The Four Steps of Purposefulness

 Posted by on 29 September 2002 at 4:44 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 292002
 

In reading the chapter on living purposefully in Nathaniel Branden’s The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, I was struck by the insightfulness of his four “core issues” of living purposefully (133-5). Branden argues that to live purposefully, we must:

1. consciously formulate goals and purposes
2. identify the actions required to achieve our goals
3. monitor our behavior for alignment with our goals
4. attend to whether the outcomes of our actions are consistent with our goals

Clearly, we cannot live purposefully without consistently engaging in all four of these aspects of purposefulness. But we should not make the mistake of seeing these four core issues as independent of one another. Rather, they are a progression of steps, such that failures of productiveness are essentially failures to move beyond the first, second, or third step. (In what might appear to be an odd coincidence, but surely is not, in the “Examples” section later in this chapter, Branden’s the three examples correspond to the three basic types of failures discussed below.)

The Idle Dreamer: Some people stop at the first step of formulating goals and purposes. Those goals, however, are nothing but idle dreams and wishes without a plan of action to translate them into reality. (Of course, if no action is taken as part of step two, then there is no need for monitoring behavior or outcomes in steps three and four.) I remember having this mindset when I was an undergraduate pondering pursuing philosophy professionally. I just expected great things to happen somehow, without any planning or forethought or innovation on my part. That attitude is one of the reasons I’m very glad that I chose to “waste” a few years programming instead of jumping right into graduate school. The clash between my idle dreams and reality would have been quite unpleasant.

Barbara Branden makes a related point in Lecture Five of Principles of Efficient Thinking with respect to valuing. She argues that people who claim to value something but exert no effort towards achieving it can hardly be said to value that thing at all. As an example, she cites people who say they want to live in a world like Galt’s Gulch, but do nothing to make it real, instead waiting for someone else to make it happen. (People armed with such attitudes can then conveniently blame all of life’s failures and miseries on the world and other people rather than on themselves.) As Branden notes: “The man unconcerned with means is the man unconcerned with ends.”

The Time Waster: A person who only completes steps one and two (by formulating goals and identifying required actions) is certainly better off than the Idle Dreamer. But serious problems still loom because day-to-day actions are not aligned with long-term goals. As a result, time will silently slip away, leaving those goals unfulfilled. My garden suffered from such neglect this summer, as I would only occasionally work on it in exhausting, irregular, and inefficient fits and starts. As a result, my goals of a beautiful, fun, and (relatively) easy-to-maintain garden seemed hopelessly out of reach. After recognizing the problem, I began working on it for a few hours each weekend and was stunned and delighted by the progress I made. If such problems of time management go unnoticed and uncorrected, over time the goals themselves may fade, leaving a person with few meaningful long-term projects to energize and excite them in life.

The Misdirected Actor: A person who completes steps one, two, and three (formulates goals, identifies actions, and monitors behavior) but fails to do four (attend to the outcomes) is not yet fully purposeful. Often, we are mistaken as to what actions will or will not accomplish our goals. By failing to notice and change those actions which do not achieve the desired results, we may wander off-course entirely, destining ourselves for failure. For example, in writing papers I sometimes find myself stuck, unable to make progress in my work. Sometimes my lazy work habits are to blame, but more often than not the stickiness results from a structural or conceptual flaw in my work that I must find and correct in order to continue writing. (Unfortunately, my subconscious can remain remarkably tight-lipped about where the problem lies.) In such situations, I become a Misdirected Actor if I ignore the problem and attempt to force myself to keep writing. Only by changing my strategy for a time, by taking time to carefully review my work, can I remain purposeful and effective in my writing.

This fourth aspect of purposefulness, attending to the outcomes of our actions, strikes me as the most difficult and subtle aspect of purposefulness. After all, it is often difficult to accurately identify the causes of failure. In my paper-writing example, sometimes stickiness may be the result of sheer laziness, in which case I must simply discipline myself to the task of writing. As a result, I have often wasted days on the wrong strategy: attempting to make myself write through force of will when I needed to take time to identify the problem or vice versa. With time and experience, I will likely become more skilled at quickly and accurately identifying the cause of my writing stickiness, but I may never achieve full and easy mastery. So whatever the goal, identifying the causes of undesirable outcomes can indeed be a difficult task.

Although I’m sure that we can fail to be purposeful in ways other than those described here, I suspect that Branden has captured the great majority of common problems with purposefulness in identifying these four “core issues.”

