Unusual Charges

 Posted by on 31 March 2006 at 11:45 pm  Uncategorized
Mar 312006
 

The Rocky Mountain News reports:

A Littleton man accused of breaking into homes to masturbate was bound over for trial Tuesday on unusual charges — two felony counts of burglary with intent to litter.

The article doesn’t explain what that means — any thoughts, lawyers? (Based upon the description of the man’s activities, he sounds likely to become far more dangerous to women very soon.)

If I Get Sick, Please Don’t Pray For Me

 Posted by on 31 March 2006 at 12:57 pm  Uncategorized
Mar 312006
 

Or at the very least, please don’t let me know. According to this recent study:

…[R]esearchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Here’s a related article, as well as the full academic paper from the American Heart Journal. (Via Cynical-C.)

NYU Responds

 Posted by on 31 March 2006 at 8:31 am  Uncategorized
Mar 312006
 

One of the good folks from Front Range Objectivism received a reply to his letter to NYU:

From: John Beckman [john.beckman@nyu.edu]
To: Richard Watts [rw1963@earthlink.net]
Sent: 3/31/2006 6:27:37 AM
Subject: RE: censorship of cartoons

Dear Mr. Watts –

I appreciate your writing to share your thoughts. However, I must disagree with your views on this matter and challenge your understanding of the facts.

The Objectivist Club, a recognized student organization, indicated a few days ago that it intended to host an event about free speech and the Danish cartoons. This was all well and fine. It emerged later that the event would include an actual display of the cartoons.

As awareness of the event spread around campus, Muslim organizations at NYU asked the University to intervene to prevent the display, indicating that they considered the cartoons grievously offensive.

Frankly, it is not clear why a discussion of free speech and the Danish cartoons could not have taken place without the display of the cartoons. Given the sensitivities of one segment of our community, that would have been the preferable course. However, the students of the Objectivist Club felt otherwise.

This decision was a balance between the serious concerns of one segment of our community, on the one hand, and NYU’s tradition of free speech and free exchange of ideas on the other. The University decided — and this seems to be, judging from your letter, a critical area of misunderstanding on your part — that the traditions of free speech must prevail. The University told both the Objectivist Club and its Muslim community that the display WOULD be allowed at the event.

Any reasonable person knows that the display of these cartoons has been accompanied by violence throughout the world. Every institution has a responsibility to ensure that an event held on its grounds goes off smoothly, safely, and without disruption. The inclusion of the cartoons in the event caused the University decide to limit the audience to members of the NYU community, a rather large group (NYU is America’s largest private university) including some 40,000 students and some 15,000 faculty, administrators, and staff.

On Wednesday afternoon, a few hours before the event, the student leadership of the club came to the University and indicated it had changed its mind: it would choose not to display the cartoons, and would like to be able to invite about 75 people to the event who were not members of the NYU community. The University agreed, but let’s be clear: the students made this choice, and they made it after the University had indicated to one and all that the event could go forward WITH the cartoons displayed.

Accordingly, I must disagree with your characterization that free speech was abridged on this campus. I am aware that there are outside groups that have sought to portray these circumstances differently, presumably for their own purposes, but these portrayals are not correct.

I hope this provides a better, clearer understanding of events.

– John Beckman

Since I’m a bit busy this morning, I’ll leave the fisking of that for my readers in the comments.

Recovery Ward

 Posted by on 30 March 2006 at 9:53 am  Uncategorized
Mar 302006
 

As I recover from yesterday’s frantic blogging about NYU’s cowardly appeasement of offended Muslims, I want to thank everyone who took the time to write letters to the NYU officials. (Some people didn’t post them publicly in the comments, but did CC me.) I can only hope that it made an impression, so that NYU doesn’t make this kind of mistake again. Also, I’d like to particularly thank Amit Ghate for his voracious blogging and Instapundit for the traffic-rich link.

