The Angle 10/11/2018

The Angle: an article, a link, a quote, and an angle, because the bigger narrative is better.

Today: The Perils Of Being An Uppity Negro, The Internet Lied To Us, and The Judge Kennedy Conundrum

>“Study Finds White Admissions Counselors Looking For The ‘Right Kind’ Of Black Student” | Forbes

“My findings revealed that white admissions counselors were, on average, 26 percent less likely to respond to the emails of black students whose interests and involvements focused on anti-racism and racial justice. The gender of the counselor and the student also mattered. White male counselors were 37 percent less likely to respond to anti-racist black students. And when black women students committed to anti-racism were emailing white male counselors, they were 50 percent less likely to receive a response.

The most extreme finding was the difference in the response rate for white male counselors responding to black women. Black women interested in environmental sustainability got a response rate of 74 percent, while those who presented the anti-racist narrative got a response rate of 37 percent. Stated differently, white male admissions counselors were twice as likely to respond to black women if they were committed to fighting environmental degradation instead of white racism. This indicates that it was not activism that depressed the response rate of anti-racist black students, but rather the focus of their activism.”

The Angle> The Perils Of Being An Uppity Negro |I have an old friend who’s a tenured professor at a good school. Back when Black Lives Matter was being transformed by its adversaries from “radicals” to “terrorists” (roughly after the Dallas police shooting) we chatted about how long the movement would remain relevant, and once it faded into the background, what lasting effects it would have. I speculated then that at some point we would see smaller numbers of certain kinds of black students on predominantly white college campuses—namely, the ones an admissions office would find, “troublesome.” About a year or so later, after BLM began to fade in the public imagination, my friend told me that her school was accepting more black Africans and fewer American blacks. She speculated two reasons: 1) coming from well-off, sometimes rich families in their home countries, African students were more likely to pay their tuition in full; and 2) most of these kids studied math, economics, and the hard sciences, which meant that they had neither the time and maybe not the temperament for “rocking the boat.” I imagine there are no hard numbers for this type of intra-racial discrimination, but after the study discussed in this article I hope that activist students can make adjustments to how they interact with admissions offices.

>“What Will Happen When Newspapers Kill Print And Go Online-Only?” | Nieman Lab

“When it shut off the presses, The Independent only had about a paid print circulation of about 40,000 — versus 58 million monthly uniques in digital.

58 million sure seems a lot bigger than 40,000! But Thurman and Fletcher found that those few print readers were responsible for about 81 percent of all time spent consuming Independent content. All its digital platforms made up only 19 percent.

Or to put it another way: In an average month, a single print subscription to The Independent generated on average, about 6,100 times the actual content consumption as one monthly unique on its website or app. It’s not a perfect comparison — monthly uniques aim to measure people while circulation measures copies. But the point is crystal clear: Print readers are just far, far, far, far better news consumers than digital ones.”

The Angle>The Internet Lied To Us | It turns out that ceasing a newspaper’s print operations does not necessarily drive readers and subscribers to online news sources. And it also turns out that print and digital readers are different kinds of readers. Duh! It only took us 20 years to understand that digital readers get “easily distracted, flitting from link to link, and a little allergic to depth.” By contrast, if you’ve paid hard cash for a newspaper and it’s the only thing in front of you, aren’t you going to get your money’s worth? Are you going to check Google News on your phone while you’re scouring box scores? Indeed, “In print, newspapers had few if any competitors. Online, they have infinite competitors.” This is the Achilles heel of making money from digital content.  

>”Anthony Kennedy and the Privatization of Meaning” | The New York Times

“Justice Anthony Kennedy didn’t invent the shift from community to autonomy, but in 1992 he articulated it more crisply than anyone else: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

In this sentence, which became famous as the “mystery of life” passage, there is no sense that individuals are embedded in a social order. There is no acknowledgment of the parts of ourselves that we don’t choose but inherit — family, race, social roles, historical legacies of oppression, our bodies, the habits that are handed down to us by our common culture.”

The Angle>The Judge Kennedy Conundrum. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s dying breed of conservatism is built on the most central tenets of big “L” Liberalism—that human beings can use reason to discern meaning and truth in an otherwise random and inscrutable universe. As David Frum points out in this article, modern conservatism is more grounded in the big “C” Conservatism of Edmund Burke’s reaction to the French Revolution. From Burke to Jordan Peterson, Liberalism ultimately leads to nihilism. These Conservatives (many of them paleoconservatives) are in ascendance now, but society will gain little from them. History has rarely been kind to their ideas.


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IMAGE SOURCE: television-899265_1920 (CC0 Creative Commons)

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