Update: While I don’t disagree with anything in particular in this post, I no longer think well of Nathaniel Branden or his recent work as I did when I wrote this post. My reasons can be found on my web page on The Many False Friends of Objectivism.

Boobs

 Posted by on 27 September 2002 at 2:19 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 272002
 

Sometimes, Jay Nordlinger just has a way of putting things. Like this:

On a related topic, I hear many on the left — the extreme-ish left — saying that any debate on the war has been suppressed. They pretend that anti-Bush views can’t get a hearing. What they mean is, they’re not winning the argument — that’s all. And when they can’t win, when the public really doesn’t respect them, they cry “Unfair!” “Suppression!” “McCarthy!” “A. Mitchell Palmer!” Etc.

Look, I don’t prevail in plenty of arguments: If I had my way, Social Security would be privatized tomorrow. But I don’t pretend that I’ve been suppressed. I acknowledge that the weight of opinion (or emotion) is against me.

When Susan Sarandon whines to the Euro-media that in an Age of Fear “progressive” views are stifled, what she means is: The dumb boobs won’t listen to me. Won’t agree with me.

Ah, delightful!

Substance and Stuff

 Posted by on 27 September 2002 at 12:14 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 272002
 

I have a paper for my Aristotle class coming due, so I’m trying to figure out something interesting and original to do, rather than just the usual boring analysis of Aristotle’s views on substance from the Categories. (I could also write on his various arguments for the Prime Mover, his theories of the four causes and of chance/spontanaeity, or a topic of my own choosing. But his account of substance in the Categories is rather interesting to me, so substance it is!)

It would be all too easy to dismiss Aristotle’s views of substance in the Categories as immature and unrefined. His distinction between primary and secondary substances seems absurd on its face. And yet, as I become more deeply immersed in Aristotle’s thinking, I find myself more entranced by its complexity and insight, even as I clearly see the failings.

In the discussion of substance in Chapter 5 of the Categories, Aristotle’s primary goal seems to be to establish, contra Plato, the ontological primacy of individual particulars. Individual trees, houses, books, and horses are the most real kinds of things, not the universal categories TREE, HOUSE, BOOK, and HORSE. Qualities, quantities, relations, change, and so on are also dependent upon these individual particulars for their existence. Thus Aristotle argues that particulars are metaphysically primary.

Not being any sort of Platonist myself, I have few disagreements with this broad outline of Aristotle’s argument. But questions and problems do arise with Aristotle’s distinction between primary and secondary substances, particularly why Aristotle speaks of both particulars and universals as substances. But before we can examine this issue, we must understand Aristotle’s basic arguments about substance in the Categories.

Aristotle begins his discussion of substances by asserting substances are “most strictly, primarily, and most of all” individual particulars, such as this flower or that book (2a13-15). These individual particulars are, unlike other things, “neither said of a subject nor in a subject” (2a14). But what does that mean? Aristotle’s explanation of “said of” and “in” a subject can be found earlier, in Chapter Two of the Categories.

To be said of a subject or not said of a subject is simply the distinction between abstract, universal terms and concrete, particular terms. The individual boy Eric is not said of any subject, but the universal term “boy” is said of Eric. My particular copy of The Fountainhead is not said subject, but the universal term “book” is said of my particular copy of The Fountainhead. So universal and abstract terms of said of subjects, while particular and concrete terms are not.

The distinction between in a subject and not in a subject is, unfortunately, not quite so clear. Aristotle describes that which is in a subject as “in something, not as a part, and cannot exist separately from what it is in” (1a25). That which is not in a subject seems to be the subject itself. In other words, Aristotle seems to be distinguishing here between attributes (that which is in a subject) and entities (that which is not in a subject). So the gray of my cat’s fur, for example, cannot exist separately from my cat, so the gray is in a subject. But the cat itself is not in any subject, as the subject is the cat (3a13-15). Similarly, knowledge of history cannot exist separately from someone’s mind, so it is also in a subject. But that someone’s mind is not in any subject. So to be in a subject is to be an attribute of an entity, while to not be in any subject is to be the entity itself.

Aristotle’s distinctions can thus be understood as a simple four-square grid:

  Said of a subject
universal and abstract
Not said of a subject
concrete and particular
In a subject
attributes
attribute-concepts
e.g. white, long
attribute-particulars
e.g. this white, that length
Not in a subject
entities
entity-concepts
e.g. cat, book
entity-particulars
e.g. this cat, that book

(This chart was inspired by a similar one found in some notes on Aristotle by Robin Smith.)

