SL 722

Melania’s “I’m a Good Guy” hat is getting a lot of attention. As is, her reluctant hand holding and clear joy at hanging out with the Obamas.

What does it feel like when teachers give up on your kid?

Anybody want to volunteer to be an adjunct professor?

Don’t read this article.

Fun fact of the day. 1 million students drop out of college every year. (And many have debt.)

I can’t believe that Kate was camera-ready after giving birth. I couldn’t get out of bed for two days.

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48 thoughts on “SL 722

  1. Reading about “volunteer” adjuncting makes me want to accept the job just so I can install viruses on the campus computer network and then walk off on the second day leaving everyone in the lurch.

    Hopefully no one would agree to be exploited to that level, but I’m worried someone out there might be desperate enough to agree.

  2. It’s hard to know how to take that adjunct proposal. One of my partners teaches a seminar at Fordham Law from time to time. I filled in for him once when he had to go out of town. Both of us have terminal degrees in our field. Neither of us gets paid: it’s a way to encourage young people (including some whom we might hire), make and maintain professional contacts, etc. I certainly didn’t feel exploited.

    OTOH, unemployed Ph.D.s obviously might be somewhat vulnerable to exploitation. I’m just not sure what SIU is really doing.

    1. Do you also serve on PhD committees and attend department meetings? Grade 100 undergraduate papers every 3 weeks? Volunteer teaching a seminar on something you love isn’t what they are asking for. (and frankly it’s not really great to be doing that for free when students are paying tuition).

  3. “At a meeting at the beginning of the semester that marked our departure from Minneapolis Public Schools, I was forced to admit — despite my affection for individuals in the building — that our highly regarded neighborhood school was organized nearly entirely around the needs of adults. I asked one of Corey’s teachers why he was pulling a D in her science class if he was scoring in the 98th percentile on the end-of-year state exams. “Oh, you know,” she said, squaring up her papers, “what can you expect, given everything?””

    Oh,man.

    That reminds me of Wendy’s story about the test accommodations.

    “He was pulling a D because at the slightest hint that he was frustrated, he was sent to the “resource room,” where, under the guise of social skills, he played Parcheesi. Until he was angry indeed.”

    “Yet here’s a heavy truth: In 2017, 85 percent of that school’s tested white children were reading at grade level, while 50 percent of black students were. Math, I’m gonna need you to sit down for. Seventy-nine percent of white students passed the math test, versus 18 percent of the black children.”

    So, when do the dire testing regime penalties get triggered?

  4. My partner creates and grades the exams. Law school courses don’t normally have papers. I don’t think he sits on any committees, though he has some contact with the law school administration and faculty.

    I’m not sure what SIU is up to, but I am perfectly willing to believe the worst of any university administrator, I just want to be sure I understand.

    1. SIU is laying off 80 employees and trying to replace them with free labor. It’s not that hard to figure out their motivations are for “volunteer” adjuncts.

      http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article153696814.html

      Frankly, I think that volunteering for an organization that is charging customers through the nose for your labor is exploitation, but your friend presumably makes enough through paid employment that the exploitation remains at the level of principle.

  5. I too know many lawyers who adjunct, including running courses completely. Indeed they are getting paid for other work and enjoy the teaching, think they are contributing specialized expertise, and having fun. In fact I’d argue that adjunct gets was invented with that scenario in mind, someone doing the job as an avocation.

    I’d consider teaching a class for free — and it wouldn’t be any more exploitative of me than any of the other volunteer work I do, which is to say not exploitative, because I turn it down if I don’t want to do it.

    I think the question of how this labor distorts the market is a tough one. Guilds seem the only effective way to prevent the distortion, but does that mean I can’t take photos at my kids school? Or at a friends birthday party?

    I’ve said in other contexts that I think one of the trends on an efficient workforce is that people will only get paid for the work that no one enjoys.

    1. Would you volunteer to fold shirts at the Gap? Or for a tutoring company that charged your pupil $30 an hour and didn’t pay you anything?

      Volunteering for an organization that’s directly profiting off your labor is very different from charitable volunteering.

