A university professor writes in…


by Sunny
9th January, 2010 at 4:45 pm    

Got this email from a US university professor today:

Dear Mr.Hundal

I have just read your article on “Note to Neocons: Universities Don’t Create
Extremists’. As a university professor,m I am in complete agreement, This view is an example of the anti-intellectual attitude that is damaging our democratic society whereby expressing views differing from the norm is considered radical and unpatriotic.

Perhaps a university education would benefit those holding these . I suspect they may arise from a feeling of inferiority that they try to compensate by diminishing the status of those having these differing views.

Thank you for you offering

Brilliant.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Civil liberties,Economy,Religion






34 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. pickles

    Blog post:: A university professor writes in… http://bit.ly/7eykyi




  1. MiriamBinder — on 9th January, 2010 at 5:12 pm  

    And without a doubt correct. The fear of ideas that oppose your own firmly held beliefs is anti-intellectual.

    I would go further and say that it is also showing a profound lack of confidence in your own firmly held beliefs ;)

  2. DavidMWW — on 9th January, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

    This standard of writing is an example of the decline in literacy that is damaging the reputation of our higher education establishments whereby composing sentences barely cohering is considered acceptable.

    Perhaps a basic English course would benefit those writing these.

  3. cjcjc — on 9th January, 2010 at 5:26 pm  

    I have seen the light.

    I promise that I shall never attempt to diminish the status of anyone who believes homosexuals should be killed.

    Where does this prof teach? Hicksville Community College?

  4. DavidMWW — on 9th January, 2010 at 5:41 pm  

    Seriously, if you’re going to complain about anti-intellectualism, and snootily cast aspersions on the education of those who disagree with you, you had better do it in coherent, grammatical English. Otherwise you are going to look like a wanker.

    And if you want to suggest that those who disagree with you are trying to compensate for a feeling of inferiority by “diminishing the status” of their opponents, it is best not to cast aspersions on their level of education. Otherwise you are going to look like a hypocrite.

  5. MaidMarian — on 9th January, 2010 at 5:50 pm  

    cjcjc – ‘I promise that I shall never attempt to diminish the status of anyone who believes homosexuals should be killed.’

    Why not? I think that the point of Sunny’s original article and the correspondence is about an intellectual response. What Sunny and the correspondent have been opposed to is knee-jerk restrictions on freedom of association. If anyone wishes to provide a robust intellectual response to gay-bashers or whatever religion, more power to them say I.

    Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t want to go and have a debate with gay-bashers because you feel that establishing a position of faux-victimhood on the talkboards is more important, that’s your choice.

    If, of course, you want to explain to me why you think that freedom of association should be restricted because of a talkboard firestorm, I’d be interested to hear it.

  6. Don — on 9th January, 2010 at 5:58 pm  

    That would not have been regarded as a stand-out comment on this site, it is scarcely worth an article in itself.

    And, yes, clumsy prose. But when we unpack this:

    the anti-intellectual attitude that is damaging our democratic society whereby expressing views differing from the norm is considered radical and unpatriotic.

    the view(s) differing from the norm in question was the view that homosexuals should be killed. It is not anti-intellectual to find that radical. Nor is it damaging to our democratic society. Patriotism has nothing to do with it.

  7. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2010 at 7:31 pm  

    Don @ 6,

    As you read this site you know I agree with what our host had to say on this subject. However I agree with you on this:

    That would not have been regarded as a stand-out comment on this site, it is scarcely worth an article in itself.

    No, it certainly wouldn’t have, and it isn’t.

    It is bleeding obvious that we are dealing here with an elitist:

    Perhaps a university education would benefit those holding these . I suspect they may arise from a feeling of inferiority that they try to compensate by diminishing the status of those having these differing views.

    He can suspect all he fucking well likes. If he is now tenured than the rest of us are entitled to wonder why.

    ————————————————–

    Sunny, you do not need endorsement from the semi-illiterate, albeit professorial, in the US.

  8. Laban — on 9th January, 2010 at 8:23 pm  

    “Brilliant”

    It’s a pity Sunny doesn’t do irony. Or does he ?

  9. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2010 at 8:45 pm  

    Laban,

    You are telling me Sunny Hundal is a trickster?

    Hopefully.

    Or all the rest of the Universe is dust….

  10. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2010 at 8:55 pm  

    Point taken Laban.

  11. Ravi Naik — on 9th January, 2010 at 8:56 pm  

    the view(s) differing from the norm in question was the view that homosexuals should be killed. It is not anti-intellectual to find that radical. Nor is it damaging to our democratic society. Patriotism has nothing to do with it.