(Perhaps the most confusing aspect of Aristotle’s account so far is his failure to distinguish between the things-in-the-world and our language-to-describe-those-things, as Bryan Register pointed on in paper on Aristotle’s views of substance. Thus it is not always clear whether Aristotle’s distinctions regarding “said of a subject” and “in a subject” refer to ontology or language.)

Returning now to our original topic of substances, we are in a better position to see what Aristotle means by his distinction between primary and secondary substances. Primary substances, being neither said of nor in a subject, are individual, concrete particulars, such as this dog and that table (2a13-15). Such individual particulars are primary substances because they are “most strictly, primarily, and most of all” substances (2a13-15). But Aristotle goes on to extend his concept of substance to the species and genera of those primary substances, such as dog/animal and table/furniture (2a15-17).

However, not all secondary substances are equal. Later in Chapter 5, Aristotle ranks secondary substances, arguing that “the species is more a substance than the genus” (2b7) on the grounds that the species is a “more informative and apt” description of some particular than the genus. For example, it is more useful to describe a particular elm tree as “an elm” rather than merely as “a tree.” Additionally, Aristotle offers us an argument from analogy to justify his division of secondary substances as follows. Primary substances are “substances most of all” because they “are subjects for all the other things” (2b16-7). Similarly, “the species is the subject for the genus,” but the genus is not the subject for the species (2b20-1). For example, Eric is man, man is animal, but animal is not man. Thus species are more primary, more substance, than are genera. However, within these ranks of primary substance, species as secondary substance, and genus as secondary substance, Aristotle denies any further ranking. To use Aristotle’s examples, an individual man is no more or less a substance than the individual horse. And that individual man is no more or less a man than an individual horse is a horse.

The most basic question at this point in Aristotle’s account is why he chose to apply the term “substance” to species and genera at all. Was he conforming himself to ordinary Greek usage in some way? Or is his terminology a purely rhetorical device for comparison and contrast with Plato’s views of the Forms as most real? Although reasonably certain answers to these questions may be impossible, Aristotle’s overall project in the Categories, as well as some of his particular comments about substance in Chapter 5 may give us some hints as to why he spoke of primary substances as particulars and secondary substances as universals.

Much of Aristotle’s comments in the Categories makes little sense if we suppose him to be speaking of ontological categories. After all, he begins the Categories with a discussion of the linguistic terms homonyms, synonyms, and paronyms (1a1-15). The next chapter speaks “of things that are said,” distinguishing between concepts and propositions (1a16). The chapter on relatives opens with the linguistic statement “we call relatives all such things…” not an ontological claim that “relatives are all such things…” (6a37). Similarly, in Chapter 12 Aristotle opens with “one thing is called prior to another in four ways,” not “one thing is prior to another in four ways” (14a26). In the chapter on quality, Aristotle first offers his basic definition, then remarks “but quality is one of the things spoken of in a number of different ways” (8b25-6). The subject of the chapter is then those different usages of the term. And finally, Aristotle’s final, short chapter on “having” deals not with the ontological meaning of the term, but rather the “number of ways” in which it is spoken (15b17). So although the Categories sometimes deals with ontology, as in his discussion of the contrariety of relatives, Aristotle’s basic focus in Categories is surely on the ways in which such ontological terms are used in language (6b15-26).

By keeping this linguistic perspective in mind, we can make more sense of Aristotle’s discussion of primary and secondary substances. In short, the seemingly strange distinction seems to be grounded in concern about “informative and apt” description rather than ontology (2b10). The evidence for this approach comes in Aristotle’s account of why only species and genera are secondary substances. Aristotle writes:

It is reasonable that, after the primary substances, their species and genera should be the only other things called secondary substances. For only they, of things predicated, reveal the primary substance. For if one is to say of the individual man what he is, it will be in place to give the species or the genus (though more informative to give man than animal); but to give any of the other things would be out of place–for example, to say white or runs or anything like that. So it is reasonable that these should be the only other things called substances.

In other words, species and genera are designated as secondary substances simply because they capture the basic nature of individual particular, of the primary substance. Imagine, for example, that you are walking with a young child. She points to a tree and asks “What is it?” To say “It’s green and brown” or “It’s alive” or “It has leaves” or “It what paper is made of” may be truthful, but not nearly as helpful to the child as saying “It’s an elm tree.” The species and genera are so useful to us largely because they often imply or hint at those other possible descriptions, such as having leaves, being alive, and so on. In short, the species and genera, the secondary substances, are most “informative and apt” because they usually encapsulate a great deal of knowledge.

