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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I disagree with two posts written in one day by Kevin Drum. I think this might ve a record. I would comment over there at except that my computer is not workin and mother Jones won't talk to my iPad.

The first post with which I disagree is "The Perils of Criricizing Black Studies" in which Drum finds to his surprise that he disagrees with the bloggers with whom he usually agrees. He thinks that Naomi Schaeffer Riley should not have been fired by the Chronicle of Higher Education for proposing that Black studies be eliminated based on her reading of the one page each synopses of three dissertations. My reaction to the firing was pleased surprise at a rare example of holding a pundit accountableb(note nothing to do with Black studies or left and right or anything). I assume that the economic consequences were neither zero nor significant for N S Riley.

Drum makes two arguments.
1 fired for a blog post ?!?
And (modified)
2 if Riley had proposed eliminating all departments of Physics or mathematics, she would not have been fired.

On 1, blogging is a medium. I assume that I won't be fired by this blog, but that's just because I was never hired (I have obtained money from advertizing). I don't know the facts and will argue in the alternative. I the blogging was paid, it is not like this blogging at all (note how my interests and Drum's track our opinions). If not, then the separation was not firing. N S Riley castill blog, but the Chronicle won't promote her posts.

On 2, Drum has slipped from ought to is. A similarly shoddy post dismissing another field whose academic existance is questioned (his examples included film
studies) would not have lead to whatever separation occurred. But the question is what * should* the Chronicle have done. Saying one must accept totally below blog standard discussion of Black studies unless and until all discussion of film studies and everything else on blogs reaches those standards is letting the best be the enemy of the good, changing the subject, benaltrismo and not at all a valid argument. I think.

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