Academic One Liners

If you do weave one-liners into a story, you have to have an overall story as well, otherwise it doesn’t really count as narrative.
– Tim Vine

One may question the need for ideological preservation. Why are ideologies so fragile? One of the main reasons is that most ideologies can be reduced to a single sentence summary. All you have to do to disprove an ideology is find something that goes against the summary. This is why ideological preservation is so important. Science is made up of laws, whether in physics or chemistry. One would have to disprove every law in order to disprove those scientific paradigms. All it takes is one survey, one poll, one study, or common sense to destroy an ideology.

Let’s start with an established example. The religious right claims that “violent media creates child killers”. While there is link to increased aggression, there is no link to actual violence. This of course completely destroys the ideology, sending its members into a panicked frenzy of ideological preservation.

Now, let’s take that same example, and replace “child killers” with “sexism”. This is of course a prime narrative in feminist circles, that the portrayal of women and minorities in media contributes to negative behavior in real life. A study came out proving this. Of course, an analysis of the study proved it was completely wrong (ever notice how ideologues who use studies only care about the headline, instead of having any actual analysis, or God forbid actually looking at the data?). This again goes against the one-liner narrative.

This holds true in academia as well as in mainstream ideologies. One of the tenets of postmodernism is “everything is socially constructed”. So when people start looking into things such as universal grammar, which says that language learning and creation is biological, people get upset. Any biology regarding humans goes against postmodernism. I’ll leave a riddle that no one seems to want to answer: Transgender people are born with the brain of the gender they claim to be (this of course also destroys the idea that biological gender is a social construct). This therefore concludes that there are differences between male and female brains. Yet, females and males have brains that are “not too different” and “differing behaviors are a myth.” Have fun with preserving that one.

One can argue that ideologies are broad movements that can’t be summarized into one line. Scientific laws can certainly be summarized in a line or two. The problem lies in the fact that science is harder to break. If you found evidence that contradicts gravitational laws, then there would be ideological preservation taking place. However, these theories have been tested for centuries. It is very easy to find and argue against thought rather than hard science. The ideas or laws are also very linked to each other. If social constructivism is not entirely accurate, then that’s many many more theories and ideas that are now inaccurate or flat out incorrect. Obviously, science is played out in the same way, but it is still much harder to break evidence with evidence. It is much easier to break theory with evidence.

Why I’m a Sexist

The political system loves the extremes, it doesn’t so much show a lot love for the moderates.

– Claire McCaskill

I suppose I should write about my raison d’être. Why my beliefs are the way they are. Why I say the things I say. Why I write the things I write.

I started becoming interested in feminist critique in about 2013, when it took over the computer science scene. This doesn’t sound bad on paper, but there were some issues that cropped up. People were reprimanded for not using gender neutral pronouns. There were pages of arguments about the terms “master” and “slave”. Some people were obviously not pleased with this.

I was lucky enough to attend a science orientated high school. I managed to take many classes on offer, including classes in computer science. Then feminism crept in. On the first day of my programming class, the teacher spent half the class ranting about how sexist computer science was. He would e-mail us about scholarship opportunities for women only, then say “Sorry, men. There’s tons of opportunities for you” (Hint: he only ever posted scholarships and internships where women are preferred). Then there were the events. All of them during my school year were catered towards women. The only science club for several years was geared towards women. When one was started, the teacher literally said when I walked in “Where are all the women? I’ll have to make cuts to the club, but I’m keeping all of the women”.

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The Problem with “Racist” and “Sexist”

Everything is racist. Everything is sexist. Everything is homophobic. And you have to point it all out

– Anita Sarkeesian

Calling things *ist or *phobic is an extremely common leftist tactic. It is of course, not an argument based in fact. One can simply call anything racist or sexist. But it is also dangerous outside of arguments and academia. It only serves as a distraction from reality, in most cases.

The first issue is who gets to determine what is sexist or racist. Is one person enough? What if one person says it is not racist? Does there need to be a group of people? What if a larger group of people says it is not racist? Does it need to be a person who is a minority? What if a person who is a minority disagrees? Do groups of minorities need to agree? What if someone in that group disagrees? What if an entire group disagrees? It is near impossible to determine what is racist just by stating that it is racist. There is no objective test to determine if something is racist or sexist based on outside views.

