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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
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Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Daniel Drezner On Michael Bérubé

Posted by John Holbo on 11/02/06 at 03:54 AM

UPDATE: Oh look! There it is, right above this post, x-posted from Drezner’s site! Well, alright then.

Daniel Drezner has a nice long review of the Bérubé book up (to go with the Benson and Rauchway we’ve got already):

About the only thing I like about this debate is how it forces both sides of the political spectrum to subvert their traditional arguments and appropriate the other side’s rhetoric. Conservatives wind up arguing that the bias problem is a structural one – and therefore the way to fix it is through some kind of ideological affirmative action program. Liberals, when confronted with the numbers, nevertheless insist that the academy is a strict meritocracy with no old-boy networks whatsoever – and that aspiring conservative academics should quit whining and pick themselves up by their bootstraps.

But Daniel likes Bérubé’s book quite a lot anyway. I’ll take this opportunity to editorialize that I actually don’t like this element of the debate Daniel speaks of, although I concede it has a trainwreck rhetorical fascination, so I can never resist rubbernecking. I have termed this sort of dialectical do-se-do poetic justice as fairness. (I’m rather proud of that old post.)

Daniel makes the following critical point. Bérubé “acknowledges that, ‘there’s really no question, then, that campuses are teeming with liberal faculty, especially when campuses are compared with the rest of the country.’ This is explained away as a matter of personal choice – liberals are more likely to pick a job that’s not terribly remunerative but has lots of security and flexibility.” My distinct impression is that Michael’s argument wasn’t really this materialistically narrow, but I will await his clarifications.

Since my own cute attempt at pro wrestling humor is, by general acclaim, somewhat of a flop - oh well, you try to tell a joke - I’ll just emphasize that I am, on the whole, very impressed by Michael’s book. Sitting down to read, I had my mental list of clever, wise, pertinent things that should be said on the subject and, by and large, Michael got to them first - and a few others besides. Which is not to say that I have been completely reduced to wrestling jokes, oh no! But that can wait a few days.


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