30 November 2009

On the further reaches of political correctness

via and thanks to; NCBI ROFL 

So you can now be critiqued on what you failed to say about a topic not germane to your subject? Brilliant! Not only is my discussion of Vygotsky to be dismissed because he worked in Soviet Russia, and I omitted to comment explicitly on how nasty that regime was, particularly under Stalin... I can live with that (although not the fact that a single student out of several hundred thought that he had the right to claim a hundred-plus hours of academic time to conclude that he had no case...) ...but by extension I can be condemned for everything else I did not mention.

Warning; the following is in danger of becoming practical ...

OK, it's easy to make fun of this academic/political zealotry, but there is a well-established way out, called a disclaimer.
I know that this raises issues of racism/climate change/vivisection etc. but there is no space to do justice to them here/ I need to concentrate on/ ... so I regretfully (or is that OTT for an academic piece?) have to leave those aside.
No guarantees of course. But it acknowledges the implications while setting them aside, and forestalls much criticism of assessed work. It doesn't work for peer-reviewed stuff, as I know all too well, and why I write a blog rather than highly-esteemed scholarly articles, read of course by no-one.

And that's my story...

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