It is an embarrassment to be associated with the academy when pathological idiocy of this sort is published and cited in the same manner as genuine intellectual/scientific endeavor… What the hell is wrong with us? — Jordan Peterson, Tweet with link to paper
One can follow the hyperlink to see what Peterson was specifically talking about (I didn’t quote from the paper Peterson was criticizing since it was too vulgar). But more generally, in a recording (which might already be deleted from the net), Peterson praised the RealPeerReview twitter website that highlighted some of the publications of the academics which Peterson was likely also referring to when he used the phrase “pathological idiocy.”
RealPeerReview is a watchdog group that calls out outrageous publications which help certain academics in the social sciences and related disciplines retain jobs and get promotions.
In a speech announcing his intentions to create an alternative university, Peterson cited the papers that came on the radar screen of RealPeerReview as examples of how academia has gone wrong in its mission to teach. To Peterson, academia is instead now often in the business of bilking money from people and brainwashing the next generation with “pathological idiocy.”
If one promotes the junk in the social sciences as merely creative writing, that’s OK by me. But who is to judge genius from pathological idiocy in these cases, especially if it is indirectly or directly subsidized by taxpayer money and student debt.
The content called out as junk by RealPeerReview reminds me of the students of Evergreen State University who were enraged that evolutionary biologist Brett Weinstein insisted on teaching a schedule class which students paid money to attend!
See the result of “Pathological Idiocy” inhabiting Evergreen State below — note about 1:45 into the video where Weinstein recounts students saying “scientists are particularly prone to bias” as well Weinstein’s account of the treatment of African American students supportive of him.
What happened to Bret Weinstein was so disturbing, that I will state I emphatically I support his right to teach evolutionary biology! I say that as a card carrying creationist. As much as I disagree with him, I don’t think it’s cool that he got treated this way by a mob of students incited by rival faculty and hostile administrators. That’s simply wrong and immoral.
Genius discoveries in the areas of physics and chemistry are recognized by tangible results — like the use of electromagnetism. In real disciplines like physics and chemistry, there is often a means of determining what is a right and wrong answer, or at least answers that far are closer to truth than not. But this is not the case in modern social “science” and related disciplines.
The issue about what is happening in social science and related disciplines is not freedom of thought, but as Peterson says, “this sort is published and cited in the same manner as genuine intellectual/scientific endeavor “
If one wants to learn to write like that so as to become an entertainer, that’s probably tolerable too. But to represent it as some sort of truth? No way…
One of my favorite books is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s about 10 dollars on Kindle. Gilbert didn’t have to go to university to learn to write the way she did. At least her creative writing had some semblance of rationality. It is represented as a religious writing, an entertaining read, and a personal exploration. But the stuff reported on in RealPeerReview is represented as truth arrived at methodically and systematically, and thus postures as authoritative. I find that problematic.
Most people don’t read the stuff highlighted by RealPeerReview, but University libraries pay lots of money for it, and academics use these junk papers on their resume to help them attain and retain academic positions.
One example of a professor peddling junk (not necessarily papers) is Naima Lowe who was an opponent of Bret Weinstein at Evergreen State. It’s not cool to see professors incite students to threaten and bully other professors. Lowe and the students did that. That behavior reflects the credo of some of the papers highlighted by RealPeerReview, a credo which I view as a means of grabbing power and putting down competitors in academia by bullying them on fabricated infractions.
The authors of the papers called out by RealPeerReview were enraged when they were caught having their ideas actually scrutinized. Most academic authors should like their work discussed. In contrast, the authors called out by RealPeerReview are apparently ashamed that their stuff gets noticed! 80% of the papers have ZERO citations. Contrast this with ID-friendly chemist James Tour who has 400 publications and over 77,000 citations!
