educational persuasion

As a strategy for racial progress, educational persuasion has failed, because it has been predicated on the false construction of the race problem: the idea that ignorance and hate lead to racist ideas, which lead to racist policies. In fact, self-interest leads to racist policies, which lead to racist ideas, leading to all the ignorance and hate.

– Ibram X Kendi
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/04/what-will-it-take-for-the-us-to-eradicate-racist-ideas

resistance to blogging to save the new precariat

Last week I posted about the absurdity of blogging to save the new (academic) precariat. The next day Agnes Bosanquet (the slow academic) quoted some writing/thinking by sociologist Barbara Grant:

Collective political resistance to [research audit regimes] has not been a feature of the academic landscape … In [our] interviews, there was largely an absence of the emotions of anger, fear and frustration usually associated with collective resistance … Unlike fear, anxiety seems a weak basis for political action …

Yet other forms of resistance were present … individually and collectively. Individuals were deliberately maintaining their research interests in defiance of perceived [audit]-rewarded tends; departments were actively pursuing collegial rather than competitive practices …

https://theslowacademic.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/stars-small-targeted-acts-of-resistance/

I find Bosanquet’s thinking (and in this case her admiration and citation of Barbara Grant) inspiring and far more positive than just admitting defeat to the accelerated academy.

humans and collaborating

Elizabeth Kolbert’s article in the New Yorker is a striking piece of writing about how it might be that winning arguments has more value than reason.

So well do we collaborate … that we can hardly tell where our own understanding ends and others’ begins.

I particularly like this quote because it is a clear reminder of how absurd ownership is in any creative activity.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds

springsteen and pure experience

So whether you’re making dance music, Americana, rap music, electronica, it’s all about how you are putting what you do together. The elements you’re using don’t matter. Purity of human expression and experience is not confined to guitars, to tubes, to turntables, to microchips. There is no right way, no pure way, of doing it. There’s just doing it.

– Bruce Springsteen, 2012 http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-the-complete-text-of-bruce-springsteens-sxsw-keynote-address–20120328

one simple assumption

As we argue vociferously for our view, we often fail to question one crucial assumption upon which our whole stance in the conversation is built: I am right, you are wrong. This simple assumption causes endless grief.

– Stone, Douglas, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen. 2003. Difficult Conversations. New York: Penguin Books, p.9

And just because it’s so good:

The point is this: difficult conversations are almost never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, and values.

(p.10)