URLs du Jour

2017-06-01

Proverbs 25:11 has been studying the judicial opinions of Clarence Thomas:

11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
    is a ruling rightly given.

The translation footnote says that when they say "apples", they might actually mean "apricots".

Today's Getty image: a judge about to rightly give a ruling. Doesn't that just scream "golden apples in a silver setting" to you?

■ Evergreen State biology professor Bret Weinstein tells his story in the WSJ: The Campus Mob Came for Me—and You, Professor, Could Be Next.

I was not expecting to hold my biology class in a public park last week. But then the chief of our college police department told me she could not protect me on campus. Protestors were searching cars for an unspecified individual—likely me—and her officers had been told to stand down, against her judgment, by the college president.

Scary stuff. Also worth reading on Weinstein/Evergreen is Peter Wood at Minding the Campus, who fits it into the context of other recent illiberal incidents at other colleges. Among Wood's insights:

The less actual evidence there is of racial animosity coming from whites, the more important it is to conjure its insidious presence, and the more urgent it is to teach the coming generation of black Americans to ground their lives in victimhood, resentment, and robust resistance to surrounding society.  This apotheosis of resentment, of course, is not limited to blacks.  Any collection of people willing to band together into an identity group based on a history of victimization can do the same thing.  Women, Hispanics, Native Americans, illegal immigrants, and sexual minorities of all sorts can adapt both the logic and the techniques of revolutionary existential despair.  But black Americans define this territory; the others merely emulate.

And also Bruce McQuain at his Questions and Observations blog.

Dissent. They will brook no dissent. Nor can the professor dissenting expect backup from the school he’s been a part of for 14 years. Instead, students who do what these students did are held unaccountable and their demands are actually given credence. And a man who spoke up for the values of academia ended up teaching in a park because the school couldn’t guarantee his safety.

The only upside is that such incidents make the Cinco de Mayo brouhaha at the University Near Here look mild and trivial in comparison. But only in comparison.

■ At the Federalist, David Harsanyi tells it on the mountain: There Is No Political Tribe That Deserves Your Loyalty. He notes the odd similarity between (a) Dennis Prager's plea for #NeverTrump conservatives to become Trump cheerleaders and (b) the strange new respect afforded the corrupt "dictator-loving conspiracy-theorist" (but Trump-hating) Maxine Waters.

[…] if a person is truly apprehensive about creeping “authoritarianism” — these days, the prevailing concern of the same Democrats who push policies that almost exclusively coerce Americans economically — rigid group-thinking just isn’t feasible anymore. Anti, anti-anti, pro, whatever. The sad truth is that there are simply too many people acting reprehensibly in Washington for many Americans to be a member of any of these tribes.

"Indeed."

■ You might find this long City Journal article from César A. Hidalgo interesting: Not Quite Rational Man. MIT Prof Hidalgo looks at how/whether neoclassical economics can deal with recent strides in psychological research that shows homo economicus, the guy who makes rational economic decisions, isn't a tenable description of the real world. He name-checks a lot of the guys I've been reading over the past few years: Daniel Kahneman, Jonathan Haidt, Daniel Gilbert, Joseph Henrich.

Hidalgo has a book (Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies), which I've stuck on my to-read list. UNH has it, but some facule seems to taken it out of circulation with a 2018 due date. Doh!