Also, I did get an e-mail from one of the organizers of the event indicating that it might be covered on Fox News at 7:00 (EST) tonight, i.e. Shepherd Smith’s Fox Report.

Update: Wow, I was just checking my sent mail folder… and I noticed that I sent over 60 e-mails yesterday. No wonder I’m tired.

New Features

 Posted by on 30 March 2006 at 9:25 am  Announcements
Mar 302006
 

As you can see on this very post, I’ve added some helpful little icons to the top of each post. The first is just a permalink to the post, so that you don’t have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for that. The second allows you to easily e-mail the post to someone.

Also, for the sake of new readers of NoodleFood, let me note that the most recent comments from all posts can be found aggregated on this one page.

In What Language Do Deaf People Think?

 Posted by on 30 March 2006 at 9:00 am  Uncategorized
Mar 302006
 

According to this interesting 2003 Straight Dope column, people who are born deaf can and do indeed think linguistically, but in some form of gestural language rather than a spoken language.

The profoundly, prelingually deaf can and do acquire language; it’s just gestural rather than verbal. The sign language most commonly used in the U.S. is American Sign Language, sometimes called Ameslan or just Sign…

…Sign equips native users with the ability to manipulate symbols, grasp abstractions, and actively acquire and process knowledge — in short, to think, in the full human sense of the term.

…The answer to your question is now obvious. In what language do the profoundly deaf think? Why, in Sign (or the local equivalent), assuming they were fortunate enough to have learned it in infancy. The hearing can have only a general idea what this is like — the gulf between spoken and visual language is far greater than that between, say, English and Russian. Research suggests that the brain of a native deaf signer is organized differently from that of a hearing person. Still, sometimes we can get a glimpse. [Oliver] Sacks writes of a visit to the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where hereditary deafness was endemic for more than 250 years and a community of signers, most of whom hear normally, still flourishes. He met a woman in her 90s who would sometimes slip into a reverie, her hands moving constantly. According to her daughter, she was thinking in Sign. “Even in sleep, I was further informed, the old lady might sketch fragmentary signs on the counterpane,” Sacks writes. “She was dreaming in Sign.”

This meshes nicely with Rand’s observation in the Appendix to Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology on “The Role of Words”:

So the word is not the concept, but the word is the auditory or visual symbol which stands for a concept. And a concept is a mental entity; it cannot be perceived perceptually. That’s the role played by words.

…One’s mind first has to grasp the isolation and the integration which represents the formation of a concept; but to complete that process — and particularly to retain it, and later to automatize it — a man needs a verbal symbol.

…Now observe an interesting issue: a case like Helen Keller. She couldn’t use either auditory or visual symbols. She had to be taught tactile symbols. She had to learn some mental condensation, some form of perceptual substitution or perceptual shorthand in order to be able to grasp the perceptual world at all. She had only tactile means. And she learned, and she was able to communicate, even to think and write. But prior to the time of learning this type of physical symbol, she was not able to grasp or deal with anything [conceptually], as far as could be observed. Therefore I wouldn’t say the symbol has to be auditory or visual. If a mind is born handicapped in a certain way, there can be a substitute. Assuming a healthy child, the auditory and visual symbols are the easiest and the most productive. You can do more by that method. But some other method has to do if a person is handicapped.

The principle here is that in order to deal with a wide range of knowledge, you have to reduce the concretes to a single concrete, a concrete of a different order, a symbolic concrete.

NYU Cowardice

 Posted by on 29 March 2006 at 8:18 am  Religion
Mar 292006
 

From an ARI Press Release about tonight’s panel on the Danish cartoons at NYU:

“In a seemingly mundane decision, New York University has sacrificed the principle underlying its flourishing and the survival of civilization–free speech,” said Dr. Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute. NYU is refusing to protect a student group’s right to display the Danish cartoons of Mohammad at a panel discussion on free speech on March 29.

