Saturday, February 08, 2003

From Tightly Wound:

All Right, Dammit. That's About Enough Out of You.

This'll be brief, as I'm pressed for time. Via the Corner, this lovely piece from the ASA about "the storm of attacks on intellectual freedom and the ebb of open public debate, in the name of patriotism and a war on terror."

Yep, this crap again. Note the use of "chilling effect," the academic's version of the overused "drums of war" trope. It's a collection of the usual suspects--profiling of international students, the eeevillle of Campus Watch--and actually has the gall to state the following:

University administrations are under pressure to silence faculty and researchers who take unpopular political positions. Organizations such as Campus Watch publish lists of faculty and students critical of US foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis Israel. They represent a broad trend among conservative commentators, who call for the censorship of faculty dissent and equate criticism of the government with being anti-American and anti-patriotic. We call on colleges and universities to resist external pressure to curtail academic freedom and to stop aiding federal agencies in the surveillance of teachers and scholars with scholarly or familial ties to other countries.

Look at all the pretty "red alert" words: Israel, conservative, censorship, dissent. It would be funny, except that they actually believe what they're saying. Yes, I stand outside of my office daily, pointing and laughing as the jackbooted thugs drag yet another unsuspecting professor away to the gulag. Hoorah for the suppression of free speech! Viva the quashing of dissent! Can I go kick a puppy now? Oh, sorry, just another fever dream brought on by overexposure to Brit Hume. Ignore me.

Again in the interest of brevity, let me get straight to the point.(Emphasis added by KiK:)

Dear ASA: Folks are paying attention to the crap you spew, and they're calling you on it. The ivory tower isn't so unassailable anymore, and that's as it should be. And your response is typical--"Ooooh! People on the internet are being disdainful of my intellectually superior beliefs! Our country is acting in its own self-interest, just like every other country ever! The sky is falling!" Get real, get a spine, and get your heads out of your asses. Oh, and you might want to try actually responding to the charges made against you in the name of the academic freedom you hold so dear, instead of running to mommy and crying McCarthyism. You are beneath contempt, you pathetic, puling little whiners, and if I were on your playground, I would take extreme pleasure in knocking your ice cream cone into the dirt. And then stomping all over it. But then, I'm funny that way.

Switching topics: more press "clarification" on important issues like abortion:

Re: Revival of some old myths about Roe v. Wade and partial-birth abortion

Date: February 1, 2003

Many media outlets published abortion-related stories in January, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Many of those stories contained demonstrable errors, some of these apparently adopted uncritically from polemical materials issued by pro-abortion advocacy groups. This memo offers critiques of several of the most common errors. Some of these points are pertinent to anticipated upcoming coverage of debate in Congress (and in some state legislatures) on bills relating to abortion and other issues involving members of the species Homo sapiens prior to full live birth.

From NRO:

STUDENTS FOR WAR! [Stanley Kurtz]
Speaking of democracy promotion, Josh Chafetz over at Oxblog has just announced the formation of pro-war democracy promotion organizations at Yale and Oxford. Although I suspect I’m a lot more cautious about democracy promotion than Chafetz, I agree with a good part of what the new organization’s principles have to say. Best of all, whatever our differences on democracy promotion, here we have student organizations at two major universities that support action against Iraq. Good work!


There is a difference between criticism and hatred!

For more on the positive, Reviled in Many Places Around the World, Americans Are Adored in Kosovo

On a little less controversial (albeit still debated) subject:

Sharing vs. hoarding knowledge (from McGee's Musings)

Several items over the past few weeks all suggesting that sharing knowledge pays off far better than hoarding does. Handy to have around if you're fighting arguments that investing in knowledge management has to overcome hoarding.

Napsterize Your Knowledge: Give To Receive. The primary lesson: "The more that a company shares its knowledge, the more valuable it becomes." It's astonishing how many people still don't believe this. But when I look back at the success my website and OLDaily have brought me - despite my lack of any obvious qualifications in the field - it is self evidently true. When you share your knowledge, you share your ability, and this is what makes you or your company more valuable. People prefer to hire or contract for services based on proven ability nearly every time. Moreoever, the more you share, the more people share in return (many of the items in OLDaily are the result of submissions from readers), which increases your personal or corporate knowledge base. Anyhow, this article discusses some of the benefits of sharing knowledge and then offers some advice on how to do it

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