Additionally, in attempting to designate particulars, there is a certain progression of usefulness from primary substance to species to genus, in that the species is more informative than the genus, just as an ostensive “this” or “that” is more informative than the species. For example, if I am gardening and tell my husband to bring me “the plant” (the genus), he might not know which plant I mean. If I tell him to bring me “the geranium” (the species) there still may be confusion as to which geranium. Additionally, he might not be familiar enough with plant classifications to distinguish geraniums from other types of plants. But if I say “that geranium right there” or “that plant right there” or even “that thing right there,” clearly designating the particular primary substance of one geranium, then I have provided the most useful indication of my wishes to him.

So from this perspective of what is “informative and apt,” a continuum from individual particulars as primary substances to species and genera as secondary substances at least seems less strange (2b10). Nevertheless, his use of the rather ontological language of primary and secondary substance to describe how we may best use language is decidedly uninformative and unapt.

Of course, this linguistic interpretation of secondary substances is not to deny that Aristotle is making significant ontological arguments in this chapter on substance. Contrary to the Platonic view of the Forms as most real, Aristotle clearly argues for the ontological primacy of particular entities on the grounds that “all the other things are either said of primary substances as subjects or in them as subjects” (2a35-6). With respect to entities, he notes that “animal” is predicated of the abstract term “man” only because animal is predicated of individual men. Similarly for attributes, where color is in body in general only because it is in individual bodies. Thus Aristotle asserts the ontological primacy of particulars in concluding that “if the primary substances did not exist it would be impossible for any of the other things to exist” (2b5-6).

With respect to this argument against Plato, Aristotle’s talk of primary and secondary substance may also serve a rhetorical function. The use of the term “substance” for both universals and particulars allows him to more directly compare them, showing how some universals are “nearer” to particulars than others (2b8). Additionally, the talk of secondary substances may be a superficial concession to Platonism, allowing Aristotle to say that even if we grant universals the status of substance, they are still dependent upon individual particulars, upon primary substance, for their existence — and thus less real.

In any case, Aristotle’s designation of universals as secondary substances, whatever its purpose, does not seem to be ontological in any significant sense.

So it seems that I have written much of my paper already. Hooray for blogging!

Faith and Reason

 Posted by on 22 September 2002 at 7:23 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 222002
 

Arthur Silber has been good enough to plug my lecture Why Be An Atheist? in some of his recent comments on religion, faith, and Objectivism. In that lecture, I examine the various arguments for theism, agnosticism, and atheism for the purpose of showing that atheism is the only rational position on God. In response, John Venlet wrote me a nice note explaining that he is someone who believes in God on faith alone. As he says in a recent blog entry:

Why do we need proof? Do we want proof God exists to prove one side or the other incorrect or simply because it’s an age old question? Do we want proof God doesn’t exist so we can silence the various religions espousing God? I’m not sure. Faith, the “firm belief in something for which there is no proof” does not require proof of God’s existence and I accept my faith that God exists as not needing proof. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t accept proof of God’s existence or of his non-existence, it just means I have faith and do not require proof. Even if it means I’m living in a “deuces wild” universe.

I appreciate the honesty of John’s position, as far too many arguments for God’s existence are at root nothing more than glossy rationalizations for a desire to believe. Nevertheless, belief on faith alone is hardly unproblematic.

We need proof of the existence of God for the exact same reasons we would need proof of mermaids, atoms, bacteria, evil spirits, and any other being. Belief in these beings, like belief in God, have consequences upon our thoughts and our actions. A person who believes on faith that mermaids exist might waste time and money, not to mention risk death, searching for them. False beliefs about the four humors led centuries of doctors to bloodlet, a practice which killed countless numbers of people. The germ theory of disease, on the other hand, has had the delightfully beneficial effect of saving millions of lives through improved sanitation.

In short, beliefs have effects upon a person’s life. Belief in God is no exception. It can result in undervaluing the living, as theists often expect to see loved ones after death. It can result in an indifference towards evil, as God will judge everyone in the end according to His Plan. It can result in the fatalism that Voltaire attacked in Candide due to a “best of all possible worlds” Leibnizianism. It can encourage superficial and magical thinking where contradictions, inconsistencies, paradoxes, puzzles, and other mysteries are too-quickly attributed to God rather than investigated rationally. It can result in the use of faith or feeling as a claim to knowledge in other areas of life. It can result in attempting to find life’s meaning through God rather than in one’s own choices and values. Such are just a few of the risks of belief in God on faith alone.