The group’s event was to be open to the public, but at the last minute NYU retreated. Under the pretense of maintaining campus security, the administration contradicted its own stated policy on free speech by requiring that, if the cartoons are displayed, the event be limited only to “members of the NYU community.” The student group now must turn away more than 150 members of the public who had planned to attend the panel.

“The university’s shameful appeasement of Muslim and anti- free-speech groups–which have vowed to protest the event–underscores the urgent need to display the cartoons in defense of freedom of speech,” said Dr. Brook.

“Free speech protects the rational mind: it is the freedom to think, to reach conclusions and express one’s views without fear of coercion of any kind. And it must include the right to express unpopular and offensive views, including outright criticism of religion. NYU–which like other universities grants tenure to protect intellectual freedom–ought to recognize the crucial importance of this principle and defend it.

“If intimidation and threats are allowed to compel writers, cartoonists, thinkers and institutions of learning into self- censorship, the right to free speech is lost. If Muslims are allowed to pressure critics of Islam into silence, critics of religion will be next. And then everyone else.”

FIRE has also issued a condemnatory press release about the last-minute change in policy. It included this line:

“This is a classic case of the heckler’s veto,” noted FIRE’s Lukianoff. “NYU is shamelessly clamping down on an event purely out of fear that people who disagree with the viewpoints expressed may disrupt it. These immoral, last-minute restrictions must be lifted.”

Betsy Speicher sent me the link to the ARI press release, as well as this announcement from the apparent Heckler-in-Chief, namely Maheen Farooqi, President of the Islamic Center at NYU.

From: Maheen H Farooqi
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 22:43:35-0800
To: maheen@nyu.edu
Subject: Action Alert – Racist Cartoons at NYU

Dear Community Leader,

This Wednesday, March 29th, an event is being sponsored by the Objectivist Club, an OSA club, and its purpose is to analyze the issue of free speech with an emphasis on a series of cartoons recently published in a Danish newspaper that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Islam in a highly offensive manner. These cartoons have lead to riots, protests, beatings, and even deaths on an international level and now they are being displayed at NYU at the aforementioned event. We at the Islamic Center are all for discourse and dialogue and we would encourage the Objectivist Club to partake in whatever discussion they would like.

We, however, would not encourage racism is any shape or form, and to us and many others, these cartoons are racist and we adamantly oppose their display. As such, we are asking you and your club to help us speak out against and protest the display of these cartoons in any shape or form. The event itself and the topic that the students would like to discuss is not problematic in any way, but the pictures themselves are just hatred and there is no justification in preaching something that breeds that kind of hate. We will be organizing a protest for this Wednesday at around 5:30pm and will be having an organizational meeting for it tomorrow on the 7th floor of Kimmel at 7pm. If you are interested in helping us with this, please contact me at maheen@nyu.edu as soon as possible. Even if you cannot attend the meeting and would be interested in helping, please send me an email to let me know.

If you can ask your membership to make the following announcement in their classes it would be greatly appreciated:

Tomorrow the Objectivist Club is sponsoring an event that will display a series of cartoons recently published in a Danish newspaper. These cartoons depict the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam in a highly offensive manner. These same cartoons unfortunately have lead to riots, protests, beatings, and deaths all around the world. We are asking all students to stand in solidarity with us as we seek to protest hatred and discrimination on OUR CAMPUS. On Wednesday we will be meeting at Kimmel at 5:30 PM in protest of the University’s decision to allow the cartoons to be displayed. Remember that this same type of manifestation of hatred has lead to the murder of many innocent people. We can look as far back as the 1930′s in the years prior to the Holocaust when Nazi Germany circulated hate-filled images of our Jewish brothers and sisters throughout society. Contemporary situations such as Rwanda have also caused bloody genocides. It is necessary for all of us to stand together and speak out against this, as hatred does not discriminate against any color, race, creed, or religion; all it does is hate.

