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{ Tag Archives } Duke University

Weasel-wording in Wonderland

The funny thing about the broadside KC Johnson fired in my direction about two months ago (yes, I’m finally getting around to it) is how noncommittal it is. Sometimes his defense is solid, other times not so much. For instance, urging Duke to conduct an “impartial investigation” may not “strike [him] as the response of […]

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Some bad satire, some good sense

About a week ago, Google dug up an odd little bit of satire in an Onion knock-off called Carbolic Smoke Ball. [The text is gone now—all that’s left is a picture of a goofy quarter.] North Carolina’s Commemorative Quarter to Honor Duke Lacrosse False Rape Case DURHAM - North Carolina officials proudly unveiled the state’s […]

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The crusade announcer

I know I’m supposed to be putting up some kind of “wrap-up” post, but somehow it’s just not happening. In the mean time, stuff like this comes up, so why hold back? Duke’s African and African American Studies Department is getting a new chairman from Harvard—the devil incarnate, er, I mean, J. Lorand Matory. According […]

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The devils in the details

It’s time for me to stop the endless picking apart of KC Johnson’s blog, Durham-in-Wonderland (DIW). In fact it was probably time a few months ago. I’ll never reach the level of the poor sap who’s spent years defaming Brian Leiter, but I might end up on par with the one who got a bad […]

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One pile after another: building a bullshit Wonderland

In the middle of my last post I promised a list of some of the bullshit I’ve come across in Durham-in-Wonderland (DIW). It’s only, what? three weeks later? not quite a month? Anyway, here it is, a collection that lends credence to Harry G. Frankfurt’s comment that the “normal habit of attending to the way […]

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Duke’s perfect storm–too much bullshit, too few bullshit detectors

The discourse in and around the lacrosse case is full of misrepresentation, manipulation, disembling and distortion. Thanks to commenter RRH and philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt, I realize that a great deal of it can be described more accurately as bullshit. The word really captures the spirit of KC Johnson’s anti-academic crusade, but he’s not by any stretch the only offender. Prosecutor Mike Nifong and his minions generated loads of it, and the faculty at Duke contributed more than their fair share, too. What was needed was more bullshit detectors and fewer producers.

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Stupid conservative tricks

Back in 2004 the Duke Conservative Union (DCU) looked up the political party affiliation of 178 Duke faculty members in the humanities and then took out an ad in the Duke Chronicle announcing that the vast majority were registered Democrats. Only 8 were registered Republicans. A day later the paper ran a lengthy piece with […]

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Slaves to the metanarrative–postscript

Here’s a quick follow-up to my last entry. KC Johnson has just posted to Durham-in-Wonderland his own rebuttal to Robert Perkinson’s review of Until Proven Innocent. There’s some substance to it, including a few paragraphs about the Hunt and Gell cases that go beyond the I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I rhetoric of his recent feud with Tim Tyson. But […]

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Slaves to the metanarrative

For some reason a few days ago my blog came to the attention of the Liestoppers forum. The referrer links prompted me to take a look at their new digs for the first time since the old forum imploded a couple months ago. Those forums were a copious record of the grim and wacky world […]

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Professors debating badly

A few weeks ago I wrote about Tim Tyson’s answers to a reporter’s questions about the lacrosse case, and about KC Johnson’s response (the interview with Tyson, originally on a News & Observer blog, made it into print a few days later). Among other things I was disappointed that Tyson wasn’t willing to think more […]

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