My copy of Michael Bérubé's What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts? arrived in the mail yesterday (thanks to the unionized workers at Powell's), only to coincide with the release of the graphic novel (4Mb PDF). As a left-liberal professor, I can proudly testify to the complete and utter accuracy of this document's depiction of our revolutionary praxis. (At least, when we are not teaching fluffy courses about enchiladas.) My students should take notes, because this will be on the exam, particularly the bits about camels.
However, What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts? The Graphic Novel shows me that I must also engage in self-criticism. I have been complacent about enforcing political correctness, behaving as though statistics and machine learning could be taught in a neutral manner, when in reality every classroom is a site of conflict. In particular, I have been insufficiently vigorous in struggling against my students' tendencies to embrace borgeois individualism, in the form of the theory of merely personal, subjective and idealist probability associated with a clerical ideologue of British imperialism. I see that I must double and re-double my efforts to indoctrinate them in the principles of frequentist probability, based as it is on collectives and the work of social democrats. Might I be permitted to hope that comrade Gonick (also cited by comrade-professor Burke) will produe a proletarian, graphic version of the great red book epitomizing Peircism-Popperism-Neyman Pearson Thought?
Posted by crshalizi at September 19, 2006 13:49 | permanent link