Michael Shermer, an adjunct professor of economics at Claremont Graduate University and noted skeptic, recently recently debated Dinesh D'Souza, author of What's So Great About Christianity? on the nature of religion and whether or not it's good for society. The video is attached here. What do you think?
Monday, December 10, 2007
The Claremont Portside blog covers the pollution and graffiti by radical environmentalists intent on destroying, not dialogging. Apparently, they dyed the fountains near the Ath red to make a statement about how privatizing water is bad for the world's poorest people. Putting aside the unsubstantiated claim that privatization is bad, I wonder why it is that these groups repeat the same mantras over and over again. More importantly, why do these protesters strike in the dead, anonymously? Don't they want their names associated with their politics?
I'm a little upset that the campus cleaning people got rid of the red paint. (Hey, I guess the radical leftists have to justify giving someone a job.) I would have loved to bath in that fountain to make my own statement about privatization of resources -- that it is good and essential for world's poor.
Over at The Claremont Portside, Dan O'Toole, former editor of The Claremont Independent, is rightly calling out the authors of "Real Sexual Assault" for creating hysteria around the alleged issue of sexual assaults on the Claremont College campus. The comment section is revealing. In it, Dan goes after these two Women's Forum members for their politicization of a deeply personal issue.
The first paragraphs of the story make me uncomfortable. In it, the authors essentially advocate for more sexual education so that students know the sexual policies. How they fail to inform themselves when the policies are clearly laid out in the handbook, I don't know. Presumably to meet the burden of education that these two advocate, this kind of sexual education will be mandatory, even though (I guess and hope) a minority of the campus is engaged in dangerous sexual practices.
Rather than advocate for personal responsibility and personal education, which would have the net effect of curbing rapes, they go and try to create panels and other such things to talk about the issue.
I saw a Women's Forum flier earlier this year essentially giving advice on how to have better orgasms. (It could have also been the Women's Union.) Though I'm hardly a prude or a censor, it just isn't appropriate to see that kind of thing on a flier in the lunch room.
But my essential problem is the reliance on numbers so as to prompt people to act. Through the use of straw polls and other dubious statistics where they cite the number of students who have "heard" about sexual assaults, they do their cause a disgrace.
Might this article be evidence of why we need a Statistics Department after all? How ironic that the evidence for a Statistics Department comes from The Portside!
Abhi Nemani, editor of The Claremont Portside, has done the immeasurably good task of going around and asking some members of the Claremont McKenna faculty what books they recommend. Like Forrest Gump once said about shoes (and probably for the same reasons), you can tell a lot about somebody by what they read (or say they read.)
None of the books on the lists were a surprise to me, but I did enjoy the books on the reading list of President Gann.
Exit question: Just what does it say that I've read the same books as our dear President?!