Truth and justice are best served by more rigor, not less.
The progressive left and far right are both shredding the faith I once had in institutions. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but at this point I don’t read mainstream media, don’t trust that most academic studies are objective and don’t support politicians who lean far right or far left.
The center right and center left need to work together to pull this country back from the brink of political stupidity on BOTH sides.
I wonder... is the act of engaging in the topics of the absurd a mistake as it gives legitimacy to the absurd?
If I knock on your door and noting your whiteness start yelling that you are a racist simply because of your whiteness, is the proper tactic to try and calm me down to have an intellectual discussion explaining why that claim is absurd? Or, should you just shut the door and turn the front sprinklers on me?
I worry that because we are the people that value objectivity we are making a mistake in the way we address the absurdity of the woke ideology. We attempt to use calm logic to explain away what is clearly nearly insane. And in doing this we incrementally mainstream the insanity.
I don't think this is working well. I think what we need to do instead is just dismiss those that hold these ideas... shut the door on them and turn on the sprinklers. And if they will not stop coming around, move to a secure gated community where they cannot get in. Then go to work making new institutions with a primary mission to remove the insane from positions of power and influence.
Wokeism is elite luxury virtue signaling. It is the way they get attention and get social media likes from their Manhattan peers. It is also an America-defeating ideology with roots in the ongoing war between collectivist authoritarianism and classic liberalism that is the bedrock of modernist western civilization.
I don't think we should engage it at an intellectual level because it is fake scholarship. It is really a toxic mind virus powered by campus radicals and Twitter mobs. John McWhorter wrote the book "Woke Racism" and Helen Pluckrose/James Lindsay wrote "Cynical Theories"... and THESE are the correct approaches in my opinion because they basically go directly at the source to attack the absurdity of the ideas and the absurdity of the people that buy into them.
I think we win the fight against woke when we turn the tide making it the laughing stock it should have always been.
“Today, the political right is hard at work scrubbing school libraries and curricula of what they deem to be critical race theory (whatever that is) and LGBT “grooming” (whatever that is).
Meanwhile, on the left, scholars are calling for rethinking academic freedom so that it does not protect “some ideas [that] don’t deserve a hearing.””
Was this intended sarcasm? Clearly the author recognizes that the toxic mind virus of critical theory is the source of this politicized academic nonsense.
I once saw science described as a ‘universal acid’ that dissolves all ideas that don’t pass the test of actually being ‘true’. NHB knows this all too well. So did the church in the time of Galileo. There is a deep fear on the left, that science will undermine and ultimately destroy ‘wokeness’. The fear is entirely justified. Some ideas must be suppressed to protect ‘woke’. Men and women have different interests? For reasons that may well be biological? James Damore was right? Perish the thought! Evidence be dammed.
e pur si muove
To state this in different terms, Lysenkoism can only be maintained by preventing the publication of non-Lysenkoist thought. Stalin knew this. So did Hitler and Mao. Today’s version of Lysenkoism is ‘woke’. ‘Woke’ has to be defended the same way. All non-‘woke’ ideas must be suppressed and purged. Stalin/Hitler/Mao all knew this. So does NHB.
Meanwhile younger leftist journalists are making the case that objectivity is racist and should be canceled from the "profession". Journalism is in the toilet in terms of public trust. Science is heading to the same. What fascinates me is that there is apparently too few professionals in these disciplines to oppose the destruction and save their profession over their desire to see their politics prevail.
Given the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic, the constant DEI infusion into medical journals and into medical practice, and the clamor over "misinformation" and what that actually constitutes, I think it's too late for science to disentangle itself from politics.
"Above all, remember that *by far* the greatest engine of social justice, human rights, and equality has been the advancement of knowledge, and the rolling back of ignorance, by a community of truth-seekers empowered to follow evidence wherever it leads." Exactly! Imagine how much better off we'd be if people who call themselves "progressives" were willing to recognize the progress we've made. (Simply admitting that the America of 2022 is *much* less racist than it was fifty or a hundred years ago would be a good start.
Many of the leaders in the development of statistics and genetics a century ago were leading lights in the eugenics movement. They filled academia, including the most prestigious institutions.
Of course science has a political aspect because scientists are people and subject to the social winds. But if there is no, admittedly imperfect, attempt to have some fact-based body of knowledge there will be no way to center the swings and divergences of political sentiment in those areas where science is relevant.
Original thinking and research require, as the expression goes, "thinking outside the box". The NHB editors are putting the small portion of the discipline that they control in an iron box, encasing that box in concrete, and then burying the box in a landfill. Let's not expect anything creative to come of it.
When I was in school in the '80s, kids I knew went into the social sciences and humanities because they were '60s type liberals in the first place. They weren't seeking truth. They already knew the truth and just wanted to get paid and garner status while promoting their creed - exactly as one might enter the priesthood. That was true 40 years ago and it appears the lefty takeover is complete, notwithstanding rearguard fighters like Rauch. The Enlightenment needs new institutions now. It needs a movement.
Your final point is the strongest. Effectively, you're asking "If you're introducing considerations other than Science, why should anybody believe you about the Science?"
The example of homosexuality and the DSM, though, is not a great one. Yes, its inclusion in the DSM before Hooker was a value judgement, not science, but its exclusion after Hooker was simply a different value judgement (and the result of fierce lobbying, Hooker hardly being dispositive).
I prefer using an example like Quantum Foundations, which for years wasn't even recognized as a legitimate field of inquiry, solely because all the key academic positions were held by students loyal to Bohr, who opposed it. If something as socially and politically neutral as that is subject to prejudice and groupthink, who can credit that the Nature editors will retain objectivity?