Below are some examples dug up by RealPeerReview. I point this out since this makes ID sympathizers like James Tour and the Discovery Institute look so much more rational by comparison:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. … 15.1075317
International Feminist Journal of Politics
WINNER OF THE ENLOE AWARD 2014
HOW “UNMANNED” WEAPONS QUEER THE EXPERIENCE OF KILLING IN WAR
Killing with drones produces queer moments of disorientation. Drawing on queer phenomenology, I show how militarized masculinities function as spatiotemporal landmarks that give killing in war its “orientation” and make it morally intelligible. These bearings no longer make sense for drone warfare, which radically deviates from two of its main axes: the home–combat and distance–intimacy binaries. Through a narrative methodology, I show how descriptions of drone warfare are rife with symptoms of an unresolved disorientation, often expressed as gender anxiety over the failure of the distance–intimacy and home–combat axes to orient killing with drones. The resulting vertigo sparks a frenzy of reorientation attempts, but disorientation can lead in multiple and sometimes surprising directions – including, but not exclusively, more violent ones. With drones, the point is that none have yet been reliably secured, and I conclude by arguing that, in the midst of this confusion, it is important not to lose sight of the possibility of new paths, and the “hope of new directions.”
International Review of Qualitative Research
Activist Filmmaker, the Living Camera, Participatory Democracy, and Their Weaving
M. Francyne Huckaby
This article explores the chimeric hybridity of portable camera, sound recorder, filmmaker, and audience as research and activist cyborg weaving. Situating filmmaking in critical qualitative, ethnographic, and sociological traditions, I share my journey into becoming woman and machine—cine-eye-ear—in the struggle for continued access to public education. Throughout this article I use lowercase letters to deemphasize the importance of the individualized human in cyborg connection.
Writing imaginary emails to dead Korean Drummers is a valid method in some academic circles. I suppose it’s ok as creative writing, but not as some sort of methodical investigation:
Creating Learning: A Korean Drummer’s Lifelong Quest to be the Best
First Published June 11, 2010 Research Articlehttps://doi.org/10.1177/1077800410373468
In this article, the author interrogates how one famous Korean traditional drummer Mr. Myong-hwan Kim’s lifelong learning is affected by the sociocultural and historical context as it contributes to the construction of his life. This article analyzed an oral history book that contains Mr. Kim’s interview narratives since he died 20 years ago. Instead of systematic coding and theme generation, the author wrote four different notes (analysis note, research journal, transgressive data note, and additional data note) as methods of inquiry. For the research finding report, the author adopted imaginary e-mail exchanges between Mr. Kim and himself with a figuration of creating. The article illuminates how Mr. Kim’s life is interwoven with the historical evolvement of modern Korea in terms of his relentless effort to be the best drummer of his time. Imaginary e-mail exchanges opened up multiple writing spaces between the researcher and the researched, past and present, fiction and nonfiction, and facts and emotional responses.
Straight and White: Talking With My Mouth Full
W. Benjamin Myers
First Published January 1, 2008 Research Articlehttps://doi.org/10.1177/1077800407308905
By using straight and white teeth as a metaphor for a straight and White identity, the author reflects on how this identity is performed, maintained, and often problematic. Using literature about identity performance, three different voices speak to and from straight and White identity. Using irony by blending arrogance and ignorance in the voice of the straight and White author, these voices illustrate the cracks in straight and White performance by taking the extreme positions that these performances often rest on. These voices illustrate how education, religion, and hygiene make and maintain (often) arrogant and ignorant straight and White identities. These three voices speak to each other to demonstrate how a methodology that foregrounds our bodies provides space to understand the visibility of identity performances and the politics of writing about with that visibility.
…I simply kept brushing, flossing, mouthwashing, and going to the dentist without a though about what would happen if I stopped…..Dentist visits to my school were fairly common. We got about two a year to remind us of how to maintain our whiteness.
….My straight teeth are not “natural.” Years of my life have been spent perfecting my straightness, and this process is far from over. I am not “naturally” straight.
I might add some more examples in the comment section from RealPeerReview.