Academia is Stupid

From the original article on April 19, 2021. Author: eugyppius.

Part I: Research

Almost all humanities & social sciences research in the Anglophone world happens at an extremely elementary level, and is to a large degree repetitive, unoriginal, or wrong.

For reasons we will get to, it is also deliberately banalised, i.e., made to seem as boring, uninteresting, and inaccessible as possible.

I can't be open about my field, but you need to know a little bit about what I do. Imagine I'm something like a papyrologist.

There's a literary/historical component, and a sort of material/archaeological/ more technical side.

What's happened since the arrival of Diversity in the 1990s, is the technical side of my field has been killed off in Anglosphere schools everywhere.

All the fancy Unis want big-picture scholars whose expertise extends to brown people someplace.

This means that a lot of basic technical and linguistic skills are beyond the abilities of most professors.

It is routine to encounter published articles in major journals that are premised on simple linguistic misunderstandings.1

In a world where very few people know anything, it's hard to refute mistaken ideas, because literally nobody knows what's going on.

I once peer reviewed an article for one of the biggest English-language journals, that was just flatly, objectively mistaken.

Its author could obviously hardly read the source he was analysing. This isn't ancient Sumerian, OK? There are high-schoolers who can read this language.

It took a lot of effort, but I finally got the editors to understand it was crap, and they binned it. The piece then appeared one year later in another top journal, under a slightly different name, because the author had in the meantime switched genders.

There's this very old, anonymous text, which many now agree was written by a certain Specific Dude.

Why do they agree?

Because one of the main guys writing on this stuff misunderstood a (German) footnote, which was actually saying almost the opposite.

He then repeated this in a bunch of publications, and so it became true.

What is more bizarre, the author of the misunderstood footnote appears fine with this and now also attributes this work to Specific Dude and cites the guy who misunderstood him in support of the attribution.

All you need to make anything 'true' is 2 or 3 mutually supporting idiots, & an overwhelmingly uninteresting argument that doesn't challenge any other hair-brained theories.

One of my former American colleagues was on the verge of becoming a celebrity academic when I left the US. The kind of guy who gets interviewed on TV & whose books are reviewed in places like the Times Literary Supplement.

If you read his work closely, you notice that all of the philological work on original-language sources he only has at second hand.

A bunch of continental scholars from the late 19th & early 20th centuries did this work and he just restates their conclusions connecting their ideas to the empty theoretical apparatus of Saidian Orientalism or whatever.

One night after we both had a lot of scotch, he confided that he only ever had a few semesters of the language he supposedly worked in and still "struggled" with it.

He was hired by my Uni because of his expertise in this field, which at the level of language did not exceed that of many second- or third-year undergraduates.

There are many entirely fake historical events based on smooth-brained misreadings of straightforward statements. For 30 years people in my field have been writing about the supposed exile of this figure - we will call him a theologian - which never happened.

You have to read all about the supposed political significance of his exile & what it means for this or that, on and on.

In fact, the only source for this 'exile' are a few of his own remarks in a prologue to one of his tracts.

The passage, in the edition everyone uses, is poorly punctuated at this key moment and everyone has just misunderstood what he is saying.

Likewise, real events are surely suppressed or ignored, down to equally astounding stupidity.

Early in my career I came upon the work of some august wahmen, whose well-received thesis was flatly contradicted by a key historical document.

What did she & her students do?

They decided this document was an old forgery. No arguments or anything. Just: "It's fake." She says it, her students say it, now everyone says it.

They got colleagues responsible for standard reference works in the field (indices & registers that track things like papyri and give them numbers) to agree that it was a forgery so now this is established opinion.

A whole source, which is surely authentic, that nobody can use, because of the vanity of some wahman and her students.

The reason you can get away with being a total idiot in that world, is that academia functions like a cartel, or a cabal.

It is a closed community of unremarkable dim people who cultivate a false facade of knowledge by promoating each other's work.

If you are well networked and take part in the favour-trading economy, everything you do will be praised, regardless of how shite it is.

I know of people who are so incapable, they have had to stoop to open plagiarism, and still they are protected.

In this world of incapable people, all research must happens within the confines of an all-protecting consensus.

You don't want to disagree with anyone else. So the only arguments that get made are limp, empty assertions that ultimately mean nothing.

Also, everyone polices the boundaries of their stupid little postage-stamp subfields. They don't want to contend with others who might have rival interpretations. This explains a powerful drive of many involved, to keep everything as uninteresting as possible.

Almost all publications that happen in the Anglophone world are done to secure the PhD, an academic appointment or (in America) tenure.

The vast majority of books and articles are thus uninspired pro forma exercises done for overtly career purposes.

Real scholars, the people who write real books and publish real articles about things they have genuinely discovered or are truly interested in – the people who actually have something to say – are maybe 5% of my field in the US, maybe less.

This kind of work will never get you a job in the Anglophone world now. Everything is faek and ghey.

Part II: Institootions

Since at least 1990s, Anglophone Unis, together with learned societies etc, have been eaten alive by a leftist cultural & intellectual cancer, such that they no longer serve any purpose beyond that of political indoctrination.

On the one hand, there is the remnants of the old University. On the other hand, there is the foul, parodically ridiculous, ever growing, unstoppable Diversity.

The Diversity are Gender Studies departments, every last deanlet in charge of Equity and Inclusion, every dullard pseudointellectual in anything within 100 miles of a politicised topic like postcolonialism or Gender Studies. This is the Diversity.

The Diversity has its tentacles all over the University and is strangling it to death. Everyone still a member of the old traditional University – ordinary profs of Greek & Latin, historians of Renaissance Italy, people doing cognitive Psychology – they are under siege.

All of that rank stupidity I catalogued earlier – all that is happening in remnants of the University. Standards are really low. A lot of people there are deeply, deeply stupid, because there's very little demand that they be any good.

But the Diversity that has taken over, is at an entirely different level. It is not even stupid.

It is cargo-cult scholarship. It is here-I-put-some-books-on-my-shelves-I-am-intellectual scholarship. It is I-wear-problem-glasses-that-makes-my-opinion-matter scholarship.

It is I-use-big-words-I'm-smart scholarship.

The Diversity cannot function within the ordinary intellectual forms of the University, so it has formed a parallel pseudointellectual world.

They have a whole range of parallel journals and parallel societes and parallel erdited series and in some cases even parallel presses where they can publish their bizarre pseudoscholarship.

Journals like Fat Studies and Sex Roles:

Places that James Lindsay and the people at New Discourses punked with a bunch of fake papers back in 2018 in a rerun of the Sokal hoax from 1996. Nobody familiar with the intellectual standards (lmao) of Diversity was remotely amazed at the so-called Grievance Studies Affair, because these people publish errant nonsense every five minutes.

I had Diversity colleagues who taught entire seminars on television shows they liked. I had Diversity colleagues who did not know what Persia was. I had Diversity colleagues who appeared to be barely literate. These people taught writing seminars.

Whatever the precise field of anyone from Diversity, hardly matters. They all teach the same bioleninist sludge. Students who take a lot of Diversity courses end up reading the same cooky authors over and over again.

Diversity Faculty and Diversity Administration and Diversity Student Organisations are constantly protesting against what remains of the University. They are responsible for an unending series of hoax bias incidents that disrupt campus life once a semester or so.

The standard script for such an incident is that someone will find a racial slur chalked or carved or painted onto some surface or other. The entire campus will then be subjected to weeks of antiracist sermons. Sometimes the mass media turns up to report on this shit.

There are also various Racist Incident Committees, that primarily have jurisdiction over students. Faculty are somewhat better protected, but there's a way of getting them too.

There is a feeling that one is always on the verge of being denounced. It is honestly a fairly extreme world.

Every time somebody from the University retires, there is pressure from the administration to redefine their position in terms of Diversity. Often this is only way to get new line approved. So the University shrinks, Diversity grows, & everything just gets crazier and stupider.

When I first started as an assistant prof, most of my colleagues were sane. Years later, after they tenured me, most of the older guard had retired and been replaced by raving dangerous lunatics with disturbing hair.

Diversity is nowhere so bloated as in the administration, which was the first to succumb to Diversity. Today administrators command about as much of the budget as faculty, if not more.

They are orders of magnitude more woke and more stupid than the faculty in general. Many of them are especially dumb failed Diversity faculty from lesser schools.

Whole schools run by hostile fleets of DMV ladies, think of it like that.

An enormous oddity, about life on elite American campuses, is the constant construction. The administrators need something to do, I guess. Buildings erected just a few decades ago are torn down and replaced by new ones.

New pointless buildings are constantly being thrown up. Huge multimillion dollar ugly glass & steel projects that pollute bright fluorescent light every evening, themselves an architectural expression of the Diversity cancer.

Diversity has encroached so far, even into traditional departments like History and English, that there is total curricular chaos. Nothing is taught systematically at all. Even what is left of the University teaches stupid disconnected courses on pet projects or favourite things.

Favourite things like Butt Sex in Beirut: 1972-1987. Faculty who teach their fields seriously and systematically are very hard to find, in most departments there is not a single person.

There is throughout a huge, unprecedented overemphasis on the modern era and even a lot of University remnants just research and teach diffuse cultural studies crap that in another era would've qualified as journalism, except it's vastly more boring and not as current.

As for learned societies, they Diversity has a hard hold on every last one of them. Productive scholars generally don't want to organise the next MLA, so these orgs were always vulnerable to vile opportunists and third-rate hacks. Diversity gave them a way in.

Same for journals and editorial boards.

I am telling you, it is dead. All of it is dead. The most interesting thinkers and writers I know left academia a while ago, or were never a part of it.

That's it for now.


Maybe I will perhaps post a long thred [this article] about the monstrous stupidity that has eaten through academia, through the intelligentsia, the universities, like a thick black foul cancer. The self-interested stupidity, that arises from a declining elite desperate to maintain its hold on power, and willing to hire any ideologically sympathetic party, to write its propaganda & maintain its intellectual defences.

I spent years & years in elite American academia, it was the craziest place. Incompetence everywhere. Professors who could not read the languages they claimed to study, fake and contrived publications, whole journals invented just to get dull American assistant professors enough publications for tenure.

Fake fields, fake theories, fake conferences, fake everything.

Library of Chadnet |