Friday, March 04, 2016

Just Outside The University

... lies a land of free speech where people can say things like, "the free market isn't perfect, but it's the best economic system out there" and "I think people should be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin."

I was watching some short YouTube video the other day, I think it was about the University of South Carolina*, where students and faculty were melting down over something so innocuous that I can't even remember what it was. It suddenly struck me that perhaps 50 yards away, there was freedom from their reflexive spasms of intolerance.

When I went to UCSD, we spent a lot of time off campus. That's where the bars were and where the girls wore tight skirts and there was this one time that this really hot chick and I ... Hmm. I seem to be getting off topic. Where was I? Oh yeah, off campus.

What struck me about the video was how tiny these islands of academic insanity are. If you zoomed out on Google Maps, the University of Crazed Progressives would look like a teensy-weensy dot in a vast tract of urbane urbanness. Does it ever occur to the residents of these 4-year madhouses that they live on tiny islands in a sea of insensitivity? What happens when they go out to a club and someone says something like, "I like Ted Cruz?" Are they shocked when university administrators don't swoop down on the person and force them to recant?

In short, how do they reconcile the wild differences in culture?

Maybe they never go out.

* - South Carolina of all places!


tim eisele said...

Yes. This pretty much sums up why I've never been all that concerned about people wailing about the "political correctness on campus" - who spends any more time than they have to on campus? The students here at Michigan Tech mostly live in apartments in town after their first year, not in the dorms, and once they are done with classes for they day they are off like a shot. Outside of class, they barely pay any attention to what the professors or administrators say, other than maybe to joke or complain about them over a beer at any of the numerous local bars.

Basically, I think a lot of people are giving the Universities credit/blame for way, way more influence over students' political opinions than they actually have.

K T Cat said...

Amen, brother. I'd also offer that the university administrations appear to be in ideological agreement with what seems to be small minorities of students who suffer psychotic breaks when they hear a dissenting opinion.

Anonymous said...

The political correctness on campus tends to preach a bit to the choir. Or at least to people who have a greater likelihood of wanting to join the choir.

An observation:

As an undergrad -- a humanities major, with time enough on my hands to party way too much -- I had a lot of issues with depression.

Now, I'm working full time, taking graduate courses in engineering, and married, taking care of my share of the housework. I freaking HATE MY JOB like you wouldn't believe. But I just don't have TIME to be depressed. I have too much work to do.

What's interesting to me is I think that's related to why STEM students don't get caught up in the malarkey of the political correctness. Political correctness is a mental illness, in a way a lot like the depression I had as an undergrad. It's about getting to caught up in flights of fantasy. (In my case, those flights of fantasy took me down to some depths of despair. But it was nonsense.*) STEM majors just don't have TIME to succumb to it. They're TOO busy doing what students in a university are SUPPOSED to be doing: studying.

The other class of students I knew when I was an undergrad who didn't get caught up in crap were those who worked, putting themselves through school. Again, no time to get involved in nonsense.

* - this is not to denigrate since people's genuine depression. But mine was mostly about thinking too much.