With a special guest appearance from Dumpster Dick
Their argument about higher ed institutions in Florida not necessarily being “woke“ because they are in Florida doesn’t make any sense. The majority of university faculty are not from the states where they get jobs! And they are also never trained at the universities where they end up working, they are trained at highly liberal institutions with PhD programs. The academic job market is ultra competitive and national. Even for a job at Southwestern Florida no name University. I cannot believe that Jesse and Katie do not understand this. ￼
Oh man, they really misunderstand how malleable college ￼students are as well! There’s a reason why Gen z & millennials are sympathetic toward Palestine. It’s not because they read about the conflict in Gaza in the news, it’s because they took courses from professors who taught them about this from their anti-Israel perspective.
Another rare disagreement with Katie, based totally on my own "lived experience":
In the 1970s I attended a pretty traditional and conservative Southern university, where most of the faculty were a bit more progressive than the administration. While it's true that my overall political orientation did not change much in college, I have to say that the professors and the curricula had a huge influence on certain aspects of my worldview. The most life-changing example was a science-y course about the environment that turned me into a tree-hugging meat avoider. Maybe I was more impressionable than most young adults, but I do think that college instruction can be highly influential on students' developing attitudes and beliefs.
I am a professor at FSU in a social science, so thought I’d chime in. I’ve been there a few years and my impression is that, like most of higher ed, the faculty is quite liberal/democrat. (I’m a rare moderate/conservative/libertarian type.) But I’ve never thought “wokeness” was a powerful force here, at least not the sillier stuff that this podcast often exposes. True, there are pretty homogeneous left-wing perspectives about things like “social justice”, climate change being apocalyptic, support for affirmative action and BLM, belief in some ill-defined “systemic racism”, loathing of the current SCOTUS, etc. But when I shared the JEDI thing from Scientific American with some colleagues, they rolled their eyes. I take solace in that!
With students, it’s much more mixed, and I know I have everything from socialists to Trump supporters in my classes. I get a general lean left vibe, like conservatives are more wary of sharing opinions in class, but it’s not overwhelming or stultifying.
It’s actually admin that seem most likely to have pronouns in their bios, consistent with the theory that they mostly went to very woke education schools.
Rufo makes me happy FIRE is around to tackle illiberal nonsense on campus in a far more balanced, effective, and truly classically liberal way than he does.
I wish I could be more sympathetic to Rufo for times he brings bad educational practices to light. But I have the frustration with him I have with Sohrab Amari: they’re mirror images of the left they oppose. Neither side of the culture war will completely triumph over the other, and it’s dangerous for warriors on either side to insist on total victory.
Another place where Latin students have an advantage - until about 2015 I had only seen "cis" and "trans" used to describe the sections of Gaul in relation to the Alps (cisalpine and transalpine Gaul)
For some reason “Winn*b*go” being this unspeakable slur sort of reminds me how “Belgium” in the hitchhikers guide is the most unspeakable word in the universe.
i think jesse and katie are wrong about how liberal FSU or UF are. faculty in red-states like texas, eg UT, are also woke. so i'm pretty sure same at FSU or UF.
i think a lot of katie's argument about rufo's attempt to march through the institutions applies to what the left did successfully. harvard was built to train elites and protestant ministers. ag schools were built to train farmers etc. they've just been repurposed in the last few generations. they didn't build it. rufo is playing the game, nasty as it might be.
Anyone monetizing or weaponizing an indigenous identity should be assumed to be faking it until proven otherwise.
Katie: "I'm going to steelman the conservative point of view here. It's mostly based on religion so it's incompatible with federally funded education."
On the topic of political views in Florida public universities, Ben Sasse is to be the president of the University of Florida. It's probably more of a flagship institution. And I think is Sasse is a far more serious and thoughtful person than Rufo, who actually respects principles of academic freedom in ways that Rufo doesn't.
I am not the biggest fan of Chris Rufo but I think mandating public colleges actually help their students find jobs with their very expensive higher educations is very defensible as a public policy.
Doesn't "somebody else built that, and then you took it over for your own pet ideological project" describe the entirety of left-leaning academia (i.e., all of academia that isn't explicitly a conservative Christian college)? I wouldn't personally want to go to Chris Rufo U, but I also have a hard time getting upset about one tiny conservative taxpayer-funded college in a vast sea of lefty taxpayer-funded colleges.
And FWIW, I think the stated goals for New College sound pretty good, I just do not expect, based on their histories, that those goals will be the result of Rufo et al.'s efforts.
I also wanna point out that it was the Obama administration that started requiring universities to post information about how much money graduates of those universities were making with those degrees.
Just getting to the end of Jesse’s story, and Katie says “I don’t see much of a difference between what she did & Rachel Dolezal...” and I mentally interject: “or any trans-identified male like Dylan Mulvaney as an example.” Mulvaney makes bank off an imagined “girlhood” fabricated in his mind and rewarded for it financially, and reputation-wise by the sitting President no less.
But by all means destroy this one possibly unwell woman for making a few thousand bucks.
If I’m off base here, please tell me, but how is this different from Susan Meacham, the story on which Katie issues a correction noting that Meacham is actually struggling with bipolar disorder (the non-TikTok variety). Mentally well people don’t create false identities, but it makes for an entertaining podcast segment I suppose.
I can’t say I was surprised to hear Jesse’s literally genocidal idea of dropping “ze” as a pronoun, considering how many trans children he has literally murdered with his own hands. And now NYT is platforming this bloodthirsty monster?!
[Disclaimer: “Literally” is not to be taken literally in this context, and “genocidal” should be understand as “something that could conceivably lead to genocide in a very indirect way in the fevered imagination of a barely-pubescent child. “Bloodthirsty,” however, should be understood as invoking the blood libel.]