    He can suspect all he fucking well likes. If he is now tenured than the rest of us are entitled to wonder why.

    I suspect that the Professor is probably talking about the reality in the US – and the past 8 years – rather than the specific point about homosexuality. The Bush administration and the neo-cons did have a rather extremist anti-science posture.

    I do agree that the second paragraph sounds elitist and condescending.

  12. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:03 pm  

    Ravi,

    I think it reasonable to assume our good host is taking the piss. See Labans’ comment above.

  13. Rumbold — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:16 pm  

    In fairness, Sunny did not publish the whole of the e-mail. It continues:

    My department recently secured $40 million of research funding. However, due to administrative error, the money has been frozen in a bank account. It will cost $1000 to unlock the money. If you send us this money we are willing to give you $4 million from the research funds.

    Please send your bank details so we know where to pay the money to.

  14. KB Player — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:17 pm  

    Yeah, let’s be condescending and elitist and ask this professor guy whether his tenure is at this establishment.

  15. Rumbold — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:23 pm  

    There’s nothing wrong with Hamburger University. It does what it says on the tin (or burger wrapper).

  16. MaidMarian — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:33 pm  

    Rumbold – I suggest 419eater.com in that case.

    Were it not so tragic it would be the best thing on the web.

  17. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:34 pm  

    Ho, bloody ho!

  18. Kulvinder — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:38 pm  

    I got a 419 the other day asking to help fund climate change.

    Not climate change research. Just climate change.

    Apparently there was a temp cash flow problem and if i helped by donating they’d repay me back with massive interest as soon as the rest of their funding came through.

    I presume they randomly burned oil, just for kicks, to aid climate change.

  19. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:54 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    What’s your view on AGW? I think we are entitled to know?

  20. Kulvinder — on 9th January, 2010 at 10:28 pm  

    The scientific consensus points to it; im happy to go with the scientific consensus.

  21. MaidMarian — on 9th January, 2010 at 10:35 pm  

    Kulvinder – I don’t know. It is a bit parky out there.

  22. Kulvinder — on 9th January, 2010 at 10:58 pm  
  23. KB Player — on 9th January, 2010 at 11:07 pm  

    Rumbold — on 9th January, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Very funny.

  24. douglas clark — on 10th January, 2010 at 1:48 am  

    Well, Mr Hundal,

    That didn’t take us very long, did it?

  25. Kulvinder — on 10th January, 2010 at 10:09 am  

    Kulvinder – I don’t know. It is a bit parky out there.

    with all ‘a’s accounted for

    his entirely justifiable opinions of those commenting

  26. cjcjc — on 10th January, 2010 at 10:30 am  

    I’m confused.

    Who is being ironic?
    The “professor”, Sunny, both, or neither?

    My money is on neither…

  27. Shatterface — on 10th January, 2010 at 8:12 pm  

    Sunny must be right because he’s arguing from authority: a professor no less.

    Not like there’s any crackpot relativists in senior academic positions in the USA is it?

  28. Sunny — on 10th January, 2010 at 11:38 pm  

    I think that the point of Sunny’s original article and the correspondence is about an intellectual response. What Sunny and the correspondent have been opposed to is knee-jerk restrictions on freedom of association. If anyone wishes to provide a robust intellectual response to gay-bashers or whatever religion, more power to them say I.

    Cheers MaidMarian – I never expected such subtlety to enter the minds of people like cjcjc…

  29. cjcjc — on 11th January, 2010 at 8:35 am  

    Haha – so, neither then.

    Meanwhile, this is interesting:

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2010/01/10/why-has-ucl-isoc-just-wiped-its-events-calendar/

  30. cjcjc — on 11th January, 2010 at 8:55 am  

    Hardly surprising in the light of this (though no doubt the “professor” would have no objections):

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/4757

  31. Niels Christensen — on 11th January, 2010 at 9:37 am  

    ‘whereby expressing views differing from the norm is considered radical and unpatriotic’
    Ah, I don’t know. When I was a student years ago, some radical groupings endorsed Albania, some Mao’s China and others Soviet Union. Seen in hindsight it was waste of time, but the radical young men and women had some nice dreams; Not much to do with reality, and I guess Caliphate dreamers will make the same experience.

  32. cjcjc — on 11th January, 2010 at 9:47 am  

    How many tried to blow stuff up?

    Ah, those “nice dreams”…

  33. Niels Christensen — on 11th January, 2010 at 1:18 pm  

    #31
    Oh I forgot to mention, that they strongly supported (secular) muslim
    theorist organizations (FATAH, PFLP among others), which as far as I remember did blow up a few people. Under the umbrella of the revolution, dead was of course a necessary cost.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.