April 24, 2024

Wow! How Did You Become So Good at Math?

Speeches, London Copyfighters' Drunken Brunch and Talking Shop speeches at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London by Cory DoctorowWhat’s your reaction to this post’s title?  If you are an administrator at the University of California, you may have been offended:

Fifty years after the birth of the free speech movement at the University of California, Berkeley, officials across the UC system are encouraging faculty and students to purge mundane, potentially offensive words and phrases from their vocabularies.

Administrators want members of campus to avoid the use of racist and sexist statements, though their notions about what kinds of statements qualify are completely bonkers. “America is a melting pot,” “Why are you so quiet?” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job,” are all phrases that should raise red flags, according to the UC speech police.

It also represents an absurd dumbing-down of the concepts of racism and sexism. Contrary to what the seminar materials assert, exclaiming, “Wow! How did you become so good at math?” is not an act of aggression—micro or otherwise. It’s a compliment. Shouldn’t students feel free to compare math-learning strategies without risking the wrath of the PC police? – The University of California’s Insane Speech Police


Image: Speeches, London Copyfighters’ Drunken Brunch and Talking Shop speeches at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London by Cory Doctorow

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