Monday, August 12, 2013

Fatuous

Here's another one for the meaningless apology collection. Geoffrey Miller, a professor in New Mexico (as opposed to old may he koh) has been disciplined (ooh-err!) for tweeting that fat Ph.D. candidates have less chance of success because “if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation".

The university could have tried, in a disciplined academic way, to fault Miller's logic, or perhaps to force him to justify his conclusion with some statistics or a study (surely not hard to find enough fat students in America?), and, if he couldn't, to ridicule his lack of science. If he couldn't support his comments, they could have called him an inner fatty. Or is this what they meant when they "roundly" criticised him?

But no, the university has gone straight for the lazy PC option, saying that Miller broke "at least three"different ethics rules (Can't they even work out how many of their own rules he broke? Are these people too fat to count above three?) with the tweet,and demanded that he apologise to students and colleagues. Not just the fat ones, it seems, but all of them. So Miller (if he does so) will be apologising to thin people for something said in respect of fat people - an apology as empty as the calories the fatties consume.

8 comments:

  1. This could be the thin edge of the wedge.

    Or is one not allowed to say this any more in Septicville?

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  2. There are many PhDs who smoke - but by Miller's logic, they are clearly a figment of my imagination, since if they don't have the willpower to give up cigarettes, they obviously don't have the willpower to complete a dissertation. Miller's remark was stupid, but the university's response is absurdly excessive.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. But did they smoke _before_ they got their PhDs, PB?

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  5. Probably, judging by the number of my fellow students who puffed away during my university years - most of whom have subsequently had the sense to quit.

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