:

        Many may view education as “enlightening” and believe that an enlightened view comports with liberal politics. There is little evidence that education causes students to become more liberal. Instead, several longitudinal studies following tens of thousands of college students for many years have concluded that political socialization in college occurs primarily as a function of one’s peers, not education per se (Astin, 1993; Dey, 1997).

        I think in some ways this aligns with a lot of the arguments about campus culture war, in that they put student activists in the key role, both on the left (the social justice activists) and the right (the various campus conservative groups that invite right-of-center speakers).

        It’s something of a challenge to the idea that these universities are indoctrination centers, or for that matter it’s the political orientation of the faculty that are making things uncomfortable for the conservative students interviewed in the original Boston Magazine link [1]. While I don’t think professors should make dickish cracks about Republicans in class [2], even if they stopped doing that I doubt being outnumbered by the left 6 or 7 to 1 is likely to be terribly fun for conservative students.[3]

        [1] And the students sort of hint towards as much.

        [2] I actually went to Brown, and I never heard such things in class, and I probably would have noticed given my RINOish leanings at the time. I do remember a crusty old econ professor gently prodding his huge intro class from the right, though.

        [3] Especially as we get more polarized and and outgroup hostility towards the other party increases.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine says:


        I wonder how much of the issue is what is a university for in our modern society. I sort of agree with Jaybird that more people go to university than probably should. But my worry is that if we adopted this idea, the kids who want to study arts and humanities will get kicked out in favor of the kids who want to have careers in business and finance. In my view, we should find a way to teach business via apprenticeship instead of an undergrad major and an MBA.

        I also wonder how many people have an idea of what the conclusion of an intellectual inquiry should be and then they work backward.Report

        • greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I sort of go back and forth on whether more kids go to college then really should. But if there is change to how many people go to college it will be based on wealth. Just like in the old days rich kids will go to all the college they want and the poor will be left out. Middle class kids will still likely be able to go. Then people will wonder why poor kids aren’t becoming doctors and CEO’s and such.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to greginak says:


            This is the main reason why I am hesitant to cut back on college enrollment or say fewer people going to college is good. But I find it fascinating how many people, including people who always do well in school and attend elite institutions see it as a means for economic advancement instead of intellectual growth.

            I went to good schools but my grades were always all over the map. Yet people who have been solid-A students have been impressed by how much I know in terms of history and other issues. They make much more money than I do though.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:


          I’d say that those are good questions to ask, but they are second or third order questions. What the unifying principles of the university are are first order… how and in what way is the university going to pursue those inquiries is a second order, and whether those inquiries have broad or narrow paths for students is a third.

          Which is to say that various universities within a tradition will fall on different parts of that spectrum.

          Professional degrees from engineering to business to medical should always proceed as secondary degrees.

          Similarly, there’s no reason Vocational degrees can’t also participate… in fact, I have a friend attempting to pioneer precisely such a model.Report

          • Professional degrees from engineering to business to medical should always proceed as secondary degrees.

            I’m always interested in how these things would work. What would the course of study to finish the equivalent of, say, an MS in applied mathematics look like? How long would it take?Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain says:

              I understand the trap; and I’ll give you the answer you don’t want and spring your trap:

              Longer than the current MS in Mathematics takes now; and the extra education will make you better applied mathemeticians.

              {MacIntyre addresses this in his short essay, but instead he talks about economists, nobel winning economists}

              Or, you can opt out of the University approach that we’re recommending as one approach, not the only approach, and can continue in exactly the way you do it now.Report

              • I wasn’t trying to set a trap. I certainly won’t argue that I wouldn’t come out of such a program more broadly educated, and might be convinced to concede that my technical education would be better. A bigger problem, at least for me, would be one of the things that chased me out of that particular PhD program, despite having a lovely, funded dissertation topic lined up: after six years I was just so tired of being poor.

                Edited to replace “I would” with “I wouldn’t”.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Well, at the end of the day, the rent’s just too damn high… that’s just true everywhere and always.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine says:

                p.s. appreciate you weren’t trying to set a trap; but others before you had preconditioned me to see it such.Report

              • What ticks off most of them, and I admit to some sympathy for them, goes like this. We are building software systems today with major moral and/or ethical questions attached. The ethicists’ answer is almost always “Engineers should spend yet more time in school, studying ethics.” It’s almost never “Philosophy/ethics students should spend another couple of years in school, learning software systems.”