“First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out; Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out; Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Martin Niemoller, 1892-1984

Thank you for your cooperation,

With Peace,
Maheen Farooqi
________________________
Maheen H Farooqi
President
Islamic Center at NYU
maheen@nyu.edu

The equation of criticism of Islam with racism is a standard sophistry from those who wish to insulate their religious beliefs from criticism. Racism is evil because a person’s race is neither chosen, nor of any moral significance. In contrast, people do choose their religious beliefs: even a child raised in a religion can choose to reject it, once he reaches adulthood. And religions are of moral significance: as fundamental beliefs, they strongly influence the whole course of a person’s life, including the actions regarded as moral or immoral.

Moreover, the invocation of the Holocaust in this context is beyond disgusting. The cartoons critical of Islam were drawn in part due to the widespread Muslim hatred of and violence toward Jews. (Even worse, many Muslims explicitly call upon their brothers to finish the job that Hitler started!) Moreover, to suggest that criticism of Islam might lead to slaughter of Muslims is nothing more than an intimidation tactic. Critics of Islam do not deny that Muslims are fully human, with all the same rights to peacefully practice their religion as everyone else. They are saying that Islam is a barbaric religion destructive to human life. And they are right to say that: just consider 9/11, the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh, the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the waves of Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel, and the Abdul Rahman’s narrow escape from beheading for blasphemy in Afghanistan.

At this late moment, I wonder what — if anything — can be done. (I’ve sent news tips to Denver’s local papers and tv news. You might take a few moments to do the same.)

Update 1: You can also send a polite but firm e-mail to John Sexton (the President of NYU) at john.sexton@nyu.edu and Bob Butler (Director of Student Activities) at bob.butler@nyu.edu. (Here’s a link for both addresses at once.) Here’s my letter:

Dear Mr. Sexton and Mr. Butler,

I learned this morning that NYU has decided, at the very last minute, to bar the public from tonight’s Panel Discussion on the Danish Cartoons if the cartoons themselves are shown. I am gravely disturbed by this decision.

Free speech includes the freedom to offend the sensibilities of the faithful. In face of unjustified intimidation from Muslims, NYU ought to have stood up for free speech by protecting the panel from any disturbance, not by attempting to diminish its impact (by forbidding the display of the cartoons) or its reach (by forbidding the entry of the general public).

Consider the consequences of your decision. By capitulating this time, you’ve forsaken the principle necessary to withstand pressure from other groups to withdraw some speaker deemed offensive. What ground can you stand upon when the Campus Republicans attempt to bar Michael Moore from speaking? Or when the Christian groups band together to bar an atheist? If those groups threaten trouble, will you demand concessions from those speakers too, like that Michael Moore can’t say anything mean about President Bush or that the atheist must refrain from arguing his full case against God? Soon, no speech would be permitted, lest even innocuous comments about the sunny weather offend the depressed or mentions of a good grade on an exam offend those who chose not to study. Once speech is limited on the grounds that it might offend some people, the principle of free speech is destroyed.

I urge you to reverse this last-minute change in policy.

Respectfully,
Diana Hsieh

————————–
Diana Mertz Hsieh
Graduate Student
Department of Philosophy
University of Colorado at Boulder

Please feel free to post your letters in the comments!

Update 2: ARI just sent the following letter to its NY-area donors:

As you know, the Objectivist club at NYU is planning to hold an event in support of free speech on March 29. At the event they plan to display the Danish cartoons while engaging in a panel discussion on free speech. This event was planned as a public event–some of you might have RSVP’d for it.

Unfortunately, this morning we found out that the University, under the pretense of security, is limiting the event to “members of the NYU community” only. This is in contradiction to their own policy regarding free speech. The only way they claim they would allow non-NYU attendees, is if the cartoons are not shown. The student group has refused this condition–they have refused to be silenced. Thus, we cannot guarantee that non-NYU attendees will be able to get into the event. We continue to try to challenge the NYU administration regarding this decision.

