Why Heather MacDonald Should Not Speak on Campus

It seems we are having a fresh wave of conservative “scholars” trying to break the Blue Wall of acadame.  Perhaps they see the writing on that wall, lol.  This piece on HeatherMacDonald’s abortive attempt to speak at Claremont is emblematic.

Mac Donald spoke via live-stream to a mostly empty room, as protesters banged on the windows and shouted; police cut the talk short and escorted her out of the building.

Here is a rather whiny piece by MacDonald herself, excoriating faculty members for not forcing her on reluctant students.

Where are the faculty? American college students are increasingly resorting to brute force, and sometimes criminal violence, to shut down ideas they don’t like. Yet when such travesties occur, the faculty are, with few exceptions, missing in action, though they have themselves been given the extraordinary privilege of tenure to protect their own liberty of thought and speech. It is time for them to take their heads out of the sand.

Sorry, Heather.  You don’t have tenure and never will.  You don’t have tenure because you are not a scientist, and not a professor, and not an academic.  You are a paid shill for a conservative “thinktank”.  But the reason Heather should give up on trying to wedge crackpot conservative ideologies into universities is the internet is forever, as Razib Khan found out.

So anyone that cares to can research the Secular Right blog, where Khan and MacDonald blogged alongside John “Sun People/ Ice People” Derbyshire, and can sample her writings.  Or just google her old postings.  Probably the craziest imho is Heather’s defense of anti-same sex marriage laws because “foo-foo gay weddings caused unmarried black fathers in the ghetto to flee marriage”.  No data, no science, no support for Heather’s wack-a-doodle hypothesis…which is observably both racist and homophobic.

Heather doesnt have a free speech right on campuses that circumscribes the students’ free speech rights to protest her, or the faculty’s tenured right to ignore her.  She can hire an auditorium off campus and sell tickets, pay for her own security and venue.  The reason conservative ideology is rare on campus is its mostly crap.  Conspiracy theory, grievance and victimhood wrapped in a free speech cloak.  University campuses are a place for the excellence of ideas and competitive fitness selection, not conservative propaganda.

So conservatives, here’s my advice.  Get some better ideas, and data and research to back them up– and if you want to be treated like a public intellectual and a social scientist– get a phd in social science instead of political “science”.

You’re welcome.

Is Razib Khan Cracking Up?

Roughly two years after the New York Times terminated Razib Khan’s contract after a single day, Khan has severed all visible connection with Unz and VDare, and shut down “The Secular Right” –the weblog he shared with John “Sun People/ Ice People” Derbyshire.  Quarantining himself has not led to the NYT proffering a new contract.  And Khan seems to be growing increasingly incensed over the treatment of conservative quasi-scientists like Charles Murray at American universities.  He claims that university students are acting like the “Red Guard” in China’s cultural revolution, showing a profound lack of understanding of the Cultural Revolution and Chinese history from that period.  And this presumes that Murray Racial IQ Theory is indeed science, when its actually a dusty 20+ year old hypoth that has been serially discredited and is of little contemporary value.  I have no problem with Murray speaking on behalf of AEI, a known white nationalist “think-tank”.  And Murray is a political scientist, not a social scientist or a geneticist.

But the craziest thing I saw today was this treatment of John Maynard Smith’s tremendous Evolutionary Theory of Games.  EGT is something that is very current today, in complex adaptive game theory and in the wonderful EGG research project, for example.

Right.  But if Khan “forces himself” to talk about JMS concept of ESS (Evolutionarily Stable Strategy) isnt he going to have to give up on “reforming” Islam?  Because Islam is actually a CSS (Culturally Stable Strategy), a term contributed by Richard Dawkins himself (mirable dictu) to JMS book.

If Khan actually understands the ESS/CSS concept of EGT, then he knows its not possible to “reform” Islam without rewriting the Quran, a book soon to be read by a quarter of the world’s population– and that doesnt seem possible.

An evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) is a strategy which, if adopted by a population in a given environment, cannot be invaded by any alternative strategy that is initially rare. It is relevant in game theory, behavioural ecology, and evolutionary psychology. An ESS is an equilibrium refinement of the Nash equilibrium. It is a Nash equilibrium that is “evolutionarilystable: once it is fixed in a population, natural selection alone is sufficient to prevent alternative (mutant) strategies from invading successfully.

I think he’s cracking up.