    2. bj said,

      “I too know many lawyers who adjunct, including running courses completely. Indeed they are getting paid for other work and enjoy the teaching, think they are contributing specialized expertise, and having fun. In fact I’d argue that adjunct gets was invented with that scenario in mind, someone doing the job as an avocation.”

      I’ve mentioned before that when I was studying print journalism as an undergrad, our media law class was taught by a lawyer. He was a very cheerful guy.

      Having as an adult heard many stories of sad, bitter lawyers and happy ex-lawyers, I wonder if his teaching didn’t help keep him happy.

  6. It serves a purpose for members of a professional community (lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc.) to serve on grading committees or to give guest lectures to students intending to enter their profession. There’s a big difference between theories and practice.

    That’s different than trying to run committees on a volunteer basis, especially when students pay tuition in the expectation of attending a real college.

    A local college is closing in our state. Conniption fits happening left and right (well, ok, left and left, given that this is Massachusetts.) The state flagship has entered into a deal to buy the campus, much closer to Boston, for “student internships” and “meeting donors.” http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/04/24/why-are-you-preying-our-children-fury-over-mount-ida-closure-hearing/97KvJfvzSoocsft9dc8DiJ/story.html?event=event12

    There are colleges that can’t keep the doors open.

  7. I volunteer at my church’s book table, where we sell books during coffee hour. Lots of people volunteer at venues of that nature (bake sales, street fairs etc.). How is adjuncting for free at Fordham any different from giving money to Fordham, which plenty of people do?

    1. Fordham is a business, not a church. Teaching college is a job, a profession. I could see volunteering to teach reading to people in prison, but I would never volunteer to teach American Gov’t 101 at the local state college that is getting full tuition from all the kids in the class.

      Of course, I freelance write, which for some venues is basically volunteer work. I think it does cause some friction with writers who could never afford to do what I do. I have mixed feelings about what I’m doing.

      1. My young cousin just got a job teaching recreational activities to people in prison. I have no idea what he actually does with his day but I haven’t seen him so I can’t ask.

    2. If Warren Buffett wanted to teach a course for free at Wharton, fine. He has other things to do with his time which pay much more, so it would be pure altruism on his part. Wharton is well funded.

      However, it’s a different situation when you are asking alumni with doctorates to sign up for a 3 year hitch without compensation. It raises the possibility that they’re unemployed. In which case, the best employment outcome for your graduates is employment at zero income? If that were the case, the most honorable thing to do would be to close down the program, to allow students to enroll at better programs in their fields, or to learn something more valuable in the labor market, like website design.

      1. Exactly. Neither I nor any of my partners is exactly Warren Buffett, but I would think it was silly and degrading for someone who makes several hundred thousand dollars a year to demand that Fordham give him another five or ten thousand for teaching a course. I stated right out that I don’t know what SIU is doing, and don’t say that it is defensible, but I object to overbroad formulations to the effect that adjuncting for free is always wrong.

        Fordham is, among other things, a charity to which tax-deductible donations may be made, and people make such donations. That rather differentiates it from the Gap.

      2. In general I’m not a fan of asking rich people to volunteer to perform skilled labor for a business. It undermines the labor market and the idea that work ought to be compensated with pay. Warren Buffett could also flip burgers and McDonald’s for free, but no one would think that’s a good idea. Just because the labor isn’t as obviously tedious doesn’t change that it’s the same fundamental structure.

        If someone finds the idea of fair pay for work “beneath them,” as Y81’s friend seems to do, then they can always donate the income earned to charity, as many wealthy people do. But asking to not be paid for work because you already earn “enough” is frankly a terrible precedent to set. Who decides what’s “enough”? Should Y81 also not get paid for his other job because he’s saved up “enough” that he can live comfortably on his savings? If not, what’s the difference?

        I also agree with Laura. It seems like one would have to be willfully obtuse to equate charitable volunteering with working for free at a business that is charging for your labor. Hospitals are also technically nonprofits, but no one would think it OK to ask doctors to work for free at US hospitals while patients and insurance companies are charged for the treatment.

  8. But anyways, if so many people are interested in working for free, I’m on the lookout for a personal secretary and house cleaner (could be separate jobs depending on how you want to split it). I won’t pay you with money, but you will get the cardiovascular and psychological benefits from the light exercise cleaning provides, combined with the networking opportunities that scheduling appointments and coordinating my schedule with others will provide. I also wouldn’t want to insult you by offering money to people who already earn enough.