However, in spite of the uncertainty, we would like to encourage all those who RSVP’d and anyone else who would like to show their support for free speech to show up at NYU. We have learned that Muslim groups are planning to demonstrate outside Kimmel Center at 5.30PM. We cannot allow them to be the only ones showing their true colors! We urge you to go to the NYU campus to support your right to free speech–the same support you have shown through generous donations to ARI.

If intimidation and threats are allowed to compel writers, cartoonists, thinkers and institutions of learning into self-censorship, the right to free speech is lost. If Muslims are allowed to pressure critics of Islam into silence, critics of religion will be next. And then everyone else.

Update 3: Amit Ghate pointed out the underhanded tactics by Muslims, as reported in this FIRE blog post:

[FIRE panelist] Greg [Lukianoff] is leaving for New York shortly; he, the other panelists, and the student organizers are forging ahead. In the meantime, since NYU’s president failed to respond to a phone call from Greg yesterday, we’re calling on NYU publicly to repudiate mob rule and restore freedom of speech on its campus. And in case you don’t believe that things are really so bad up there, check out the e-mail that has come into FIRE’s possession:
I want to thank those of you who have sent e-mails. NYU has decided to let the event continue so the Islamic Center has decided to step things up. The event is tomorrow at 7 at E&L in Kimmel. Tickets are being distributed for free via Ticket Central. The Islamic Center would like everyone to get tickets to this event so we can kill their attendance figures.

Let’s remember, we have no problem with dialogue but the cartoons go against Muslims for two reasons. First, the depiction of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) is strictly forbidden. Secondly, it makes a horrible generalization that all Muslims are terrorists.

Therefore I ask you to go to ticket central, get two tickets for this event, and rip them up.

Update 4: Betsy Speicher also alerted me the source of the trouble, namely a letter from Muslim activist Yvonne Ridley urging protests against this event by Muslims. I’d actually already seen it posted on this blog (via some now-forgotten source). Here it is:

The NYU intends to display the cartoons, please send emails asking for civility.

We have just recieved this letter from Stop Political Terror one of our supporting organisations, by our sister Yvonne Ridley.

as’salaamu alaykum,

Our brothers and sisters in New York desperately need our help and support.

On March 29th, this Wednesday, an event is being held by a student organization at New York University called the Objectivist Club. The event’s purpose is to analyze the issue of free speech with an emphasis put on the vile cartoons published in Denmark that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Islam in a highly offensive manner.

The student group is also planning on displaying the cartoons at the event. I joined Muslim students in an emergency meeting with the university and its administration on Friday to ensure the display will not go ahead. The event itself poses no problems but the pictures, as you know, are racist, offensive and there is really no justification in preaching something that breeds that kind of hate against Muslims. The students at NYU need our help. Can we all send a simple, polite email to John Sexton john.sexton@nyu.edu, the president of NYU, as well as Bob Butler bob.butler@nyu.edu , the director of student activities as NYU, letting them know of your concerns.

I did tell the students that I would try and rally support overseas – so let’s show the NYU administration that if they mess with our brothers and sisters in New York they mess with all of us.

The following is a letter that has already been sent to President Sexton earlier by the imam of the Islamic centre.

Your sister in Islam

Yvonne Ridley

Betsy’s e-mail made me realize that I’d received an e-mail from that very same woman, shortly after posting this blog entry! I even wrote her back, not realizing who she was. Here’s her e-mail:

From: Hermosh@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:28 PM
To: diana@dianahsieh.com
Subject: re cartoon saga

dear Diana,

May I first compliment you on your ‘noodle’ page, very lively and great fun.
but I am a wee bit alarmed re-your ‘hysteria’ over the Danish cartoons and the very thought that they could be compared to the cartoons used by the Nazis to demonise the Jewish community during the 30s.
This information has come from aminenet Jewish cartoonist Leon Kuhn whose grandparents were murdered by Nazis, victims of the Holocaust.
In his own research he discovered the cartoons which demonised the Jewish people showed them as subversives with bombs hidden in their clothing. One such image showed a Jewish man with grenades hidden in his ringlets.
Ofcourse these are obvious parallels, and I am amazed with your background you seem to be so insensitive to this whole issue.
Yvonne Ridley
London, UK

I just love the obvious lie about her liking NoodleFood! Here’s my reply. (Remember, I just thought she was some random commenter.)