Those who believe in God on faith alone may object that their belief in God has no such effects on their life. In the unlikely event that such is true, then what is the point of belief at all? What is the point of belief if it does not comfort when loved ones die, if it does not give a sense of purpose to the universe, and so on?

So, in sum, we need proof for God’s existence because belief in beings that don’t exist can be bad for our life and happiness. Although Deism may not be nearly as dangerous and destructive as Christianity or Islam, it is not without pernicious effects.

In any case, I’m always happy to have good Modernists (i.e. advocates of Enlightenment culture) like John Venlet nearby, as fellow-travellers with Objectivism.

Guns on Campus

 Posted by on 21 September 2002 at 8:22 am  Uncategorized
Sep 212002
 

Speaking of guns, it seems that some students are working to overturn university bans on firearms on campus. As someone who is suffering under the Boulder ban on firearms anywhere on campus (even in vehicles, even for concealed carry permit holders, despite state law), I only hope that some good precedents can be set elsewhere. (Thanks to Josh Zader for the link.)

Wimpy Ammo

 Posted by on 21 September 2002 at 8:16 am  Uncategorized
Sep 212002
 

Apparently, our troops in Afghanistan aren’t so fond of the 9mm Berettas issued by the military. Many have opted instead to use their own 45s, mostly 1911s. (The US military switched to 9mm a while back in order to standardize with our obviously-wimpy NATO allies.)

The fact that our troops are issued 9mm handguns is absurd, as 9mm simply doesn’t have the stopping power of .45acp. (So sure, your ammo is lighter, but you have to carry more of it.) Even I switched from a 9mm Glock 19 to .45acp Glock 30 and 36 for self-defense a while back, as I wanted something that would stop even a dedicated criminal in a single round, if need be.

I wonder if the European soldiers switch over to 45s too…

Four New Reviews

 Posted by on 20 September 2002 at 9:08 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 202002
 

In addition to some site rearrangement, I’ve added a four new reviews, reprinted below:

The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators by Edwin Locke

Ed Locke’s The Prime Movers is a fairly detailed and empirical analysis of the traits common to great business leaders. Using businessmen (and women) of the past and present as both positive and negative examples throughout, Locke makes an excellent case that traits such as independent vision, a relentlessly active mind, egoistic passion for work, and love of ability in others are essential for great success in business. (Locke then breaks down each of these traits into subcomponent traits, discussing each in turn.) Despite some painfully Objectivist bits, this book was an inspiring and informative look into what makes the movers and shakers of the economy so successful.

God and Mankind: Comparative Religions by Robert Oden

In these eight lectures, Robert Oden tackled some of the more interesting questions of religion, such as the problem of evil and religious heroes. His lectures were clear, well-structured, well-grounded in the literature, and always-interesting, in spite of his somewhat aggravating habit of often foreshadowing the lecture. Lecture Seven on “Religious Rituals and Communities” should be of particular interest to Objectivists, as his discussions of churches versus sects, the Puritan idea of a “calling,” and the American antipathy towards ritual all bear upon debates in the Objectivist community.

The Truth About Lying by Stan Walters

Stan Walters may not be the most polished writer, but he has written a clear and interesting practical manual for detecting deception. Walters persuasively argues that there are no simple indicators of deception (like looking down and to the left). Rather in order to detect deception, we must meticulously and repeatedly compare a person’s normal behavior with their behavior in response to a given issue, looking for the stress responses that may signal deception. (He discusses the details of those stress responses at great length.) Reading this book almost made me wish for a habitual liar in my life so that I could test and practice the myriad of techniques for detecting deception myself!

The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty of America’s Campuses by Alan Kors and Harvey Silvergate

While I frequently find myself engrossed in a good novel, rarely do I get so lost in a work of non-fiction. But I was delighted to find myself so entranced with The Shadow University that I read the hefty book cover to cover in a single day. The book went far beyond the usual horror stories to in-depth discussions of the philosophical, legal, institutional conflicts over free speech on campus. Perhaps even more disturbing than restrictions of free speech were the accounts of the (often-secret) kangaroo courts run by the universities in which students are too-often hung out to dry. A better book on the battle for free speech on campus could not be written. (Proving that sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant, Kors and Silvergate have continued to press for free speech on campus through their remarkably effective Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.)