Therefore, the only way to objectively determine any *ist or *phobic act is the intent. Of course, there are issues with this as well. It is difficult to get a person to admit bias in the first place. So, naturally, the left likes to force the issue of intent. Students found a man in KKK robes roaming on campus. Except it was a Dominican friar. A student posted a swastika pin on a bulletin board. Turns out it was from a trip to India, where the swastika is used as a symbol of luck and success. It is very easy to make up any kind of intent. One might argue that you shouldn’t wear / post things similar to things that can be perceived as racist. You would not be a very good multiculturalist then. This perspective would mean that these minority cultures would have to assimilate to the dominant one.

Another major failing is that wantonly describing events as racist or sexist allows for constant self-serving bias. Didn’t get a job? It’s because the employer is racist! Someone says you’re annoying or bossy? Sexist! It is much easier to blame someone else than it is to address your own shortcomings. This is one of the core tenets of ideological preservation: you can never be wrong. This is not to say that events can’t happen for racist or sexist reasons, or that racism or sexism does not exist. It is difficult if not impossible to prove that something really happened because of it. History is no indicator. Just because people were denied housing loans based on skin color before, doesn’t mean it has happened to you, especially when other factors are obviously in play. It also leads to low self-esteem. People being racist or sexist is out of one’s control, no matter how much the feminists want to think that all racism and sexism can be eliminated (which of course goes back to the question of what can truly be declared racist). It prevents a reevaluation of self. Maybe you didn’t get that job because your resume was badly done. Or maybe you really are just annoying and bossy. Attributing this fact to outside factors only allows events like these to continue. Every time you are called annoying, you can point to sexism or racism. This leads to a never ending cycle, one that can not be broken because it is society’s fault. But if you attribute the event to a personal downfall or error, one can improve oneself. You can pick yourself up and try again, and most importantly, improve yourself and leave feeling stronger. Again, this is not to say that racism doesn’t exist anymore. It’s just that thinking the world is out to get you only leads to paranoia and depression. There is also the point that declaring everything to be *ist only loosens the impact of the term.

Ideological Preservation Part 2: Ignorance and Dismissal

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

– Robertson Davies

One of the most basic mechanisms of ideological preservation is simple ignorance. If conflicting facts are not presented, then there is no need to explain them. This is primarily done in classrooms and academia because it is extremely simple to do so: just don’t mention it. Of course, the purpose of a university (in theory…) is to present multiple views on a subject to encourage critical thought. However, at least in my experience, this has not occurred. In my sociology classes throughout the year, it took until nearly the end of the last quarter to bring up any criticism of Marxism. If students do not seek out criticisms, whether they do not want to or do not know where to look, then the ideas in the classrooms are presented as a singular entity. One of my professors said “If you don’t think Thomas Kuhn is correct, then you’re just wrong!” I suppose Alan Sokal is just wrong then…

Media of course plays easily into this role as well. I already went into detail about how social media ruins any critical thought. Obviously, the media is in control of the narrative. They for example, won’t make headlines stating that Obama banned all Venezuelan immigrants (as of the time of writing the search “obama venezuela immigration” only returns Reddit results). This is because they want to keep the narrative that Trump banning entire countries from immigrating is unacceptable. It is also why feminist websites will never post about Hillary Clinton’s foundation pay gap.

When these facts are brought to light, the next step is dismissal. The easiest way, at least in academia, is to simply say that they are wrong. The source is unreliable or ill-argued. This is done from a position of power and nothing else. We are trusting that the professors be unbiased, and take their word for it. They do not need to justify any complaints that something is wrong. The classic way to dismiss is to simply label the work. Saying that a work is “outdated” or even conservative (God forbid that someone has a different belief system!) is another simple method of dismissal which requires no substantive explanation or defense of one’s own ideology (Kimball, Roger – Tenured Radicals pg 20). When you’re out of ideas, one can fall back on the good-old fashioned tried and true method of comparing things you don’t like to Hitler (Tenured Radicals pg 5).

Feminism gains far more power by accusing something of being racist or sexist. These are simple yet powerful words. They still hold no meaning, especially in academia. Stating that something is sexist does not necessarily make it so. In my opinion, only the intent matters in acts. The problem is that otherwise, such terms become nebulous and tricky to define. Does one person calling a view sexist make it so? Does it have to be two or more? Does it have to be every female professor? If one person does not find the view sexist, is it enough to cancel it out? If a female professor agrees that it is not sexist, does that cancel it out? There is no way to determine if something is sexist or racist. There is no definable objective test as to whether a view is sexist or not, it can only be subjective in nature. As such, it is ripe for abuse, as one can then simply claim any view they don’t like is sexist or racist (Tenured Radicals pg 20).

Ignorance is bliss. By ignoring conflicting facts and reason, the ideology preserves itself quite well. Marxism and feminism are, in universities, presented as the only correct view. This also applies to other current paradigms such as postmodernism or critical theory. This is dangerous, as it means no other interpretations are considered. Putting all the problems in these paradigms aside, all of these ideologies are just one method of interpreting the world. Encouraging and implanting one world view is detrimental to the university experience as well as in real life. Of course, the ideologues are far more concerned with the upkeep of their ideology, rather than considering other points of view.

Dismissal is also dangerous to individuals as well. When something is dismissed, it is done through a position of power. Power is then used as the justification. When a professor says a view is incorrect or wrong, they do so with presumed authority. Of course, this does not mean that professors can’t correct an incorrect presumption or view, they just have to do it factually and rationally. Simply saying it is wrong is not enough. Referencing their own ideological positions are not enough either, especially when such ideology is also easily debunked. The classic feminist line is “educate yourself and check your privilege!”. This is also done from a position of power, as it is presuming that the one using the line is more informed about the subject. The main issue is that it increases animosity towards other points of view. If you’re view is right, why should you have to explain it? You’re clearly the more informed one. Anyone who brings out criticisms must not know what they are talking about! In that regard, dismissal then plays multiple roles. It preserves the ideology by giving a simple, inarguable reason to get rid of opposing views. It also functions as a recruiting tool, as dismissing from a position of power, especially when they are a professor, makes one want to learn the “right” way of thinking. When ignorance and dismissal fails, that’s when the reshaping process begins…

Ideological Preservation Part 1: Introduction

It is difficult to free fools from their chains they revere.

– Voltaire

(Note: This is meant to be a simple introduction. More detailed posts will come, and this post will be updated to reflect that.)

Ideologies do not just spring up and take over. There is a process for their formation. More importantly, there needs to be a process of ideological preservation. If an ideology does not have the means to preserve itself, it will eventually fall prone to fracture. The fracturing process has occurred naturally both in academic and political contexts, such as within the GOP or in psychology (especially with Freud). Ideologues have no interest in this fracture, as they would lose the ideology they are dependent on for so many reasons.

The ideological preservation process is complex and has several tools available for use:

  • Reshaping Process – The reshaping process reshapes thoughts or ideas to fit an ideology. There are 3 steps to this process: ignorance, dismissal, and reshaping. Ignorance and dismissal are simple enough. Reshaping occurs when a conflicting idea is explained within the confines of the ideology. The result are statements such as “Men are victims of the patriarchy too.”
  • Moldy Pretzel Theory  – Moldy pretzel theory applies when a conflicting idea is distorted and left undesirable. This works as both a tool of preservation and one of recruitment.
  • Self-fulfilling Theories – These are theories, who by their very existence, cause the very trouble they are trying to solve. Marxism itself is a large self-fulfilling ideology. Putting people into groups that are opposed to each other does not solve racial, economic, or gender relations. Stereotype threat is another example. By stating that minorities perform worse academically due to notions that they underperform, the notion that minorities perform worse is simply reinforced.
  • Oversimplification – Oversimplification is when an idea is narrowed down to destroy any nuance associated with it. This occurs with ideas that the ideology accepts and as well as opposes. Terminological takeover is a more sustained example of this.
  • Non-Arguments – One of the most prevalent preservation tools. Labelling and political tribalism are one simple method. Circular perceptives are another.

The preservation process has many moving parts. Certain ideologies are better at preserving themselves than others. Feminism is by far the most evolved because it is the only ideology to hit the everyday mainstream. As an ideology becomes more popular, the more defense is needed. Ideologies such as the religious right have these techniques, but are less effective as not everyone is religious. Marxism, despite being evolved academically, has difficulty entering the mainstream due to the radical nature of its ideals. Marxism has of course co-opted the feminist movement (one can argue that it always has) and gained popularity that way, but when detached from feminism the ideology is less effective at preservation, albeit it is still in close control due to its relation to academia.

The result of these posts is to hopefully demonstrate these processes, how they work, and most importantly, how (or if) they can be defeated. This framework applies to all ideologies, and examples from different ideologies will be utilized.

Big Media and Critical Thought

“The devil gave humans critical thinking, which God didn’t want us to have.”

– Unknown

Big media has ruined critical thought both intentionally and unintentionally. The notion that the internet is truly open is misguided in practice. Firstly, one chooses what to see. Subreddits and Youtube channels are subscribed to, Facebook pages are liked, friend requests are approved, and who you follow on Twitter are all selected. You get to choose your own environment. This is obviously not an issue on its own. However, one still only gets views that one approves of. This is highly dangerous as one view is usually stated over and over, even if this view can easily be proven factually incorrect. It also labels enemies quite easily. If someone if your group posts something that is not approved of by that group, it is fiercely attacked, even if it shows factual basis. People are more likely to respond harshly online as opposed to in-person. This creates a dangerous atmosphere where people might be afraid to post due to fear of backlash. It is also extremely easy to unfollow / unfriend someone, making it easy to simply hide different points of view or posts rather than confront them.

This issue goes farther when sites are catered to one’s preferences, or just outright censors. In 2011, Facebook implemented an algorithm to tailor user’s main pages based on the links that they clicked. This means that content that did not “interest you” (i.e. you didn’t click the links) would be filtered out. Not only can one tailor social media themselves, the companies can do it for you. One now only has a guaranteed singular perspective. There have been reports of Twitter and Facebook silently censoring views or posts that they do not agree with. It is of course up to the company to decide what is acceptable or not, but they primarily censor conservative views, or any hashtags or posts critical of feminism. This brings the ability to hide views up to the highest level. Now even if people want to see opposing views, they do not have the ability to do so.

This leaves us with an illusion that the internet is truly a free flowing area of information. The main point to take away from this, are the effects in real life. If one spends all of their time on Facebook, they are glued to the views that they hold. When someone comes and challenges that view in person, the view is held on to. You have seen many posts and articles about it, it must be true! Even when presented with factual evidence, the articles have trained you to disregard it, because what you have seen can not possibly be wrong, everyone has said it! It does not help when these views are also parroted by mainstream media, and sites such as Buzzfeed. Big media also prevents considering other points of view by using the usual buzzwords. A great example is the phenomenon known as “gamedropping”, where in a completely irrelevant article, Gamergate is mentioned for no reason. This also frequently occurs in any mention of MRAs (men’s rights activists), whom the media frequently paints as “misogynistic manbabies”, while associating them with shooter Elliot Rodger (who was never even related to MRAs in the first place. Nor is it right to blame the actions of one on a few, unless we already hate that group). Big media truly controls what we see, whether we like to or not. It is extremely dangerous, and has been the root of the formation of ideologies such as feminism and the #NeverTrump movement.

Argument by Projection

“Not so! not so!” kettle said to the pot;

“Tis your own dirty image you see”;

For I am so clean – without blemish or blot –

That your blackness is mirrored in me.”

– Anonymous

Argument by projection is when someone makes a point, but is actually against it. This is usually done as a cover so that their argument seems more rational, and their opponent’s argument irrational. I would like to refine this term and distance it from existing ones. Firstly, it is less personal than just being hypocritical, normally projecting, or “pot meet kettle” / “do what I say not what I do” / “it’s okay when we do it”. Argument by projection is meant to be used on entire groups or ideologies. Now, it is of course difficult to gauge what qualifies “an entire group” to be guilty of this. One method is to check if the statement is agreed upon by the majority of people inside the ideology. Another would be if top “experts in the field” or other respected figures agree with the conflicting statements. The closest synonym would be “doublethink”, but argument by projection is meant to be used as a way to discredit another group or bolster one’s own claims.

One of the major examples of this appears in 3rd wave feminism, and the free speech vs. hate speech debate. One of the hot arguments right now is “freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences”. This is an argument that is easy to agree with. However, what do top feminists do? They disable comments on their videos and articles (Salon, The Guardian, Anita Sarkeesian etc). They use block lists to pre-block people on Twitter (GGAutoBlocker). When finally it is unavoidable, they call any criticism harassment. It is then obvious to see that they, in fact, wish to have freedom from consequences.

Another recent example is when the anti-Trump crowd says that “Trump is a threat to democracy in this country”. Who is saying or agreeing with this? Extremist leftist groups such as MoveOn and La Raza. These groups wish to intimidate us from voting for Trump. Another group is the GOP members who are hoping for a brokered convention. They wish to take control over the people’s vote and nominate whoever they want. This is directly a large threat to our democracy. In general it is also an issue. These people are basically saying “We know Trump is leading right now and is who you are voting for, but you shouldn’t vote for him because he won’t win anyway. (or some other fallacious reason)” This is not to say convincing someone to vote for someone else is wrong. However, the anti-Trump groups tend to do it fallaciously and maliciously. For example, the new meme of calling Trump a racist or comparing him to Hitler. When asked to explain, one only receives non-arguments. Whether or not a democratic government can take away the popular vote from a candidate for certain reasons is a debate left for another time.

False Offense Offends Me

If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings, I say,  “I’m still waiting to hear what your point is”

– Christopher Hitchens

The words “that’s offensive” or “that’s a sensitive subject” have no place in academia or universities, and in blunt honesty, the world. Many things that need to be debated are these so called sensitive issues, such as abortion rights or whether Islam encourages violence. If we are not debating sensitive subjects, what are we? And yes, you can use that right to ignore that people tout so frequently. Either ignore or debate with ideas, however. Do not attack the other side with “I’m offended”.

A similar tactic is to say that the person can not debate a subject due to their race or gender. The whole “you don’t know what it’s like to live as a woman!! ” card. Firstly, this is what ideologies like feminism hinge on. If men can’t criticize / analyze females or feminist ideals because they haven’t had experience as a female, then women can not criticize or analyze how men act because they have no idea what it is like to live as a man. But of course, men can criticize how other men act in a female or feminist perspective. Secondly, there are women who disagree with modern feminism. There are blacks who disagree with Black Lives Matter’s tactics or ideology. This aspect should not matter. But that’s ok. You can just tell them they have internalized misogyny or racism. This entire argumentative device depends highly on polylogism, the same reasoning that brought us actual racism.

Even so, these words bring us the idea that no ideology can have holes. That some issues are too big to criticize. What does this bring us? Things like A Feminist Glaciology or (because I hate it so much) postmodernism in general. It brings grandiose, insane, illogical, and ill-argued ideas. But you can’t criticize them! After all, A Feminist Glaciology is a feminist paper! You wouldn’t understand, silly white boy! There are critiques. There are critiques of critiques. There are critiques of critiques of critiques. This is how academia operates.


As a side note, two of the articles on the front page of Google when searching for “A Feminist Glaciology” say it was criticized by conservatives and climate change deniers. Yes, they have criticized it. Anyone with a brain can because they have that right. Always label your opponents and their arguments with the most extremist point of view possible. Especially when you haven’t even heard their criticisms yet, silly white male conservative!!

Political Tribalism and Identity Politics

There were people attending the Republican convention in blue jeans. Some asked if they were lost and if they needed directions to the Democratic convention.

– Newt Gingrich

    One of the many divisive aspects in politics has been the two party system. Especially in the modern age, everyone is all too eager to label their ideological opponents. This is clear despite the recent surge of people calling themselves independents. These labels have become increasingly hostile over the years, almost to the point of them being slurs in some areas. It’s clear that something is at play when Caitlyn Jenner says she gets more hate for being a Republican than for being transgender.

    The reason why Trump is attractive to many people is that he appeals to moderates that have been pushed out of the left by this increasing hostility. For example, I disagree with tight gun control. I’m not a second amendment freak, or think we should arm nine year olds. I just think that it would be ineffective. If people want drugs, they will get drugs. If people want guns, they will get guns. But then the leftist media will spam you with that story of that gun activist who was shot by her 4 year old son. Because it’s not like accidents happen or one person disregarded gun safety, it’s those evil guns and those idiot gun owners!