From: Diana Hsieh
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:45 PM
To: ‘Hermosh@aol.com’
Subject: RE: re cartoon saga

Yvonne,

Perhaps instead of focusing upon a concrete similarity — that of cartoons critical of a group — you might ask whether the cartoons in each case have any merit. In the case of the Jews in the 1930s, they did not. They were motivated by the fantasies of anti-Semitism, the same variety that motivates the actual bombings by Muslims of innocent Jews and others today. In contrast, the Danish cartoons were inspired by those actual bombings (and other forms of violence) — widely supported by Muslims today.

Muslims are in no danger whatsoever of being herded into concentration camps by non-Muslims. They have all the freedoms afforded by the civilized West. Instead, it is Muslims advocating the extermination of non-Muslims — and practicing that ideology with their bombs.

Diana.

After I realized who she was, she wrote me back, just saying, “will reply tomorrow Diana, am busy – have a good day.” And I just replied, “Don’t bother replying. I know who you are now — and what you’re trying to do at NYU.”

Wow.

Update 5: Canonist reports that the press is effectively barred from the event:

A notice just went out over the AP that the event tonight is closed to the press. I called FIRE to ask what happened, and they said that NYU was closing the event to anyone who didn’t register before noon yesterday. That is essentially shutting out the press, as in all likelihood few even heard of the event until yesterday afternoon. As anyone covering the City knows, even an appearance by Bill Clinton requires a pre-registration of at most a few hours.

Update 6: Right Wing Reason has a very thorough report on the event, although he wasn’t able to stay until the end. He even has pictures!

Update 7: Here’s another account of the event.

Update 8: Yvonne Ridley wrote me back:

From: Hermosh@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 6:06 AM
To: “Diana Hsieh”
Subject: RE: re cartoon saga

Dear Diana,

I’m sorry you feel like that. I am, indeed, very transparent in all my dealings which is why I sent you my full name.
And I was genuine about the layout and design of your site.
But, OK, I respect your wishes and your right to hold the views you do.
Yvonne Ridley

Oh yes! I’m so very sure that if her Muslim brothers and sisters were in power, Yvonne Ridley, dedicated apologist for Muslim terrorism, would defend “[my] right to hold the views [I] do.” Not.

Update 9: I got an e-mail from one of the organizers of the NYU event indicating that it might be covered on Fox News at 7:00 (EST) tonight, i.e. Shepherd Smith’s Fox Report.

Update 10: Eugene Volokh observed that NYU’s actions violated its own stated policies. He also talked to an NYU official about the reasons for its response, and pointed out the inadequacies thereof.

Update 11: FIRE has blogged an interesting report on the NYU panel, most notably that university officials forced a student to remove his t-shirt because it featured the bomb-in-the-turban cartoon, that only about half the duly registered public was admitted, and that at least some members of the press were turned away.

Update 12: One of the good folks from Front Range Objectivism received a response to his letter of protest from NYU’s John Beckman.

Eric Barnhill’s Improvisations

 Posted by on 28 March 2006 at 1:47 pm  Uncategorized
Mar 282006
 

My long-time friend Eric Barnhill is an amazing concert pianist doing all kinds of interesting work in music theory and education. He recently e-mailed me about his new music improvisation blog. He said:

You being the blogger you are, I thought you might like to know I started my own blog — but it’s a blog of actual music! I improvise a new piece and put it up every day, or close to it. I’m also telling you because I think you’ll like the music. I explain why I’m doing it, and the central role I think improvisation needs to play in musical creativity, over at the site. Let me know if you ever check it out. http://ericbarnhill.wordpress.com. Keep up your good work!

