— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) February 12, 2017
Myriad intellectual viruses are thriving in academia. Carried by undereducated graduates, these viruses infect the nation’s civic culture.
George Will writes: In 2013, a college student assigned to research a deadly substance sought help via Twitter: “I can’t find the chemical and physical properties of sarin gas someone please help me.” An expert at a security consulting firm tried to be helpful, telling her that sarin is not gas. She replied, “yes the [expletive] it is a gas you ignorant [expletive]. sarin is a liquid & can evaporate … shut the [expletive] up.”
“College, in an earlier time, was supposed to be an uncomfortable experience because growth is always a challenge.”
— Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School
Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School, writing in The Chronicle Review, says such a “storm of outraged ego” is an increasingly common phenomenon among students who, having been taught to regard themselves as peers of their teachers, “take correction as an insult.” Nichols relates this to myriad intellectual viruses thriving in academia. Carried by undereducated graduates, these viruses infect the nation’s civic culture.
“Unearned praise and hollow successes build a fragile arrogance in students that can lead them to lash out at the first teacher or employer who dispels that illusion, a habit that carries over into a resistance to believe anything inconvenient or challenging in adulthood.”
— Tom Nichols
Soon the results include the presidential megaphone being used to amplify facially preposterous assertions, e.g., that upward of 5 million illegal votes were cast in 2016. A presidential minion thinks this assertion is justified because it is the president’s “long-standing belief.”
“College, in an earlier time,” Nichols writes, “was supposed to be an uncomfortable experience because growth is always a challenge,” replacing youthful simplicities with adult complexities. Today, college involves the “pampering of students as customers,” particularly by grade inflation in a context of declining academic rigor: A recent study showed “A” to be the most commonly awarded grade, 30 percent more frequent than in 1960.
“Rather than disabuse students of their intellectual solipsism,” Nichols says, “the modern university reinforces it.”
— Tom Nichols
And a 2011 University of Chicago study found that 45 percent of students said that in the previous semester none of their courses required more than 20 pages of writing and 32 percent had no class that required more than 40 pages of reading in a week. Read the rest of this entry »
The post-election freak-out on elite campuses is total, and is made all the worse because students on these campuses never meet anyone who disagrees with them.
To equip students with the resources they need to refute Trumpism, colleges have to stop shielding them from ideas that offend their liberal sensibilities. They have to stop pretending that shutting down a discussion is the same thing as winning an argument. Silence is not persuasion.
“There were actual cats and a puppy there. The event as a whole seemed to be an escape from the reality of the election results.”
— UPenn student, Daniel Tancredi
Elsewhere, at campuses across the country, students begged professors to cancel classes and postpone exams, citing fear, exhaustion, and emotional trauma. Such accommodations were frequently granted: Academics at Columbia University, Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and other institutions told students to take some time to come to terms with what had happened, as if the election of Donald Trump was akin to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
That wasn’t all. Law students at the University of Michigan were provided with a post-election “self-care with food and play” event, complete with “stress busting” activities like play dough, coloring books, legos,
and bubbles. Columbia University’s Barnard College offered hot chocolate and coloring. The University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, created a healing space: more coloring books, and also puppies.
One wonders whether some campuses have routinely provided too much of an escape from reality, if the election has reduced their students to tears, play dough, and a whole lot of coloring books.
Nordic Girl Strings Herself from Tree for Nearly Four Hours
Ryan Steadman reports: London-based artist Hilde Krohn Huse hung helplessly from a tree for 3.5 harrowing hours at the hands of… herself.
The artist, who is originally from Norway but has lived in London since she was young, decided to suspend herself from a tree with rope in a forest near Aukra, Norway as part of a video piece for an art class.
“I felt sick when I saw the video for the first time, I experienced everything anew. But I slept on it and realized that the video is quite decent.”
Award-winning artist Hilde Krohn Huse
Clearly, something went awry, and the 26-year-old Ms. Huse found herself strung out in the buff, unable to free herself.
“The video ends when the camera shuts off, but I was there calling for help for another 30 minutes,” Ms. Huse told Norway’s VG newspaper about the incident. “I felt sick when I saw the video for the first time, I experienced everything anew. But I slept on it and realized that the video is quite decent.”
Bonus: Enjoy this long, depressing, confessional, navel-gazing, “actuality of truthfulness’ video by the artist, from Nov 26, 2014
And for our multilingual readers, enjoy this original story from Norway’s vg.no
Hilde Krohn Huse (26) hang naken i et tre i en halv time før noen fant henne, men det ble litt av en video ut av det hele.
Videoen har vunnet Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015, en konkurranse for engelske sisteårsstudenter. Premien er å få videoen utstilt i et storstilt galleri som åpnes opp i november – der vil verkene vises i ett år.
Hilde Krohn Huse er en av 37 andre som vil få sitt verk utstilt i galleriet som ligger på veien opp mot Buckingham Palace, men det var ikke planlagt at 26-åringen skulle lage vinnerfilm.
I utgangspunktet skulle Huse ut å filme en scene til en videoserie hun holdt på med. Hun gikk ut i skogen ved hjemstedet Aukra i Møre og Romsdal, rigget kameraet klart og begynte å henge i repet– så hektet foten seg fast.
– Der videoen slutter slo kameraet seg av, men jeg hang der og ropte på hjelp i 30 minutter, sier Huse til VG på telefon fra London.
En venn hørte til slutt ropene og kom til unnsetning. Read the rest of this entry »