    You can’t criticize policies for policies’ sake anymore. You can’t argue against an idea because you think it’s wrong. You can’t take a slice of cake without having to eat the whole thing. There must be some ulterior motive. When I argued against the idea there is a wage gap or a rape culture on campus, I was asked by my resident heads if I was part of any conservative groups on campus. When Milo Yiannopoulos and Caitlyn Jenner are against gay marriage, there must be something really wrong. When latinos are against illegal immigration, they must be secretly racist.

    Identity politics have indeed divided more than it has brought us together. Viewing people as labels has made it easier than ever before to dismiss arguments without making any points. Admittedly, this also happens with the GOP who say Trump is not a “real conservative”, whatever that means. (But stereotyping and profiling people is wrong. We shouldn’t judge people based on their identity, unless we think their identity is wrong!) When this is combined with the idea that when you say you support a candidate, you support them 110% on everything, it only leads to mass anti-intellectualism. Especially with the current 2016 election, it is all too simple to label all supporters as the most extreme, distorted version of what they stand for. Trump supporters are all Nazis! Look at this picture of a Trump supporter doing a Nazi salute with no context (see side note)!! Honestly, it is only 5 or 6 words: “I support X as president”. You don’t know why they are supporting a candidate or if they even agree with them completely. Because there can’t be different reasons for liking a candidate. We must all be divided into individual camps that are clearly incompatible with each other.
Side note: The picture of the old white lady doing the Nazi salute at the Chicago Trump rally has been described by various sources as: an evil Trump supporter, a Hillary Clinton supporter doing it as a false flag, and a Trump supporter doing it ironically to piss off the protestors. Nuance is dead. But the good thing is it still represents all that is wrong with the Trump movement, right?

The Media is Sometimes Right (When They Agree With Me)

 In fact, however, the supporters of the welfare state are utterly anti-social and intolerant zealots. For their ideology tacitly implies that the government will exactly execute what they themselves deem right and beneficial. They entirely disregard the possibility that there could arise disagreement with regard to the question of what is right and expedient and what is not. 

– Ludwig von Mises

    Trump and Sanders are often two sides of the same coin. One labelled “fascist” and the other labelled “progressive”. This is not about their views, but mainly about their treatment by the media, and the public’s reaction to such claims. When the Washington post posted 16 anti-Sanders articles in under 16 hours, it demonstrates a very clear media bias. When anti-Trump article after anti-Trump article is posted, it’s certainly fine because clearly any sane individual would be against Trump (except for losers like Caitlyn Jenner).

    When Trump and his supporters get shut down, beat up, and silenced for supposed racism, this is an amazing act of progressive bravery. When Sanders was shut down by BlackLivesMatter for supposed racism, this was the clear result of overly entitled idealogues. When Trump is considered fascist for retweeting a Mussolini quote (because the first thing we do in school is memorize a list of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini quotes so we can avoid saying them. Also, authoritarian / fascist / nazi / communist leaders have to be great leaders. Otherwise, they would be shot) this is great evidence to not support Trump. When Sanders is implicated for sexism for defending himself against interruptions by Clinton, this only serves as a ridiculous, horribly incorrect outlook.

    When people call Sanders a socialist or a communist bent on infiltrating and destroying the country, this is just a dumb, extremist outlook on him. Nevermind that he is surely supported by some hardcore socialists. But when Trump is called a white supremacist, this is obviously a clear assessment of the facts. After all, he is supported by the Ku Klux Klan! Nevermind that the KKK has been irrelevant for years.

    One of the things that has really removed me from the left is this sort of minority fetishism. No woman, person of color, or hispanic can do any wrong. When a woman makes a false rape claim, it’s alright! She was just starting a conversation and probably ruined someone else’s life! But with Trump specifically, he is sometimes only labelled a racist because the media says so. His famous quote on immigrants uses the word some. Not all, not most, some. Yes, some illegal immigrants do bring crime, drugs, gun, and are rapists. Some. Yes, some immigrants use the system for their personal advantage, learn English, and send their kids to college. Why is it so xenophobic or racist to tell the truth? Some people abuse the system, some people use the system to their advantage. Why can’t we fix the system to keep the bad guys out and the hard workers in? I don’t think the wall is the best solution, but it sure is better than anyone else’s. Trump is not completely against immigration. He wants to reform the system to cut down on illegal immigration.