    1. I do shovel my elderly neighbor’s snow basically for the exercise and because if I do she parks like an asshole in ways that inconvenience other neighbors instead of parking like an asshole in ways that inconvenience me.

    2. That’s like suggesting that I give you money because I give money to Berkeley and the Public Library. A portion of both my time and my money are given to charitable organizations. What’s wrong with that?

  9. Cranberry said,

    “Calling Amy P. Today’s news reports the Canadian killer identifies as “incel.” He was reportedly also special needs.”

    From the article:

    “The 10 dead and 14 wounded are “predominantly” women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s, police say.”

    “A man believed to be his relative sat in the front row of the courtroom and wept. Asked by reporters if he had anything to say, the man replied, “Sorry”.”

    I’ve said this before, but anybody who has teen/young adult sons (and especially sons with autism or other social problems) needs to keep an eye out to make sure they’re not getting sucked into the Red Pill/MGTOW/incel/MRA/PUA etc.online communities–high functioning autistic boys and young men are very vulnerable to any group that says that their social problems are other people’s fault and that if they don’t have a girlfriend, it’s because women are terrible and the mythical alpha “Chads” are monopolizing all the women (it’s an article of faith in those parts that 20% of men monopolize 80% of women), and also offers an intricate “system” to master.

    Creepily, the incel community was already embracing the Toronto van guy even before it came out that he identified as an incel:

    http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2018/04/24/incels-hail-toronto-van-driver-who-killed-10-as-a-new-elliot-rodger-talk-of-future-acid-attacks-and-mass-rapes/#more-29754

    Dave Futrelle has a piece in Elle about the incel worldview:

    http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2018/04/25/check-out-my-piece-on-elle-about-alek-minassian-elliot-rodger-and-the-threat-of-further-incel-terrorism/

    “[T]he incel subculture … takes the bitterness and sadness we sometimes feel when faced with sexual and romantic frustrations and turns this misery into a mode of being. …

    “Incels hate women, yes, but they hate themselves nearly as much, and the incel subculture not only encourages both kinds of hatred, but it teaches them that there is no way out. This is what makes the incel subculture so poisonous to everyone it touches. It has transformed young men dealing with depression — or simply the ordinary unhappiness of life — into a veritable underground army of angry, bitter misogynists who feel they have nothing to live for and have no hope of improving their lives in what they see as our “gynocentric” society.”

    In case anybody thinks that this is just a white male issue, I have to point out that it isn’t. Elliot Rodger, for example, had a Malaysian mom. Somehow, you get minority Red Pill guys coexisting side-by-side with racist alt-right guys…

    1. My daughter used the term “Chad” once recently. Gah. Now I have to figure out where she got that term from and pray that it wasn’t her brother.

    2. Wendy,

      “My daughter used the term “Chad” once recently. Gah. Now I have to figure out where she got that term from and pray that it wasn’t her brother.”

      Sorry!

      On the bright side, it looks like “Chad” isn’t a purely Red Pill term.

      https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Chad

      It seems like the non-Red Pill “Chad” is a synonym or near synonym for “douche.”

      [Dear heaven, how do I know these things?]

      The manosphere Chad is “Chad Thunder[BLEEP]”, a sort of Red Pill Paul Bunyan who (according to Red Pill lore) manages to mopolize 4X his fair share of women through his awesome alphaness, His colleagues are Harley McBadboy and some sort of drummer-name that I can’t get quite right.

      But yes, Red Pill/manosphere ideas do leak into normal speech and thinking. (Take, for example “alpha” and “beta.”)

      1. Alpha and beta predate RP/manosphere, though. Those terms have been comment in romance fiction analysis for a while.

        Yes, she did mean “Chad” as a douche, so that is reassuring.

        I am afraid to look on E’s laptop for fear I’ll see something I don’t want to see. Gaaaaah.

      2. Wendy said,

        “Alpha and beta predate RP/manosphere, though. Those terms have been comment in romance fiction analysis for a while.”

        Interesting.

        “I am afraid to look on E’s laptop for fear I’ll see something I don’t want to see. Gaaaaah.”

        It might help to do occasional PSAs on social issues as they come up or as you think of them.

        Dr. Nerdlove and Captain Awkward are both very helpful resources for young adults and their parents. (They’re both probably 18+–especially Dr. Nerdlove.)

      3. “Alpha” and “beta” are terms from the field of animal behavior, no? As I understand, social ascendancy among males in social species doesn’t always correlate with greater sexual access, but it does in some species. The manosphere/PUA picked up on that concept. (I confess that while my knowledge of the manosphere is apparently less than AmyP’s, my knowledge of the field of romance fiction analysis is zero, in fact I didn’t know there was such a thing. But I guess the analysts in that field also picked up the animal behavior concept.)

      4. y81 said,

        ““Alpha” and “beta” are terms from the field of animal behavior, no? As I understand, social ascendancy among males in social species doesn’t always correlate with greater sexual access, but it does in some species. The manosphere/PUA picked up on that concept. (I confess that while my knowledge of the manosphere is apparently less than AmyP’s, my knowledge of the field of romance fiction analysis is zero, in fact I didn’t know there was such a thing. But I guess the analysts in that field also picked up the animal behavior concept.)”

        There are apparently some “issues” with regard to manosphere use of the alpha/beta terminology.

        “In the past, the prevailing view on grey wolf packs was that they consisted of individuals vying with each other for dominance, with dominant grey wolves being referred to as the “alpha” male and female, and the subordinates as “beta” and “omega” wolves. This terminology was first used in 1947 by Rudolf Schenkel of the University of Basel, who based his findings on researching the behaviour of captive grey wolves.[13] This view on gray wolf pack dynamics was later popularized by L. David Mech in his 1970 book The Wolf. He formally disavowed this terminology in 1999, explaining that it was heavily based on the behavior of captive packs consisting of unrelated individuals, an error reflecting the once prevailing view that wild pack formation occurred in winter among independent gray wolves. Later research on wild gray wolves revealed that the pack is usually a family consisting of a breeding pair and its offspring of the previous 1–3 years.”

        Oops!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_(ethology)

        I took an anthropology course years ago, and one problem that comes to mind with the manospherean read of alpha and beta is that in some of the large primates (I forget which), the females sneak around and attempt to mate with the lower ranking males.

      5. AmyP: ” in some of the large primates (I forget which), the females sneak around and attempt to mate with the lower ranking males.” Well, by the evidence of the National Enquirer and of the DNA self-test databases, those large primates would be us….

      6. For females to sneak around and mate with lower-ranking males the moment the alpha male’s back is turned is not incompatible with the manosphere view of female nature! Not only do they dump the dependable guy for the alpha male, but they turn around and cheat on him too.

        I was only addressing the origin of the terms, not defending particular theories of lupine social structure (much less manosphere theories of female nature).

  10. Wow, most of that PUA/manosphere stuff falls somewhere between funny and true (It’s true that, when you meet a girl in a bar, acting confident and chatting fluently make romantic success fairly likely.) But that incel stuff, which I have never seen before, is really creepy. Maybe I’ll rethink my commitment to free speech.

    1. I doubt that you are rethinking your commitment to free speech.

      But think about this. It’s true that, when a wealthy, elite lawyer meet(s) a girl in a bar, acting confident and chatting fluently make romantic success fairly likely. The description of the Toronto person mentioned he was given to meowing to himself while walking down the street. That’s not the road to romantic success.

      I find it fascinating as an internet-caused phenomenon. News reports mentioned a banned reddit forum of these people. Wikipedia has a very short list of banned reddit forums, which includes all the usual suspects of hate groups. This is a group of people who self-identify as “incels,” who (apparently) teach others the philosophy of misogyny, with a dash of self-pity and a desire to be seen as a victim.

      From the news reports on the two violent creeps, it seems they really lacked social skills in real life. This seems to me that without the internet, these people would not be talking to anyone frequently, other than family members and social workers.

      1. I think even a successful lawyer who meows when walking down the street will have trouble with ladies. Or the gentlemen, in the case of a female lawyer. (Despite the hetero- and cis-normativity of the preceding, further expansion is left to the reader.) Actually, such behavior might impede becoming a successful lawyer.

        I stand by my broader point, that much of the workaday PUA advice, at least that I have seen, is perfectly sound.

      2. y81 said,

        “I stand by my broader point, that much of the workaday PUA advice, at least that I have seen, is perfectly sound.”

        Sure–PUA or Red Pill experts reel a lot of guys in with groundbreaking advice like, be confident, have good hygiene, wear nice clothes, talk to women, etc., etc., and the guys act like Moses just came down from Mt. Sinai with stone tablets.

        It’s weird, because I’m pretty sure that other people would give exactly the same advice.

        And the unique PUA advice is TERRIBLE. (I remember once seeing a thread on Roosh V’s place where the following strategy was being advised–say you need to use her bathroom in order to get into her apartment, then refuse to leave unless she has sex with you. Seriously.)

      3. Amy P said: “Sure–PUA or Red Pill experts reel a lot of guys in with groundbreaking advice like, be confident, have good hygiene, wear nice clothes, talk to women, etc., etc., and the guys act like Moses just came down from Mt. Sinai with stone tablets.”

        It reminds me of an old Doonesbury cartoon, mocking Jane Fonda in her exercise phase:
        Fonda: “For years I struggled, binging and purging, trying one fad diet after another, or getting hooked on diet pills. Then I learned the truth. A healthy, balanced diet and regular physical exercise are the real keys to controlling your weight.”
        Questioner: “Amazing. Why did it take so long?”
        Fonda: “Male doctors hid the truth from me.”

        Or “The Rules” (for those who remember that 15 minutes). Overboard in many respects, but perfectly sound in inculcating the ancient principle: “Don’t call me on Friday to ask for a date on Saturday.” Apparently many women had never learned this rule.

  11. Cranberry said,

    “I find it fascinating as an internet-caused phenomenon. News reports mentioned a banned reddit forum of these people. Wikipedia has a very short list of banned reddit forums, which includes all the usual suspects of hate groups. This is a group of people who self-identify as “incels,” who (apparently) teach others the philosophy of misogyny, with a dash of self-pity and a desire to be seen as a victim.

    “From the news reports on the two violent creeps, it seems they really lacked social skills in real life. This seems to me that without the internet, these people would not be talking to anyone frequently, other than family members and social workers.”

    Yeah.

    The incel “movement” is unimaginable without the internet.

  12. dave s. said,

    “AmyP: ” in some of the large primates (I forget which), the females sneak around and attempt to mate with the lower ranking males.” Well, by the evidence of the National Enquirer and of the DNA self-test databases, those large primates would be us….”

    Funny!

    ey81 said,

    “For females to sneak around and mate with lower-ranking males the moment the alpha male’s back is turned is not incompatible with the manosphere view of female nature! Not only do they dump the dependable guy for the alpha male, but they turn around and cheat on him too.”

    The Red Pill schools I’m familiar with would never believe that–they think that alphas have total control over females, so an alpha’s mate would NEVER cheat on him.

    However, an alpha might degrade into a beta (for example in a longterm relationship or marriage) and then let the games begin!

    My somewhat jaundiced read on this is that alphas aren’t really much of a thing a thing if they are so fragile and have such a tendency to blip out of existence if you keep them around too long…

    Wendy,

    Welcome down my rabbit hole!

    the rationalwiki says,

    “In direct opposition to not all women are like that, the assertion that all women are like that means that females are hard-wired to respond to certain situations in a certain way; and that, more specifically, if given the opportunity, they will tend to behave as manipulative, abusive, sociopathic, destructive, drama-oriented liars. To the extent that women differ from one another, it is in how and to what extent (rather than whether) they manifest these traits when they are allowed to do so.”

    An interesting fact–while it is not true that women are “manipulative, abusive, sociopathic, destructive, drama-oriented liars” it is true that women who hang around Red Pill forums often are.

    “An alpha is a male who gets all the sex he desires, because his controlling and socially-dominant personality is so alluring to females; alternately, an alpha may refer to a male’s tall and muscular body type that all females (without exception) are irresistibly attracted to.”

