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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Stop hiring white cis men (except as needed to get/retain people who are not white cis men) until the problem goes away. If you think this is a bad or un-serious idea, your sexism/racism/transphobia is showing.

Piper, as published on the “inclusion/exclusion” blog of the American Mathematical Society.

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38 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • My cup of “isms” runneth over. I am many things, have opinions on very many things, and all of them are likely to offend some subset of the Social Justice Warriors. Being SJWs, they already have a name for whatever ism I’ve just presented. (After they came up with “ableism” it was plain we were all doomed.)

    So why should we care? We’re going to get scorned no matter what. Remember – Condoleeza Rice was a black woman – but not a real black, nor a real woman. She was, after all, a Republican.

  • Julie near Chicago

    UBFL* !!!

    *Un-be-effing-lievable!

    I really thought it was satire until more than halfway through. I notice at the very end she clarifies: she doesn’t really expect that the program she outlines, or that she thinks we should all “get with,” will actually happen.

    I should hope NOT!

    Please don’t let this dame anywhere near any sort of serious science or engineering project — she might hurt herself.

    The comments were a bit disappointing, in that some people sound downright abject and craven in their avowal to Do Better, or in their compliments. I didn’t read all of them, so perhaps there are a few that actually satirize said people’s remarks.

    At least some do seem to agree that 2+2 = 4 no matter who says it, even if it’s a Straight White Male.

    Still … a lot can change in 40 years. I suppose she may come in from the dark yet, if she lives long enough.

  • Sam Duncan

    “[E]xcept as needed to … retain people who are not”

    Wait, what? Surely this can’t mean what I think it means? Can it? S/he wants to hire people regardless of competence while admitting that the dreaded palefaces might have to stick around to do all the actual work?

  • William O. B'Livion

    How are things progressing in Zimbabwe?

    South Africa?

    Congo?

  • That is the most hilarious thing I have read in months 😆

  • Paul Marks

    Hopefully the thing was meant ironically.

    If not then it explains why people embrace the “Alt Right” – if white hetrosexual men are going to be persecuted by Identity Politics, then the TEMPTATION is to create an Identity Politics of one’s own. “White Power!” and all that rot.

    A fatal mistake – but a natural one.

    And some of the Alt Right are actually clever (they are not all like Richard Spencer – who is thick), for example “Black Pigeon Speaks” on Youtube is horribly misguided – but clearly very intelligent.

  • bobby b

    Look, here’s the self-bio of Piper, the authoress (yes, word chosen in snark and glee):

    Piper HarronPiper Harron, University of Hawaii at Manoa tried really hard to play by the rules of society and academia, but she failed. Not only did she fail, but she was miserable and found that playing by the rules wouldn’t even keep her safe. After giving up completely, and after giving birth to her second child, she finally finished the first draft of her number theory PhD thesis in 2014, a mere 6 years late. She officially got her degree from Princeton University in January 2016, and is currently a Temporary Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She dedicates her work to everyone who dabbles in misery, trying to find their way in systems that don’t support them, and to anyone trying to tear it all down. – See more at: http://blogs.ams.org/inclusionexclusion/about-the-editor/#sthash.jmRzRapk.dpuf.

    What the hell do you expect her paper to say?

    We’re supposed to abstain from comment, just as we pointedly cheer and clap when the special kid hits a single.

  • Julie near Chicago

    EDIT: Deleted the English lesson. Sorry, folks, just can’t help it. Knowing our native tongue is important. :>(
    .

    The odd thing is that the sketch itself sounds humorously self-deprecatory. I think — seriously — that she should give up math and concentrate on becoming a humorous writer in the vein of Jean Kerr or, I think, Erma Bombeck. She would probably be quite good at it, especially if she kept ideology and the urge to repair the world out of it.

  • Lee Moore

    I’m with Sam here. This is standard issue nuttiness, nothing to see here, move along. BUT….

    except as needed to get/retain people who are not white cis men

    what on Earth is this about ?

    We’re used to transcogitals foaming at the mouth and doing back somersaults for no particular reason, but wtf is this ?

  • bobby b

    Julie near Chicago
    May 19, 2017 at 2:45 am

    “She would probably be quite good at it, especially if she kept ideology and the urge to repair the world out of it.”

    I agree. But it’s only offered in order to repair the world and push an ideology.

    This is how they fight their war. We’re faced with affiants who possess traits we admire, but we’re required to accept whatever those affiants state, even when they’re traveling beyond their expertise. I can accept the value of their damaged viewpoints without having to proclaim them as prophets, or even whole.

  • Mr Ed

    except as needed

    Implies that the unfavoured ones are in fact superior to their replacements, itself an ‘ist‘ assumption, and concedes the justification for ‘discrimination’, ability, thus containing its own refutation.

    More importantly, when this evil has spread to the Mathematics departments, the cancer is the patient.

  • Lee Moore

    when this evil has spread to the Mathematics departments, the cancer is the patient

    I recall a mathematics article a while back (at least ten years ago) which referred to a “rigged Hilbert space” and took time out to explain that in this context “rigged” didn’t mean “rigged” in the sense of Bush’s election in 2000. So the cancer has had a while to take hold.

  • NickM

    At a very fundamental level there are very few mathematicians anyway. We all use maths to varying degrees but very few have the aptitude and desire to really do maths rather than use it. Pure maths is a very strange calling.

  • Phil B

    OK Honeybunch, let me put it this way …

    White males invented the civilisation you live in and everything that this civilisation uses (mathematics, science, technology, medicine) and every modern invention that makes life so much easier that we are not living in abject poerty and squalour, including computers, the internet, working sewage systems, toilets, central heating, cars, aircraft ad infinitum.

    Now we should hand this over because you haz ze pussy pass and a better suntan than me?

    One question.

    Why?

    If you hate the opression that white civilisation makes you live under, then at the minimum live in a black controlled city in the USA or as William O. B’Livion said, move to Zimbabwe, the Congo, Mozambique, Haiti, Uganda, Zaire or some other country where the benefits of black civilisation and rules are the norm and no palefaces to be seen.

    In short, run up a shutter (as they say on Tyneside).

  • Rob

    Is there a place anywhere in Western culture they haven’t infested yet?

  • Tomsmith

    Is there a place anywhere in Western culture they haven’t infested yet?

    I don’t think so. It appears that this pathology is a consequence of Western Civilisation, and may end up being what kills it

  • Alisa

    Will fire burn the eggs?

  • Cal Ford

    Academia is full of this sort of thing. This is an unexceptional example, except that it’s now occurring in maths.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Paul Marks is absolutely right. Such expressions explain why the Alt-Right exists.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    OK-I’m feeling truly nauseated here. Not only by the views expressed but also by the number of commenters (on the original, quoted blogpost) who agree. That’s nausea brought on by a mixture of disgust, fear and anger.
    I could write about self-indulgence and a bloated sense of entitlement, but most readers here know all that stuff. I could talk about the three female PhD students and one female postdoc that I’ve taught and mentored. I could talk about all my female colleagues and how I’ve supported them. I could do the same thing for race issues.
    But all of that is just pandering and excusing.
    I could reflect on the fact that it has the (desired?) effect of making me feel deep resentment.

    I have reached the point, as an academic and a mathematician, where I despair of the majority of academia. Where do I sign up to join the (thinking) alt-right?

  • Surellin

    The view must be fine from the top of that mountain of moral superiority.

  • TDK

    The blog post has an addendum section complaining about “inappropriate comments” since last Friday, which probably means commentators who disagree have had their comments deleted.

  • pete

    It’ll never happen. Academia is part of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ establishment.

  • Watchman

    Fortunately no university in the UK could contemplate this, as their government mandated equality policies actually would forbid discrimination on grounds of race, gender or sexual orientation, and the courts and tribunals have a very clear record on this sort of thing. You might be able to do it by an undeclared policy, but in the field of maths it might be quite notable if you did not appoint at least one in five white cis (how would they know this – it’s not on application forms) male, considering that’s way more than half the eligible candidates.

    I do wonder if the US is so protected though.

    And thinking about it, I would if the wonderful world of cultural studies imposed this rule years ago, shortly before it started to totally disappear.

  • This has been the general policy since the 60s. Some idiot is simply saying it clearly.

    They destroy businesses with this nonsense. They destroy government institutions too, but then they always have taxes to fall back on.

    If you see enough of this crap, well, you start looking around for a good pair of jack boots. I’m still mostly libertarian, but these people are like a disease threat- in some cases they are literally a vector for disease. Every damn time there is a story about antibiotic resistant disease, they have to talk trash about a concerned mom who wants antibiotics for her kid’s cold or something. They never talk about people who, by their own actions, are turning themselves into petri dishes for antibiotic resistant disease.

    Since they are obviously not interested in the actual purpose of the organization, they destroy it.

  • JDN

    Wait, the American Mathematical Society has an “inclusion/exclusion” blog!?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Some of the more persuasive arguments against the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution are conversations with women SJWs

  • Sonny Wayze

    JnC:

    “I suppose she may come in from the dark yet, if she lives long enough.”

    Rayciss!!

  • Dave Roetman

    Note the repeated trope: If this offends or scares you, you need to look at yourself. Interesting defense. I was neither offended or scared, I was derisive and amused by the article and most of the comments.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh My Gosh !

    John Le Carré. :>((((((

    :>)

  • Jake Haye

    Yet another pampered middle class mediocrity boosted by privilege into academia and complaining that she can’t keep up with those who got there on merit.

  • Dr Evil

    Why do these people misuse chemical bond terminology? It is so annoying. The USA is a majority white country. Surely a mathematical society must see the stupidity and irony of what they are saying?

  • Thailover

    Actual capitalists will hire the most qualified and most productive. If company X, (preferably a competitor) hires based on racist and sexist quotas, they put themselves at a competitive disadvantage, and I support that. I support bigots fucking themselves over as they always do. You can’t always depend on people doing what they say or doing the right thing, but you can ALWAYS depend on them being who and what they are. Like the movie character Blade (Wesley Snipes) said, “When you know a thing…”

  • Thailover

    Jake Haye, Well we really can’t expect “those people” to compete and flourish without a political climate rigged in their favor. Isn’t that what the root quote is really suggesting?

  • Thailover

    Dr. Evil said,

    “The USA is a majority white country. Surely a mathematical society must see…”

    A. Never discount the chance the the whole scenario is a mere trolling tactic, including a lot of the replies. Talking to a mathematical society about mathematically ignorant subjects is like trolling atheists with suggestions that they can’t be moral without god, lol.

    B. The field of mathematics is even more “cis” and “white” and “male” than America’s national average. This looks like a drier, more boring version of gamer-gate where political leaches pretend to be outraged about the fact that, say, “women of color” tend to not give a flying rat’s-shit about either games nor maths.
    (I wrote maths. See, I can be cosmopolitan).

  • Erik

    Hopefully the thing was meant ironically.

    If not then it explains why people embrace the “Alt Right” – if white hetrosexual men are going to be persecuted by Identity Politics, then the TEMPTATION is to create an Identity Politics of one’s own. “White Power!” and all that rot.

    A fatal mistake – but a natural one.

    Counterpoint: “Last to retribalize loses.” “If you do not choose a side, one will be chosen for you.”

    I myself have not chosen a side – yet. I do not think a time has come where it is necessary, and it might never. But I think it is worth considering IdPol as a means rather than an end, and taken as a means, building an IdPol of one’s own is no more a mistake than acquiring a weapon of one’s own in the face of an armed enemy. (Or considered as a tactic – if the enemy uses blitzkrieg, it does not then follow that my own doctrine should center around slow, methodical advances.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Somewhat Off-Topic, only not:

    DELINGPOLE: ‘Penises Cause Climate Change’

    I really feel that people should read this. Especially the bit about “manspreading,” which cleared up a lot for me.

    An excerpt from a comment on the paper itself:

    aka Randy Yonkers• 20 hours ago

    The post modern, post binary dialectic transposed and interpolated against the “Omnipresent Phallus” suggested by the Hegelian law of Dimorphic Discursive Digression demonstrates the immutability and relative strength suggested by, yet inadequately hypothesized in the aforementioned article.

  • William O. B'Livion

    Alisa:

    Will fire burn the eggs?

    Yes, but it doesn’t melt steel.