thegrandnarrative + jonathan   3

Jonathan Franzen interview: ‘There is no way to make myself not male' | Books | The Guardian
The irony of all this is that Franzen, a white male novelist frequently accused of elitism, is, in this scenario, something of an underdog, the nerd repeatedly beaten up by the cool kids online – although he identifies the real villain of the piece as the internet itself, which he compares in Purity to communist East Germany. “You can’t not have a relation to, in the case of East Germany, the socialism of the state,” Franzen says. “In the case of the internet, you can ignore it, or you can abet it. Either way, you are in a relation to it. And that’s what’s totalitarian.” As for social media, “it feels like a protection racket. Your reputation will be murdered unless you join in this thing that is, in significant part, about murdering reputations.” There is a long pause. “Why would I want to feed that machine?”
jonathan  franzen  social  media  SJWs 
august 2015 by thegrandnarrative
I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me - Vox
This critic is intelligent. Her voice is important. She realizes, correctly, that evolutionary psychology is flawed, and that science has often been misused to legitimize racist and sexist beliefs. But why draw that out to questioning most "scientific thought"? Can't we see how distancing that is to people who don't already agree with us? And tactically, can't we see how shortsighted it is to be skeptical of a respected manner of inquiry just because it's associated with white males? This sort of perspective is not confined to Twitter and the comments sections of liberal blogs. It was born in the more nihilistic corners of academic theory, and its manifestations on social media have severe real-world implications. In another instance, two female professors of library science publicly outed and shamed a male colleague they accused of being creepy at conferences, going so far as to openly celebrate the prospect of ruining his career. I don't doubt that some men are creepy at conference
us  academia  tumblr  Jonathan  Chait  us  students  us  universities 
june 2015 by thegrandnarrative
Politically Correct Language Isn't Just About Being Polite—It's About Survival
Good for links to critiques also If there's so much that's problematic here, is there anything that resonates? Mainly, Chait's portrayal of the anxiety that progressive people often feel about expressing themselves rings true. Repeatedly, he gives examples of writers’ words being misconstrued, leading to ferocious pile-ons in social media. He quotes writers describing the ways in which they sculpt and censor their messages, fretting over the response they'll bring. In these moments, Chait's essay feels universal. "We're all human, aren't we?" he appears to ask. "Why are we screaming at each other?" It's when he connects these points to his larger thesis—that P.C. activists are like Marxists, seeking to eliminate intellectual freedom—that Chait loses most readers, including me. As Arthur Chu's response in the Daily Beast points out, the internet is not a world where strident leftists shout down thoughtful liberals; it's a world where everybody shouts about everyone else, from every co
PC  politial  correctness  SJWs  Tumblr  Jonathan  Chait 
february 2015 by thegrandnarrative

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