    You can see why I think that alphas are largely mythological.

    Even wildly attractive guys experience disappointment and dry spells–it’s sheer fantasy to think that somewhere over there, there’s a category of guys who never experience loneliness or heartbreak.

    And yet this fantasy is what drives incel bitterness.

    More in a bit if I find something!

  13. It took me a while to realize that the rational wiki writers were making fun of the manosphere…

    More from the rational wiki:

    “Branch swinging
    The tendency of females to try to find “higher branches to swing to” (that is, higher-status males to date and mate).”

    Ladies, doesn’t this sound tiring?

    “Chad is the archetypal alpha bad boy; he and his girlfriend Stacy are perennial objects of the manosphere’s envy and resentment. Some denizens of the manosphere, particularly in Reddit’s red pill community, display a nigh-homoerotic obsession with the guy. No really, read their fanfictions.”

    I can’t argue with that.

    That was very enjoyable–and a quick way to familiarize yourself with that world.

    1. I have been married for years-and-years-and-years, and my concerns are pretty much entirely in the area of ‘how do I keep it true that she is happy to continue waking up next to me’, but I do remember kind of dull envy towards the guys who were extremely successful with women, and continually. When I was at Berkeley the place was two thirds men, which made the dynamics of romantic success pretty forbidding. But I basically thought the problem was my problem, not their problem. If the Internet incel movement had been out there, would young dave.s. have thought he was owed access/success? Can’t know, hope not.

    2. Is there a female equivalent online? Or is it not needed, as every woman’s magazine doles out health, beauty, and relationship advice every single issue. Paid for by advertisers, of course.

      But what’s the sequence? Seventeen, Mademoiselle, Elle, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Family Fun, Travel & Leisure, Coastal Living, Sunset?

      Speaking of which, over the years our daughter has received magazines sent without subscribing. I figure it has something to do with some sort of demographic features–college educated woman in the right zip code, with the right number of social media contacts. A total waste of time on the publisher’s part, as she’s now living in another state, and I’m not paying postage to forward it!

      1. cranberry said,

        “Is there a female equivalent online? Or is it not needed, as every woman’s magazine doles out health, beauty, and relationship advice every single issue. Paid for by advertisers, of course.”

        Yeah.

        Granted,it’s often terrible, but it’s widely available.

  14. Online sites with sex advice for women? The Frisky. Babe. Alas, I haven’t devoted the same attention to these sites and their sisters that AmyP has to the PUA/manosphere, so I can’t deliver the same focused mockery. I doubt that the overall ethos is any more coherent, or anything we would want our daughters to internalize.

    1. y81 said,

      “Online sites with sex advice for women? The Frisky. Babe. Alas, I haven’t devoted the same attention to these sites and their sisters that AmyP has to the PUA/manosphere, so I can’t deliver the same focused mockery. I doubt that the overall ethos is any more coherent, or anything we would want our daughters to internalize.”

      I’m not familiar with them, but old time Cosmo was very mock-able.

      I’ve seen some very funny online pieces on the subject–Cosmo has a lot of sex tips that have obviously not been road-tested.

      As an older guy of our acquaintance once pointed out, the whole idea of a magazine devoted to “how to please a man” is hilarious. IT SHOULDN’T BE THAT HARD.

      Coincidentally, husband was just reading some quotes on Nietzsche on women. Oh my! It’s actually very similar to the manosphere view of women.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche%27s_views_on_women

      “What inspires respect for woman, and often enough even fear, is her nature, which is more “natural” than man’s, the genuine, cunning suppleness of a beast of prey, the tiger’s claw under the glove, the naiveté of her egoism, her uneducability and inner wildness, the incomprehensibility, scope, and movement of her desires and virtues.”

      “From the beginning, nothing has been more alien, repugnant, and hostile to woman than truth—her great art is the lie, her highest concern is mere appearance and beauty.”

      “Woman is not yet capable of friendship: women are still cats and birds. Or at best cows…”

      1. Husband says of Nietzsche on , “If you read it on the internet, you’d think you shouldn’t bother replying to it.”

        Husband also agreed with me that Nietzsche was a troll.

        (Kierkegaard was also apparently a bit of a troll, especially later in life.)

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