I finally had a chance to check out some of Eric’s improvisations late last week. My first, second, and third thought upon hearing the most recent recording was basically: Holy *@!&@^#, that’s improvisation?!?” I had the same thought about the next one I heard. And the one after that. Eric was right: I do like them. And I look forward to listening to the rest of them!

Marriage Is For White People

 Posted by on 28 March 2006 at 8:30 am  Uncategorized
Mar 282006
 

One reason that black American culture is in so much trouble is because of bad ideas such as this. Here are some chilling observations from an astute black female writer.

…But as a black woman, I have witnessed the outrage of girlfriends when the ex failed to show up for his weekend with the kids, and I’ve seen the disappointment of children who missed having a dad around. Having enjoyed a close relationship with my own father, I made a conscious decision that I wanted a husband, not a live-in boyfriend and not a “baby’s daddy,” when it came my time to mate and marry.

My time never came.

For years, I wondered why not. And then some 12-year-olds enlightened me.

“Marriage is for white people.”

That’s what one of my students told me some years back when I taught a career exploration class for sixth-graders at an elementary school in Southeast Washington. I was pleasantly surprised when the boys in the class stated that being a good father was a very important goal to them, more meaningful than making money or having a fancy title.

“That’s wonderful!” I told my class. “I think I’ll invite some couples in to talk about being married and rearing children.”

“Oh, no,” objected one student. “We’re not interested in the part about marriage. Only about how to be good fathers.”

And that’s when the other boy chimed in, speaking as if the words left a nasty taste in his mouth: “Marriage is for white people.”

And,

Although slavery was an atrocious social system, men and women back then nonetheless often succeeded in establishing working families. In his account of slave life and culture, “Roll, Jordan, Roll,” historian Eugene D. Genovese wrote: “A slave in Georgia prevailed on his master to sell him to Jamaica so that he could find his wife, despite warnings that his chances of finding her on so large an island were remote. . . . Another slave in Virginia chopped his left hand off with a hatchet to prevent being sold away from his son.” I was stunned to learn that a black child was more likely to grow up living with both parents during slavery days than he or she is today, according to sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin.

OAC Deadline Approaching

 Posted by on 27 March 2006 at 10:06 pm  Uncategorized
Mar 272006
 

The application deadline for Ayn Rand Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center is approaching quickly:

This is a reminder that the deadline for submitting an application to the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC) is April 16, 2006.

The undergraduate program is designed for high school and college students who want to systematically study philosophy and Objectivism while developing their thinking and communication skills. The program offers students an unique opportunity to study one-on-one with leading Objectivist intellectuals and to get individualized feedback. OAC students are also eligible for other specialized ARI programs such as conference scholarships, graduate advisors and teaching skills workshops. We have also just entered a pilot program whereby students can get college credit for OAC courses, which will lighten the courseload students will have to take at their universities or colleges.

I cannot possibly recommend the OAC strongly enough. Although I skipped the first and third years, I’ve found my two years of courses to be of stellar quality. In particular, the second year course on Objectivism taught by Onkar Ghate far surpassed all the dozens of philosophy class I’ve taken as an undergraduate at Washington University and as a graduate student at Boulder. (Non-students can audit that course and any others for a fee.)

The only downside to my OAC classes has been the extra burden of work without credit from Boulder, although given the education offered, that was an easy price to pay. Still, I’m delighted to see that students might be able to get credit for their OAC classes this year, since that might make a difference to others, particularly undergraduates.

More details on the program of study, as well as the application form, are available on ARI’s web site. Again, I cannot recommend this program highly enough. It has exceeded my wildest hopes for education in Objectivism.

And speaking of applications, I think I probably need to officially apply for the graduate program!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha