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Samizdata quote of the day

The college kids thousands of dollars or pounds in debt with a gender studies degree, are the equivalent of the younger sons of Norman lords who were never going to inherit land and had nothing to do but foment rebellion and war

Ed West

34 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • The college kids thousands of dollars or pounds in debt with a gender studies degree, are the equivalent of the younger sons of Norman lords who were never going to inherit land and had nothing to do but foment rebellion and war

    …although business opportunities in the form of foreign exchange options did exist to be exploited as William the Bastard of Normandy found during his 1066 hostile take of England demonstrated.

    Then again, being an older son wasn’t a barrel of laughs either, since a younger son could increase his chances of sitting on the (or at least a) throne with an unfortunate accident happening to an elder son during a hunting expedition (Henry I of England for example, I’m sure there were others…)

    Perhaps a modern translation would be to not spunk tens-to-hundreds of thousands of dollars away on an education of dubious worth, but rather invest it in a business venture. Even if it fails you’ll likely have learned something…hopefully.

  • Stonyground

    Surely, even if your degree is in a subject that makes you attractive to potential employers, its value will be reduced by lots of other people having one.

  • Surely, even if your degree is in a subject that makes you attractive to potential employers, its value will be reduced by lots of other people having one.

    One the basis of “If everybody’s special, no-one is” to (probably mis-) quote Dashell Parr from The Incredible’s…

    It was immediately obvious to anyone with half-a-brain-cell that Tony Bliar’s goal of sending 50% of kids to University meant that they would have to dumb a lot of it down or add lots of for-the-stupid University degrees that were essentially worthless (or certainly not worth £9,000 a year).

    Equally, raising previously non-degree professions like nursing or coppering to be degree professions hasn’t increased the ability or usefulness of people in those professions, we’ve just had to add another layer beneath them (Nursing Assistants, School Assistants, PCSO’s, etc.) to do the entry level stuff that the highfalutin graduates are now too hoity-toity to do.

  • george m weinberg

    ‘Thousands” makes it sound like just a few, when it may be well over a hundred.
    But a gender studies degree is far worse than worthless. If I had a choice between hiring a person with a gender studies degree or one with a criminal record for embezzlement, I’d pick the embezzler.

  • Fraser Orr

    FWIW, I actually think a “Gender Studies” degree is quite serviceable and employable. All our large corporations are full of HR departments destroying corporate productivity with people having such qualifications. One need only look at the raft of corporations who seem to feel the need to express an opinion on George Floyd or Covid 19, because apparently everyone cares what a linoleum flooring manufacturer or a Twinkie factory thinks about such matters.

    One should always remember the difference between “ought” and “is”.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I am far from expert on Norman noble progeny but I wasn’t aware that their elder sons were exactly shrinking violets when it came to the war business.

  • Paul Marks

    I think these are the “good students” – the ones who agree with their Professors and get high praise.

    They do not all study “gender studies” – they study all the subjects (including the physical sciences these days – although mostly the still in the humanities, but that includes law and so on).

    And they go on to be high managers in the in both government and BUSINESS bureaucracy.

    Name a large Corporation that is not controlled by them – they are all taught “Social Responsibility”.

    Paul – what about Chick-fil-a?.

    Chick-fil-a fell some time ago now.

    These days they do not fund the Christian groups they used to fund – they fund Marxist groups.

    The same as the rest of Big Business.

  • Fraser Orr

    To your point Paul, I got an email from my gym today. I was all excited because I was thinking it was to tell me they are open again (they have been closed for three months, but still billing my credit card.) But no. What is more important than telling me that they are actually going to provide the service I am paying for? Well to tell me how much they disapprove of the murder of a black man, and how much they support the right of people to protest, and how they are a corporation with a sense of social responsibility.

    Rather than being a corporation with a sense of social responsibility I’d much rather they were a corporation with some treadmills and a weight gym.

  • You thought you were paying to use a Gym, but actually you are paying to be hectored about woke awareness and white privilege.

    Who Knew?

    It tells you which companies you should consider departing.

    Sure Ellen – A fine example of Get Woke Go Broke.

  • Fraser Orr
    June 4, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Rather than being a corporation with a sense of social responsibility I’d much rather they were a corporation with some treadmills and a weight gym.

    It tells you which companies you should consider departing.

  • Phil B

    This is a true tale.

    I applied for a job, advertised by a recruitment agency that I was well qualified for and never got a reply back. After a month I phoned them with the usual “I’m sorry I wasn’t short listed but can you tell me in what way I did not match the job description” business.

    The recruiter, a young female said that she didn’t understand my CV. Bear in mind I am an engineer with at that time about 20 years experience in the industry sector. I replied that I wrote the CV to present my skills and experience in the best possible light to my potential boss. It was “too technical” and she could not understand it.

    I asked her what qualifications she had (engineering?) and it turned out she had studied Modern languages and Literature (Spanish) and for her PhD, her dissertation was on 19th Century Latin American Lesbian Poetry. I will leave you to contemplate the number of literate women in Latin America during the 19th century, the number that would have been lesbian and the vanishingly small number that would have had poetry published in those countries and in that century.

    And she was recruiting for technical positions in an engineering company … Yes, Claudia, I am talking about you.

    If the world goes to hell in a hand cart then giving people like her the power to gate keep the recruitment process for personnel throughout the Western economies will, in my opinion, be a large contributor to that.

  • Fraser Orr

    @ellen you might be right except for the fact that every gym is similarly woke (and similarly shut).

  • Eric

    But a gender studies degree is far worse than worthless. If I had a choice between hiring a person with a gender studies degree or one with a criminal record for embezzlement, I’d pick the embezzler.

    Me too. At least the embezzler will only steal from me. The gender studies person is sure to have everyone at the office walking on eggshells and eventually drag me through the courts.

  • Over a G&T or three just before coronavirus arrived & crapped all over our social lives, I had a friend who is very senior with a hefty multinational tell me that they have a two tier system, one that ticks all the Wokest of Woke boxes, and a second ‘informal process’ that ensures “certain kinds of people” don’t get anywhere near mission critical positions (Gender Studies degrees are red flags, and certain Ivy League universities even with ‘proper’ degrees are a no-no: he said he would never willing use anyone from his own Alma Mater at this stage). They have an extremely based ethnic minority woman actually managing this “informal process” & he said she jokes that she was considering becoming a lesbian just to make herself even more bulletproof 😆

    And yes, I’m wording this not to provide too many points of reference.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser: why can’t you cancel your gym membership?

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – what gym could Fraser join that is NOT Marxist?

    And it is Marxism – they do not actually give a damn about the murder of black people.

    Ask them to send out notification of how they condemn the Social Justice Looters for the murder of DAVID DORN and other black people.

    They will not do it – because it does fit the Marxist “narrative”.

    “Business is not really Marxist Paul – they just want to preserve their wealth by sucking up to the Marxists, just as Conservative Central Office sucks up t the Marxist Diversity and Inclusion Agenda”.

    O.K. then – but what difference does that make.

    So business people are not REALLY Marxists – they just fund them and repeat whatever the Marxists tell them to say. That is still going to end in Marxism.

    It is partly what they were taught in school and university – and partly their own cowardice.

    But damn them, damn them to Hell – just the same.

  • bobby b

    Most of the gym members I know would probably never realize that the gym was closed. They just pay the fee as a sort of offering to the gods.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Snorri – what gym could Fraser join that is NOT Marxist?

    Paul: my perspective is more Scottish than yours 🙂

    My advice to Fraser Orr is:
    Cancel your membership when you can no longer use the gym.
    Get a membership to the least woke gym that you can easily access, when gyms reopen.

    Over here, gyms have reopened. For now, I am using a free outdoors gym, however; so i don’t pay anything. Very Scottish.

    The exercises that i can do are limited, but the benefits are substantial.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Another thought:
    If you keep paying membership fees to your gym when they can reopen, but don’t, then you are not giving them an incentive to reopen: you are giving them an incentive to stay closed.

  • Fraser Orr

    Snorri Godhi
    If you keep paying membership fees to your gym when they can reopen, but don’t, then you are not giving them an incentive to reopen: you are giving them an incentive to stay closed.

    They incentivize me to keep paying their fee by two mechanisms:

    1. The gym has a joining fee that, should you cancel, would have to be repaid to join it. (Something which is true of most of the yuppie type gyms that I go to.)

    2. The wait time on their telephone support line is so long that the fee is less than my per hour billing rate.

    As to Bobby’s point — I think he is right. I have often said that in a truly moral universe, one would lose belly fat simply by paying one’s gym fee. Nevertheless, this is just more evidence of its amorality. I have recently been saying something that I NEVER thought I would say in my life “I really miss going to the gym”.

    BTW, I don’t think my gym is Marxist. I actually like it and the people who run it. They are good solid entrepreneurs, hard scrabble folks who build a great business, providing a good service to people at a good price. However, I think a lot of these mea culpae are more like, to use Bobby’s notation, an offering to the gods of wokeness rather than anything substantial. From a corporate perspective, if you issue some meaningless shibboleth then you lower the risk of losing members for whom such blather is valuable. So it seems a small price to pay for a substantial benefit. Woke money is (appropriately) green too you know.

  • Stonyground

    Mrs. S. and myself belong to the Total Fitness chain of gyms. They are not charging us during the shutdown. I have not noticed any of their communications being political in any way.

  • Hugh

    I go for a nice walk in the park, or into town.

  • if you issue some meaningless shibboleth then you lower the risk of losing members for whom such blather is valuable. So it seems a small price to pay for a substantial benefit. Woke money is (appropriately) green too you know. (Fraser Orr,, June 6, 2020 at 2:54 am

    A thought will have occurred to many reading this: so imitate these lefties and withhold your money because they bowed down to the false gods of wokeness.

    It has however been well said (alas, I forget the old web story whose content I am recalling) that the left are great at boycotts whereas the right are better at support. If it’s a case of joining some gym that the PC demand you cancel-culture, then the right can produce the people, but if it is instead a case of trying to make life hell for a gym that didn’t send a sufficiently cringing email, the left are your guys for that. One could say, the PC are good at hating whereas those who hate PC are better at helping.

    One of Alinsky’s rules is: “An effective tactic is one your people like”. When planning how to resist wokeness, remember that we don’t seem to get off on making other people’s lives hell for not agreeing in the way the modern PC do. Fraser’s last “BTW” paragraph is a good example of this.

    (All that said, if you can find a saner gym, go for it.)

  • James Hargrave

    Why would anyone want to join a gym?

    Phil B – the insidious consequences of HR run everywhere. It is a form of out relief for dim graduates who don’t realise how dim they are – they have swallowed the whole package. Some of the worst seem to gravitate back to mother and work in universities, making a pretty dire situation even worse (institutions that do not even make a decent contribution to ignorance). After all, why would you need ancient languages to teach ancient history? Or what gain from seeking a reference for a promotion, a circumstance in which the referee obviously knows the candidate, and ask the to be ‘gender neutral’ – a friend, who believes that only languages have gender, described the person throughout as ‘it’.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser: I would probably instruct my bank to stop payment of bills from the gym in your situation. I would then pay the accumulated fees IF and when it is cheaper to pay that than to buy a new membership. But i can see how this approach might make me less popular at the gym.

    I have often said that in a truly moral universe, one would lose belly fat simply by paying one’s gym fee.

    In the universe we live in, going to the gym is no way to lose belly fat. The purpose of going to the gym is to prevent sarcopenia; and based on my experience, it works.

    If you want to lose belly fat, then a change of diet is the thing to do. Basically you have to do the opposite of what “the experts” tell you: eat meat, eggs, and cheese; don’t eat seed oils or grains; and never eat a balanced meal: alternate high fat/high protein meals with vegan meals.

    One thing that “the experts” get right is that sugar is bad. Most of them also get it right about fish being good for you.

  • Fraser Orr

    Funny how much discussion my little side comment about my gym has generated. Let me clarify a little (because it pertains to Naill’s interesting comment.) My disquiet over the email was not that they told me their political views — frankly I don’t care. My disquiet was that they weren’t telling me the gym opened.

    Regarding fees — my fees are paid automatically by credit card, and, in my experience it is almost impossible to convince one’s credit card company to stop a regular charge. It is possible to challenge after the fact, but that often requires sitting on the phone for several hours, and pissing off your gym, and possibly affecting your credit score.

    As to Naill’s comment, I think you might be right in some way. I think it is more that the left is far more concerned with semiotics than the right who are more concerned with actions. In fact, I think that is a lot of the source of the rage on Trump. Frankly, if I cared, a lot of what Trump says would kind of piss me off too. But I don’t really care about that all that much, I care more about what he does — and what he does has been about the best one could possibly expect from a modern American president.

    I also think that the left tend to care about the group, whereas the right tend to care about individuals. So it enrages me when I see the video of some middle aged black lady yelling at the crowd of rioters who have destroyed her business that she has spent her whole life working toward. The left seem more concerned about group justice than individual justice. Irrespective of his guilt Chauvin, he has to be punished (probably strung up) to cure the putative group injustice against the black community.

    As to Snorri’s health advice, I think he/she (not sure which, sorry) is right, the interaction of diet and exercise is a lot more than the trivialized model that the experts explain. For example, exercise raises ones base metabolic rate long term, and if you muscles are larger they consume more energy just staying alive. So exercise does decrease fat by increasing the energy requirements of the body, and, as you rightly say, if the amount of glucose in your blood is low then it is forced to use alternatives, including fats. Another thing worth considering is that exercising causes the short term preferential uptake of glucose into muscle cells rather than fat cells (the insulin opens the glucose transmitting transmembrane proteins and the lower concentration of glucose in the myocytes’ cytoplasm due to consumption causes greater osmotic pressure across the cell walls than for other cells. So the energy is used by the myocytes rather than adipocytes generating muscle protein rather than fat storage.)

    When people talk about the “calories in calories out” model. My first question is “how many calories are there in a glass of ice water?” Think about that, and it’ll become clear how utterly broken that model is.

    OK, well that a grab bag of rambling responses.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser:

    As to Snorri’s health advice, I think he/she (not sure which, sorry)

    Wikipedia is your friend 🙂

    As for your health advice, let’s just say that it is probably good to follow in practice, but perhaps not scientifically sound in theory. Once again, I believe that the most sound principles are:
    * no seed oils
    * no refined sugars
    * no grains
    * eating proteins within narrow windows: a few hours/day, even better a few days/week
    * eating carbs within narrow windows (with no overlap with protein windows) and then only because veggies are good for you; and also because eating veggies will help you avoid the craving for proteins.

    Apologies for going off topic.

  • I think of Snorri as a fairly well known name from Nordic culture – but I read a lot of history and literature (and SF: the name Snorri, for a boy, figures in Harry Harrison’s ‘The Technicolor Time Machine’ – as it did in the Viking trip to America saga which that book uses as background). I once worked in Holland with a high-powered local manager (great guy). There was a period when he and I exchanged many an email with US-located technical support person Solveig, though we never talked by phone. I was flabbergasted to realise one day, by a chance remark, that the Dutchman thought Solveig was male. He took a bit of convincing that she was female, and even checked my assurance with a tactfully-phrased email enquiry to her. 🙂

    Doubtless there are cultures I’d be at sea in.

  • Solveig was the name of one of my fav actresses, sadly departed now 😉

  • Snorri Godhi

    Watch out, because Snorri “Godhi” Thorgrimsson is not to be confused with Snorri Sturluson!
    The latter was also a godhi, i believe, but he lived about 2 centuries later and wrote stories, instead of (only) starring in them.

    During a visit to Iceland, displaying awareness of the difference between the two can favorably impress the locals.

    –I actually co-authored a scientific article with a Chinese researcher without knowing whether he (as it turned out) was a man or a woman. I asked some Chinese colleagues and they said there is no way to know from the name.

  • Paul Marks

    I repeat – it does not matter if a business is really Marxist or is just backing the Marxists out of fashion-or-fear.

    In the end the result is the same – totalitarianism.

    As John O’Sullivan pointed out – any organisation that does not take a principled stand against the left, ends up being controlled by the left. Ends up pushing the agenda of evil – whether they know it or not.

    It is not funny – it is horrific.

  • Nico

    @Paul Marks:

    Unfortunately the Left has mastered the art of marching through our institutions. Between external intimidation and internal pressure to conform, businesses don’t really get to resist. I’ve observed this pressure first-hand over the years. The Leftists inside act as though they are morally superior as well as numerically superior, and they go unchallenged because we all know what happens to those who do challenge them. The owners of public corporations are too diffuse to do much about it, and the CEOs give in because they hope to save themselves that way / know they’ll ultimately be fired or forced to resign if they resist. This dynamic is found throughout our institutions. You can almost certainly bet that the clerks of many judges are working this dynamic writ small just as employees do it writ large at corporations public and private, and just as professors and students work it in our academic institutions. Almost every institution has been corrupted by now.

  • lucklucky

    The issue is that the Left can make violence because the Media – from the most extrem leftist newspaper to the so called right ones- support that violence.

    Only the media can make violence acceptable or not.

    No one resisted the violence in London a couple years ago. The rewards are now. As the left perceives more and more that the police does nothing they will be ever more bold. If anyone resist, newspapers, BBC etc would attack who did.You just have to read the so called Torygraph to know that any resistance to Marxist advance would be punished by the journalists there.

  • It has however been well said (alas, I forget the old web story whose content I am recalling) that the left are great at boycotts whereas the right are better at support. If it’s a case of joining some gym that the PC demand you cancel-culture, then the right can produce the people, but if it is instead a case of trying to make life hell for a gym that didn’t send a sufficiently cringing email, the left are your guys for that. One could say, the PC are good at hating whereas those who hate PC are better at helping.

    One of Alinsky’s rules is: “An effective tactic is one your people like”. When planning how to resist wokeness, remember that we don’t seem to get off on making other people’s lives hell for not agreeing in the way the modern PC do. (Niall Kilmartin, June 6, 2020 at 8:35 am)

    More recent events illustrate the difference:

    Fawlty Towers DVD Sales Soar After Woke Cancellation

    Gone With the Wind Shoots To No. 1 On Amazon’s Bestseller List, Sells Out After Being Pulled By HBO Max

    whereas (for example) if J.K.Rowling had been for the banning of “transphobic” speech instead of against it, a campaign to get our side to stop reading the Harry Potter books, let alone to remove all their Harry Potter tattoos, would have flopped.

    (I think the link about tattoos is real, not satire; it’s hard to be sure these days.)

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