                The effort you linked to is something quite different from that argument, I think.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Quite. That there is an ethicist at all is part of the critique.

                What educates is knowledge of several disciplines, such that one comes to understand both the indispensability of each for an overall understanding of the order of things and the limitations of each. The superficial generalist is as much the product of a defective education as the narrow specialistReport

          • LeeEsq in reply to Marchmaine says:

            One of the reasons why we have a doctor shortage in the United States is that we make would be doctors go through four years of undergraduate work even if most do pre-med. Letting them go right into their studies will help.Report

            • Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

              You might enjoy the thoughts of OT’s distinguished alumnus Daniel Summers, who I usually contact on Twitter at @WFKARS, on this exact subject.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Depends on the problem you want to solve, the timeframe you want to solve it in, what you mean by help and how you define success.

              There is not only one nob we need to turn even if our only goal is more doctors.Report

            • Lyle in reply to LeeEsq says:

              There are a few med schools in the US that are doing this 6 years from the high school equivalent in europe to the MD is common. Essentially you strip the idea of a major out, and most of the general ed. Of course this is unpopular with the faculty who will be unemployed as a result of less demand.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Well, if we are talking about 4 years of a liberal education prior to specialization, then we absolutely have room to require students to take more mathematics, basic physics and chemistry & economics alongside their language, sociology, philosophy, history, and arts classes.

            We want well rounded students, after all.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine says:

            I don’t see why law or medicine shouldn’t be undergrad degrees in the United States like they are in Europe and Asia.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          But my worry is that if we adopted this idea, the kids who want to study arts and humanities will get kicked out in favor of the kids who want to have careers in business and finance.

          That’s not the markeplace of ideas, tho. That’s just the marketplace. If people wanna pay to study art and the humanities, universities will continue to offer those programs. I think Marchmaine’s negative critique of the marketplace of ideas concept of a university is most applicable to the humanities tho. For whatever that’s worth.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

            You would think, but MacIntyre and the folks making these arguments are keen on Science, the History and Philosophy of Science, and the advanced epistemological ramifications of scientific inquiry. Science and doing science well is very much core to the critique… Physics and Metaphysics.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

              Fair point. I wasn’t trying to summarize the theoretical underpinnings of any specific view so much as contrast Saul’s desire to preserve liberal arts programs in the face of a broadly conservative negative critique of them. I have no doubt that smart, ambitious, motivated conservative intellectuals present compelling attacks on modern epistemology and the metaphysics of empiricism and all the rest. Conservatives (ie. rationalists) have been arguing those things for thousands of years. 🙂

              Add: I think the more pointed and compelling critique we see today is against certain strains of continental philosophy centered in liberal arts disciplines which have infected the academy, a critique you can agree with without being a conservative.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yep, I appreciate that… just trying to keep the core observation on the rails… the temptation to go to our usual corners and fight over the same piece of moldy cheese is strong, if ultimately gratifying.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

      Re Number 3:

      This is the same as it ever was. One thing I do somewhat admire about the GOP is that they do have a better use of College Republicans as a way of building future leaders and actors within the parties. As far as I can tell, College Democrats is just a bunch of college students who are Democrats, the senior leadership isn’t looking at the group to find leaders.

      Karl Rove started as the President of College Republicans. Coulter, Ingraham, and other started on right-leaning campus publications that mocked the liberal students of their day as well.

      My alma mater was always left-leaning but if you look at campus year books there was decent sized number of students who supported the GOP in the 1980s. By the time I was there from 1998-2002, there were only a handful of conservatives on campus. I’m sure the number is lower today.

      I think the big issue is that the hardcore social conservatism of the GOP is growing bigger and in ways many professionals (especially those under 45) find untenable.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Dinesh D’Souza also got his start as a campus conservative, and one who was an incandescently vile and bigoted asshole even then.Report

      • bookdragon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m not sure any of those examples speak well of the College Republicans… 😉

        Honestly, and a bit to @pillsy ‘s point further up, I entered college a Republican from a Republican family, but my journey away from the party wasn’t much influenced by exposure to liberal professors (I was in engineering, a field with a much larger than average number of conservative professors). It was heavily influenced by exposure to College Republicans, especially since in the 80s they were very much social culture warriors. The example that particularly sticks in my memory is that the president of the chapter in my undergrad wrote an editorial in the college paper saying that women should be banned from ‘male’ disciplines like engineering. In fact, he later went so far as to say that women should only be allowed to apply to Education and Nursing.