Ayn Rand on Kuro5hin

 Posted by on 17 September 2002 at 8:46 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 172002
 

The folks over at Kuro5hin are having a vigorous discussion of Ayn Rand. The article is summarized as:

Who was Ayn Rand? A Short Summary & Critique
By randinah
Tue Sep 17th, 2002 at 01:52:50 PM EST

Arguably one of the most notorious names in the philosophy community is that of Ayn Rand. Author of such well known books as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and the brains behind the Objectivist philosophy, Ayn Rand is an idol of individuality and freedom for the young and idealistic while being a scorned outcast of the philosophic community.

Who was Ayn Rand? What is objectivist philosophy? Does this philosophy hold water? In this article I will attempt to give an overview of the Objectivist philosophy and lay a starting ground with which one can base a balanced opinion on the thoughts of Ayn Rand.

Unfortunately the author’s summaries of Rand’s views aren’t always accurate, so I hope my fellow Objectivists pop by to correct the errors. I’ll probably post a comment or two tomorrow.

Multi-Colored Boulders

 Posted by on 16 September 2002 at 3:01 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 162002
 

As an undergrad at WashU, I was dismayed by the fact that almost all of the student organizations were either religious or ethnic. But at least there wasn’t much multiculturalism at the university per se. No so at Boulder, as this recent campus-wide e-mail indicates.

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 02:23:01 -0600 (MDT)
From: CU – General E-Memo
Subject: CACMA Letter of Invitation

TO: UCB Students

FROM: Office of Diversity and Equity

SENDER: mable.stewart@colorado.edu

DATE: September 12, 2002

SUBJECT: CACMA Letter of Invitation

LETTER OF INVITATION

The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs (CACMA) is seeking to fill four open committee member positions.

BACKGROUND ON CACMA

The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs (CACMA) was appointed in 1987 as an advisory body to the Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder in matters relating to the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students of color.

MISSION STATEMENT

CACMA is dedicated to enhancing the University’s climate for diversity, multiculturalism and social justice. The Committee assesses the campus environment and advises the Chancellor. It is also a resource for all university departments and individuals seeking to improve CU-Boulder’s climate for diversity.

To carry out this charge, CACMA seeks to:

- Influence policy that affects people of color.
- Enhance awareness of issues that affect people of color. This includes organizing and implementing an annual campus-wide summit on diversity.
- Advocate for interventions that improve the campus climate for people of color.
- Promote and work toward social justice for people of color on campus.
- Recognize efforts to promote diversity, multiculturalism and social justice within the campus community.

EXPECTATIONS

Interested candidates must:
a. Make a quality commitment to CACMA with a minimum of two-year service.
b. Attend CACMA monthly committee meetings currently held on the second Friday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
c. Actively participate in the Campus annual Diversity Summit planning and implementation.
d. Actively participate on an on-going basis on a subcommittee as needed.

QUESTIONS for CONSIDERATION:

- How familiar are you with CACMA?
- Why are you interested in becoming a CACMA committee member?
- How do you see CACMA making an impact within the community?
- What other committees have you participated on?
- What issues of concern regarding ethnic minority faculty, students, and staff would you like to see addressed?
- What do you feel will be your contribution?
- What is your race/ethnicity? (optional)

Please write a few short paragraphs taking into account the MISSION, EXPECTATIONS, and the QUESTIONS for CONSIDERATION. Selection will be based upon the best fit in keeping with CACMA’s mission and by-laws for a diverse membership.

Email to mable.stewart@colorado.edu or send to the Office of Diversity and Equity at 018 UCB by October 20th.

Did you catch that loaded Mission Statement? It starts “CACMA is dedicated to enhancing the University’s climate for diversity, multiculturalism and social justice.” Wow.

What do you think the chances are of someone like me getting such a job? How would they react to an application from a person who thinks that calls for diversity of skin color are demeaning and racist, that multiculturalism is a fraud, and that social justice is an incoherent, destructive idea? Not well, I suppose.

If I wasn’t on campus just two days per week, I’d actually send in an application. (I wouldn’t want to risk being selected but unable to accept.) Oh, what fun that would be!

Bloggers Beware…

 Posted by on 16 September 2002 at 8:05 am  Uncategorized
Sep 162002
 

…of libel. Yikes.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha