No Safe Spaces Here

UChicagoThe University of Chicago is nearly unique.

Unique in its ability in the reason for its existence, in its present form. This school was one of the founders of the Big 10 Conference as well as 6 times champion of the league, and home of the winner of the first Heisman trophy, but withdrew from intercollegiate sports when it found that it interfered with its core mission. They returned to NCAA Division III football in 1973. And so it was under the bleachers of its unused football stadium, Stagg Field, that the first ever controlled nuclear reaction took place.

Unique in being the home of the Chicago School of Economics, and its most famous spokesman, the late Milton Friedman, who has been highlighted here many times, not least for his I, Pencil, perhaps the best demonstration of how interdependent we all are.

And maybe unique also in something that came up this week. My friend Chalcedon (who is employed in University Administration after (and concurrent with) a distinguished career in University teaching himself) over at All along the Watchtower said this today

A Catholic university is charged with developing a learning community which inculcates such values, and should strive to help form its students in such a way; but it also needs to engage its students actively in this process – there is no room for ‘safe spaces’ or for students to be merely passive receivers (even if such students existed and wanted to come to a university with a Catholic ethos).

A Catholic university places itself, Newman wrote, at the service of revealed truth (Idea of a University, Discourse 4).

Personally, I think that is the mission of all universities, not just Catholic ones, and I suspect that the University of Chicago would agree. They said this in a letter to incoming students.

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

via University of Chicago to students: no safe spaces here | Power Line

I applaud both of them, the solutions to our problems, and they exist; we created the problems, and we can (with God’s help) solve them, never have, and will never be in hiding from the problems or in not honestly exploring them. That is not, and never was a comfortable undertaking. As Hannah Holborn Gray, a former President of the University said:

[E]ducation should not be intended to make people comfortable,

it is meant to make them think.

And you know, I think with that ethos, they will each begin (maybe the word is continue) to attract the robust student who is there to learn, and to discuss, and to study, and to discern some actual truth. Often here we say that the truth can stand on its own, and it can, but we also need those that will proclaim it throughout the land. Truth in an ivory tower, does little good, but the truth in the marketplace of ideas will gain adherents, and may well win the day. One hopes so, anyway. Our society needs a huge dose of truth these days.

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

35 Responses to No Safe Spaces Here

  1. Sadly education in the West has become far from classical unique, sadly now it is much more “Postmodern”, and this refers to a now cultural, intellectual, and an artistic state “lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, interconnectedness or interreferentiality, in way that is often indistinguishable from a parody of itself. It is given rise to charges of fraudulence.” (Quite a statement itself, from Georgetown university on Postmodernism. But I believe in 2009?) But things have changed even since then!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      It is, and it reminds me of why Georgetown was once regarded so highly.

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      • Yes, lots of things were once regarded highly in the West! But those days are and have quite evaporated, and quickly now! But it did NOT come overnight, but with Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, etc. Now we live in simply secular, relativist days, with Liberalism! The great question becomes, how long can we survive? Without absolutes and classic ontology: the doctrine of being!

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        • And as to Roman Catholicism, with “Francis”, who is going to read and care about Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, or his religious apologetic of the social psychology of development today? This itself has caused something of the loss itself of the historical and philosophical solution. Indeed Orthodoxy and Heresy are sometimes NOT poles apart! Indeed the Doctrine of the Church must always be biblical and attached to the Doctrine of God itself. But, of course I am Reformational and Reformed. Things I wish we could think and talk about more today! 🙂

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        • Btw, I know this blog is not the place per se, but it would be interesting to hear what some Catholic theolog’s who listen and comment here at times would have to say about “Francis”? I myself know several Traditional type Catholics, even one from the Ordinariate.that cannot hardly wait until the Lord removes him! But of course God is provident. But, this does also have an education quality too, i.e. the question about “Francis”, and what he has done to the Roman Church and papacy. But always per NEO, his blog!

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          It would be, and you’re correct, I pretty much stay away from the whole Francis turbulence. Sometimes it’s very good to be a Protestant. 🙂

          But if one were to volunteer, I’d publish it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • We shall see? I know several Catholics, of course of the Traditional nature who would perhaps volunteer, but again we shall see? I would NOT press my question however, since I am no longer a Roman Catholic, and for many years. But, I am NO dummy about Catholicism! But, it has surely changed, especially since John Paul II, and of course with Francis. Ratzinger/Benedict was of course too generally conservative, but he was no John Paul! Personally I think that Vatican II was the real loss of Roman Catholicism, but in one aspect it had to be, since it showed that the Papacy and authority itself therein was changing. One can surely see this in the general nature of the Catholic Church for example in Ireland, where the gay issue is accepted, at least again generally. And Modernity & Postmodernity have become the essence since Francis! Not to mention the Gay Lobby itself inside much of the hierarchy. My thoughts at least.

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        • the unit says:

          If this blog was still ‘A view from the Prairie’ we might get a “Prairie Saint” to touch on the requested topic. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          We might, but their are some that have a view from the Anglosphere, as well! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Some of your economic comments run contrary to Milton Friedman’s principles. I was not sure if you were aware of it.

    Also, U of Chicago was the second choice for my undergrad, but I went with the first choice which was a US Service Academy. Nevertheless, the recent comments from Chicago are not really that unusual for the academy. Like many things, the myth of the weak and troubled student is a fabrication. Certainly some example will certainly exist, but it is a substitution of the minority for the majority in order to provide support for a preconceived theory. And the issues that do exist are more complicated than are usually used in meme form.

    That being said, there is a need for an emphasis of the requirement to challenge ideas. Like I said above, many of your comments do not line up with your stated point of view, will that challenge meet with hostility?

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    • NEO says:

      No, it won’t. I don’t always agree with much of anybody, life is like that. You’re correct, of course, the majority of college types are just as good as they’ve ever been, we just don’t talk about things going right.

      Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      Interesting comments. I wonder if you can help me out with more such comments from university authorities – for something not uncommon, I’m having problems finding other such statements, but then as I am based in the UK, that’s probably not too surprising. Do you think Friedman was always consistent? I thought that just as Marx was too smart to be what is commonly termed a Marxist, the same went for MF? What do you think?

      For sure, on all political sides, preconceived theories will shape the selection of evidence. Is there some objective idealist position from which this does not happen?

      Liked by 1 person

      • What are you looking for? And are you implying that absence of evidence is evidence of absence? I do not know how many universities put out similar comments, my comment was referring to the nature of the statement, its underlying principles. But a very quick search found this…

        http://www.purdue.edu/purdue/about/free-speech.html

        If a university does not make a similar statement to Chicago’s, do you think that they do not share the belief?

        Also Friedman is certainly consistent in many aspects. Marx was “not a Marxist” in that he made the famous comment after hearing what others considered (incorrectly) Marxism. Even today most everyone uses the term Marxist incorrectly. Friedman economic principles and philosophy exhibits internal consistency. Like Marxism, most people who claim to support or share Friedman’s beliefs do so without having actually read or understood Friedman’s positions. The problem is not with Friedman or Marx, but what people say about Friedman or Marx.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          On the last one, glad you agree with me. On the first one, you’re overthinking or something. I was simply wondering whether there is evidence of others doing what Chicago do – and of course, if you’re right and it’s a bit of media myth then you wouldn’t expect to find many others. I don’t know how much you have to do with universities now on a day to day basis, but I recently finished working in one and found that there was a ‘self-policing’ because of fear of setting off the Twitter pitch-fork pc mob. No ‘safe space’ for conservative views was how it seemed to me – but then since most academics I knew were left of centre, you could say it wasn’t a problem. That, of course, raises questions about ‘diversity’.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Amen Jessica, the academy has been a mess for many years now, and the whole conservative presupposition, especially the Holy Scripture being the Revelation and Word of God, has long been dumped with so many sadly. And the study of civics and the whole political has long gone left now, Western civilization will never be the same. It is certainly unpopular these days to speak conservatively and with any traditional manner, surely the pomo has come to stay!

          This is quick, off to Church.

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    • So “josaphatbariaam” share with us your MOS, military occupational specialty? Officers have them too!

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      • And I see you don’t exist with Word Press?

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      • Are you serious…?

        To those who do not know, it is considered the worst form of OPSEC to post personal details all over the internet. Careers have been ended for less.

        Fr. Robert, for someone who claims such extensive military knowledge, from personal experience, to children, to associates, and so on… Why would you ask something like that? Why do you post your military CV all over the internet?

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        • I have a younger son myself who is in the British Royal Army, he is a combat infantry medic, and that is no secret. Just a bit of pride for a man who had him at 47! And I have NEVER given any of my inside military details/history over the NET!

          And YOU sir don’t seem real? If your in the US Military Academy, Americans are in trouble! You appear like a liberal to me!

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        • NEO says:

          Indeed, and it also widely known that Jessica’s ex is a British Infantry officer, what is not known is the unit, which is as it should be. Last I knew, officers still wore branch of service insignia, so I don’t see the problem. Unless, of course, he is ashamed of it.

          Like

        • Are you serious…? I’m sorry I can’t tell if you’re joking or if you’re being sarcastic.

          The newest recruit knows you do not post that sort of information online….?

          “Be careful about what you post about yourself on social media platforms. Once you put something out there, you can’t control where it goes. Someone might target you based simply because you work in the DoD. Be cautious when listing your job, military organization, education and contact information.”

          http://8tharmy.korea.army.mil/site/assets/doc/support/Social-Media-and-OPSEC.pdf

          Hiding personal data is expected…

          https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2015/05/23/hiding-personal-online-data/27847231/

          The wives know this…

          “Sharing things like your loved one’s rank or job title, where they’re stationed, or when they’re returning home could get you in trouble. In some cases, even having a unit-specific sticker on your car could be a violation of OPSEC. Sharing information online, if not done safely, can be catastrophic.”

          http://www.militaryfamily.org/featured-news/5-ways-to-protect.html

          If you have a clearance it is a huge no-no…

          “Don’t share your job title, location, salary, or clearance level.”

          http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/security-clearance-jobs/faq-for-clearance-holders-on-social-media.html

          Are you serious, neither of you know this…?

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        • Rightly said NEO! I have never given my son’s personal information, unit, etc. And the only thing I have revealed about myself, was about some of my time in the Nam, “attached” to the American Marine Force Recon, but that was almost 50 years ago now. But, yes there is some pride there also! But, I will be 67 in October.

          Like

        • And btw, I think we know more about Seal Team 6, from FOX News, than we should! Especially who and how many shot B.L. 😉 I am somewhat joking of course!

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        • I have to ask again, do you really not know that what you’re asking is a huge red flag? Are you joking?

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        • Fr. Robert, what if I had multiple websites that specifically said posting your job (MOS) is an OPSEC issue, what would you do?

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        • @josa.. I am almost 67, and I am retired, so your barking-up the wrong tree! In fact I still don’t believe your in the US Military Academy! And I never even touched a computer until well into my 50’s! And you sure seem to get around the NET for a military guy? I know neither of my son’s do.

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        • I have to ask again, how you both know so little of operational security, particularly in an era of social engineering?

          Neo, you said…

          “Indeed, and it also widely known that Jessica’s ex is a British Infantry officer, what is not known is the unit, which is as it should be. Last I knew, officers still wore branch of service insignia, so I don’t see the problem. Unless, of course, he is ashamed of it.”

          You are aware that certain jobs come with a guaranteed security clearance (no clearance, no job), some quite high, and putting that information into the public sphere is not only poor personal security, it is sometimes outright prohibited? If not, why not?

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        • Btw NEO, I wonder if our friend here is from New England? 😉 Seriously though, I have never known hardly anyone in the career military that was not something of a patriot, at least in their service and duty. And I just don’t sense this in our friend here? But, I could be wrong? But I have been in and around the military most of my life! And many of my family members were in the military. And I know you too have a sense here, with friends, etc. But, I must admit, I am somewhat a fossil now, and have sort of a hard time with this millennial generation, and both my son’s are millennials. But we get along fairly well! But they are both men now, and don’t live with us. That is a positive today! 😉 But seriously they are always welcome, for we are family!

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        • I am slightly curious, I posted a list of links from the Marine Times, a spouses website, a security clearance website, and Army training given to soldiers in Korea, all of which demonstrates that the demands of Neo and Fr. Robert are breaking with military protocols.

          It is still in moderation. Can it be un-moderated, and why is it that no one is aware of these protocols, including Fr.Robert who tells everyone he meets he is an ex-Marine but seems baffled by the simplest form of OPSEC?

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        • NEO says:

          I reviewed the comment and see no point in overriding the standing rule that comments with more than two links will not be approved.

          The primary reason is that having reviewed them, they are irrelevant. Father Robert and I are already consonant of them, none of the questions pertained to anything mentioned. He merely asked essentially branch of service.

          Neo

          Like

        • NEO says:

          Well, it’s real simple here. Those are the rules, you can live with them, or leave. End of discussion.

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        • You posted the title of the thread here…No Safe Spaces.

          And you make a completely absurd mistake by asking someone to post information that is clearly not supposed to be publicly posted. Again I ask, were either of you ever in the military?

          Intelligence officers carry very high security clearances. Any Intel Officer blabbing it publicly can find his or her clearance pulled very quickly. Cyber Officers do not go around publicly saying that they are cyber rangers on the internet. And so on. Even infantry officers should not tell their jobs, it is a security issue, particularly in an era of random terrorist attacks, since that information can be socially engineered back to the individual.

          What you asked was completely wrong. Would you like to apologize for saying anyone is ashamed of their service because they do not divulge information online, given the CLEAR injunction that such activity is not allowed?

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        • NEO says:

          Here’s the deal, I’m tired of your whinging so either get with the program or leave. Your giving the Cub Scouts a bad name. I’m done.

          Like

        • You made several statements, including “Last I knew, officers still wore branch of service insignia, so I don’t see the problem. Unless, of course, he is ashamed of it.”

          I’ve served in war zones; lost friends. I am ashamed of nothing. But I also do not violate OPSEC. Now you are saying “Your [sic] giving the Cub Scouts a bad name. I’m done.”

          I served. Did you?

          Like

  3. In my opinion one of the grave problems with education in the whole of the West is suppositional, or just too much hypothesis! And we surely see this with the study of history, and even the historical method philosophically. And generally speaking one cannot scew-up military history! But it sure appears that some are trying to do just that today! My oldest son (26) teaches military history at a private college in the UK, thank God he was raised by this old man, who is the Son of a Spite WW II pilot, with the same of several uncles (WW II Vet’s British), and even a few great uncles, one who fought the Japanese in Burma ( with Maj. Gen. Wingate and the Chindits)! And of course too I am an old “Mustang” (enlisted to officer, RMC), and of course a Baby-Boomer! Now there are some presuppositions! 😉

    Like

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