        If he was just a random student who had signed up for the group, I might have been able to ignore that. But he was the club president! – the other members had voted for him to lead them. If similar things are happening on campuses today, it would be no surprise to me at all to see students walking out on the definition of conservatism presented to them by their peers.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to bookdragon says:

          @bookdragon @pillsy

          Almost everyone I know was a College Republican/Libertarian has moved to the left. The interesting thing is that the ones that were nice people are still nice people and the ones that were insufferable assholes are still strident and insufferable assholes.

          So assholeness is independent of political orientation.Report

          • bookdragon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Oh, I agree with that – I do know a number of people who were conservatives in college and were perfectly nice decent people, and still are. It’s just that the College Republicans at my particular college *voted* for the worst sort of insufferable asshole to lead their organization and speak for them. At that age, that suggested to me that I should probably look for another party, because this one was not headed in a direction I wanted to go.Report

    • pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

      On a somewhat related note, there’s also this, where Nathan Robinson writes, pretty convincingly IMO, that the specter of censorship and silencing, especially by left-wing students, is overblown. It’s not the exact same question, and just because schools are happy to have, say, Charles Murray come and speak doesn’t mean there’s a tremendous amount of ideological diversity among either students or faculty, but the phenomena of ever more left-leaning campuses is often presented as leading inexorably to marauding hordes of SJWs wrecking up the place.

      It may not be so.Report

      • North in reply to pillsy says:

        Oh I agree. The right wing nut farmers are broadly funded and widely read on the right and when the MSM does their “lets split the difference and assume that’s fair” dance it magnifies the picture and makes it seem huge which, interestingly enough, suits the left wing subjects of the conversation down to their toe tips.
        The bedeviling thing is it’s damned hard to pick an easy empirical way to disprove those allegations.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    Di0 : Korean Taco trucks at every mosque.

    Today, Orange County is majority-minority; Latinos make up about a third of the county’s 3.2 million residents, while an estimated 120,000 Muslims live there.

    But the two groups continue to lack political power: There is only one Muslim elected official in Orange County,

    120K out of 3.2M is a bit under 4%. Are there that many more than 25 elected officials in Orange county?

    (the majority of the Orange County Board of Supervisors are visibly non-white)Report

  5. Kolohe says:


    His description of hygge seems awfully white, tied to standards for the affluent, and with key features that are bad for the planet.

    For example, the top five hygge cities on his list are Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Denver. All are majority white cities. Warmer, more diverse places might be pleasant, but they rank very low on the hygge scale, the lowest being Los Angeles, Riverside, Miami, San Antonio and Tucson. Coziness, according to the Hygge-o-meter, is a frigid, northern, white-people thing. The definition seems like it applies in an awfully limited way. Surely one could find a way of defining urban coziness that wasn’t so limited in definition and geography.

    You know what’s far more bad for the planet (both globally and locally)? The urbanization and late 20th century population explosion of Southern California, Southern Florida, and Arizona.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Kolohe says:

      The urbanization of Southern California, Southern Florida, and Arizona was mainly big on car oriented suburban sprawl with Florida being more generous to apartment living. A denser more transit oriented development could have been less environmentally destructive. The post was arguing for denser apartment living and free single family homes in Seattle.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I think Kolohe’s point was more about how all three areas have serious fresh water issues.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Now that the Census Bureau has joined the 21st century and enabled calculations using urbanized area rather than county area as the denominator, a considerable amount of the conventional wisdom has to be tossed. Measured across the urbanized area, LA and its suburbs are somewhat denser than NYC and its suburbs (NYC’s core is not enough to offset its lower-density suburbs). Sorting urban areas by density, the top 25 on the list are dominated by California. California is the most dense state overall, nosing out New York. Six of the ten densest states are in the West, and include Arizona. When looking at metro areas with over a million people, western suburbs are almost twice as dense as those in any other part of the country.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Kolohe says:

      Coziness, according to the Hygge-o-meter, is a frigid, northern, white-people thing.

      Yet two of the top five are supposedly Salt Lake City and Denver, both of which are closer to Mexico than to Canada, neither of which is particularly frigid (yesterday’s highs were 54 and 63 respectively). As for the stay-inside thing, both SLC and Denver are noted for populations that tend to more outdoor activities than most places.Report

  6. Doctor Jay says:

    [Di5] I don’t think it should surprise us that there’s a feud between social psychologists and conservatives. It’s the social psychologists who have figured out things that undermine the position of the “up by your bootstraps” political rhetoric of the right. So groups of conservatives set out to undermine their credibility. This is similar to how the fossil fuel industry has set out to undermine the scientists who study climate change.

    We cannot expect people thus attacked to say, “Oh, never mind, why don’t you come join our little group and work on this project with us”.

    And, it is definitely the case that ideological diversity produces better work. In order to produce work, there are some prerequisites. One must agree on a set of work to be done, and on a process for determining fact. Meanwhile, there are entrenched groups who are determined to undermine exactly that process – who mean to destroy any sense of an objective, empirical truth. This includes Russia, oil companies, and some far-left wingers, who think there is only narrative, and that any objectivity is an illusion.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    Seattle and Hygge: As far as I can tell Seattle has a NIMBY problem that makes SF look like a builder’s paradise. I do think that SF was always more diverse than Seattle though especially in terms of African-Americans. When I visited Seattle a few years ago, I recall a large amount of African immigrants though. Seattle is a nice city but it does seem to be one more for people who already have roots in Washington. I could still see living there though. I do like the weather there.

    Ontario Lawyer oaths: I don’t see what is so bad here. This is probably something that is more symbolic and easy to say but will not be enforced too heavily. California lawyers are or were required to take a CLE course called Ending Bias in the Law as part of their CLE courses.* The courses did not really seem to change the mind of anyone except those who already believed in what they were preaching. I remember listening to the audio of one recorded in a more conservative part of CA and they hollowed at the idea that criminal courts could be biased against minorities especially black men.

    *We now have to take a course called Mindfullness and I can’t remember if Mindfullness replaced Ending Bias in the Law or the Substance Abuse class.Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Agreed, I’ve visited Seattle and Portland, the NIMBY’s there are a special super-NIMBY breed. At least in CA the NIMBY’s are generally aware of how badly crowded things are, how that isn’t going away and thus try to keep their NIMBYism on a lower profile. Oregon NIMBY’s haven’t internalized that their markets are in demand, that the crowds aren’t going to leave and accordingly are a lot more unabashed about saying stuff like “The city just doesn’t need to grow, I want my neighborhood to stay the way it is.”Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

        Portland and Seattle still have population densities under 10,000 people per square mile. When I was in Portland I spent my time in the downtown urbanized core and I’ve never been to Seattle. Both seem dominated by single-family homes and determined to stay that way. Both are sort of like wealthier and whiter versions of Oakland. More city like in appearance than the typical Sun Belt city but not as dense as other big cities.Report

        • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Oh yes, there’s a TON of room and a TON of demand for increased density there and the owners in those neighborhoods know it very well. What they don’t accept is that it should happen, they still somehow think that if they hold the line the demand will just go away again.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


        I was in Livermore this weekend to visit a winery. Livermore is in the East Bay and has a cute little downtown. It is a strange town filled with ranchers, wine types, and physicists. A lot of seniors were protesting the building of new housing and asking for more parking.

        Oregon residents have been anti-growth for a long time. The old phrase was “Don’t Californiate Oregon” or something like that.Report

  8. Damon says:

    [Di1] This is interesting, because in my 1 year living in Seattle, I saw more interracial couples than 10 years living in the Mid Atlantic region.

    [Di2] I do enjoy reading a article that uses works such as “likely” and “unlikely”. You can park a small moon in that margin of error. And then goes on to say but if the construction economy heats up, all bets are off. Nah, we don’t need to build a wall. The amount of nonsensical bullshit created by the article suggests we merely need to shovel it to the wall for an effective barrier.

    [Di5] The assumption being made is that quality is desired, not a fiefdom of group think.Report